Vortex Viper HS 4-16×50 Review (2023): Worth the Money?

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The Vortex Viper HS 4-16×50 is a beast for long range shooting and big game hunting.

In fact:

Scoping at long distances was significantly easier and faster than any other scope I’ve tested thanks to the ½ MOA turret, clean reticle, and crystal clear glass.

But is it worth the price tag?

In this Vortex Viper HS 4-16×50 review, I’ll answer that question and more.

Let’s get to it!

FeaturesVortex Viper HS 4-16×50
Brand:Vortex
Color:Black
Eye Relief:4 in
Magnification:4-16x
Reticle Selection:Dead-Hold BDC
Reticle Illumination:none
Weight:22 oz
Dimensions:13.7 in long; 4.25 in wide; 2.26 in high
Objective Lens Diameter:50 mm

Here’s my Vortex Viper HS 4-16×50 Review

The Vortex Viper HS 4-16×50 is the best overall scope for long-range shooting.

It’s the jack of all trades: durable, adaptable, and affordable all in a sexy matte finish.

I’ve had this rifle scope for 2 years now and it’s held zero like the first day I bought it and took it to the range. It’s that good.

Let’s take a closer look.

Glass Clarity & Reticle

It won’t compare to high-end optics, but at this price, the glass is great.

VORTEX VIPER HS 4-16X50 GLASS

The lenses are fully multi-coated with an anti-reflective covering, ensuring that you’ll have a great picture without alerting your targets.

VORTEX VIPER HS 4-16X50 EYEBOX

The XD Lens Elements Extra-low dispersion glass is as fancy as it sounds. In the deer stand, I could often look through the rifle scope and see clearer in low light than with my naked eye.

VORTEX VIPER HS 4-16X50 EYEBOX (1)

There was noticeable edge distortion at 16x, but nothing that was unusable, and the glass’ light-gathering ability even at extreme magnification was on the nose.

At the end of the day, the glass is on par with other rifle scopes at its price point – no better but no worse.

VORTEX VIPER HS 4-16X50 OBJECTIVE BELL

If you want to see some amazing quality glass, check out my best Leupold rifle scope reviews.

The Dead-hold BDC reticle is what makes this rifle scope great for hunting/shooting at varying ranges where estimating holdover is a concern.

It’s a great reticle for fast target acquisition.

The delineation of the lines is well designed and spaced well enough apart that you can actually see between each line without crowding the image.

The dead hold BDC reticle is set on a second focal plane, so the reticle doesn’t change size when you change the magnification. It’s an absolutely necessary feature for an optic with such a broad magnification range.

If competitive quality fast target requisition is your thing, give my Sig-Romeo 5 vs Vortex Sparc AR guide a read.

Eye Relief & Eye Box

Eye relief is a generous 4 inches.

VORTEX VIPER HS 4-16X50 EYEBOX (1)

The eyepiece also has a smooth rubber ring so that if you do get scoped in the eye, it won’t hurt. At least not as much.

VORTEX VIPER HS 4-16X50 EYEPIECE (1)

Shooting opportunities happen in fractions of a second, so the fast-focus eyepiece is really handy. It’s firm yet easy to move and adjust.

VORTEX VIPER HS 4-16X50 EYEPIECE

The eye box itself is pretty sensitive, forcing you to position the rifle scope exactly on the right spot. Otherwise you’d have to move around to settle in clearly on target.

VORTEX VIPER HS 4-16X50 EYEBOX

Durability

Even with everything Mother Nature threw at me while hunting, this rifle scope has survived. Bumps, drops, and falls, it’s held together like the day I got it.

VORTEX VIPER HS 4-16X50 OVERVIEW (1)

And it looked good while doing it!

VORTEX VIPER HS 4-16X50 OVERVIEW (2)

I love the low-glare hard-anodized finish. It’s durable and matte, helping to maintain my camouflage in the stand.

VORTEX VIPER HS 4-16X50 OVERVIEW

The single-piece tube is constructed from machined aircraft-grade aluminum. That translates into a strong optic with rigid strength that’ll endure your heavy hitters.

VORTEX VIPER HS 4-16X50 MOUNT

Lenses are also locked in place with machine locking rings so they’ll stay aligned through recoil and impact.

VORTEX VIPER HS 4-16X50 GLASS

Along with being shockproof, the rifle scope is also waterproof and fog proof. The o-ring seal and argon purged body ensures that it stays that way even through a wide range of temperatures.

VORTEX VIPER HS 4-16X50 OBJECTIVE BELL

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The Viper HS has extremely tactile and audible turrets that Brad Paisley could use on his next album.

VORTEX VIPER HS 4-16X50 TURRETS

Capped reset turrets allow for quick re-indexing of the turret to zero after sighting in the rifle scope.

VORTEX VIPER HS 4-16X50 TURRETS (1)

Side focus adjustments are easily accessible on the left side of the turret housing so you don’t have to compromise your shooting position.

VORTEX VIPER HS 4-16X50 EYEPIECE (1)

Designed specifically for long-range hunting, the elevation turret has a ½ MOA value per click. Most riflescopes are ¼ MOA; the advantage with ½ MOA being that you can dial faster.

VORTEX VIPER HS 4-16X50 TURRETS

The power numbers are pretty small so it can be difficult to read in low light situations or if you forgot to bring your reading glasses.

VORTEX VIPER HS 4-16X50 TURRETS (1)

Unlike the elevation turret, the windage turret is on ¼ MOA so you have to pay attention to that.

VORTEX VIPER HS 4-16X50 TURRETS

It’s also not as tactile with noticeably more slop to it. Although, it does have a cap so you don’t have to worry too much about accidental adjustments.

VORTEX VIPER HS 4-16X50 MOUNT

Once I figured out the windage turret, zeroing was easy and also very durable as it took a pounding from the .308 and didn’t move from zero.

The zero stop feature is very positive and hard – definitely not a smooshy zero stop like the cheaper scopes.

To set zero, it was as easy as removing the cap and fiddling with an allen key.

VORTEX VIPER HS 4-16X50 TURRETS (1)

Zeroing windage threw me for a loop initially because it wasn’t clearly marked like the elevation turret, but it’s as simple as pulling the adjustment wheel out, turning to zero, and releasing.

Parallax & Magnification

The optic can adjust from 4-16x magnification.

VORTEX VIPER HS 4-16X50 PARALLAX KNOB

The MAG-View fiber optic provides a highly visible reference point for the magnification setting.

If you’re looking for a lower magnification range, check out my Bushnell 1-4×24 guide.

At full magnification, you have to stay really still on your target or you might lose it.

VORTEX VIPER HS 4-16X50 EYE RELIEF

Side parallax adjustment goes from 50 yards to infinity. Smooth and consistent feeling without the crusty adjustments I’ve had on cheaper scopes.

VORTEX VIPER HS 4-16X50 PARALLAX KNOB

Mounting & Rings

No mounts or rings are included with the base optic.

VORTEX VIPER HS 4-16X50 OVERVIEW (2)

But it does come with lens caps, a 4-inch Sunshade, and a lens cloth.

VORTEX VIPER HS 4-16X50 MOUNT (1)

Your mount and rings ultimately depend on what you’re mounting it to, but typically you will need 30mm rings to fit the tube.

VORTEX VIPER HS 4-16X50 MOUNTED (1)

I went with Vortex Optics Precision Matched Riflescope Rings 30mm – 0.97 inches. They’re extremely durable and easy to install.

Vortex Optics Precision Matched Riflescope Rings
2,174 Reviews
Vortex Optics Precision Matched Riflescope Rings
  • These Vortex Precision Matched Rings position the center of the riflescope tube at a height of 1.00 inches (25.4 mm) from the base. Will only work with Picatinny spec mounts—will not work with...
  • Our Precision Matched Rings are kept in pairs throughout the manufacturing process — ensuring perfection from one set to another.
  • We start with certified USA 7075 T6 billet aluminum and hold it to an extremely tight tolerance of .0005 using our precision Computer Numeric Controlled (CNC) mill.

This even works for the Burris 332 or 536.

Price

I purchased my rifle scope on Amazon for almost $650. But if you don’t want to support the Bezos’ empire, it’s also available on OpticsPlanet.

If you’re a Vortex fan, you’d also like this Vortex Sparc vs Spar 2 guide.

VORTEX VIPER HS 4-16X50 MOUNTED (2)

Is the Vortex Viper HS 4-16×50 for you?

The Vortex Viper HS 4-16×50 rifle scope is designed specifically for long-range hunting and range shooting.

VORTEX VIPER HS 4-16X50 MOUNTED

Here’s why it works:

  • XD Lens Elements
  • Fast Focus Eyepiece
  • XR Fully Multi-Coated
  • MAG-View Fiber Optic

In short, it’s the best long-range optic for the price, and it’s all backed by Vortex’s VIP no-questions-asked warranty.

VORTEX VIPER HS 4-16X50 OVERVIEW (2)

If you’re wondering if the Vortex Viper HS 4-16×50 is the optic you need, I say, give it a shot.

Now It’s Your Turn

I hope you enjoyed my Vortex Viper HS 4-16×50 review.

Now I want to turn it over to you:

What do you think about the Vortex Viper HS 4-16×50 long range rifle scope? 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 the HS stand for?

The “HS” stands for “Hunting and Shooting”. It’s light. It’s short. The glass has great clarity and the reticle is easy to see and understand.

What is the difference between the HS line and standard Viper line?

The HS model has capped turrets. The HS LR has an exposed elevation turret with more reticle options and a zero stop. The HS-T has an exposed elevation turret, better reticle option for long range and a zero stop.

What type of reticle does the Viper HS Long Range scope have?

The Viper HS rifle scope uses a Dead-hold BDC reticle. 

What comes in the box?

The Vortex Viper HS 4-16×50 comes with lens caps, 4-inch sunshade, and lens cloth. 

Which base and rifle scope rings are needed to mount the Vortex Viper HS 4-16×50?

For my kit, I used Vortex Precision Matched Riflescope Rings – Medium Height for 35mm (.95 inches) (Set of 2) PMR-35-95.

Vortex Optics Precision Matched Riflescope Rings
2,174 Reviews
Vortex Optics Precision Matched Riflescope Rings
  • These Vortex Precision Matched Rings position the center of the riflescope tube at a height of 1.00 inches (25.4 mm) from the base. Will only work with Picatinny spec mounts—will not work with...
  • Our Precision Matched Rings are kept in pairs throughout the manufacturing process — ensuring perfection from one set to another.
  • We start with certified USA 7075 T6 billet aluminum and hold it to an extremely tight tolerance of .0005 using our precision Computer Numeric Controlled (CNC) mill.


I’ve also had good luck with the Vortex Precision QR Cantilever Mount 30mm 2in offset, Black, CM-404.

Vortex Optics Precision Quick-Release Extended Cantilever 30mm Riflescope Mount - 2-Inch Offset
248 Reviews
Vortex Optics Precision Quick-Release Extended Cantilever 30mm Riflescope Mount - 2-Inch Offset
  • This quick-release cantilever mount is designed for mounting telescopic sights with 30mm tubes onto a flattop style rifle.
  • The offset of this cantilever mount positions the scope in a forward location, providing correct eye relief and head placement when used on your rifle.
  • This mount positions the center of the riflescope tube at a height of 1.45 inches (37 mm) from the top surface of the Picatinny base.
Is the Vortex Viper Made in USA?

No, the Vortex Viper series — including Vortex Viper, Viper HS LR, Viper HS, Viper PST Gen 2, and Viper HST — are made in the Philippines. I wrote an in-depth article covering where Vortex manufacturers their rifle scopes

3 thoughts on “Vortex Viper HS 4-16×50 Review (2023): Worth the Money?”

  1. Nice review, but you may want to adjust your mm to inch conversions. There are 25.4mm per inch so 30mm is 1.18” and 35mm is 1.38”. Just a friendly suggestion.

    Reply
  2. Hello there, just bought a Vortex Viper HS 4-16 x 44. Fantastic instrument. Attached it to my new Sig Sauer Cross in .308. Have had it for several weeks and placed about 80 rounds at 50, 100 and 200 yards. No complaints. Great finish, product and experience. Thanks for the information you present your readership with. Cheers,

    Reply

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