Three years ago I had Kevin Weaver with Weaver Rifles (www.weaverrifles.com) build me a custom rifle. It is a piece of art and the best shooting rifle I’ve ever shot. After dialing it in at 100, 200, and 300 yards I set up the target at 800. I was impressed with the ½ MOA (4” group) it shot at that distance, especially since it was my first group at that distance! Kevin’s work is impeccable and very reasonable.
Being on a fixed one-income, I wasn’t sure what scope I was going to buy to put on my rifle. My buddy, Carson, was selling a rifle and took the scope off of it. I put it on my rifle just to have a scope for the first season. 2 years after that Carson decided to sell that scope. I never really liked that scope so I was kind of grateful. My wife wasn’t as grateful as I was going to actually have to pay for a scope.
After much research I had finally settled on a Vortex Viper HS-LR 4-16×44. The price and warranty of their products was just icing on the cake. As I was looking at ‘my’ scope again on the Vortex website, I saw where they had just released a similar version called the Viper HS-T (Hunting Shooting Tactical). I’m not a long-range banger by any stretch of the imagination, but I do practice at long ranges and am very comfortable with my equipment if the need EVER arises. I’ve been in on over 50 big-game harvests in the last 4.5 years. One whitetail was harvested at 640 yards and one pronghorn at 560 yards. Everything else was under 400. The need doesn’t arise very often unless you’re specifically looking for it. I am not.
I liked the reticle and the exposed windage turret on the HS-T over the HS-LR so I called Outdoorsmans and ordered my scope. Customer service was unbelievable and my scope was here within the week.
I’m not a techno-junkie by any stretch of the imagination. I won’t even humor you by trying to talk ‘techy’. You can go to the Vortex website and find all the technical jargon you want on this scope: www.VortexOptics.com.
All I’ll say is that the eye-relief is what I look for in a scope. The clarity, even out to 1200 yards at the range is superb. The price and the warranty from Vortex are second to none. The scope ‘tracks’ fast and targets are acquired quickly and easily in the field. This scope also was superb in returning to ‘Zero’. I sighted it in at 200 yards then worked my data and shot out to 1200 yards in the field. I ordered some custom turrets from Kenton Industries and installed them on my scope. It only took 1 time to the range with these turrets to know this combo was dead-on. After practice at extended ranges it would then return to 0 at 200 yards and shoot ½ MOA the first time. The CRS Zero-Stop feature was simple enough to use and adjust. I won’t have an excuse next time I miss a coyote at 300 yards because my rifle was one full revolution over.
Now that I was 100% confident in my set-up the next biggest test was to get my 2 oldest daughters to the range and see how they shot with this new scope. It was blowing like a banshee again but time was winding down before season. We shot off the bench, sticks and prone. Both shot reasonably well for the conditions.
Now that the girls have proven they can shoot at the range, how will they do in the field you ask?
We just returned from a couple days of chasing pronghorn in our home state of Wyoming. Paige got to christen the scope with her first big-game animal. 1 shot at 109 yards off of shooting sticks. We were atleast 20 minutes into legal shooting light on the first morning.
Pictures 11 and 12 with the caption – “Paige christening her dad’s Vortex HS-T scope on her first big-game hunt.)
Paige also had 2 doe tags. We elected to only harvest one doe as we were almost out of cooler space!
The girls will get to use ‘my’ scope several times before I get to hunt with it this fall. So far, I am pleased with everything about this scope. It has exceeded my expectations. Not many products do that to me. I guess you could say the 3 year wait was worth it. I just hope I don’t have to wait 3 years for my girls to give MY RIFLE AND SCOPE back so I get to hunt with it!