Vortex Strike Eagle review : Should you buy this LPVO from Vortex?

Gungoal's Rating

 

Quick summary

Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x is a fine scope for its price. But if you’re willing to spend more and ok with 1-4x you could be better off with the SWFA 1-4x or the Steiner P4Xi 1-4x. If you like the Strike Eagle 1-8x you’d probably want to check out Primary Arm 1-8×24 as it is a very similar scope but has a different reticle which many people like.

Vortex Strike Eagle is an entry level LPVO (Low Powered Variable Optics) from Vortex. In the past, functional LPVOs generally cost more than $600. But since the introduction of Vortex Strike Eagle in 2015, a much larger number of people can afford these type of optics.

That said, it’s important to keep in mind that the Strike Eagle is more of a lower bound scope and its glass quality cannot compare to the likes of Vortex Razor or other higher end optics.

Cons
Parallax, added weight, cost, illumination brightness, eyebox and eye relief are the downside of LPVOs.

With the boom of the LPVOs market, many new competitors come out with similar optics to compete with Vortex Strike Eagle. So it’s normal to wonder whether the Strike Eagle is the best deal in its class or is there a better scope? Worry not, I’ll tell you all there is to know about this optics so you can make informed decision whether the Strike Eagle is the right optic for you.

Newer Strike Eagle models, introduced in 2018, give you more longer range options. Total available Strike Eagle models are :

*Price at the time of this writing are subjected to change.

PROS and CONS of Vortex Strike Eagle

Pros

  • Affordable LPVO option
  • Can be used with both eyes open
  • Non-clutter reticle
  • Large internal turrets adjustment range
  • Illuminated reticle with 11 brightness settings
  • Able to see black reticle even if battery is out
  • Vortex lifetime unconditional warranty

Cons

  • Illuminated reticle washed out in bright daylight
  • Slight fisheye effect at 1x
  • Small eyebox at high magnification
  • Turrets and reticle unit of measurement don’t match
  • Not super durable

 

The Strike Eagle is a budget LPVO option

Before we get to the meat of our review, it’s important to point out that Vortex Strike Eagle is a budget option. Variable power scope with 1x is generally more expensive to manufacture. And if you also take into account the Strike Eagle’s zoom ratio of 6x and 8x, which again are also costly to manufacture, you’ll have a more realistic expectation of the optics.

Note that these facts are part of the reason why there are mixed reviews over the years for Vortex Strike Eagle. That said, if you seek higher quality, you should save up a bit more and get better optics.

In this article, I’ll be reviewing only the Strike Eagle 1-6×24 and 1-8×24. I’ll be skipping both the 3-18×44 and 4-24×50 because I haven’t used these two and have no direct experience to share with you.

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Best for : Shooters who want affordable low powered variable optics

Glass and Lens coatings 4/5
Turrets 4/5
Ease of Use 4.5/5
Size and Weight 4/5
Durability 4.5/5
Value 4.5/5

 

The Whole Story on Vortex Strike Eagle

Since no optics nor products exists in isolation. And words such as “crisp” and “great” glass don’t really mean much when you have no benchmarks. I’ll be comparing Vortex Strike Eagle with other red dot sights in similar price range, so you know what’s the best option for your money.

Read on to find out why Vortex Strike Eagle, even though impressive, isn’t a perfect red dot sight.

Meet the Benchmarks

Vortex Strike Eagle costs about $300 – $400 (at the time of this writing). And I’ll be comparing it to :

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Vortex Viper PST 1-4×24 Primary Arms 1-6×24 Primary Arms 1-8×24

These are 3 popular options in the market with similar price point and should give you a realistic feel of how good Vortex Strike Eagle really is.

Moderate durability, Superb warranty

To determine Vortex Strike Eagle’s performance, I lined the Strike Eagle 1-6×24 alongside Vortex Viper PST 1-4×24 and Primary Arms 1-4×24. For another group I put the Strike Eagle 1-6×24 with Primary Arms 1-8×24.

Cat tail throw lever
Cat tail throw lever helps you switch from 1x to max power fast.

Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24 : Comparing head to head, the Viper PST 1-4×24 is the clear winner by a wide margin. Glass is markedly clearer with super crisp etched reticle. Eyebox for the Viper PST is also much more forgiving. For the Strike Eagle and Primary Arms, when you move your magnification up to 5x and 6x, your eyebox gets a little tight to fully see your sight picture.

I see slight fishbowl effect especially on the edges with Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24. The scope is not true 1x, maybe 1.1x.

As for Primary Arms 1-6x VS Strike Eagle, the quality is very much on par. And due to this event, I’m starting to believe the theory that these both 2 scopes come from the exact same factory.

Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8×24 : Looking through both the Strike Eagle and Primary Arms 1-8x, their glass quality are pretty much on par. Both have slight fishbowl effect especially on the edges and are not true 1x. Note that the Strike Eagle 1-8×24 clarity is less than the 1-6x especially on high magnification.

The main difference between the Strike Eagle and Primary arms appear to mostly be the reticle pattern, which I’ll cover next.

LPVO Strike Eagle has a non-clutter reticle style

All 4 mentioned optics have illuminated, glass etched reticle. They are all powered by a CR2032 battery and can be seen as black reticle without any battery. Difference for each scope is the reticle patterns.

Model Reticle
Vortex Strike-Eagle 1-6×24 AR-BDC Strike-Eagle 1-6x24 AR-BDC
Vortex Strike-Eagle 1-8×24 AR-BDC2 Strike-Eagle 1-8x24 AR-BDC2
Vortex Strike-Eagle 3-18×44 EBR-4 Strike Eagle 3-18x44 EBR-4
Vortex Strike-Eagle 4-24×50 EBR-4 Strike Eagle 4-24x50 EBR-4
Vortex Viper PST 1-4×24 TMCQ Viper-PST-1-4x24 TMCQ
Primary Arms ACSS 5.56 \ 5.45 \ .308 PA1-6X24SFP-ACSS-5.56_13 resize

The Strike Eagle’s reticle is a non-clutter style where you have minimal holdovers that are not messy. Vortex Viper PST has an MOA hash reticle, which is more versatile for different loads. Lastly, the Primary Arms has ACSS reticle which many people like due to holdovers and range estimation.

Best pattern choice is up to your preference. Note that the Viper PST’s reticle is more crisp than the others.

Capped and Low profile turrets are must-haves for LPVOs

Both the Vortex Strike Eagle and the Primary Arms have capped, low profile turrets. This makes sense for 1-6x and 1-8x optics where you want to move fast and use holdovers for different ranges. One generally doesn’t need sniper turrets type for these optics. Furthermore, both scopes have zero reset turrets.

FFP reticle on different magnification resize
FFP scopes gives an unclutter view at 1x and BDC view at higher magnification.

Strike Eagle’s trackability is ok, but not great as my 2 inch box test is a little deformed. However, 1-6x and 1-8x Strike Eagle’s turrets are more of a set and forget type and thus not affect performance much.

On the other hand, the Vortex Viper PST has Target turret style which is generally not needed for 1-4x scopes. That said, Viper PST turrets are more tactile and have zero stop, zero reset feature. Plus, turrets tracking is better than the Strike Eagle.

Parallax is Set at 100 yards, Second Focal Plane

Telescopic_Sight_Parallax_Animation
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Author : Some guy

Since we could be shooting at very close range for 1x, parallax error is a legitimate concern. However parallax are set at 100 yards for all the optics mentioned.

This could be one of the reason you might want to “upgrade”.

Furthermore, all optics mentioned here are second focal plane scope.

Strike Eagle isn’t significantly heavier than LPVO peers.

Some people find Vortex Strike Eagle as a little heavy and bulky.

Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24 Vortex Viper PST 1-4×24 Primary Arms 1-6×24 Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8×24 Primary Arms 1-8×24
Length (inches) 10.5 9.7 10.04 10 10.4
Weight (oz) 17.6 16.2 18.1 16.5 16.9
Tube Size (mm) 30 30 30 30 30

 

When compared, Vortex Strike Eagle isn’t heavier than peers.

Moderate durability, Superb warranty

Vortex Strike Eagle is durable enough for most non home-defense or occupational applications. But if you’re into serious use, consider getting a higher end scope.

Personally I have a great run with Vortex Strike Eagle and have no durability issues with the scope. Plus, Vortex Lifetime warranty helps guarantee that you’ll be taken good care of if any issues arise.

Note that Primary Arms also offer comparable Lifetime Warranty. And I have heard of great things for Primary Arms customer service.
 

Hear What Others have to say about Vortex Strike Eagle


 

My Verdict of Vortex Strike Eagle

Gungoal's Rating

Vortex Strike Eagle is a budget LVPO with acceptable quality. If you don’t want to invest too much in LVP optics, the Strike Eagle would suit you well. That said, if you’re ok with 1-4x, you may want to save up for the Viper PST as it is just another $100+ (at the time of this writing) and provides a marked improvement on almost every aspect.

Furthermore, you might want to check out Primary Arms optics as they have same quality, pretty much the same price for 1-6x and a reticle which many people prefer. For 1-8x the Primary Arms is more expensive at the time of this writing.

If you want affordable yet serious Low Variable Powered Scope, I suggest the Steiner P4Xi.

Pros Cons
✓ Affordable LPVO option ✗ Illuminated reticle washed out in bright daylight
✓ Can be used with both eyes open ✗ Slight fisheye effect at 1x
✓ Non-clutter reticle ✗ Small eyebox at high magnification
✓ Large internal turrets adjustment range ✗ Turrets and reticle unit of measurement don’t match
✓ Illuminated reticle with 11 brightness settings ✗ Not super durable
✓ Able to see black reticle even if battery is out
✓ Vortex lifetime unconditional warranty

 

Alternative options

1. Viper PST 1-4×24

  • More expensive
  • Better glass and lens coating
  • 1-4x
  • Same warranty

 

2. Primary Arms 1-6×24

  • Different reticle pattern
  • Same price
  • Comparable Warranty and Customer Service
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