If you are looking for a pocket-friendly, medium-ranged scope, you would come across the Vortex Strike Eagle many times. And now, you are confused if this is the right scope for you or not, right? Well, I have you covered.
Hey guys, it’s Jason again, an NRA-certified Firearms Instructor and an avid hunter and I have tried over hundreds of scopes, red dots, and rifles in my career.
I was curious about trying the Strike Eagle after being impressed by the Vortex Optics Crossfire and got the Strike Eagle about 2 months back.
And after 5+ hunting trips across various lighting conditions and numerous trips to the range here’s what I think about the Vortex Strike Eagle.
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x Review: In brief
As far as mid-range scopes go, the Vortex Strike Eagle is a good buy. It comes with an illuminated reticle allowing you to use the scope at dusk or dawn. And to ensure you hit the target constantly, the reticle also gives you bullet drop and holdover estimations.
Furthermore, the build is excellent with the scope carrying forward the aircraft-grade aluminum build that most Vortex Optics scopes are known for ensuring it can take a beating. Plus, it is waterproof and weatherproof (no more fogging of the lens).
And even with these benefits, it costs just about $500. So yes, the Vortex Strike Eagle is worth your money.
Want to dive deep into the reticle, build, drawbacks, etc. since you are a scope nerd like me? This section below is tailor-made for you.
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x Review: In Detail
The reticle has a direct relation with the accuracy so let’s begin with that. The Strike Eagle is equipped with the AR-BDC3 reticle which is an upgrade over the AR-BDC2 reticle used by the older Vortex scopes.
One of the biggest differences being the dark and bold crosshairs that are designed to drive your attention straight to the center of the reticle, in turn, ensuring you can latch onto targets (even the moving ones) in a jiffy.
This is further supported by the quick-focus eyepiece. To adjust it correctly, do the following:
1. Aim at a plain white wall or the clear sky
2. Rotate the focus knob located at the tip of the scope (right above the lens) in the counterclockwise direction.
3. Now turn the eyepiece focus knob inward until you think the image is sharp enough for an accurate shot.
It also comes with hash marks for bullet drop compensation up to an amazing 650 yards. Just aim, shoot, measure, adjust, shoot again, and in no time, you’ll be hitting the bull’s eye with each shot. This makes it the ideal scope for .223/5.56 mm and .308/7.62 mm rounds.
And it works just as well during dusk or dawn as well giving you the freedom to go hunting any time of the day. That is because the reticle comes with 11 illumination levels. You can switch through these levels in seconds with the side dial.
Furthermore, ensuring it maintains clarity is the SFP nature of the reticle which means whether you are using it at 1x magnification or 8x, the reticle remains large and clear at all times, in turn, making it ideal for long-range shots.
Where there is illumination there is also battery life and I hate it when the scope needs to be charged constantly or I have to use the spare batteries quickly.
Thankfully, with the Vortex Strike Eagle, there were no such complaints. This scope uses a CR2032 battery which delivers an amazing 10,000 hours on nominal settings and about 150 hours if used at full brightness constantly.
The only issue I have with the battery is that there is no auto-off feature. So if you were to leave the illumination on when not using the scope, it will run out of battery quickly.
Though when it does, you should have no trouble replacing the battery as the battery compartment is conveniently located and allows for quick access (takes less than 5 minutes to make the change).
Oh, and carrying spare batteries is a breeze. You no longer have to go searching for it in your backpack. They can be neatly put away in the battery compartment below the windage turret for quick and easy access.
And in case even the spare battery runs out, don’t worry. The reticle has been etched onto the glass. While not a solution, it does provide better clarity than reticles that aren’t etched giving you an edge in low light.
I want my scope to last me for years, even a lifetime without any trouble, and Vortex has both me and you covered (you get complete value for money).
The 30mm tube is made of aircraft-grade aluminum giving the scope ample strength and rigidity so a few hits and bumps in the wild don’t crack or scratch the body. It also withstands all the recoil like a boss thanks to the single tube build that eliminates cuts and joints.
And one of the reasons it doesn’t scratch easily is the hard-anodized finish that provides an additional layer of protection. But that’s not all.
It also cuts down glare, in turn, improving your camouflage and making the hunter never becomes the hunted.
And you can use it in rain or submerge it in water as well. Yes, I submerged mine in 3 feet of water for 7 minutes and it worked perfectly well instantly. This is mainly because of the tightly sealed o-rings that don’t just prevent water from seeping in but also keep dust and dirt away.
Plus, you won’t have to worry about the lens fogging up in cold weather either as the scope is equipped with nitrogen purging.
Oh, and in case there is any trouble with the scope, backing it is a lifetime warranty that ensures any repairs and replacements don’t cost you a penny making it a risk-free purchase.
Turrets should adjust with minimal pressure for quick adjustments and have an audible click for precision. Well, the Strike Eagle does not disappoint.
It has a good audible click with a ½ MOA adjustment per click. You can adjust both the windage and elevation to up to 100 MOA.
The turrets are also capped. Generally, capping provides additional protection to the turrets and is also an insurance policy against accidental changes but makes quick adjustments hard.
Well, unless you are using the Strike Eagle. That’s because here you can quickly remove the capping when needed with a simple twist. And once you are done, putting them back on is just as easy (takes mere seconds).
Once the capping is removed, the turrets are also numbered which further makes it easy to make precise adjustments.
The turret on top is the elevation turret while the one on the left-hand side is the windage turret.
To adjust and index the turrets, here’s what you need to do.
How to adjust the turrets?
As mentioned above, each click moves the point of impact by 1/2 MOA.
1. Twist and take off the turret caps.
2. Using the numbers and the audible click, adjust the turrets. To increase the elevation, move the turret counter-clockwise while adjusting the windage counter-clockwise means it moves to the right.
3. Once you are done with the adjustments just put back the caps
Indexing the Turrets
Once you sight in the scope, do you want to re-index the zero indicator on the Strike Eagle while ensuring the zero setting remains unchanged? Here’s what you need to do.
1. Once you have sighted in the scope, twist and take off the caps.
2. Don’t rotate any of the turrets. Simply twist the turret dial till it hits the 0 mark
3. Once done, just change the turret caps.
Magnification and optics clarity
The reason the Strike Eagle can be used at medium range of about 600-650 yards is because of its 1-8x magnification. Yes, there’s slight distortion at 8x but it definitely outperforms the Burris and Bushnell scopes within this price range in terms of clarity.
And adjusting the magnification from 1x to 8x is a breeze and can be done quickly and with precision thanks to the throw lever. There’s no parallax you need to worry about either.
Supporting the magnification well is the multi-coated lens. This coating doesn’t just improve light transmission for battery visuals in any lighting condition but also keeps the lens protected from dust, dirt, and oil.
Furthermore, preventing any damage to the lens and keeping out dust and dirt when the scope isn’t in use are the removable lens covers. The drawback with these covers compared to flip-up covers is that they are easy to lose when you are using the scope so be careful.
And in case you still notice any dust, there’s also a lens cloth to give it a good wipe.
As for eye relief, 3.5 inches is the standard when it comes to cheaper scopes. More is always better but at 1x magnification, it is good enough to shoot with both eyes open.
Specification – Features Overview
- Reticle: AR-BDC3 RETICLE
- Brightness Setting: 11 settings
- Magnification 1-8x
- Eye Relief: 3.5-inches
- Parallax Settings: 100 yards
- Multi-Coated Lens: Yes
- Battery Type: CR 2032
- Battery Life: 10,000hrs on low settings, 150 hrs on high settings
- Adjustment per Click: 1/2 MOA
- Windage Adjustment: 100 MOA
- Elevation Adjustment: 100 MOA
- Field of View: 116.5-14.4 ft/100 yds
- Housing Material: Aluminum
- Surface Finish: Anodized Finish
- House Color: Matte Black
- Weight (oz): 16.5 oz
- Dimensions: 10 inches in length
- Excellent aircraft-grade aluminum build for durability
- Nitrogen purge prevents the lens from fogging up
- Reticle comes with 11 brightness levels for low light
- Get bullet drop compensation for accuracy
- Turrets are smooth with an audible click for precision
- Capping can be removed in seconds when needed
- Excellent battery life
- A spare battery can be stored in the in-built compartment
- Ideal scope for a range of 600-650 yards with 1-8x magnification
- The hard-anodized finish reduced glare for improved camouflage
- Slightly heavy than other scopes at 16.5 oz
- Mounting hardware needs to be purchased separately
- Illumination turns slightly orange in daylight at higher levels
- No auto-off feature
My Final Verdict
Well, the Vortex Strike Eagle gets a thumbs up from me. So if you need a scope for mid-range shooting, go for it without a doubt. Yes, it has slight drawbacks but considering the price, the build, the illuminated reticle, the drawbacks are real deal breakers.
In case you have more questions about the scope, let me know in the comments below. Feel free to drop an email if needed via the contact page.
So have you used the Strike Eagle before? If Yes, did miss out on something? Don’t forget to share your experience as well and what you love and hate about this scope.