What’s the Vortex Warranty on Discontinued Scopes?

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Depending on the situation, the warranty coverage of a riflescope can be a big part of the purchasing process. I typically find that the strength of the warranty becomes more and more critical as the cost of the scope increases. For example, most people are not concerned with the warranty on a $60 scope but get more concerned with the warranty coverage on a $500 riflescope.

Given the popularity of Vortex Optics, it’s no surprise that I see and hear many questions about the Vortex VIP warranty program. Several of those questions deal with how Vortex handles the warranty on discontinued or phased-out optical products.

The biggest concern seems to be focused on the vortex warranty on discontinued scopes, so I’m going to primarily focus on that topic. I’ve discussed different aspects of the Vortex warranty program before on this website in other places. Still, note that I am not affiliated with Vortex Optics in any way other than working at a store that sells its products.

What's the Vortex Warranty on Discontinued Scopes

Understanding the Vortex VIP Warranty

First, let’s take a look at the VIP warranty wording for US-based customers (which is taken directly from the Vortex site):

“VIP stands for a Very Important Promise to you, our customer. We will repair or replace your Vortex® product in the event it becomes damaged or defective—at no charge to you. If we cannot repair your product, we will replace it with a product in perfect working order of equal or better physical condition.

You see, it doesn’t matter how it happened, whose fault it was or where you purchased it. If you ever have a problem, no matter the cause, we promise to take care of you. You can count on the VIP Warranty for all Vortex Optics riflescopes, prism scopes, red dots, rangefinders, binoculars, spotting scopes, tripods and monoculars.


The VIP Warranty does not cover loss, theft, deliberate damage or cosmetic damage that does not hinder the performance of the product.”

Insert link to Vortex warranty page: https://vortexoptics.com/vip-warranty

On the surface, it reads like a pretty simple warranty, but there are some essential points to take away from it:

Extensive Warranty Coverage

The warranty covers all Vortex optical products, including prism scopes, red dot scopes, and illuminated scopes. Most sporting optic brands that offer any battery-operated optical products, such as red dot or prism sights, have a separate clause or limitation clause within the warranty that specifically addresses the electrical components associated with those types of sights.

Typically, the warranty coverage is significantly reduced for any electrical components, as those components tend to have a shorter lifespan than mechanical components. However, that’s not the case with Vortex. They offer the same warranty coverage across the board for all their optical products.

No Limitations on the Damage or Issue

One great thing about the Vortex warranty is the depth of the warranty coverage. Their warranty is so broad that it covers almost any situation or damage, no matter when or how it occurred.

I spend a substantial amount of time helping customers with optical warranty issues at my day job. For some reason, a certain subset of people returns to the store where they originally bought the product for warranty help, rather than contacting the optical manufacturer directly.

Because of this behavior, I have helped several customers engage the Vortex warranty. I have also seen Vortex replace riflescopes and binoculars that had been:

  • Accidentally run over
  • Dropped out of moving vehicle
  • Fallen underwater and were submerged until Spring (think deer hunting via kayak)

The point is that it’s a very comprehensive warranty program, and I genuinely believe that the strength of that warranty program plays a significant role in Vortex’s popularity.

Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x50 Scope with Illuminated Reticle

Fully Transferable Warranty

Another point worth mentioning is that the warranty is fully transferable and follows the product if it changes hands or ownership. This level of coverage means that any pre-owned or used Vortex scope is still covered under their warranty. In addition, the warranty coverage follows the product with or without a receipt or proof of purchase. This is especially attractive if you’re anything like me and routinely buy used or pre-owned optics.

No Registration Requirements

Several excellent scope brands on the market feature a very comprehensive warranty as well, but only if you register the product at the time of purchase. I suspect that these rules are put into place knowing that there will be a certain percentage of purchasers who will forget the registration process, resulting in no warranty coverage. Some brands even require that the new owner also register the scope for warranty service when it changes hands.

The Vortex warranty has no such requirements, making it one of the most thorough warranty programs in the sporting optics market.

Vortex Warranty for Discontinued or Out of Production Scopes

One potential concern with buying a used Vortex scope or an older one that the manufacturer is no longer selling is the question of will Vortex still honor the warranty on those products?

The answer is yes. Any Vortex scope, regardless of when it was produced, when it was sold, or whether it is still being sold, is fully covered under the Vortex warranty.

For example, several years ago, I bought a rifle at an estate sale that came with an older, first-generation Vortex Crossfire 4-12 scope with an illuminated reticle. Although I was primarily interested in the rifle more than the scope, I was disappointed to find that the illuminated reticle didn’t work even after I replaced the battery.

Although I wasn’t sure that it would be covered at that time because Vortex had phased out the 1st generation of the Crossfire scopes and replaced them with the Crossfire II models, I reached out to Vortex Optics support to inquire about warranty coverage. I was quite pleased to learn that the scope was fully covered by their warranty. I sent it in for service and got it back in 4 weeks with a fully functioning illuminated reticle.

Warranty Options for Discontinued Vortex Scopes

If you send a discontinued Vortex rifle scope in for warranty service, there are typically three potential solutions that will happen:

Scope Repair

When possible, Vortex will try to repair the scope first. In a perfect world, this is always their preferred option.

Assuming the item is repairable, they will repair and return it at no cost to the owner.

Replace with a Comparable Vortex Scope

Inevitably, there will be situations where the optical product is non-repairable and will have to be replaced.

In these situations, Vortex tries to identify the nearest comparable product in their current product line-up and sends that product as a warranty replacement.

In situations where the next comparable product ends up being an upgrade, Vortex will send the upgraded product versus going down a level.

Offer a Store Credit

There may also be situations where a customer isn’t really pleased with the suggested replacement product, and Vortex may offer a store credit in place of the replacement product.

I had a situation where this specific circumstance happened on one of my Vortex scopes that was returned for warranty repair. I had a very early model Vortex Diamondback HP scope with issues holding zero, so I sent it in for warranty repair.

Unfortunately, Vortex could not fix the scope and offered me a newer standard Diamondback scope in a similar power range as a comparable replacement. The Diamondback HP scopes had been phased out already, but, in my opinion, the Diamondback HP scope had better glass quality than the newer Diamondback series.

As I wasn’t really interested in accepting the newer Diamondback as a replacement, Vortex support offered me an in-house store credit for the retail value of the new Diamondback scope. So I took the store credit, added some money to the amount, and upgraded to a new Vortex Viper HST scope.

Scope Turrets on a Vortex Scope

Downsides to the Vortex Warranty program

Not everything with the Vortex warranty is roses and kittens, as here’s one minor issue that I’m not crazy about:

Turnaround times

My only complaint with the Vortex VIP warranty is a small one, and it has to do with the extended turnaround time on some of the scopes I’ve sent in for repair.

While the turnaround times are not excessive, in my opinion, they can sometimes take as long as 8-10 weeks to complete a repair. Most are completed well before then, but some can take a bit.

I’m sure the repair or replace turnaround times are tied to several factors, and waiting two months or so isn’t that big of a deal for a new or repaired scope that was done free of charge.

Again, it’s a minor complaint at best.


Here are some other commonly asked questions that I see or read involving the Vortex warranty program:

Do all Vortex scopes come with a lifetime warranty?

According to Vortex Optics, all Vortex products (not just their riflescope line) are covered by an “unlimited lifetime” warranty.

Does painting a Vortex scope void the warranty?

Typically speaking, for most riflescope makers, painting their scope completely voids the warranty. In addition to painting, other coatings such as Cerakote or DuraCoat also void the warranty.

However, Vortex is different as painting one of their scopes DOES NOT void the warranty. Neither does treating one of their scopes with a product like DuraCoat or Cerakote.

Apparently, Vortex Support also gets several questions about painting their scopes, so they made the following video to answer the question:

As I come across additional questions or new information, I’ll update this page.