Vortex Golden Eagle Review
Our Rating: 9.2 / 10
In a Nutshell
If you have the money and need a scope that can basically land you a perfect shot at any distance greater than 100 yards, this is the one for you. Intended for competition shooters, Vortex knocks the long-range market out of the park with a super-high quality scope and a (relatively) low price.
What's the Scope?
There's a certain thrill to hitting a nickel-sized area on a target from 700 yards away. Vortex understands that appeal and has constructed a scope marketed specifically toward people who participate in F-Class or Bench Rest shooting competitions. Tailored for ultra long-range shooting, Vortex is trying to enter into the market and undercut their prices substantially with the Golden Eagle HD 15-60x52.
Linear FOV (low zoom)
6.3 ft/100 yd
Linear FOV (high zoom)
1.7 ft/100 yd
Eye Relief (low zoom)
Eye Relief (high zoom)
Elevation Adjustment (MOA)
Wind Adjustment (MOA)
In order to make a worthy long-range scope, your lenses simply have to be incredible. So, like usual, that is where our review is going to start. A large objective diameter absorbs a huge amount of light, beamed through coated intricately-designed lenses, with the end result being a crystal-clear image for you. This image is extremely easy to capture, thanks to the fact that the eye relief on this scope is super forgiving.
The utter clarity of the scope extends throughout the entirety of its possible viewing range. Every level of magnification is insanely crisp and vibrant. One immediately knows, from their first look through the lens, that this scope is on par with its most high end competitors. It’s glaringly obvious just from the fact that even at the highest magnification, there is absolutely no tearing or fuzziness or aberration, not even at the edges. Just pure vision. At as far as 600 yards, one would still be able to clearly see bullet markings from this rifle. At 100 yards, extremely intricate details can be picked apart. As one might guess, this scope’s immense clarity makes it so that you don’t really need to buy an additional spotting scope; this scope does both jobs. It’s worth noting, though, that if you’re wanting a scope that’s useful at distances closer than 100 yards, this isn’t the one for you; simply put, the field of view just isn’t big enough, even at the lowest magnification, for it to be of any use to you in those circumstances.
Let's talk the reticle and target finding. The reticle in this scope is clear as day. Vortex deserves a lot of credit for their ECR-1 reticle; the dot of the reticle is small but obvious, and you know exactly where your bullet is going to hit when you pull that trigger. For this scope's target market, competition shooters, this incredible and accurate reticle is a huge deal, because the precision allows easy shooting of groupings even in very constrained situations.
This precision is aided by two other factors: firstly, the fantastic parallaxing support provided by the scope helps you to maintain optimal focus regardless of where how far you may be from your target. Secondly, and more importantly, the turrets on this thing are an absolute beast. They’re big, clearly marked, and easy to turn even with competition gloves or clammy hands. They also allow you a high level of precision themselves, thanks to their ultra-fine resolution option which lets the turret clicks adjust at rates as low as 0.125 MOA. This is, in other words, a tool for the perfectionist; something that will let you slowly and surely fine tune your shot so that it hits exactly where you’re needing it to.
Let's talk the build quality of this thing, now. Like all Vortex scopes, this thing is physically a beast. It’s dust-proof, waterproof, shockproof, fog-proof, and sun-proof. Weather and circumstances will never get in the way of your perfect shot. As far as durability goes, the scope is incredibly sturdy and made out of anodized aluminum, built to make it all the way through with you, wherever you may end up taking it. Despite this physical sturdiness, though, the scope is relatively lightweight. Since F-Class shooting typically has fairly stringent weight requirements, Vortex made sure that the scope falls within those, and it ends up coming out only to about 0.29 ounces - about the same as its primary competitors, lighter than some and heavier than others.
As for setup, it’s a quick and easy scope to mount and is compatible with a good number of long-range rifles. Some have reported that the actual task of zeroing the scope in can be a bit of a chore, but once you’re zeroed in, you’re sure to have an amazing series of shots.
Lastly, it wouldn’t be a Vortex review without mentioning their incredible VIP Warranty. The scope was already super cheap compared to the competition, but the warranty adds a lot of value. It basically is Vortex’s promise to replace or repair anything that happens to the scope, no questions asked. It’s great because it’s fully transferable, which more or less means that if you ever resell the scope, you can give them the same spiel I'm giving you. That’s called recursivity.
Should You Buy It?
Buy: Yes / No
While the scope is aimed at people who are entering shooting competitions, I’ll narrow it down: if you are a person who generally needs immense clarity at shots taken from a distance greater than 100 yards, Yes, you should buy this scope. There’s nothing like it for the money. It’s not for hobbyists, but you knew that from the price tag.
- he Golden Eagle HD is specifically designed for competitive shooters in F-Class, Bench Rest and other shooting disciplines with targets at known distance. A finely subtended, second focal plane reticle and 1/8 MOA clicks help you make subtle adjustments.
- High density, apochromatic lens elements are index matched and generate sharp, high definition images. Premium, XR anti-reflective coatings deliver maximum brightness at the highest magnificaiton.
- A side focus adjustment eliminates down range parallax. An aperture stop ring broadens your depth field allowing you to more easily observe mirage and wind indicators while keeping your target in focus
- A 30mm maintube machined from a single piece of aircraft grade aluminum provides a highly reliable platform for taking precision shots. At 29.5 ounces, you'll be able to adhere to strict competition limits.
- O-ring sealed and argon purged, the Golden Eagle delivers waterproof and fogproof performance. Armortek coatings protect the lenses from scratches, oil, and dirt.
I found out something interesting while doing research for this article: law enforcement officers have taken to using this scope for high stress situations, like animal control situations where somebody’s life is being threatened and an animal has to be neutralized. They use the scope because they trust that if they take a shot based on what this scope tells them, that shot is going to go the way they want it to.
That sums up this scope in a nutshell, more or less: clarity, accuracy, and value. Whether you’re a competition shooter trying to up your precision and accuracy, or a big game hunter looking to snipe dangerous prey from afar, this scope is what you’re going to want. It’s best-in-class potential.