Testing the All-New Vortex Strike Eagle 3-18×44 FFP Riflescope

Authors Gear Reviews Mitchell Graf Scopes
Testing the All-New Vortex Strike Eagle 3-18x44 FFP Riflescope
The all-new Vortex Strike Eagle 3-18×44 FFP Riflescope

On January 5th of this year, Vortex added another optic to its existing Strike Eagle lineup, the versatile Strike Eagle 3-18×44 FFP Riflescope. Aiming to provide a balanced approach to a wide field of view and magnification, this 3-18 delivers just that. This first focal plane scope features the EBR-7C reticle available in MRAD or MOA to provide quick and easy-to-use holds. Featuring wide turrets for a large adjustment range, a wide field of view, a Front Focal Plane (FFP) reticle, an included throw lever, and quite impressive glass clarity, the Strike Eagle 3-18 bridges the gap between tactical mid-and long-range shooting. 

Vortex Strike Eagle 3-18 Specifications: 

Magnification: 3-18x

Objective Lens Diameter: 44 mm

Reticle: EBR-7C in MRAD/ MOA

Eye Relief: 3.8 inches

Turret Style: Exposed Elevation, Capped Windage

Tube Size: 34 mm

Adjustment Graduation: .1 MRAD/ 1/4 MOA

Parallax Setting: 10 yds to infinity

Max Windage Adjustment: 18 MRAD/ 62 MOA

Max Elevation Adjustment: 45 MRAD/ 154 MOA

Travel Per Rotation: 10 MRAD/ 25 MOA

Length: 13.3 inches

Weight: 27.3 oz

Field of View: 39.3-6.7 ft @ 100 yds

Testing the All-New Vortex Strike Eagle 3-18x44 FFP Riflescope
New Strike Eagle 3-18 and 34mm Pro rings about to get installed on an S&W M&P15


While available in both MOA and MRAD variants, I opted to test the MRAD version of the Strike Eagle 3-18. Due to the scale of MRAD to MOA, I have always preferred MRAD scopes for keeping the holdover values numerically smaller and more straightforward. The EBR-7C reticle provides great reference points that are quick to use without feeling overwhelming or obstructing too much of the field of view. The center of the reticle has a small opening with a tiny .03 MRAD dot that allows you to see more information for placing the perfect shot. The MRAD variant has etchings that go down to 10 MRAD but when combined with the 45 maximum MRAD elevation turret adjustment, long-range shooters will have a lot of adjustments available to make calculated holds for. These etchings allow the user to determine ranges to a target and hold for elevation or ever-changing wind. Also, since this optic utilizes an FFP reticle, the holdovers remain constant at any magnification. The Strike Eagle has an illuminated reticle powered by a single CR2032 battery which helps with low-light shots.

Testing the All-New Vortex Strike Eagle 3-18x44 FFP Riflescope
Picture through the scope when zoomed in to about 15 power at a target 500 yards away. The picture doesn’t do the scope justice as the actual image was clearer than this picture.


The Vortex Strike Eagle 3-18 utilizes wide turrets which allow for more adjustment per revolution, or 10 MRAD/25 MOA per twist to be exact. Windage and elevation adjustments are positive, and clicks are easy to feel. Each click moves the reticle by 1/4 MOA or 0.1 MRAD. While the elevation turret features a lock-out to keep it from accidentally being twisted when the rifle may be slung, the windage turret just has a cap to cover it. For the elevation turret, just push down to lock the turret in place, or pull it up and twist to dial-in shots as needed. Typically once I zero a rifle, I never use the windage turret again. After zeroing, I just use the reticle etchings to hold for wind since it changes by the second so I don’t mind the windage turret being capped to keep it locked in place. The elevation turret also features Vortex’s RevStop™ Zero System which gives a quick return to zero after turret adjustments keeping the user from accidentally being one rotation off. This makes it fast to return to zero with confidence. 

Testing the All-New Vortex Strike Eagle 3-18x44 FFP Riflescope
Picture looking directly at the windage turret. To re-index the windage back to zero after sighting in, loosen the set screw and move the turret as needed.


Testing how well the turrets actually worked, I zeroed a laser to the center of the reticle and then dialed up 10 mills, and to the left 5 mills. As seen in the pictures below, the laser moved exactly 10 mills down and 5 mills to the right (pictures are blurry, it was easier to see when I was behind the scope and not trying to align my phone up perfectly in the center of the body). When I dialed both windage and elevation back to zero, the laser returned perfectly back to the center of the reticle. This proves that the machined steps for turret adjustments align with the etched reticle. While this is essential for making precise shots at a distance, it is good to see Vortex maintaining tight tolerances on an affordable optic. 

Testing the All-New Vortex Strike Eagle 3-18x44 FFP Riflescope
Laser zeroed with reticle
Testing the All-New Vortex Strike Eagle 3-18x44 FFP Riflescope
Laser aligning with the reticle where it should when 10 mills of elevation and 5 mills of windage have been dialed in

Zero System

The Strike Eagle also features Vortex’s RevStop™ zero system for the elevation turret. While both the windage and elevation turrets are easy to reindex back to zero after sighting in, the elevation also features a hard stop that can be installed. After the RevStop™ has been installed, users can quickly dial the scope down and it will only go 0.5 mills past zero. This prevents the user from forgetting how many rotations the turret has made while always maintaining confidence in their return back to zero. The only downside is that once the RevStop™ has been installed, the total elevation adjustment will be cut nearly in half. I don’t mind this though since I never dial up with a scope, only down for shots at a distance. 

Testing the All-New Vortex Strike Eagle 3-18x44 FFP Riflescope
RevStop™ does not come installed on the scope, but can be found in the box and installed when needed


This scope incorporates a variable-intensity illuminated reticle to help with low-light performance. There are 11 brightness levels, and they can be cycled through by rotating the brightness adjustment knob that sticks out past the parallax adjustment. While there are no shutoff positions between each brightness setting, I tend to either run the scope either turned on at level 11 or with the illumination turned completely off. For a 3-18, I find this to work just perfectly fine, whereas I would prefer shutoff spots next to each brightness setting on an LPVO. This illumination is powered by a single CR2032 battery which is supposed to provide 700 hours of runtime when set to brightness level 6. The parallax adjustment is smooth on this Strike Eagle. It can be fine-tuned from as close as 10 yards or all the way out to infinity and beyond. 

Testing the All-New Vortex Strike Eagle 3-18x44 FFP Riflescope
Outside numbers represent the brightness setting for the illuminated reticle and the inside numbers represent the distance the parallax is set for


As the name implies, the Vortex Strike Eagle 3-18 has a magnification adjustment from 3-18 power. When set at 3X, the field of view is quite large allowing the user to see 39.8 feet at 100 yards. The clarity has been quite impressive especially considering the price. I couldn’t notice any real edge-to-edge distortion, and there is only a very minor blue tint to the glass. I spent some time comparing this scope side by side with the Vortex Razor HD Gen III 6-36×56. While the Strike Eagle obviously does not have the optical performance of an optic with an MSRP of nearly 5 times more than it, I was still blown away. It wasn’t until I zoomed the optic all the way up to around 15-18x that I could start to notice much of a difference. There was some text on some of our farm equipment that was about 1100 yards away that was slightly blurry and hard to read with the Strike Eagle that was clear with the Razor, but for the purposes of a DMR setup, the Strike Eagle is great. 

Testing the All-New Vortex Strike Eagle 3-18x44 FFP Riflescope
44mm objective lens

Another nice touch when purchasing this optic is the included throw lever. While the magnification adjustment is smooth, it is much quicker to adjust when there is a tab sticking out to push against. The throw lever clamps down tight with a single set screw, and ergonomically feels good when using. 

Testing the All-New Vortex Strike Eagle 3-18x44 FFP Riflescope
Throw lever attached to the scope

Field Testing

Throughout my review, I had a blast with this scope. Every scope is basically useless without a quality mount to keep everything locked down solid. For this reason, I mounted it on the new Vortex Pro Series of 34mm rings. The combo stayed locked down rock solid bouncing around in the back of a side-by-side driving through a pasture moving cattle, and throughout the few hundred rounds I put through the rifle it was paired to. One thing I like about the rings is that they include the torque spec etched on the rings themselves. Everything seems to require a unique torque spec that I can’t remember, so I always end up searching product manuals online. Vortex eliminates this issue by providing both the mount and the ring’s torque spec.

Testing the All-New Vortex Strike Eagle 3-18x44 FFP Riflescope
The new 34mm Vortex Pro Rings with torque specs labeled

I had no issues shooting out to 500 yards using just the reticle for holdovers, as well as after dialing for my shots. As previously mentioned, the tracking proved to be spot on so dialing or holding using the reticle paired up great. The Strike Eagle 3-18×44 FFP weighs in at 27.3 ounces and has an overall length of 13.3 inches. I find this to be quite reasonable for how much performance I was able to get from this scope. It feels tough and held up to the slight abuse I threw at it. Glass clarity was much better than I was anticipating for the price, and the reticle worked great for me. 

Testing the All-New Vortex Strike Eagle 3-18x44 FFP Riflescope
My wife getting constant hits on some steel targets at 500 yards


The new Vortex Strike Eagle 3-18×44 FFP is available and shipping now with an MSRP of $850 with the current street price hovering around the $750 mark. Using this scope on a rifle set up for a Designated Marksman Rifle or DMR role worked great. I had a good field of view on 3X and plenty of magnification for identifying things further out. The turrets and reticle gave plenty of holdover information for shooting out at a distance, and the glass clarity was impressive. Overall, I think Vortex has another hit on its hands with this new optic. 

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  • OldBeast February 6, 2023, 4:56 pm

    Hope they decide to offer other reticles than that one! I had one of their scopes with that reticle and sold it shortly after. It’s just too busy of a reticle and at short distance like 100 yards or so I feel you just can’t get a crisp image and hold necessary for tiny groups! The glass was pretty good for mid tier scope and would be good with a different reticle.

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