Product Comparison: Vortex Diamondback Scopes VS. Vortex Viper Scopes

Last Updated on February 8, 2024.

Seasoned Contributor for Minuteman Review and teaches over 100 shooting classes a year.

Do you need a high-quality rifle scope to hunt with but you don’t want to break the bank?  Where do you start?  Vortex makes a wide range of hunting optics to fit everyone’s needs.  The Diamondback and Viper scope series are both popular models with lots of variations to suit almost any application.

Vortex is making a name for itself by producing high quality, efficient optics without the big price tag that comes along with some other name brands.  The construction is top notch, the optics are clear and accurate, and every one of them is backed by the Vortex VIP Lifetime Warranty to give you peace of mind when selecting your new optic.

Head to Head Comparison

Viper 6.5-20x50 PA Second Focal Plane

Vortex Viper

  • Extremely durable
  • Extra protections against elements
  • Highest quality glass
  • Great for long range
  • Limited models available
  • Heavy and Large
  • More Expensive
Diamondback 4-12x40 Second Focal Plane -Hold BDC Reticle (MOA)

Vortex Diamondback

  • Lots of models
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Great scope for the money
  • Only HP models have best glass coatings
  • Not as rugged

While both exceptional Vortex scopes, the Viper is the nicer of the two models.  It includes every high-end feature found on the Diamondback HP range as well as additional anti-wear coatings on the lenses for protection, something not currently available on any of the Diamondback scopes.

The Diamondback is smaller, lighter, and has more options than the Viper.  The Viper is available in 4 variations while the Diamondback has an impressive ten models to choose from.  

The Diamondback is designed for short to medium distance targets while the Viper is designed for medium to long range use.  Both are constructed from one-piece aluminum bodies and are waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof.  With its extra protections, the Viper will fare better in the field over time.

Scope Description and Features

Diamondback 4-12x40 Second Focal Plane -Hold BDC Reticle (MOA)



  • Tube Size: 1″ (all models)
  • Weight: Between 12.8 oz – 18oz (depending on model)
  • Length: Between 10.2″ – 12.5″ (depending on model)
  • Magnification: Adjustable, available from 1.75-5x up to 4-16x

The Diamondback series are one of the best riflescopes out there when it comes to getting more than you pay for.  The one-piece aluminum bodies were designed to be rugged. 

They are all waterproof and shockproof to protect against the elements, eliminate fogged glass, and withstand any time of recoil. 

The lenses are all multicoated for a crisp sight picture, and Diamondback HP models are available with the highest quality glass and coatings available for fantastic light transmission and clear targeting.  

A variety of magnification options are available to suit any range or caliber, and all the scopes are available with either the all-purpose Vortex V-Plex reticle or the Bullet Drop Compensator reticle to aid in shooting at longer ranges or in the wind.

Viper 6.5-20x50 PA Second Focal Plane



  • Tube Size: 1″ or 30mm
  • Weight: Between 16.6 oz – 21.6 oz (depending on model)
  • Length: Between 13.2″ – 14.4″ (depending on model)
  • Magnification: Adjustable, available from 3.5-10x up to 6.5-20x
  • The Viper scope series is a step up in size, ruggedness, and price from the Diamondback scopes. 

    They feature the same one-piece bodies, but more massive models feature a 30mm tube instead of the 1″ tube found on all Diamondbacks. 

    The Viper scopes all feature the highest grade lens coatings for the clearest picture, as well as additional ultra-hard exterior coating.

    This extra coating, not found on the Diamondbacks, protects the lenses from scratches, dirt, or any other abrasives that may find their way onto the glass.

    The BDC Reticle is standard on all Viper scopes, but some models do have the V-Plex or Mil-Dot reticles as an option.  

    All of them are weatherproof and shockproof.  

    The Viper does not have as many variations as the Diamondback but is available in stronger magnifications.             

    Cost and Value Comparison

    The Diamondback and Viper are both exceptional rifle scopes, and the quality you get for the price paid is superb.  The Diamondback scopes can be found under $360 for the HP versions, with many of the standard models costing less than $275.  

    The Vipers are more expensive, the cheapest versions are still over $450, and the highest end models are priced more.   

    The Diamondback will be a great scope for you if you are a casual hunter or are shooting at shorter distances. If you are shooting in wide open areas, shooting at longer distances, or exposed to extreme elements, the Viper will be a better option. 

    Practical Application

    Vortex Diamondback

    The Diamondback is an excellent choice for someone who needs a great scope without sacrificing quality at a lower price point.  

    They are designed to withstand the recoil of most cartridges, including magnum rounds.  The 1″ tube is a common size and any standard scope rings, mounted to a bolt action rifle, would be the ideal setup for this scope.

    Vortex Viper

    The Viper is meant to withstand everything you can throw at it, and then some.  A variety of mounts are available for both the 1″ and 30mm models. 

    They are perfect for medium to long-distance targets and would work fine on any bolt action rifle or on an AR style platform in a variety of calibers including 5.56 or .308.  This scope is more of a serious investment for someone who uses their rifle year-round.

    Our Opinion

    Vortex Diamondback

    Diamondback 4-12x40 Second Focal Plane -Hold BDC Reticle (MOA)

    Vortex Viper

    Viper 6.5-20x50 PA Second Focal Plane

    The Diamondback is a fantastic all-around scope that will suit most shooters needs.  The variety of models available makes it a great option.  If you are in need of the best sight picture and extreme ruggedness, the Viper should be your choice.  It does cost more, but the quality is outstanding.  Comparable scopes from other manufacturers can cost hundreds to thousands more for the same class. Should any issues arise, both scopes are backed by the Vortex VIP Lifetime Warranty.

    Other Options Worth Looking At

    There are a ton of optics on the market today, ranging anywhere from under $100 to thousands upon thousands of dollars.  Trijicon, Nightforce, Bushnell, and others all make quality optics at a variety of price points.  Cheaper scopes may not withstand as much use, and the sight picture won’t be as clear.

    The most expensive scopes will endure everything and will have the clearest picture – but do your research, figure out what you need, and see what models work best for you.  I’m betting Vortex optics can hold their own against any more expensive option.

    Other Comparisons from the Manufacturer

    Not your cup of tea? See these ones too!

    Razor vs Venom

    Sparc AR vs Sparc 2

    Sparc 2 vs Strikefire 2

    Venom vs Viper