Optic Review: EOTech Vudu 1-8x24mm SFP Riflescope

VUDU 1-8X24mm (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

EOTech has been a leader in zero magnification holographic optics since the 1990s, and for almost two decades has been one of the premier go-to optics for the US Special Operations close quarters optics.

More recently, they’ve spun up the Vudu Optics that’s focused on precision magnified riflescopes. With the 1-8X24mm, Vudu has entered the market with one of the better low power variable optics (LPVO) at an extremely competitive price point.

The LPVO concept has become all the rage, especially after the big Army started looking for an LPVO as a new choice to go on soldiers’ standard infantry rifles. This follows on from the SOCOM LPVO contract that was awarded to Nightforce back in 2018.

VUDU 1-8X24mm (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)
(image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

The value of the LPVO, which has apparently evaded the US military for the last 40 years, has always been obvious to the hunter. If, for instance, I have a cartridge that will penetrate and expand adequately only out to 500 yards, I don’t need an optic that’s better suited for shooting at 1,000 yards. I won’t be shooting that far.

In the same sense, if the majority of my shots are inside 100 yards, even 4X magnification is more than I need. Speed is of the essence there.

The LPVO is the best of both worlds, providing fast shots with a very wide field of few at the 1X mode, and still plenty of precision to hit a 19-inch target out to the reasonable ballistic performance limits of the cartridge and weapons platforms. For the current standard US military infantry rifle, that combination is a bit over 500 yards.

The LPVO is not a replacement for a red dot optic. Most red-dot optics have zero-parallax past 25 yards, and therefore work without a proper head position. That’s ideal in a close combat role, because it allows the shooter to fire from positions where he is not directly behind the gun.

I’ve shot with my M4 on the ground, head upside down and body behind a wheel, shooting at members of the local Taliban. In that manner, I could still get accurate enough shots at them while presenting and extremely small target myself.

Of course, with an average initial engagement distance of 400 meters, the red dot was less than ideal. I would have been very happy to have traded my Aimpoint for a scope like the Vudu 1-8x24mm.

The Vudu 1-8x24mm would have certainly been welcome on the battlefield, and will now be just as welcome on a hunt.

The Vudu scope’s Japanese-made HD glass is excellent, and compares well with other scopes in this price range.

VUDU 1-8X24mm (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)
(image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Take a look at the photo above. The house seen is just over 1,800 yards away in high humidty.  That is some clear glass. I compared this scope’s class with Vortex Razor and Nightforce SHV scopes at the same magnification, distance, and time of day.  I could tell no difference in the clarity of the image through any of them.

There’s generous eye relief — almost 4 inches for me at the 1X setting — and a little closer to 3 inches at the highest magnification.

There’s no parallax adjustment. At closer ranges, this won’t matter, but as you push the magnification higher, and the target distance farther, you’ll need to pay attention to your cheek-stock-weld. This is, of course, always good practice, but sometimes speed-on-target takes priority to the precision of the shot and proper noggin placement takes a back seat to a fast shot.

VUDU 1-8X24mm (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)
Courtesy EOTech

This scope features EOTech’s HC3 illuminated reticle. It’s a simple, heavy post duplex style with holdover hashes.

Ballistic hashmarks aren’t perfect, but they’re the epitome of “good enough for government work.”  The hash marks are at 2MOA, 5MOA, 8.5MOA, and 12.5MOA. These roughly translate to 200, 300, 400, and 500 yards with either M193 in 5.56 NATO or M118LR in 7.62 NATO. But just roughly.

On my 18-inch barreled Colt Competition rifle shooting Black Hills 77gr OTM, the real distance at 12.5MOA is 525 yards. On my 20-inch barreled Remington 700 5R in .308 Win, the distance at 12.5MOA is 460 yards. That’s only a couple of inches off in drop at 500 yards.

The top post is half a minute wide, and the others are a quarter of a minute. Those measurements, combined with the hashmarks, give the shooter plenty of references to range against. Note there are no numbers inside the reticle. Nothing says what MOA the hashes are located at. You’ll still need to create and memorize a DOPE card for your particular rifle and load. As far as I can tell, this is the only reticle offered.

I’m not a fan of ballistic reticles in general, but at least this one leaves the markings off so that you can create your own card for reference. And again, for all but very few applications, the hash marks are right in line with what most people will be using the gun for.

Unfortunately, there are no windage hash marks at all and the elevation hashmarks are all the same size, 2MOA at 8X. At just under 400 yards with a 10mph wind, either of the cartridges listed above have more than 19″ of windage. In fact, the M193 has a full 37″ of windage at 500 yards, represented by the last elevation hashmark. Unless you want to resort to Kentucky windage, you’ll need to remove the windage turret cap and dial for windage, an option that is less than ideal.

Note that this is a traditional second focal plane reticle. All ranging should be done at the 8X magnification range. With diligence, you could also determine the MOA hashes throughout the magnification range and include that on a DOPE card as well.

VUDU 1-8X24mm (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)
(image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

The 1/2 MOA illuminated reticle lights up at the center dot only. Vudu says the center illuminated dot will last 500 hours on the medium setting.  I turned it on the day I got it, and 20 days later it shows no signs of dimming. It hasn’t been continuously on for all that time, as it turns itself off after being still for 2 hours.

The button layout for the illumination is a little different…and better. All three control buttons are long rubbery pieces at the 12, 9, and 3 o’clock positions on the left side of the scope. The dim switch is on the far side, the bright switch is on the close side. Press the close button until the light blinks and notes that it is on its highest brightness level, and the center dot is still bright even in the brightest daylight. There are 10 total brightness settings.

VUDU 1-8X24mm (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)
(image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Instead of the usual multiple small screws set into the sides of the turrets, the Vudu scope uses a single slot at the end of each turret to loosen it. A very large flathead screwdriver, a coin, or the large rim of a cartridge is the only tool necessary. Much appreciated.

For some reason, there are almost no dimension specifications listed for this scope on the Vudu or EOTech website and none listed in the owner’s manuals. The front objective OD measured 1.08″ . The rear OD measured 1.68″. The scope weighs 1.3 lbs on a simple household scale that’s probably plus or minus a few ounces. The scope is 10 1/2″ long, 2 1/4″ high, and 2 3/4″ wide.

VUDU 1-8X24mm (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)
(image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

The magnification ring moves easily, but stays in place once moved. Also included in the box is a screw-in detachable throw lever, giving the shooter some options. For me, the throw lever worked well on an AR, but got in the way of the bolt on my Remington 700 5R.

The construction of the Vudu 1-8x24mm is what we should expect from an established manufacturer like EOTech. The tube is one solid piece of T6 aircraft aluminum, a standard in high quality optics.

VUDU 1-8X24mm (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)
(image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Just for fun, I put the Vudu 1-8×24 in the deep freeze overnight, then took it out and shot it in the 95-degree central Texas heat. I was able to keep the scope mounted and put the whole gun in the freezer. There was no discernible point of impact shift. I had to wipe the glass clear, but that’s it. I also dropped it in the sink fully submerged for 1 minute, with no ill effects.

As always, I stuck the scope on my .458 SOCOM AR-15 SBR, and simply shot a 15-round magazine of punishing 400 grain pills at marginally safe pressures. I then mounted the scope on a SIG Virtus and put a magazine of 5.56 NATO rounds through the gun. The scope suffered no movement of the reticle, no ill effects of significant recoil.

VUDU 1-8X24mm (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)
(image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

I wish for all of you, dear readers, the incredible luck I had zeroing this scope. I took the scope out of the box and mounted it in new Barrett 30mm rings and then mounted it on a new SIG Virtus. I put that in a Caldwell Stinger shooting rest at The Range at Austin, loaded a magazine of 55 gr FMJ, sighted at 100 yards, and pulled the trigger. The point of impact was 1/2″ from the point of aim. That’s within the margin of error for this rifle and M193 ammunition. I’ve sighted in hundreds of guns, but that was a first for me.

The Vudu 1-8x24mm has a total of 456 clicks of elevation adjustment and 465 clicks of windage adjustment. As the 1/4 MOA per click total isn’t listed anywhere, or even the total travel, I had to count them, so I may be a bit off.

To test the precision of the turrets, I shot a round, then dialed the windage all the way right, then all the way left, then to the windage center.  I then dialed the elevation all the way up, all the way down, then to the center, and took a second shot. It ended up next to the first one, within the rifle’s margin of error. I did this five times total, all with the same result.

VUDU 1-8X24mm (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)
(image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

I also simply shot a round, marked 48″ inches at 100 yards, dialed the scope almost all the way over to 48″ MOA, put another shot down range and measured the distance. It measured 47,” within the error for the rifle and ammunition.

I did the equivalent with the elevation, with the same results. I did this 4 more times, and averaged the results to find that, within the margin of error, all the rounds ended up next to each other, where they should. The turrets track and return to zero.

The EOTech-made Vudu 1-8X24mm LPVO is an ideal scope for the vast majority of uses most people need. An 8X magnification is plenty for all but the farthest hunting applications, or maybe some small varmint shooting past 300 yards. At the lower magnifications, it’s great for fast shots in brush, and has all of the flexibility in between.

VUDU 1-8X24mm (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)
(image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)


Specifications: EOTech Vudu 1-8X24mm SFP Riflescope

Magnification:  1-8x
Objective Lens: 24mm Reticle: HC3
Focal Plane: Second Focal Plane
Battery Type: CR2032,
Auto Power-Down to Sleep Mode: Approx. 2 hrs
Battery Life: Approx. 500 hrs at middle brightness setting
Tube Diameter: 30mm 1-Piece Tube
Country of Origin: Made in Japan
MSRP: $1,399 (about $1299 retail)

Rating (out of five stars):

Overall * * * *  1/2
The Vudu line of scopes is relatively new, at least compared to its parent company, EOTech. The 1-8X24mm is an extremely strong offering at this price point, and an almost perfect hunting scope. It’s rugged, precise, and with gorgeous, crystal clear glass. Half a star taken off for the lack of windage hash marks.


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