Vortex is a relatively new name to the industry, but their dedication to their products surpasses a lot of the competition. It only makes sense to look into some of their best products before making a purchase. I scouted and found these two, the Strikefire II and the Sparc AR, to be the best. They also come within a very comfortable price range.
Both Vortex optics in this comparison review are covered by the Vortex VIP warranty, which is an unlimited lifetime warranty. The warranty may be used by anyone so long as the damage is not done deliberately or cosmetically that will render the optic useless. The warranty, of course, does not cover theft or loss.
The VIP warranty is not the only similar feature to the two optics. Both of them are priced at $274.99. It has 1x magnification with unlimited eye relief.
It has multi-coated glass for increased light transmission. The sight itself is parallax-free. The website has a disclaimer that there will still be a small amount of parallax when the optic is used, but such are so small that the industry classifies them as parallax-free.
The windage turret is found on the right side of the eyepiece. The elevation turret, on the other hand, is at the top.
The scope is waterproof thanks to the O-rings present in its model. The inside of the scope has been purged with nitrogen, making it fog proof. It is also shockproof due to its rugged construction to withstand impact and recoil. Its anodized finish gives it a matte surface.
The manual available on the website for both optics specifies a few pointers for maintenance and storage. The scope may be cleaned by a soft clean cloth. If it is to be stored for a long time, the lens must be covered and the battery removed. Purchasers are also warned against extreme temperatures. The scope must not be stored in direct sunlight, and the extreme cold will shorten the battery life.
Vortex Strikefire II
The Vortex Strikefire II has a 4 MOA red dot that is easily and quickly acquired. It comes in red dot only or an optional red/green dot. It is operated by a C2 battery, the compartment of which is found just above the eyepiece on the upper right-hand side.
The brightness has 10 levels, controlled by buttons on the left side of the eyepiece. Both the maximum windage and elevation adjustment is at 100 MOA. It has an adjustment graduation of .5 MOA and travels at 25 MOA per rotation. It is 5.6 inches long and weighs 7.2 ounces. The lens has a diameter of 30mm.
Each purchase comes with a cantilever ring mount, a T-15 Torx wrench, a CR2 battery, and flip cap optic covers. The battery lasts up to 80,000 hours on setting 6.
In a review by the Rifle Optics Team of the Rifle Optics World website, they tell their audience that the Strikefire II, though waterproof, is not submersible. While setting up the optic for a day at the range, the reviewer stated that to be able to turn the optic on, the button had to be pressed dead center and that he had a hard time pressing the button with gloves on.
When the reviewer reiterated the placement of the buttons, I suddenly remembered that I was left-handed, and it would be a hassle to adjust the brightness from my end. I stopped reading the review and returned to reading for the next optic.
Vortex Sparc AR
The Vortex Sparc AR has a 2 MOA red dot. It is an AAA battery operated with a 50,000-hour battery life. It has an automatic shut down setting that activates 12 hours from last use. The battery compartment is found under the lens.
The optic has 10 illumination settings found at the lower part of the optic, with the lowest 2 compatible with night vision. It is multi-height. Both the windage and elevation adjustment, at their maximum capacity, are at 90 MOA, with adjustment graduation of 1 MOA. Vortex Sparc AR is 2.9 inches long and weighs 7.5 ounces.
Every purchase comes with a rubber cover and flips caps. In addition to the rubber cover, each purchase comes with a T10 Torx wrench, an absolute co-witness mount, and a lower ⅓ co-witness mount.
Beginner Gunner’s review, written by someone using the name ‘rdalley’ does not recommend the Sparc AR to anyone with astigmatism, as they may have issues focusing on the red dot. Other than this, the reviewer had no other problems with the optic. I don’t have astigmatism, thank goodness, but I know so many others who do. That is why this is an important fact for me, in case someone asks about the Sparc AR.
With the advantage of the power buttons just under the eyepiece and not as if they were built only for right-handed users, the Vortex Sparc AR takes the cake on this review. For $279.99, I would expect the optic to be usable by everyone. Add this reason to the fact that the battery of the Sparc AR is much more recognizable than the Strikefire, this further seals the deal with Sparc AR for me.