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The Viper PST Gen II takes incredible performance and rock solid tactical features to new heights. The 1-6×24 second focal plane riflescope is incredibly versatile and ideal for close to medium range shooting scenarios.
Shooters who dial their turrets for bullet drop and wind compensation will appreciate the laser etched turrets, adjustable parallax and the RZR zero stop. A fiber optic rotation indicator ensures you can keep track of your turret position with ease.
The reticle offers shooters highly functional, intuitive, and detailed hold points, yet remains uncluttered for optimal viewing and features 10 intensity levels with off positions between each setting.
Extra-low dispersion glass increases resolution and color fidelity. XR fully multi-coated lenses increase light transmission. Armortek coatings protect the lenses from scratches, oil, and dirt.
O-ring sealed and argon purged, the Viper delivers waterproof and fogproof performance while the single-piece, aircraft-grade aluminum construction gives shooters a durable platform.
I purchased this scope in December of 2017, so I’ve had it about 15 months and as of yesterday, the rifle that it’s been sitting on now has 1,200 rounds of 308 Winchester. I finally decided to run this rifle in a PRS match yesterday and I must say I’m very pleased with the performance. My local club matches go to 600 yards, and I had no problems hitting a small 8-inch plate at 600 with 15x magnification. I was able to read the mirage for wind calls quite well. Dialing firing solutions and hold-overs both worked as expected. The icing on the cake for me was winning a wild card stage where they put a balloon on a string at 600 yards and I was able to pop it.
I’m extremely impressed with this scope and will go ever several reasons why you should or shouldn’t purchase it along with features, functionality, fit/finish, and application.
I currently own a Vortex Razor HD Gen II and have had many other top tier scopes as well, but this particular model has left a great impression. I wanted 3-15x because it allows you to engage close range while 15x is certainly more than enough magnification to connect with targets well past 1000 yards if you do your part. This optic is sitting on an AeroPrecision M5E1 in 308win, which I have set up as a semi-auto precision. I plan to use this rifle for hunting, and medium to longer range target shooting. It’s got a 24-inch Criterion Barrel, Larue MBT-2S trigger, and Toolcraft BCG..
I was able to zero this scope within 3 shots of getting on paper. Tracking is excellent! You will not be disappointed with the visual appeal of your rifle with a PST Gen II sitting on top. This scope just looks great. I’m using the Seekings 30mm AR HIGH rings to mount it. Be careful, standard high rings may be too low and contact the rail. Note, this comes with a sunshade, lens cloth, and allen wrench.
This optic is a first focal plane, which means you can use the reticle to range targets at any magnification, and you can use hold overs at any magnification level. Do you really need this? The answer depends on what you intend to use your rifle for. Personally I prefer first focal plane scopes. Once I find the load that shoots best in my rifle, I chronograph it and get a velocity average over 10-shots. With this information, I can create a drop table using JBM Ballistics or Streylok Pro (or whatever ballistic software your heart desires). When you have your drop card made, you can then quickly refer to it and use the scope’s reticle to hold over for the specified firing solution. It’s fast, it’s accurate, and it works… In PRS matches, this is a MUST HAVE feature. Heck, some of the stages are no elevation dialing, so if you don’t have a tactical reticle you are kinda screwed. For hunting, I think this is also very applicable. If you have a 100 yard zero and a deer walks out at 225 yards, you may not have time to range it and dial your elevation knob so a quick hold may be all you get.
Illuminated reticle is not bright enough for daytime shooting, but this is a precision scope not a red dot. If you’re hunting and the sun is going down the reticle illumination will be perfect to make sure you can keep your crosshairs on your target and take the shot at dusk. Also, unlike the Razor HD series only the cross section of the reticle is illuminated, NOT the dot (which I actually prefer as I’m not going to be holding for wind at night time).
The clicks on the elevation turret are an interesting point for me… They’re definitely not Razor HD Gen II turrets. An interesting thing about my scope is that when I click through 1-4 MOA, to be honest it’s kind of soft. Once I hit that 4 MOA mark the turret all of a sudden becomes very crisp and precise. At the end of the day, it’s not a Nightforce, Vortex Razor, or top tier scope so you have to sacrifice a little. I think for a $1,000 scope it’s an amazing deal and functions extremely well for a majority of applications. There are revolution indicators however so you don’t get lost on your elevation knob. Another fantastic feature is the hard Zero Stop. Setting the zero stop was super easy and the spot where you set it at is where it stops. Unlike other optics there is no over travel past your zero. I actually prefer this over the Razor HD Series.
Who is this scope fore? If you are a long range hunter, target shooter, PRS competitor, or enthusiast this scope is a great choice. If you have an entry level optic and want a scope that has all the pro level features without breaking the bank, this is your scope. Paired with the Vortex guarantee, you cannot go wrong. Without directly naming them, I find many of the other top optic companies in the market have great optics but simply don’t give you what vortex does. First focal plane, clarity, parallax adjustment, tactical reticle, illumination, zero stop, 30mm tube, and a sunshade… let’s be honest you simply don’t get this type of package for less than $2,000 in the market space today.
If you’re a ‘Zero your rifle 1 inch high at 100 yards’ kind of guy, I do NOT recommend this scope. You’d be paying far too much for features that you’re not using.
Where was all that cost cut from? From my user perspective, the glass quality is the biggest difference. To compare glass, you really need to have all the optics in question present at the same time. Viewing through them, side by side, the Razor HD II is clearly superior and you will notice this immediately. The Razor also has fantastically thin bezels, quite better than the Vipers. I’m not saying this Viper has bad glass, or overly thick bezels, because it doesn’t. I’ve also compared it against the Atibal XP8, and the Burris RT-6. This Viper has noticeably better glass than either of those two. And while it’s not an apples to apples comparison, this Viper has similar glass quality to my SWFA SS 3-15×42. Keeping them both in the 3-6x range, where their powers overlap, it’s difficult for me to determine which is better. It seems that the glass quality of this Viper PST II is appropriate for the $500 to $800 range. I do have a minor complaint regarding the glass, or more specifically, the coatings…I think. Shooting with the sun behind me, I notice significant glare on the ocular lens. To be fair, I notice this to some extent with all of my riflescopes. I believe it’s worse on the Vipers PST II because it has a massive ocular lens very close to the edge of the eyepiece. This creates more area for light to hit, making reflections worse. I’m not even sure if a better coating would fix the issue, it’s just my guess.
Vortex says additional cost was cut by making the Viper PST II less rugged than the Razor HD II. The Razor HD II is a beast, so making this one less rugged still leaves you with an extremely durable optic, that still carries the Vortex VIP warranty. It is worth mentioning that the initial unit I received was damaged in shipping and had to be replaced. I preordered my Viper and received it very early on, before most people could get one. I’m guessing that Vortex hadn’t worked out the new product box yet, as it arrived with the wrong box and padding. The padding didn’t support the objective well enough, which must have slipped free after it was probably dropped. The objective stabbed through the bottom of the box, and received a good dent. I don’t consider this to mean it’s a low quality product, only that Vortex was trying to save a nickel on packaging, and I was unlucky to get a unit that was dropped.
The capped turrets appear to be very high quality, but they are VERY stiff. They’re low profile, and knurled on the top edge of the turret, making it difficult to get a good purchase with your fingers. Combined with the excessive force required to turn them, it makes small adjustments a two handed task. Keep in mind that this is an optic designed for fast shooting. The turrets are meant to be adjusted, capped, and left alone. Elevation and windage compensation should be done via the reticle, not by dialing the turrets. The only time you really need to mess with the turrets would be after mounting it to a rifle, or when changing ammo.
The illuminated dot is one of the main reasons I chose this optic. It’s “daylight bright.” If you’re not familiar with the term, it basically means that you can still see the illuminated red dot, even during the brightest part of the day, with the optic aimed at bright backdrops. This is actually a pretty common problem area for illuminated scopes. Most illuminated riflescopes are designed to make the reticle more visible when aimed at shadowy targets, or when shooting at dawn or dusk. It’s hard to see a black reticle against a black background, so making it glow solves this issue. But it’s very difficult to illuminate a reticle bright enough so that it stands out in very bright daylight against bright backgrounds. Affordable illuminated optics, like the MTAC and Bushnell AR, use a super thick reticle to help you see it when the illumination washes out in bright sunlight. Only a handful of variable power riflescopes are truly “daylight bright,” and they’ve historically been high-dollar products. The illumination dial has intensity indicators from 1 to 10, with an off setting between each intensity. The 1st intensity is still easily visible indoors, useful for low-light shooting. The 10th intensity is extremely bright, useful for shooting on sunny days. The dial doesn’t have the same stiffness problem that the turrets have, but it is mushy. Turning the knob, you feel a little rotational slack in the detent, then a rolling increase in pressure, until it finally lobs over into the next detent. It works fine, but there is something so satisfying about a precise click.
For a long time I was running an AimPoint PRO. The “daylight bright” dot, durability, and field of view appealed to me. It was pointed out to me that 1-4x and 1-6x optics actually have a better field of view at 1x. Much better, actually. There are pro’s and con’s to everything, but it turns out that the viewing experience is generally much better through a variable, low-power optic. The glass doesn’t have a red or blue tint to it. On long shots you can utilize the reticle for holdovers at the maximum power. I have mine sighted in at 100 yards, and have shot out to 200 yards, using the Vortex LRBC software to approximate my holdover. It works quite well. The magnification ring is smooth, yet stiff. I run the Vortex Switchview Throw Lever on mine, making it much easier to roll the magnification ring through its range. I also run the Vortex Defender Flip Caps. The cap for the eyepiece works great. However, due to the flared objective, that cap slowly shifts off as I open it. I have to reseat it against the face of the objective regularly. In a nutshell, I love this optic and highly recommend it to those in the market for a fast, variable 1-6x, “daylight bright” illuminated riflescope. You can purchase better, but not anywhere near this price. Currently, the closest competition, feature-wise, is the Steiner P4Xi. It’s a 1-4x, but otherwise very similar to this optic. Botach sells the Steiner for ~$480. I picked up my Viper PST II on sale for ~$595, so it’s definitely worthwhile to shop around.
I’ve included pictures of the damaged unit and box that I initially received. I’ve also included various pictures of the optic, a view through the optic at 1x, and a picture of my 200 yard target (because simple accomplishments make me happy). All images were captured with an iPhone 6, compressed by Google Photos, and further compressed by Amazon. Keep that in mind for the one view through the scope.
July 24, 2017
February 24, 2018
It has a system called RZR Zero stop which is amazing. you set this for elevation only. Once the scope is sighted in you set this at zero and no matter what changes you make to the turret elevation adjustments when you turn it back to zero it is exactly where it was when you sighted it in.
To further explain lets say you want to take a 1,000 yard shot and you know the bullet will drop 125 inches. You would turn the top turret 1/2 turn (up) (12.5 MOA) and your reticle would now be “on the money” at 1,000 yards. Once you have made the shot you dial it back down and it goes to your original zero and stops at that point.
For the money all Vortex optics represent one of the best value there is.