[Guest Post] Vortex Viper PST rifle scope review

[ This guest post was written by farmboy7.62 ]

Several months ago I purchased the Vortex Viper PST rifle scope. The scope is configured with Vortex’s proprietary EBR-1 MRAD, etched illuminated reticle. Having recently “gunbrokered”my Swarovski (Habicht 6-18X, TDS reticle) I was looking for a replacement to sit atop my main “work” rifle. My parents and I own and manage a 10,000 acre cattle ranch in the high plains of central New Mexico. Predators in the form of coyotes and mountain lions have proven to be a problem, and when not managed properly can have a devastating economic impact. One can say that my need to develop a skill set that included the ability to shoot long range was driven more be necessity then by sport.

My go to rifle, hunting pack and optics.
View of the ranch. Long range shooting ability is a great skill to have!

My primary rifle for managing predators on the ranch is a Remington SPS Tactical, chambered in .308/7.62. The rifle features a 20 inch bull barrel and includes Remingtons X-Mark trigger. Trigger weight is currently dialed down to around 3.5 lbs. The receiver is mounted on a Bell and Carlson stock. Atop the receiver is mounted the Evolution Gun Works 20 MOA, picatinny scope mount. I prefer to shoot off of my hunting pack but I do keep a bipod on the gun just in case. I have found that the bipod gives you a little bit more stability when shooting off of a pack. I shoot a variety of ammunition. I have had good results with the 180 grain Winchester silver tips, used primarily for big game. I utilize Hornaday 168 A-max bullets for long range work and train with a variety of Australian/ Austrian M-80 147 FMJBT military surplus ammunition. All bullets will hold .5 MOA granted I do my part behind the rifle. I zero my rifle at 100 yards due to the fact that I like the versatility to be able to shoot several types of ammunition. I utilize the Knights Armament Bullet Flight ballistic calculator on my Ipod, and each bullet has its own set of ballistic tables.

I have had good luck with the Millett rings. I like to mount a red lensed flashlight on top of the scope when hunting at night.
Vortex Bubble Level. I have found that it could be a good tool to have when shooting past 400 yards

One may ask why I got rid of the Swarovkski, which is a wonderful scope in its own right. The Swarovski glass was incredibly clear and the TDS reticle was definitely handy but the scope was not necessarily designed to precisely dial in long range shots. Though one can “dial in” shots on a Swarovski, I feel that I would have been exceeding the design of the scope and was concerned about my reticle not returning to a precise zero. What features was I looking for in my new scope? Because I do a lot of predator hunting at night, an illuminated reticle was going to be highly desired. I wanted a 30mm tube for increased field of view as well as uncapped “tactical” turrets so that I could dial in shots. I wanted some type of ballistic reticle, due to the fact that predators don’t always wait for those turrets to turn and at times, shots have to be taken very quickly. After several weeks of research I decided to go with the Vortex PST, 2nd focal plane, 2.5-10×44, 30 mm tube with the EBR-1 MRAD illuminated reticle. The turrets have a “zero stop” feature. The Vortex PST EBR-1 reticle comes in both MRAD and MOA configurations. Being comfortable using the metric system I choose the MRAD system, where 1 MRAD equals 3.6 inches at 100 yards. Reticle adjustments are .1MRAD or .36 inches at 100 yards. When looking through the reticle one will see hash marks every ½ mil. The reticle represents up to 8 mils worth of holdover/wind. That means at 6200 ft, the elevation of our ranch, I could theoretically send a .308 bullet out to 975 yards without making a single adjustment to the scope. Since the reticle is in mils as well as the turret adjustments, when time to shoot ,I simply use the reticle or dial in the shot. An example would be a coyote ranged at 300 yards. By consulting with the ballistic calculator on my iPod, I know that I will need to hold 1 mil high or dial the scope up 10 clicks. For all intensive purposes I would just simply use the reticle and hold 1 mil high. Another example would be a coyote ranged at 350 yards. This shot would require me to hold 1.3 mils high. Since the hash marks are spaced 1/2 mil apart, in order to maximize precision it would be better just to dial 13 clicks up, or 1.3 mils, then shoot.

5.11 pack. Perfectly holds Foxpro game call, rangefinder, water bottle and ammunition.
Predator control was the primary reason for learning how to shoot long range. Some of this years newborn calves.

The scope feels very well made The knobs are very solid and adjustments give an audible click. The magnification ring and top turret have a small fiber optic cable that enhances viewing in low light. The optics are on par with the Swarovski and the 30mm tube gives a tremendous field a view. I went with the 2.5-10 magnification. I found that on my Swarovski I never cranked the magnification past 11 due to the desire for a wide field of view. The scope is in second focal plane configuration meaning the reticle stays the same as magnification is decreased or increased. In order to utilize the reticle at lesser magnification requires one to multiply the milliradian by a certain value. The Vortex users manual gives a wonderful description on how to manipulate the magnification at lower settings in order to maintain a true milliradian at various magnifications. I have never had a need to use anything less than the 10x magnification while hunting, save for hunting at night where I have the magnification all the way down. Since most of the animals engaged at night are fairly close, less than 100 yards, one really wouldn’t need to utilize holdovers or adjustments. The illuminated reticle is very bright. The scope features 10 setting, several for night vision. The illuminated reticle “turns off” between brightness settings allowing one to keep the knob staged near ones preferred brightness setting.

I really like the fiber optics attached to the magnification knob and elevation turret.

I think the scope is a wonderful value for the features that one gets. I can really appreciate the consumer driven mindset that Vortex has. I think they have innovative products and their warranty is second to none. I highly recommend this scope . At present, I am considering putting together a rifle chambered in .300 Winchester magnum to further extend my ability to shoot long range. I will seriously consider the Vortex PST line for my next build.

This article was written by a Guest Author. The views contained in this article reflect that of the author and not necessarily that of The Firearm Blog or TFBTV.


  • Hugh

    Great article…I have a GA Precision 300 Win Mag with 300 rounds through it I can hook you up with

  • JMD

    Great review.

  • Doug

    Great write up.

  • farmboy7.62


    Thanks Hugh!! That sounds like an amazing rifle! Perhaps down the road. I need to build another Ar type rifle before I devote the resources to my 300Win mag project. Just for giggles…is that rifle truly “Gnats ass” accurate?!

  • Zach

    Nice scope and great review. How much did you pay for yours?

    Also, “intents and purposes” not “intensive purposes”.

  • Conductor

    Is that around Vaughn NM? Im in Vaughn right now for work. Bet its windy…haha

  • Charlie

    Farmboy, you seem to know what you’re doing but wouldn’t a 24″ or 26″ barrel be better for a long range shooter?

  • farmboy7.62


    The ranch is a mile west of Claunch. Good guess though! I bet you recognized Gallianas mountains in the 6th picture. It is windy! Average gusts are anywhere from 10-20 miles.

  • farmboy7.62


    If I was shooting a bigger caliber…perhaps a 300 Win mag/7mm Rem/30-06/.338 Lapua I would definitely want a longer barrel. Since it’s a .308 I am only loosing around 200 or 300 fps in velocity and really only shooting out to 700-800 yds. (Generally you lose around 100fps for every inch of “barrel loss”. Barrel length does nothing for accuracy) The loss in velocity is programmed into my ballistic calculator and made up using the reticle/mechanical features of the scope. If I was using a simple scope with a 30-30 reticle, and I was not dialing in shots nor utilizing a ballistic reticle I would want to maximize velocity with a slightly longer barrel. Maximizing velocity would make my rounds shoot “flatter”, I would zero the rifle around 200 yards and hold 1.4 inches low for a 100 yard shot and 4 to 6 inches high for a 275/300 yard shot. (example is for a 147FMJBT .308/7.62. 6200 ft elevation. Velocity 3000fps.)

    When I start the .300 Win Mag project I will be doing alot of research concerning barrel length. I definitely want to maximize velocity.

    I really love the the compact nature of the SPS. It is very easy to have in the vehicle. The .308 is really a 800-1000 yard round. I have never shot past 750 yds because my rangefinder is really only reliable to about 800 yds and I have yet to be reliable using my reticle for ranging. I know there have been shooters that have taken the .308 much further but one asking alot from that bullet past the 1000 yard mark. Past 800 yds I would definitely prefer a 300 Win mag or a .338 Lapua.

  • Chris Duran

    Great article. Really enjoyed your writing. I’m very interested in what brand or model cheekpiece you have on that rifle . What is it ?

  • farmboy7.62


    Hey Chris! It’s a fox outdoor products. I picked it up at an Army Navy store in Albuquerque. I had a Blackhawk cheekpiece but the ammunition could only be carried on the outside. The Fox has Velcro on both the inside of the puch and outside. It also came with two of the ammo carriers so you can keep them both loaded, adhere one to the outside and one inside. When one “runs out” you just swap them and keep going. I don’t like my ammunition exposed so I just keep one loaded on the inside of the pouch and just unzip it when more ammo is required. The Blackhawk is a nice piece of equipment though!!

    Here is the manufacturers link!


  • Farmboy, you mentioned swapping from a Swarovski to this Vortex because you were concerned the former wouldn’t properly return to zero after adjusting for range with the turrets. Have you tested this Vortex and what were the results of you did?


  • Don

    Great write up and a nice stick. One thing I don’t understand is why you and others use 3 screw rings on a .308. I have a couple .308s and .300 WMs and have never had movement of the scope using Badger standard 2 screw rings, and they’ve seen some abuse. Would you explain your reasoning on the rings?

  • farmboy7.62


    Sorry for the delay. I was doing some work on the ranch and was not close to an internet connection.

    As soon as I zero a new scope at 100 yards, I take 3 shots to get a pretty good idea of my group. Average group is a .5 MOA After establishing my group and letting the barrel cool I dialed the scope one 1/2mil high and shot. Then adjusted 1/2 mil to the left and shot…1/2 mil down..”bang”. Adjust 1/2 mil to the right and once again shot. If the scope does what it is supposed to, I should have a nice box that has 1.8 inch sides (+/-.5 inch.) The Vortex passed this test with flying colors. Since scopes are mechanical devices, contingent on springs and other metallic parts, every scope when used enough will fail to return to zero. This may be 20 years from know but I expect it to happen. I always look for scopes with great warranties, so when this does happen the scope gets sent back to the manufacturer. In regards to the Swarovski. The scope I owned was not designed for dialing in shots. The Vortex is. It’s a hassle when gear has to go back to the manufacturer. The Vortex also had alot of really amazing features that the Swarovski did not have.

  • farmboy7.62


    Don!! What’s going on? For all “intents and purposes” when I bought the millet rings I was more interested in that picatinny rail on top of the first scope ring than the amount of screws on the scope. That ring perfectly holds a red filtered Streamlight TLR-1. I am not really sure if you need 3 screws. Perhaps it has to do with the metallurgy. The Millet rings are aluminum. (or alu-minney-um….as my Polish chemistry professor used to say! lol) The Swarovski was attached using Leupold Mark 4’s, which were steel. The Leupold’s and the Millet’s both work really well when torqued properly. (A torque wrench is absolutely essential if one is serious about tinkering with there own gear) That’s a good question Don. Badger makes some really quality hardware!!

  • Longrange454


    Nice looking rifle. I’ve got a Win Mod. 70 22/250 i’m going to rebarrel to a 308. I’ve been leaning towards the 20″ . I’ve been tossing around the PST and the Sightron Slll. Both have MOA reticles and 44mm objectives ( I don’t like 50mm’s for hunting purpoeses) The only throw back is the .025 dot in the Slll MOA reticle. Middleton Wisc. is only an hour from me. I should just go the there show room and have a look.

  • farmboy7.62


    Thanks for the comment! Knowing Vortex I bet they would love to show you around their factory! What will be the primary use of your rifle? Varmints? Fun gun? Competition?

    Hope this finds you well!

  • Longrange454


    All of what you stated.I have friends in Simms and Dillon Mt. who are cattle ranchers. During calving season i go to Simms and thin the coyotes. This fall i want to go to Dillon and see if i can’t get me wolf hide to hang on the wall. I have a Mod. 70 308 with a 26″ but i’ve been hankering for a 20″ for sometime. I may take it to Badlands Tactical down in Grandfield OK. and ring it out to a 1000. I havn’t seen those guys in a couple of years. I just retiredlast year so i’ve got time to play know. I owe it to myself.

  • farmboy7.62


    Congratulations on your retirement! In regards to coyote hunting, on average how close can you call them in? What kind of call do you use? What kind of groups are you getting with that Model 70? I have an early 60’s model that is in perfect condition chambered in 30-06. It was a gift from my grandfather. I haven’t spent alot of time behind the rifle but if I draw for elk this year I might take it out. I am terrified of putting a scratch on it.

  • Brian L

    Farmboy7.62 Your review of the scope was well written and you really broke down the specifics of the scope. For the last 2 months I have been comparing the VIPER PST 6-24X50 to a NF 5.5-22×50 NXS to go on-top of my Savage 110BA in .338LM. Neither one with FFP. I know there is a couple of hundred dollar difference but is the difference warranted. Yes the Razor would be a much better option, however the cost would be too much. I already have a NF 12-42 x 56 NXS on a F Class .308 Savage and it is great. The glass is clear and it tracks very well. I’ve seen on other web sites that at full 24 power the Vortex has a lot of Chromatic Aberration. Do you see this problem in the 44mm scope you have. AND does anyone on the blog have any comments on Vortex vs NF? I’d love to know, Thank you.

  • Longrange454

    Farmboy 762

    I use a Fox Pro. What i do. I set up on Todd’s hay stack. I can conceal myself real well that way. Coyotes are smart . They know to stay just out of range. My shots thier are 200 and beyond. My 308 is Heavy Varmit. With Match King bullets(175) at times i’m less than 1/2MOA. My first high powered rifle was a Win. Mod. 70 30/06 bought it new in 1968. This have it and have taken 5 elk with it. After i bedded it, it shoots 3/4 MOA with Horn. 180 BTSP’s. I feel it would do better if tweeked my load some, but i’m happy with what i have. Just got back from S. Dak. P. Dog shooting. First time for me. Had a good time. Dog population is down from the plague and poisoning. Took 4 rifles and only used my 223& 243. I learnt one thing, the 223 is an under rated cartridge,

  • farmboy7.62

    Brian L

    Please forgive me for such a late response. I have been really busy with work and school and I needed to get back to the farm and spend some time behind the scope to sufficiently answer your question.

    Prior to your question I was not familiar with “chromatic aberration”. I always chalked chromatic aberration up as a parallax/focus issue. After researching chromatic aberration (CA) I can say that the Vortex does experience a little bit of CA. The CA becomes very apparent when on the highest magnification. CA is also apparent when the scope is maxed out and I am trying to view something up close. I have noted CA when looking at trees with an abundance of foliage, as well as metal objects. My particular scope has a fixed parallax at 100yds so I am not sure how much, if possible, CA is related to parallax. I have to stress that the minute amount of CA experienced with the Vortex is minor. I imagine if I was shooting F-Class or another such discipline the lack of complete clarity might bother me.

    That Savage 110BA is a neat piece of hardware!! .338 LM is an impressive round. I imagine you are going to be shooting that rifle out to about 1500 yards. I would probably go with a Nightforce simply due to its proven track record. Vortex is still kind of the new kid in regards to the high end/high performance game, although I think the Vortex PST line would work fairly well.

    Interesting link to snipers hide.

    Hope this finds you well. Let me know what you do!!

    Thomas (farmboy7.62)

  • farmboy7.62

    Longrange 454

    I have always liked the .223 round. I put together an ar-15 with a 16inch bull barre for my bud. The rifle had a 1-7 twist and shoots 62-77 grain bullets very well. When the rifle shot 52-55 grain bullets we would see the bullets destabilize around 300 yards and start to tumble. The rifle shoots sub-moa and is great for coyotes.

    Good to hear your having fun! How far were those prairie dogs? What size of bullet were you shooting (.223)? Was it windy? What specific calls do you blast from your foxpro?

    Hope this finds you well!!

    Thomas (fb7.62)

  • longrange454


    My Model 70 SA HV 9 twist likes the Hornady 60 V-Max. We were shoting dogs out to 700 yds. I’ve got a RRA stripped lower i’m going to do something with this winter. Possibly a White Qak Armament Varmit upper. That is also a 7 twist. White Oak is located only an hour from me, so i can go fondle before i buy. With the Fox Pro i’ve found the Fawn Bleats abd the Crow Gathering to work the best.

  • farmboy7.62

    Prairie dogs at 700 yards…that is very impressive. So its safe to say that your rifle can easily hold .25 MOA granted you do your part. Where did you learn to shoot? Self taught? Military? Law enforcement? I have always shot at paper plates at 700 yards. I need to put out some 3×5 index cards or some coke cans to see if I can attain that accuracy. 700 yards is alot further in real life then on an internet forum.

    I have had good luck with the crow calls. If I am to close to our cattle herd the crow calls bring them in…lol

    I checked out the White Oak Armament website. I like that 18″ .223 varmint upper. Blast it with some Cerakote or Alumahyde..that would be a nice setup. Are you still debating between the Sightron and the Vortex?

  • longrange454

    The Fawn Bleat and Crow Gathering is what i ‘ve had best luck with when shooting around Todd’s cattle at calving time. When i hunt here i use mostly Coyote Yelps and Rabbit Distress calls. We have a range here that was formerly owned by Blackwater International. I go thier and shoot between classes for a small range fee. I can get to 500 at home, but have to make sure the farmer next door isn’t out in the field making hay or whatever.
    As far as the scope Sightron is in second place because of the .25 dot they have on the cross hair. I wanted to drive down to Port Byron and look through one, but i’m not going to waste my time and gas. It’s 85 miles .

  • longrange454


    What got me into LR shooting, was a class i took 7 or 8 yrs. ago at Badlands Tactical Training CTR. in Grandfield OKLA. Great bunch of guys there.

  • farmboy7.62


    Are you not a fan of the .25moa dot on the Sightron?

  • longrange454


    Those prairie dogs look pretty small a 6&700yds. That’s my main concern.

  • Glenn

    Howdy just found this article. Great write up. I may have missed it but what kind of rings are you using?

  • farmboy7.62

    Hello Glenn! Those are Millet tactical rings. I got them from Midway USA.

    Hope this finds you well!!


  • longrange454


    All i use are the Burris Signature Zee Rings. Any more my largest calibre is my favorite Mod. 70 30 06

  • Glenn

    Cool thanx guys

  • I really enjoyed your personal experience with a Vortex. Actually you made up my mind for me on what scope I’m buying. The new Viper HS 4-16×50 LR has really got my fancy so I think I’ll give it a try. It’s going to ride on top of a Thompson Center Icon Precision Hunter in .308win.,when the factory finally gets caught up on production. A set of TPI steel rings is going to hold it all together.It’s probably going to take me a couple of months to get it all set up the way I want it and put some rounds down range but when I do I’ll let you know the outcome.I just wished I had those open spaces like you have.

  • I meant to say TPS rings not TPI,sorry. I also forgot to mention that I’m getting the high rings.

  • farmboy7.62

    Hello Gordon

    That sounds like its going to be a really nice setup. I love the look of wood stocked precision rifles! I have a lower end vortex that has the BDC reticle. I think that you would have a little bit more versatility with the EBR-1 either in MRAD or MOA configuration. I found the hash marks invaluable for ranging purposes. (A skill that I have recently spent alot of time working on.) I did some research on the morphological dimensions of the species that I hunt (deer, elk, coyote..2 legged varmints that come in the night to pillage and plunder). I cut out the matching dimension on pieces of cardboard and set them out on the range. I made notes on what the size of the targets were in mil/hash marks at the max setting on my scope, at ranges from 100 yards to 1000 yards. (The “max” setting is the factory designated setting where your reticle hash marks represent a true mil. This will only pertain to scopes that are in the 2nd focal plane) As I have mentioned in previous posts critters don’t always wait to be laser ranged, or wait for those turrets to turn. The beauty of the BDC/Mil Dot/Hash mark type scopes is that you can range the animal then hold at the corresponding mil dot or hash mark. I tape a ballistic table to the inside of my rear scope cap. (Animals don’t always wait for you to access the Knights Armament Ballistic flight data on your ipod either!)

    So….I would recommend you look at the Vortex PST 4-16 with an EBR-1 type reticle. Primary arms has the 4-16 2nd Focal plane for around $700. It’s incredible what you can do with an Vortex EBR-1 (MOA or mil) and a ballistic calculator.

    Don’t hesitate to contact me should you have any questions!!

    Thomas G.

    (I am working on several articles for the Firearm blog. One will detail my ranging process and the data i worked up in regards to the reticle I use. The other is going to detail the PWS PRC muzzle break which I am going to install on my Remington. The last article will detail some modifications I made to my brother and I’s Gen 3 glock 22 RTF.)

  • I see where you’re coming from on the more versatility of a PST vs HS model and really appreciate the suggestion but I’m like the old saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. I’ve looked at some of the illuminated reticles and always revert back to what I was taught with back in the 60’s,just told my age.As far as the more gagdets and gizzmos you put a scope,or anything else,I always think about a saying I was taught in the Army called KISS(Keep It Simple Stupid). I know I’m just an out house gunsmith but wouldn’t installing a muzzle break on your Remington change your POI due to barrel harmonics?

  • I meant to say gizzmos you put on a scope.

  • farmboy7.62

    K.I.S.S!! I understand! The illuminated reticle is just an option. If you don’t like it..simply remove the battery and forget about it…that is until your buddies want to go shoot coyotes at night or its last light and that trophy buck just presented himself!! The illumination module is independent of the reticle. If it ever malfunctions it will have no effect on the mechanical ability of your scopes performance.

    The PWS PRC will not effect barrel harmonics. The barrel itself is a 20 inch bull barrel. All the PWS is doing is simply diverting the gasses coming out of my barrel. The PWS is very lite and due to the thickness of the barrel I don’t expect any “muzzle whip”. I just put a VAIS brake on my brothers tikka t3 lite. I will be testing the accuracy with and without the brake. Again a properly installed brake/comp should have no effect on accuracy. Some brakes offer 50% recoil reduction. For a precision shooter recoil just becomes one less variable to worry about.

    The Remington I currently own is a very tuned up rifle that has a very specific purpose. My elk/deer rifle is a 64 winchester model 70 with a beautiful wood stock. It is chambered in 30-06 and has a very simple leupold 3-9 scope. It kicks like a mule! To me…the Winchester is a “hunting rifle”. The Remington 700 is a “killing rifle”. The Winchester takes a lot of skill and good field craft for ethical hunting shots (within 300 yds of the animal). Taking really long shots on elk or deer, I personally feel is just killing…not hunting. Using the Remington to pick off a deer at 500 yds, which is quite easy…to me isn’t really ethical because the animal can’t hear or smell you. Now…I hate coyotes and feral hogs. The damage to livestock and property is incredible. I have no problem dispatching coyotes with long shots. Though I respect the animal…if its on the ranch harassing calves it’s going to die. The .308/7.62 is a heavy bullet for coyotes but I don’t like making animals suffer and the coyotes I have shot with the.308 were pretty much dead when they hit the ground.

    The Remington, though its recoil is manageable, it’s still hard to watch my bullets “splash” down. The PWS PRC should reduce kick 40-60%

    I hope this finds you well!!

    To all you “Hunters” that don’t agree with my stance on the ethics of “long range hunting”…you can simply sod off. Hunting is more then just shooting. It’s a wonderful feeling when you can stalk a wild animal. (Before anyone counters, of course there are always exceptions. Handicapped/jimmy legs/fading light…etc oh, it is ok to pass up a shot…)

  • I get the feeling that my comments might have been misunderstood. I have no intentions of trying to persuade anyone on to my personal likes and dislikes. In truth I believe your hard work on developing a down to earth and comprehensive report on the scope in question is probably about the best I’ve had the privilege of reading. Please don’t let my personal preferences interfere with your hard,and expensive,development of your work. It is too invaluable of real honesty and real life information for readers like myself to not have access to. I deeply regret any misunderstandings. Who knows you might just sell me on this scope yet. I guess my main problem is I would have to drive about 170 miles away just to look through one,the closest dealer from where I live. As you see my final decision is based on what I read instead of what I see. Not an easy choice in this day and time. I just have one question,if you don’t mind. I just notice that nowadays it seems like everything is tactical (scopes,clothes,pistols and rifles), you walk into a gun show and everything is black, I just like shooting. Am I barking up the wrong tree by placing my comments here? I’m a 61 year young disabled Vietnam Vet. that sometimes lets his Cadilac mouth overload his Volkswagon butt,so have a little patience, please.

  • longrange454


    I’m with you. These guys KILLING at 800,900 yds and beyond are not hunters. Put the sneak on your animal and see how good your stalking skills are. I’ve shot 6 elk in my life time and none were further than 200 yds.

  • farmboy7.62


    Thank you Sir for your service in Vietnam. I apologize if my writing style is slightly aggressive in the areas of persuasion. I try not attache my ego to my writing and I don’t claim to be an expert. I just try to be honest. I have a deep respect for the K.I.S.S principle and try to employ it in many aspects of my life.

    In regards to the illuminated reticle, it is simply an enhancement. My uncles are around your age and their eye sight is not what it used to be. I don’t purport to know the quality of your vision but without a doubt, as we get older vision decreases. My eyes are 28 years old and I am starting to notice some degradation in quality…especially at dawn and dusk. The illuminated reticle is an awesome tool…something that I expect to utilize more for early and late hunting.

    As Larry Vickers says…”your mileage may vary”.

    In regards to buying a scope…a huge part of the Vortex business model is customer service. They will bend over backwards to make sure you are happy. If you purchase a scope that just doesn’t work for you they will gladly swap it for you for a different model. This has happened several times and is well publicized on the internet.

    I agree with you that everything these days looks “tacti-cool”! I tend to follow what techniques/tactics/hardware is being used on the military side because the gear and the techniques are being thoroughly tested. Alot of the shooting industries demographic is ex military who want to purchase the gear they owned in the military. The first thing my grandfather did when he got back from WWII was purchase a Garand. Another of my cousins purchased an M1 carbine as soon as he got back from Korea…things haven’t really changed in regards to that…These days everything is high tech aluminum and ballistic nylon saddled with MOLLE attachment points. Black and tactical is whats selling these days. I tend to use scopes and hardware that have the features the military/top civilian trainers use because there is alot of literature and research available. Said gear works very well. But there are traditionalists. My generation loves the tacti-cool stuff but as my generation ages there becomes an appreciation for beautiful wood stocks and simple scopes that don’t require a calculator. Several years ago if it wasn’t aluminum or dark earth polymer i wouldn’t even consider it. As I get older and wiser (hopefully!!) “classic”, “vintage” and “traditional” have greater appeal. I think wood stocks are beautiful…and that the high tech precision rifles in the safe are ugly. One is a tool…one is art. One is expendable…the other is history. I see my shooting buddies adopting the same views and attitudes.

    Your not barking up the wrong tree. This is a public forum. Steve requires that everyone who posts here be extremely polite to one another. Longrange454 is also a fountain of knowledge.

    Once again thank you for your service.


  • Carl

    I love your article. I have a Remington 700 and want to put the pst ffp reticle on my rifle. I love hearing about experience in the field especially someone who has to use their equipment rather than some “expert” that used the scope for an hour or two. This is coming from someone who is an optical engineer.

    Second I live in New Mexico can I hunt your land next hear 🙂

    • farmboy7.62


      I just had my buddy put the 4-16 PST FFP on his rifle. Amazing optic!! The parallax adjustment makes a huge difference in clarity especially when the scope is on 16 power. I am considering putting that optic on my Remy. Thanks for the support! Where in New Mexico do you live? What kind of hunting do you like to do?

      Hope this finds you well!!


      • Carl

        I live in Sandia Park east of Albuquerque and for big game I’m an antelope and elk hunter.

  • Fantastic write up farmboy 7.62 Thank you for sharing your time and knowledge with and about this scope. I also have one that is going on my 6.5×47 that was just made for me. Some good rings and its off to the range. Stay safe. Big D

    • farmboy7.62

      @ Big D
      Thanks amigo! Working on a few more articles. That particular scope has found it’s way on to my main coyote killer. Excellent optic!!

    • farmboy7.62

      I am actually in the process of rebuilding that rifle. I will post ASAP. Thanks for the positive review!

  • great issues altogether, you simply won a new reader. What may you suggest about your post that you made some days in the
    past? Any sure?

  • Richard

    I bought a Vortes Viper PST scope and it’s the worst scope I have ever had. The scope when I bought it was not clear and clarity very poor. Took back to store I bought at and they sent it off to Vortex. They worked on scope and re-gassed it. Remounted and went to range today to resight in and scope is just as bad or worse than when I sent off. DO NOT RECCOMEND THIS SCOPE AT ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mark


    I just took delivery of my Vortex Viper PST 4-16x50mm EBR-1 / MOA / SFP.

    I like everything about this scope. However, I’m somewhat concerned about the reticle.
    It’s very fine/thin and I’m wondering if this will be an issue when sighting in against
    a dark target/background? Will I still be able to pick out the cross hairs when hunting?
    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  • mike

    I am going 2 start shooting at longer ranges from 3-500 yds which scope would u suggest?

  • Joe

    Excellent review, great looking rifle. Been considering the Vortex Viper PST 2.5-10×32 or Leupold Mark AR 1.25-4 for my RRA 20″ coyote rifle 223. Unfortunately there aren’t any Vortex dealers in my area, so it makes it tough to decide without having the ability to personally inspect the glass and quality. Really like Leupold glass on my 3-9X40 VXR, but willing to try something different. I have to rely on articles like this to help assist in my decision. I will be shooting at much closer distances here in Central IL (25 yards to 150 yards) How is the quick target acquisition on this scope for close range varmints? Thank You!