Optic Review: EOTech Vudu 1-8x24mm SFP Riflescope

VUDU 1-8X24mm (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

JWT for TTAG

EOTech has been a leader in zero magnification holographic optics since the 1990s, and for almost two decades has been one of the premier go-to optics for the US Special Operations close quarters optics.

More recently, they’ve spun up the Vudu Optics that’s focused on precision magnified riflescopes. With the 1-8X24mm, Vudu has entered the market with one of the better low power variable optics (LPVO) at an extremely competitive price point.

The LPVO concept has become all the rage, especially after the big Army started looking for an LPVO as a new choice to go on soldiers’ standard infantry rifles. This follows on from the SOCOM LPVO contract that was awarded to Nightforce back in 2018.

VUDU 1-8X24mm (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

(image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

The value of the LPVO, which has apparently evaded the US military for the last 40 years, has always been obvious to the hunter. If, for instance, I have a cartridge that will penetrate and expand adequately only out to 500 yards, I don’t need an optic that’s better suited for shooting at 1,000 yards. I won’t be shooting that far.

In the same sense, if the majority of my shots are inside 100 yards, even 4X magnification is more than I need. Speed is of the essence there.

The LPVO is the best of both worlds, providing fast shots with a very wide field of few at the 1X mode, and still plenty of precision to hit a 19-inch target out to the reasonable ballistic performance limits of the cartridge and weapons platforms. For the current standard US military infantry rifle, that combination is a bit over 500 yards.

The LPVO is not a replacement for a red dot optic. Most red-dot optics have zero-parallax past 25 yards, and therefore work without a proper head position. That’s ideal in a close combat role, because it allows the shooter to fire from positions where he is not directly behind the gun.

I’ve shot with my M4 on the ground, head upside down and body behind a wheel, shooting at members of the local Taliban. In that manner, I could still get accurate enough shots at them while presenting and extremely small target myself.

Of course, with an average initial engagement distance of 400 meters, the red dot was less than ideal. I would have been very happy to have traded my Aimpoint for a scope like the Vudu 1-8x24mm.

The Vudu 1-8x24mm would have certainly been welcome on the battlefield, and will now be just as welcome on a hunt.

The Vudu scope’s Japanese-made HD glass is excellent, and compares well with other scopes in this price range.

VUDU 1-8X24mm (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

(image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Take a look at the photo above. The house seen is just over 1,800 yards away in high humidty.  That is some clear glass. I compared this scope’s class with Vortex Razor and Nightforce SHV scopes at the same magnification, distance, and time of day.  I could tell no difference in the clarity of the image through any of them.

There’s generous eye relief — almost 4 inches for me at the 1X setting — and a little closer to 3 inches at the highest magnification.

There’s no parallax adjustment. At closer ranges, this won’t matter, but as you push the magnification higher, and the target distance farther, you’ll need to pay attention to your cheek-stock-weld. This is, of course, always good practice, but sometimes speed-on-target takes priority to the precision of the shot and proper noggin placement takes a back seat to a fast shot.

VUDU 1-8X24mm (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Courtesy EOTech

This scope features EOTech’s HC3 illuminated reticle. It’s a simple, heavy post duplex style with holdover hashes.

Ballistic hashmarks aren’t perfect, but they’re the epitome of “good enough for government work.”  The hash marks are at 2MOA, 5MOA, 8.5MOA, and 12.5MOA. These roughly translate to 200, 300, 400, and 500 yards with either M193 in 5.56 NATO or M118LR in 7.62 NATO. But just roughly.

On my 18-inch barreled Colt Competition rifle shooting Black Hills 77gr OTM, the real distance at 12.5MOA is 525 yards. On my 20-inch barreled Remington 700 5R in .308 Win, the distance at 12.5MOA is 460 yards. That’s only a couple of inches off in drop at 500 yards.

The top post is half a minute wide, and the others are a quarter of a minute. Those measurements, combined with the hashmarks, give the shooter plenty of references to range against. Note there are no numbers inside the reticle. Nothing says what MOA the hashes are located at. You’ll still need to create and memorize a DOPE card for your particular rifle and load. As far as I can tell, this is the only reticle offered.

I’m not a fan of ballistic reticles in general, but at least this one leaves the markings off so that you can create your own card for reference. And again, for all but very few applications, the hash marks are right in line with what most people will be using the gun for.

Unfortunately, there are no windage hash marks at all and the elevation hashmarks are all the same size, 2MOA at 8X. At just under 400 yards with a 10mph wind, either of the cartridges listed above have more than 19″ of windage. In fact, the M193 has a full 37″ of windage at 500 yards, represented by the last elevation hashmark. Unless you want to resort to Kentucky windage, you’ll need to remove the windage turret cap and dial for windage, an option that is less than ideal.

Note that this is a traditional second focal plane reticle. All ranging should be done at the 8X magnification range. With diligence, you could also determine the MOA hashes throughout the magnification range and include that on a DOPE card as well.

VUDU 1-8X24mm (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

(image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

The 1/2 MOA illuminated reticle lights up at the center dot only. Vudu says the center illuminated dot will last 500 hours on the medium setting.  I turned it on the day I got it, and 20 days later it shows no signs of dimming. It hasn’t been continuously on for all that time, as it turns itself off after being still for 2 hours.

The button layout for the illumination is a little different…and better. All three control buttons are long rubbery pieces at the 12, 9, and 3 o’clock positions on the left side of the scope. The dim switch is on the far side, the bright switch is on the close side. Press the close button until the light blinks and notes that it is on its highest brightness level, and the center dot is still bright even in the brightest daylight. There are 10 total brightness settings.

VUDU 1-8X24mm (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

(image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Instead of the usual multiple small screws set into the sides of the turrets, the Vudu scope uses a single slot at the end of each turret to loosen it. A very large flathead screwdriver, a coin, or the large rim of a cartridge is the only tool necessary. Much appreciated.

For some reason, there are almost no dimension specifications listed for this scope on the Vudu or EOTech website and none listed in the owner’s manuals. The front objective OD measured 1.08″ . The rear OD measured 1.68″. The scope weighs 1.3 lbs on a simple household scale that’s probably plus or minus a few ounces. The scope is 10 1/2″ long, 2 1/4″ high, and 2 3/4″ wide.

VUDU 1-8X24mm (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

(image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

The magnification ring moves easily, but stays in place once moved. Also included in the box is a screw-in detachable throw lever, giving the shooter some options. For me, the throw lever worked well on an AR, but got in the way of the bolt on my Remington 700 5R.

The construction of the Vudu 1-8x24mm is what we should expect from an established manufacturer like EOTech. The tube is one solid piece of T6 aircraft aluminum, a standard in high quality optics.

VUDU 1-8X24mm (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

(image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Just for fun, I put the Vudu 1-8×24 in the deep freeze overnight, then took it out and shot it in the 95-degree central Texas heat. I was able to keep the scope mounted and put the whole gun in the freezer. There was no discernible point of impact shift. I had to wipe the glass clear, but that’s it. I also dropped it in the sink fully submerged for 1 minute, with no ill effects.

As always, I stuck the scope on my .458 SOCOM AR-15 SBR, and simply shot a 15-round magazine of punishing 400 grain pills at marginally safe pressures. I then mounted the scope on a SIG Virtus and put a magazine of 5.56 NATO rounds through the gun. The scope suffered no movement of the reticle, no ill effects of significant recoil.

VUDU 1-8X24mm (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

(image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

I wish for all of you, dear readers, the incredible luck I had zeroing this scope. I took the scope out of the box and mounted it in new Barrett 30mm rings and then mounted it on a new SIG Virtus. I put that in a Caldwell Stinger shooting rest at The Range at Austin, loaded a magazine of 55 gr FMJ, sighted at 100 yards, and pulled the trigger. The point of impact was 1/2″ from the point of aim. That’s within the margin of error for this rifle and M193 ammunition. I’ve sighted in hundreds of guns, but that was a first for me.

The Vudu 1-8x24mm has a total of 456 clicks of elevation adjustment and 465 clicks of windage adjustment. As the 1/4 MOA per click total isn’t listed anywhere, or even the total travel, I had to count them, so I may be a bit off.

To test the precision of the turrets, I shot a round, then dialed the windage all the way right, then all the way left, then to the windage center.  I then dialed the elevation all the way up, all the way down, then to the center, and took a second shot. It ended up next to the first one, within the rifle’s margin of error. I did this five times total, all with the same result.

VUDU 1-8X24mm (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

(image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

I also simply shot a round, marked 48″ inches at 100 yards, dialed the scope almost all the way over to 48″ MOA, put another shot down range and measured the distance. It measured 47,” within the error for the rifle and ammunition.

I did the equivalent with the elevation, with the same results. I did this 4 more times, and averaged the results to find that, within the margin of error, all the rounds ended up next to each other, where they should. The turrets track and return to zero.

The EOTech-made Vudu 1-8X24mm LPVO is an ideal scope for the vast majority of uses most people need. An 8X magnification is plenty for all but the farthest hunting applications, or maybe some small varmint shooting past 300 yards. At the lower magnifications, it’s great for fast shots in brush, and has all of the flexibility in between.

VUDU 1-8X24mm (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

(image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

 

Specifications: EOTech Vudu 1-8X24mm SFP Riflescope

Magnification:  1-8x
Objective Lens: 24mm Reticle: HC3
Focal Plane: Second Focal Plane
Battery Type: CR2032,
Auto Power-Down to Sleep Mode: Approx. 2 hrs
Battery Life: Approx. 500 hrs at middle brightness setting
Tube Diameter: 30mm 1-Piece Tube
Country of Origin: Made in Japan
MSRP: $1,399 (about $1299 retail)

Rating (out of five stars):

Overall * * * *  1/2
The Vudu line of scopes is relatively new, at least compared to its parent company, EOTech. The 1-8X24mm is an extremely strong offering at this price point, and an almost perfect hunting scope. It’s rugged, precise, and with gorgeous, crystal clear glass. Half a star taken off for the lack of windage hash marks.

 

comments

  1. avatar pwrserge says:

    Now make it with an illuminated MIL-dot FFP reticle.

    SFP reticles always bothered me because you can never be sure what magnification your optic is actually at unless you JUST cranked it all the way up. That means that you can’t range properly at anything short of full magnification and you add the bad habit of messing with your magnification every time you change positions.

    FFP optics have the advantage of the reticle being good at all magnifications which makes every single problem mentioned here completely disappear. Given that FFP is an option, I can’t think of a good reason why FFP would exist (other than maybe cost.)

    On a side note, it looks like EoTech still hasn’t figured out their battery life issues. Weird… I’d have expected that they would have dealt with that by now. If I can get 10k hours out of a coin battery with an Aimpoint…

    1. avatar Monica says:

      ‘Spectreinvestigation. uk’

  2. avatar possum says:

    I once read your rifle scope should cost as much as your rifle. I use a pawn shop weaver k4 on the 7400.

  3. avatar strych9 says:

    Good review, as usual.

    Your experience with the the scope essentially being dead-on happened to me once as well.

    Unlike you however I didn’t think about it so I didn’t really look deeply enough. The round landed on black of a cloudy day with a darkish background so I spent some time looking around the edges of the target before concluding I was off paper. So, I fired twice more looking around the target for bullet strikes tossing up dirt before actually cranked up the magnification to 10x and found the holes. Could have knocked me over with a feather when I did find them. Small holes in dark paper against a darkish background… prolly should have used a different target lol.

    Bought a spitting scope on the way home that day and stopped using bionocs for that job. And of course… I’ve never had a similar experience again.

    1. avatar possum says:

      A spitting scope? ? Oh I see what you mean now, you bought mouthwash. I use Listerine, Scope leaves a bad taste no matter how much I spit

  4. avatar Nick says:

    For that price, I’d expect FFP with that reticle. Having it as SFP makes it a lot less useful.

  5. avatar James Campbell says:

    $2300 to $2550 ACTUAL price (optics planet at this moment), and only a couple ounces lighter then the Trijicon Accupower 1-8×28 FFP?
    Give me the lower priced Trijicon (by a few $100). The higher magnification combined with the added light gathering/transmission of a 28mm lens AND 34mm tube are icing on the cake. The larger tube make for a more durable scope too.
    I guess it works for those who like capped turrets. I prefer the “pull up to unlock and adjust” style turrets myself.

  6. avatar James Campbell says:

    Oh, and FYI EOtech.
    Non symmetrical “gripping” grooves on turret caps should ALWAYS provide additional grip when loosening.
    These caps are grooved to provide non-slip while tightening, and slip while removing.
    Functional design 101 EOtech, and you blew it.

  7. avatar James Campbell says:

    $2300 to $2550 ACTUAL price.

    No edit function, correction below….

    Current price is $1300 to $1550, not $2300 to $2550.

  8. avatar BOhio says:

    You FFP devotees have lots of choices elsewhere. The tacticool crowd, mostly wannabes, has driven the market to FFP to a degree that makes finding a good SFP option difficult. IMO, unless you have nearly perfect eyesight, and no issues like presbyopia whether your eyesight can be corrected to 20/20, the FFP reticle is way too small for many of us older shooters to use it at low magnification. I bought and tried six different LPVO versions, from Primary Arms to March. Cost from $400 to more than $2k. FFP and SFP. The Vudu wins for me. (And in my competitive career, knowing how to use one’s gear is always paramount, rather than expecting the gear to do the “thinking” for you. I set range and course records using a modestly-priced SFP mildot scope that ran out of up at 800y on my setup, so I use(d) the mildots for holdover. I had my come-ups and windage corrections on an index card taped to my rifle stock. Imagine…)

    I wish this scope was available with a traditional mildot reticle, but even so I like it a lot more than the horseshoe type. The March scope reticle was my favorite of the group I bought, but the eye relief was critical. Head position had to be just about perfect every time, which for this type of optic is a deal-breaker for me. The Vudu is better, and I could not discern a difference in clarity, brightness, etc. using the Air Force eye chart I employ for this kind of comparison. No way to know what’s what unless you test ’em side-by-side.

    As for tube diameter, I wanted 30mm. A 34mm tube means more weight, fewer mounting choices, and said mounts are typically heavier and more expensive. At to the turret caps, suggesting that EOTech “blew” the design is just silly. They’re caps. They work fine. In the rain or Texas heat, gloves or not, I’ve removed and reinstalled them no prob. Just like the caps on my Nikon scopes circa 1995 (when they were still made in Japan) and all of the maybe 20 scopes I have which feature caps instead of tacticool turrets.

    This Vudu comes with a set of see-through lens covers which is appreciated, and they fit properly, –unlike a set that came with a recently-bought Trijicon that was $1k+ (toss ’em, and buy flip ups).

    Lastly, as to getting on target fast during sight-in, if you can see through the bore, then there’s really no excuse not to hit a target at 50y-100y (heck, I even got a 1st round hit at a 600y match once helping a guy who had just mounted the scope on his rifle the night before, and only had a few extra cartridges vs. what he needed to shoot the match). Assuming your scope is properly mounted, remove the bolt or BCG and put the rifle or upper in a very steady rest or cleaning cradle. Peek through the bore, and line it up with the target, right in the center of the bore at short range (50-100y). Now, while holding the works in that position, peek through the scope. Adjust the scope (if necessary, unlike the author of this review, well done!) so the reticle is on your aiming point. Double check bore image, and reticle. Reassemble, fire the first shot. On paper, right? Then, while aiming at the same place as you did for shot #1, hold the rifle still, and adjust the reticle so it bisects the first bullet hole. Fire shot #2. Should be just about zeroed. Fine tune from there. You’re welcome.

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