REVIEW: Vortex Viper PST GEN 2 1-6X24 [Affordable LPVO]

HK 416 with Vortex Viper PST gen 2 1-6x24

In this review guide, we take a look at the second focal plane Vortex Viper PST Gen 2 1-6X24 low power variable rifle scope. As more optics hit the market in the recent years, the Viper PST optics line is still going strong and provides an very economic option for many new rifle owners and existing ones.

A 1-6X scope lets shooters find and engage targets quickly at both CQB on 1X, and on the high-end of its magnification range, the Viper can rapidly engage targets in mid- to long-range conditions.

The SFP Viper shines in close-quarter tactical environments and mid-distance hunting situations. We're going to cover:

  • Optical features
  • How the Viper is constructed, maximizing accuracy
  • Interior components and the Erector Assembly
  • Reticles and turrets
  • In the Field with a Viper
  • Reviews from Owners

Let's see if this scope is for you.



Ideal Users

3 gun shootign with ar15

The Vortex Viper PST Gen 2 1-6X24 is a great option for people getting into low power variable optics without spending over $600-700 street price. 

Or... for shooters who wants to experiment shooting with LPVO instead of red dot with magnifier.

Some LPVOs on the market today can go as high as $3000 for serious shooters.

This scope is great for:

  • Causal range goers
  • New shooters
  • 3 Gun shooters
  • Force on force training

How Does Vortex Viper PST 1-6X24 Benefit Competitive Shooters?

Vortex Viper PST Gen 2 1-6X24

Fast Sight Transitions

3 gun shooters transition between close range targets and mid range target a lot, and having a low power variable optic is very practical.

The shooter can transition between close range targets and mid range targets fast by just adjusting the magnification dial

Improved Glass Quality

The Vortex Viper PST 1-6X24 benefits competitive shooters by first providing a high resolution and fidelity XD lens, resulting in sharper images.

In addition, the low dispersion glass corrects aberrations or defects when light from a target image passes through optical glass.

  • Viper’s sight picture is crystal clear and brings out minor details previously not picked up. Vortex glass gives excellent edge-to-edge image detailing for a minimum of glare distraction.
  • We know vortex glass for its excellent contrast against a variety of different backgrounds. Vivid colors give shooters premium sight pictures, no matter the lighting environment.
  • Another patented feature of Vortex Glass is its XR full multi-coating process. All glass surfaces have multiple coatings, resulting in light transmissions that are 95% brighter, sharper and have a better contrast.

Better Light Transmission

Premium glass in the Viper means excellent shooting and target acquisition in low-light situations. Optics on the Viper provides maximum light for tactical and competition shooters.

More light translates into a vivid view of the target, even at long-range. Proprietary Viper lens coatings are ideal for hunting in dense wood and underbrush.

  • Vortex uses an ultra-hard coating, termed ArmorTek, for all outside lens surfaces. The coating provides the last line of unbreakable defense against scratches and other harsh elements.

How Is the Viper Constructed?

Tube size on the Viper is a compact 30mm and features a single-piece design, cut from a solid blank of aircraft-grade aluminum. Viper’s design allows for improved accuracy and performance. The Viper can withstand any tactical or hunting environment.

Shockproof construction helps the Viper withstand recoil with bigger guns and cartridges.

  • High-grade manufacturing processes allow the Viper to be used for decades under heavy use conditions without degradation. Adjustments to windage and elevation become flawless at any distance.
  • Waterproof seals and O-Rings keep moisture from reaching vital components; seals also keep dust and debris out. Argon gas eliminates internal fogging over a range of temperatures
  • Camouflaging the shooter’s position, Vortex uses a hard-anodized, anti-glare, matte finish for all exterior surfaces. The Vortex scope is highly resistant to scratching and tough use by hunters in dense undercover.

Viper’s Interior Design Features and Benefits for the Shooter

Vortex viper pst gen 2 at 6X magnification outdoors

Premium components within the Viper’s zooming lens ensure every modification happens when you need it without any sign of jamming.

Under the harshest conditions, the Vortex Viper has a smooth and consistent magnification change.

Under the harshest conditions, the Vortex Viper has a smooth and consistent magnification change. Premium components within the Viper’s zooming lens ensure every modification happens when you need it without any sign of jamming.

  • Viper’s reticle is in the second focal plane position, which provides tactical shooters a comfortable sight-in across multiple engagement scenarios.
  • A highlight to the Vortex Viper is its Precision Glide Erector System. Vortex uses a premium spring system that guarantees repeatability through the turrets. The system provides a zero that is easy to obtain and preserved, even with heavy recoiling.
  • Adjustments to elevation and windage are relentlessly smooth because of springs that resist galling against the erector assembly. Resin bushings made of fluoropolymer Teflon deliver uncommon resistance to cracks from stress.

Viper’s spring system offers shooters precision targeting and reduces fatigue on the erector support system. Made of copper alloy and cobalt-beryllium, the erector springs maintain consistent force over extended periods.

Vortex Viper eliminates changes in pressure throughout the full range of scope motion.


Turret Design

Vortex viper pst gen 2 capped turrets

Viper offers MOA and MRAD reticles for the PST GEN II 1-6X 24 scopes. Reticle subtensions for range, holdover, and drift are accurate at the highest magnification setting.

The VMR-2 (MOA) and VMR-2 (MRAD) are excellent in low-light environments for hunting situations, while providing precise aiming points.

Viper uses precision finger adjustable elevation and windage turrets with an audible confirmation.

Each click of an MOA turret moves the point of impact ½ MOA. It takes two clicks to move a bullet’s point of impact 1.05 inches at 100yards. With an MRAD reticle, two clicks move the point of impact 1.44 inches at 100 yards.

They set parallax from the factory, the company considers a good consistent shooting position, and cheek weld prevents parallax errors.

MOA Adjustments:

  • MOA subtends 1.05 inches at a distance of 100 yards. Viper PST 1-6x24 riflescopes with MOA adjustments use ½ minute clicks, which subtend.52 inches at 100 yards / 14.6 mm at 100 meters, 1.04 inches at 200 yards / 29.2 mm at 200 meters, 1.56 inches at 300 yards / 43.6 mm at 300 meters.

MRAD adjustments:

  • MRAD will subtend 3.6 inches at a distance of 100 yards. Viper PST 1-6x24 riflescopes with MRAD adjustments to use .2 MRAD clicks which subtend.72 inches at 100 yards / 2 cm at 100 meters, 1.44 inches at 200 yards / 4 cm at 200 meters, 2.16 inches at 300 yards / 6 cm at 300 meters.

How Do VIPER PST Reticles Perform?

The Vortex VIPER PST uses the VMR-2 reticle (MOA or MRAD), and it's features are as follows:

MOA Reticle

Vortex viper pst vm2 reticle
  • Viper’s erector assembly is integrated with the windage and elevation turrets. This combination offers the shooter precise adjustments at any magnification level.
  • VMR-2 (MOA) Viper reticles maximize ranging ability determining holdover, windage, and moving targets for long-range hunting applications.
  • Viper’s VMR-2 MOA is beneficial for moving targets and windage calculations. Shooters must have a thorough knowledge of ballistics for each cartridge under varying conditions to take full advantage.
  • Shooters must have experience in reading wind strength and target speeds. Bullet drop is equally crucial for MOA corrections.

MRAD Reticle

MRAD reticles are considered by many shooters to be superior to MOA for their ease in finding precision aiming points. For a lot of long-distance shooters, MRAD is the preferred reticle.

  • VMR-2 (MRAD) Viper’s MRAD reticle is based on milliradian measurements. Whether the shooter chooses an MOA or MRAD reticle is a personal preference and what is comfortable under firing conditions. The MOA measurements are most common on scopes, binoculars, and rangefinders.
  • MRAD measurements are coming into popularity in recent years. However, MRAD has come from tactical and military weaponry.
  • The Viper uses a fast-focus eyepiece, a feature designed to adjust the reticle for quick target acquisition. Adjusting the eyepiece in or out will bring a crystal clear image into focus. Adjustments to the eyepiece should be made as quickly as possible, as the eye will compensate for an out-of-focus reticle.

Viper’s MOA & MRAD subtensions are excellent for hunters and target shooters.


Rings and Mounts for the Viper

Vortex viper pst gen 2 30mm geissele scope mount
  • Cantilever Mount; is a quick-release design for telescopic sights with a 30mm tube onto an AR-15. Lightweight and precision machined.
  • Hunter 30mm Rings; affordable and an excellent match for hunting setups. Compatible with Picatinny or Weaver mounts.
  • Tactical 30mm Scope Rings by Vortex; perfect rings for red-dot optics and a Picatinny rail. We recommend lapping.
  • Thorn Tactical Scope Rings; affordable setup for the Viper. Heavy-duty medium profile.

Shooter Opinions; What are Viper’s Advantages?

On paper, many scopes look like they can track big game with the touch of a button. Once mounted to a rifle, the story changes. The following are excerpts, culled from users who have mounted the Viper PST GEN II 1-6X24 to their favorite rifle and used the product on the range or in hunting situations.

Shooters recommend the Viper on precision carbines. Combinations of the red dot and useful subtensions were ideal for the AR-15, whether it was hunting or competition.

vortex viper pst gen 2 at 1X power CQB
  • Viper’s controls have been improved; relocated illumination settings give better access. More reticle choices have given rise to an incremental set of improvements while keeping the price tag reasonable.
  • Razor scopes are top of the line products for Vortex, with the fit and finish of the Viper similar. Other than a color change, all other controls and looks are almost identical. The performance lives up to its good looks.
  • Illuminations controls are assuredly day-bright, but not as much as the Razor HD. Illumination on the Viper is entirely sufficient, adjustable by a large dial on the left side of the scope tube.
  • Personal preference can cap or uncap turrets on the Viper; there is no difference in performance. Turrets feature a low profile design, very similar to the Razor HD GEN II. Once the turrets were capped, most users found we never touch them after the initial zero.
  • Turrets can be used to manually input bullet drop at longer distances.
  • Turrets become problematic to turn when the weather turned freezing. When the temperature hovered at 10 degrees or below, rotation became very stiff, not impossible, but stiff.

Viper’s VMR-2 MOA reticle was taken directly from the Razor HD II system, which is four times the price.


What Are Viper PST Users Saying?

Graham from North Carolina; “Best AR Scope Available”

  • I paired this scope with the Precision Extended Cantilever Mount and couldn’t be more impressed. The clarity of the scope from 1x to 6x is beyond comparison, and 1x is the most impressive. Edge to edge, perfectly crisp. Both eyes open, and the reticle floats in front of you. At any power, you can turn the setting up or down with one click, and the dot will turn off. Unbelievable scope. The only problem is I only have one!

BlueManGroup from Ohio; “LPVO Patrol Rifle”

  • I honestly bought the Viper PST Gen II 1-6x24 MRAD, with a sense of reluctance, since all of my experience has been with the Razor line. After many high round count training courses and consistent performance from the Viper PST Gen II 1-6x24 MRAD, it has earned my confidence. Deploying in a domestic LEO role demands reliability and performance, from a patrol rifle and the chosen optic. I am impressed and confident in my selection of the Viper PST Gen II 1-6x24 MRAD.

@BigJoe3gun from Wisconsin;Amazing Optic, Price is Even Better.”

  • I purchased this scope a little over a year ago with the primary purpose of it being used for a three gun competition. The clarity of the glass at maximum magnification is incredible. Whether I am trying to burn down close-range paper targets or hit small steel at a distance, I can say with confidence that I do not believe there is a better optic at this price point. It is very rugged and holds zero flawlessly.

Other Competitors

There are many other 1-6X low power variable optics available on the market today, and some are good and some are just okay budget options.

If you're unsure of LPVO, and maybe want to use a red dot and magnifier combo, please click here.

Wrap Up

Vortex has produced a winner. Optics are outstanding at each magnification setting in all conditions. There is hardly any difference to the RAZOR HD, which is four times the price.

The Viper is best suited for close quarter tactical situations and limited range hunting. They build the scope for quick targeting engagement with both the MOA and MRAD reticles. Throw in the Vortex warranty and shooters have a companion for life.

For the price most shooters are getting a great deal, and in case they don't like it, it's not tons of money down the hole compared to buying a LPVO that costs over $2000.

If you're interested please be sure to click on the button link below for the best deal as price has dropped recently.

Greg Brown

Bachelor of Business Admin from The University of Georgia Worked as a firearm professional with COLT under the custom gun shop department for 11 years Rich experience with firearm trade, hunting, and accessories