Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24 AR Scope Review

Vortex first launched the Strike Eagle 1-6 x 24mm riflescope in mid-2015.  The scope itself is marketed by Vortex as being dual use: Shooting Tactical/ Hunting.

Vortex first launched the Strike Eagle 1-6 x 24mm riflescope in mid-2015. The scope itself is marketed by Vortex as being dual use: Shooting Tactical/ Hunting.

The Vortex Strike Eagle was designed primarily for 3-gun competition use. However, this scope can be effective in any application where speed to target is more important than long range tack-driving precision, including hunting and self-defense. It features a 1-6x zoom range, making it extremely easy to use from close range all the way out to 600 yards.

The Strike Eagle features Vortex’s own AR-BDC reticle. The AR-BDC is glass etched and illuminated, with 11 power options. Power source is one CR 2032 battery, and Vortex estimates 150 hours of battery life on maximum intensity. One thoughtful feature is a spare battery compartment under the windage turret cap. The scope also comes with flip up lens covers from the factory.

The AR-BDC reticle

The AR-BDC reticle

The reticle itself was designed primarily around the 5.56 cartridge; however, using the Vortex website’s ballistic calculator this optic can be used with many cartridges and calibers. A reference chart for the .308 caliber is also included in the manual.

Photo taken from the manual.

Photo taken from the manual.

After zeroing at 50 yards, which is the range the scope is designed to be zeroed, I headed out to my favorite desert spot in El Paso, Texas to test the speed of target acquisition on 1x. I set up two steel targets about a yard apart, at a distance of 15 yards. I tested how quick I could engage each target with one round from the low ready position three separate times. At fifteen yards my average time was 1.64 seconds. I did a single double-tap drill on each target from the low ready which came out to 2.49 seconds.

I repeated the drill at 25 yards and my average time to engage each target once was 1.77 seconds, with the double-tap drill coming out to 3.18 seconds.

Note that I haven’t tested these times compared to other aiming devices so these numbers are for your own reference.

TFB pics 014

In order to test the rifle at greater distances I went to the Fort Bliss Rod and Gun Club to use their silhouette range. At this point I did away with timing myself as I was merely testing the accuracy of the BDC hash marks with the 50 yard zero. When I got there I was hoping to test it from 200-500 meters (their range is in meters), however their 300 meter target was out of commission, and spotting myself at 500 meters with plenty of other shooters on the range proved unreliably challenging. Therefore my test of the reticle at distance consisted of transitioning from the 200 meter target to a 400 meter target.

Fort Bliss Rod and Gun Club

Fort Bliss Rod and Gun Club

Dialing over to 6x magnification the center crosshair indeed resulted in consistent hits on target aiming center mass at 200 meters (218.7 yards). Switching to 400 meters (437.4 yards) and jumping down to the third crosshair also resulted in consistent hits on target albeit with a slight leftward wind hold. Note no elevation adjustment was required at either distance despite the 10% difference in yards and meters. Rifle used was a Colt LE6920. Ammunition used was Federal 55gr. FMJ.

In summary, my range experience proved the horseshoe reticle combined with the BDC hash marks makes engaging targets from close range out to extended distances fast and easy. I could see this scope being useful for many types of hunting, especially coyote/varmint, dangerous game, and even aerial hog hunting.

Pros:
• Clear glass and bold reticle
• Great for quick shooting from 15-600 yards
• Illuminated reticle
• Price: military grade optics with similar capabilities cost anywhere from 3-5x as much (ex. Vortex Razor HD, Trijicon VCOG).

Cons:
• Parallax: There is no parallax adjustment. It is set to be parallax free at 100 yards. When shooting other distances, Vortex stresses the need to have a consistent cheek weld to minimize the effect.

• Weight: Scope itself is 17.6 oz., plus another 6.7 oz. for the recommended cantilever mount. 24.3 ounces is a total of 1.5 pounds added to the rifle. The setup is light for its capabilities, but is still a significant increase for an EOTech 512 user (11.1 oz) or Aimpoint PRO user (11.6 oz.) for example.

Final thoughts:
The Vortex Strike Eagle is an extremely versatile optic at an affordable price, and with a warranty that leads the industry. This riflescope is great for shooters who want to go high speed from CQB distance all the way out to 600 yards.

Whether you are 3-gunning, hunting, or simply want the capability to make quick and effective shots from point-blank to extended range with your home defense rifle or favorite plinker, the Strike Eagle will help you excel at the task at hand.

Vortex Strike Eagle Specifications are as follows:
• Tube size: 30mm
• Weight: 17.6 oz
• Focal plane: Second
• Eye relief: 3.5 inches
• Capped turrets
• Adjustment graduation: ½ moa
• Travel per rotation: 44 moa
• Maximum elevation and windage adjustment : 140 moa each
• Field of view @ 100yd 116.5-19.2ft
• MSRP: $449



Michael G

Michael Gomez resides in the tri-border city of El Paso, Texas. He graduated Cum Laude with a BBA in Economics from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. With experience in firearms retail, he is currently an AR-15 armorer, pistol instructor, TFB writer, mule deer hunter, and pomegranate farmer.


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  • Mrninjatoes

    Good article. Roughly how large was your 400 meter target? Do you think that Vortex could make the reticle a little bit smaller for the long shots?

    • Michael G

      Thanks for the feedback! I believe their 400 meter target was a 12″ x 12″ steel plate. As for if I think Vortex would make it with a smaller reticle, I’m not sure. I do know they always appreciate product comments and suggestions on their website though.

    • Michael.g

      Thanks for the feedback! I believe their 400 meter target was a 12″ x
      12″ steel plate. As for if I think Vortex would make it with a smaller
      reticle, I’m not sure. I do know they always appreciate product comments
      and suggestions on their website.

  • Austin Walker

    In depth and very comprehensive article. I’d be interested too see a follow up on new exercises, especially at the scope’s furthest limits. Keep ’em comin’ Mike!

  • TheSmellofNapalm

    I hope militaries start transitioning to these versatile optics over dots and fixed mags. These seem like the overall best choice for the uncertainty of military environments.

    • Michael G

      I do believe the future will be with variable optics. For now the military grade variable optics are perhaps prohibitively expensive to be widely issued. Thanks for your comments!

    • Squirreltakular

      I bet they’re looking at the VCOG. Seems like the best of both worlds.

  • Jason Guhl

    I really like mine so far. I have it on my BCM

  • Twilight sparkle

    Reminds me a lot of primary arms’ 1-6 scope

    • Stompy

      It’s is made in the same factory in China as the primary arms 1-6. Both optics are versions of the Optisan cx6. The primary arms version is almost $200 cheaper and has a better reticle with the acss. I like vortex products I own pst scopes (made in the Philippines) and razor (made n Japan). they are taking advantage of the vortex brand name on this one. It does have the vortex vip warranty going for it but I’m sticking with primary arms on the 1-6 version of the Chinese Optisan.

      • Marcus D.

        “The CX6 features an illuminated reticle, 6X zoom magnification and a
        heavy-duty coil spring erector system. The CX6 series was
        specifically developed for extreme tactical use and 3-gun competition
        and with a true 1-power magnification it has a wide and flat field of
        view for both eyes open target acquisition.

        The reticle has design features built for CQB speed as well as
        multiple range estimation features for downrange accuracy. The CX6 has
        our proprietary ETE+ Microlux™ Fully Multi-Coated glass coatings for
        maximum light transmission, contrast and distortion-free resolution
        giving the shooter crisp, clear sight pictures. With long eye relief and
        recoil tested on a 50 BMG, the CX6 is built for any caliber and
        application.

        The easy finger adjustable, resettable zero turrets with audible 1/2
        MOA clicks allow the shooter tool-less in the field adjustments with
        proven repeatability. Other features and accessories include modern
        spiral cut low profile designed caps and power ring plus premium screw
        in O-ring sealed metal flip up scope covers. With dedicated customer
        support, a Lifetime Warranty backs all Optisan CX riflescopes in the US.”

      • Twilight sparkle

        I had a suspicious that may have been the case

      • thedonn007

        The strike eagle is $329 many places online.

        • Jason Guhl

          I paid $300 on eBay. Pretty easy to find them that low

  • VJ

    Throwin a scope on a non free floated rig…
    Putting lipstick on a pig….
    Hey, they both rhyme.

    • Michael G

      Its all a matter of perspective, it is easily a 2moa rifle with 55g., closer to 1.5 with 75 gr. BTHP. Its a beautiful pig to me 🙂

    • Michael.g

      Its all a matter of perspective, it is easily a 2moa rifle with 55g., closer to 1.5 with 75 gr. BTHP. Its a beautiful pig to me

    • Jwedel1231

      I think you are majoring in the minors here…

  • Paul O.

    Was your impression that on the 1 power setting it was a true one X?

    • Michael G

      I think the answer is that it is somewhat range dependent. Under five yards produces a slightly magnified image, and past about 200 yards images look slightly smaller. Within that range I believe it is very close to true 1x.

    • Michael.g

      I found it to be range dependent. Under five
      yards produces a slightly magnified image, and past about 200 yards
      images look slightly smaller. Within that range I believe it is very
      close to true 1x.

  • jng1226

    I also want to know how close the 1X setting is to true 1X. Additionally, how visible and effective was the illuminated reticle in the apparently bright conditions of your test session? Can you compare its brightness to a particular setting of an EOtech or Aimpoint optic? Thanks otherwise for the review, I’ve been interested in this scope since it was announced.

    • Michael.g

      I found it to be range dependent. Under five yards produces a slightly magnified image, and past about 200 yards images look slightly smaller. Within that range I believe it is very close to true 1x. I did not test the reticle brightness in the daytime because I felt that it was unnecessary. The scope is glass etched and the black reticle provides better contrast in the bright desert sun. I have since taken this scope coyote hunting, and although I was unsuccessful, I did find the illumination settings to be very useful. At dusk, you don’t need to be higher than illumination level 4, and after dark only 2 or 3. Unfortunately I cannot really reference the illumination settings of an EOTech or Aimpoint optic. Thanks for your comments, hope this helps!

  • overloadinco

    Which focal plane is the reticle in? You list the weight as a negative, but compare it to Red Dot scopes. How is the weight vs other 1-6×24 scopes? How is the eye relief and eye box?

    • Michael.g

      The Strike Eagle is in the second focal plane, the specifications are at the end of the article. It is comparable to the military grade Trijicon VCOG (24 0z. with integral base mount), and lighter than the Vortex Razor HD 1-6×24 (25.20z without mount). The exit pupil on 6x magnification is 4. About its eye relief, this is from Vortex’s website, “The minimum eye relief is 3″, and max is 3.5″ when the magnification is set to 6x. As you back out the magnification the max eye relief will increase slightly.”

  • Don

    The biggest downfall with this scope is the reticle. The thickness of the circle is just crazy. I think if they would offer it with the same reticle that’s in the 1-4 Viper they’d have a winner, I have 3 of the 1-4 Vipers and I love the reticle they have. I’ve been looking for a great 1-6 scope but I can’t find a reticle I like.

    • Robocop

      I shot t a friend’s 1-6 viper hd and my personal strike eagle back to back. I like the reticle on the viper for longer range or precision work. The strike eagle really excels for me in 2 gun matches though, in that setting I think it comes out on top. As with most things it’s all personal preference. I think the target market was budget competition shooters and predator hunting. The circle is a bit thick, but I found it worked really well for me on low magnification when engaging steel at 50 yds (target in horseshoe, ignore crosshairs).

      • Don

        Makes sense. I’ve got a couple of friends that have tried my Viper 1-4 and they call it cheating, they say you can’t miss with that reticle. Center the target in the circle and put the dot right where you want it to go and the round hits its target. The subtension lines make it easy to adjust for any distance within reason. Annnnd… The circle is not thick like the one on the Strike Eagle.

  • jim

    paralax sux. the leupold 1 x 6, while more expensive is way nicer