Okay, let’s first acknowledge the elephant in the room: EOTech’s acknowledgement and financial settlement of an issue regarding point of impact changes (thermal drift) with its EOTech holographic weapon sights when used during extreme temperature differences from the ambient at which they were sighted in.
However, just as you are not the same as your brother or sister, the new line of EOTech’s Vudu riflescopes aren’t like their siblings, either. They are so far apart that they’re more “adopted” than blood.
EOTech plays a small part in the portfolio of multibillion-dollar L-3 Industries. L-3 has its fingers in the aerospace, electronics and communications fields and provides systems and products to military and commercial platforms. This company has the latest technology and never makes anything that won’t rival or exceed the best the rest of the world has to offer.
Enter the new EOTech Vudu line of riflescopes, all made in Japan. I got to shoot with each of them last year when they were introduced at a media event the day before SHOT show opened (2016). I recently received samples of the 1-6×24 and the 3.5-18×50 to test. There is also a 2.5-10×44. Several reticles are available for each.
FORM AND FUNCTION
The look of these first focal plane scopes is unmistakable, in that you immediately notice a couple of pretty unique features. The eyepiece is a one-piece unit that incorporates the magnification dial. The only part in the eyepiece assembly that moves externally is the fast focus diopter. So, it’s extremely fast to change power: Just grab anywhere on the whole, solid, 3-inch part of the eyepiece and turn.
And it’s tactile because of the triangular knife-blade pattern machined in relief on the outside of the eyepiece housing. It looks as if you laid the side of a steak knife into cold butter. It’s deep on one side, but where the edge of the knife would be, it’s even with the outside diameter. So, turning it one way has a lot of grab, whereas the other way doesn’t.
The knurling on the diopter housing also has an unmistakable look: teeth of a wood saw blade. It’s mostly cosmetic, but it has its own distinct look, which doesn’t hurt. Just as with Nightforce, it sure doesn’t hurt to have easily identifiable knurling.
In addition, the Vudu scopes come with a quick-throw lever that screws into a threaded hole in the eyepiece (if you find it appropriate for your application). It’s simple and useful and should be more common in the industry in a few short years.
Your eye then moves up to the turrets. You notice something you’ve never seen before: The three little bumps on the outside of the left turret housing turn out to be rubber-covered buttons to adjust the illuminated reticle. The front button toward the objective is to increase illumination, while the button closest to you decreases it. The top button is on/off—very simple and easy, even with gloves.
One concern I have is that there’s really no long-term way to test rubber quality, so you have to trust that it will stay flexible and not crack over time. Lots of us have seen this issue on old binocular eyecups and the like.
The illumination shuts off after two hours of inactivity, which the instruction manual defines as, “no button pushes.” So it’s not a “smart” system like others that simply require you to move the scope. The Vudu scopes have 10 brightness settings, but I would like to have lower minimum brightness and higher maximum brightness, as well as additional settings. The 2032 battery is listed to have about a 500-hour life at middle power at room temperature.
The first focal plane 1-6×24 has a 30mm tube and weighs slightly more than 20 ounces. It’s 10.63 inches long, with a 30mm tube and a good eye relief of up to just fewer than 4 inches maximum.
My sample came with the SR-1 reticle, which, at 1x, looks almost exactly like the EOTech Holographic Weapon Sight (HWS) reticle with the 68 minute of angle (MOA) circle (formerly specified as 65 MOA) and the one minute dot that so many have become accustomed to and enamored of—me included. EOTech does not specify the exact size of the Vudu reticle at 1x, but I am told it is slightly more than 90 MOA.
Because this is a first focal plane scope, if you turn up the magnification, the reticle gets larger and larger, until the 68 MOA circle fills the outside of the field of view and then disappears, leaving you with a clear and useful milling reticle. An MOA reticle is also available. It does not have a zero-stop. The image is remarkably clear and comfortable.
MOUNTING I installed the first focal plane Vudu 1-6×24 on a STAG 3G gas gun in EOTech’s equally new PRS cantilever mount. This quickrelease mount is nice quality, repeatable and attractive and bears the new L-3 EOTech logo on the top halves of both rings. EOTech states that its mounting systems are made by the same manufacturer that makes the QD mount for its electronic sights.
I installed the 34mm tube Vudu 3.5-18×50 on my Weatherby Vanguard Sub-MOA in .300 Winchester Magnum, using the EOTech two-piece rings. I wish the rings had ½-inch nuts instead of one little #15 Torx for tightening to the Picatinny rail.
This scope shows the same attention to cosmetic detail as the smaller scope and looks equally bad-ass, with the unmistakable scalloping on the eyepiece. If you’re using this scope on a bolt gun, you might not be able to install the quickthrow lever, because at high power, it sticks out and prevents you from manipulating the right-handed bolt of your gun. It has a very easily set EZ Chek zero stop: Just loosen three screws, as on many standard turrets, and position the zero stop where you need it. The non-locking turrets are also easily reset to zero with a coin.
Parallax is adjustable from 15 yards to infinity. My example had the milling reticle, but I would certainly choose the available H59 instead. Elevation adjustment is listed at ±14.5 MRAD or ±50 MOA from center. Clicks are sound, and the scope adjusted 60 clicks each way around a target and returned to zero, just like the 1-6.
Vudu scopes have a limited lifetime warranty and two years on the electronics, which is pretty standard. Overall, I like this new line of scopes. Not only do they hold their own in the marketplace against established leaders, but most of the like-featured competition is street priced a couple of hundred dollars higher. So the Vudu scopes seem to be solid values in this arena. And judge them fairly—even if you’re still mad at their siblings.
- MAGNIFICATION: 3.5-18x
- OBJECTIVE LENS: 50mm
- FOCAL PLANE: First focal plane
- EYE RELIEF: 3.5–4 inches
- EXIT PUPIL: 3.5x: 11.2mm; 18x: 2.8mm
- FIELD OF VIEW @ 100 YARDS: 3.5x: 29.5 feet; 18x: 5.7 feet
- ILLUMINATION CONTROLS: 10 push-button settings
- EXTERIOR LENS COATINGS: Broadband, anti-reflective
- WINDAGE AND ELEVATION INCREMENT PER CLICK: MD1 & H59 models: .1 MRAD; MD2 model: .25 MOA
- TOTAL ELEVATION RANGE: ±14.5 MRAD or ±50 MOA from center
- TOTAL WINDAGE RANGE: ±14.5 MRAD or ±40 MOA from center
- BATTERY TYPE: CR2032
- AUTO SHUT-OFF: 2 hours
- BATTERY LIFE: 500 hours (middle setting; room temperature)
- LENGTH: 14.84 inches
- WEIGHT: 33.6 ounces
- TUBE DIAMETER: 34mm
Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the April 2017 print issue of Gun World Magazine.