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Vortex Viper PST

blueskiesblueskies Member Posts: 95 ✭✭
edited July 2015 in Ask the Experts
I am looking for a long range, 1000+ yrd, rifle scope. I would prefer to not spend $1,500+ and have heard about the Vortex Viper PST scope in 6-24 x 50 (FFP) with EBR-2C MOA reticle. Any concerns or preferences?
Thanks for your reply.


  • nononsensenononsense Member Posts: 10,934 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1

    I started using the Vortex line a few years ago and I don't see any reason to change from my methodology. The glass is good, the manufacturing and assembly is super in most cases and the customer service is without reproach. Call Scott and ask him anything, he's a real deal shooter.

    The only difference in my scope and yours is I use the MRAD reticle since that's what I need for ranging. But if you're only shooting bench or prone at specific distances then the MOA works fine.

  • 1KYDSTR1KYDSTR Member Posts: 2,361 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    As a general rule, I recommend Vortex optics to all who ask for good bang for the buck performance. Across their whole line they put out some of the best quality scopes you can get. U.S. Optics they ain't, but for the money, the PST line comes admirably close. As to,your choice of particular optics, I have seen that scope and reticle at my range quite often and the owners are ALL universally happy as pigs in poop. As NoNonsense already mentioned, unless you are field ranging game or tactical targets at longer ranges, the MOA reticle will serve very nicely
  • blueskiesblueskies Member Posts: 95 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    It sounds like I was not lead astray, but you both bring up a great question: MOA vs RAD. I am new to long range shooting and have never looked through a 'long' range scope let alone knew it came in MOA or RAD increments. So my purpose is to use it primarily for hunting elk and when the situation arises, take the long range shot - field shooting. After review of MOA vs RAD, it sounds like the only difference is range calculating in either target height in inches (MOA) or yards/meters (RAD). Is it this 'simple'? I am guessing that it is easier and quicker to calculate the RAD range faster for field use which is why it is preferred?
  • tsr1965tsr1965 Member Posts: 8,682 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have been using Vortex also, for the last 3-4 years. All of them are the Viper PST. I have a couple Night Force NXS 5.5-22x56's, and had a couple S&B PM-II's. Actually I was told by Nononsense about the Viper PST.

    Since I don't do an awful lot of long range shooting in competition, where you cannot use a range finder, all of mine are second focal plane MOA models, as to not have MOA systems on my hunting rifles, and get confused with the MIL/MRAD system.

    They are awesome pieces of glass for the $$. Way much more than the same price range in a Leupold, Burris or Nikon.

    EDIT 1

    quote:nononsese, 1kydstr and tsr1965 - thanks for you replys. Now I just need to figure out my preferred calc and rings.

    I can tell you from experience, even though I am pretty good with science, and the mathematical matters, it is a challenge when mixing MRAD, and MOA. basically 1 MIL is equal to 1 yard at 1000 yards, and 1 MOA is very close to 10.4 inches at 1000 yards. Most folks just say 10 inches. 1 MIL is approximately 3.6 MOA.

    That said, there were not the hundreds of MRAD scopes out there when I started my career back 40 years ago. It is a simpler system than the MOA, where the adjustments are 1/10 MIL, so everything is on the decimal system, of multiplying, or dividing by 10. If I had to start over again into long range shooting, I would most likely go MRAD. But since all of my hunting rifles are MOA, that is the system that I have choosen to stick with.

    You can stay as simple as you wish, or go as advanced as you wish, but there is NOTHING that will replace lead down range...practice. We even have phone apps these days, that you can plug in all of your vital information into, and calibrate it to the exact load your rifle is using. Some of this software, even goes as far as to use local internet based weather stations, and will triangulate, and average the local ambient conditions, and load it into your calculation on the app. It works well, but is still not a plug and play replacement for experience.

    If you want to know more, pm me.

  • NeoBlackdogNeoBlackdog Member Posts: 14,815 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Gotta chime in here...
    If your primary use of the gun/optics is elk hunting I would encourage you to stick with lower power optics (I use a 2.5-8x Leupold VXIII) and learn to get closer to the animals before taking a shot.
    I don't think taking 1000 yard shots at a game animal is an ethical way of hunting as there are too many ways for things to go wrong and you end up with a wounded animal and not a clean kill.
    It's hard enough to hit a target at 1000 yards and then throwing in the variables of wind, thermals, movement by the animal, etc. just puts too many variables into the equation.
    Remember, when you're hunting you are there to take a life. You owe it to the animal you're hunting to do it as quickly, cleanly, and humanely as possible.

    Good to hear, Blueskies. Hope I didn't come across too 'lecturey'. It's hard to tell how much experience someone has from their posts here. I've just seen too many people try to stretch the limits of their equipment and wound up with crippled critters. Glad you're not one of those.
  • blueskiesblueskies Member Posts: 95 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hi NeoBlackDog, Reading into these quick posts are very difficult and usually inaccurate as we don't know the person on the other end of the key board. I have been hunting for 35+ yrs and have never had or needed a shot over 225 yrds. I know of my limitations to long range shooting (<400 yrds). Since I don't have the $ to have an optimal hunting rifle and an optimal long ranger, I need/want to make the best of both in one. With that said, where I hunt and how I hunt, seeing an animal >400 yrds would be unlikely. But I do want to have the opportunity to blow some tannerite at >600 yrds. BTW, if you are not confident that you can kill the animal with one shot, then you shouldn't take it. I am a big proponent of one shot one kill and a very ethical hunter. Please , let's not get off the topic of my question. Once my skills increase with the new system, so will my limitations.

    nononsese, 1kydstr and tsr1965 - thanks for you replys. Now I just need to figure out my preferred calc and rings.
  • nononsensenononsense Member Posts: 10,934 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1

    Here is a very good computer demonstration of range estimation. There is a free version used as a demo but the 'real deal' full version includes classroom and practice. Take a peek and see what you think.

  • sandwarriorsandwarrior Member Posts: 5,453 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1

    I know this is late, but hopefully helpful.

    I run the Vortex PST 4-16 FFP in MOA, and run it in competition. This is a disadvantage when paired with multiple shooters, but an advantage when shooting/competing by ones self. Or, paired with a spotter using your MOA spotting scope.

    The MRAD and MOA systems are each based off of an angular measurement. A "Rad" is the distance around a circle equal in length to the radius of the circle. Divide that by 1000, and you have a "mil-rad" or "mil".

    An MOA is 1/60th (minute) of a degree....angular measurement.

    Each has a SIN (Sine) interpretation that works out to 1.047 for MOA and 3.6" for Mi per 100 yds. The "mil" works out to basically 1/1000 of the range you see. 100 yds. is 3.6" (3600"/1000), 500 yds. is 18" (18000/1000). So it's not so complicated as we think. A meter is 39.37" Therefore a mil is 3.937" or 3.9 and a half @ 100m.
    But, you don't have to convert meters to inches to know your firing solution. Just follow your calculator and adjust in MOA or MIL.

    MOA will range just as well as Mil. The problem is among multiple shooters, Mil is spoken mostly, not MOA.

    MOA often is transcribed to Inch Per Hundred Yards. This is 5% less than a MOA. The problem isn't when seeing it, it's when stacking it on when you dial. You must add 5% if using IPHY. Or, if holding like in my scope, a 40 MOA hold (my scope is IPHY) requires that I use the 42" mark in my scope.

    FWIW, the differences in standardization are mostly why professional shooters, competitors use Mil. It's based off of a 2000+ year old system of math. When you start thinking it, it's like a second language, it's much easier to speak it.
  • Mk 19Mk 19 Member Posts: 8,170
    edited November -1
    A good friend of mine swears by his Viper PST 6-24X50 and he has very good reason too. We just returned from a long range Steel Competition that had a side competition for long hits on Prairie Dogs in Wyoming. Most of the other shooters were using much more expensive scopes, myself included, but Adam still came in 4th place in the steel shoot and second place for the longest dog at 1124 yards. He then continued to the MOA Cold Turkey match and made the runoffs at both 750 and 1000 yards. That PST worked perfect through everything, it is a really great scope.

    Another great scope that you might want to look at would be the Sightron SIII series in both the 6-24 and 8-32, you can fins them used in the $700-$800 range. The scope I used at WY-Shot was a Burris XTR-2 8-40X56, that is a wonderful scope that really has to be seen to be believed and I had no issue ringing a 6"X10" gong at 960 yards with a 6XC while using it, but it does retail at $1400 so it may be out of your range.

    Here is a pic of Adams rig with the Viper PST 6-24X50 along side of his 1124 yard kill:

    Here is a pic of my rig that I was competing with, notice the Burris XTR-2:
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