Need some help clarifying Vortex Viper PST or HST

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by Blackcatbones, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. Blackcatbones

    Blackcatbones New Member

    Oct 24, 2013
    I have a savage .308 I want to use mainly for hunting but I know its a 1000 yard rife and I would like to work up to being able to hit targets at that range if possible... Or as far as my skill will allow. I have narrowed my choice of scope and brand down to two scopes. My price range is 800-1000 I know its not much but I'm on a tight budget.
    I only know a little bit about scopes and I haven't had any real practice with one type or another so far. One of the scopes is the Vortex Viper PST 4-16-50 FFP
    The other which the Vortex rep recommended to me is the HST 4-16-44 SFP
    Out of these two I would like the one that is most versatile overall.
    I have been researching for days and its driving me crazy.
    Im stuck on two things... FFP and SFP, MRAD with hashmarks or MOA.
    The Calculations for either one are pretty straight forward so shouldn't be an issue to learn. I notice that MRAD and FFP seem most popular. Im strongly leaning towards the HST in hashmark MRAD and SFP. I know that MRAD and SFP don't go together well but for some reason thats how the HST is made... The manual says its highly accurate and ranging can be done in the highest magnification.

    My first question and this may seem a bit blond but... How does one range from highest magnification?

    Can the MRAD on this scope be used to range up close still ?

    What make the HST better than the PST for both hunting and long range ?

    If I have to make a quick up close shot while hunting is it possible with the HST like are holdovers and such still possible ?

    And is there really any benefit of MOA over Mil dot ? Keeping in mind I really want to use my reticle for calculating range and so on. I believe MOA is a little more precise (finer adjustments) correct me if I'm wrong ?

    sorry I'm half asleep typing this after a long day at work... This is my first post here. i just had to get this figured out... Im even going over this stuff in my sleep now lol

    Thanks !
  2. westcliffe01

    westcliffe01 Well-Known Member

    Jul 6, 2011
    There is no comparison

    The PST scopes differ from the regular Viper scopes in that they have an illuminated reticle and exposed target turrets. The FFP adds about $200-300. Whether you need it depends on the type of hunting you do. Slow and considered - get the SFP. Fast and furious (intermediate magnification, no dialing, using the reticle for lead and hold over) get the FFP. Of course if you have the PST, you can dial for the shot too, if you have the time.

    The HS scopes drop the reticle illumination (like all the "regular" viper scopes) and the new HS-T model has a different SFP reticle and target turrets on elevation and windage. Unlike the HS-LR scopes the T model is 1/4moa clicks for elevation and windage. The HS-LR scopes have a 1/2MOA elevation click and 1/4moa windage click. They also have capped windage turrets and if you don't get the LR version the elevation knob is capped too. At that point one is getting a long way off the PST spec, even for a SFP version.

    But lets get this straight:
    A Viper PST 4-16x50 FFP is a $900 scope with a 50mm objective
    A viper PST 4-16x50 SFP is a $700 scope with a 50mm objective
    The Viper HS-T 4-16x44 is a $560 scope with a 44mm objective. Which not a bad scope at all, but not a PST.

    Perhaps he is giving you choices for different budgets ? If a less bulky scope fits your needs and you would rather save a bit of cash, the HS-T might be a great choice.
  3. lhouston78

    lhouston78 Well-Known Member

    Mar 5, 2010
    The hs-t is cheaper because it is a 44 objective and has no lite reticle (and a slightly different reticle), other wise it is has the same features as the pst. It is the scope I have been hoping for but with more power hopefully a 6-24x50 and a 8-32x56 would be cool.
  4. pills

    pills Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2010
    With the sfp scope the hashmarks and holdovers are only accurate a one magnification. With the ffp scope they work no mater what power you are at.
    I have the pst 4-16x50 ffp in MOA. It is a very good hunting scope. Clicks are positive and repeatable. Illumination is nice with several different settings. It is quick and you can dial or hold off. I usually dial elevation and hold for wind.
    The cons are the reticle is too thick for serious target work and the glass is only ok as far as brightness and clarity.
  5. 42769vette

    42769vette Well-Known Member

    Sep 10, 2010
    The HST is not better for both hunting, and long range shooting. Its better for some people due to its price, but its not better overall.
  6. fisherman983

    fisherman983 Well-Known Member

    Apr 18, 2009
    for me that choice is simple, I would go with the viper hs-t in MOA. I don't need an illuminated reticle if its so dark I need to light my reticle its probably too dark to be shooting anyways. I also don't need ffp, because if im shooting distance I will always dial my magnification up to full power. if its going to be a fast shot at distance I probably wont be shooting cuz fast and distance don't always go together when shooting. and if its going to be fast and close theres no reason to dial magnification because close being 0-250 yards is well within mpbr and I have no problem shooting that far on 4x-6x and using the main crosshair and holding on vitals or shoulder. also the hs-t does come with exposed target turrets just like the pst. i like the reticle in the hs-t more than what they offer in the ps-t. i like the fact that its subtended moa, so that all you have to do is plug in your ballistics to a calculater and look at the moa drop chart and look at the yardages for each moa drop and then you have your drop data for all the hash marks, also it works for wind as well. there isn't a whole lot of difference between 44mm and 50mm so your not losing much there. and like others have said the reticle on a ffp is very thin on low power but very thick on higher power which i didn't care for. hope this helps
  7. Hondo64d

    Hondo64d Well-Known Member

    May 27, 2003
    True, but, the 2fp hash marks/holdovers can still be used effectively at other magnifications. For example, on my HS-T, at 16x the marks are spaced at .5 mil, at 8x they are spaced at 1 mil and at 4x, they are spaced at 2 mil. Pretty easy to remember and those three power adjustments will do anything I want to do.

    The other advantage of a 2fp reticle is that it gets larger as the power is decreased. Decreasing power as the light fades also gives you a larger exit pupil and brighter image. The reticle getting larger and exit pupil increasing as I turn down the magnification in low light are both good things in my book. I've never been able to see the animal adequately at extended range at sunset + 30 minutes anyway. And, I've yet to see a non-illminated 1fp reticle that is visible enough for use in low light at nearly any range, even close.

    The one criticism I have of the HS-T so far is the reticle could be a bit bolder. A .1 Mil subtension at 16x would be better for a hunting scope as far as I'm concerned. Much easier to see as the light fades and still plenty fine enough for precision shooting on game animals.

  8. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Active Member

    Sep 1, 2013
    I'm no expert but for long ranges I would buy the PST because of the FFP instead of the HS-T with a SFP. I have been looking for a long range scope and one of the recommendations I got for a budget scope was for a Falcon Menice scope. They have many where the reticle is in the FFP. (and at a very low price)
  9. Savageman69

    Savageman69 Well-Known Member

    Oct 1, 2009
    I just bought the HS-T 4-16x44 with the MRAD reticle and adjustments, After playing around with one at the range I decided that was the scope i was going to buy.
    I wanted Mil based Reticle with Mil adjustments, side focus and a Gen 2 or better reticle. It came down to a SWFA 3-15 or the Viper HS-T, and the Viper is 150$ cheaper. I would prefer the SWFA reticle with .2 mil hashmarks like the PST has.

    Between the Two scopes the Viper PST FFP scope with the EBR-1 reticle and the HST with the VMR-1, the PST has the better reticle, its got the .2 hashmarks so accurate milling can be accomplished more easily than with the .2 subtended mark only on the half mil lines of the VMR-1.

    Since you are talking about hunting out to 1,000 and you wont know the exact size of the animal you are looking at so you cant use the reticle to range estimate without a known size. you will need to pair it with a Laser rangefinder. to get a good estimate of antler/horn size the slight difference in reticle isnt a huge deal a quick flash mil of the animal along with the range from the laser should give you a good close guess. but if money was no option I certainly would prefer the PST reticle to the HST, but on that note I would prefer the Horus Tremor to both.

    Now FFP to SFP, First has some advantages like you can use your holds at any power, as long as you can see that part of your reticle, that becomes a problem at high power if you start to lose sections of the reticle. Second focal is nice because the reticle doesnt get super small, and if you find what truly is half power on your power adjustment ring, not just what the numbers say, you can mil targets at half and even 1/4 power. But you have to be spot on. Find a target that mils to 10 on full power than back out to wherever it is a 5 mil target and you have found half power. mark it and then you can mil at that magnification.

    at the end of the day Id say if you can afford the Viper PST buy it, if you cant the HS-T has most of the features of the PST, but not quite, they are both equipped with target turrets zero stops and both are the same length and very similar weight, the HST is slightly lighter, both are available in MIL/MIL or MOA/MOA so its really down to your preferences
  10. maninthemaze

    maninthemaze Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2015
    When checking prices for scopes, don't rule out I bought my Viper PST 6-24x50 FFP from there as a demo model. Saved me about $100 off the new one. When I got the scope, I honestly couldn't tell it was a demo. Everything but the scope was still in sealed packages. There wasn't a scratch or even finger prints on the scope. Anyways, hope that helps.
  11. Kurt

    Kurt Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2009
    might as well throw in the hslr ffp with the xlr reticle.
  12. dewey00

    dewey00 New Member

    Feb 23, 2013
    I read through this whole post so I thought I would offer some feedback. I'm looking for a new scope for myself. I have a viper pst 6-24x50 ffp mrad on my bushmaster varmiter ar .223 and have used it quite a bit. Its mostly a bench gun but this ridiculous scope on a .223 allows me to see my shots out to 200 yards. I think i purchased this scope when they were having quality problems. It took me 6 months to receive it while they were addressing conditions with the manufacturing in japan I think. This was also when fukushima disaster was happening so that could have been an issue as well. No problems with mine or any others I have heard of. I know several people with them.

    I prefer the mrad recticle for ranging and my ballistics calculator in my phone (isnipe) gives me come ups in mills as well as moa. The calculations are easier, sort of like using the metric measuring system instead of the standard system. Everything is based on 1000 etc...

    The FFP is nice but at certain ranges and higher magnifications the lines are too big for me to "aim small, miss small". I can't give you exact numbers, its been too long since I've used it.

    As far as a hunting scope is concerned starting out at 6 magnification is a bad idea. If an animal is close to you say less then 100yards and moving it will be hard to stay on target. I think your looking at 4-16 anyways.

    The illuminated reticle is really nice in low light conditions. Not much daylight in the winter up here in Alaska so I would put a spot light on the target and was able to shoot in complete darkness. I could do it with a non-ill but the red crosshairs made it so much eaiser to find the target.

    As I am writing this, the gun store called me and said I can come pick up my rem 700 LR 300rum, and I will be putting the viper hs-t 6-24x50 sfp on it. I would probably just put the pst on it but its in Idaho at the moment. I prefer the fine lines at higher magnifications and I want to get used to dialing in the come ups instead of the mills. There is quite a price difference as well.
  13. asg1485

    asg1485 Active Member

    Dec 23, 2014
    Can i ask why u didnt entertain the Viper 6x24x50 PA model? Is it the tactical turret? The reason I ask is. I will be having custom turrets made for my 700LR 7mm by Kenton so i see ni use in spending the extra money. and to me the scope seems very similar to the hs or hst. The eye releif is less but i am adding a brake anyway! Even side objective adjustment on the new standard viper.

    Just curious. The LR stuff is asdictive lol
  14. mncarpenter

    mncarpenter Member

    Apr 11, 2014
    I have the Viper PA 6.5x20x 44, the HS-lR FFP XLR MOA reticle 6x24, SWfA 3x15 FFP. Here is my take on it-SFP on anything up to 16x max, as I will likely crank it all the way up. The higher powered scopes in SFP aren't always accurate at highest magnification for instance the 6.5x20 PA mil dot reticle is accurate at 18x so how do you know if you are dead nuts on 18x? Using the Mil-hash reticle on the SWFA works well for hold-over shots, until you get down to about 10x or lower, when the hash marks start getting so tiny you can't tell one from the other. The 6x24 HS-LR hits the sweet spot for me, I like the XLR reticle a lot, and if I'm set on the lower powers, I'm probably shooting at MPBR distances anyway and come ups are a moot point,almost. Same is true with the SWFA 3x15, but not much room at the higher power end.
    I think for hunting deer, yotes, etc, a SFP 3x15 or 4x16 BDC with custom turrets would be about perfect. Or even a generic MOA/MIl hash or dot reticle, since it basically a BDC Reticle for anything. A varmint scope, p-dogs, I really like the HSLR FFP, quick holdover shots are easy at known ranges ..knowing that no matter what power the scope is set at, it's always accurate. And watching them blow up at 24x is, well addicting.