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Optics Reviews

Vortex Viper PST 1-4×24 Scope Review

by Jim Grant   |  November 30th, 2015 1
Vortex Viper PST 1-4

The Vortex Viper PST 1-4×24 held up to serious .308 Win abuse on the CETME/G3 Hybrid C308 from Century Arms. The Recon mount also perfectly cleared its iron sights.

If you’re standing in a hunting shop, or your favorite gun store trying to figure out whether you should buy this scope or not, stop! Put down your smartphone and pick up the Vortex Viper PST 1-4x optic, and spin the turrets for both elevation and windage. Go ahead, this article will still be waiting when you’re finished.

Done yet? You probably just bought the optic based on that alone.

Vortex Viper PST

The Viper PST’s controls are well-made, rugged and easily understood.

Vortex Viper PST review

Besides looking awesome, the fiber optic stipe makes checking zero in low light a breeze.

For those of you not physically holding one, it sounds like I’m out of my mind. That’s fair, I’ve been accused of it before. However, in this instance, I’m fully sane. The Vortex Viper PST drips with quality; the kind a person can feel by simply rotating its turrets.

Though theVortex Viper PST 1-4×24 is more than just well-made, cathartically clicky turrets on an aluminum tube. It’s a variable zoom, 30mm telescopic gun sight with a host of impressive features. Features like half MOA adjustable turrets that allow a shooter to adjust their zero and count clicks without glancing up.

These same turrets are exposed for quick, accurate adjustments. The elevation knob has a small bright red fiber optic tube that provides a tactile, easily visible point of reference for turret rotation. Further back towards the eyepiece, the magnification ring also includes this fiber optic line for quick reference on the optic’s current magnification setting.

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Behind the magnification ring is the reticule illumination turret. It features ten levels of illumination with “off” positions between all of them.

Built from aircraft grade heavy-duty aluminum, the Vortex Viper feels bulletproof, especially when paired with a set of Vortex’s AD Recon-X rings. For me, these rings were what first brought Vortex to my attention.

A friend of mine had won a pair at a 3-gun match, but since he only used an ACOG, didn’t have a use for them. So after some horse trading, he got a few boxes of ammo I didn’t need, and I got a new way to mount a 30mm optic I had bought awhile back.

As someone who had always bought the bare minimum in terms of scope rings, I was blown away at the construction of the rings. Their odd vertical placement, and quick detach levers thoroughly impressed me. Though I didn’t’ get a chance to check out their optics until the Vortex Viper PST 1-4×24 showed up at my doorstep a few weeks back for review.

VortexViper06To better test it’s ability to hold zero under recoil, I mounted the Vortex Viper PST on my Century Arms C308 roller-delayed rifle and fired about 250 rounds after initial zero.

Not only did the Viper PST hold zero after a dozen mounts and remounts, but it also helped me appreciate the unique reticle used by the optic.

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The Vortex PST is incredibly clear and bright, despite its 9.7-inch overall length.

Tactical Milling Close Quarters reticle features a segmented, illuminated circle around a one minute of angle dot. This effectively allows the optic to function as red dot when unmagnified, or a compact scope when the power selection ring is set to 4x.

When magnified the standard mil-spaced windage and elevation crosshair is easy to read, and fast to employ. It’s moderately tough to use at 1x, but that sort of precision is tough to use when the Vortex Viper’s magnification is dialed down.

Also, unlike many tactical or three gun scopes, the Vortex Viper PST 1-4x features a true unmagnified 1x setting. This is tremendously helpful when trying to rapidly identify and engage targets at close range. The illuminated portions of the crosshair feature tem levels of brightness and are powered by a single CR2032 battery.

The 30mm tube that houses the Vortex Extra-low Dispersion (XD) glass is built from a solid block of aircraft-grade aluminum and is filled with Argon gas to prevent fogging.

The anodization coating is a matte flat black for reduced glare, that also provides good scratch resistance. These features coupled with rubber gasketed assemblies and shock-proof construction betray the Viper’s high-end roots, despite its affordable price.

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The PST’s TM/CQ reticle is fast, accurate and perfectly-sized for this second focal plane optic.

Optics are one of the most misunderstood, underappreciated corners of the firearms market. Stingy shooters often brag they can get by with shoddy glass, but why bother? The most crucial aspect of precision shooting is being able to actually see a target; the only more critical component is the presence of a firearm and ammunition.

Whether you’re looking to replace an existing optic that’s currently limiting your performance, or looking for a solid first scope. Don’t go the cheap route – you’ll end up replacing it in six months or less and buying the Vortex Viper anyway.

As a firm subscriber to the adage, “Buy once; cry once” I can’t recommend the Vortex Viper PST 1-4x enough, especially with its affordable $599 MSRP. It may not be cheap, but at least with the Vortex a shooter is paying for quality, and not just a brand name.

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