Vortex 4-16×44 Diamondback Scope

The Vortex line of scopes ranges from entry level to world class, and at the “entry level” side of things you have the Crossfire line and Diamondback line. Personally I think the Crossfire II 1-4×24 is a great option for a Low Power Variable Optic for an AR-15. I’m less convinced about the 4-16×44 Diamondback scope as a great option, but it can be a good option within certain limitations.

There are plenty of other reviews for this budget scope on tracking, return to zero, stiffness of turrets, etc. Suffice to say that this isn’t going to cover that, but more along a “how to use it” method.

The good, it’s first focal plane, has a “Christmas Tree” style reticle which is MOA in a body that has MOA adjustments. These are all good things. Where the Diamondback has a “feature failure” is no way to discern between turns. A normal long range scope has lines under the turret adjustment so that as you go “up” more lines are exposed so you know what turn you are on. The Diamondback misses this feature, which means that you have to manually count and keep track of turns, OR you have to set up your rifle so that you never need more than one turn of adjustment left or right.

Currently the Diamondback I have is sitting on top of an old Savage 10, with a 20″ heavy barrel in 308. Pushing a PPU 174gr FMJBT bullet to 2,550 fps this means I need a good 500 yard zero to make this a “one turn left/right” to go from 100 to 800 yards. For a short barreled 308 Winchester, this is a lot of real estate to cover, and given the original M24 was spec’d as an 800 meter weapon system, this isn’t bad at all compared to the old Leupold Mk4 used on that system.

To dial “down” to 400, it’s 3.9 minutes “down”, 300 is 7.4 minutes, 200 is 10.4 minutes, and 100 is 12.3 minutes. To dial “up” to 600 it is 4.4 minutes, 700 is 9.4 minutes, and 800 is full revolution of 15 minutes. Beyond 800 is beyond one revolution, and now you are back into the “manually counting turns” problem that better scopes eliminate with vertical hash marks to count turns. Or you end up using the “Christmas Tree” reticle to drop your dope, which works fairly well.

Now, would I recommend a 4-16×44 Vortex Diamondback Tactical for you? It depends. For a dedicated long range precision rifle/sniper option? No. For someone who does most of their shooting between 100 and 600 yards on a budget, then yes. But a 4-16×44 Diamondback will set you back around $350 on Amazon today, and a step up to the 5-25×56 Vortex Venom is only another $150. The Venom has a zero stop function, and is set up better for long range shooters. So, you get more for paying more, but often it’s worth paying more. If you want a scope not made in China, you’ll have to look long and hard to get something comparable to either Vortex in the “serious tactical shooting” category.

It should be noted, that for a “two way live fire” situation, huge scope objective lenses aren’t exactly a good idea. For marksmanship competitions, police marksman work, or a situation where you don’t expect enemy snipers to be looking for you, there’s really no downside to having a big rifle scope other than weight. There are ways to camouflage an objective lens, with green hundred mile per hour tape, or mesh cloth, two methods which cut down on the light gathering ability of the optic, as well as it’s reflectivity back towards a bad guy.

This entry was posted in ammo, defense, guns, hobbies, sniper. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s