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Vortex Viper 4-12x40 Scope Review By Troy Adams

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Unread 09-14-2009, 09:29 PM
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Vortex Viper 4-12x40 Scope Review By Troy Adams

Every now and then though, I get pleasantly surprised and find a piece of equipment that exceeds my expectations, and even more rarely, something that far exceeds my expectations. Such would be the case with my Vortex Viper 4-12x40 rifle scope.

Prior to testing this Vortex scope I knew very little about Vortex products. I was vaguely aware they existed. I had seen that a few places were advertising their products, but other than that I really didnít pay much attention. That is not until Len Backus, the owner of LongRangeHunting.com asked me if I would like to try one of their scopes and give it a good hard field test. Now before anyone thinks this was a freebie, let me assure you it was not. While I was able to get a little discount on the scope I still had to pay for it, and they are not overly cheap scopes. The suggested retail is $509.00. With that said I was really hoping it was money well spent and not hard earned cast wasted on a sub-par product.
This is a thread for discussion of the article, Vortex Viper 4-12x40 Scope Review , By Troy Adams. Here you can ask questions or make comments about the article.
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Unread 09-15-2009, 10:25 AM
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Re: Vortex Viper 4-12x40 Scope Review By Troy Adams

Great review! It certainly gives me another scope to think about. That however does not make things easier!

The hardest thing about putting together a long range rig has to be the optics. Unless of course you can afford to drop what I think is a burdensome amount of cash and go right to the top. Where the top is will probably never be known.

I have been delaying my next optics purchase for about six months now and have been using a mid range nikon, but I now have a rifle that has a cheaper no frills scope.

No manufacturer makes a scope that does or has everything. Generally I find that if a person makes a list of everything they want in a scope, they will have to sacrifice one or two things when they finally make a purchase.

So I think that I will go somewhat affordable (has to be under $1000) and save myself the pain that I see so many others going through. To many people seem to have been spoiled by the really high end scopes and now BELIEVE that it is wrong to not have a high end overpriced scope on everything they own.

The guys like yourself that are now writing good comparison reviews on some of these new affordable optics will probably pump some new life into long range shooting and hunting, and I thank you for not suggesting that the optics are EVERYTHING and should be from brand A or B like so many others suggest all to often.
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Unread 10-07-2009, 06:25 PM
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Re: Vortex Viper 4-12x40 Scope Review By Troy Adams

Are the Viper scopes FFP or SFP scopes?

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Unread 10-11-2009, 02:17 PM
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Re: Vortex Viper 4-12x40 Scope Review By Troy Adams

I have a viper 6.5x20x44 with the BDC reticule. Last week I got to try the BDC out to 300. I was shooting a 7mm Mauser with 162 grain Hornady at 1700 ft asl and 2459 fps, sighted in at 100 yds at 700 ft asl. I compared the Viper BDC chart to the Ballistics program on my Iphone and actual shooting out to 300 yds. They were all within .5 MOA or 1.2 inches. I have not tried the BDC out to 500 but the chart and the Balistics program are within .4 MOA. We will see. I really like the scope so far.
retired rotor head
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Unread 11-17-2009, 09:11 PM
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Re: Vortex Viper 4-12x40 Scope Review By Troy Adams

Good article, I have to agree with 95% of the article being very true. There are some things I (my opinion) that would have to re-judge or do myself. First off, I've owned 1 3x9 Crossfire and 2 of the Viper 6.5-20x50 BDC scopes and they just don't do it for me. The first one was a defect from the get go..I mean so sensitive to eye postion that after 12x you couldn't hardly get a sight picture and had a bad halo effect in it (this was verified by 2 other gentlemen that I used as test rats and didn't give them any clue what I was doing, and they had the same remarks about that scope!) 2nd scope was very clear when testing it, have had no problems with it at all except, that the glass isn't worth a darn, also the edge to edge is horrible and when looking through, you get that cheap scope sensation like looking in a fish bowl....got rid of it too!!!

Maybe I got 2 bad scopes and thats enough for me, I've lost my share of money in them, But I will say that the Vortex Crossfires are a pretty good buy, heck there just as clear and sharp as the Vipers. Also for the Vortex BDC reticles, they are very thick like Bushnell Elite 4200 / Nikons reticles, and they do cover over much of the targets. I called Vortex myself and they said that the scopes were never meant to be used as target scopes but as big game scopes (thats from the turkey's mouth) They said they would look into finer x-hairs in the future..(Good news)

I hope the people who have got them also will leave their remarks/ opinions here too. I'm sorry if I sounded like a Vortex scope basher, but these are my opinion b/c I have owned 3 of there products and feel like I have a decent grasp of what there product line quality is, and no I'm not trying to sound like a pro either, But I have owned and or handled some of the best scopes there is (NXS, S&B, IOR, Leupold LPS) and I'm just trying to help others out if they are looking for ratings and or opinions about this line of scopes and further help with there decision making.

Troy, thanks for taking the time to do the scope evaluation, I hope that I wans't to much outta line with the posting. I know it doesn't do alot with your evaluation of that specific scope, but I wanted to let others know what others are seeing.

Last edited by tbeasley; 11-17-2009 at 09:22 PM.
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Unread 11-18-2009, 08:46 AM
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Re: Vortex Viper 4-12x40 Scope Review By Troy Adams

tbeasley- I'm guessing you got two bad scopes from the sounds of it.

I have two 4-12x40 Diamondbacks and my Dad has a 3-9X40 DB. I also have a 5.5-20x50 Viper and a set of DB 10x42 Binos. I also have a Nomad spotter (I bought used for cheap).

My DB binos are awsome for under 200 bucks I have yet to find a bino clearer or brighter for the same money. I've compared the binos side by side with swaro scl and yeah the swaro is alot brighter but the clarity is not that much more if its bright enough.

I have compared the DB rifle scopes side by side to VX-1 leupolds and the vortex was just as clear and I thought brighter in low light.

Now the Viper I have is plenty clear, it does give a little bit of the fish bowl thing when you move closer or further in your eye relief, but if your steady you don't notice. I have compared it against my 5-22x50 NXS and its not that far off for 1/3rd the price in clarity. It does loose in the brightness field but hey it is what it is.

I've got the Viper on a all stock model 12 savage 223 so the old saying spend as much on the scope as you did the gun is about even. And I've got the NF on a custom model 116 7mm savage that I have a little over 1200 in so the NF was a little more than the gun but I'm close!
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Unread 11-20-2009, 06:43 PM
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Turret question about zeroing

Once you have the Viper zeroed, can you slip the turrets to zero??
.308 Howa 1500, varmint supreme. 24" .820 barrel, Roedale precision brake.
.223 Howa 1500, varmint supreme, 24" .820 barrel.
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