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GUNS Magazine February 2012 Digital Edition - Page 16
STORY: Jacob Gottfredson A full line of glass for any budget and application. he last two sniper matches I attended were also attended by Scott Parks of Vortex Optics. He had set up a table in the shooters enclosed area, spreading glass of every description across his booth. Guys were looking through them, doing the “ooh” and “ah” stuff. Rather than spend a couple of minutes at his table doing the same thing, I ask Scott to send some pieces for review. Scott Parks, the company’s R&D guy, is an excellent shooter. The glass he was selling certainly does not stand in the way of his doing well. In fact, maybe that was the reason he was standing so high on the scoreboard. It intrigued me enough to spend considerable time with them. The question now is: How do I get all the glass that arrived into the limited real estate of this column? I found Vortex has opted to hit the market with optics retailing from $200 to well over $2,000. The best of Kmart and Neiman Marcus all rolled into one? They are available on the street for somewhat less. The monoculars are small, light and well dressed for military use, incorporating Vortex’s famous reticle and ranging system. I could not fault them. The smaller one was an 8x36mm called the Solo. The larger monocular was the 10x50mm Recon R/T, each with slightly different features. I got two binoculars as well— the Viper 10x50 R/T and 8x28 R/T. The eyecups are fashioned to reduce incidental light from the side, and the objective lenses are protected with rubber cups that are connected to the lenses to prevent loss. The reticle is seen through the left lens, and a ring focuses it, producing a crisp, black image. The diopter adjustment is just forward of the right ocular lens. Both the monoculars and the binoculars are armored. The binos use roof prisms with phase-coated prisms, XD extra-low dispersion glass, fully multi-coated lenses with Armor Tek coating on the exterior lenses. The binoculars are also armored to meet military specs. Ranging bars are .5 mils graduations and silhouettes are included. They are purged with Argon gas to waterproof and fog proof them. Both the Recon R/T (above, left) and the Solo (right) are monoculars with ranging capabilities, utilizing their R/T reticle. Both have carry clips. The Recon also has a mount to accept a tripod. Vortex has put a lot of thought into these tough little optical devices. The Recon R/T monocular has a very unique reticle (below). Ranging bars have .5 mils graduations and silhouettes are included. vortex oPtiCs T Another big star for Vortex is their classy Razor HD spotting scope. The firm didn’t mess around when they designed this baby: High-density extra-low dispersion glass, fully multi-coated lenses, and argon gas purged. It has an 85mm objective lens with a triple apochromatic lens system. It uses coarse and fine focus knobs and can be rotated in the tripod. I also received a 4-16x50mm Viper and a 5-20x50mm HD Razor riflescopes. Both have fast focus diopter adjustment rings. I was delighted to see they incorporate features I have wanted for years. For example, the power designations on the Viper’s variable ring are raised and pointed at the shooter. This relieves him or her having to pull the rifle from the shouldered position to see what power the scope is on. The Viper uses a bar reticle in the second focal plane. Thus, when you go from 16X to 8X, the subtension between each bar would be doubled (and so on) and is so designated on the ring. The Viper has a 30mm body, 16 W W W. G U N S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 2