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#6922193 - 10/16/17 10:00 AM Vortex Viper PST Gen 2
patriot07 Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/06/11
Posts: 1806
Loc: Royse City, TX
I have a chance to get an awesome deal on the Viper PST Gen 2 5-25x50 FFP. Any reason not to? I currently run an SWFA 16x42, which is fine but the Vortex would be a big upgrade in glass quality and magnification range.

I know Vortex has a reputation for having a good warranty and for folks having to use the warranty more often than necessary, but does anyone know if that has held up even on the gen 2 models? Has anyone tested how accurately they track?

I checked out the PST Gen 2 against the Burris XTR II 5-25 (Vortex had much, much better glass to my eyes). I also checked out the PST Gen 2 against the SWFA HD 5-20: glass was about the same, but the focus knob on the SWFA was incredibly hard to turn. Given the deal I'm possibly getting, the Vortex is considerably cheaper than both, so I don't see the down-side, but I know some folks on here who have actually used one of the PST Gen 2 might be able to chime in with real-world experiences.

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#6922271 - 10/16/17 11:00 AM Re: Vortex Viper PST Gen 2 [Re: patriot07]
RCINTX Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 11/04/11
Posts: 262
Loc: Lubbock, TX
I can't comment specifically on the gen 2, but I have the PST gen 1. It's a decent scope for the money. I contacted Vortex with an issue last week and they have been AWESOME to work with thus far. For what it's worth, the warranty and customer service seems to be as good as you hear it is.

Let me know what you think of the gen 2 if you get it. I am considering one with a EBR-2c reticle. I am between that and the Bushnell Tremor 3 / H59 scope.

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#6922296 - 10/16/17 11:17 AM Re: Vortex Viper PST Gen 2 [Re: patriot07]
patriot07 Online   content
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Registered: 11/06/11
Posts: 1806
Loc: Royse City, TX
I got to see the 3-15 version of the PST Gen 2 in person. Can't imagine better optics for the money. Haven't looked through the 5-25 in person yet. I did like the open center on the reticle more than I thought I would. I like it better than a solid crosshair, but not as much as a floating dot or small cross.

Does your PST Gen 1 track accurately? If you hold an elevation, take a shot, and then dial that same elevation, are the impacts in the same place?

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#6922301 - 10/16/17 11:22 AM Re: Vortex Viper PST Gen 2 [Re: patriot07]
RCINTX Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 11/04/11
Posts: 262
Loc: Lubbock, TX
Yes, I have had no issues with tracking. My only dislikes/issues (and the reason I sent it in) are:

1. The "eyebox" gets extremely tight when you get into the upper end of magnification. If shooting in a non-optimal position you really can't use it over about 16x.

2. The magnification ring is very tight and difficult to turn when mounted. Using a throw lever helps, but I don't think that should be a necessity.

Vortex received the scope this morning. I will update you on what they say and their service.

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#6922355 - 10/16/17 11:59 AM Re: Vortex Viper PST Gen 2 [Re: RCINTX]
FiremanJG Offline
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Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 21806
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Originally Posted By: RCINTX
Yes, I have had no issues with tracking. My only dislikes/issues (and the reason I sent it in) are:

1. The "eyebox" gets extremely tight when you get into the upper end of magnification. If shooting in a non-optimal position you really can't use it over about 16x.

2. The magnification ring is very tight and difficult to turn when mounted. Using a throw lever helps, but I don't think that should be a necessity.

Vortex received the scope this morning. I will update you on what they say and their service.


1. and 2. were common traits of the Gen I. Can't do anything about the eye box, but buy a different scope. Installing a cattail on the magnification ring corrects the difficulty in turning the magnification ring.

Upper end Bushnell is a much better scope. I've had an ERS 3.5-21X, with the G-2 reticle for over two years, and am still very happy with everything about it. I put the glass clarity of that Bushnell on par with my NF ATACR.
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#6922465 - 10/16/17 01:32 PM Re: Vortex Viper PST Gen 2 [Re: patriot07]
patriot07 Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/06/11
Posts: 1806
Loc: Royse City, TX
Thanks Jason. Are there any Bushnell scopes that compare in the sub-$1000 range? Looks like the ERS is around $1500, which is unfortunately too high for me. Price I might be able to get the Viper PST Gen 2 for is comfortably under $1k.

ETA: the 3.5-21 is an ERS model. They make a sub-$1000 LRS model that's 6-24 mag. Are those comparable glass and feature-wise?


Edited by patriot07 (10/16/17 01:45 PM)

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#6922500 - 10/16/17 02:03 PM Re: Vortex Viper PST Gen 2 [Re: patriot07]
ChadTRG42 Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 11492
Loc: Lewisville, TX
IMO, for the $1300-$1400 price tag of this unit, there are better scopes available. I like the Vortex scopes, but they do have some draw backs. And I don't buy a scope based on glass quality.
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#6922521 - 10/16/17 02:14 PM Re: Vortex Viper PST Gen 2 [Re: patriot07]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 21806
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Originally Posted By: patriot07
Thanks Jason. Are there any Bushnell scopes that compare in the sub-$1000 range? Looks like the ERS is around $1500, which is unfortunately too high for me. Price I might be able to get the Viper PST Gen 2 for is comfortably under $1k.

ETA: the 3.5-21 is an ERS model. They make a sub-$1000 LRS model that's 6-24 mag. Are those comparable glass and feature-wise?


If you look on Snipers Hide, in the Optics for sale section, you can find a used ERS around $1100-ish. Gotta keep you eyes peeled, though. I can't comment on the less expensive Bushnells.

Money spent on a good scope is never wasted.
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#6922547 - 10/16/17 02:35 PM Re: Vortex Viper PST Gen 2 [Re: ChadTRG42]
patriot07 Online   content
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Registered: 11/06/11
Posts: 1806
Loc: Royse City, TX
Originally Posted By: FiremanJG
Money spent on a good scope is never wasted.
I don't disagree. I just don't have the money to spend when we hit 4-digit price ranges. After some research, it does seem like there are legitimate differences between ERS and LRS units, even though both get good reviews.

Originally Posted By: ChadTRG42
IMO, for the $1300-$1400 price tag of this unit, there are better scopes available. I like the Vortex scopes, but they do have some draw backs. And I don't buy a scope based on glass quality.
The PST Gen II would be comfortably under $1k.

If it tracks poorly, that would be a deal-breaker for sure. But I don't abuse my scopes and I don't shoot competitively, so it would just be a "want" upgrade, not a need.

Looks like my SWFA 16x42 may have some tracking issues, so I was just debating on making an upgrade when it gets fixed and selling it when I get it back. But I might just hold onto it if the Vortex isn't worth the $. My SWFA has very good glass for $300, and I don't necessarily need more or less than 16x magnification. It's just right for what I do. But the PST Gen II I looked at was incredibly clear in comparison to my SWFA 16x42, much better than the Burris XTR II, and on par with the SWFA HD 5-20 that costs $600 more, so I was just entertaining the idea because of the discount opportunity. I like the new reticle, illumination, and the zero stop turrets a lot also. But if there are other options in the sub-$1000 range that are better or if it just isn't worth it to spend $800-$900 because the $1500 scopes really are that much better, then I'll hold off.

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#6922582 - 10/16/17 02:53 PM Re: Vortex Viper PST Gen 2 [Re: patriot07]
Brother in-law Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 26507
I've looked at a lot of scopes lately and ended up getting a 3x15

The 5x25 is brighter

The pst 2 is a winner imo under a 1000

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#6922622 - 10/16/17 03:13 PM Re: Vortex Viper PST Gen 2 [Re: patriot07]
Brother in-law Offline
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Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 26507
A gen 1 pst looks like a bsa compared to a pst 2

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#6922672 - 10/16/17 04:18 PM Re: Vortex Viper PST Gen 2 [Re: patriot07]
FiremanJG Offline
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Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 21806
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Remember I said $1100-ish for a used ERS?

$200 more gets you into way more scope.
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#6922718 - 10/16/17 05:04 PM Re: Vortex Viper PST Gen 2 [Re: patriot07]
patriot07 Online   content
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Registered: 11/06/11
Posts: 1806
Loc: Royse City, TX
What do you think is better about the ERS other than glass quality?

Does Bushnell warranty cover used scopes?

Have you used a Gen 2 or mostly comparing the ERS to Gen 1? Supposedly there are a number of significant upgrades.


Edited by patriot07 (10/16/17 05:41 PM)

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#6922790 - 10/16/17 06:04 PM Re: Vortex Viper PST Gen 2 [Re: Brother in-law]
patriot07 Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/06/11
Posts: 1806
Loc: Royse City, TX
Originally Posted By: Brother in-law
A gen 1 pst looks like a bsa compared to a pst 2
BIL - my experience was the same. Only got to look through a Gen 1 once, but I wasn't impressed at all. The Gen 2 looked really, really awesome in comparison.

It also has the Gen 1 Razor zero stop elevation turret, has an upgraded reticle from the Gen 1, and better illumination. The biggest issues are unknown Vortex QC, limited elevation travel, and tracking accuracy.

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#6922799 - 10/16/17 06:14 PM Re: Vortex Viper PST Gen 2 [Re: patriot07]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 21806
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
•No eye box complaint.
•No magnification ring complaint.
•Locking turrets.
•Better reticle.
•Yes, better glass.
•Bushnell's warranty is for the scope, period. No receipt or card required. I would not suggest a used scope if that were not the case.
•I am comparing to a Gen I. I've handled the turrets on a Gen II, and like the Gen I, they are way too easy to turn.
•The Gen I, I had, I could not use 24X, because clarity went to crap, so I turned it down.
•Everyone touts Vortex's warranty, and they're right, they are great to work with. AND there's plenty of Vortex owners that have had to use it. I've owned two Vortex optics, and have sent both of them in for repair. I sent my Bushy in for examination, and all it needed was dust removal from the turret. I've never sent in my SS 5-20X, and it's been punished, with hard use. When I was weighing the Vortex Razor AMG, against the Night force ATACR F-1, what drove it home was NF's reputation for toughness and reliability. I couldn't care less about a great warranty in the middle of no where on a hunt, or in the middle of a rifle match out to 1200 yards. I want no break-down in the first place.

You're worrying about another 20% cost. My recommendation to you is to keep saving, and buy what WILL work, work better, and not be a stop gap measure. Been there, done that, lost money, and bought what I should have in the first place.
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