Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24mm Review [Hands On]

Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24

If you choose the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24 as your next optic, you’ll get a scope that combines very good performance at an entry-level price point. In terms of value for the dollar, the Vortex Strike Eagle punches way above its weight class.

When it comes to rifle scopes, I’m all about balance. I consider the mission of the optic and then look for the best balance of price vs. performance. I’m an engineer with a background in optical instrument design. I’m picky about rifle scopes and I’m brutally honest about them in my reviews.

My search for a Low Power Variable Optic (LPVO) to top two of my AR platforms ended with purchasing not one but TWO Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24 rifle scopes. I looked for all of the “must-have” features, compared prices, and tested the competition. In the end, the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24 scored high marks in all categories.

Quick Summary

The Vortex Strike Eagle is a good scope for the money. But if you are willing to spend more, you can move up to the Viper PST Gen II 1-6x24 at about $600 or the outstanding Vortex Razor Gen II 1-6x24 at north of 1,000 bucks. The Steiner P4Xi 1-4x24 hovers around $800 in the superior optics category.

It's a given that the Strike Eagle glass quality cannot compare with Vortex Razor or other high-end optics. So, is it the best deal for you? Read on, and I’ll tell you what you need to know to find out.

Why an LPVO?

A typical day for my AR 5.56/.223 is on the range engaging multiple targets or in North Texas engaging multiple hogs. Either way, I need a fast handling scope for quick target acquisition. 

I chose the Vortex because a magnification range of 1-6x is perfect for both tasks. An illuminated BDC (bullet drop compensator) reticle with holdover hash marks out to 600 yards gets you on target at any range. The true 1x zoom acts like a red dot for close-quarters work, and the 6X zoom puts down game animals at any reasonable range.

Montague County, TX Feral hogs on our family ranch

Montague County, TX Feral hogs on our family ranch

In A Hurry? Here Are The Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24mm Quick Specs And Top Pros:

Magnification

1-6x

Eye relief

3.5 inches

Field of View

116.5-19.2ft @ 100 yards

Tube Size

30mm

Turret Adjustment

½ MOA

Internal Elevation Adjustment

140 MOA

Internal Windage Adjustment

140 Moa

Parallax Setting

Fixed @ 100 yards

Length

10.5 inches

Weight

18.5 oz

The Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24mm

Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24mm

The price of Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24 varies, so check the latest price at

Top Pros:

  • Bullet Drop Compensator: Later, we’ll show you why the BDC is one of our favorite features of this scope.
  • Rugged and Durable: Made from aircraft-grade aluminum, waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof
  • Value: For less than $350, it's a good scope at a great price.
vortex strike eagle

Vortex Strike Eagle is an Entry-Level LPVO

Before we get into the scope’s specifics, it is essential to note that the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24 is a budget LPVO option. True 1 power scopes have design challenges associated with their zoom range and are expensive to manufacture. 

The Strike Eagle LPVO is a product of Vortex’s effort to produce a usable optic at a competitive price. Keep that in mind to have realistic expectations about the scope. Most folks will be pleased with the result.

Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24 Reticle

Vortex AR-BDC Reticle:  image courtesy of Vortex Optics

Vortex AR-BDC Reticle: image courtesy of Vortex Optics

The Strike Eagle features Vortex's proprietary AR-BDC second focal plane reticle. The AR-BDC is glass etched and illuminated, with 11 brightness settings. It is powered by one CR 2032 battery, with an estimated 150 hours of battery life at maximum intensity. Vortex put a handy spare battery compartment under the windage turret cap.

CAP BATT

The reticle “horseshoe” brings focus to the target center in a natural way. The crosshairs are medium thickness. At 6x zoom, hash marks are calibrated for the 5.56/223 out to 600 yards holdover and five mph windage. The FFP reticle is visible without illumination, which allows the scope to still be usable in the event the electronics fail.

Glass

The Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24 has fog proof, fully multi-coated lenses to increase light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces. The scope interior is non-glare and free of distracting artifacts.

The fast-focus ocular is firm but not stiff. The eyepiece stays put once adjusted.

vortex strike eagle 1-6x24 review

Mechanical / Design

The zoom control has a nice tactile feel, but we found it to be stiff to turn. The clamp-on zoom throw lever solves that issue. Weight is 18.5 oz, which is mid-range for this scope profile. The high-end competition may shave off an ounce or two but in this weight class, who’s counting?

Length is 10.5 inches, which is par for the design, and the 30mm tube mates with the Vortex single-piece cantilever scope mount.

Eye relief is 3.5 inches with a modest eye box that gets tight at higher magnifications. Shooters will need to develop a good head position and sight alignment with this scope. O-ring sealing and nitrogen purging make for a waterproof and fog proof enclosure.

Turrets are ½ MOA per click. They are capped and low profile. We found the turrets to be stiff to the point of difficulty. However, the clicks are positive and audible and will definitely stay put once adjusted.

The one-piece tube is constructed from high-quality aircraft-grade aluminum finished in non-glare matte black. Vortex included flip-up lens covers if you choose to use them.

vortex strike eagle 1 6x24 review

SOME ALTERNATIVES TO CONSIDER

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Products

ALTERNATIVE

Burris RT-6 1-6x24 Riflescope

Burris RT-6 1-6x24

Burris RT-6 1-6x24 Riflescope

  • Diameter: 24mm
  • Magnification: 1-6x
  • Length: 10.3 in
ALTERNATIVE

Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24mm SFP Riflescope

Primary ARMS SLx

Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24mm SFP Riflescope

  • Diameter: 24mm
  • Type: 1-6x
  • Reticle: 10 in

1. Burris RT-6 1-6x24 Riflescope

Burris RT-6 1-6x24

The Burris RT-6 1-6x24 is a contender in this arena. At about $350, the price and performance levels are neck-and-neck. The 1x and 6x zoom levels have comparable edge distortion. At 10.2” in length, it comes in just .2 inches shorter and 1.1 ounces lighter than the Strike Eagle. Side-by- side I can’t tell the difference in clarity. The Vortex offering may be a bit crisper on colors.

Our Burris RT-6 lives on a Galil ACE SAR battle rifle chambered in .308, and we like the match. Coupled with the Burris AR P.E.P.R. (Proper Eye Position Ready) mount, it makes an excellent CQ and hunting setup. 

Note that the Strike Eagle is often bundled with the Vortex mount, while the P.E.P.R. mount is sold separately and will set you back another 90 bucks or so. I think the Vortex Strike Eagle edges out the RT-6 because of the reticle design. But that’s just a matter of personal preference.

Burris RT-6 Ballistic AR Reticle

Burris RT-6 Ballistic AR Reticle

The illuminated Burris Ballistic AR reticle features MIL based hash marks with trajectory out to 600 yards, windage hold-off, and center circle for high-speed target acquisition at close ranges. This is not my favorite LPVO reticle. It is less intuitive than the Primary Arms ACSS reticle, but with practice, it gets the job done. My choice? The Vortex by a slim margin.

Burris RT-6 1-6x24

Burris RT-6 1-6x24 Riflescope

The price of Burris RT-6 1-6x24 varies, so check the latest price at

2. Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24mm SFP Gen III Riflescope

Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24mm

The Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24mm SFP is another contender in the budget-friendly LPVO arena. We mounted our version of this optic on a Palmetto State Armory PSAK-47 GB2 7.62x39mm carbine. 

It was love at first sight-in. In my opinion, optical brightness and clarity are just a touch behind the Strike Eagle, but not by much. The Primary Arms is better at maximum magnification.

The Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24mm SFP, which comes in at about $290 street price, is one of the best LPVO values out there. It weighs in at 16.9 oz and an even 10 inches long. It is a truly lightweight, compact solution. It comes with flip-up caps and a fast-focus eyepiece. 

The zoom ring has a good tactile feel, firm and smooth. The ¼ MOA turret adjustments are crisp and precise. The turret rings are adjustable to “zero-set” positions, and there is a spare CR2032 battery inside the windage cap.

The glass is very clear for a scope in this price range.  The SLx1 has the advantage at 6x magnification with none of the edge distortion found on the Vortex.  

Kudos to the Primary Arms design team for eliminating that issue.  The Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24mm SFP comes with a variety of reticles based on caliber and purpose. 

The AK topped with the SLx 1-6x24 quickly became one of my favorite coyote / hog-hunting setups Load up with Winchester 123gr Power Point ammo, and you have a deadly combination for fast-moving pest control or game hunting at moderate ranges.

Winchester

Primary arms hit a home run with the ACSS (Advanced Combined Reticle System) design. The vertical reticle line has ranging marks out to 800 yards. The ranging stadia are calibrated to a target height of 5’10” (man size) with 18” (shoulder width) horizontal subtensions. 

Primary Arms ACSS-5.56/5.45/308 reticle

Primary Arms ACSS-5.56/5.45/308 reticle

Hold-off dots equate to a ten mph target (running) speed. Using this scope past 600 yards is a stretch, but it’ll do in a pinch for ranging steel. The center chevron subtends out to 200 yards. Overall it’s an easy to use sighting system.

My choice? I own and shoot with both the Vortex Strike Eagle and The Primary Arms LPVOs. For me, it’s a dead heat with the Primary Arms better on price and the Strike Eagle better on legendary ruggedness and reliability. You make the call.

Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24mm

Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24mm SFP Gen III

The price of Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24mm SFP Gen III varies, so check the latest price at

Shooting with the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24: The Final Verdict

vortex strike eagle review

Our range session with the Vortex Strike Eagle mounted on an AR-15 (Wolf T-91 16” piston upper, Ruger AR-556 elite lower) was satisfying. We zeroed the scope at 100 yards without difficulty. A 4 MOA box test return to zero was repeatable with accurate ½ MOA per click tracking.

When comparing the Strike Eagle side-by-side with the Vortex Razor, the budget compromises necessary for producing an entry-level scope are readily apparent. At 1x, the Strike Eagle suffers from slight “fisheye” ballooning at the edges. This makes it “less than” compared to a red dot for both eyes open shooting.

At 6x there is slight edge distortion, and the eyebox is relatively narrow. Everything in between is just fine. I might be overly picky here, but that’s how I see it compared to the higher-priced alternatives.

I love the Vortex AR-BDC reticle. It is a superb design for close-in shooting. From 50 yards in, just surround the target with the illuminated semi-circular horseshoe and blast away. Double taps on multiple targets and failure to stop drills are a snap with this scope. The reticle is visible without illumination. With illumination, the reticle is visible in daylight.

The scope sits comfortably on the Vortex cantilever mount. It throws up in a natural shooting position with the right height for a good cheek weld and quick reaction time.

The Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24 will quickly put you on target for most game species out to 300 yards. Most folks will mount the Strike Eagle on their AR for three gun competition or defensive builds, but I think it is also great to shoot running game such as coyotes or hogs at moderate ranges.

Long-range shooters will want a scope with more magnification, such as the Vortex Crossfire II 3-12x56, which comes in at a sub $400 price point.

Vortex Crossfire II 3-12x56 AO

Vortex Crossfire II 3-12x56 AO

PROS and CONS

PROS

  • Great scope for the price.
  • AR-BDC reticle is uncluttered and well designed for an LPVO
  • True 1x magnification is suitable for both-eyes-open shooting
  • Illuminated reticle with 11 brightness settings
  • Vortex lifetime warranty

CONS

  • Slight fisheye effect at 1x
  • Small eyebox at 6x
  • Reticle hash marks challenging to use past 300 yards
  • Non-adjustable parallax

Ratings By The Numbers 

Usability: 4/5

This scope fits the bill for an LPVO in competition or mid-range hunting applications. Versatility is its middle name.

Optical Performance: 4/5

The Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24 offers great glass for the money. Despite slight distortion at zoom limits, it produces crisp, clear images.

Mechanical Design & Construction 4.5/5

Expert mechanical design and durable construction come with all Vortex scopes. The Strike Eagle 1-6x24 is no exception. Turrets were stiff, though.

Value: 5/5

In the $300 price point category, the Strike Eagle 1-6x24 gives a lot for the money. In the LPVO category, it is one of the best values out there.

Warranty & Support 5/5

Lifetime warranty, no questions asked.

Final Score 4/5

For about $300, The Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24 is a first-class LPVO for not a lot of money.
I recommend it as your first or even your last LPVO purchase.

The Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24mm

Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24

The price of Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24 varies, so check the latest price at

Preview!!

The Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24mm gen I scope is still available at a lower price.  My update and review of the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24mm Gen II is coming soon.  Vortex recently improved and refined the Strike Eagle line to bring its performance to the next level.  Stay Tuned for my next level review

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