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Vortex Diamondback Tactical 4-12×40 Review – Shoot A Yard Further

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Does Vortex even need an introduction? So not wasting any time let’s check out the Vortex Diamondback Tactical 4-12×40 Review.

Anyone – even first-timers in the ammo world – will be familiar with this brand and what it means to the hunting society. Vortex has always been reputed as being the go-to brand for first-timers, professionals, and also for anyone who wants a strategic mix of quality and affordability. Yup, you heard it right – Vortex gives you the best quality stuff at a price that will not leave a hole in your pockets.

So what is the big deal with Diamondback? Diamondback is not necessarily among the lower range models that Vortex boasts of. The Crossfire range is the low-end model but that doesn’t mean that Diamondback is a high-end model. Nop. It is cost-effective, that is, if you look at that many other products with the same list of characteristics.

The thing about Diamondback is that it improves upon the structural quality of a Crossfire but adds to it a higher degree of effectiveness. And all this within slight monetary differences. I am not saying that the scope is cheap but it is cost-effective, i.e., worth a lot more than it costs. Enough beating around the bush, let me get into the details of this popular scope. Read on.

In a Nutshell

No time? Dont worry. Just brush through this section and you are ready to go.

Smile Wide because this scope is extremely effective in performance and cost. Most people are attracted to the Vortex Diamondback tactical owing to its high-quality optics, precision-guided reticle, and cost-effectiveness. Other features like a fast-focus eyepiece, strength, durability, good eye relief are all an added advantage. This scope is regarded as one of the best picks for mid and long-range shooting. Many features make it all the more perfect for an extended range of shooting.

Watch out! This scope does not have an effective parallax adjustment system. Nor does it have a First Focal Plane reticle – unlike the other Vortex Tactical Diamondback.

Vortex Diamondback Tactical 4-12×40 Review

Vortex Diamondback Tactical 4-12x40 Review

Vortex presents Diamondback as its legendary piece, pinpointing and highlighting on its tactical ability. While tactical scopes remain popular within the military arena, it is purely nonsensical to assume that this is the only use of the scope. Tactical scopes have very little difference in comparison to hunting scopes – and mostly this is related to enhancing the accuracy rater than the versatility. Tactical scopes have a shorter range of action and hence will improve the hunter’s vision and precision. Yes, optics and reticle properties play a major role here. It is this feature that makes tactical scopes specifically significant for the military, but it is not limited to this arena.

To know more about the Diamondback Tactical scopes we need to dig into what varieties Vortex has to offer in the first place, the Diamondback range is categorized based on tube size, optical lens diameter, and range of magnification. There are three models available and based on the aforementioned characteristics they are classifiable as a 6-24x50mm FFP, 4-16x44mm FFP, and 4-12x40mm scope. While most other factors remain the same between the models there are certain factors like reticle specificities that need further attention to detail. The model we will be looking at is the 4-12x40mm Vortex Diamondback scope. Read on for a detailed dissection.


The first and foremost thing we need to focus on in any scope is the lens and its peculiarities. Here, Vortex Diamondback Tactical provides us with a 40mm objective lens. Now that is big – big enough to let in a lot of light. Remember that the amount of light being transmitted into a lens increases with the size of the lens. Further, Vortex provides a shield to ensure that the light that is being pulled in stays intact and helps in the viewing of the target.

Like most Vortex scopes, this fully multi-coated lens provides a shield to optimize the efficiency of light transmission, Hence, more light is absorbed and less is wasted as glare. Add to this the XD lens feature which is an extra-low dispersion feature. This feature works with the clarity and sharpness of an image. It manages color fidelity and enhances the resolution of an image. In conclusion, you can see perfectly well with this lens, provide that there is ample light in the surrounding.

The next feature we need to look into within the domain of optics is the reticle. Unlike the other two models of Vortex Tactical scopes, this one has a Second Focal Plane reticle. This scope enhances the ease of viewing a target – even upon magnification. This is something that distinguishes it from Vortex First Focal Plane scopes. The scope has a VMR-1 MOA reticle.

This kind of reticle helps with making finer adjustments and hence viewing the target more intensively. It helps if you are planning to shoot across long distances and also improves your overall ranking skills. Another matter worth mentioning is that this reticle makes use of glass-etched reticle hash marks. So, even in low light conditions, the has reticle can be used effectively to measure and target. Cool, huh?

Range and Magnification:

As mentioned in the description, Vortex Diamondback Tactical gives you a magnification scale of 4-12x. This means that the scope is apt for mid and long-range shooting. As the reticle features emphasize, the VMR – 1 MOA reticle enhances the range of the scope and hence makes long-distance shooting extremely easy with this tactical scope. This is something most users of Vortex Diamondback Tactical 4-12×40 agree on – i.e., the scope is of ‘real value’ for long-range shooters and hunters.


Heard someone say that the scope is sharp? Well, you know what makes that possible – the adjustments! To start with, the scope has some precision tools associated with the reticle. The precision glide erector system and the exposed adjustable turrets make the task of adjusting and aiming a whole lot easier.

The glide erector system is associated with smooth and fast zoon adjustments, fast enough to let you change the course of your action without harming the shot. The exposed turrets also function in these quarters of swiftness as it makes the windage and elevation adjustments much prone to fast changes. Also, the internal click adjustments and lock ensure that no accidental changes happen to the turret settings.

Another factor here is the fast-focus eyepiece. This makes you less vulnerable to the blurriness of moving targets and lets you quickly change the focus and aim. The radius bar is yet another addition. It is more or less like a visual guide that keeps a good track over your turret rotations. This can act as your last-minute check before a shot – to double-check if any accidental or unconscious changes that have been made to the turrets. The zero-in feature is also a hit. The turrets zero in afterward and additionally, you can make manual references accordingly.


Vortex scopes are generally strong and durable. This particular Vortex Diamondback Tactical scope is made of aircraft-grade aluminum. This is as strong as it can get. These scopes are weather-resistant – i.e, water, and fog proof. Further, it is shockproof thereby proving to be compatible even with high-caliber rifles. The hard anodized finish adds to the quality look of the scope.

The scope has a one-inch single tube. The 3.8-inch eye relief is a factor that must be mentioned here. This distance is enough for any hunter to ensure that his face is safe from a hard recoil hit. So no more scope eyes!


Though not necessarily lightweight, the scope does not pose as bulky as well. Weighing 16oz, this tactical scope can be used with both heavy and light rifles. The strength ensured by the material of construction and the safety ensured by the good eye relief makes it favorable for even high caliber rifles. Thus you can use mount rings or rails for this scope.


  • Big lens and hence better light transmission
  • Fully Multi-Coated
  • Low dispersion lens for better color fidelity and resolution
  • VMR -1 MOA reticle for better range estimation
  • Mid to long-range shooting
  • Easy to use and efficient turrets
  • glass etched reticles marks
  • Precision glide erector system
  • Easy to zero-in
  • Fast focus eyepiece
  • Radius Bar for turret checkings
  • Ample eye relief
  • Strong and durable
  • Weather-resistant – water and fog proof
  • Shockproof
  • Cost-effective


  • The parallax adjustment feature is not efficient
  • Unlike the other two models, this one has a Second Focal Plane reticle


Vortex Crossfire or Vortex Diamondback?

While both are cost-effective, Crossfire is what you can call as cheap or affordable – even though the price difference is a few bucks. Essentially, Crossfire is a beginner-friendly scope. Its reputation relies mostly on the ease in aiming and target acquisition. Diamondback on the other hand is more effective as a tactical scope. Its emphasis is on providing a wider field of view, a better range, and precise target acquisition. So, I would suggest that you choose according to your expertise in hunting and shooting, your mode of hunting, and the amount of money you are willing to spend on a scope.

First Focal Plane or Second Focal Plane?

Within the Vortex Diamondback Tactical range, the 24x50mm and 4-16x44mm scopes have First Focal Plane reticles, while the one we discussed has a Second Focal Plane reticle. The difference mainly happens upon magnification. In the First Focal Plane reticle, the size of the reticle readings also gets altered along with the increase in the size of the target while in the Second Focal Plane reticle this remains intact.

Most hunters would prefer a First Focal Plane reticle if they wish to go for a long-range shot. Now, this is highly subjective as even a Second Focal Plane reticle at high magnifications can be used efficiently for long-range. I felt that the First Focal Plane reticle is harder to work on since the reticle reading keeps on altering.


In conclusion, all I have to say is that give the Vortex Diamondback a chance to prove its worth. I assure you that it will work wonders. To summarise, if you are looking for a pocket friendly, mid to long-range shooting scope that keeps precision and target acquisition above all other priorities, then this is your guy.

Do check out Vortex Manual if you need some extra information here. Take the strength, durability, and other features of convenience as merely added advantages. So, what are you waiting for? Head over to Amazon and grab the best deal in the market. If you’ve finished reading this, why don’t you check out our in-depth review on Vortex Diamondback 3-9×40. Thank me later. Happy Hunting to you!