Vortex Viper 6.5-20×50 Review Review (2024): Worth the Money?

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Today, I’m going to show you one of Vortex’s most impressive optics: the Viper 6.5-20x50mm riflescope.

Lifetime warranty, unmatched durability, and crystal clear glass make this optic a great investment.

By the end of this Vortex Viper 6.5-20x50mm review, you’ll know exactly why it’s worth the money.

With all that said, let’s dive in!

Features

Vortex Viper 6.5-20×50

Brand

Vortex

Color

Matte Black

Magnification Range

6.5-20x

Reticle Type

Mil-dot or BDC

Reticle Illumination

None

Weight

21.6 ounces

Length

14.4 inches

Objective Lens Diameter

50mm

Here’s my Vortex Viper 6.5-20×50 Review

The Vortex Viper 6.5-20×50 PA is one of the best rifle scopes on the market.

Hunters, competition shooters, and firearm enthusiasts rave about the Viper’s accuracy, dependability, and image clarity.

After hand testing this scope and putting it through the wringer, I can understand why it’s garnered thousands of 5-star reviews.

So grab your favorite beer, and let’s talk about it!

Starting with…

Glass Clarity & Reticle

The Vortex Viper 6.5-20×50 PA comes with an outstanding piece of glass.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 LENS (4)

The extra-low dispersion lenses ensure a clear sight picture throughout all magnification levels.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 MAGNIFICATION (4)

It also has multiple anti-reflective coatings, which results in excellent light transmission and less glare.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 OBJECTIVE BELL

The image doesn’t get hazy thanks to its 50mm objective— even at further distances. Even when facing the sun, there was hardly any distortion.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 RETICLE

The Viper features multiple reticle styles: a mil-dot reticle or a dead-hold BDC reticle.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 CLARITY AND MAGNIFICATION

In a nutshell:

The mil-dot is excellent for long-distance shooting, especially when you need to determine zoom range.

VORTEX CROSSFIRE OVERVIEW (1)

It’s automatically set to 14x magnification, so it’s not ideal for mid-range targets on the focal plane reticle scale.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 CLARITY AND MAGNIFICATION

The BDC reticle is a great choice when your primary concern is to estimate holdover at various ranges.

VORTEX CROSSFIRE OVERVIEW (1)

Unfortunately, the reticles aren’t illuminated so it needs that light transmission.

Although this may not be effective for hunting at night, the scope has performed well in low-light conditions.

Eye Relief & Eye Box

The Vortex Viper 6.5-20×50 PA smokes it in every category except for eye relief.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 EYE RELIEF (4)

You get about 3.1-3.3 inches— unlike my Burris MTAC riflescope, which gives me 4.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 MAGNIFICATION (4)

With proper adjustment, you can easily avoid injury from heavy recoil. Remember, mounting is critical!

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 MAGNIFICATION ADJUSTMENT (4)

I also noticed that the eye box gets narrower at higher magnification settings, but it’s nowhere near a dealbreaker.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 EYE RELIEF (4)

After a few adjustments, I was able to get the perfect cheek weld for the fast-focus eyepiece.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 LENS (4)

Moving on, let’s take a closer look at the scope’s construction.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 MOUNTED

Durability

The Vortex Viper 6.5-20×50 PA can withstand both your rifle and Mother Nature’s abuse.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 OVERVIEW (2)

The optic’s 30mm tube is made with a single block of aircraft-grade aluminum, delivering shockproof performance.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 OVERVIEW (3)

The lenses are sealed with O-rings and purged with argon, which prevents dust, fog, and water from ruining the scope— and your day.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 LENS (4)

Thanks to the Viper’s ArmorTek finish, the scope is well guarded against scratches and dents.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 MAGNIFICATION (4)

Here’s a quick tip:

At a whopping 22 ounces, I’d advise pairing the Viper with rifles that can handle the additional weight.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 OVERVIEW (4)

But if you mostly do bench shooting, it won’t be an issue at all.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 EYE RELIEF (4)

It may not be lightweight, but I’d gladly take that trade for its near indestructibility.

VORTEX CROSSFIRE OVERVIEW (1)

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The Vortex Viper’s adjustments come with positive and audible clicks.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 TURRETS (1)

You can adjust the MOA in ¼ increments, with a total of 65 MOA for both windage and elevation.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 TURRET ADJUSTMENT (4)

After sighting, the capped turrets allow quick re-indexing to zero. Simply pull the knobs up, turn them to the “0” position, and release them.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 TURRET ADJUSTMENT (5)

Plus:

Thanks to the precision-force spring system design, the turrets can be used repeatedly without risking performance.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 TURRETS (2)

Unfortunately, there is no way to lock the turrets. So be careful not to accidentally bump or shift them out of position as you move.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 TURRETS

On the bright side…

I was able to zero the scope without difficulty— all within 10 minutes.

VORTEX CROSSFIRE TURRET (1)

I mounted the optic on a .25-06 Remington. After firing over 1,000 rounds out to 880 yards, the Viper held zero flawlessly.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 TURRETS (5)

Parallax & Magnification

Since the Viper has a 6.5-20x magnification range, it works best for mid to long-range shooting.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 MAGNIFICATION (4)

If your targets are closer in range, then the Vortex Diamondback 4-12×40 will be a better option.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 CLARITY AND MAGNIFICATION

I easily shot targets between 300 to 1000 yards, hence why it’s also my go-to hunting scope.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 EYE RELIEF (4)

I know you’re thinking: Why take a heavy scope hunting?

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 MOUNTED

The Vortex Viper allows me to take down prey at a safe distance— perfect for decoys or predator calls.

VORTEX CROSSFIRE OVERVIEW (1)

The lens glides smoothly through all magnification ranges, thanks to its Precision-Glide Erector system.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 MAGNIFICATION ADJUSTMENT (4)

Here’s the best part…

The Vortex Viper comes with a side knob for parallax adjustment— unlike the Strike Eagle.

This feature makes aiming easier and improves shooting accuracy, especially for long-range targets.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 RETICLE

Mounting & Rings

Since the Viper doesn’t come with mounting options, I recommend the Vortex Optics Tactical 30mm rings.

Vortex Optics Tactical 30mm Riflescope Ring — Medium Height [0.97...
  • Robust 6-screw Tactical Ring is perfect for mounting red-dot optics, magnifiers, and other accessories with 30mm tube diameters to your Picatinny rail.
  • When using this ring to mount a conventional riflescope, we strongly recommend lapping the rings for a proper and secure fit for your optic.
  • This Vortex Tactical Ring positions the center of the riflescope tube at a height of 0.97 inches (24.6 mm) from the base.

Also:

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 MOUNTED

For anti-reflection and glare reduction, I bought the Vortex Optics Sunshade explicitly designed for the Viper 50mm riflescope.

Sale
Vortex Optics Viper Riflescope 50 mm Sunshade
1,049 Reviews
Vortex Optics Viper Riflescope 50 mm Sunshade
  • Reduce glare and sun reflections off the objective lens by adding a 4-inch sunshade to your 50mm Viper riflescope.
  • This black anodized sunshade uses a screw-in assembly that attaches easily.
  • Designed specifically for the Viper 50mm riflescope to easily attach to these following models only: VHS-4310, VHS-4309, VHS-4315-LR, VHS-4307-LR, VHS-4307,VPR-M-06MD, VPR-M-06BDC.

Price

The Vortex Viper is one of the best rifle scopes under $500.

Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20x44 PA SFP Riflescope - Mil Dot MOA Reticle
  • The Viper 6.5-20x44 is built on a 30mm main tube with a hard anodized finish providing a rugged, tough hunting riflescope. Originating from the US Marine Corps, the Mil-Dot reticle is useful for...
  • Incorporating our premium, fully multi-coated, extra-low dispersion lenses brings excellent resolution and color fidelity. The XR coatings provide enhanced light gathering capability while Armortek...
  • Capped reset turrets allow quick re-indexing of the turret to zero after sighting in the riflescope. Side knob parallax adjust allows quick and easy parallax adjustments with range numbers visible...

It outweighs the performance of many competitors and high-end scopes that’s well above the thousands.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 PACKAGE INCLUSION

In short, it’s a bang for your buck. Literally.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 OVERVIEW (5)

Is the Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20x50mm PA Rifle Scope for you?

Absolutely! The Vortex Viper 6.5-20x50mm riflescope is hard to beat for the price and the performance you get.

Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20x44 PA SFP Riflescope - Mil Dot MOA Reticle
  • The Viper 6.5-20x44 is built on a 30mm main tube with a hard anodized finish providing a rugged, tough hunting riflescope. Originating from the US Marine Corps, the Mil-Dot reticle is useful for...
  • Incorporating our premium, fully multi-coated, extra-low dispersion lenses brings excellent resolution and color fidelity. The XR coatings provide enhanced light gathering capability while Armortek...
  • Capped reset turrets allow quick re-indexing of the turret to zero after sighting in the riflescope. Side knob parallax adjust allows quick and easy parallax adjustments with range numbers visible...

Why? It comes with…

  • Clear glass
  • Zero stop turrets
  • Multi-coated lenses
  • Parallax adjustment
  • Rugged construction
  • Mil-dot or BDC reticle
  • Not illuminated, but great light transmission
  • Precision-Glide erector system
  • Fogproof and waterproof

To top it all off, Vortex has the best product warranty in the industry.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 OVERVIEW (2)

Their “Very Important Promise” guarantees 100% lifetime repairs or replacements— no questions asked, even if you’re not the original owner.

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 OVERVIEW (4)

The bottom line is:

The Vortex Viper 6.5-20×50 PA is an all-around rifle scope that’s sure to exceed your expectations. So save yourself the headache and get one!

VORTEX VIPER PST GEN 1 OVERVIEW (3)

Now It’s Your Turn

I hope you enjoyed my review of the Vortex Viper 6.5-20×50 PA.

Now I want to turn it over to you:

What do you think about the Vortex Viper 6.5-20×50 PA? Or perhaps you already bought it and would like to share your thoughts.

Either way, let me know by leaving a quick comment down below.

FAQ:

What does PA mean on Vortex scope?

PA stands for Parallax Adjustment, a feature integrated on some of the best Vortex riflescopes.

When your eye isn’t centered precisely, there can be apparent movement of the target in relation to the mil-dot reticle. This causes a shift in the point of aim, which affects your shooting accuracy.

If you shoot beyond 300 yards, parallax adjustment enables you to clear up your target focus and minimize the error stated above. For more information on this specific feature, check out this awesome video!

https://youtu.be/tBKYPvAD4Ho

What size tube is a Vortex Viper?

The Vortex Viper 6.5-20×50 PA is constructed with an ultra-strong 30mm, one-piece, aircraft-grade aluminum tube.

How good are Vortex Viper scopes? 

There are several models of Vortex Viper scopes. They all share optimal clarity, multiple reticle options, high-quality glass, and rugged construction.

Vortex designed the Viper line to cater to a wide variety of shooting applications. Whether it be tactical, hunting, or daily use: you can depend on a Vortex scope to deliver excellent performance and reliability without the hefty price tag.

3 thoughts on “Vortex Viper 6.5-20×50 Review Review (2024): Worth the Money?”

  1. First off, thank you Richard for your thoroughness and details of explanation. Even though I own quite a few, I do not have a lot of knowledge on rifles and scopes. I just bought an AR platform .308 and need a scope for it. I am blind as a bat with corrective lens implants, which makes long range and early morning / late evening shooting difficult. So looking for a nice vortex scope that can accommodate. My Texas hunts are typically 75-125 yards in shot distance, but with this being a .308, I’d like to practice some long range shooting at some point. Question, do you have a recommendation on a scope like this one that has the illumination option as well? And is there a way to add on night vision to this scope for hog hunting? I have a bad issue with these at our place. Thanks again for taking the time to educate us enthusiasts!

    Reply
  2. I have owned a 6.5-20X50 viper for roughly 3 years now. I bought mine off of ebay brand new from a seller in Illinois(the seller had ‘palm’ in his name) for exactly $409, his price has gone up some but he is by far the cheapest around for this exact scope. I first mounted the scope on my target rifle, it is a tried and trued Savage f/tr in 308win. The scope is clear and crisp. Now it is not as crisp as my Steiner or my Leupold’s but they are roughly quadruple the price that i paid for the viper. The tracking was spot on. At 100yds i was able to move the bullet exactly 6inches left and then 6inches up then return to zero with no slop. Quality-wise it is not as good as my high-end scopes like the Steiner/Leupold, but for a fraction of the price it is still a very good scope. I now have it mounted on a varminting AR in 223 rem and it suites the rifle very well. The scope is still on the heavy side but it is lighter than the other viper’s of the same bell diameter. That said i still absolutely like the scope. It will probably stay on my varminting rig for the rest of its life, because it holds zero and i can easily spot small critters out several hundred yards. This scope for the price is hard to beat. Ive been kicking around the idea of picking up another for any of my future rifles.

    Just my 2 cents.
    H. Dumpty

    Reply

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