Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Second Focal Plane Riflescopes Review

Vortex Optics is a USA-based company that has been around for close on the last two decades. And when I say around, I mean producing extremely high-quality optics, not just scopes, but also tactical binoculars, and doing so at more than reasonable prices.

With the introduction of the Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Second Focal Plane Riflescopes, Vortex has again proven exactly why they are quickly becoming the market leaders and one of the most trusted optic producers in the world.

What makes them so great?

Stick around as I take a deep dive and explain why they have become my first choice for scopes and binoculars.

There are two scopes in the Strike Eagle range from Vortex Optics – the 1-6 x 24 and the 1-8 x 24. Both are fantastic, but I am going to focus on the 1-6×24 for this review.

So, first up, let’s take a look at the…

vortex optics strike eagle second focal plane riflescopes review

Specifications

  • Objective Lens Diameter – 24 mm
  • Eye Relief – 3.5 inches
  • Field of View – 116.5-19.2 feet at 100 yards
  • Weight: 17.6 ounces (498 grams)
  • Length: 10.5 inches (26.6cm)
  • 30 mm Tube Size
  • Capped Turret Style
  • Parallax Setting – 100 yards
  • Second Focal Plane Reticle – Illuminated and Glass Etched
  • Fully Multi-Coated Lenses
  • Waterproof O-ring seals
  • Fogproof Nitrogen gas purging
  • Fast Focus Eyepiece

Unboxing and Build Quality

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Second Focal Plane Riflescopes
Our rating:4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Peeling open the cardboard box reveals a surprisingly compact scope, as well as a microfibre lens cloth, the owner’s manual, a CR 2032 battery for the illuminated reticle, and a business card for Vortex Optics. The scope itself is snuggly packaged into a foam insert which provides great coverage, ensuring zero damage, even when delivered by the most rogue UPS driver.

Each end of the scope is covered with its own scope cap, which comes pre-mounted. The Vortex Optics Strike Eagle is constructed from a single piece of anodized aircraft-grade aluminum with a matte black finish. This single-piece construction method helps with overall rigidity and ensures that the scope can handle the rough life that goes hand in hand with hunting, so there is no need to worry about bumping this scope.

Just like the rest of the scope range from Vortex Optics, the Strike Eagle uses top-notch O-rings and nitrogen purging to make sure fogging never becomes an issue.

What’s the deal with SFP (second focal plane)?

Just a few decades ago, SFP technology was reserved for only the most expensive scopes. That all changed recently, and luckily you can now find this on a bunch of more reasonably priced scopes. But what does it do exactly?

vortex optics strike eagle second focal plane riflescopes

It’s quite simple, really. When using a scope in the second focal plane, the reticle is perceived as always being the same size no matter the magnification level.

Ok, how about the warranty?

Every single scope that Vortex Optics produces comes backed by a full, unlimited lifetime warranty!

Although you would really have to treat the Strike Eagle badly to break it. Great job on build quality here, and one of the main reasons I always trust Vortex scopes.


Mounting Options

It’s really up to personal preference here. You can either use 30mm mounting rings (sold separately), or you can mount using a rail system – Picatinny or Weaver.

I’m a fan of ring mounting (it helps keep build weight to a minimum), and I happened to have a spare set laying around, and the process was quick and easy.

Elevation and Windage Options

The Strike Eagle scopes from Vortex Optics give you a nice range of controls. First of all, you have the magnification ring. Straight out of the box, I found it to be slightly stiffer than I usually like, but that did loosen up quickly over time and use.

The magnification options range from 1x to 6x, and the ring incorporates a small lever for quick adjustments, which I found to be unexpectedly practical and handy. The focus ring is at the edge of the rear lens, but I found it was very rarely needed.

the vortex optics strike eagle second focal plane riflescopes

As you move forward along the scope barrel, you come to the elevation and windage control turrets. One of the few downsides of this scope is the size of the turrets for windage and elevation – once you remove the caps, they are pretty small and fiddly. I found them a little tricky to use while wearing gloves but easy enough with bare fingers.

Also, each turn of these turrets results in quite large .5 MOA changes. However, as this is not a long-range scope, it’s not really a big issue.

Here you will also find…

The control knob for the illuminated reticle. This allows you to dial through from completely off all the way to 11 (which is sure to satisfy all the spinal tap fans out there).

In The Field

I took the Vortex Optics Strike Eagle out a bunch of times in the month-long testing period, and shot it under varying circumstances with great success overall. The standard reticle fitted is the AR-BDC which is simple enough to use, but I did make sure to have a quick glance at the manual, so you fully understand how to use it effectively. It is effective for up to about 650 yards.

Close range firing at the 1x magnification setting essentially turns this sight into a red dot and works very well while illuminated but can be a bit tricky when illumination is switched off. There is also a slight fish-eye effect at this magnification, but I didn’t find it to be too much of an issue.


At 300 yards, I found the 300 yard crosshair to be spot on. I was able to nail tight groups time and again, and hitting moving targets was easier than I am used to. For combat and hunting situations, this is a fantastic optic.

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Second Focal Plane Riflescopes Pros &

Pros

  • High-quality, fully multi-coated lenses.
  • Up to 11 illumination settings for any light conditions.
  • Water, shock, and fog proof.
  • Checkbook friendly.
  • Highly durable.
  • SFP and BDC technology.
  • Works with a variety of weapons

Cons

  • Slight fish-eye effect at 1x magnification.
  • ½ MOA adjustments.

Looking for More High-quality Scope Options?

Then check out our reviews of the Best Scopes for AR15 under 100 Dollars, the Best 308 Rifles Scopes, the Best Scout Scopes, the Best Air Rifle Scopes, or the Best Deer Hunting Scopes you can buy in 2021.

Or, take a look at our in-depth reviews of the Best Mil Dot Scopes, the Best Rimfire Scopes, the Best Mini 14 Ranch Rifles, the Best 300 Win Mag Scopes, or the Best Scopes for M&P 15-22 currently on the market.

The Final Verdict

If you’ve been searching for a great rifle optic that won’t break the bank, one that is perfect for tactical, competition, and hunting scenarios, then I suggest you pump the brakes as you may have found it.


The Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Second Focal Plane Riflescope makes target acquisition a breeze. Scope adjustments are easy and accurate, and the build quality is truly next to none.

Happy and safe shooting.

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