11 Nov

Vortex at 540 with Creedmore and Grendel on Steel

Steven K. Ledin,

Steve and LMT

Product Intelligence took a couple hour road trip to visit Vortex Optics, our neighbors in Middleton, Wisconsin. From family-owned meager beginnings to the juggernaut they have become, customer service has been second to none. Readers may know I've been in the shooting sports business for decades, and in all that time, I've never been associated with a company that cares this much about their customers, and goes the extra length to prove it.

I'll give you an example. One of our "Friends of the family" here at OpticsPlanet needed a recommendation for a spotting scope with certain attributes for a specific application. We suggested the Vortex Viper 20-60×85 and the great Vortex Summit XLT tripod with the ball head. Our man used way too much force tightening it onto the tripod quick release plate and stripped the socket threads in the body of the spotter. He was leaving that weekend for a trip, so I drilled it out for him and installed a helicoil and glued it in. It worked for his hunt, but then he did the same thing later and stripped it out again. I know, duh. We sent it in for non-warranty repair, and not only did we get it back in two days, the part was replaced and there was no charge. I didn't send it in as me, but rather the same as you would if it was yours. No problem, no issue, no blaming, nothing. And I think they sent him a hat and a sticker, also. This is just one story, but it is absolutely typical of how the core of Vortex thinks.

Repair station

Repair station

During our tour of the facilities, all employees were pleasant and enthusiastic and genuinely proud to be a part of such a company. Each scope is tested by an individual with years of experience before it becomes available to ship. The place is spotless and has the very latest CNC technology, with bar-feeders everywhere to save time and labor. Almost everything is done in house. Screws, from smaller than a BB, to lens caps and scope bodies are all made from scratch right there in Middleton. They even have their own 3D printing capabilities.

After a presentation and a nice lunch we drove to the range a ways out of town. Steel silhouettes were set up from 200 to 540 yards and we started shooting on a cool day in the low 50s with gusts up to around 30 mph. Here's what we shot:

6.5 Grendel

JP Enterprises 18” PSC-11 (all of the standard options along with Silent Captured Spring, Magpul UBR Stock, and Odin Works XMR Extended Mag Release)

Scope was a Vortex PST 6-24×50 Second Focal Plane MOA sitting in a Bobro Mount.


6.5 Creedmoor (Custom Built)

Defiance Deviant Tactical. XLR Element Chassis. Jewel Trigger. (Unsure of barrel make and builder, but will copy Riley who is the gun owner)

Scope was a Vortex Razor Gen II 4.5-27×56 First Focal Plane MOA


AR-15 223 (Custom Built)

Mega Arms Billiet Ambi Lower. Mega Arms Megalithic Upper. JP Enterprises Low Mass Bolt. JP Enterprises Silent Captured Spring. Timney Trigger. Brux 20” Barrel.

Scope was a Vortex Viper HS 6-24×50 with BDC Reticle MOA in an ADM Mount.


The 308 was an LMT LM308MWS. An AR-10 modular system with different barrel options from the factory. You can get barrels that are swapped out by 2 simple torque bolts at the back of the handguard. They make them in .243 Win, .260 Rem, 6.5 Creedmoor, 7mm-08, and .338 Federal, as well as 4 or 5 length/weight combos in .308 win/7.62 Nato.

They've been really impressed with this rifle and hope to order a few more barrels for it to see what it can do. The barrel they have on it is a 7.62×51/.308 in a 16” configuration. The scope is our Razor HD Gen II 3-18×50 EBR-2C MRAD.


We used Razor HD and Viper spotters to view hundreds of vapor trails.


6.5 Grendel

By the way, the Vortex Strike Eagle was voted OpticsPlanet's Brilliance Award Product of the Year! Congratulations to Vortex Optics!

About Steven K. Ledin

Steve has never not known guns. Before motorcycles, money, or girls, they have always been part of his life. He was tenured as General Manager of one of the country’s largest gun stores and ranges, a buyer in a big box sporting goods store, and is currently OpticsPlanet’s Director of Product Intelligence. He was a US Navy gunners mate, and is an NRA certified instructor in ten categories, as well as an Illinois CCW instructor. He shoots competitively and has hunted from Alaska to Africa. He thoroughly loves life with his beloved wife, Shirley, and their three wildish dogs Tinker, TranRek (pronounced “Train Wreck”), and Crash Almighty. He is a stubborn stage 4 cancer survivor not yet ready to cash in his chips.

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