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Getting a good short range variable power optic can be an expensive task. Very few people make a good short to mid range optic, with Leupold currently leading the pack in terms of value. SIG SAUER is getting into the same game with a $400ish 1-4x optic, but Vortex is pushing the envelope. Instead of just a 1-4x, Vortex is pushing out a 1-6x optic with an illuminated BDC reticle for that same price.


The optic features a 30mm tube, adjustment covers, and a spare battery holder in the windage adjustment knob. Admittedly I did get the run-down from a Canadian, so the price of $400 is based on the Canadian sticker price instead of the American version. Nevertheless it sounds like this should be a nifty option for those looking to get some good glass for their short to medium range competition or hunting rifle without forking over a ton of cash.

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  1. That’s an interesting BDC… Might be just a bit cluttered but I’m sure it won’t bother most people.

    First focal plane or second?

    • Per the manufacturer, 2nd focal plane 1-6x24mm objective on a 30mm tube. Something like 280 MOA elevation adjustment in 1/2 MOA increments. Illuminated reticle with 11 brightness settings. While FFP is nice, SFP has its uses as well. I didn’t expect 1st focal plane at this price point, so range with your eyeballs (or rangefinder) instead of the reticle.

  2. I was about to pull the trigger on a Vortex PST 1-4 and was wondering why they don’t offer a 1-6 (other than their Razor models which cost 4x as much) for nearly the same price this looks like it will be worth the wait.

    • Not a BDC fan either. Only one I have is an ACOG on a 14.5″ AR, so it actually works.

      Everything else is MIL/MIL for me

    • I’m not either. Mil dot is not that hard to learn and I think it is more versatile. The BDC is a great concept in theory but unless you have the exact grain, at the exact velocity, at the exact BC then there is no guarantee that any other marks will line up.

      • Mil-dot is of course better than a BDC. Even it has to be calculated for your weight, load, and atmospheric conditions. You will have to build a DOPE chart for every load you make, and even between batches if you use factory ammunition. It is for high accuracy, second only to the MOA reticle. The biggest drawback…turrets that click at .25 and .5 MOA. Doing the math on the fly is a huge inconvenience. When you can find a scope that is (true) mil-dot and has .1 mil clicks, you will be spending enough to buy a small car.

        BDC is designed to be a fast and (minute of face) accurate reticle. They are on low power optics that no person in their right mind would be using at long distances to make >5MOA shots. It is inexpensive, fast, and works over a decent range of calibers and weights.

        • I am not denying any of the points you made. MOA would be a top pick but I haven’t found them on anything except $1000+ which is okay but not for a 1-4 or 1-6. But I think the one thing that we both failed to address on our first post is that these BDC reticles always fail in terms of windage. Depending on round a 10mph wind could need a 1MOA winage adjustment at 100 yards, which isn’t bad but 6-7 MOA adjustment at 500. A ballistic calculator or dope chart will get you close and the winage mildots will give you a good reference. I just don’t understand getting all fancy when a mildot reticle is just as simple. You have to do the dope chart either way, why not have more reference points to build off of

        • From the manual link I posted:

          Distance will be approximately 100 yards when diameter of circle pattern matches an 18” object or radius of circle matches a 9” object.

          Distance will be approximately 200 yards when total width of first horizontal mark matches an 18” object or half width of line matches a 9” object.

          Distance will be approximately 300 yards when total width of second horizontal mark matches an 18” object or half width of line matches a 9” object.

          Distance will be approximately 400 yards when total width of= third horizontal mark matches an 18” object or half width of line matches a 9” object.

          Distance will be approximately 500 yards when total width of fourth horizontal mark matches an 18” object or half width of line matches a 9” object.

          Distance will be approximately 600 yards when total width of fifth horizontal mark matches an 18” object or half width of line matches a 9” object.

          You have references for 9″ and 18″ horizontally at specific ranges. You know already that wind at 10mph is 5moa (55-62gr) and 7moa (69-77gr) out to 400yds (roughly). The range estimator striations can dope wind on the fly for fast, moderately accurate windage estimates. Like all reticles, you have to understand and use all of the dimensions given for a full appreciation of their versatility. Again, this isn’t a reticle you want to use for sub-moa accuracy, but for hunting, defense, and range fun this is completely feasible.

        • Not true if you look hard enough. I paid a little over $500 for a Mil/Mil 3×9-40 Leupold VXR Fire-dot Patrol that is a quality scope for the money for my 270 Winchester bolt gun. Great scope. Leupold make some pricey glass, but their VXR line is great scope for the price.

      • That’s absurd, unless you are talking about trying to using a BDC calibrated for a 300WM zeroed at 200yds vs one calibrated for 308win at 100 you aren’t going to see much difference. I run two different loads out of my 308, a 165gr ballistic tip with a chrono verified mv of 2815fps and a 185gr Berger Juggernaut that chronos at 2600ish (still working that up), and at 1k yards even if I use a 100yd zero the two rounds are about 1moa apart. That means if I dial up for the 165gr bt I could load a 185 right behind it and all I would have to do is move the crosshairs the ridge of a deer’a back to hit it. That’s a 1000 yards! And you are trying to say you can’t hit something at 100-300yds(bottom hash on most BDC reticles) if the mv or bullet weight or bc isn’t perfectly matched? Maybe if your target is the size of a golf ball. Otherwise I hate to break it to you but your scope isn’t what is letting you down.

        If you are an extreme long range tactical/ bench rest shooter yeah, an inch or two up or down at 300 yds I guess isn’t acceptable but for hunting or any shooting sport where center of mass is the target, and ranges are inside of 400yds BDCs are perfectly acceptable and way faster than monkeying around with turrets or counting and keeping track of mil dots for a holdover.

        • I think for hunting they would be fine. Most of my shooting is not hunting related (but translate well) and is precision related. So I think what we are dealing with is a difference of what we consider acceptable or maybe a better way to say that is what is needed for the job that is trying to be done. I like to shoot sub MOA when I go out rather it is 100 or 1200 yards and I find this difficult with just 6 reference points on a scope. Especially since there is nothing for windage. I just learned mildot years ago and figured it can do everything a BDC reticle can do but the BDC reticles can’t do everything a mildot can do- big reason is because of lack of winddage reference points. If the BDC works for you go for it. This scope is cheap enough I may have to breakdown and buy one. But if mildot would become avalible then I will go that route. I only mess with the turrets if I am changing calibers and need the main crosshairs reset. Counting down mildots are not any different than counting down BDC dots.

          Neither is wrong just difference of opinion.

      • A well-designed BDC is accurate at more than one load, and can reasonably cover e.g. 55-75gr in 5.56 (and that same scope will even cover some popular .308 loads). Obviously, you’ll have actual POI deviate from POA by a couple of inches either way depending on the load, but for an infantry battle rifle it doesn’t matter in the slightest.

    • Not a big fan of BDC’s, either, especially those ‘calibrated’ to a particular load.

      I like a duplex reticle, but an extra hash midway between the point and cross would not be too bad. Don’t like clutter.

      • I hate BDCs– they are inevitably wrong. I dial for distance, with a chart taped on the side of my guns.

        Beware if looking at a 1-6X; they seem to be much more finicky about eye position that the 1-4X models. If it’s hard to get your eye in place, you are giving up a lot at the low end; might be better off with a higher-powered maximum scope and some 45 degree irons. Or an extra red-dot.

        I like the Vortex PST– it’s great glass and easy to see through. Very little distortion at 1X, so it’s very usable both eyes open. The cheaper ones seem to be less clear and more distorted.

        • If you tape a chart on the side of your gun then you could just as easily chart the distances that the BDC actually does represent with the round you’re using. I wouldn’t do either because the last thing I want to do while hunting is consult a damn chart. But I don’t live in the wide open, treeless expanses of the west either.

        • I’m with Bill B on this one. Ignore what anyone else tells you the BDC hashes mean, and bring your own chart. For my hunting and paper punching needs, I’ve never used the same load that any BDC reticle was set up for, but I still prefer BDC reticles to simple duplex or mil dot. I just spend a number of rounds after zeroing finding what ranges the hash marks are useful for and put it on a little card I keep with that rifle/upper.

  3. It seems just as I’m about to the pull the trigger on a new optic, something else comes out. For the middle of the range optic it seems like 1-4 PST is a great option. Any chances of a head to head review of the two options? While the 1-4 has target turrets, the extra magnification of 1-6 is a plus, however you don’t get the turrets. Whereas at the same time, do target turrets even matter to the greater extent on a AR in the applicable range?

    What are your thoughts everyone when weighing the varying factors?

    • When I am setting up a rifle, the scope I end up putting on it has a lot to do with what I plan to do with the rifle. Turrets look cool but have little function outside of long range precision or target shooting where 1/4moa granularity is needed or even useful. For a 556AR where shots outside of 400yds will be extremely rare, BDC reticle like this is nearly perfect. It will be precise enough to score hits center of mass regardless of ammo used, and realistically will be more precise than the platform it is sitting on (your average AR shooting milsurp ammo is going to be a 1-2MOA gun at best). So again, that in mind this reticle is probably better than the TMCQ reticle on the PST 1-4x although I do like the illuminated ring with center dot better for 1x close range 0-50yds both eyes open shooting. Other than that I don’t see the point of having the target turrets and 1MOA sub tension reticle on a 1-4x scope. So again, this 1-6x BDC one would be the winner.
      For a hunting rifle that I will be carrying or shooting off hand I want a good duplex reticle that will be zeroed for max point blank range or a maybe good BDC that has elevation and 10mph windage holds like Leupold B&C or a Zeiss rapidz600. For a rifle like that turrets are useless because you need both hands to hold the rifle and stabilize your shooting sticks, and in those kinds of hunting situations if you start counting mils dots or hash marks you likely miss the opportunity.
      For a rifle that will be shot stationary from a bag or off a bipod then yeah I would like a good 1/4 moa turret and a FFP reticle that has a standard subtension (I don’t care if it is mrad or moa as long as the turrets use te same units) so I can range. Because like many others, sometimes I like to pretend I am a sniper when I am hunting. Putting that scope on a mountain rifle would be stupid as you are never going to have that much time to settle down, range, dial up the turrets and get a solid enough rest that it even matters how precise you are, and speaking from experience nothing ruins a hunt like forgetting to re zero your turrets after you spent half an hour pretending to be Carlos Hathcock only to have a trophy come out of the woods 150yds away and you send the shot ten inches over his back.

      • Thanks for the detailed response. After thinking about what you said, my next concern comes forth. That being the pretty decent price difference between the two MSRP’s. Whereas the 1-4 PST is $599, the 1-6 is $429.

        Now this isn’t a question we can answer at the moment, but what if anything is most likely going to be sacrificed?

        • My guess is image clarity and click repeatability. This scope my not be as good for a “box test.” That’s just speculation, though. The only way to know is a field test with a good shooter, good ammo, and one of those scope clarity testing targets at 100 yards or so.

    • I want to know if the glass will be just as clear as the viper pst. I have to know before i buy one.

    • Hi Tom, did you end up with one of these Strike Eagles? I’m considering one now and always appreciate your opinion. Thanks

  4. Been in the market for a good 1×4 or 1×6 for around 500ish with little distortion at 1x for a few months after getting tired of fixed 3x or 4x scopes I have now. Definitely gonna keep this one in mind and look for some more reviews on how it plays out.

  5. Vortex says their AR-BDC is good for .308 but have nobody at Vortex has a friggin clue as to what bullet weight or velocity would make that statement true. Their AR-BDC is about worthless on a SCAR17 shooting Portuguese milsurp. Don’t know if I need a hotter round or what. Hits high up close and low at 300+. I don’t think I will ever buy a BDC scope again that doesn’t publish load data for what works with it again. My ACOG works with Green Tip out of an M4 like a charm this crap doesn’t.

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