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Vortex Viper Pst 6-24x50 Ffp Review

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For many a tactical hunter or competition shooter, mediocrity simply doesn’t cut it. Budget rifle scopes nowadays pack a lot of premium features, but there’s a reason for their lower price tags: they lack certain core features that can mean the difference between a perfect kill and a botched one. Still, even a hardcore shooting enthusiast will try to get the most value out of their investment, when it's their wallet that's being emptied.

Vortex has a reputation for producing high quality scopes that pack tons of value, and their $1000 range higher end tactical scopes are no different. I’ve decided to do a Vortex Viper Pst 6-24x50 Ffp review from this line; it’s a product that is geared towards mid-to-long range shooters who want to set up the perfect shot, with minimal effort, before pulling the trigger.

Review Summary


The Viper PST 6-24x50 FFP is a high end Vortex scope combining high quality build materials, multi-coated optics and intuitive adjustment controls to provide rifle shooters with a nuanced, highly tactical sighting solution. The biggest highlight of this scope, for me, isn't it's exceedingly generous 6x-24x zoom range, rather it's the first focal plane reticle which removes a great deal of complexity when estimating range and holdover using its EBR reticle which, incidentally, is of the illuminated variety, making it ideal for low light encounters.

Pros

  • Robust single-piece main tube construction using aluminum alloy.
  • Durable, tactically designed, illuminated reticle.
  • Reticle illumination can be varied using a control knob.
  • FFP reticle changes size with magnification, eliminating need for subtension recalculation.
  • Multi-coated, extra low dispersion optics for optimum light transmission.
  • Available in 4 different reticle flavors (both MOA and MRAD graduated).
  • Zoom range suited for medium and long range shots.
  • Water- and fog-proof.
  • Tactical adjustment controls and zero stop feature.
  • Industry leading warranty policy

Cons

  • High cost.
  • Not suited for close range use.
  • Adjustment controls not the most beginner friendly.
  • Inadequate eye relief at lower magnifications.

Features

Light Transmission

The Viper PST 6-24x50 FFP uses fully multi-coated lenses to keep light from bouncing away at air-to-glass boundaries. The extra low dispersion glass used for the lenses yields optimum image quality, and the 50mm objective lens diameter ensures a decent exit pupil even at higher magnifications.

All these features come together to give you a crystal clear picture of the target, at all magnifications, and even at dusk and dawn.

Reticle

The manufacturer lets you choose between four different kinds of etched EBR reticles – two of which are graduated in MRAD and the other two in MOA. The EBR-1 and EBR-2C reticles (both MRAD and MOA versions), allow for range, holdover and windage estimations, with the latter also incorporating explicit markings for compensating for crosswind.

All four of the reticle variants have adjustable illumination, which you can crank up to facilitate aiming in low light conditions. Furthermore, the reticle is etched between two layers of glass to protect it from damage.

The highlight though, is that this is a first focal plane reticle, which means that it changes size as you adjust the magnification. In other words, you don't have to recalculate subtensions each time you change the mag. setting, as you would have to in the case of a second focal plane reticle.

Normally, with FFP reticles, it can be a challenge for the manufacturer to choose a stadia thickness that is visible at lowest zoom and unobstructive at highest zoom, but Vortex has managed to find a decent compromise for this: the thickness they've chosen appears to be optimized for tactical shooting, with the smaller hash marks still being visible at a low 4x zoom.

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Magnification Range

The 6x to 24x magnification is perfect for medium to long range shooters, and as mentioned before, the FFP reticle eliminates the need to do those pesky subtension recalculations whenever you change the power.

A convenient MAG-View Fiber Optic Bar provides a clear, easy point of reference for the current zoom setting, making it easy to adjust / verify the magnification without moving your head. The Precision-Glide Erector System incorporated into the scope ensures uniform zoom adjustment, even in harsh operating conditions.

Note that the 6x lower limit for magnification means that this scope is effectively restricted to medium to long range encounters – hunters / marksmen that operate at closer ranges may want to consider alternatives.

Fast focus eyepiece

This feature lets you rapidly, and easily, focus your reticle on the target. The manufacturer quotes an eye relief of 4 inches on their website, but actual users have found it closer to 2'' to 3'', which is a bit disappointing for a scope this expensive.

Construction

The scope is designed around a 30mm single piece main tube made out of aircraft grade aluminum (6061-T6), ensuring maximum structural strength while maintaining a minimal weight.The rugged, shockproof construction ends with a hard anodized matte finish that reduces reflection.

The exterior lenses are protected from scratches, dirt and oil by an ArmorTek coating, and the body is argon gas purged and O-ring sealed to make it waterproof and fogproof.

Adjustment Controls

The exposed turret windage and elevation knobs have serrated tops to enhance grip – this is a useful feature that is absent in many other high end scopes.

A special turret housing with exterior markings indicates the number of times you've rotated the knob; a vertical slot in this housing clearly shows the bottom of the turret to help you pinpoint the knob's position. Again, this is a feature missing from most other scopes of this kind, which tend to favor rotational marks marked on the turret's post instead, which don't provide this kind of feedback.

In terms of standard features, the scope provides 19 MRADs / 65 MOAs of both elevation and windage adjustment, graduated in .1 MRAD / ¼ MOA adjustments depending on the reticle you opt for. Adjustments are relayed to the operator through tactile positive clicks.

A side focus knob is also present for the elimination of parallax: it is marked from 50 to 500 and then infinity yards, and rotates pretty evenly throughout its range.

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Zero Reset

You can set the scope to zero by loosening the three set screws present on both the windage and elevation knobs – this approach allows for infinite adjustment, and lets you perfectly line up the zero.

The elevation knob supports Vortex's Customizable Rotational Stop mechanism to assist the operator in returning to zero after many elevation adjustments have been made in the field. Basically, you place several shims (as many as can fit without effort) under the elevation knob after having zeroed the scope initially.

These shims will keep the knob from rotating down any further than the zero position, so the next time you make elevation adjustments and want to quickly get back to zero, all you have to do is dial the knob back until you feel an obstruction.

Warranty

One of the most likable aspects of Vortex scopes is their consumer-friendly 'VIP' warranty. The Viper PST 6-24x50 FFP is no exception to this: the manufacturer promises to fix/replace your scope if a flaw is found or if it develops a fault – no questions asked. The warranty is unlimited and completely transferable.

Alternatives

If you aren't prepared to make an investment this big, Vortex has another scope that comes around at half the price, and is still pretty decent. The Vortex Viper 6.5-20x50 PA is a mid-end product that shares a number of features with the Viper PST 6-24x50 FFP – specifically, the quality of light transmission, the robust construction, and the excellent magnification controls. In fact, it's adjustment controls are more in line with the standard design, which makes it more suitable for beginners.

On the flipside, it’s got a second focal plane reticle that is configured for 14x zoom by default – you'll have to calculate subtensions on your own for all other magnifications.

Conclusion

The Viper PST 6-24x50 FFP doesn't revolutionize core scope functionality – in that regard, it is comparable to the various other offerings available in the market right now. However, it does shine when it comes to the little details: the etched, protected, illuminated, tactical FFP reticle; the strategically designed adjustment controls; the CRS zero stop mechanism; these features come together to yield a highly streamlined user experience. Seeing how even basic Vortex scopes prioritize operator convenience, that is saying a lot.

Plus, Vortex has one of the best warranty policies in the industry at present – this is a major confidence booster for big time expenditures like this one.

Learn more about this scope here, and see what opinions other rifle owners have about it.

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