Vortex Viper PST 5-25x50mm Riflescope Review

6.5 Grendle AR crop

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Yet another installment of Vortex trials in the desert, and this one is really cool. In this review endeavor, we are testing the Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25x50, using Vortex mounting hardware. The scope is mounted on a custom-built 6.5 Creedmoor AR platform.

A heavy target grade barrel, making nearly zero recoil, and all the fantastic AR build parts that normal humans can afford. The weather was hot as hell, dry and dusty, you know, in the desert weather.  The Viper PST Gen II is unbelievably accurate unbelievable, accurate, and, after a bit of education on getting it all set up, amazing to shoot.

About Vortex

viper pst gen ii 5-25x50 ffp review

So let me put in a little bit about the good folks at Vortex who have not sponsored or donated anything to this project anyway.  I think it is good to highlight where the company comes from to build such excellent optics.

Vortex back in once upon a time stated as a small outdoor retail store in 1986.  Vortex has always been a veteran-owned, family-owned, and American owned company, every day of its corporate life.

The company is located in South Central, Wisconsin.  In 2002 they it officially became Vortex and soon became the giant of Optics it is they are today. Very few people in the shooting world have not heard of Vortex, and there is a good reason for that, they focus the company focuses on the customer.

The company has recently moved to Barneveld, WI, and they are it is open Monday through Friday and are happy to have everyone that can stop in and have a look at what they offer it offers,  get all hands on all the stuff, take your time and enjoy the experience.

Want to know more about best vortex scopes? Check out our guide.

The Viper PST

vortex viper pst gen ii review

This offering The Viper PST 5-25x50mm from Vortex is a definite tactical scope.  In my opinion, this is not a good fit for a hunting scope.  If that statement upsets you, please reread it and see that I did not say it will not work as a hunter, just not a good fit for a hunting optic.

This scope has the abilities built into it to set up a shot that can hit a silver dollar at 800 meters.  If the shooter can do it, the scope has no issues pushing it to 1000+ meters.

With that said, let us get into what makes this incredible scope so incredible.  For one, it's relatively affordable to everyone, not cheap, but reasonable for this level of precision.

How Is It Built

vortex pst gen 2 review

The Viper PST is made from aircraft-grade aluminum and topped with a hard anodized finish.  The 30mm single-piece tube is O-Ring sealed and filled with Argon.  Nothing is getting inside this scope.  Rain, fog, and dust are all just environmental challenges to the outside, leading to excessive glove use wiping the lens clear.  That glove application to the lens is no problem, as we will discuss in a minute.

Vortex builds this option to be used as a real working optic.  They test the Viper PST for recoil and impact resistance.  The "insides" are supported by Erector Springs, absorbing and contending with all types of forces, and exceeding expectations for any user.  The common saying goes, "you could use it for a hammer," I think that is a lousy way to treat a 1200+ dollar optic, but if you have the money…

The Viper PST is 15.79 inches long and weighs in at 31.2 ounces.  That is not a lightweight hunting scope by any means.  This is more suited to put it on a bipod or even a tripod and reaching way out there.

The Optics Rundown

viper pst gen 2 review

The Eye Relief is very comfortable at 3.4 inches, easy to mount on modern rifle platforms, and set for long shooting events.

The Field of View is impressive at 24.1 to 4.8 feet at 100 yards.  When you get this scope dialed in at its maximum magnification, you will still have almost five feet of target and surroundings, amazing.    

The glass-etched, illuminated reticle works with the illumination on or off.  The scope we used was in the First Focal Plane and MRAD.  Vortex does offer the Viper PST in Second Focal Plane and MOA.  Vortex makes this scope for every shooter and every flavor of the shooter.  The illumination has ten levels of intensity for sunny days or close to night time.

The reticle, MOA or MRAD is a definite tactical reticle, and it comes with a "built-in" drop compensator and windage holdover.  There is a lot of information in the sight picture; however, it is not too busy to look past if that is what you want to do, very practical and a pleasure to use either way.    

The parallax focus is 25 yards to infinity, and it sets quickly; located on the left side knob, the illumination for the reticle is integrated on the same knob turret.  The eyepiece reticle focus is built with Vortex's Precision-Glide Erector System.  The magnification 5x to 25x zoom is just slick to use, easy to move, and does not generate a bunch of unnecessary movements of the rifle when you are trying to get it dialed in to exact shot placement.

The lenses are made from XD glass, and fully multi-coated with their XR system along with the scratch-resistant coating of ArmorTek for a protective coating that doesn't sacrifice brightness or color fidelity.  When I talked about the clean  cleaning it with a glove and having no worries about scratches, this is why.  We used the good old stand by heavy breath blow it off function that all people that talk long and loud are equipped with, from the factory.  I am not too sure using a gloved finger to clear away dust is a good idea, even with the ArmorTek coating, but, Vortex does offer the VIP Warranty, so it is up to you.

Now The Twisty Parts, Turrets.

Like I have said, the scope we used is equipped with MRAD reticle and turrets.  Vortex offers in MOA as well.  Just make sure you check your ordering, so you don't accidentally buy the wrong model and then have to wait for a return and replacement.

The turrets are tactile clicks when you adjust them, very confident in how many clicks.  When you set the zero, the clicks are not tactile, and that is normal.  They will return when you set the screws.

Each click is .1 MRAD.  The Viper PST with the 30mm tube has 20 MRAD in elevation to offer and 10 MRAD in windage.  The zero stop is Vortex RZR, not to be confused with the Polaris RZR; I don't know who had it first.  The 2mm Hex wrench (Allen wrench to most folks) is included.  And the turrets are tactical styled finger adjustable.

When we put this scope through the reticle tracking and repeatability, it was a very tight test.  The crosshairs returned to the X ring every time.  We performed the box test, ran the turrets to each end of the stops, and did not lack issues that we could find in any way.

Vortex Viper PST

Vortex Optics Viper PST Riflescope

The price of Vortex Optics Viper PST Riflescope varies, so check the latest price at

So How Does It All Play Out

Usability (4.8)

I have to go against the gain from most reviewers on this rating, but not by much.  The RZR zero stop is not hard to do, and with the very helpful video instruction that Vortex has on their website, anyone can get it done.  It is just a pain in the a**, to be honest.

Along with the RZR minor issues, this unit is heavy, so if you want to carry this platform a while, it is a small hit to the usability.

Glass Quality (5.0)

HD, extra-low dispersion glass, what more can you ask for?  The only way we could get the glass to show anything near imperfections was to take off the sunshade and aim towards the sun angle (NEVER look at the sun with magnified optics, or any other ways, but NEVER with magnified optics).  We could get it to produce some blurry looking issues.  When we moved the scope just a bit out of the angle, it was perfect and precise.  So, I can safely say, in the field, this glass is as close to perfect as it can get.

Durability and Construction (5.0)

Industry-wide, Vortex scopes are known as being as tough and rugged as it can get. This aircraft-grade aluminum and hard anodized scope body is ready for anything you dish out, and it's shockproof, fog proof, and waterproof.  I still have not talked to anyone, including myself, about driving a nail with the scope.  Maybe someday Vortex can do a video on that. If so, I will update this post with a link to that immediately.

I do know some folks that have dropped a deer rifle in the rocks, and the scope had no issues, not a Viper PST, but other Vortex built from the same materials.  I know one ATV (four-wheeler) driver that had one Vortex bounce from the forks and ran it over, and it just got dirty.

Tracking Repeatability (5.0)

In my world, I have not personally found anything but perfect tracking.  You can find some reviews on the Vortex webpage that tell a different story.  They also speak about Vortex covering the repairs under the VIP warranty.

Warranty and Support (5.0)

The VIP warranty is one of the industry-leading warranties.  If it is not right, for whatever reason, send it to them, they will fix or replace it, and then you are back in business.

Value (5.0)

When I wrote this article, the Viper PST is selling for about 1200 bucks MSRP!  For a premium scope capable of reaching 1000+ meters, how can you beat that?  This is a scope that your grandkids will use on your long-range platform.  Think of how many memories and skills can be developed for several shooting lifetimes from one optics purchase.

Overall Rating (4.9)

In the end, the Vortex optic rates high on every review platform.  Some reviews are rated low from the one purchase made by very few respondents.  Vortex will read and respond directly to the low ratings and work diligently to make everything good and right in the world.

Alternative Options





Vortex Optics Strike Eagle EBR-4

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle EBR-4

  • Magnification: 4 - 24
  • Material:Aluminum
  • Weight:1.2 Pounds

Burris RT Series Long-Range Riflescope

Burris RT Series

Burris RT Series Long-Range Riflescope

  • Magnification:5 - 25 x
  • Material:Aluminum
  • Weight:32.1 oz

Athlon Optics Midas TAC Riflescopes

Athlon Optics Midas

Athlon Optics Midas TAC Riflescopes

  • Magnification:6 - 24 x
  • Material:Aluminium
  • Weight:26.3 - 1.64375 oz

You didn't think we'd leave you with just one scope review, did you? Let's take a quick look at some of the other scopes that are in the same ballpark in terms of magnification range, performance, and price point. 

1. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle EBR-4

vortex viper pst gen ii 5-25x50 review

If you're on a tighter budget but still want most of the features and performance that Viper PST has to offer, Vortex's Strike Eagle EBR-4 is another great choice. You definitely lose some of the optical clarity, brightness, and low light performance compared to its more expensive cousin, but you still get a versatile, durable SFP scope with an illuminated BDC reticle and clear holdover markings for those long-range shots. And like the Viper, the Strike Eagle is backed by Vortex's excellent lifetime warranty. 

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle EBR-4

The price of Vortex Optics Strike Eagle EBR-4 varies, so check the latest price at

2. Burris RT Series Long-Range Riflescope

vortex viper pst gen 2 review

If you prefer first focal plane scopes, then consider the Burris RT Series 5-25x56mm. The competition level 2-mil dot reticle allows for extremely precise shooting at long range, and the integrated throw lever lets you quickly adjust the magnification level with the flick of your wrist, which is great for hunters and competition shooters alike. 

Burris RT Series

Burris RT Series Long-Range Riflescope

The price of Burris RT Series Long-Range Riflescope varies, so check the latest price at

3. Athlon Optics Midas TAC 6-24x50 FFP 

viper pst gen ii 5-25x50

Athlon Optics puts out some excellent scopes, and they're a company that really listens to user feedback when designing new optics. The Midas TAC-6 has quite a few features that make it a great alternative pick for long-range hunting and target shooting, including the choice of both MOA and MIL reticles, high definition glass, and a multicoating process that doesn't interfere with light transmission. Do note that this scope does not feature an illuminated reticle, though.

Athlon Optics Midas

Athlon Optics Midas TAC Riflescope

The price of Athlon Optics Midas TAC Riflescope varies, so check the latest price at

Parting Shots

Like many shooters around the world, I rate this scope in the highest bracket.  If you are saving money to get the best, you will be pleased you have missed the burnt coffee from a particular coffee shop to afford this scope.  Put the money for a Latte every day into a cup, and you can pay cash for this scope within one year, easy money.

I say it all the time; nearly every deer rifle will make the 700-meter shot.  It is practice for the operator needed, and with this scope, it will be a pleasure to practice long-distance shooting.

Have you tried out this scope? If so, let us know in the comments down below - we love hearing about other peoples' experiences with the optics we review, especially if we helped you pick it out! 

Good shooting

If you are looking for some other scopes by same manufacturer then must check out the following reviews:

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