Take Your Crossbow Accuracy to the Outer Edge

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Viper XBR testing

Vortex’s new Viper XBR 2.5-10×44 crossbow scope delivers maximum long-range performance and confidence

by the Hunting Daily staff


While it may look more like a premium sighting system designed for a long-range hunting or tactical rifle, the new Vortex Viper XBR 2.5-10×44 is a crossbow scope like nothing you’ve seen before. Incorporating some of the must-have features from the company’s premium rifle optics, the Viper XBR’s true capabilities outpace even the platform it was developed for. In short, this scope can deliver an arrow on target to the maximum range of your crossbow or your personal shooting skill level.

front-rear view
Although the Viper XBR shares the profile of top-shelf rifle glass, Vortex developed it specifically to maximize the accuracy potential of today’s high-performance crossbows.

The heart of the Viper XBR is its minute-of-angle (MOA) based XBR-1 reticle system. For those of you experienced long-distance shooters who have a solid grasp of MOA practice and theory, the Viper XBR will seem like a familiar friend. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the MOA concept, the Viper XBR comes with a relatively short learning curve.

Lead B
Due to the length of the scope and the inherently short stock of crossbows, the Viper XBR utilizes a cantilever front ring mount.

The oversimplified version is the Viper XBR relies on MOA calculations and situational elevation adjustments to provide precise drop compensation when shooting at distances beyond the scope’s 30-yard zero. You can achieve compensation by adjusting the elevation dial or by using the MOA marks on the vertical crosshair. The how and why all of this is accomplished is more than we can cover here, but the end result is a scope that can provide sighting precision far exceeding that of conventional single-dot or crosshair reticle crossbow scopes. The Viper XBR owner’s manual is well-written and clearly describes how to set up the scope for your particular crossbow. If you want a better understand of the MOA concept, check out the National Shooting Sports Foundation video and article on the subject.

As we mentioned earlier, the Viper XBR comes with many features found primarily on high-end rifle scopes. Built on a single-piece 30mm diameter aircraft-grade aluminum tube with a low-glare matte finish, the scope is waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof.

Both the elevation and windage turrets provide one-click=one MOA adjustment.

The top elevation turret is exposed (no cap) so that the shooter can make quick elevation adjustments. There are MOA markings on circumference of the turret as well as a radius bar on top to provide an easy visual reference. The elevation turret also incorporates a Customizable Rotational Stop (CRS). This prevents the turret from being dialed more than one revolution past your zero. It is convenient feature if your target changes range after you’ve made your drop calculation. When the turret bottoms out on the CRS, you can use the radius bar and your zero reference mark to quickly reindex back to zero.

The side windage turret is capped, as there is no need for additional adjustment once the scope is sighted in.

sighting in
The suggested zero for the Viper XBR is 30 yards. Once established, drop compensation for extended distances can be calculated.

The Viper XBR has a 2.5-10x magnification range that adjusts via a smooth-to-operate magnification adjustment ring. There is also a reticle focus on the front of the eyepiece. The Viper XBR uses a second focal plane reticle system, which means the size of the reticle does not visually change as you adjust the magnification.

Looking through the Viper XBR, you can immediately appreciate the quality construction and materials. The extra-low dispersion glass delivers a crisp, clear downrange view, and the multiple and anti-reflective coatings performed well for us both in the bright and dim lighting conditions we tested in. Another feature we like about the Viper XBR is its illumination adjustment dial. With ten levels of brightness and an “off” click between each level, customizing reticle illumination is a snap.

We understand that a high-speed optical system like the Viper XBR isn’t for every crossbow shooter (or every rifle shooter, for that matter). If you’re unfamiliar with MOA compensation, it takes some adjustment to think in terms other than inch-drop at a certain distance. But if you are willing to invest the time to learn the concept, the Viper XBR will maximize your targeting advantage and allow you to obtain to most accurate long-distance shooting performance possible from your crossbow. It worked for us on some Texas Rios, and it can work for you wherever your hunts may take you.

On the last hour of the last day of our hunt, the Viper XBR delivered.



Vortex Viper XBR 2.5-10×44 Crossbow Scope

Magnification: 2.5-10x

Objective Lens Diameter: 44 mm

Eye Relief: 4.0 inches

Field of View: 47-10.9 feet/100 yards

Tube Size: 30 mm

Turret Style: Tactical Elevation, Capped Windage, CRS Zero Stop

Adjustment Graduation: 1 MOA

Travel per Rotation: 48 MOA

Max Elevation Adjustment: 86 MOA

Max Windage Adjustment: 86 MOA

Parallax Setting: 75 yards

Length: 12 inches

Weight: 18.8 ounces



Vortex Optics

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