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Welcome to the Vortex® Family

From predators and whitetails to elk and beyond, the new Viper HD line of rifle scopes from Vortex has a configuration for every hunter.

Most of us add rifle scopes to our arsenals on an as-needed, ad-hoc basis. We pick up a new deer rifle and then cast about for a deer-appropriate scope. Or we get hooked on varmint hunting, and scout for the right rifle and scope combination that can take on small egg-raiding vermin as well as larger predators.

Point is, our scopes are generally as dissimilar as our rifles, with a hodgepodge of reticles, turret indexing, tube diameters, and eye relief. But a new family of rifle scopes from Vortex gives hunters an opportunity to replace all our unrelated optics with models that have similar controls, reticles, zoom ratios, and even glass. And identical DNA.

The optical family is the Viper HD, totally redesigned around a new class of glass, illuminated reticles, 30mm aluminum tubes, 5-times magnification range, internal works, and eyepieces. This new family, with eight members in the first generation, is squarely aimed at hunters. Starting with the 2-10×42, configured for close to mid-range predator and deer hunters (as well as any small-game hunter and rimfire plinker worth their salt), moving through the mid-sized 3-15×44, and culminating with four different configurations of the 5-25×50, there’s a Viper HD for every flavor of game, caliber of rifle, and style of hunter.

The line updates Vortex’s excellent Viper series, which was introduced in 2012 and has been a favorite of hunters. The new Viper HD family occupies a similar meaty middle of performance and cost; models will range in price from $599 to $999. But the new family adds some tasty attributes, including a fiber-optic illumination system that’s extremely adjustable, from blazingly bright in the daylight to providing critical contrast in low-light conditions, and the 3.4-inch eye relief is a constant across the line, regardless of configuration.

It’s worth detailing the attributes that are in common across members of this family, and then their differences, since even siblings who share a name and other features all bring something different to the game.

A Unified Family of Optics

One of the value propositions of the Vortex Viper HD family is that a hunter can become familiar with one configuration, and then enjoy consistencies across other configurations. The heart of the family is the high-definition (that’s the HD in the family name) optical system that brings a level of brightness, resolution, contrast, and sharpness that’s rare at the mid-range price point of the Viper HD line.

The illumination system is similarly updated, and hunters will find the same 10-step intensity control that adjusts brightness of the red fiber-optic dot.

While the elevation and windage turrets are capped on the 2-10×42 version and one iteration of the 3-15×44, the elevation turret on other versions of the 3-15×44 and 5-25×25 is exposed, but it locks, requiring users to pull it to turn. The feature enables quick adjustments in the field, but ensures that the dial won’t inadvertently move. The windage turrets on all models are capped. The benefit of having congruous controls is that hunters can move seamlessly between models and experience the same tactile feedback, turret indexing, and internal operation, which is highlighted by Vortex’s rock-solid RevStop Zero System turret stop that allows users to configure so they can dial aiming solutions but easily return to a pre-established zero.

The congruency of controls extends to the parallax setting, that image focus on the left side of the scope that allows hunters to ensure the target is in the same image plane as the reticle. While the parallax is pre-set at 100 yards in the 2-10×42 version, it is adjustable from 20 yards to infinity in each of the other iterations of the Viper HD family.

So, how are members of the family different from one another?

Here’s where the specific best-use attributes of the Vortex HD family really shine, and it’s worth detailing the merits of each configuration.

2-10×42 Viper HD

This version, which is expected to retail for around $599, is designed by Vortex around the expectation that it will allow hunters to acquire targets and place shots quickly and with minimal adjustment. The 42mm objective allows for low mounting options, and Vortex’s MOA-based Dead-Hold BDC reticle in the second focal plane gives hunters quick and intuitive elevation holds for targets out to 500 yards, depending on their zero. Hashes on the horizontal crosshair enable quick windage holds, and the reticle’s illumination feature further enables quick, precise shots in any light conditions.

With capped turrets and 100-yard fixed parallax, the scope is designed around a “set it and forget it” operational mindset, though hunters who want to dial aiming solutions have an expansive 135 MOA of elevation and windage travel inside the 30mm tube.

At just over 12 inches long and weighing under 20 ounces, this is a scope that will be at home on most deer rifles but is an excellent choice for rimfires, mid-range ARs, and even lever guns and straight-wall cartridge rifles.

3-15×44 Viper HD

This middle sibling in the Viper HD line brings the variability that defines the family, and versatility to stretch from deer and varmint hunting out to Western big game. The second focal plane scope is available in the Dead-Hold BDC reticle that ties back to the 2-10×42 version, but it’s also available in Vortex’s VMR-3 reticle, and hunters have the choice of MOA or MRAD configurations. Just as in other members of the Viper HD family, the reticle is illuminated, but users have the choice of capped or exposed turrets. And models with the hash-style VMR-3 reticle are equipped with the RevStop zero system to ensure quick, fast, and precise returns to zero after dialing aiming solutions.

This 3-15-power version brings in an independent parallax control on the scope’s left side. Hunters can focus targets as close as 20 yards and out to infinity. Adding to the attributes, the 3-15×44 version features either 102 MOA or 30.5 MRAD of total elevation adjustment range inside the 30mm tube.

The scope’s 44mm objective allows for close-to-bore mounting options. The 3-15×44 version will retail from $699 to $749, depending on the configuration.

5-25×50 Viper HD

This do-everything iteration of the Viper HD line comes in four configurations that will appeal to hunters who want to engage just about any big-game in any terrain, but who also want to use their hunting scope to win precision target competitions, whether that’s long-range center-fire matches or rimfire games.

Want a simple, intuitive hash-style reticle that enables either holding or dialing aiming solutions? The second focal plane VMR-3 is just the ticket. But maybe you want a fully illuminated precision reticle in the first focal plane. Vortex’s new VMR-4 reticle is available in either MOA or MRAD configurations.

All configurations of the 5-25-power model feature locking exposed elevation turrets, capped windage turrets, the RevStop zero system stop, 20-yards-to-infinity parallax control, and an impressive amount of internal adjustment: 68 MOA or 20 MRAD elevation adjustment in both the first and second-plane models. The 5-25×50 Viper HD will retail for $999 in the first focal plane reticle configuration, and for $899 in the second focal plane version.

Adding to the value proposition is the inclusion of every member of the Viper HD family in Vortex’s fully transferable lifetime warranty.

As an alternative to “orphaned” rifle scopes that aren’t related to any other optics in your gun safe, Vortex’s new line of scopes encourages hunters to match configurations, reticles, and controls to your favorite game without changing the feel, look, and performance shared by all members of the Viper HD family.