Vortex Recce Pro 8×32 HD Monocular

vortex monocular review
| November 24, 2017
Categories: Assorted Ramblings

“The best optic is the one you have on ya.” – John Morgando, Target Systemics LLC

If you’re excited about how fast weapon-mounted optic manufacturers are supposedly “changing the game”, then stand by because there’s a rumbling of exciting things to come. Long overdue and with much anticipation, the optics industry is going to be turned on its head.

Allow me to give you a little context.

The modern binocular has remained virtually unchanged since The Great War. For more than 50 years, optics have suffered what has and will continue to be a blood-letting, similar to that of our current black gun situation. The world of optics is awash with proprietary tweaks here and there – gasses, seals, geo-stabilizers, lenses, coatings, dips, and clever abbreviations along the lines of XL or HD.

Although manufacturers usually have science to back their claims of each proprietary piece of new tech, I find that most consumers can’t explain their differences in a measurable way. Product spec sheets aside, it’s often hard to quantify how the performance of that new Extreme Ultra-Pro Mark VII optic will actually compare to last year’s model. This has always chapped my ass about the optics world.

So, it is with great pleasure that I present a product I believe to be a simple, no-B.S. solution to your basic optic needs. If I was going to give my family members, teammates, or Boy Scouts one optic I thought they’d use and not leave in their pack or glove box collecting dust, it would be a small, compact, and lightweight monocular and the Vortex Recce Pro 8×32 is a great option for an optics starter kit for anyone.

This is funny because I used to look down on monoculars.

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I was trained on binoculars as an infantryman, and the only people I would see with monoculars were bird watchers and hikers. The few monoculars of my late ’90s and early 2000s experience left much to be desired — admittedly, this was due in large part to my lack of interest in the category.

What’s so great about the Recce Pro? Most obvious is the detail Vortex Optics put into this device. With a nicely-fitted Cordura pouch, the Recce Pro slips in and out one-handed with ease. However, there’s enough snugness to keep it from flopping around on my Crye Modular Rigger’s Belt.

The optic body itself boasts a large metal clip which fits standard webbing and can also be removed by the user. This body is aluminum with “textured rubber armor” and seals which provide full waterproofing. It also has a large focus wheel which stays in place during transport but is still easy to adjust. It has a mil-based reticle for range estimation and a reticle focus ring which keeps it nice and sharp. Light gathering and shape resolution are seven out of ten. Flatness of objective lens is above average, as blue fog is barely perceptible at the edge of the field of view.

I found myself thinking, “This monocular would be perfect for my father-in-law, George Yanez.” As an avid hunter and gifted mechanic of many decades, George has the scars, arthritis, and surgeries to show for it. He currently owns a pair of Vortex 10×42 Viper HDs. I’m willing to bet that if he had the Recce Pro HD, it would increase his observation endurance (time spent looking through optics) by 50% on a hunt. The reason is just simple mechanics. The Recce Pro is easily accessed, half the weight, and while he’s reaching and pulling up the monocular his other hand can remain on the sling of his rifle.

Vortex Optics Recce Pro Review

I definitely recommend this monocular, not only for ease of use and comfort but for overall performance. No, the Recce Pro isn’t your complete optic solution. But at 8X power, it’s a good starting point and a very practical one at that.

–  Freddy Osuna

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  1. Freddy Osuna

    Andrew thanks for the question. I have had the solo for 4 months now and if youre not in need of a ranging reticle (recce feature) then id recommend the Solo 10×36 monocle. Either way glad your considering monocles as theyre are some great ones coming out now. Take care and let me know if I can be of further assistance.

  2. Andrew E

    I’ve been considering the 8×32 Solo R/T monocular off and on for a few years. Seems like this Recce Pro has an improved reticle, and the HD implies better optical quality.

    The sticking point for me is, the Solo comes in at just over $100 before shipping and the Recce is closer to $300.

    So is the Recce enough better for the almost $180 difference? I don’t have an answer to that, but I’d speculate that for professional use or dedicated hobby use it might be. Unsure if a hobby-hobby level person like me would get enough utility out of it though.

    But I like the review and it has me thinking of spending the extra on the upgrade if I do pull the metaphorical trigger and buy one.


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