One of the things that vaulted Vortex Optics to a household name is the fact that they offer a wide spectrum of optics to meet every budget. They were kind enough to lend me their 6-24x50mm Diamondback Tactical rifle scope to review. The Diamondback Tactical 6-24x is one of Vortex’s lower cost options, but Vortex still seemed to pack in plenty of useful features compared to its up-tiered brothers. Let’s dig into Diamondback Tactical optic.
VORTEX 6-24X 50 DIAMONDBACK TACTICAL SCOPE
The Diamondback Tactical has an optical zoom from 6-24 power, which allows for long-range target identification on the upper range of magnification, while still being able to dial back for closer targets. A great feature of the Diamondback Tactical is the First Focal Plane (FFP) EBR-2C reticle, in MRAD or MOA. The model I tested was the MOA version, and the reticle aids in quicker alignment of the crosshairs to target at known distances with known ballistics and windage. The turrets are exposed with bright, visible markings to aid in dialing in the reticle to point of aim when zeroing, or for quick adjustments from your zero. The turrets are also removable to return them to the “0” mark once you’ve got your rifle and scope dialed in at the desired zero.
Objective Lens Diameter 50 mm
Eye Relief 3.9 inches
Field of View 18-4.5 ft/100 yds
Tube Size 30 mm
Turret Style Tall Exposed Tactical
Adjustment Graduation 1/4 MOA
Travel Per Rotation 15 MOA
Max Elevation Adjustment 65 MOA
Max Windage Adjustment 65 MOA
Parallax Setting 10 yards to infinity
Length 14.28 inches
Weight 24.6 oz
One limiting factor of the Diamondback Tactical is the lack of illumination. However, I suspect that for the vast majority of shooters, this optic would be used during daytime range sessions, competition or hunting. If your practice, competitions or hunting outings involve very low-light situations in which an illuminated reticle would assist you, Vortex also makes scopes with that feature built-in for more money. During dusk and dawn, I found that the glass and reticle were still very crisp and clear, but the darker it got, the more it became harder to see the reticle, mostly at the lower magnification ranges. My camera really didn’t like the low light though and it was difficult to get an in-focus picture as the light faded. When the light was plentiful, the reticle was easy to see and remained crisp against the objects at distance.
ADJUSTING THE DIAMONDBACK TACTICAL
The controls of the Diamondback Tactical were easy to use and manipulate. Each adjustment knob rotated easily, but not so easy as to become dislodged under recoil or without using intentional force, all without being overly stiff either. For the elevation and windage knobs, each adjustment had a distinct, physical and audible click to assist in precise tuning. The parallax knob didn’t have any clicks, but smoothly adjusted to the desired settings between 10 and 300 yards, and then onto the last setting of infinity. The diopter ring also adjusted easily for quick focus adjustments.
Removing the turret caps for resetting to zero was simply done by holding the turret in place, then using a penny (or a screwdriver if you prefer) to unscrew the top of the turret. I placed the turret cap back at zero, then screwed it back into place with my trusty penny. Vortex’s webpage dedicated to the Diamondback Tactical didn’t mention this feature, but it was detailed in the manual, linked to on the same page.
GETTING ON TARGET
I started out with the Vortex Diamondback Tactical mounted to my Savage 10 FP in .308 Winchester with a 20MOA scope rail. One issue I ran into was that I ran out of elevation to compensate for the added 20MOA, despite the 32(ish) MOA travel that should’ve been afforded me, according to the specs. A sales rep from Vortex explained that they have noticed that this combination of a Collet style barrel assembly and a 20MOA rail will sometimes require a further than typical zero distance. Despite this issue, I was still able to make accurate hits at 200 yards by using the appropriate MOA marks above the center of the crosshairs by the amount I was short on elevation.
I decided to take the Savage and 20MOA rail out of the equation by keeping the Diamondback in the same AERO mount and bolt it onto my AR-15 in 5.56 NATO and see how I did at 500 yards. I still had a few factors to work against, such as my Covid-supply of M193 ammo, which isn’t exactly known for making one-ragged holes even at 100 yards, as well as the wind playing tricks on my light, 55 grain projectiles. Nevertheless, after zeroing at 100 yards, I used a random, free internet ballistic calculator and the Vortex EBR-2C reticle in the Diamondback Tactical helped me get on target at 500 yards.
To date, this is the farthest I’ve been able to shoot and the Christmas Tree style reticle with Minute Of Angle measurements made it really easy to make adjustments without even needing to touch the turrets. I also used a large piece of appliance cardboard to help give me feedback as to how the gusty wind was playing with my shots.
I believe this is a great optic for anyone, but especially beginners to long range shooting, like myself. The MOA measurements are easily converted when measuring your shots in inches, and MOA holdovers are quickly found within the scope itself.
The highest spectrum of magnification, between 20-24x, got a bit too hazy to comfortably take a shot with but worked great as an impromptu spotting scope. During my 500-yard shooting session, I found 18x was a comfortable balance between clarity, eye relief, and staying on my point of aim. On the lowest magnification, 6x, I found that darker targets were a bit tough to see as the middle crosshairs were quite thin, but as I progressed through the magnification, it enlarged nicely, while not being so large as to obscure the targets.
Overall, the Vortex Diamondback Tactical 6-24x50mm rifle scope that I tested was easy to use and the MSRP of $499.99 seems like one of the friendlier options for smaller budgets. This scope, as configured with the EBR-2C reticle in MOA adjustments made for a great combination for wading into longer ranges. You can view the Diamondback Tactical 6-24x webpage HERE, or Vortex Optics’ main product page HERE.
What do you think about the Vortex Diamondback Tactical riflescope? If you have one, how was your experience?
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