The Vortex Strike Eagle’s 1-8×24 riflescope is astounding for a few reasons.
Primarily because the ginormous 8x magnification range it offers is still pretty new on the market, and there are few players offering such technology. In fact, even 6x magnification range scopes are still relatively new, with manufacturers introducing this new-to-them technology every year. The 6x-range scopes still have a lot of staying power, and new introductions are not yet late to the game.
But the 8x range has been offered by select few others so far—and fewer still that are not at the nosebleed high-price level. Several of these 8x scopes deliver significant distortion and tunnel vision at lowest powers. The Strike Eagles do not.
I first used a 6x magnification range scope when preparing for an elk hunt in Colorado with Burris Optics in 2009. That newly introduced Six X 2-12×40 on my Weatherby helped me collect a nice elk. My confidence on that hunt was increased by using the new 6x magnification range technology that produced a huge field of view at 2x to an image large enough at 12x for comfortable shots at 300 yards and past. What a very useable difference from the older, favorite 3.5-10x scopes I used a lot! And the Strike Eagle featured here has an even greater 8x magnification range.
The Amazing Strike Eagle
Another reason the Strike Eagle is astounding is its sub-$400 street price. New technology costs money, and to be one of the first on the market with it costs more. For an 8x scope from a reputable company to be this affordable makes my head spin. The flip-up caps are included, but the Vortex SV-2 Switchview (made by MGM Targets) throw lever shown in the pictures is available as an accessory for about $50. The attractive Strike Eagle has a pleasing and uniform satin-black color.
I play with or test most scopes on the market eventually for some reason or another, and there’s a lot more to scopes than meets the eye, so to speak.
Actually looking through the scope is the last thing I do. I first go about moving the magnification ring from stop to stop, feeling through my fingertips for grinding, hard spots, loosening from initial use, how it positively stops when at the limits—and, overall, how happy it makes me feel. This scope was exceptional and better than the several 1-6x Strike Eagles I’ve gotten to know. It was silky-smooth from “low” to “high” power, with nothing in between but butter. The Switchview throw lever makes it feel even silkier.
The next thing I do is test the turrets. These turrets have no fancy stuff; just solid tactile and audible clicks—exactly how you hope they would be on all scopes … but rarely are. These move as surely as the clicks on a mini Snap-On ratchet. The turrets are low and capped. The retail price is kept as low as possible by omitting frills, and the turret is a case in point. The minimalist in me appreciates how they only move the centered reticle and don’t pull up and twist, or have a zero-stop, buttons or anything unnecessary. Once your gun is sighted in, use your fingernail or screwdriver to rotate the adjustment dial on the turret top to zero and re-cap. Shoot. Repeat.
I tested the adjustments on a tape measure at 100 yards. A full revolution of the turrets moved the reticle the correct 46 inches (44 real MOA). They were perfectly repeatable. The 100-yard factory parallax setting made little difference, even when using it at much-nearer .22 LR ranges—although parallax error is apparent at high power at closer distances. The Vortex Precision Cantilever mount I used to mount the scope was made by American Defense Manufacturing. It returned to zero within an inch every time.
The third turret on the left side adjusts reticle brightness. It is marked from 1 to 11 and has no “off” position between numbers. Install your CR2032 battery here for 150 hours of use. There is an extra battery holder neatly ensconced in the windage turret cap. The glass-etched second focal plane AR-BDC2 reticle corresponds to most 5.56/.223 and 7.62/.308 ballistics, and the large circle that Vortex calls a “halo” draws your eye to the center for quick acquisition on large or moving targets.
“Another reason the Strike Eagle is astounding is the sub-$400 street price. New technology costs money, and to be one of the first on the market with it costs more.”
The 1-8×24 scope, itself, grew a bit over its older brother—the 1-6x version of the Strike Eagle. More magnification range means more parts, and the 1-8x grew by about a half-inch in length and a little over 1 ounce. Not much difference to notice. The field of view on “low” power lessened by 0.1 inch, and the 3.5-inch eye relief stayed constant.
Optical quality is also very good. This Strike Eagle would be a perfect match for an AR and the way most shooters use them. It will be a fun choice for plinking and range use, as well as a great starter competition optic. The versatility makes it a superb choice for pig hunting in most conditions.
If you’re looking for the most useful and enjoyable single AR optic to spend your hard-earned money on, this Strike Eagle would be a top contender.
EYE RELIEF: 3.5 inches
FIELD OF VIEW: 116.6–14.4 feet/100 yards
TUBE SIZE: 30mm
TURRET STYLE: Capped
ADJUSTMENT GRADUATION: ½ MOA
TRAVEL PER ROTATION: 44 MOA
MAXIMUM ELEVATION ADJUSTMENT: 100
MOA MAXIMUM WINDAGE ADJUSTMENT: 100
MOA PARALLAX SETTING: 100 yards
LENGTH: 10 inches
WEIGHT: 16.5 ounces
Steven K. Ledin is a former U.S. Navy nuclear gunner’s mate and current director of a prominent online optics retailer. He’s a CCW and NRA instructor and has been a sponsored competitive shooter and private investigator. He has hunted (and gotten lost) from Alaska to Africa.
Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the May 2018 print issue of Gun World Magazine.