Vortex Optics is one of the go-to companies when searching for a new scope. They offer a wide variety of products with an array of excellent features at a reasonable price. However, if you’re looking for something capable of long-distance shooting, it becomes a bit more tricky.
Generally, as the distance capabilities become longer, fewer options are available, and the cost begins to rise dramatically. That’s why I was pleased to discover the Viper PST Gen II during my scope hunting journey.
So, let’s take a look at everything it has to offer in my in-depth Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II Rifle Scope review…
About Vortex Optics
Vortex Optics is an American optical equipment manufacturer whose products are used for hunting, watching wildlife, sports shooting, and law enforcement. Besides rifle scopes, they also produce binoculars, reflex sights, holographic sights, spotting scopes, as well as other accessories.
The company was founded in 1986 by the Hamilton family and remains family-owned to this day. Beginning with Dan and Margie, then followed by their sons Joe, Dave, Sam, and Jimmy, they are a hardworking family of American veterans.
From humble beginnings…
The Vortex Optics team has now grown from a small family business to over 300 American team members. Vortex Optics headquarters are located in Barneveld, Wisconsin, where they continue to produce quality products.
Since the beginning, the Hamilton family has stood by their products, giving customers confidence with their VIP warranty, which is a fully transferable unconditional, unlimited lifetime warranty that every team member stands by and respects.
Who Is The Scope Suited For?
If you live on a rural property, you will already know the importance of feral pest reduction. Animals like foxes, pigs, and wild dogs can cause havoc to your property. Therefore, it’s a necessity to keep a scoped rifle by your side at all times.
That brings me to my next point, which is how tough and durable your equipment needs to be. Your gun will most likely be carried in a rack that’s often thrown in the back of a truck or mounted on an ATV. Therefore, extreme levels of dust along with serious vibrations are nothing out of the ordinary.
Up to the task…
There are three magnification options with different objective lens sizes available when purchasing the Viper PST Gen II. These include 1-6x24mm, 3-15x44mm, and 5-25x50mm, each with different reticle combinations.
The 1-6x24mm offers a VMR-2 in either MOA or MRAD, while the 3-15x44mm and 5-25x50mm offers the EBR-4 MOA. Each scope is constructed from a solid block of aircraft-grade aluminum with a hard-anodized finish along with shockproofing. Therefore, these scopes can easily withstand daily abuse.
All three magnification levels use a 30-millimeter tube for construction. The scope has also been argon purged which prevents any intrusions and also provides fog proofing for use in wet, cold, and foggy conditions.
Vortex claims that the Viper PST Gen II can withstand rigorous military applications. If anyone needs a durable and shockproof piece of equipment, it’s military personnel. If it can handle a warzone, it can handle any rural environment.
Tough and ready…
Unlike many other manufacturers that claim aluminum and hard anodized finishes, this only refers to the external tube. Vortex has continued with quality materials, including the turret surfaces and lens housings.
On the external surfaces of the lenses, they have received an Armotek coating. This resists any damage from oils, solvents, dirt, or scratches. Vortex stands by their claims too, which is shown by the already mentioned VIP unconditional, unlimited warranty.
No matter how many useful or fancy features are available on a scope, none of that matters without precision-cut, high-quality glass. One thing that definitely stands out on this scope is the clarity of vision provided.
Vortex has chosen to use XD (Extra-Low Dispersion) glass that provides incredible color fidelity. Images are crisp, clear, and sharp throughout the entire magnification range. But it doesn’t matter how many adjectives I use; it really needs to be seen to be believed.
Vortex’s own proprietary coating…
Multi-coating is added to reduce glare, increase light transmission, as well as providing protection from dust, dirt, sand, and oily fingers. Vortex uses its own proprietary coating on the lenses they call XR.
When the precision-cut, high-quality XD glass is combined with the XR multi-coating, the results speak for themselves. Images remain sharp right from the center of the ocular lens all the way to the edges. In fact, image quality is as impressive as you’ll find with products for twice the price.
Generous eye relief…
Depending on the model you choose, eye relief starts at 3.8-inches (9.65-centimeters) for the 1-6x24mm. Moving up, both the 3-15x44mm and the 5-25x50mm provide 3.4-inches (8.64-centimeters) which isn’t great but is still a generous distance.
Even the most powerful high-caliber and heavy recoil rifles can be used in combination with the Viper PST Gen II. These powerful weapons can be handled more easily thanks to image loss being minimized during recoil.
Choice of Reticle
As mentioned, there are two different reticle choices available. Most of you will already be familiar with MOA as it is probably the most common style of reticle, so I’ll go through the MRAD.
MRAD is an acronym for milliradian, which is a unit of angular measurement. It is defined as a thousandth of a radian, or in other words, 0.001 radian. Consider this as a metric adjustment method, and it’s actually very simple. For example, if one click equals one centimeter on the target at 100-meters, therefore, one click will equal 10-centimeters at 1,000-meters.
Can be seen in all conditions…
No matter if you have the MOA or the MRAD, all models feature an etched reticle between two layers of glass. The hash marks on both designs are well defined and easily identified in all types of weather and lighting conditions.
To make it even easier, the reticle is also illuminated, being powered by a single CR2032 battery. Battery life can be conserved by utilizing the ten different illumination settings with off positions between each. No matter if it’s a bright day or in the dead of night, you can be assured of accurate target acquisition.
On the lower magnification 1-6x24mm model, it is fitted with capped turrets. However, both the 3-15x44mm and 5-25x50mm models feature tactical turrets. Both styles provide just the right amount of resistance when making adjustments.
The 1-6x24mm in MOA makes 0.5 MOA adjustment per click, and there is 50 MOA per complete rotation. The maximum adjustment for both elevation and windage is 160 MOA. The scopes parallax is set to 100-yards (91-meters).
For the MRAD reticle, each adjustment graduation is 0.2 MRAD. There are 20 MRAD movements per complete rotation. The maximum adjustment range for both elevation and windage is 46 MRAD. Parallax is also set to 100-yards (91-meters).
Moving up to the 3-15x44mm, its adjustments are set to 0.25 MOA per click. Each rotation makes 25 MOA of adjustment. Elevation has a maximum of 75 MOA with windage at 40 MOA. Parallax is 20-yards (18-meters) to infinity.
For the maximum 5-25x50mm, adjustments are also set to 0.25 MOA per click with 25 MOA per full rotation. Maximum elevation adjustment is 70 MOA, and windage is 35 MOA. Parallax is 25-yards (23-meters) to infinity.
With all the key aspects and features out of the way, it’s important to mention the weight and dimensions. Starting with the 1-6x24mm, it has a length of 10.9-inches (27.69-centimeters) and weighs 22.7-ounces (644-grams).
In the mid-range, the 3-15x44mm scope has a length of 14.3-inches (36.32-centimeters) and weighs 28.1-ounces (797-grams). For the highest 5-25x50mm, the length is 16-inches (40.64-centimeters) and weighs 31.2-ounces (885-grams).
Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II Rifle Scope Pros & Cons
- Built using strong and high-quality materials
- Multiple glass coatings for maximum light transmission.
- Choice of precision glass etched reticles with ten illumination settings.
- Accurate and precise turret adjustments for both capped and tactical.
- Range of different models with different magnification capabilities.
- Vortex’s unconditional and unlimited lifetime warranty.
- Limited aberration was detected at the highest magnification levels.
- No lens caps or covers included only a sunshade.
- Most shooters prefer the ease of the tactical turrets over the capped.
- Illumination is bright at night, even on the lowest setting.
Looking for More High Quality Scope Options from Vortex?
Then take a look at my in-depth review of the Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40mm Matte Riflescope, the Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Second Focal Plane Riflescopes, and the Vortex Crossfire II 2-7×32 Riflescope.
Or how about our reviews of the Best Rimfire Scopes, the Best Scopes for AR15 under 100 Dollars, the Best 308 Rifles Scopes, the Best Mil Dot Scopes, the Best Mini 14 Ranch Rifles, the Best 300 Win Mag Scopes, the Best Air Rifle Scopes, the Best Scout Scopes, the Best Deer Hunting Scopes on the market in 2021.
For avid hunters, rural property owners, or even target shooters, the Vortex Viper PST Gen II is a great option. The features will more than match the requirements for any of these uses, and its solid construction should mean that it will remain with you for a lifetime.
Not only is the scope tough, but you’re also backed by a solid warranty from Vortex. Sitting in the upper end of the mid-range scope price range, it still represents amazing value given the clear image quality.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find another scope that offers this level of performance in this price range.
Happy and safe shooting.