Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24mm Scope: Merited Magnification

Vortex has a wide selection of scopes for your rifle. Their Strike Eagle 1-6 x 24mm scope is intended to be a perfect fit for your AR-15 or other carbine (and one in an appreciable price range). Other reviews have praised Vortex Optics but we like to have a look ourselves!

Does the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6 merit that approbation? How does it compare to other optics for your rifle?

The Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6 variable scope would make a good addition to any carbine or rifle.
The Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6 variable scope would make a good addition to any carbine or rifle.

We’ll get some of the technical specs out of the way first, then move along to more descriptive subjects.

Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24mm Variable Optic

  • Magnification: 1-6x
  • Objective Lens: 24mm
  • Tube Size: 30mm
  • Max Elevation Adjustment: 140 MOA
  • Max Windage Adjustment: 140 MOA
  • Adjustment Graduation: 1/2 MOA
  • Eye Relief: 3.5 inches
  • Length: 10.5 inches
  • Weight: 18.5 ounces

The scope is constructed from a single block of aircraft grade aluminum.

The Strike Eagle is fairly compact and doesn't take up too much room on the carbine.
The Strike Eagle is fairly compact and doesn’t take up too much room on the carbine.

The lenses are coated with an ultra-hard, scratch resistant coating to protect from scratches, oil and dirt. The scope is waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof. An anodized, matte finish covers the entire scope so there is no shine to give away a shooter’s position. The tube has been purged of nitrogen to prevent fogging.

Vortex offers some great scope covers, seen here on the ocular lens of the Strike Eagle 1-6.
Vortex offers some great scope covers, seen here on the ocular lens of the Strike Eagle.

The Strike Eagle works on the Second Focal Plane, so windage and holdover are accurate at the highest magnification setting. The reticle stays the same size, whether the magnification is set at 1x or 6x.

Strike Eagle 1-6x24mm: the battery for the reticle is installed in the power knob for the reticle adjustment.
The battery for the reticle is installed in the power knob for the reticle adjustment.

Because the scope tube is 30mm, there are a lot more mounting options than if it were a 1-inch tube. This added flexibility will be welcomed by many users.

Reticle

The reticle is glass etched and illuminated. Vortex has calibrated it to be compatible with common 5.56mm loads. There is a One MOA center dot, which provides for a nice, precise aiming point. Even if the illumination goes down, the etched reticle will always work because it obviously doesn’t rely on electronics, which is a positive aspect.

The heavy stadia lines naturally draw the eye toward the center reticle. With the scope set on 1x, the upside-down horseshoe makes a great reticle and acts like a red dot scope. Photo: Vortex Optics.
The heavy stadia lines naturally draw the eye toward the center reticle. With the scope set on 1x, the upside-down horseshoe makes a great reticle and acts like a red dot scope. Photo: Vortex Optics.

Around that dot is what Vortex refers to as a “broken circle”, which I say resembles an upside-down horseshoe, which is 16.625 MOA and draws your eye to it immediately. For very close range, this broken circle is excellent for engaging targets. For CQB range out to 30 yards or more, it’s perfect. Both the broken circle and the dot can be illuminated for low light, making the scope all the more versatile. For illumination, the scope runs on a CR2032 battery. Of course, there are several brightness settings for the illumination for use ranging from bright daylight to nighttime or very dark environments.

The dot in the center of the upside-down horseshoe is 1 MOA and makes a precise aiming point at distance. Here we see the measurements broken down for the various stadia lines. Photo: Vortex Optics.
The dot in the center of the upside-down horseshoe is 1 MOA and makes a precise aiming point at distance. Here we see the measurements broken down for the various stadia lines. Photo: Vortex Optics.

Additionally, there are three posts that draw the eye to the overall, center reticle. They come from the sides of the tube and narrow as they go toward the center. They’re located at the 9, 6, and 3 O’Clock positions.

Strike Eagle 1-6: a glimpse of the illuminated reticle.
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6: a glimpse of the illuminated reticle.
Strike Eagle 1-6: The adjustment knob for the reticle's brightness is shown here. Settings range from dim to bright, the entire range is covered.
The adjustment knob for the reticle’s brightness is shown here. Settings range from dim to bright, the entire range is covered.

The BDC keeps the shooter on target out to 650 yards. To make a long story short, this scope can do a lot, covering long and short ranges. Actually, it’s pretty amazing how quickly a shooter can go from CQB with this scope to engaging at several hundred yards. The 6x magnification is substantial enough to reach out a good distance.

Needless to say, you’ll have to do some shooting at distance with the loads you’ll be using to see exactly where they’ll be hitting and how close the holdover marks on the scope are for that particular load(s).

Because it is a true 1x magnification, it really does work well for the CQB role. Many scopes advertise 1x magnification, but some actually are not, which can throw things off. At CQB distance, you turn on the illuminated reticle, keep both eyes open, and when you bring the scope up, the reticle seems to just appear on the target. In this respect, it acts very similar to a red dot sight.

Adjusting the power settings is made easier by the lever attached to the power adjustment ring.
Adjusting the power settings is made easier by the lever attached to the power adjustment ring.

Accessories

A few items which are useful come with the scope. You get a manual, lens cloth, two batteries, and a set of flip-up lens caps. Bravo to Vortex for recognizing the need for lens caps. Most scope companies neglect this important aspect of a scope, which is unfortunate.

The objective lens, seen here with the scope cover.
The objective lens, seen here with the scope cover.

Impressions

The Strike Eagle is not a featherweight scope, but to be fair, you are getting quite a bit with this scope. It is solid, and it feels that way. The power adjustment works smoothly. I believe the bulk that it adds to the rifle or carbine is worth it, given the performance that we are receiving in return.

It is worth being aware that the Strike Eagle does not come with rings or a scope mount, so you may want to arrange for these necessities while you’re ordering the scope.

The optical clarity that the user receives in this scope is very good, especially given the reasonable price point.

Although the scope is not light, the optics are good and the range of magnification is outstanding.
Although the scope is not light, the optics are good and the range of magnification is outstanding.

Although this optic is rated out to more than 600 yards, I did not test it out that far because I have no place to do so. However, I can report that it works great out to 200 yards, with clarity being more than adequate. It is mounted on a Colt AR-15 carbine with a 16-inch barrel, and the Strike Eagle enhanced accuracy greatly over iron sights.

In addition to being useful on 5.56mm weapons, the Strike Eagle would also work on other calibers. Namely, the .308 would be enhanced by mounting one of these scopes. Heck, come to think of it, this scope would enhance any carbine and caliber combination. Aside from carbines, the Strike Eagle would also fill the bill on a full-size rifle.

Turrets

The turrets are covered with caps to protect them. When making adjustments, each click equals a 1/2 MOA, which is roughly a half inch at 100 yards. The clicks are positive, which is gratifying.

Elevation dial on the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6. These have covers which must be removed to make adjustments.
Elevation dial on the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6. These have covers which must be removed to make adjustments.

 

Here the windage dial is seen. Zeroing is very easy.
Here the windage dial is seen. Zeroing is very easy.

Price

At the time of this writing, the Strike Eagle retails for $499.99, but it can be found for less on the street. How much less? Around $299.00, which is extremely reasonable for an LPVO (Low Power Variable Optic) capable of this performance.

Overall

When considering the options the user has access to, the performance, and the reasonable price, I believe this scope represents an unusually good value.

The Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6 is a versatile companion for your carbine (here a Colt). It can handle everything from CQB out to several hundred yards. The Blackhawk plate carrier will carry your ammo and other necessities.
The Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6 is a versatile companion for your carbine (here a Colt). It can handle everything from CQB out to several hundred yards. The Blackhawk plate carrier will carry your ammo and other necessities.

 It’s a rugged and durable scope that also looks attractive with the matte, black finish. The range of magnification is generous, and the illumination enhances its performance for any time of day or night.

What’s more, Vortex is an extremely responsive company, so if you have any issues or questions, they will promptly address any concerns that you have. There’s a lifetime warranty on these scopes and the company absolutely does stand behind their products, which is refreshing these days. There’s no passing the buck, no excuses…if it breaks, they will fix it. Period.

If you’re in the market for a reasonably priced scope that offers good performance, check one out, you’ll be glad that you did.

 

 

Jim Davis served in the PA Dept. of Corrections for 16 ½ years as a corrections officer in the State Correctional Institute at Graterford and later at SCI Phoenix. He served on the Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT), several of those years as a sniper, and also the Fire Emergency Response Team (FERT). For 25 years, he was a professional instructor, teaching topics including Defensive Tactics, Riot Control and Tactical Operations, Immediate Responder, and cognitive programs as an adjunct instructor at the DOC Training Academy. He was then promoted to the title of corrections counselor, where he ran a caseload and facilitated cognitive therapy classes to inmates. His total service time was close to 29 years. He was involved in many violent encounters on duty, including incidents of fatalities.

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