To add some icing to the cake, the winner will also receive this Vortex Strike Eagle 4-24×50 Scope already mounted with a Burris P.E.P.R. Quick-detach scope mount. Not a bad deal for nothing, right?
Let’s take a look at this gear.
This Strike Eagle model, as the name implies, is a variable scope that goes from 4 to 24x. The zoom ring is wide and smooth to operate. You can work it without breaking your sight picture, but it’s firm enough that your power level won’t change until you want.
The Vortex Strike Eagle 4-24×50 Rifle Scope is a second focal plane scope. The practical meaning of this is that the reticle always appears the same size in your view regardless of power level – it fills up the entire viewing window a lowest or highest magnification and everywhere in between. Knowing that the scope is a second focal plane model matters when you try to use the reticle for determining the range or using it for holdovers. When doing either of these functions, always crank the magnification up to full power. Holding over a certain number of MOA at 6x is very different than the same holdover at 24x!
The Strike Eagle is built on a 30mm tube and features all the stuff you’d expect in a quality scope like multi-coated lenses and water, fog, and shockproof construction. All of that shows in the clarity. Even at the highest magnification where the exit pupil (size of the light cone coming to your eyeball) is low, clarity is good from edge to edge of the viewing area. The adjustment range is 80 minutes of angle for both windage and elevation. That takes it a long way, but if you’re going to use it for extreme long distance, you can always get a ramped mount or shims.
The Strike Eagle also features a side parallax adjustment wheel on the same “turret” as the illumination intensity adjustment. To use this properly, first, you need to focus the eyepiece. Point the scope at the sky and look into it for just a second. If the reticle is not crystal clear, adjust the eyepiece focus wheel on the rear of the scope and look at the sky or white background again. Don’t stare too long or else your eye will adjust and focus on its own. Repeat this process until the reticle is crystal clear. Now when in the field, you can use the parallax dial to focus on the target. By using this wheel to bring your target into clear focus, you’ll virtually eliminate the parallax optical effect that can result in inconsistent accuracy.
After mounting the Vortex Strike Eagle 4-24×50 Rifle Scope on the PA 65 AR10 rifle, I took it to the range to zero. It was reasonably close at 100 yards right off the bat. I had to adjust the windage turret right about 1.75 minutes of angle, or 7 clicks. I had to adjust elevation about 3.5 MOA up. That was 14 clicks. Once you get your desired zero with your chosen ammunition, just use the included Allen wrench to loosen the turret caps. When you remove the Allen screw, you can lift the turret cap and rotate it back to read “0” at your correct zero setting. Then tighten the screw, and you’re good to go. Now, when you adjust for distance, it’s easy to get back to the original zero.
One more thing. The company includes a screw-on sunshade which not only looks cool because it makes the scope longer, it helps reduce glare for better visibility when the sun is out.
The Vortex Strike Eagle 4-24×50 Rifle Scope’s EBR-4 Reticle
The EBR-4 reticle is cool and useful. I like it a lot. For starters, it’s illuminated with 11 different power settings. Even the lowest setting is visible to the naked eye. Better yet, the illuminated portion about two-thirds of the reticle is clear and focused even at the highest brightness setting. That’s unusual. With many scopes, it starts to get a bit blurry as light intensity increases. So, if you need to shoot in the early morning or dusk hours when the reticle becomes hard to see, just crank on the lights, and you’re off to the races.
The reticle is graduated in minutes of angle, so it matches the .25 MOA per click adjustments on the turrets. Using MOA for both reticle and turrets allows you to either holdover or adjust elevation and windage with the turrets depending on your time available and preference. You’ll also see that the reticle has etched lines of all different sizes and this is for a very good reason. When using the Strike Eagle to determine the range to a target, you have lots of tools to figure out how many minutes tall or wide your target is. The precision of the reticle allows you to work not just in whole numbers, but fractional MOA as well. The manual does a great job of explaining exactly how to use the ranging features of the reticle.
When it was time to choose the right scope mount for this rifle, a one-piece cantilevered base flew right to the top of the list. With the cantilever design, the portion of the support that mounts to the rail is well behind the center point between the two scope rings. That allows you to mount only on the solid and fixed receiver rail but still position the scope properly for the right eye relief and to stay out of the way of the charging handle. With the AR-10 and AR-15 design, use of traditional separate rings can be tricky because it’s often difficult to mount the scope in the position you want without putting one ring on the handguard rail segment. While doable, that results in a mounting solution where one ring is on the receiver, and the other is mounted to a separate piece of aluminum on the handguard.
The Burris P.E.P.R scope base solves the positioning problem and offers a couple of extra benefits. It mounts to the rail using quick-detach compression levers. By turning the levers, you get close to the desired mounting tension and then clamp them down to fix the base to the receiver rail. It’s plenty solid, but in a pinch, you can quickly remove the scope with no tools required if you need to move to iron sights. If you keep track of exactly which rail notches you used, remounting the scope base will pretty much preserve your zero too.
One more thing. The P.E.P.R. includes two different sets of ring tops. One set has rail segments in case you want to mount a close range micro red dot. The other set offers smooth upper surfaces. It’s a nice touch.
Totaled up, the optics gear and mount push four figures. The Strike Eagle carries an MSRP of $699.99, and the Burris P.E.P.R. mount is about $125. Don’t forget; it can be yours if you enter on our giveaway page found here!
Tom McHale is the author of the Practical Guides book series that guides new and experienced shooters alike in a fun, approachable, and practical way. His books are available in print and eBook format on Amazon. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.