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The Diamondback 3.5-10x50 by Vortex Optics

December 26, 2013
Bill Waugaman , Ohio Valley Outdoors

The Woods 'n Water Rendezvous in August 2013 gave me an opportunity to display many of the outdoor products that have been reviewed over the last year and some of the products planned for upcoming reviews. One of the items catching attention was the Vortex Optics Diamondback 3.5-10x50 scope. Nearly everyone who held the Diamondback and looked through it made the same comment, "Wow". The light transmission and clarity of this scope impressive. When they found out the MSRP was only $299, they were really impressed.

The Diamondback 3.5-10x50 will be used to evaluate a Savage B-Mag in an upcoming review. Based on reports about the B-Mag's accuracy and the ballistic performance of the new .17WSM rimfire, the Diamondback will be a good match having slightly greater magnification than a 3-9 scope and the larger objective lens for more light gathering capability. Even though 50mm scopes are typically heavier than 40mm scopes, the weight of the B-Mag, a 3.5-10x50 Diamondback and rings is under 6 pounds.

As for this scope, the features of the 3.5-10x50 Diamondback are extensive and an indicator of Vortex Optics commitment to quality.

Article Video

--- Physical Construction ---

One-piece premium aircraft-grade aluminum tube

O-ring seals

Article Photos

Diamondback 3.5-10x50

Argon gas to inhibit internal fogging

Lenses secured in place with machined locking rings to withstand recoil and impact

--- External Features ---

Durable hard anodized matte finish

Rubber coated and knurled ocular lens

--- Optics ---

Fully multi-coated lenses to increase light transmission on all air-to-glass surfaces

Minimum 91% light transmission

V-Plex or Dead hold BDC (moa) reticle

Windage hash marks

1/4" MOA adjustment

3.3"-3.6" Eye relief

15 MOA Travel per rotation

65 MOA Maximum windage and elevation adjustment

35.8' (3.5x) to 13.5' (10x) Field of view at 100 yards

--- Adjustment ---

Precision-Glide Erector System for smooth magnification changes in any weather

Fast Focus Eyepiece for quick and easy reticle focus

Finger adjustable windage and elevation

Zero-Reset Turrets makes it easy to reindex the turret housing to zero

--- Physical Dimensions ---

16.2 oz.

12.5" long

2.25" outside diameter at objective lens

As with all product reviews, I check the customer service of the manufacturer by posing some questions. For example, one of the questions asked was, "Why does it take 180 degrees of turning the magnification ring to go from 3.5x to 10x?" Their explanation was very simple, "The Diamondback 3.5-10x50 has a longer internal focal length in the optical design." For all questions and communications with Vortex Optics, I got straight-forward and honest answers. Vortex Optics gets an 'A' for customer service.

The Diamondback owner's manual is easy to read and follow. The Second Focal Plane Reticle Manual that comes with the Diamondback equipped with the BDC reticle is really good. It explains in an easy to understand format how to use the BDC reticle with centerfire and rimfire rifles, muzzleloaders and slug shotguns. The manual is based on general ballistics. For caliber specific ballistics, Vortex Optics has a Long Range Ballistic Calculator (LRBC) on their website.

The Lifetime VIP Warranty on the Diamondback scope is excellent. In a nutshell, if the Diamondback scope requires service for whatever reason (excluding deliberate damage or unauthorized repair), it will be repaired or replaced at no charge. Plus, the warranty is transferable.

While I find the 3.5-10x50 Diamondback to be an impressive scope for a lot of reasons, it may not be the right configuration based on a shooter's needs or personal preference. For those individuals, the Diamondback line has seven other scopes to choose from that range from a 1.75-5x32 to a 4-12x40AO. Diamondback scopes fill the void between less expensive, basic scopes and high end, high priced scopes, and they offer good quality at an affordable price.

For more information about the complete product line of Vortex Optics, check out their website at:



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