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Vortex Strikefire 2 Review (Owners Hands On With Video)

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The Vortex Strikefire II has been around for a long time, so why is it still a thing?

The Strikefire 2 is beginner friendly, impressively accurate, and mass-approved. It comes with a cantilever mount for instant-ready use with accessories and has the potential to last up to 80,000 hours. Best of all, it’s usually a red dot sight under $200.

Holosun HM3X and Vortex Strikefire II
Field-tested Holosun HM3X Magnifier & Vortex Strikefire II - Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

With specs like this, it’s no wonder the Vortex sight is a long-time favorite. There’s more to know as I come out with inside info on the Strikefire red dot.

Quick Overview...

What We Like: Simple to use

What We Don’t Like: Glare & loss of light transmission

Best Uses: CQB, Mid-Range, Long-Range, Tactical, Law-Enforcement, Hunting, Heavy Recoil Resistance, Interchangeable Reticles, 

  • Magnification: 1x
  • Coatings: FMC
  • Eye Relief: Unlimited
  • Reticle: 4 MOA dot
  • Adjustments: 0.5 MOA
  • Battery Life: 80,000 hours
  • Dimensions: 5.6”/7.2 oz
  • Mount: Lower 1/3 Co-Witness Cantilever

Our Verdict: There are many features to like about the Strikefire II red dot sight that outweighs any frill and fluff features it may not have. Solid quality is the first requirement and there’s no doubt the Vortex sight has it. If a red dot can be mounted to a shot gun, it’s worth its salt.

Why Trust Me?

After hundreds of hours of hand-testing red dot sights 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 of the optics I test as possible (through buying, borrowing or begging!) and run them through their paces to make sure they will perform out in field.

Check out our optics testing process here.

Over a decade of experience CQB, long-range and hunting has been integral in putting together this Vortex Strikefire 2 review.

Who is the Vortex StrikeFire 2 Best Suited to?

Vortex StrikeFire II Red Dot Sight Mounted to Rifle
Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

Overall, the Strikefire II is best suited to anyone that wants an affordable red dot sight. Due to the design and size, it's considered a full-size enclosed red dot sight. It has the basics that seasoned shooters may be bored with, but it has quality where it needs it and that may win them over.

Beginners to red dots will find it easy to practice with for two-eye-open shooting. Turrets are audible, and Vortex makes it a no-brainer to buy from them with their VIP warranty.

In my opinion, this is one of the best optics for a Ruger AR-556.

How Does the Vortex StrikeFire 2 Perform?

YouTube video

Click the play symbol on the video above to watch the full video review!

As a whole, the Strikefire II performs exactly as expected, and expectations are high for its mid-range price point and Vortex-applauded quality. Testing out its accuracy couldn’t be easier as it allows for same hole bullet placement.

Yes, I can be that good sometimes. If you see me grin, that’s why. . .

Throughout years of use, I can say that my model is daylight bright. It does get dimmer in bright backgrounds, but it’s still very visible. Highly reflective surfaces is its weak point though. I can use the Strikefire with two eyes open without optical anomalies caused by a refractive error condition (i.e. astigmatism, far-sightedness, near-sightedness). 

It has 10 brightness settings with the lower intensities compatible with night vision devices.

Setting up is relatively easy for beginners. Like a lot of red dot sights, you’ll still need a tool to make adjustments and mount the ring mount. It’s tedious work but proves to be a rather simple process to get done.

It’s always been a breeze to employ at the range, and it will be just as good for ‘yote hunting if they don’t spot you first.

Features & Benefits

Vortex StrikeFire II Red Dot Sight from above
Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

Simple to Use

As a general rule, red dot sights are simple optics and should be equally simple to use. The Vortex Strikefire II is simply that. I found that only having to fidget with the brightness settings at the range made for a very uncomplicated user experience.

While I’ve mentioned needing a tool or a coin to make adjustments, you can make things a lot simpler for yourself by using the included turret caps. The caps have protrusions that fit the coin-slot style turrets. Easy does it.

If you’re accustomed to interchangeable reticles, a smaller dot size, or finger-adjustable turrets, you won’t find that here. What you will find is a reliable, Vortex-standard tough red dot that couldn’t be easier to use.

Long Battery Life

A CR2 battery powers the red dot, and the compartment is located towards the top of the scope closer to the ocular end. Vortex says the battery will last up to 80,000 hours at brightness level six. It must be mentioned that this battery rating only applies to the red dot-only model.

With the red/green version, battery life is somewhere between 300-5000 hours depending on use and settings.

Tip: If you manually power down the Strikefire 2, you’ll conserve battery life. Using dim settings like I do should result in a single battery lasting an incredibly long time. 

Build Quality

buttons on Vortex StrikeFire Red Dot Sight
Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

The best optics tend to have a single-piece chassis for ultimate strength and durability. Such is the build of the Strikefire II red dot. Clearly, the intended purpose for the Strikefire is to have 1x power and to be used for close-range and fast target acquisition.

The sight itself is completely water and fogproof but not submersible. It’s shockproof, and if you need to be convinced, it’s been said to hold zero through multiple rounds on a 12-gauge shotgun.

I've had the Strikefire for ages, and it's been mounted, dismounted, switched around to different rifles, face planted in dirt, and seen its fair share of rain and tumbling in the truck. Even after all this time, it's still one of my favorite red dots to pull out at the range and to plink with.

Cantilever Ring Mount

Cantilever Ring Mount on Vortex Strikefire II Red Dot Sight
Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

The Strikefire red dot sight comes with a 30mm ring cantilever mount. The mount fits to Picatinny and Weaver rails, but you will need to make sure the base clamp is hooked securely on the rail. You can tighten or loosen the hex nut if needed.

The included mount puts the red dot at lower 1/3 co-witness for flat-top AR-15 rifles, so you may not need to use it if you have a different mount more appropriate for your intended applications. It is useful if you’re using other accessories with it like a magnifier.


Glare & Loss of Light Transmission

Strikefire II green dot 4 MOA
4 MOA green dot - Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

Glare and reflections off the objective lens can occur. In just the right light and angle, it will give your position away in a heartbeat if the goal is to stay unseen. I could see it downrange when glinting sunlight when walking back from the target.

In the end, the Strikefire should probably not be your stealth sight. For heat of the moment home defense, target practice, and even some hunting applications, it will serve you well.

Popular Questions

What is a 4 MOA Red Dot?

Red dot size is expressed in minutes of angle (MOA), and 4 MOA is the general rule for what is considered a standard red dot size. At 100 yards, the dot covers 4” (approx.) of the target. At 50 yards, it covers 2” (approx.). Best suited to fast acquisition and limited long-range use.

Is the Strikefire 2 Waterproof?

The Vortex Strikefire 2 red dot sight is waterproof. It is O-ring sealed for watertightness and nitrogen-purged for internal fogproof protection. While waterproof, it is not rated for submersion.

What is the Difference Between the Vortex Strikefire II Red Dot and Red/Green Dot?

Overall, the only difference between the Strikefire II red dot and red/green dot is the illumination color. The red dot-only model has red-only illumination. The red/green model allows use of red or green illumination and cannot be used simultaneously.

Is the Strikefire 2 Magnified?

The Strikefire II is a 1x non-magnified optic. It has a 4 MOA dot for fast acquisition required for close-range engagements and home defense. It can be employed for other applications, and you can also acquire magnification by using a magnifier with it.


Vortex Strikefire II red dot sight
Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

We’ve all looked for a cheap red dot sight from a favorite brand – Vortex. To our benefit, they’ve provided an answer in the form of the Strikefire II.

Many red dots have come and gone but the Strikefire has withstood time itself.

It’s accurate, easy-to-use, and tough. It checks the boxes on what a red dot sight needs to be.

Further Reading

Photo of author

Tina Fa'apoi - Expert Optics Tester

Tina is a renowned expert in optics, having written hundreds of articles for Target Tamers over the past eight years and owning an extensive collection of optic's including binoculars, rifle scopes, red dots, spotting scopes and rangefinders. With years of experience in creating instructional videos and field-testing various optics, Tina brings a wealth of practical and theoretical knowledge to the field.

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