While it’s features are comparable to some scopes in the $1,000.00 price range, Starting out with an MSRP of $499.99 the Vortex Strike Eagle doesn’t break the bank. With boasting crystal clear glass, a nice crisp glass etched reticle with bullet drop compensator, windage pillars and adjustable zoom, this optic is one you won’t want to pass up at the gun shop… And while it’s not the lightest optic on the market, you will hardly notice the 16.5 ounces added on a full size rifle.
Let’s jump right in to some of the Key features of the Strike Eagle!
- 11 illumination settings for great contrast in any lighting.
- Adjustable focus allowing the user to focus the optic to their eyes.
- BDC reticle, that works for both 5.56mm and 7.62×51
- Wind holds built in to the BDC for 5, 10 and 15 MPH winds
- Zero indexing points on Turrets for a quick re-zero.
- Hand adjustable turrets for ease of operation.
- And of course the variable zoom of 1x to 8x allowing a large range of engagement distances.
While the Strike Eagle offers great clarity and focus. It does slightly lack in the realm of true 1X for both eyes open operation. The optic does give you a slight “fish eye” view when using at 1X with both eyes open, at the same time this does help your dominant eye catch the reticle when looking through the scope. With both eyes open operation you may find your eyes having to work slightly harder to adjust their focus. I would also recommend taking off the rear dust cover when utilizing the 1X feature, this will allow the shooter to get a better sight picture and also eliminate any “frame” you may see when aiming with both eyes open.
The Strike eagle has thumb adjustable turrets adjusting in half MOA increments allowing the shooter to get the perfect sight in. With the ability to adjust up to 40 MOA in both windage and elevation, this scope is a great fit for any rifle chambered in 5.56 or .308.
The etched glass reticle allows use without a battery, this is a great feature to have given its purpose for hunting and tactical application or if your battery died while on range. It comes with easy on easy off turret covers, one of which has a place for a spare battery.
With eleven settings in the illumination turret this scope is incredibly flexible, however even at its brightest setting I found it’s not as bright as I’d like for the Mid-day sun and I almost prefer using the scope without illumination during peak sunlight hours. The zero indexing point on the turrets are a lifesaver for any shooter and always a plus to have on any optic. You won’t need to use a dope calculator to see how many clicks you moved your elevation to poke out to 600 yards allowing you to rely on just your BDC for those stretched out shots.
On The Range
With my time on the range I was able to maintain a sub MOA grouping at 100 yards (American eagle XM193 5.56), while 500 yards does prove to be more challenging due to the 4 MOA size of the center dot in the reticle. But hey, at this price point and glass clarity you shouldn’t be too picky. I do love the ability to really get a clean focus between the reticle and the target.
A highly recommended add-on for this optic is the throw lever from Vortex, which helps greatly in situations where you need to go from 1x to 8x fast. The throw lever I purchased (model number SV-4) is designated for the Strike Eagle scopes, however it fits the Strike Eagle 1-6×24 model much better than the 1-8 model. It doesn’t quite meet the full circumference of the 1-8’s zoom adjustment cylinder, while it is a perfect fit for the 1-6. This is simply due to the redesign of the zoom adjustment on the 1-8 models.
Mounts and rings
All the goodies are available for this optic since it is running a 30mm tube. Scope rings, QD mounts and other scope tools easy to find and acquire. I personally run my Strike Eagle on the American Defense 30mm QD mount. This allows the user to easily install or move the optic from rifle to rifle when necessary. The mount itself is constructed from aircraft aluminum making it tough enough to handle any application.
While all my testing of this product was done on a 5.56 platform (Daniel Defense DDM4V7) I do have a few friends who absolutely love this scope on their .308 rifles as well.
Who is it for
The Strike Eagle series, especially the 1-8 and 1-6 models are picking up steam in the firearm competition world. Many 3-gunners use this optic for its slight extra weight which always helps with muzzle rise. The ability to use it under almost any lighting conditions, paired with the throw lever, makes the transition from those close shots at a 1x zoom to those little longer shots extremely easy to do without breaking your cheek weld to the stock or taking your eye off the target.
Many hunters find the Strike Eagle their number 1 choice for Hog hunting. Easily moved from rifle to rifle, it offers hunters the ability to custom tailor their setup depending on what distance they typically engage hogs. Here in Texas that’s anywhere from 10 yards to 150 yards. For night hunts you can set the illumination to 1 giving you the ability to co-utilize your night vision goggles for a bright crisp reticle under zero light conditions. Given the BDC is already set up for use with both 5.56 cartridges and .308, while also providing windage hashes for 5, 10, 15 mile an hour winds, this scope has everything you need to effectively drop hogs.
Multi-purpose is Key for our law enforcement officers, keeping us safe means having the best equipment available to their disposal. The Strike Eagle offers just that. Giving officers the ability to engage threats in a CQB situation while maintaining situational awareness with both eyes open and also zooming in to take that precision shot! I have had a few officers tell me stories about just how much better they are during a training scenario using an adjustable zoom optic, while red dots are nice, they just don’t cover all the bases for law enforcement.
Helpful hints to remember
- Remove rear dust cover when in use to minimize your “frame” or the outline of the scope body your eye picks up when aiming.
- In high light situation, feel it out for yourself but I do find it easier to shoot with illumination turned off
- Take your time to focus the scope to your liking, this will make a huge difference in your groupings.
- Keep your glass clean, a dusty lense makes for dark objective.
- Play with your mount, don’t adjust your stock for eye relief, if you need more, move the scope forward on your receiver. Adjusting your stock will may turn a comfortable set up into a stretch.
- Always make sure your scope is properly balanced upon mounting, if its off balance it will make sighting in an unpleasant task.
Roll the credits!
If you are looking for a great scope with adjustable zoom and focus look no further. I have to say this is the best optic at this price point by far. While it does have a few competitors, they always end up in the shadow of the Strike Eagle. Whether it be weight, clarity of glass, reticles, zoom capability or many other of the features the Strike Eagle has, they never stack up. Don’t just take my word for it, go to your local gun shop and ask to see one for yourself. Take your time to adjust the focus to your liking and you won’t care to look at or through anything else. Ya’ll stay safe out there!