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Electronic red dots have been around for decades, and they're well-known among the law enforcement and military crowd. With that kind of history, you expect rugged, durable, and dependable quality.
You should also expect light weight, compactness, and versatility whether you're mounting to a M16, AR-15, or Glock 40.
But, you don't want to break the bank on buying one. This is where Vortex comes in. In our Vortex optics reviews, we've listed multiple red dot sights at varying price points to suit any budget.
Whether you want a red dot for home defense, patrol use, or for training purposes, you can be sure Vortex will get you on target fast.
After all, isn't that the whole point of the red dot?
5 Best Vortex Red Dots
|Crossfire 2 CF-RD2||CHECK PRICE|
|Venom 3 MOA||CHECK PRICE|
|Sparc AR Gen 2||CHECK PRICE|
|Strikefire II||CHECK PRICE|
|Razor 3 MOA||CHECK PRICE|
Vortex Red Dot Sight Reviews
1. Crossfire 2 Review
The Crossfire II (CF-RD2) is without effort one of the best budget red dot sights in the market. Though basic in function and concept, the red dot offers no-nonsense performance for target shooting, hunting, and even as a backup sight on a home defense AR.
- Ultra-long battery life
- Night vision compatible
- Multi-height mount
- One-way illumination dial
Many red dot sights under $200 will have a one-way illumination dial though there are red dot sights that are the exception to the rule. You must cycle all the way from zero (off) to your desired brightness and then dial back to off to shut it down. Though a seemingly trivial complaint, the lack of both forward and backward rotations is felt when you’ve experienced the convenience of it.
The Crossfire sight has a bright 2 MOA dot with 11 brightness settings. The first two are for night vision. Settings 3-4, being as dim as they are, are suited to lowlight conditions. It’s likely that dot visibility won’t be easily seen until setting 5 and this is usually the norm for like sights of this price line.
It has an impressive 50,000 battery life. Even though it doesn’t have any battery conservation features such as auto-off or auto-wake (standby mode, Shake-Awake, motion sensor etc.), the battery life from the CR2032 is plenty long enough to handle constant activation.
Turrets are capped and the caps serve as the adjustment tool for 1 MOA click adjustments. It comes with two mounts: skeletonized mount for lower 1/3 co-witness and a low-profile mount for AKs, shotguns, etc. Neither are quick detach mounts, and no placers are included for a high rise for absolute co-witness.
Being so small at 2.5” and 5.2 oz, it matches its small price tag. The Crossfire 2 has no-nonsense features that gets you on target and is a cut-rate, quality option.
2. Venom 3 MOA Review
- The Venom Red Dot Sight-3 MOA promotes rapid target acquistion while providing a precise point of aim; getting shots down range and on target fast. The Venom's aluminum...
Red dots don't get smaller than this, come on, it's barely 2" tall and it weighs next to nothing, 1.1 oz. While the Venom with the 3 MOA dot tops the charts as an insanely, highly-ranked paintball red dot sight, it's good enough for nearly any application you need when speed is the aim of the game.
- 3 MOA dot
- Battery compartment/fitting issues
This Venom sight has the daylight bright 3 MOA dot that can be set at 10 different brightness settings or auto mode to suit your eye comfort and lighting conditions. A CR1632 battery is included in the purchase, and it's what will power your red dot for anywhere in between 150 to 30,000 hours depending on usage.
But, there's a trick to getting the battery screwed in with the perfect fit. Other buyers say you need to remove the black gasket that's attached to the underside of the battery cap. By removing it, the cap will "catch" onto the threads to be properly screwed into place. Problem solved - if you had any in the first place.
Optics are fully multi-coated (FMC), and it even has Vortex's exterior ArmorTek coating to protect against debris, scratches, and all the like. Don't forget, it's water and shockproof - so it's durable and ready for use for your next shootout - even if it is paintball style.
3. Sparc AR II Review
Overall, the SPARC AR Gen 2 has minimalist flair with its lightweight, compact form. Its less-is-more approach is confirmed with the lack of an external dial in favor of button operation. However, to quiet doubts about its modest appearance, the Sparc is battle-ready having been equipped with armor.
- 2 MOA dot
- Button operation
- Rubber armor
- Ultra-long battery life
- Night vision compatible
- Battery issues
The Sparc AR red dot sight features a 2 MOA dot, 12 adjustable brightness settings, and it’s accurate and holds zero. Furthermore, the dedicated AR red dot sight has night vision compatible brightness (levels 1-2), and it’s all regulated through button operation. Some may dislike the cycling and power on/off button operation, but the lack of a knob streamlines the body.
The micro-sized dot sight is 2.9” long and 7.5 oz in weight. Its entire body is wrapped in a form-fitting rubber armor as an extra layer of protection on top of its O-ring sealed housing. Battle-ready? Perhaps against the elements but with auto-off deactivating the sight after 12 hours, it’s not battle-ready for the needs of constant-on engagements. This is need-to-know information before you buy as it could be a deal breaker for professional applications.
The Sparc has the type of battery life that is quickly becoming the standard for red dots. It runs for 50,000 hours (approx.) on a AAA battery - no more expensive coin-cell batteries! The only problem is that if the O-ring seal is lost or if dirt and moisture gets into the battery compartment, it can affect the electronic connection. If there’s other power issues, fortunately the VIP warranty will cover it.
It comes with a multi-height mount meaning 1/3 co-witness and a shim for absolute co-witness. They’re direct-to-rail mounts - no quick release cam levers. The Vortex AR red dot sight is easy to use, takes a regular battery with a battery-saving feature, and the 2 MOA dot will serve well for target shooting and hunting.
4. Strikefire II Review
In general, the Strikefire II is vastly different to the micro red dot sights that are popular today. It’s 5.6” in length and weighs 13.9 oz (approx.) with the included mount. Considering its size, it’s not for everyone, but then again, the Strikefire does things big just like its big 4 MOA dot.
- 4 MOA dot
- ½ MOA adjustments
- Dual illumination
- Night vision compatible
- Cantilever ring mount
The automatic shut-off feature of the Strikefire II happens after 12 hours if you forget to manually power it down. Though a convenient feature for those who want to conserve battery life or do not need it constantly on for emergency use, it serves as a hindrance for those have opposite needs. But it is what it is with the Strikefire, and if you need motion sensor or constant-on benefits, it won’t be with this sight.
With a 4 MOA dot, it’s a clue-in to its suitability for CQB and short-range performance. It does not have multiple reticle options but instead dual illumination. The SF-RG-501 has both red and green dot illumination with 10 brightness settings. Settings 1-2 are night vision compatible.
The turrets have caps that conveniently serve as the adjustment tool for ½ MOA adjustments. Part of the large size of the red dot sight is for compatibility with ring mounts. The tube portion of the sight is 30mm and is therefore compatible with 30mm rings, and a 30mm cantilever ring mount is included in the box. Using the included mount, it raises the sight to a height of 40mm for a lower 1/3 co-witness.
Though large, the Strikefire Gen 2 sight only has 1x magnification and performs adequately for two-eyes-open shooting. It’s a solid workhorse of a red dot sight perfect for the AR for close-range use.
5. Razor 3 MOA Review
- The Razor Red Dot Sight-3 MOA is designed to be mounted to a wide variety of firearms and used in various shooting applications. The Razor was designed so shooters have...
Top-tier performance and build quality is what you expect from the high-end Razor series, and fortunately, it's what you get. With a 3 MOA dot, you can achieve higher precision for everything from competition shooting to close quarter tactical use when on duty.
- Daylight bright red dot
- XR FMC coatings
- Side battery compartment
- Awkward power controls
The Razor red dot is easy to get, mount, and use. It comes with a 3 MOA dot that's excellent for close quarter shooting to some extended shots out past 150 yards. The dot is daylight bright and there are 9 brightness levels to help match its intensity for the time of day you're out and about.
However, adjusting the brightness levels or even just powering it on has said to be a little awkward or difficult to operate because of its location. It's not a deal-breaker feature, just something that may take some getting used to.
With XR FMC (Fully Multi-Coated) coatings on a premium wide field lens, Vortex guarantees crisp, edge-to-edge sharpness and resolution. The exterior ArmorTek coating will protect your image quality in the worst weather while build integrity is supported by O-ring seals for waterproof protection.
At home on rifles and shotguns, it comes with a Picatinny mount for your convenience and the needed tools to sight-in. As a side note, if you plan on mounting to a Glock, you'll need to look into compatible mounts before purchasing the Razor.
Other Vortex Red Dot Reviews:
More Vortex Optics Reviews:
- Vortex Optics Reviews: Rangefinders & Monoculars
- Vortex Scope Reviews: Our Top 5 Best Vortex Rifle Scopes
- Vortex Binoculars Review: Our Top 5 Picks of Their Best Binoculars
- Vortex Spotting Scope Review: Our Pick of Their 5 Best Spotters
Source of Images: VortexOptics.com