Looking for the best long-range rifle scope?
Well, join me as I take you through my in-depth Vortex Viper HS 4-16 x 50 Long Range Rifle Scope Review.
I have been lucky enough to have had the chance to try out and review a bunch of long-range scopes in the past year. And let me tell you, the Viper HS 4-16 x 50 rifle scope is up there with the very best of them!
This feature-packed hunting optic is currently taking the hunting world by storm, so let’s take a look at exactly why the masses are singing its praises, starting with its…
- 1 Specifications
- 2 Unboxing and Build Quality
- 3 Features
- 4 Second Focal Plane (SFP) Coupled with a Bullet Drop Compensator (BDC) Reticle
- 5 Elevation and Windage Turrets, and Side Focus
- 6 Precision-Force Spring System
- 7 Optical Features
- 8 The Downsides
- 9 Vortex Viper HS 4-16 x 50 Long Range Rifle Scope Pros & Cons
- 10 Looking for More Superb Scope Options from Vortex?
- 11 The Wrap Up
- Magnification: 4x -16x
- Eye Relief: 4.0 inches (3.12 – 12.5 mm)
- Tube Size: 30 mm
- Reticle Focal Plane: Second Focal Plane (SFP)
- Reticle Type: Dead-Hold BDC
- Dimensions: 13.60 in (34.544 cm) by 4.25 in (10.7 cm) by 2.26 in (5.7 cm)
- Weight: 21.4 oz (606.6 grams)
- Color: Black
- Tube Material: Hard Anodized Aircraft Grade Aluminum
- Adjustment Type: MOA
- Adjustment Click Value: ¼ MOA
- Range of Adjustment: 75 MOA
- Parallax: 50 yds to infinity
- Focus Range: 50 yds to infinity
- Attachment/Mount Type: 30mm Ring
- Weather and Water Resistant
Unboxing and Build Quality
On opening the box, I see that the Viper HS 4-16 x 50 long-range riflescope is securely packaged in a snuggly fitted foam insert. The ocular lens and eyepiece are both pre-fitted with lens caps. So, there is nothing to worry about when it comes to shipping damage.
The user manual/warranty card (no questions asked, lifetime warranty on all Viper optics) slides out next, followed by the 4-inch sunshade, and finally a high-quality microfibre lens cloth.
The build quality on this scope is… Top-notch!
The tube itself is crafted from a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum which gives you maximum protection against your everyday knocks and bumps that are expected when out hunting. The Armortek coating and matte black hard anodized finish ensure surface scratches are kept to an absolute minimum, and glare reflecting off the scope is almost totally non-existent.
The internal glass is both highly precise and top of the range. Multi-coated XD glass combined with a 50mm objective bell guarantees the best light transmission even in the lowest of light conditions. All this adds up to one of the most precise long-range rifle scopes I have ever had the pleasure of testing.
That’s not all, though!
Where many competing scopes use nitrogen for purging, the Vortex Viper HS 4-16 x 50 uses argon. As this is a denser gas than nitrogen, it does a more efficient job of keeping moisture at bay, which results in the best internal fog proofing possible.
The Vortex Viper HS 4-16 x 50 has a bunch of noteworthy features. So, let’s quickly run through the list…
Second Focal Plane (SFP) Coupled with a Bullet Drop Compensator (BDC) Reticle
Bit of a mouthful, right? Easily explained, though!
Second Focal Plane (SFP) simply means that the reticle will stay the same size no matter what magnification level you set the scope to. The zoom mechanism that Vortex have opted for in the Viper HS 4-16 x 50 is possibly the best in its class. This “glide erector system” is super smooth to transition no matter the conditions you find yourself in.
A Bullet Drop Compensator (BDC) reticle can help a shooter make on the fly corrections swiftly and effortlessly, as long as they know a few key factors – caliber, bullet weight, and muzzle velocity. With this information, you can use the marks on the reticle to judge where to aim for the most precise kill shot without having to do complicated ballistic-based mathematics.
In a nutshell, it makes hunting easier and more precise!
Elevation and Windage Turrets, and Side Focus
Not all rifle scopes are equal…
And this is never more apparent than when looking at the elevation and winding turrets, and also the side focus knob for fine focusing.
The easy to read and use turret system makes life easy, so easy in fact that even beginner shooters will be able to pick up this scope and feel confident in making adjustments straight away. Each click adjusts the MOA (minute of angle) by one quarter with a max adjustment range of 75 MOA. The turrets are big enough to use with gloves on, a blessing for cold weather hunting.
The side focus knob helps with fine-tuning the focus. Again, super easy and intuitive to use. This makes a bigger difference than I was expecting and is one of the reasons why I love this scope as much as I do.
Precision-Force Spring System
Using the patented Precision-Force Spring System Vortex guarantees that you have the best chance of maximum repeatability with every shot. This system ties in with the adjustment turrets and is one of the main reasons they work as well as they do.
Without a shadow of a doubt, the best optical glass available!
As is the case with most Vortex optics, the Viper HS uses XD™ Lens Elements. By increasing color fidelity and resolution, this extra-low dispersion glass gives the clearest and sharpest output possible. This is combined with Vortex’s very own XR™ Full Multi-Coat, which allows the highest possible light transfer down the scope while cutting down on glare and reflection.
The fast focus eyepiece allows for lightning-fast adjustments to the diopter settings.
What exactly is the diopter setting helpful with?
Just like fingerprints, everyone has a unique diopter value. In simple terms, this setting allows you to finetune the reticle, so it is perfectly in focus for your eyes, which of course, will increase accuracy.
A few other noteworthy features include:
- CRS Zero Stop – this makes returning to your original zero effortless.
- MAG-View Fiber Optic – This adds an easy-to-see reference point magnification settings.
- Radius Bar – This provides a visual reference point for the elevation adjustment turret.
There is really only one thing that I think needs to be mentioned – the weight of the Viper HS 4-16 x 50, which tips the scales at 21.4 oz (606.6 grams). This makes it one of the heavier scopes I have tested in recent years.
Not all bad news, though!
Not at all. This weight is indicative of the quality of the components and also how well it handles low light conditions. Once I got used to the weight, I actually found myself liking it. But it may be a bit heavy for younger shooters, so keep that in mind.
Vortex Viper HS 4-16 x 50 Long Range Rifle Scope Pros & Cons
- Fast-focus eyepiece.
- Bullet Drop Compensator (BDC) reticle.
- Second Focal Plane (SFP).
- Aircraft-grade aluminum 30 mm tube body.
- Fiber optic radius bar.
- MAG-View Fiber Optic.
- Precision-Force Spring System.
- Precision-Glide Erector System.
- XD™ Lens Elements with XR™ Full Multi-Coating.
- Heavier than some of the competition.
Looking for More Superb Scope Options from Vortex?
Then check out my in-depth reviews of the Vortex Viper PST Gen II Rifle Scope, the Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40mm Matte Riflescope, the Vortex Crossfire II 2-7×32 Riflescope, and the Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Second Focal Plane Riflescopes.
Or how about our reviews of the Best Air Rifle Scopes, the Best Rimfire Scopes, the Best Mini 14 Ranch Rifles, the Best Scopes for AR15 under 100 Dollars, the Best Mil Dot Scopes, the Best 308 Rifles Scopes, the Best 300 Win Mag Scopes, the Best Deer Hunting Scopes, or the Best Scout Scopes you can buy in 2021.
The Wrap Up
I am just going to say it straight up – for the price; there is absolutely no chance you can find a better scope currently available on the market. That’s not to say there aren’t better scopes out there. They are, but they are much, much more expensive. And why spend any more than you need to, especially when the Viper HS 4-16 x 50 is just so good!
The durability and inherent accuracy of this scope means that it will pay for itself over the inevitable years of use you will get out of it.
Hopefully, this review has helped you make your decision on which long-range hunting scope to buy. If you think that the Vortex Viper HS 4-16 x 50 long-range rifle scope is the scope you’ve been looking for, then grab a fantastic deal right now!
Happy and safe shooting.