Review: Vortex Viper 6.5-20X44mm Mildot Scope and Vortex Low Rings
Let me start off with this, the customer service and support offered by Vortex Optics in Madison WI is top notch. I originally purchased the Vortex Crossfire 4-16X50 Illuminated MilDot from OpticsPlanet.com. First outing with the crossfire was not good. 15 rounds into the very first range trip with the scope and new M1A, the crosshairs started to rotate counterclockwise 45 degrees. The range trip was not a total lose, as I was able to dial in the iron sights. The original order was plagued from the get go, with me receiving wrong items and about 2.5 weeks after my mine was laid down, I finally got the original Crossfire.
So I went through the hassle with Opticsplanet.com, and to make a long story short, I ended up with getting my money back. Now being skittish with the Vortex brand, I was not only upset that the scope was a bust, all my research into the Vortex seemed to have been in vane, or so I thought. The day I got my money refunded, I was on the phone Vortex Optics to vent and give them a piece of my mind. Well, I was quickly turned when I spoke with Brian Widder and Scott Parks. Brian was a manager and calmed me down. Scott is their resident “scope guy” and I soon learned also has an M1A. Scott listened to my issues and concerns and suggested I take the plunge again, only on a Viper this time. I hoo’ed and hah’ed for a second, and Scott had me sold. Yes, it was a little more money, but a better scope, and Scott reassured that the Viper was the way to go, as that is what he had on his M1A.
One week later, I received the Vortex Viper in the mail. I felt like a kid on Christmas. The box was packaged well and came with the standard bikini scope cover, lens rag and instructions. In my hands, the scope felt solid. The glass was crisp and I observed little to no fuzziness out to the max 20 magnification. Now, I have great corrected sight and this may lend to the glass being clear, but there is no reason that I would not feel confident with the scope on any rifle in just about any condition. One of the major things I loved about this scope is that the elevation and wind turrets are not secured via allen wrench. They are the style that you adjust for zeroing in, and then pull up and reset. The turret covers were solid as well, with the large threads to avoid stripping.
Some of the other great upgrades/additions is the parallax adjustment is on the opposite side from the wind turret. All other scopes I have used have the adjustment between the eyepiece housing and scope tube. In its place is the magnification adjustment. The adjustment feels great when rotating it in either direction. The rings adjustment is fluid and seems to be “just right” for the amount of pressure needed for movement. The eyepiece has a clarity adjustment that I assume would help correct fuzziness that might occur within the different magnifications. I was able to look out to about 300 yards, viewing through the ranges of magnification and was able to view everything with great detail. The MilDot is clear and will serve its purpose of range finding and sizing targets. The scope came with instructions on using the MilDot and advised to use it set to the 14 power magnification with a set formula. I will try this and also try the tried and true method of 10X with another formula.
Anchoring the scope to the Bassett Machine Mount is the Vortex Brand Low rise Tactical rings. The rings have the normal “tactical” style anchor knob that secures it to the mount. They have a flathead screwdriver slot which makes it a little easier to tighten them down. I really don’t understand why manufactures do this. A socket and ratchet is a better way to torque them down, as the flathead screwdriver required is usually larger then what most people have and leaves more damage then the socket. The thing I found really appealing with these rings is the 6 torx head bolts used to secure the 2 halves of the rings. Vortex also includes a small torx wrench for this application.
At the end of the day, I am very happy with the purchase for the Vortex Viper. The only complaint I have with the Viper, is that it is not offered with the illuminated recital. The only regret I have with the purchase is going through OpticsPlanet.com.
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