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Thread: Viper PST vs. Nightforce for my purposes?

  1. #1
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    Viper PST vs. Nightforce for my purposes?

    I am looking to upgrade the scope on my recce from a Vortex Diamondback, and am considering the Vortex Viper PST 2.5-10 vs. the Nightforce NXS 2.5-10. I want to upgrade for better resolution at distances and better performance in lower light. The illumination is an attractive feature too.

    I will have the money for the PST within the next few weeks, but the Nightforce would really stretch me at the moment. My question is whether people with more experience think I should continue saving for the Nightforce or just get the PST now. I have read multiple threads at Sniper's Hide and elsewhere, and keep going back and forth.

    I will be using it to shoot 5.56 up to ~400 yards at the moment on a static range, and also plan to use it for varmints and coyotes. It will not be used in any professional capacity.
    Last edited by calvin118; 06-26-11 at 14:53.

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    I have had one of the Vortex PST 1-4x for a few months. I really like it. For the cost you get some great features and great glass. I really like Vortex scopes, I have 2. Are there better scopes out there,yes, but at its price point, I think the viper line of scopes is Top. I think the PST would do you very well. You just need to ask yourself if you want to spend the extra coin to get the little nicer scope?

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    I had to decide between the same two scopes a while back, but when it came down to it, I went with the Nightforce for its velocity reticle and easy of use at different ranges. I also knew that by going that route I wasn't going to break the bank either. What you might want to consider is how much and often you'll use your setup. Then judge whether the price difference is really worth it to you. Everyone is different on their needs, and even if you go with the nightforce, you might always wonder if the the pst would have been good enough, or if you should have saved for something better. Either scope would be perfect in my opinion. Good luck choosing.

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    If you're not going to be running around in sand, and need your rifle to work when you want it to or else you're risking your life, I'd go with the Vortex. The PST's I've seen have great glass and the build quality isn't too bad either. Have you also looked at the SWFA 3-9x?

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    I own a NightForce with the FC-2 reticle and I love it. It's fast and the scope is as it should be for a upper tier scope. The one thing that is true about this scope is that the Illuminated riticle is almost useless in bright sun. It doesn't bother me because I can see the black reticle fine but others have complained.

    I shot a 3 gun match with it and it served me well.
    Tzoid

    Texan raised in " The Peoples Republic of Maryland"

    "RRA- if they came with a blow job I wouldn't take one." - Pat Rogers

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    There are very few reviews on the PST 2.5-10, so I hope you get one and put it to the test.

    I have the PST 1-4 on a carbine and the NF 2.5-10x32 on an SPRish rifle. Different uses and no real comparisons can be made between the two, IMO.

    The clarity (relative to precision shooting) on the NF is considerably better as one would expect, but again you cannot compare the two. I run the NF out to 700 meters with good results where the PST 1-4 excels at very close range and works pretty well at mid ranges.

    My NF is not subject to be replaced, but if I were going to buy a second 2.5-10 right now, I would lean toward the PST 2.5-10. Would prefer to compare both side-by-side first, but so far that's not been possible.

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    Thanks for the kind words guys. I was getting all set to order the PST when I came across this today:

    http://opticsthoughts.com/index.php?...views&Itemid=4

    Most of the glowing reviews that I read were related to the 1-4 and 6-24. I guess I'll keep saving my pennies or decide whether I want to sacrifice something else...

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    Ahh I see you've found Ilya's article. I've forgotten about it. GL on whatever you decide!

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    Quote Originally Posted by calvin118 View Post
    Thanks for the kind words guys. I was getting all set to order the PST when I came across this today:

    http://opticsthoughts.com/index.php?...views&Itemid=4

    Most of the glowing reviews that I read were related to the 1-4 and 6-24. I guess I'll keep saving my pennies or decide whether I want to sacrifice something else...
    Good review and kinda confirms my thoughts on Vortex.

    I bought one of their SPARC RDS for my M&P 15-22 and although it works and has lots of features the adjustments suck and it's made in China. You get what ya pay for and one can't expect S&B or NF quality at Vortex pricing.

    The thing that kinda soured me on Vortex was the dealer that sold me the SPARC said if you have problems with it just call Vortex and they will replace it. As if they know that the failure rate is high and at least the customer service is good. I could have gone to walmart and spent 69 bucks on a Burris RDS if I wanted customer service for a POC.
    Tzoid

    Texan raised in " The Peoples Republic of Maryland"

    "RRA- if they came with a blow job I wouldn't take one." - Pat Rogers

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    Quote Originally Posted by calvin118 View Post
    Most of the glowing reviews that I read were related to the 1-4 and 6-24. I guess I'll keep saving my pennies or decide whether I want to sacrifice something else...
    This is exactly the conclusions many have made on other forums as well, notably Sniper's Hide. There seems to be considerable variability in the quality of the PSTs in 2.5-10 and 4-16.

    I can't tell you how many times I've purchased a scope only to upgrade it at a later date. Naturally I was warned by others, but I didn't heed those warnings. OTOH, the less expensive scopes found homes on less expensive rifles, so think about that if you have other platforms, or are considering purchasing other platforms, that need optics.

    If you buy the NF, think critically about what your intended use is and decide on the reticle. FWIW, some of the NF reticle and turret combinations in the 2.5-10 scopes are difficult to find right now due to backorders- as much as 16 weeks out.

    Let us know what you purchase.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzoid View Post
    Good review and kinda confirms my thoughts on Vortex.

    I bought one of their SPARC RDS for my M&P 15-22 and although it works and has lots of features the adjustments suck and it's made in China. You get what ya pay for and one can't expect S&B or NF quality at Vortex pricing.

    The thing that kinda soured me on Vortex was the dealer that sold me the SPARC said if you have problems with it just call Vortex and they will replace it. As if they know that the failure rate is high and at least the customer service is good. I could have gone to walmart and spent 69 bucks on a Burris RDS if I wanted customer service for a POC.
    Vortex makes scopes for all budgets....you can't even begin to talk about a Viper PST scope and a Sparc in the same breath.

    In addition, Vortex's customer service is just about the best on the planet, which is probably why the dealer made the comment, rather than knowing about any inherent fault. The fact they extend their no fault lifetime warranty through their cheaper offerings is more an indication of a company standing behind their product.

    You've totally and utterly got the wrong impression about the company.
    Dan

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    I would go the Nightforce direction. There is a good chance you may regret the Vortex and then you wasted a chunk of money you could have used to put down on the Nightforce. Good luck with whatever you choose.
    "Perfect Practice Makes Perfect"
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    Quote Originally Posted by SA80Dan View Post
    Vortex makes scopes for all budgets....you can't even begin to talk about a Viper PST scope and a Sparc in the same breath.

    In addition, Vortex's customer service is just about the best on the planet, which is probably why the dealer made the comment, rather than knowing about any inherent fault. The fact they extend their no fault lifetime warranty through their cheaper offerings is more an indication of a company standing behind their product.

    You've totally and utterly got the wrong impression about the company.
    I hear what you're saying and I have heard nothing but great things about their customer service. I'm just not sure I would spend high dollar on their higher end scopes when there are others available like NightForce.
    Tzoid

    Texan raised in " The Peoples Republic of Maryland"

    "RRA- if they came with a blow job I wouldn't take one." - Pat Rogers

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    I agree, in this particular case/class, there's some excellent alternatives.....and it may well be that the Nightforce is the champ here.

    Vortex is certainly capable of putting out top level stuff stuff though, so I'd not blanket discount them purely on the fact that "Its a Vortex"
    Dan

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    I have followed Ilya's reviews for some time, and definitely trust his word. Between that and a number of other negative opinions, I have decided to skip the Vortex and start saving for the NF (unless someone has a creative third option with similar features).

    Given my other priorities, this probably means that I will have to stick with my current Diamondback for the next year or so.

    Thanks for the help guys; the more I read the more I suspect that I would have been disappointed in the cost to improvement ratio if I got the Viper.
    Last edited by calvin118; 06-29-11 at 16:57.

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    Vortex also has the Razor HD that is said to be equal to or above the NF. More expensive too, of course. Something for everyone's budget is very correct.

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    I can recommend four more midrange power scopes with illuminated reticle options and a bit less $:

    1. IOR Valdada 2.5-10x42, mil/mil FFP - $1,175
    2. Leupold Mark 4 3.5-10x40, mil or TMR reticle but MOA turrets-$1,279
    3. Leupold Mk 4 2.5-8x36, Mil or TMR reticls and MOA turrets - $1,100
    4. Bushnell 3-12x44 Elite Tactical, mil/mil - $900

    All of these get high marks. Personally I don't care for the mismatched reticle/turrets on these Leupolds (can get mil/mil in higher power). The IOR is built like a tank and the glass has to be seen to be appreciated. The Bushnell is a great scope for the money. Occasionally the scope snobs turn their nose up at these, but they're very well built, track nicely and have good glass.

    You might be better off if you decide to wait. There are a several midrange scopes to be released in the next year that look very promising.
    Last edited by Warg; 06-29-11 at 17:58. Reason: Added info.

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    Last edited by FishingFool; 08-04-12 at 21:17.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shootist~ View Post
    There are very few reviews on the PST 2.5-10, so I hope you get one and put it to the test.

    I have the PST 1-4 on a carbine and the NF 2.5-10x32 on an SPRish rifle. Different uses and no real comparisons can be made between the two, IMO.

    The clarity (relative to precision shooting) on the NF is considerably better as one would expect, but again you cannot compare the two. I run the NF out to 700 meters with good results where the PST 1-4 excels at very close range and works pretty well at mid ranges.

    My NF is not subject to be replaced, but if I were going to buy a second 2.5-10 right now, I would lean toward the PST 2.5-10. Would prefer to compare both side-by-side first, but so far that's not been possible.

    Didn't want to start my own thread since I found this one, but what is "mid-range" and "long-range" to you guys?

    I am thinking about doing a precision AR that I would hunt with and would be my "mid-range" precision gun, which to me means 400-500 yds and in. Anything further than that I consider to be long(er) range and is more suited for something like .308.

    I know this will be dependant on the shooter and how good his eyesight is, but for the 400-500 yds and in range, would one be better suited with a 1-4X or a 2.5-10X?

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    To me, and talking about .223/5.56; "mid-range" ends at about 400 Yards and "long range" starts around there. 6x works just fine at 400 or a little more on a partly to fully visible 10" steel plate - I'm not saying it's an easy shot, but 6x (on the NF) lets you see what you need to see. Much past that and more powder becomes a big benefit.

    The quality of the glass makes a big difference as you get out further as well. And big targets are easier that little ones!

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