Do budget optics cut it on a fighting rifle?

According to this article they do.

From the article: (NOT MY WORDS)

" Now, I know what you’re thinking: ‘Vortex PST and Strike Eagles…but those are the budget models’!

Indeed, they are Vortex’s lower end offerings compared to their Razor line. So, why were they chosen? Well, price was a factor. Speaking with one former teammate, Vortex offered them a good discount. However, that wasn’t the sole reason for choosing them. Vortex’s lower-end scopes have proven to work very well in shooting competitions like 3-Gun.

Many of my former teammates, while not really hardcore competition shooters, do take part in rifle and 3-Gun matches from time to time. However, because it’s just an occasional thing, many cannot justify spending over a $1,000 on an optic like the Vortex Razor. So, scopes like the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x are popular choices for many of the guys for gun matches. I myself own a Vortex Strike Eagle 1×8 optic that I purchased for 3-Gun. See see my review here.

But for combat? Well, despite what many might think of “budget optics”, the bottom line is that if they work well and prove to be reliable, then why not. After using these optics in matches and training, these guys obviously have confidence in them. During my last tour, we had one guy run a Strike Eagle 1-6x. I’ve also seen mid-ranged priced Primary Arms and Burris scopes in the field. If they had the option between a Strike Eagles and Razors being given out, I’m sure they’d all opt for Razors.

But alas, like many civilian shooters, many of these guys are family men, or they have other financial commitments, leaving them only so much money from their paychecks left to spend on gear. While seeing Vortex Strike Eagles being used in combat might make some “tactical experts” gasp in disbelief, the fact is, they’re working well, and have earned the trust of the guys using them down range."

Here the author answered some peoples questions on that article . It is but this guy is not your regular arf fudd.

9 Likes is the most cornfusing website there is.


It is but there are several good threads such as the one linked. The place just isnt my scene anymore.


any changes with the new owners?


I’ve personally tried a lot of different optics, from $20 up to $1700. For long range, best quality is worth it. for 99% of everyone else, the mid stuff isn’t all that bad. The China optics are surprising me.


You can tell the difference in quality for sure, the guy in the article was talking about reliability/durability I think.


I couldnt tell the difference, tbh.


Woo hoo! Feel better now for going with Burris’ cheap budget variable! Remarkably, it allowed me to hit the 600 yard gong with mud-smeared optics last year - first time I had ever shot that far since my local range only goes up to 200 yards.


You drop it in the mud on purpose or by accident.


I have a story about the Vortex Strike Eagle.

If it can hold zero on my 45-70 it is a damn fine scope for the .556 or .223 and can likely take some drops. I love that scope. For the price and the abuse it can take


It kind of fell in for lack of a better description. I had to crawl through a couple of long muddy culvert obstacles during a run-n-gun 10K biathlon. I tried cradling the rifle in my arms while crawling on my belly with all my gear on. I was doing fine until I tried to exit out of the first culvert with a big, fat mud puddle right at the exit. Try as I might to slowly climb out of there without getting the rifle muddy, I was just too clumsy and the rifle slid and partially hit the mud. It then got more muddy the more I tried to extricate it and the rest of myself from that mud-sucking predicament.

The rest of the course and its obstacles were just as wet and muddy, so I just embraced the suck and plodded on. I was literally covered in mud from head to toe. Even my foam ear plugs were full of mud. At each rifle stage I tried my best to wipe the mud off the lenses with my finger. The lenses were still smeared, as was my eye pro, but the optic still worked!


I’ve only done one run-n-gun biathlon so far. It sucked majorly, but in a good, humbling, learning experience kind of way. I DNF’ed every stage but the distance one. Even so, I’d love to do more! I hate running and jogging with a passion, but training for this was actually fun.

Anyway, my main fear was some kind of mud clot obstruction at the muzzle. I cleared out as much as I could using a twig and swishing the muzzle end in a puddle. I was impressed it shot as well as it did afterwards with no jams or malfunctions the rest of the course! I was also impressed with my cheapo Burris optic. I intentionally got it for the event knowing it would get scratched up, wet and dirty. So I figured I could take it off and switch to irons if it crapped out on me. But it held up despite that one time abuse!


I did manage to deliberately blow up an AR by dunking it in water excessively but its harder than you think to destroy your AR. Ive seen mud shoot out of the barrel even, it look like a spray of shit. Probably not the best idea though.


So the big question here is, the optics on a fighting rifle vs say, a range rifle, or a hunting rifle.

IMO, the optic needs to fit the use. Hunting, you want glass with a large aperture to take in a lot of light. Hunting is generally a low light thing.

A range gun is OK with the low end optics simply because it’s not going to get knocked around alot, the recoil is generally small on .223.

A fighting gun is a different animal. You need something solid and robust. Something that doesn’t have a lot of things sticking off it that can catch on things. An optic that can be tossed in the back of the truck or withstand being dropped down the steps. Think what’s the worst this firearm and optic will experience. Now make it even more robust.

I have dozens of optics, very few I would trust on a battle rifle. EoTech is one, the other is a Mepro I just got. While I haven’t really done much with it, I’m impressed. But for $699 for a holographic optic, it better impress.

I was out today on a photoshoot for several products I’m working on, including that Mepro optic. Once I have the pictures looked over and I get the article(s) done, I’ll be sure to post a link in my channel here.


Eotechs are nice battery life is the only thing that bugs me.


That is a keeper there, I bet that was a kick to compete.


Or turning it on in time. Hold on mr shooter got to pull out my gun and turn on my eotech then adjust its brightness, give me one minute.


I thought they had shake and wake tech? Its been awhile since ive used one, tbh. Ever since I tried a Holosun 510 not sure I would ever want to use one again.


They might. The one I have I bought around 2010 and it had night vision setting and adjusted brightness but no wake tech. Maybe they do now.