The Crossfire II 1-4x is an incredibly popular riflescope for those wanting to get into the LPVO market without spending a fortune.
Given its highly rated status as a budget optic, Target Tamers bought it to see if it lives up to the hype and if it’s worth the price.
This was an intense field test. I don’t think it should’ve been. I give a tell-all about its waterproofness, tracking accuracy, optical quality, illumination, and more to expose both the good and the bad – plus a few of my own mishaps along the way.
Read on to find out if I like the Crossfire or if it’s a hard pass.
What I Like: Build quality
What I Don’t Like: Not true 1x
Best Uses: Recreational Use, Training, Plinking, Scope for .22LR, Airsoft, Target Shooting
- Magnification: 1-4x
- Objective Diameter: 24mm
- Coatings: FMC
- FOV: 96.1-24.1 ft /100 yds
- Eye Relief: 4”
- Adjustments: 0.5 MOA
- Dimensions: 9.61” (L) / 14.8 oz
My Verdict: Overall, the Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x24 is a fully waterproof and tough entry-level LPVO with entry-level performance. It’s a budget scope with a good reticle and illumination suitable for indoor use. Though it has defensible qualities, there are some cons that must be considered.
Why Trust Me?
After hundreds of hours of hand-testing riflescopes in the field and on the hunt, and thousands more hours researching, writing, photographing and creating videos about them, I feel I have earned the title of expert when it comes to optics!
Optics are not just my passion, but also my full-time job!
I get my hands on as many scopes as possible to field test (through buying, borrowing or begging!) and run them through their paces to make sure they will perform in the field and at the range.
Check out our optics testing process here.
Over a decade of experience of mounting scopes, sighting them in, hunting with them, and tens of thousands of rounds plinking with them has been integral in putting together this Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x24 review.
Who is the Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x24 LPVO Best Suited to?
The Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x scope is ideal for those who want a beater for mostly recreational use. This is not a duty-grade scope or one that I would recommend for hunting, but for mounting to an airsoft gun, a plinker like a .22LR rifle, and centerfire rifles for casual use.
The Crossfire has consistently stayed under $200 over the years and doesn’t get a whole lot cheaper. For the money, I think it’s a little overpriced for its performance.
I think it could stand to be cheaper even though the argument for its value is in the VIP warranty. In my opinion, that warranty will go a long way and it’s very likely you’ll need to use it.
How Does the Vortex Crossfire 1-4x24 LPVO Perform?
The Crossfire series of optics from Vortex is an incredibly popular entry-level line for the manufacturer. Personally, I think the Crossfires are alright – not great, but if you’re on a tight budget, they fit the bill.
I really struggled with the Crossfire on the first range day. I was not happy. Weird things were happening from it not tracking and groups snapped right on windage when I only adjusted elevation. I quit the tracking test and just went for a 25-yard zero. When it was good enough, I called it for the day. Went back to the range, and the scope did not hold zero.
As a result, I took everything apart, and I mean everything from the scope in the mount to the rifle. The rifle got a clean, the scope was re-leveled and mounted, and another range trip was in order.
Next range day was much better, but groupings were just okay, and I’ll blame that mostly on the Federal bulk ammo (wink wink). But most importantly, nothing out of the ordinary happened. Finally! But that means the odd occurrences were my fault… eek!
I was still wary though, so I mounted it to a 5.56mm rifle and was relieved with the results. There's definitely a lot of my own contributions affecting accuracy here from my unstable setup, cheap ammo, and rifles that are not sub-MOA, but the scope is capable.
Though not image documented here, the Crossfire has continued to perform similarly but I'm sure it'll do great in the hands of someone with greater shooting ability.
The point I’m trying to get to is that the Crossfire did eventually track accurately enough and to get it sighted in. It is very important that you take the time to correctly mount and level this LPVO. Just like with any other scope, if you don’t, weird things will happen.
Features & Benefits
Because my field testing didn’t have the greatest start, I was skeptical about its build quality. However, I was happily proved wrong during the waterproof and fogproof testing process. There are O-ring seals around the turrets and the illumination cap that keeps moisture out and nitrogen in.
I got the scope muddy just because I could. I turned on a yard hydrant at full blast and let the Crossfire have it.
Though my pics don’t reflect this, it’s actually after a good few minutes of it getting soaked. I forgot to press the record the button the first two times I started water-testing it. My fault - again.
I left the illumination on throughout; it was still on. I cleaned and dried the glass, checked for internal water moisture – nothing. The scope sat for a couple days and coming back to it the illumination was dead. It turned out it was the included battery that failed.
I put in a new battery, and all is as it should be. The Crossfire suffered through gallons of water at high pressure. I was worried about water getting in around the ocular bell, but it didn’t. Color me impressed.
The moving parts, namely the magnification ring and the illumination knob, are stiff. The illumination knob isn’t as bad as the power ring though. I can still manipulate the knob without leaving my sight picture. But the power ring – good grief!
Not only is it stiff but it takes a long time to get to 4x max. The 4x setting is almost a 270-degree rotation. A throw lever is a must-have accessory and will make a huge difference in usability. I feel like this should have been included given its 1-4x configuration, but it’s not.
The illumination knob is stiff enough that you can rig an intermittent off position between each setting. It’s not specifically designed with intermittent off settings, but I did it anyway. During field-testing, it didn’t come out of position once.
The fast focus eyepiece is easy to use with good, smooth motion. The scope is made in China just like many other optics at its low price point. Unlike others, I haven’t got any black specks in the tube, my illumination knob hasn’t broken, and my turrets are still intact. All in all, the build quality is solid.
I’m pretty impressed with the optics on the Crossfire II 1-4x scope moreso than with other Crossfire optics. It’s actually very clear, no noticeable tint to the image quality, and as far as I can tell along the power range, I haven’t noticed any inherent chromatic aberration.
Using the eyepiece to acquire good focus and reticle sharpness, I had great image quality throughout the entire power range. Even at 4x, the image focus and resolution are more than acceptable.
As for the bad, the Crossfire II LPVO does have fisheye. I knew this would be present given its low price point.
Personally, I found that it was extremely difficult to use the Crossfire with two eyes open. The inconsistency between one and two eyes open is bothersome enough that I strictly used it as a magnified riflescope with one eye open and one closed. This also affects speed and situational awareness which are supposed to be two big benefits of an LPVO.
This is largely related to the fact that the Crossfire II doesn’t have true 1x – also expected. For extreme CQB, your eyes adjust enough with two eyes open to get 1x performance and setting the diopter for the best optical performance for 0-25 yards is immensely beneficial. But with consistent field use for more than 25 yards away, I would say it’s more like 1.2x at the 1x setting on my scope.
I did get some glare when facing the sun and wished I had put a sunshade on it - not included. There will also be some optical reflections when there's light behind you but this is typical for an optic. Though there is noticeable fisheye, and it’s not true 1x, there’s very little else to complain about in terms of optical quality.
We know that as you crank up the power, optical aberrations are exacerbated. So, I’d say that the average optical quality of the Crossfire II series is not going to be an issue in most recommended applications because of the small and low 1-4x configuration of this LPVO. I just wouldn't recommend it for professional purposes or competition.
To date, the Crossfire II 1-4x scope is only available with the V-Brite reticle. It’s a duplex style reticle with a floating center dot and thick to thin crosshairs complete with illumination. To be clear, the only part of the reticle that illuminates is the dot.
The center dot is 1.5 MOA in size, and some might consider this small, but it’s actually still highly visible. I can see it clearly in black and didn’t have issues at the range with it.
With illumination, that dot is much easier and faster to see, so it’s great for fast reticle acquisition – that is, in the right conditions. The illumination isn’t visible outdoors in daylight but is excellent for low light.
The thinner posts surrounding the center dot are 0.59 MOA in size. You can see them, and I like that they’re thinner towards the center, but when actually shooting with it, I don’t think I registered them at all. I think this means they did their job: drew my eye to the dot and “disappeared” to provide an uncluttered sight picture at the POA.
The thicker parts of the crosshairs are 2.3 MOA in size, highly visible, and in my opinion, ideal for the overall design of the V-Brite reticle.
Turrets & Adjustments
The turrets are capped, and I like the caps themselves. They’re grippy with the knurling on top, and easy to get off and put back on. Adjustments are in 0.5 MOA and the referenced lines on the turrets are marked with numbers every 2 MOA.
Unfortunately, the adjustments are not audible or tactile. I can sort of feel them, but it will take intentional concentration to follow your adjustments to ensure you don’t over or undershoot it. The windage turret has some semblance of tactile feel in the counterclockwise direction.
I’m not that concerned about the softish adjustments as there is no intention to dial in with the Crossfire II. It’s a set-it and forget-it scope in my opinion.
After sending several hundreds of .22LR rounds down range, it’s certainly a great plinking scope. Once I got past my initial struggles with the Crossfire, I zeroed it for 50 yards consequently giving me another second zero at 25 yards. For going out to 100 yards or more, I threw it on my 5.56mm. With my loads and the V-Brite reticle, I’m happy with its performance from 25 yards to about 150.
Mounting the Crossfire II is actually a complete breeze. It has a 30mm tube and fit perfectly in the Vortex Sport cantilever mount that I already have. Ring screws are torqued down to 18-in lbs and no more.
The underside of the scope is sort of rounded, so it can be a bit finicky to level based off the flat underside. Taking off the turret caps and leveling off the turrets themselves should help.
I really don’t know what happened the first time I mounted the scope. If in doubt when you’re out at the range with it and are getting inconsistent results, don’t stress. I recommend dismounting and starting again for the best and repeatable performance.
Eye Relief & Eyebox
I don’t actually have any complaints with the eye relief of the Vortex Crossfire 1-4x scope. I tried to measure it and got about 5” at 1x and 4” at 4x. The eyebox at 4x is what’s a little tricky. Staying consistent with my weld or taking the time to get aligned makes a big difference.
It’s the awkward positions that will get you. There will be some image cut-off or vignetting. This will probably introduce some glare too.
So, the Crossfire isn’t so great if your cheek isn’t glued to the exact same position on your stock. It’s a tight eyebox at 4x, but this is to be expected and can be said to be the norm for an LPVO at max magnification.
The illumination is good for lowlight conditions but not visible at all during daylight. The first time I headed out with the Crossfire, I honestly thought that the illumination had failed.
I unscrewed the illumination knob and checked the connectivity. I could see the LED emitter was on by the red glow and reflection around the ocular bell, but I couldn’t see it on the target. After way too long being frustrated with this, it turns out it was working, it just doesn’t perform in daylight.
I think for an LPVO that’s mostly going to be used during the day, the illumination could definitely stand to be brighter. It’s not that great for shaded areas or dark targets when you’re outside either.
The only time I found the illumination usable was in dark conditions or indoors. An LPVO is already at an inherent disadvantage in these conditions with such a small objective lens, but at least the illumination works in the dark – if only you could see your target, right? A flashlight on the rail might help.
The battery runtime is yet to be determined but expect it to be around 300-600 hours. That would be my best guess. I recommend switching out the battery for a new one. I felt like the illumination was dimmer with the included battery that came in the box. A fresh one should give it a bit more punch. Buy some spare CR2032 batteries when purchasing the Crossfire scope.
Limitations of the Vortex Crossfire 1-4x24 LPVO
Not True 1x
From a lot of hands-on time with the Crossfire, I’ve concluded that its 1x performance is not actually 1x. I wouldn’t describe it as ‘easy’ to use with two eyes open. There is some fisheye effect, so it’s not as fast as using a red dot sight.
For beyond 25 yards, you will need to find the right balance between using the diopter and your zero distance for maximum clarity at 1x. There will be some image inconsistency at 1x between using one or two eyes open. So, I’d highly recommend that when you set the diopter, set it for how you will be shooting with it – one eye open or two eyes.
Popular Questions About the Vortex Crossfire 1-4x24 LPVO
Unfortunately, Vortex does not manufacture a throw lever specific for the Crossfire 1-4x24 LPVO. However, there are aftermarket throw levers such as a 30mm band that will work with the Crossfire.
The illumination in the Crossfire 1-4x24 scope is not daylight bright. There are 11 settings and max brightness is still not visible in outdoor daylight conditions. The illumination is best for low light conditions and indoor use though the reticle is visible in daylight and lowlight without power.
In total, the Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x LPVO comes with bikini caps. These are good for storage but cannot be used on the scope during use. Flip-up caps are not included. Other accessories included with the Crossfire scope is a CR2032 battery, product manual, and an oversized microfiber cloth.
The Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x scope will work on a 308. Something to consider is the realistic effective range of the Crossfire with the V-Brite reticle. I'd say that this is around 25-200 yards. The 308 round can go further, but if most shots are inside this range, the Crossfire is a good option.
It’s not recommended to co-witness an LPVO with sights, but the front post is visible at 1x through the Crossfire II 1-4x scope. One such reason is that the V-Brite reticle will be visible without illumination. However, the front post can be seen but is blurry, and at 4x it completely disappears.
Vortex Crossfire 1-4x: Love it or Hate it?
It might sound like I hate the Vortex Crossfire 1-4x24 LPVO, but I don’t. It’s a decent scope if you’re looking for a budget LPVO that won’t break the bank even though I think it could be cheaper considering its overall performance.
However, it’s true that the VIP warranty adds value to the buy. I’ve seen Crossfire II scopes with tactile turrets but mine aren’t. QC issues? Maybe. Would I send it in for that? No.
As far as what can be agreed on is that there is some fisheye. I don't think it's horrible but that’s subjective. The illumination is far from daylight bright but works for indoor and dark conditions. If the Crossfire II LPV is mounted and leveled correctly (taking out user error), it’ll track and you can get zeroed for consistent performance.
For the money, you’ll either love it or you’ll hate it. As I kept working with the Crossfire II 1-4x, continued to remove my contributed errors, and accepted the quirks about its entry-level quality, I think it’s a good training, plinking, and recreational scope.
It’s hit and miss in the 1-4x LPVO industry. You either pay loads of money for a high-end LPVO for fantastic performance or you spend under $200 and expect decent performance with a few things you’ll need to get used to. The Crossfire falls in the latter category.