Vortex Strike Eagle: The Best Deal LPVO? [Review]

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Your AR-15 becomes twice the weapon it is with a rifle scope in place. This makes it a terrific reason for serious gunners to consider a serious scope. However,  having one shouldn’t hurt your budget as much — or that’s what the Vortex Strike Eagle claims. 

Is this low-power variable optic (LPVO) real value for the money? That’s what we’re set out to find out as I walk you through the Strike Eagle line — specifically the 1-6x24mm.

Pros
  • Good price, great value
  • Glass-etched illuminated reticle
  • Easy to use overall
  • Lifetime VIP warranty
Cons
  • Not made for long-range shots

Short Background to Vortex Optics

Vortex Strike Eagle Vortex Optics
Vortex Viper HS 4–16X44 Rifle Scope (from Palmetto State Armory)

Vortex Optics is a familiar name when it comes to all things optical. This American company has been around since 1986. As stated on its website, it is managed by the founder, Daniel C. Hamilton, and his family. Its headquarters is located in Barneveld, Wisconsin. 

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The brand has a VIP Warranty on its products, which translates to a Very Important Promise. This is a one-of-a-kind warranty that covers everything. As the company stated, it is “unlimited, unconditional, and lifetime.” It might seem too good to be true but the VIP warranty does stick to its promise

Vortex products range from binoculars to red dots to scopes — basically every optical instrument you would need outdoors. They have different rifle scopes for every application, all in different budget ranges. 

Vortex Optics Rifle ScopesPrice Range
Razor HD Series$1,400 to $3,700
Golden Eagle HD$1,900
Viper Series$510 to $1,300
Strike Eagle$400 to $800
Venom$700
Diamondback Series$240 to $500
Crossfire II$180 to $370
Sonora$210
Copperhead$207 to $210

The Strike Eagle Line

Strike Eagle is one of the more affordable Vortex rifle scopes. It isn’t the most expensive, but not the cheapest either. The line offers two LPVO for short to medium-range shots and a third option for longer ranges.

Strike Eagle Specs

Both the 1-6x and the 1-8x use 24mm-diameter lenses, with the reticle on the second focal plane (SFP). Unit of measurement is in minutes of angle (MOA). Meanwhile, the 5-25x has a first focal plane (FFP) reticle. You can also have it in either MOA or milliradians (MRAD).

 Strike Eagle 1-6x24Strike Eagle 1-8x24Strike Eagle 5-25x56
Eye Relief 3.5 inches 3.5 inches 3.7 inches
Field of View116.5-19.2 ft @100 yds109 -14.4 ft @100 yds24.0 - 5.2 ft @100 yds
Tube Size 30 mm 30mm 34mm
Turret StyleLow CappedLow CappedElevation: Locking/
Zero Stop
Windage: Locking

Eye relief is important as it tells you how far your eye should be from the scope when you fire. Stay too close and you’ll end up with a scope bite. We’ve all been there, and it wasn’t a good experience at all. As for Strike Eagle, all scopes fall within the average 3- to 4-inch distance. The 5-25x model is more likely to be used with more powerful ammunition so eye relief is a bit longer than the other two. 

The 1-6x has the widest field of view among the three because it has the lowest magnification range. Of course, the 5-25x has a smaller one since it brings more focus on targets at longer ranges. Its tube size is also 4mm larger than the two LPVO models. 

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The turrets of the 1-6x and 1-8x are capped, so they are protected from bumps and movements. This way, they remain zeroed despite impacts. Also, their low profile makes them sleeker and non-bulky. The 5-25x has a more exposed, locking turret style. Its zero stop feature makes it great for longer-range adjustments. 

 Strike Eagle 1-6x24Strike Eagle 1-8x24Strike Eagle 1-8x24
Adjustment Graduation1/2 MOA1/2 MOA1/4 MOA
Travel Per Rotation44 MOA44 MOA25 MOA
Max Elevation Adjustment140 MOA140 MOA110 MOA
Max Windage Adjustment140 MOA140 MOA78 MOA

When it comes to adjustments, the 1-6x and the 1-8x change by 1/2 MOA per click. The 5-25x, on the other hand, is more refined at 1/4 MOA per graduation. 

Having a finer tune makes the 5-25x better for precision shooting. However, it can also be a disadvantage if you want to get to a setting faster as it needs more tuning to get there. The LPVOs have an advantage in this area. 

 Strike Eagle 1-6x24Strike Eagle 1-8x24Strike Eagle 5-25x56
Parallax Setting Fixed @100 yardsFixed @100 yards15 yards to infinity
Length 10.5 inches10.0 inches14.6 inches
Weight 18.5 ounces17.6 ounces30.4 ounces
MSRP $399.99$499.99$799.99

The 1-6x and the 1-8x have parallax corrections fixed at 100 yards. Meanwhile, the 5-25x is adjustable using the side knob. Again, it makes sense since the first two are made shorter ranges. 

More distance means more magnification, and with it comes the (possible) misalignment of your reticle and target image. Adjusting it beats parallax, so the 5-25x will suit you well when it comes to misalignment issues. It stretches the 600-yard limit of the AR-15 and can go even further than that. 

As for length, the 1-6x and the 1-8x have a bit more difference, same with their weights. Meanwhile, the FFP model is 14.6 inches long and weighs way more than the LPVO models. 

The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices MSRPs for the Strike Eagle scopes are all less than $800. It is an incredibly affordable line that offers great optics in general that Vortex is known for. 

In Focus: Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24mm

Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24mm
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24mm (from GritrSports.com)

The LPVO that I have for this review is the 1-6×24. It’s the kind of optic I’d mount on my rifle as I can use it for just about anything. Many of my friends swear by it and have been using it for hunting and plinking, and even for competitions. With the fair price and VIP warranty, you won’t go wrong with it.

Unboxing

Vortex Strike Eagle
Se7en ending scene “What’s in the box?” (from Giphy.com)

So, what’s in the box? Strike Eagle 1-6x comes with the usual manuals for both the scope and the reticle. For the love of lenses, I appreciate that flip caps were included for them. There’s also a lens cloth on top of that, and a CR2032 battery to light up the … drum roll please … illuminated reticle. 

I’d say the aircraft-grade aluminum on this scope suits it well. It’s sleek yet rugged, with a promise of durability. The anodic oxide finish gives it a matte look, which is one of the first things I look for in a scope. Glossy finish is just out of the question for me. 

I tried the turrets, and they’re quite tactile and easy to adjust with the hand, with no tools needed. They’re a bit hard since the scope is still new but it’ll improve as its sees more action. These turrets are low-profiled and externally protected by knurled caps.

The 1-6x is calibrated to the 5.56 mm cartridges. As advertised, it is waterproof and was made to stand against the elements. Still, that’s something I’m yet to see in the long run. 

The Reticle

Vortex Strike Eagle
Vortex Strike Eagle Reticle 1-6×24 AR-BDC MOA (from Vortex Optics site)

The Strike Eagle 1-6×24 has an AR-BDC reticle that is etched on the glass. That means I can still use it should I run out of battery. Remember that, as an SFP scope, the reticle size remains the same no matter how much you magnify it. 

I find the horseshoe an effective guide. Following it is just instinctive and, fair enough, it locks in on target quickly. The multicoated glass is of good quality, and the light transmission is pretty decent. 

Being my favorite feature, I immediately tried the illuminated reticle. I must say it works well in low-light but needs to be in max settings in broad daylight. However, you might want to turn it off whenever not needed to save battery. Also, it won’t hurt to keep some extra CR2032 batteries — just in case. 

Strike Eagle in Action 

Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24 AR-BDC First Person POV (from C_DOES at Youtube.com)

To see is to believe, so I included the video above for a through-the-glass look of the 1-6×24. It lets you peek through the lens of the scope in different situations and magnification, be it indoor or outdoor, or even with no light at all. It’s the Strike Eagle in its full glory, so be the judge. 

Now, here’s my take after a couple of trips at the range. Certainly, it has true 1x that quickly picks up on target. It stays clear up to 4x and does a good job retaining zero. A bit of parallax started to creep in at around 5x, but my FAB Defense cheek rest helped with alignment. Although the 6x is not as crisp as the 1-4x, I should note that this is one of those few scopes that stays quite impressive even at max settings. 

Of course, we have to consider the kind of ammo and rifle when making any judgments here. I have tried it with American Eagle XM193 and Gold Medal .223 Rem, and this scope proved on point at around the 200- to 300-yard mark. 

In the world of the 5-star scale, I’d give this scope a 4.5 in terms of usability and value. It’s not perfect but it does exactly what I need it for, much like an all-rounder. However, you might not have the same opinion if your needs are more specific. If you’re eyeing to use it for long-range competition shooting at, say, 600-plus yards, then this scope will surely fall short.

What Else Is on the Market?

The Strike Eagle is not the only great LPVO on the market. Perhaps you have been weighing between it and the Primary Arms 1-6x24mm. Both are SFP scopes with BDC-type illuminated reticles. If you’re looking for a scope for 300 Blackout and 7.62×39, then this is for you. 

If you want a more lightweight scope, you can check Kahles K16i 1-6×24. However, it costs way more than that of Strike Eagle. Alternatively, Burris RT-6 1-6x24mm is another great optic that deserves a second look. It’s a great addition to the Strike Eagle.

Ramp Up Your Strike Eagle

The performance of your scope lies in the little details. Is it well-mounted? Aligned and secured? The Vortex Sport Cantilever Mount locks your Strike Eagle in place. Its offset by 2 inches to give you ample space for eye relief and adjustments.

If you’re like me who likes to go scope hopping, then you can never go wrong with a quick detach (QD) mount. The Burris AR-P.E.P.R. 30mm QD Scope Mount brings you just that without losing zero. Also, you can have it with Picatinny ring tops if you want. 

Another add-on must-have is the Switchview Throw Lever. Switching between different magnifications becomes much smoother with this on board. Truly, it’s the kind of upgrade you didn’t know you needed until you have it. 

Conclusion

The Vortex Strike Eagle is undeniably a great value for the money. It’s an entry-level scope that serves you well in most of the situations you’ll need optics for. It brings in performance without emptying your pockets. If this isn’t something we can call the “best deal,” then I don’t know what is. 

Are you looking for more optics goodies? Check out our best night vision scopes list if you’re planning on chasing game in low-light situations. If you’re looking for some backup iron sights (BUIS), then check our best flip-up sights article. 

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