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Before sending your Vortex product in for warranty service, please review the following customer concerns. After going through this Troubleshooting Guide, you may feel your Vortex product needs warranty service or evaluation—visit the VIP Warranty page for our return procedure.

Binoculars

» How do I attach a neck-strap to a binocular?
Step 1
Thread the end of the strap from the bottom, then up through the strap attachment loop.
  Step 2
Hold the buckle and thread the end of the strap inside the buckle.

  Step 3
Adjust the overall length and pull the strap webbing tight so it is secure within the buckle.
Step 1   Step 2   Step 3

Note

Please do not thread a metal ring directly onto the strap attachment loop when attaching rings or clips for other after-market equipment. Instead, use nylon zip ties according to the manufacturer's instructions.


Riflescopes

All Riflescope Models

» I can't zero my riflescope.

If your riflescope won't hold zero, please try the following:

NOTE: Adjusting the riflescope to zero should not be attempted until a satisfactory 3-shot group has been achieved.

    I don't have enough click to get properly sighted-in. This issue is generally caused by at least one of the following things:

    • Over-tightened ringscan cause the scope to not be able to adjust properly. We recommend 15-18 inch pounds on most ring sets, but please feel free to call and ask if you have questions about your specific rings.
    • The adjustable rings and bases being used are not adjusted properly. Many people have adjustable bases or rings that are used to align the riflescope with the barrel/action. They can be adjusted to correct for windage or elevation - and if not properly installed, can cause a shooter to experience issues achieving a proper zero. If you have adjustable rings and have questions about installing them, feel free to call us. We are happy to walk you through the process.
    • A misalignment in the rifle’s barrel and action or receiver. If you do not have adjustable rings or bases and find you are having to use up a lot of windage/elevation adjustment (or run out completely), you may have a rifle with a barrel/action or receiver that is out of alignment. This can sometimes be corrected with an adjustable ring or base set or a canted base (20 MOA Picatinny rail, etc.). If you think you may have this issue, but are not sure how to fix it, please give us a call and we can walk you through the best way to proceed.
    • A misalignment of bases (which is most common in 2-piece bases) can cause a misalignment of the rings. This can cause the rings to tighten unevenly around the scope tube and cause impingement of the tube or slipping of the riflescope in the rings. When using 2-piece bases, we recommend checking alignment with alignment bars and then lapping the rings into proper alignment if necessary.
    • The riflescope’s main tube is bent. This can occur through a hard impact or other uneven force applied to the scope tube. It is easy to tell if a scope tube is bent. By rolling the scope in the bottom ring halves, the scope will appear to lift out of the rings if bent, rather than staying flat and rotating in place. If you discover this happened, please give us a call.

    • Please remember our Technical Support and Customer Care Teams are always ready, willing, and happy to assist you. If you have additional questions or feel your scope should be sent in, please do not hesitate to contact us directly:

        Technical support 800-426-0048 ext 5
        Customer Care 800-426-0048 ext 6
        or visit us at http://www.vortexoptics.com/content/service

» My riflescope will not consistently or precisely adjust.

This issue is typically caused by at least one of a few reasons:

  • Over-tightened rings can cause the scope to not be able to adjust properly. We recommend 15-18 inch pounds on most ring sets, but please feel free to call and ask if you have questions about your specific rings.
  • Inaccurate ammunition can cause a rifle to shoot larger groups than expected. This can lead a shooter to believe there is an issue with the riflescope’s tracking due to the inability to recognize a clear group where the bullets are being shot. Some rifles can be picky about ammunition that will produce reliable accuracy. A shooter should be ready to experiment with different (but appropriate for intended use) ammunition to obtain acceptable accuracy.
  • A misalignment in the rifle’s barrel and action or receiver. If you do not have adjustable rings or bases and find you are having to use up a lot of windage/elevation adjustment (or run out completely), you may have a rifle with a barrel/action or receiver that is out of alignment. This can sometimes be corrected with an adjustable ring or base set or a canted base (20 MOA Picatinny rail, etc.). If you think you may have this issue, but are not sure how to fix it, please give us a call and we can walk you through the best way to proceed.
  • The adjustable rings and bases being used are not adjusted properly. Many people have adjustable bases or rings that are used to align the riflescope with the barrel/action. They can be adjusted to correct for windage or elevation - and if not properly installed, can cause a shooter to experience issues achieving a proper zero. If you have adjustable rings and have questions about installing them, feel free to call us. We are happy to walk you through it.

  • Please remember our Technical Support and Customer Care Teams are always ready, willing, and happy to assist you. If you have additional questions or feel your scope should be sent in, please do not hesitate to contact us directly:

      Technical support 800-426-0048 ext 5
      Customer Care 800-426-0048 ext 6
      or visit us at http://www.vortexoptics.com/content/service

» My reticle looks canted.

Some potential causes for a reticle to appear canted:

  • Your leveling tools used to mount the scope, and the reticle inside your scope are properly aligned but the way you are holding the rifle causing your eye to perceive the reticle as canted. For example, right-handed shooters shouldering a rifle commonly report a reticle appearing to be canted to the left, or counter clockwise. Left-handed shooters will generally report seeing the reticle canted to the right or clockwise. To fix this, try positioning yourself completely behind the rifle (chin aligned with the buttstock) looking through the riflescope at the reticle straight-on. This tends to eliminate that illusion created by having your head turned slightly while shouldering the rifle.
  • Aiming at a target or background that is uneven, or shooting from uneven ground may cause a reticle to appear canted, as well. Moving to more level ground may eliminate this canted appearance. A shooter not accustomed to shooting with a bubble level tool installed on their rifle may make the mistake of believing the reticle is canted because of the way the rifle needs to be held in order for the reticle to be held level. You can verify this again by getting completely behind the rifle to confirm proper alignment.
  • Your bubble level is sitting on top of the turret cap. This can skew your results by making the riflescope turret appear to be sitting level in relation to the rifle when it is not actually sitting level. Sometimes, the turret cap (or the fiber optic indicator on the turret cap) will sit crooked and cause the bubble level to be canted slightly. Rather than using the top of the turret cap, try putting the level on the inner turret post top (or using feeler gauges on the bottom of the scope) to level the scope.
  • The reticle is actually canted. Although very rare, this is a possibility. If you are still in doubt after reading and investigating some of the potential causes and would like to speak with a specialist, the Technical Support team would be happy to help. See contact information below.

  • Please remember our Technical Support and Customer Care Teams are always ready, willing, and happy to assist you. If you have additional questions or feel your scope should be sent in, please do not hesitate to contact us directly:

      Technical support 800-426-0048 ext 5
      Customer Care 800-426-0048 ext 6
      or visit us at http://www.vortexoptics.com/content/service

    » My riflescope will not properly focus.

    My reticle or target will not focus properly. This issue is typically caused by at least one of a few reasons:

  • Shooting at a target too close. Verify your particular riflescope’s parallax focusing capability. For example, a riflescope with fixed 100-yard parallax or 50 to infinity parallax may have some distortion when shooting at 10 or 25 yards, because the target is too close for the rifle’s focusing capability.
  • Mirage is a heatwave-like distortion that may cause significant distortion on targets at a long distance. It can occur in a variety of different temperature patterns, but will be most noticed when shooting at extended distances with a high-magnification riflescope. Sometimes backing off the magnification can help alleviate this issue.
  • Barrel or Suppressor Mirage. This effect is similar to mirage observed downrange but originates from the barrel or suppressor getting hot after several rounds have been fired. The shooter can alleviate this by letting the rifle cool, or installing an anti-mirage suppressor shield/ barrel mirage band.
  • The riflescope needs to be focused properly.

      Part 1 is to adjust the reticle focus:

      Warning: Looking directly at the sun through a riflescope, or any optical instrument can cause severe and permanent damage to your eyesight.
      1: Look through the riflescope at a blank white wall or up at the sky.
      2: Turn the eyepiece focus knob in or out until the reticle image is as crisp as possible.

    Once this adjustment is complete, it will not be necessary to re-focus every time you use the riflescope. However, because your eyesight may change over time, you should re-check this adjustment periodically.

      Part 2 can only be done if your riflescope has a side focus parallax adjustment or adjustable objective (AO) feature. These riflescopes feature a separate focus which should be used to fine-tune the image focus. When the image is sharply focused, parallax error will also be eliminated:

      1: Be sure the reticle is correctly focused (See Part 1)
      2. Turn the side focus knob or adjustable objective until the target image is as sharp as possible. The yardage numbers referenced should somewhat match the actual yardage to the target, but keep in mind these are not exact and are more of a guideline than a concrete reference point.
      3. Check for parallax error by moving your head back and forth while looking through the scope. The focus is correct if there is no apparent shift of the reticle on the target. If you notice any shift, adjust the focus knob slightly until all shift is eliminated.

    Note: Try to make Part 1 and Part 2 adjustments quickly, as the eye will try to compensate for an out-of-focus reticle.

  • Over-tightened rings can restrict movement of the parallax cell and cause the parallax knob to turn hard or not even change the focus of the image at all. We recommend 15-18 inch pounds on most ring sets, but please feel free to call and ask if you have questions about your specific rings.


  • Please remember our Technical Support and Customer Care Teams are always ready, willing, and happy to assist you. If you have additional questions or feel your scope should be sent in, please do not hesitate to contact us directly:

      Technical support 800-426-0048 ext 5
      Customer Care 800-426-0048 ext 6
      or visit us at http://www.vortexoptics.com/content/service

    Razor HD and Viper PST Riflescope Illumination

    » The illumination isn't working—the reticle isn't lit until the dial is turned to 6, 7, or higher.

    The illumination of your Razor HD or Viper PST riflescope is still working at the lower numbers. These lower numbers are intended to allow the use of illumination while using night vision equipment. Night vision equipment requires such low intensity illumination that the naked eye usually cannot see the illumination.

    • Razor HD 1-4x24 Riflescopes: Professional-grade illumination: designed for daytime, low light and night vision devices. The top six settings (6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11) are visible in the daytime, depending on the background color. Settings below 6 are for low light use when the user's eyes have become adapted to lower light levels. Lowest settings are intended for use with night vision devices.
    • Razor HD 5-20x50 Riflescopes: Professional-grade illumination: designed for daytime, low light and night vision devices. The top setting (11) is visible in the daytime, depending on the background color. Settings below 11 are for low light use when the user's eyes have become adapted to lower light levels. Lowest settings are intended for use with night vision devices.
    • Viper PST and Viper HS 1-4x Riflescopes: Professional-grade illumination: designed for daytime, low light and night vision devices. The top five settings (6, 7, 8, 9, 10) will be visible in the daytime, depending on the background color. Settings below 6 are for low light use when the user's eyes have become adapted to lower light levels. Lowest settings are intended for use with night vision devices.
    • Other Viper PST Riflescopes: Professional-grade illumination: designed for daytime, low light and night vision devices. The top three settings (8, 9, 10) will be visible in the daytime, depending on the background color. Settings below 8 are for low light use when the user's eyes have become adapted to lower light levels. Lowest settings are intended for use with night vision devices.

    Red Dot Scopes

    » The dot is not a dot.

    If the dot of your riflescope doesn't look perfectly round, the distortion may be caused by the way your eye perceives the dot—making the dot appear misshapen. This is called astigmatism. Most everyone has some degree of natural astigmatism. Here are a few ways to tell if the distortion you are seeing is caused by your eyes or is a problem with the scope:

    • Look through the scope with your other eye. If the dot changes shape from one eye to the other, the misshapen dot is likely caused by astigmatism.
    • Look through the scope and rotate the scope on its optical axis. If the irregular shape maintains its position, it's probably because of how your eyes are seeing the dot. If the irregular shape of the dot rotates with the scope, there may be a problem with the scope.
    • Try photographing the dot. Close the objective flip cover of the scope, place the lens of a digital camera up against the eyepiece of the scope, and take a photo of the dot. Compare the photo with what you are seeing through the scope. If the shape is the same as what you are seeing through the scope, the scope may be defective.
    Note

    The above tests should help you decide if you need to send in your riflescope for warranty service.

    » The unit won't turn on.

    Check the battery as suggested in the Troubleshooting section of the StrikeFire and SPARC product manuals (page 11). If you have replaced the battery, checked the installation of the battery, and tightened the battery cap as suggested, but your unit still doesn't come on, it is possible that the Night Vision mode is activated.

    • Press the Night Vision button, then press the On/Off button as before.

    Please see your Product Manual for correct location of Night Vision button.

    Note

    If your unit still has no dot, it may be defective and should be sent in for warranty service.

    » The unit won't turn off.

    The newest version of the illuminated Strikefires and SPARCs require the On/Off button to be depressed for 5 seconds to turn the unit off. If your red dot won't turn off after depressing the On/Off button, or begins shorting out, change to a new battery.

    Note

    If your unit still won't turn off, it may be defective and should be sent in for warranty service.

    » Night Vision works great, nice and bright, but the regular mode is too dim to see.
       OR - The dot is too dim to see—it's just a tiny speck.

    If either of the above statements applies to your red dot scope, it is extremely likely that the Night Vision mode is activated and being perceived as the Regular mode of operation.

    • When the dot looks like a speck and the intensity won't adjust with the up and down buttons, the scope is in Night Vision mode.
    • The Night Vision mode is intended to be used with night vision equipment. Night vision equipment requires such low intensity illumination that the naked eye cannot usually see the illumination.
    Note

    Your unit should have a nice bright dot for regular daytime use.

    » The dot is very large—much bigger than it's supposed to be.

    The dot looks very large. Look through the scope with the objective flip cap open—as if you are using it on your gun. Does this make the dot smaller and appear as it should?

    Note

    If you feel the dot is still not correct, feel free to send it in for warranty service and evaluation.

    » The dot is a cluster of dots, not one dot.

    The illuminated dot on our Red-Dot scopes is made up of a series of tiny dots, or pixels. Sometimes, when we look at the dot long enough, our brains will begin to adjust for what we are seeing and actually separate the dot into pixels. This is particularly obvious if looking through the scope with the objective flip-cap closed.

    Rest your eyes for a moment, then look through the scope with the objective flip-cap open—as if you are using it on your gun. Does this make the dot appear as it should?

    Note

    If you feel the dot is still not correct, feel free to send it in for warranty service and evaluation.

    » The dot has a halo around it.

    The dot has a hazy circle around it, making it glare and appear very large. Look through the scope with the objective flip cap open—as if you are using it on your gun. Decrease the intensity of the illumination. Does this make the dot appear as it should?

    Refer to the StrikeFire or SPARC product manual for the location of the Increase/Decrease buttons.

    Note

    If you feel the dot is still not correct, feel free to send it in for warranty service and evaluation.

    » The dot does not illuminate.

    Is your red dot sight in night vision compatible mode? Press the NV mode button to return to standard daytime mode.

    Note

    If the dot is still not illuminating, feel free to send it in for warranty service and evaluation.

    » There is no green dot on my StrikeFire.

    Your unit only has the red dot, even though you ordered or bought the Red/Green version of the StrikeFire. Open the objective flip cap and look at the objective lens.

    • Do you see a very slight greenish tint to the objective lens?
    • Is the objective lens definitely red?

    If the lens is definitely red, you have a Red Only version of the StrikeFire red dot scope.

    Note

    The dealer you purchased the StrikeFire from should be able to exchange the unit for you if you would still prefer the Red/Green version. If returning the unit to your dealer is problematic, please feel free to call Vortex Optics at (800) 426-0048, extension 4.

    » The SPARC won’t hold zero.

    If your SPARC won’t hold zero, please be sure that the screws used for attaching the mounting system to the unit are the correct length.

    • Use the short screws with the low or tall mount.
    • Use the long screws when using the shim with either mount.
    • Please double check that all mounts and screws are tight, with no movement.

    If your SPARC still will not hold zero, you may need to consider sending the unit in for warranty service.

    » The dot in my SPARC is flickering.

    Most of the time this is caused by the battery cap being only finger tight. Tightening the cap with a coin or screwdriver so it is fully seated should stop the dot from flickering.



    USA USA

    • Phone: (800) 426-0048 or (608) 664-9856
    • Email: info@vortexoptics.com
    • Fax: (608) 662-7454
    • Write us at 2120 West Greenview Drive, Middleton, Wisconsin 53562.

    And, if you're in southern Wisconsin, we invite you to step into our showroom and see all that Vortex Optics has for you.

    Canada Canada