Vortex Diamondback Tactical 3-9×40 Riflescope Review

Putting together a riflescope with all the most sensible features is a lot harder than you might think, at least if you’re making the attempts on a budget. The magnification ranges and objective lens sizes are pretty standard across scope manufacturers, but there plenty to go wrong (or right) once you start considering reticules, torrents and how the scope will be used. The review is about Vortex Diamondback Tactical 3-9×40 riflescope. We discussed Bushnell Elite Tactical DMR II on our website before.

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Vortex is a family-owned business working out of Wisconsin, and they’ve done an amazing job of making a name for themselves in the optics world. They have several lines of riflescopes ranging from the expensive but highly capable Razor HD AMG to economical Crossfire ll.

Vortex Diamondback Tactical that caught my eye recently was the Vortex Diamondback Tactical 3-9×40 Riflescope. Lest the word “Tactical” in the title be turn off, all it means is the scope has turrets that were meant to be dialed for elevation and windage and reticle that subtends in minutes instead of a bullet drop compensator (BDC) or the ubiquitous duplex. Neither of these features disqualifies this scope from the most basic use, but their presence does offer a degree of flexibility unavailable without them.

Vortex Diamondback Tactical Magnification Range


The Vortex Diamondback Tactical 3–9X40 magnification range is the modern-day equivalent of my father’s fixed 4X. This is the “does everything” range that works for plinking, hunting and even dinging steel out to several hundred yards. I once attended a U.S. Marine Corps Scout/Sniper School with a 3.5–10X scope on my rifle and had to qualify out to 1,000 yards. I’m a magnification hog as much as the next guy, but even topping out at 9X will allow for accurate rifle shooting out past 600 yards.

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Vortex Diamondback Tactical Reticle

SFP reticle Vortex thoughtfully placed the Vortex Diamondback Tactical reticle in the second focal plane (SFP), meaning the reticle stays the same size regardless of the magnification setting. I greatly prefer SFP reticles on scopes that top out in magnification at 10X or less. Subtension marks on reticles are so close together at these magnification ranges that they’re only usable at maximum power anyway.

SFP reticles at 10X or less also remain totally visible at the lowest power setting, a claim that can never be made when reticles are dropped in the first focal plane (FFP). Speaking of reticles, this Vortex Diamondback Tactical scope had the VMR-1. It is a crosshair reticle with each 2-MOA increment marked with a short line.

The suspension marks alternate between .7- and 1.5-MOA wide, so counting off holdovers is easy. This reticle makes it possible to move the scope from one rifle to the next without having to go through the time-consuming process of relearning a BDC or being limited to just a duplex.

Vortex Diamondback Tactical Turrets

Vortex-Diamondback-Tactical-VMR-1-MOA-300x280The turrets are a really nice feature of scope in this price range. They have exposed turrets and meant to be dialed. Each revolution generates 12 MOA of movement, so about 2.5 revolutions would be required to get a 6.5 Creedmoor out to 1,000 yards (if you’re close to sea level).

Slipping the turrets so that the “0” lines up in the right spot is as easy as it gets. Lift up on the turret’s cap to compress a spring and then turn the cap to line up the “0” where you want it. Lower the cap in place and you’re all set. Both windage and elevation adjustments in this manner.

Vortex Diamondback Tactical 3-9×40 Specification

Model Name Vortex Diamondback Tactical 3-9×40
Magnification 3-9x
Objective Lens Diameter 40 mm
Eye Relief 33.7-11.3 feet/100 yards
Tube Size 1 Inch
Turret Style Tactical
Adjustment Graduation 1/4 MOA
Travel per Rotation 12 MOA
Max Elevation Adjustment 80 MOA
Max Windage Adjustment 80 MOA
Parallax Setting 100 yards
Length 12.5 Inches
Weight 15.9 ounces

It’s a tool-less and convenient way to set up a scope, and shooters should appreciate the convenience.

The Vortex Diamondback Tactical carries the Vortex VIP warranty that says if the scope is ever damaged or defective; Vortex will repair or replace it for the life of the product. That’s a big promise and a huge investment in customer relations.

The suggested retail price is $380, but this scope can be found in stores for about a hundred bucks less. That’s a lot of features and a helluva warranty for less than three.


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Q. Will this scope handle 300 wins mag recoil?

A. Absolutely, it will handle the recoil as long as you mount it in a good quality set of rings at 15-18 inch-pounds with no Loctite.

Q. What would you recommend for mounting this to a PTR-91 with the stock fixed front sight?

A. You will need a Picatinny rail and a set of the 1 inch Pro Rings in medium height.

Q. I would like to know what type of Mount you would recommend mounting this onto a Mossberg MVP Patrol Ranch Rifle .308 (It has rifle sights).

A. I would go with a set of the 1 inch Pro Rings in low height for your setup.

Q. I would like to know what type of Mount you would recommend mounting this onto a Mossberg MVP LC .308.

A. I recommend the Viper 1-inch cantilever mount to get the proper mounting height.

Q. Is the reticle etched glass or wire?

A. The Vortex Diamondback Tactical scopes have wire reticles.