Where are Vortex Scopes Made?

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If you’ve been looking at or shopping for a rifle scope, there’s a very good chance that you’ve already seen or heard something about the Vortex line of rifle scopes, binoculars, or spotting scopes. As far as company history goes, Vortex Optics has not been in the optics industry all that long as the company was founded in 2002. However, the ownership of Vortex Optics has been involved in the optics business since the mid 1980’s.

where are vortex scopes made

As mentioned before, Vortex offers a number of sporting optical products, including the following:

  • Riflescopes
  • Spotting Scopes
  • Rangefinders
  • Binoculars
  • Red Dot Sights
  • Monocular

One interesting fact about Vortex that not many people know is the fact that they originally did not focus on rifle scopes when they entered the sporting optics market. Originally, Vortex Optics was focusing on binoculars when they first started.

Since 2002, Vortex has built a near cult-like following by offering a wide range of optical products at reasonable prices, coupled with outstanding customer service. While Vortex Optics is very popular at my day job, one of the most common questions I’m regularly asked is where are Vortex scopes made?

I completely understand why that question is important as most Americans want to support the U.S., buy purchasing US made products, and, where a product is manufactured still plays a role in its perceived value and quality.

My day job also affords me access to a Vortex representative and to the Vortex line of scopes directly. The information provided here comes from both of those sources and may have changed when you read it as Vortex seems to be constantly introducing new models and updating older ones.

Vortex Strike Eagle 4-20X50 Scope

That being said, let’s get into the meat and potatoes of this post…

Where are Vortex scopes made?

The answer very much depends on the specific Vortex scope model that we are discussing. Here’s an overview of each Vortex scope series and where it is produced:

Vortex Copperhead scopes – The Copperhead series is Vortex’s absolute entry level series of scopes and is really targets to those who are buying on a very restrictive budget. The Copperhead series is manufactured in China.

Vortex Crossfire and Crossfire II scopes – The first generation of the Crossfire scope models had some issues and were ultimately discontinued. They were replaced with the Crossfire II series, which is Vortex’s most popular entry level line. Both the Crossfire and Crossfire II scopes are manufactured in China.

Vortex Strike Eagle scopes – The Strike Eagle line is focused on the lower magnification ranges and is really built for and marketed as a short-range AR scope. The Strike Eagle was briefly offered in higher magnification ranges like a 4-20, but those models were phased out. The Strike Eagle series is also manufactured in China.

Vortex Diamondback scopes – The Diamondback is the next set up above the Crossfire II series and features better quality glass and more features. Like the Crossfire II models, all the Diamondback scopes are built on a 1” tube. The Diamondback scopes are produced in China.

Vortex Diamondback Tactical scopes – The Diamondback Tactical series is really targeted more towards the long-range shooting and tactical shooting crowd as most are FFP (First Focal Plane) scopes. Like the standard Diamondback series, the Diamondback Tactical scopes are manufactured in the China.

Vortex Viper scopes – A step up in quality over the Vortex Diamondback series, the Vortex Viper series of rifle scopes was originally built on a 1-inch tube with a 3X erector. While these models were a popular seller for Vortex, around 2011, Vortex decided to phase out the 1-inch versions of the Viper and introduce 30mm versions built with a 4X erector. Vortex has further reduced the number of Viper models, and, currently, there is only one 30mm version of the Viper. The Viper series of rifle scopes are manufactured in the Philippines.

Vortex Viper HS scopes – The Viper HS series is designed more for hunters who need a mid-range powered scope with easy to use field reticles. Built on a 30mm tube with capped turrets, the Viper HS scope models feature slightly better glass than the original Viper series. Like the Viper series, the Viper HS models are also built in the Philippines.

Vortex Viper HS LR – The Viper HS LR series is built for shooters who may be hunting and shooting long range. The Viper HS models are built in a 30mm tube and feature exposed turrets. The HS LR series offers models in SFP and FFP configurations. The Viper HS models are built in the Philippines.

Vortex Viper HST – The Viper HST series (with the HST standing for Hunting Shooting Tactical) is designed a multi-purpose scope for long range shooting, hunting, or tactical based shooting. The HST series are built on a 30mm tube with exposed turrets. These models are currently, only available in SFP configurations, and are produced in the Philippines.

Vortex Viper PST Gen 2 scopes – The Viper PST series of scopes feature better optics than the Vortex Viper series and look to be targeting tactical shooting and precision shooting applications. Currently Vortex is on the 2nd generation of the PST series which includes customer-based upgrades over the PST Gen 1 versions. The PST models are all built on a 30mm tube and come equipped with exposed turrets. The PST series offers a mix of FFP and SFP models with ranging and hold-over reticles. The Viper PST Gen 2 models are manufactured in the Philippines.

Vortex Golden Eagle HD scope – The Golden Eagle HD is specifically designed for long range bench rest and F class shooting and is a step up in glass quality over the Viper HST and PST series. Built on a 30mm tube, the Golden Eagle features an impressive power range of 15X-60X with a 52mm objective. The Golden Eagle HD series is manufactured in Japan.

Vortex Razor HD LH – The Razor series of scopes is currently Vortex’s flagship series of rifle scopes. The Razor HD LH model is only available in a 3-15X42 configuration and is designed to target hunters who want a top tier hunting scope without all the bells and whistles found on larger 30mm scope models. Like the Golden Eagle HD scope series, the Vortex Razor HD LH model is manufactured in Japan.

Vortex Razor HD – The Razor HD scopes are built exclusively for long range shooting. It’s an FFP scope built on a large 35mm tube and features a 5-20X50 power range. The Vortex HD is only available in an FFP configuration and is also manufactured in Japan.

Vortex Razor HD Gen II – The HD Gen II series is a second generation of the HD series that features slightly better optical quality, along with some requested upgrades. The Gen II series is built for long range shooting on the AR platform, and features a 34mm main tube. The Razor HD Gen II is currently only available in two versions and both are FFP models. Like most of the Razor models, the Razor HD Gen II models are made in Japan.

Vortex Razor HD Gen II-E – The Razor HD Gen II-E (with the “E” standing for Enhanced) is designed as a top of the line short to medium range tactical scope for the AR platform. This model is currently only available in a 1-6X24. This Gen II-E series is built in Japan as well.

Vortex Razor HD AMG – Currently the Vortex Razor HD AMG is the top tier of the Vortex scope offerings. It’s an FFP scope built on a 30mm tube in a 6-24X50 configuration. The HD AMG is designed to offer the best long-range shooting, hunting, and tactical scope option in the Vortex line. Unlike the rest of the Razor scope series, the HD AMG models are manufactured in the U.S. Supposedly, the lenses are built in Japan, and then the scope is assembled by Vortex in the US.

Where are Vortex scopes manufactured?

Obviously, the fact that most all the Vortex models are manufactured outside of the United States can/could potentially be a turn-off for some prospective customers, but I’d to also point out the following factors for consideration:

  • There really are not that many rifle scope manufacturers that DO manufacture and produce their scopes entirely in the U.S. While there are still a few, most who advertise their scopes as “made in the USA”, have the parts (lens, erectors, internals, etc.) manufactured outside the U.S., and then the actual scope is put together in the U.S.
  • While scopes manufactured in China and the Philippines may not have the best reputation for quality, the Vortex line is manufactured to specifications laid out by Vortex product engineers so there is a certain amount of quality control built into the process.
  • Over the years, optical companies based in China and the Philippines have significantly improved the quality and clarity of their optical products. Now, is a scope from China going to provide the same optical quality as a Nightforce or Meopta scope? No, but it isn’t going to cost near as much either.
  • Vortex offers a fabulous warranty (easily one of the top 3 scope warranties in the market) so they can and do stand by their products, regardless of where they were manufactured.

Here are some of the more commonly asked questions that I’ve seen, heard, or been asked about where Vortex rifle scopes are manufactured:

Where are Vortex diamondback scopes made?

As referenced before, the Vortex Diamondback series of scopes is manufactured in China.

I really like the Vortex line but only want to buy the models that are made in America. Which ones are those?

Unfortunately, the only current Vortex scope model that is American made is their top of the line Razer HD AMG scope, which runs around $2000.

Are the Vortex scopes made in China any good?

The Vortex models that are produced in China are really their entry and more budget-oriented models. Given the cost of those models compared to the performance, the Chinese made Vortex models perform well. However, keep in mind that you are somewhat getting what you pay for as well.

Those scope models are fine as an entry-level scope. My personal experience has been some of the China made Vortex scope models can have sensitive eye relief, especially if you happen to shift your head ever so slightly.

Some of the images on this page are my Vortex Strike Eagle in a 4-20X50 configuration (which has now been discontinued). That model has turned out to be a great scope for the money, but my one semi-complaint is the eye relief is just a bit critical, especially at the higher magnification powers.

Are the Vortex scope models made in the Philippines any good?

As the Vortex scope models that are produced in the Philippines are a step up in price and quality over the Chinese made models, I’d say they are a better quality scope. Given a choice and the budget, I’d take one of the Philippines made Vortex models over the Chinese versions.

Can you compare the glass quality and clarity between the Viper PST and the Razor models?

The Razor series of Vortex scopes is a major upgrade in optical quality (and in overall quality) compared to the PST scope line. The Razor series (for the most part) come from Japan, while the PST scopes are produced in the Philippines. But, to be fair, there’s also a major price difference between the Razor and the PST models as well.

Where are Vortex Optics made or manufactured?

Vortex Optics and Vortex scopes are one in the same as Vortex Optics is the actual brand name. As such, the information I provided above about where various Vortex scopes are manufactured holds true for Vortex Optics.

Where are Vortex Viper scopes made?

As mentioned previously, all the Vortex Viper line of scopes, which includes the Viper, Viper HS, Viper HS LR, Viper HST, and Viper PST lines of scopes are made in the Philippines.