EOTECH has been building holographic sights in the USA since 1996, but it was not until 2016 that they entered the precision long range rifle optics business. Their initial model is the Vudu series of top tier tactical scopes that they offer in multiple different magnification ranges and in both First Focal Plane (FFP) and Second Focal Plane (SFP) iterations. EOTECH prides themselves on making very high end professional grade optics and we wanted to take the opportunity to put one of these scopes through our detailed review process to see how well it performed. With thanks from a long time friend of Sniper Central, Emil, we were able to spend some time with the 5-25x50mm version of the Vudu with the Horus Tremor3 reticle located on the First Focal Plane.
The Vudu comes well packaged in a nice box with cut out foam for the scope and accessories. A sunshade is included as well a battery for the illuminated reticle, lens cloth, a manual for the scope and one for the reticle, as well as a wrench for setting the zerostop and a bikini style lens caps. The packaging is nice, and the presentation looks good, and as is our habitual first step, we flipped the scope over and read the country of origin, which tends to reveal a lot about what can be expected from a scope. The Vudu scopes are built in Japan which is a good sign as several high end scopes, such as those from Nightforce, originate in Japan and typically we have had very good luck with Japanese made scopes.
The 5-25x Vudu is a short scope measuring just a tad over 11″ which can be good for keeping the size and weight of a sniper weapon system under control, but it can also introduce mounting challenges, depending on the rifle and mounting configuration, which we will discuss below. The eyepiece is long and incorporates what we would probably classify as a “medium speed” diopter adjustment with mild serrations to aide with gripping the eyepiece to focus the reticle. With 1.9 rotations to cover the full diopter adjustment range it is neither fast, nor fine, hence the “medium” rating. It rotates through the entire range with a moderate amount of resistance to hold it in place, which is needed as there is no locking ring or indicator dot to help track its setting. The adjustment itself is very smooth with no grittiness throughout the entire range.
In front of the diopter adjustment, the eyepiece has some serrations on it, which are aesthetic only with no operational purpose, and then the magnification adjustment ring, which is smooth except for a riser that is used for the operator’s fingers to be able to grip and adjust the magnification power. There is also a throw lever that is included with the scope that threads into the top of the riser, as seen in the above picture. These throw levers are a nice addition to make adjusting the zoom power easy and quick. There are markings on the front sloping side of the zoom ring that are not visible from directly behind the scope, but with a FFP reticle that grows and shrinks with the magnification, knowing the exact zoom power the scope is set to is not critical.
In front of the zoom ring, there is 1.75″ (44mm) of tube length to position the scope mounting ring. The tube diameter is a large 34mm which can provide some extra strength, but more importantly allows for more elevation and windage adjustment range for the scope. The downside of the larger tube diameters is the extra weight they bring along with them. While this scope is only 11.2″ long, it still weights a stout 29.5 ounces, nearly two pounds without the sunshade, over two pounds with it. The shoulder of the scope where the control knobs are located is a rounded shape that is not too large with the exposed elevation knob, side focus with illumination controls, and a capped windage knobs are positioned.
The elevation knob, located on top, is of substantial size with a full 10 MIL of adjustment range per revolution and each click representing .1 MIL. (Note: MRAD and MIL are the same thing, we tend to use the term MIL in our reviews). There are serrations at the top of the knob to help with gripping it and the single level of markings are easy to read. The knob itself has a spin lock to keep it from rotating when not intended. To lock the knob, it is pressed down, to make adjustments the knob needs to be lifted about 1/8″ and then it can rotate. The clicks are well defined with a muted sound but very good tactile feel, even with gloves on. With the 10 MIL of adjustment per revolution, there is enough adjustment to take a 175gr .308 Win to beyond 900 yards in standard atmospheric conditions in just a single rotation, but there is also a clever indicator tower that rises, and lowers, with each revolution of the knob to help track the revolutions. Additionally, there is a zerostop to allow quickly bringing the scope back to the initial zero point once it is set.
EOTECH indicates that there are 29 MIL of total elevation adjustments, but our particular example that we reviewed here had 33.5 MIL, giving plenty of adjustment range for most practical sniper rifle engagement scenarios as well as those looking for extreme range capability. The windage knob has a dust cap that fits over it and once removed a traditional target style turret is revealed. The knob has the same nice clicks and 10 MIL of adjustment per revolution as the elevation knob and the markings count up in both directions. This means the overlap happens at 5 MIL, which gives enough windage to compensate the same .308 cartridge in 10 MPH crosswinds out to beyond 1600 yards in the same standard atmospheric conditions before having to deal with possible confusion with the overlap at 5 MIL.
On the opposite side of the scope from the windage knob is the focus and reticle illumination control knob. This knob consists of the parallax adjustment knob, also known as the focus knob, that is a wider diameter knob than the illumination controls. This side focus has markings from 45 yards out to infinity and is fairly short with similar serrations as the other scope controls. The focus knob is very smooth through the entire range with good resistance and worked well in all the shooting conditions we used the scope in.
Stacked on top of the focus knob is the illumination controls, which does not rotate like most illuminated reticle controls on other scopes. Rather there are three different pressure buttons that are used to control the illuminated reticle. The button on top is the power button and the one that is closest to the shooter is used to increase brightness and the one on the opposite side of the round knob is for decreasing brightness. The pressure switches do work as intended, but there is no tactile indication that the switches have activated and the operator needs to be looking through the scope to get the visual indication the button has successfully been pressed. While the setup does work, we were not overly excited about the configuration and a more traditional control setup was preferred by most who used it.
In front of the shoulder of the scope, there is a scant 1.5″ (38mm) of tube length for which to locate the forward scope mounting ring and then the tube tapers sharply into the objective lens housing, or bell of the scope. The 50mm objective lens is a good overall size that balances light gathering and definition but not going too large and making the scope too tall or large. The bell is threaded to accept the included sun shade and there is the obligatory EOTECH logo etched nicely onto both sides of the housing.
Overall, as mentioned previously, the scope is compact in size, but certainly has a heft to it. The quality of manufacture appears to be very high with excellent finishes on the scope and what appears to be a well designed scope features and controls. The serrations and other milled touches also appear to be well done and the scope includes a good set of accessories, though a nice set of flip up caps would have been a nice addition. With the examination of the scope completed, the next step in our evaluation was the operational portion to determine how well the scope functioned.
For the shooting and operational testing of the scope we mounted the Vudu to our Remington 700P “Test Mule” that is chambered in .308 Win. The rifle has a single piece 20 MOA canted steel base from Warne and we used a set of Leupold Mk4 34mm “high” steel rings. This was a bit tricky due to the short scope length combined with steep angle of the bell housing of the scope. In order to prevent the bell of the scope from hitting the single piece base, the scope had to be mounted forward further than we typically like, luckily the Vudu has a generous amount of eye relief that allowed for the scope to be mounted this far forward, though it was on the very edge of the max eye relief when the magnification was set at the max 25x where the eye relief is shortest. We do not think the scope would work on a long action rifle with a single piece base, it would likely require switching to a two piece base and it would likely still be tight. This is not the only scope we have reviewed that had this issue, but it is still an item to be aware of. Mounted on an AR type platform or chassis with a monolith type rail with extra high rings it would not be an issue, but for traditional bolt guns, it is.
With the scope now mounted, we headed to the range to conduct the shooting portions of the evaluation on a clear and sunny Montana morning with the temps hovering around 60 degrees and with just the lightest of breezes. Zeroing the rifle and scope was quickly achieved and then the box was shot to verify the tracking of the scope, which was a non-issue with the controls tracking great.
We then went to our click size measurement test by firing one group at 100 yards using some Federal Gold Medal Match 168gr, which measured about .75 MOA, and then dialing in 6 MIL of left adjustment and then firing another group. This one measured less than .5 MOA, and then we dialed the 6 MIL of right back into the scope and fired one last round to insure it was right back with the original group, which it was. At 100 yards 6 MIL measures 21.6″, which is what the distance between the two groups should be, but because of the error that is introduced in this test due to the group sizes, we consider a distance within 5% of 21.6″ as passing, and 3% or less to be excellent. When we measured the distance between the groups fired with the Vudu, it measured 21.56″, meaning there was only 0.2% or error, an exceptional score. With the smoothness of all the controls and the precision that the adjustments showed, it gives us great confidence in the capabilities of this scope.
The optics themselves are very good with a clear and sharp image from edge to edge and with good light gathering ability as well. The Tremor3 reticle is busy with a lot of numbers and dots and dashes, but for those that prefer to use the reticle to do everything, the Tremor3 has a strong following and proven history, once you learn the details of the reticle. While it may not be our favorite reticle, it is not the only reticle available with the scope and it takes nothing away from the capability of the scope itself.
Our last series of tests is done with a bore-sighting grid mounted to the rifle and then to check for reticle drift when adjusting the elevation and windage as well as when cycling through the entire range of zoom and parallax adjustment. Many people do not realize how many moving parts there are inside of a modern scope, and this is especially evident when changing the zoom and focus of the scope, which can can cause dramatic reticle movement on poorly made scopes, and is why we perform these tests.
With the grid mounted, we first tested to be sure the reticle did not drift up or down when going through a large windage adjustment range, or left or right when changing the elevation. The Vudu passed both tests with no problems staying right on the line as the reticle moved across the grid. For the final two tests, we zeroed the reticle on a cross hatch on the grid and then watched for any movement of the crosshairs as we went from 5x to 25x and then going through the complete focus range on the side focus knob. We could not detect any movement of the reticle, again, showing very good precision of manufacturing.
Taking a look at the Vudu as a whole, it is a very well made scope with some good solid features and design elements. It passed all of our functional tests with the proverbial “Flying Colors” and would be an excellent scope for use in just about any sniping capacity. The limited mounting flexibility can be a problem and the illumination controls are not our favorite, which prevents it from getting a full 5 star rating on our scale, but it is a supremely capable scope that we would be happy to take into the field. We have confidence the scope will hold up for the long term as well as it appears to be robust in conjunction with well made, not to mention the no questions asked lifetime warranty offered by EOTECH. The lower power 3.5-18x50mm version of the Vudu actually has much better mounting flexibility, though it is longer and heavier, and it may be a better fit for traditional rifles and it be worth reviewing in the future. But this 5-25x version is still an excellent scope.
With all of that said, it is with pleasure that we give this scope the SC Endorsement.