Howdy, today I want to go over the Vortex Strikefire Red dot scope. Vortex looks to be putting out some pretty nice stuff these days. I am looking forward to trying out their other red dot called the SPARC and the 3x red dot magnifier soon as well as their Viper Tactical 24x scope. Anyway, today is the Strikefire. Online there are tons of customer remarks on websites that sell the thing and 99.9% of them are very positive. I have to say I agree.
The reason I bought this red dot is basically to write a review. To be perfectly straight I use EoTech across the board pretty much. I know a lot of people can’t afford them though and I was curious to see how the cheaper red dots were stacking up. Since the price increase in the Sig STS-081 from $90 to $150 or more I decided to review this one next as it’s in the next price range up from what the Sig used to cost. I paid $152 to my door (eBay) for this Vortex. A bit below normal price which usually is $169-$199.
So let’s get to the specifics. For my $152 I got a solid, good looking red dot. It came with the box, manual, lens cleaner cloth, 30mm heavy duty ring for mounting to a rail, the wrench and a battery. The really cool thing is you get a 2x “doubler” eye piece which acts as a 2x magnifier and is a really nifty piece of gear. It threads on/off and I like the thing. It does narrow your field of view a noticeable amount but in some situations I might just leave it screwed on, it’s really pretty cool. I didn’t have it affect the speed of my close range shooting really at all and for longer shots it’s nice to have your target twice its normal size. I mean seeings how it came in the box and was not extra money there’s no room to gripe about the thing. If you don’t like it, don’t use it. I did like it though.
This sight kind of gives me the Aimpoint impression with its looks and single 30mm mount. It has a red/green 4 MOA dot. The dot has quite a few brightness settings and it’s bright enough even on the brightest day. The sun was glaring when I took it out the first time and it was fine. There are 4 buttons in rubber protected housing on the left side, on/off, brightness up/down and a Night vision button. Yep, NVG button and well under $200! The buttons felt great! Not cheap or crappy. Did you ever feel a switch or screw or lever on something and say to yourself it won’t be long till that breaks? I don’t get that impression here and the whole thing seems very well made from top to bottom, back to front. The on/off button is nice in that whatever color dot you choose and whatever brightness setting you use comes back on the same next time. You do one quick push to turn it on then hold the same button for about 5 seconds and it turns off. No chance of accidentally turning it off. The site will shut itself down in 6 hours if you don’t push any buttons for that long. Saves your battery.
Moving onto the battery and life. In the manual it gives specific numbers for specific settings for battery life. Worst case on full brightness strait through is 420 hours with a maximum run time of 4700 hours (8000 hours on NVG mode). Average battery life according to the factory is 2000 hours – that’s a long time and way MORE than enough. 420 hours is PLENTY! On Tarawa in WW2 the Japanese said “it would take 1million Marines 100 years to take Tarawa.” 12,000 Marines took it in 76 hours so that leaves you 344 hours of run time on full brightness. Just to put 420 hours into perspective. Besides if you haven’t handled your problem in 420 hours then you have bigger problems than a dead battery.
Let’s run through some more specs: It’s water, fog and shock proof, parallax free past 50 yards and only 1 inch or less off inside 50 yards for parallax. It weighs 7.2 ounces, is 6 inches in length and has a 30mm tube. The dot is 4 MOA. This model is red/green but there is a strictly red one so if you want green as I did make sure you get the green one. You’ve got 1/2 MOA clicks for windage and elev. There are 100 MOA range in each one. A kill flash is available for a little over $30 but doesn’t come with it. I will probably get one. The adjustment knobs are covered with nicely knurled caps and the adjustments feel good with positive clicks and arrows easily seen so you know which way to turn it. All the caps have rubber o-rings for moisture and dirt. It’s a damn nice piece of gear.
Wrapping up: It’s fast, solid, comes with nice rubber flip up lens caps and it’s reasonably priced! I have absolutely zero complaints with this scope – none. I would not hesitate to use this in a real world bad situation. I have that much confidence in it. I would not worry taking this into combat. So I think it will serve you well for whatever you need to do here. Whether it be self defense, competition, target practice or hunting. All that and it doesn’t break the bank! It won’t replace EoTech on my personal main “SHTF” guns but that’s not because I don’t think that it is good enough. It’s that I prefer the EoTech style reticle over a single dot. If you are fine with a single dot as many are then I wouldn’t hesitate to use a Vortex Strikefire for just about anything. I seem to have gotten a lot more than my $152 worth this time. Two thumbs up!
As always thanks for reading and train often.
By: Cary Kieffer