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Vortex Viper 6.5-20×50 Review

Last Updated: 06.12.21



Main advantage


When looking to purchase a scope for your rifle, the most important factors to consider are clarity and brightness and the Vortex Viper 6.5-20×50 has a clear advantage in this area. This nifty model can provide users with a clear view throughout the day, even at dawn and dusk hours when the light starts to dim out.

There’s always a risk when purchasing a scope since many manufacturers create low-quality instruments that provide blurry magnification for a high price point. This is not something you’ll have to worry about with this model since it does what it says on the product description and then even more.

In a market that is filled to the brim with options to choose from, good products can be hard to find and this Vortex alternative is certainly one option that you should keep your eyes on. It excels at all magnification ranges and it is specifically designed to provide ultra-crisp visuals.

Furthermore, despite being priced in the mid-range category, the scope includes top-of-the-line features that you usually only find in much more expensive scopes. It performs very well in dark environments and it can handle most outdoor conditions thanks to its durable and weatherproof construction.


Main disadvantage


No product is ever perfect and there are a few observations we feel need to be added and while they do not detract from the overall experience and performance of this product, they may help you decide if this is indeed a model you’ll want to purchase. As mentioned earlier, this model offers excellent clearness and brightness but with a small catch.

The focus knob could use some improvement since as the way it is right now it doesn’t work very well with flip-up lens caps. Additionally, the zoom adjustment is a tad tight as well, especially if you enjoy a smooth adjustment system. At maximum zoom, the clarity of the scope begins to suffer a bit as well, but nothing too glaring or distracting.

Another adjustment feature that offers sub-par performance is represented by the turret adjustments which are quite unusual. They are in MOA rather than mils and that can be quite aggravating since it makes it harder to use the mil dots correctly. We are not certain why the manufacturer decided to go with this approach.

All in all, if you can get past these small inconveniences, the Vortex Viper 6.5-20×50 is an excellent product that offers great bang for the buck.


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Main features explained


Quality optics

One of the most celebrated features of this scope is the excellent light transmission that it offers and in order to achieve it, the scope uses extra-low dispersion glass. This type of glass helps produce a much better color quality and higher resolution. This is perfect for hunting since you’ll be able to notice movement much easier.

The glass surfaces also feature multiple anti-reflective coatings that help achieve optimal light transmission with minimal artifacts and clear pictures at all magnification levels. Thus, even when you’re observing far-away targets, you’ll still be able to distinguish individual details and colors.

The scope uses a 50mm objective lens which is quite generous and lets more light reach your eyes so that you can use the Vortex scope even in low-light conditions. The large objective lens ensures a good exit pupil value even when you are at maximum zoom and without it, the picture quality would start to get hazy the more you increase the zoom value.

Speaking of zoom, the range for this option is of 6.5x to 20x and that makes it ideal for mid-range to extra-long range engagements. As such, this option is not intended for close-range use, so you should keep that in mind before purchasing.


Multiple reticle styles

Another important feature that helps the Vortex Viper 6.5-20×50 stand out from the other options in this range is the ability to choose between different reticle styles. There are three different styles to choose from, namely a mil-dot reticle, a dead-hold BDC reticle, and a V-Plex wide reticle.

The mil-dot reticle is excellent for long-distance shooting and you will need to take into account the range, holdover, and windage. You can’t use it for mid-range shots since it is automatically set to 14x magnification. You’ll also have to make subtension calculations for other powers yourself.

The dead-hold BDC reticle has a design that will help minimize the need for guessing the bullet hold-over at long distances. It can be used with a wide variety of guns including rimfire rifles, high powered rifles, and black powder rifles. It features reference marks which you can use to compensate for range distances or for bullet drift in very windy conditions.

The V-Plex wide reticle is more straightforward and is a highly-versatile hunting reticle since it is intended to work for a huge variety of hunting applications. It has a wider center section of fine wire which allows for less target obstruction.


Premium construction

We couldn’t end our review without taking some time to talk about the construction of this scope. It is a beautiful product to behold and this model is made of top-grade materials that are also very durable. The main 30mm tube is constructed of aircraft-grade aluminum which provides a sturdy base for the entire scope.

The sturdy materials don’t just help with resistance to wear and tear, they also help this unit handle strong recoil. Furthermore, the casing is very sturdy which allows for better lens alignment which will improve the picture quality and decrease blur.

As is expected from such a high-quality product, the lenses are sealed with O-rings and purged with argon, making this unit completely weatherproof. It is impervious to dust, water, and fog which makes it capable of handling pretty much all conditions you are likely to encounter in the field.

Another aspect that is worth mentioning is the coating of the scope. Vortex uses a proprietary coating named ArmorTek which protects the exterior shell against scratches and dents. The finish matte black looks premium and it won’t reflect any light so that you can rest assured knowing that your position won’t be given away.


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Ioana Moldovan

Ioana’s professional experience in the optics field has helped her understand the value of passing her knowledge forward. Her curious personality helps her gather useful information for her readers and her goal is to make technical information fun and accessible to everyone.

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