Continuing a Classic: Vortex Strike Eagle 3-18X44
The Vortex Strike Eagle 5-25X56 has been an undoubtedly popular option for shooters since its release in early 2020. The optic provides many options and features that are normally common on optics far above its weight class. These include a 34mm main tube, 5X zoom ration, illuminated reticle, Vortex Razor style turrets, Switchview throw lever, tons of adjustment, an intuitive zero stop function, and the very popular EBR-7C reticle. Currently, this optic sits at a street price of $799.99. Many people have used this optic as a gateway into precision rifle shooting. At its price, it’s hard not to justify it for that purpose. Of course there are negatives, but that is to be expected. There are reasons why optics can exceed the price tag of $3,000–which Venture Out has covered in previous articles—so the Strike Eagle can only do so much. Optical quality is good, but it’s not on par with the Razor Gen III line of scopes. However, for an introductory optic, the Strike Eagle far exceeds expectations. At Venture Out, we were able to use it rather effectively as part of the “Road to PRS” series as an off the shelf option on a Ruger Precision Rifle (well, the gun and optic functioned fine, the shooters on the other hand…).
For 2023, Vortex has introduced a continuation to that line in the Strike Eagle 3-18X44. The little brother to the 5x-25x, the new Strike Eagle maintains all the features, but at a more svelte size. The smaller 3x-18x times magnification is an excellent range that gives the optic a bit more functionality. Its relatively smaller size and weight means it can be found at home on a precision hunting setup, but has the functions to be found on a PRS or NRL22 rifle. In most practical shooting situations, 25 times magnification is a bit overpowering when trying to transition from target to target. A lower magnification range increases field of view which in turn helps the shooter identify targets. The 3-18 Strike Eagle fits that niche nicely as an in-between optic for many shooters. It is exciting to see a company like Vortex offer high value in a package at a more attractive price compared to similar items on the market. As of January 2023, street price sits at $749.99. The optic can be found on store shelves starting January 5, 2023.