Vortex Viper PST vs Nightforce – Which is a Force to Be Reckoned With?

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Vortex Viper PST vs Nightforce

Shooting and hunting game in the twilight hours of the day is both exciting but could turn frustrating without the right equipment. In this respect, it would be helpful to see which riflescope between the Vortex Viper PST and Nightforce is one to be reckoned with.

Enthusiastic die-hard hunters know that the early morning and late evenings are best for catching big game as both hunters and prey tend to shy away from the extreme weather conditions that prevail throughout the daytime.

However, this presents a problem of target visibility and these hunters desire a riflescope that can precisely identify and confidently track game in these low light conditions. This is the reason behind the illuminated riflescope models that are now prominent in the market.

If you are faced with a choice between these two awesome riflescopes, here’s some in-depth information to guide your decision.

What are the differences between Vortex Viper PSTandNightforce?

Model
Vortex Viper PST
Nightforce
Reticle
EBR-2C
Mil-C
Magnification
3-15x
2.5-20x
Objective Lens Diameter
44mm
50mm
Eye Relief
3.4 inches
3.44 inches
Field of View
41.2-8.6 feet/ 100 yards
41.8-7.0 feet/ 100 yards
Weight
28.1 ounces
28.3 ounces
Length
14.3 inches
12 inches
Availability

Vortex Viper PST vs Nightforce – How do they compare?

Focal Plane Reticle

The Nightforce scope has a MIL-C first focal plane reticle with Diglllum illumination with a simple center dot in either red and green color for different backgrounds and great performance in low light scenarios. It features MOA hash marks across the horizontal crosshairs and the upper portions of the vertical crosshairs.

Vortex Viper is a first focal plane scope which means all the hash marks get larger as you zoom out and smaller and you zoom in. That way the reticle can be used effectively at any range and magnification. The fully multicoated XR lenses have extra-low dispersion elements and these give high-resolution imagery with great color fidelity.

Nightforce illuminated reticle is better than the Vortex Viper PST because it offers two color variations that are designed to work in different backgrounds for extra precision. 

Objective Lens

Nightforce has a 2.5-20x zoom on a 50mm objective lens that is optimized for resolution, contrast, and light transmission. The parallax adjustments come close to 11 yards and the PTL, Power Throw Lever makes power changes fast and easy to do.

Vortex Viper has a 3-15x magnification on a 44mm lens with the Precision Force Spring system and the Precision Glide Erector system ensuring maximum repeatability and smooth zoom adjustments. Provides a CRS zero stop that helps get you back to zero after dialing temporary elevation correction.

If you are below 8-power, the field of view gets big but the image also gets quite blurry. The optical quality is high-quality extra-low dispersion glass but some image quality may be lost or compromised slightly because of the scope’s small size

They don’t vary much in magnification, field of view or eye relief. However, the Nightforce has a larger objective lens which would transmit more light to the riflescope creating clear images.

Turrets

Parallax in Nightforce is very flexible in adjustments allows you to pick up the target and come back to the original set power. It has a throw lever that is easy for dialing your zoom in or out.It is very defined even at low power but you must be in good light and some good background to use it effectively.

It has a focus ring and diopter system with a locking ring which works perfectly. It has a screw-on cap with a little dial for your turrets that work well with the ZeroStop system for holding zero and windage allowing for elevation adjustments.

Viper PST has smooth windage and elevation but has no lock system. The turrets are nicely built and have aggressive texturing with audible and tactile clicks with labeling up and down or left and right to guide your direction in inches.

Because the Nightforce scope features a locking diopter adjustment knob and a throw lever, it beats the Viper PST in providing users with quick and reliable functionality on the fly.

Vortex Viper PST vs Nightforce – A Comparison Overview 

Vortex Viper PST Review 

Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 3-15x44 FFP Riflescope EBR-2C MOA
  • The Viper PST Gen II takes incredible performance and rock solid features to new heights. The 3-15x44...
  • Shooters who dial their turrets for bullet drop and wind compensation will appreciate the laser etched...
  • The reticle offers shooters highly functional, intuitive, and detailed hold points, yet remains...
  • Extra-low dispersion glass increases resolution and color fidelity. XR fully multi-coated lenses increase...

This is a 3-15x first focal plane scope which means all the hash marks get larger as you zoom out and smaller and you zoom in. That way the reticle can be used effectively at any range and magnification. If you want a wider field of view and range effectively you can take it down to 3-6x setting allowing you to make moving or transition shots.

The turrets are nicely built and have aggressive texturing with audible and tactile clicks with labeling up and down or left and right to guide your direction in inches. All the clicks are ¼ per 100 yards and can be re-zeroed by losing the caps back to zero. The parallax adjustment is clearly labeled. The reticle is illuminated at the center crosshairs and hash marks which allows for precise shots in the dusk or dawn.

The reticle is impressive with tons of information, large and small hash marks label the MOA values and dots for windage adjustments are on the bottom of the reticle system which is perfect for moving shots or correcting for windage and elevation without using the turrets.

Pros

  • Clear imagery
  • Easy adjustments
  • Illuminated reticle
  • CRS Zero Stop

Cons

  • Does not feature a lock system

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Nightforce Review 

It gives you 8x power ranges from 2.5 to 20x which gives you a very small run at low power for a big field of view and low light conditions.

The optical quality is high-quality extra-low dispersion glass but some image quality may be lost or compromised slightly because of the scope so small in size. It is a first focal plane scope and provides a good size reticle with a floating dot for precision shooting.

It has a focus ring and diopter system with a locking ring which works perfectly. It has a screw-on cap with a little dial for your turrets that work well maintaining zero and windage allowing for elevation adjustments.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Compact size
  • Massive zoom range
  • Flip-up caps
  • Good Zero Stop

Cons

  • Limited space for mounting- needs a rail

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Conclusion 

Vortex Viper is built for all types of hunters and all kinds of conditions offering its users quick, on the fly adjustments and ample eye-relief eliminating chances of eye scoping.

This scope will do everything in a small and light package that can be used as a long-range or competitive optic. If you are after a scope that fits everything in a small and compact size for your lightweight rifle, this is the scope for you.

Final Verdict: So, which is better? Vortex Viper or Nightforce?

The Nightforce proves to be better than the Vortex Viper in both daylight and twilight shooting precision and optics performance. With its dual illuminated reticle, locking diopter adjustments and throw lever, hunters are sure to appreciate this riflescope. Happy hunting!

FAQ

Will the Vortex Viper be okay on a .416 Barrett cartridge?

Yes, with the right mounting hardware you should have absolutely no problem with this heavy-duty scope. It is built and tested to withstand the recoil, shock, and vibration of most rifles.

What is the Exit Pupil range of the Nightforce 2.5-20×50 scope?

This scope provides users with a favorable exit pupil range of between 7.1-2.5mm. Knowing that the human pupil dilates and contracts between 2-5mm, this range is adequate for all light conditions with low chances of eye strain.

 

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