Shouldn’t This Cost More? Vortex Strike Eagle 5-25X
December 16th, 2020
5 minute read
Like many shooters, my history with rifle sighting interfaces started back at the basics — iron sights. From there I moved to a red dot, then to a low-powered variable optic. Finally, it came time to advance to the next level, which involved higher magnification. And when I did, I went with the Vortex Strike Eagle 5-25x56mm mounted on my Springfield Armory M1A.
Let’s start with the specifications of the scope. In true Vortex fashion, the scope is heavy. While the scope isn’t absurdly dense, at 30.4 ounces of glass and aircraft-grade aluminum the weight of the optic was the first thing I noticed coming out of the box.
I was delighted that this scope is in the first focal plane (FFP), which I definitely prefer. FFP enlarges your reticle consistently with the image you’re looking at, allowing you to be zeroed on every magnification range that the scope offers. For adjustment graduation, I was happy to see that the Strike Eagle has an option for MOA and MRAD. This particular Strike Eagle came in MRAD, which I would find to enjoy later since milliradians translate to easy-to-use base ten units downrange on targets. Because of the MRAD choice, the Strike Eagle comes with Vortex’s EBR-7C reticle.
As mentioned before, the scope has a large magnification range starting at 5X at the base and moving to 25X with the smooth turn of a magnification ring. To assist with turning that magnification ring, Vortex includes a throw lever that can be mounted at any position the user wants on the power ring. The objective lens measures at a respectable 56mm, allowing for ample light to be pulled into the scope during those low-light shoots.
Vortex was able to achieve more internal adjustment with a 34mm main tube, as well as increased strength as a by-product of the size. For elevation adjustment, the Strike Eagle has 31 MRAD, and for windage 23 MRAD (Note to self, you will lose some of your elevation adjustment if you choose to use the RevStop). On the opposite side of the windage knob, you can find the illumination settings and parallax settings which claims clarity from 15 yards to infinity.
Large exposed locking windage and elevation knobs with Vortex’s RevStop help to quickly distinguish the Strike Eagle from other, less premium scopes. To top the optic off, Vortex rounds the Strike Eagle out with a durable matte anodized finish.
For the Strike Eagle, Vortex decided to K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Silly) in regard to reticle choices, giving the end-user only one option in reticles for both MOA and MRAD. The reticle design is known as the EBR-7C. Reticle design is very important in a scope, and while I was taken aback by the amount of information in the EBR-7C at first, after using the reticle I appreciate this information greatly.
The EBR-7C resembles a “Christmas-tree” reticle, which encompasses a very intuitive windage and elevation holdoff system within the reticle. Because of this (combined with shooting relatively close distances of sub-500 yards), I continually found myself using the reticle’s holdovers when shooting, rather than dialing on the turrets.
I never actually set my RevStop; however I did float my turrets back to number zero as a reference point once I had established a good zero for my rifle. Setting the RevStop is very simple, and if you are looking to dial elevation, there are plenty of Youtube videos showing you how to set the RevStop. The scope also has a range of illumination settings for the reticle, powered by a CR2032. I only shot in bright daylight, so I did not use the illumination settings much.
Striking with the Eagle
The Vortex Strike Eagle became bonded with my Springfield M1A Loaded via Vortex 34mm rings attached to the Springfield 4th Generation aluminum scope mount. After adjusting my eyepiece, I headed to the range for zeroing.
Vortex is known for building good-quality scopes, and this Strike Eagle is absolutely no exception. Glass quality is awesome, providing wonderful edge-to-edge clarity. The turrets have fantastically positive clicks, helping to drive consistent adjustment throughout the scope. I did a number of box tests with the Strike Eagle (ten clicks up, ten clicks across, ten clicks down, ten clicks back) to which the scope performed as expected and returned to original zero. The rifle was dropped (accidentally) and moved/bumped quite a bit during the few months of testing with no negative impact on the rifle or optic.
Even with all the bells and whistles the Strike Eagle has, these attributes are void if the scope doesn’t have quality glass. Knowing this, Vortex provides incredibly clear glass for the Strike Eagle 5-25x56mm. Featuring Vortex’s “XD” glass, with proprietary coatings, this scope provides excellent clarity, image sharpness, and light transmission. In fact, I was shocked at just how clear the glass was through the Strike Eagle, especially considering the scope’s price.
On paper, this scope comes off as an optic that would surely cross over the $1,000 MSRP mark. Surprisingly, this monster-sized optic has an MSRP of just $799, with many being found out in the wild considerably cheaper than that. Backed by Vortex’s VIP lifetime warranty, this scope seems to have it all. A great entry scope into the dark abyss that is long distance shooting, the Vortex Strike Eagle 5-25x56mm FFP puts the “bang” in “bang for your buck”.
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