2015 TTAG Reader’s Choice for Best New Optic: Vortex Strike Eagle

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It’s an unfortunate fact of life that we can’t get to every cool new product every year. Some fall through the editorial cracks, much like the Vortex Strike Eagle has. That said, it seems like the quality scope for budget-minded individuals didn’t escape our readers. In our annual Reader’s Choice Awards where thousands of you readers get to vote for your favorite new things of the year the Vortex Strike Eagle was the clear winner among new optics, and as a result they will be walking away from SHOT Show 2016 with something for their trophy case. Stay tuned to find out who else will be getting an award from this year’s competition!

comments

  1. avatar Tex300BLK says:

    I ran this at Pecos Run and Gun this year. The course of fire didn’t really test all of the features in the scope as targets were all 100-200 yds so I just kept it pegged on 6x and used the main crosshairs to get my hits. The reticle is nice and uncluttered and has easy subtensions to use for holdover and ranging. When checking zero before heading out to the event the BDC was easy enough to use to connect with a fullsize torso target at ~450yds. Great optic, great features for the price range, and a well deserved win for Vortex.

  2. avatar TxHogSlayer says:

    I’d love to see this put up against the PA 1-6x ACSS scopes. I’ve got one of each flavor or the PA scopes that I use for hog hunting. I’m a huge fan of Vortex but was unable to find a Strike Eagle in channel when I needed those scopes. I’ve also wondered if they are made by the same OEM, from what I can tell they are extremely similar.

    1. avatar Tex300BLK says:

      I talked to a Vortex rep who swore up and down that this a not just a re-branded PA1-6 with a different reticle but if you look at the two in photos or in person it is impossible to tell the difference beyond a couple minor things like the magnification wheel overmoulding and the turret caps.

      That being said, the Vortex AR BDC reticle is way less cluttered and way more intuitive to use. The ACSS reticle is nice on some of their larger scopes but it is just way too cluttered for a 1-6x variable AR scope. Does a better reticle and the Vortex VIP warranty justify the extra $100? In the end I bought the Strike Eagle so it was for me.

  3. avatar int19h says:

    The past couple of years have been really good for budget optics in general. It used to be that you had a choice between Chinese crap for <$100, or had to spend as much if not more than the rifle itself for a quality optic. Now, we have numerous quality choices in the $200-400 segment, including 1x scopes and long-running red dots.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      If I’m not mistaken, a number of those $200 to $400 scopes are Chinese manufacture as well.

      The point being, just because it’s made by the Chi-Coms, doesn’t condemn them as crap.

      Overall, Chinese quality *is* improving, provided you’re willing to pay for it, as 16v pointed out a number of months back.

      1. avatar int19h says:

        Yes, they are. And my understanding is that it’s not even that Chinese got noticeably better – it’s that they’ve had better factories for a long time, but only now Western companies have actually started to order anything other than super-cheap crap. Basically, the problem was psychological – you could get Chinese to make quality things, but you had to pay more for that (but still less than what you’d pay elsewhere), and the sticker price on the resulting product would turn people off when they see “Made in China”. Now that this superstition is waning away, we’re starting to reap the fruits.

      2. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

        A lot of us still remember when ‘made in Japan’ meant crap too. Things change.

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          Yep, and one of those slurs was “Jap Crap”.

          Some estimates have China today as being roughly in the ballpark as Japan’s quality in the early to mid 1970’s.

          And look at Japan’s eventual level of quality.

          It’s too bad Ed Deming died a few year’s back. Imagine what Chinese manufacturing would look like today had they embraced Deming’s teachings…

  4. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    Love Vortex optics. My daughter likes the new Spitfire and my wife loves her Strikefire. I plan on getting a crossfire 1-4 for hunting.

  5. avatar J says:

    IME Vortex make sh** optics. Bought their red dot and broke sitting in a closet with no impact or things falling on it at all. They’ll probably replace it when I get around to sending it in, but not a company I would put my trust in for anything serious

    1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      I’m sorry you had a negative experience, if you contact customer service their warranty is reported to be one of the best, and I am sure they will do something to make thi mgs right. Just as a side note, even $600 EOTech has had its difficulties of late.

      1. avatar Jimmyjames says:

        IME, their warranty is hot air and their scopes are…less than awe inspiring I had one of their scopes that rattled. I sent it back and they either sent me the same one or another one that rattled. Sold it on flea bay. My LR shooting mentor could not resist a half price sale on a Vortex. I told him don’t but he did anyway. Would not hold zero. Vortex did not want to do anything about it. He had to threaten to trash them on any and every internet site he could find before they would take that one back and send him another one new in the box he could sell on flea bay. All I hear is glowing reviews all over the net and how great their CS supposedly is. Well here is an opposing view point.

  6. avatar LarryinTX says:

    I just got the Leupold Mk 6 1-6, haven’t got the rifle to mount it yet (anybody know where I can find a DPMS GII Recon?) but this sounds interesting at the price, maybe I need one for my .300 blk?

  7. avatar Bdk NH says:

    I am becoming a big fan of Vortex. My first Vortex was a Crossfire II 1-4 that I would grab just as readily as my VCOG if I had to make a 300 yard shot that mattered. You can’t compare image quality and light gathering but Vortex being 20%of the cost the Vcog is not 80% better. If the Strike Eagle is more of the same but with 6X then it is a real value. Too bad the damn things are always sold out.

    1. avatar Brandon says:

      Check http://www.opticsplanet.com they had them in stock in the last 24hrs with a 10% off coupon code to boot.

  8. avatar Aerindel says:

    Love vortex. I don’t even look at other optics now.

    1. avatar Tex300BLK says:

      Yep, why bother, they have you covered from the diamondback/crossfire for a first rifle or rimfire, then you can step up to the HS and PST series as you upgrade your gear or buy nicer rifles, and if you ever need all out no compromises you go right up into the Razor HDII line.

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