Vortex Spitfire 3x

9.1 score
(TheGearHunt) score (9.1)/10

Our TheGearHunt score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter.
Editor rating: 8.3 / 10
User's rating: based on 4 user ratings
1 star
2 star
3 star
4 star
5 star
Add your Rating
Vortex Spitfire 3x Review Facts

Having a scope is optional on any gun – you do not need one to properly wield a gun in a hunting or tactical situation. It is an aftermarket product that some choose to forego altogether, and that is fine. However, for those who choose to increase their performance and accuracy with little extra effort and virtually no frustration, there are scopes. One such scope with a delivered promise of quality is the Vortex Spitfire 3x. It is sleep, light, functional, and widely adjustable to suit your needs in all manner of weather and temperature. It is a handy little extra to mount onto your gun and looks good doing it.

Editor's Pros & Cons

Versatile adjustability

Hundreds to thousands of battery life hours

Easy to zero in

Option to go red or green


Not compatible with VMX-3T Magnifier

Low settings sometimes put the front-sight of your gun in the field of view

Basic Features

This prism style scope has 3x magnification with optionally illuminated reticle etchings and seals to keep the internal workings protected and clean. It was designed with the AR platform specifically in mind and is capable of operating in a wide variety of weather conditions without a decrease in performance. It is not compatible with every style of gun or every other accessory on the market, but it is still incredibly versatile and functional. There are multitudes of adjustments and options to maximize your use of this scope, and with so much going for it you will be hard pressed to find a situation in which it cannot function in some form. Mind you, this is not a dare: please do not put your scope through some overtly dangerous or otherwise over the top tests in order to figure out its breaking point. That is not worth the price tag, and it will most likely void any warranty you may have purchased. There are plenty of ways to customize your view based on various parameters including MOA and illumination, but internal adjustments are the only way in which this scope is customizable. You can only acquire it officially in a matte black, which was done purposefully by the manufacturer with a non-glare finish in mind. There is really no purpose to a shiny scope, and flashy is not truly something you should be looking for. Many guns have stock options that range from wood to several different colors of fiberglass or stainless-steel coatings, but scopes do not typically have the same sort of appearance customization options available.

Advanced Features

The user can select the color of their dot, and the illumination can be set to various levels based on the real world need at that moment. Anti-reflective coatings, over a hundred minutes of angle worth of adjust-ability, and a sturdy build to withstand normal wear and tear make it a value worth the price tag, especially if you purchase from a retailer offering a warranty. Additionally, some online retailers offer an owner’s manual, and while that is not technically an advanced feature of the product, it is still very much nothing to take lightly. If you are not sure what a precise knob or dial is for, or what adjustment controls what, or why your dot is green when you thought you had it set to red – those are all questions the manual could answer for you quite easily. There is a long-standing joke that no one reads the manual, but you might want to because the combinations of adjustments are nearly limitless, leaving you with all the flexibility you will need to find your perfect settings for many different conditions… but only if you know what you are doing when it comes to making those adjustments.


The waterproof and fog-proof assurances of the Spitfire 3x ensure that the elements will not stand in your way as you wield this scope out in the world and weather. The 3x – standing for 3x magnification – is all of the magnification you are going to get; the prism-based design is not compatible with the VMX-3T Magnifier, and so cannot be increased upon. Of course, you may not need to increase the magnification with stats like the Spitfire 3x. The adjustment graduation of half a minute of angle (1/2 MOA) at a time makes it meticulous, and it bears an overall elevation and wind adjustment of 120 MOA. The field of view is thirty-one and a half feet at on hundred yards, and it functions with 2.8 inches of eye relief and a Parallax setting of one hundred yards. The prism-based design promises sharp optics, and the Enhanced Battle Reticle (EBR) crosshairs are visible with or without the different illuminations that this member of the Vortex family offers. The reticle on this particular scope is actually etched directly onto the prism to assure consistent point of aim. You can select a red or green dot color based on your personal preferences of what works best for you in the conditions in which you find yourself, and there are five intensity settings of illumination, making them adjustable for maximum performance during all sorts of varied conditions. The two lowest settings are even night vision goggle compatible, making this scope useful during the day or night. Any and all air-to-glass surfaces are topped off with anti-reflective coatings in order to increase light transmission and avoid glare.

Primary Use

There are two different fields the Spitfire 3x is intended for use, one being tactical and the other being hunting. Within those two fields, this scope is intended for only certain ranges of use, due to the limitations of its composition – which is not to say that this tool is obsolete or un-useful. The Spitfire 3x is an impressive find, but specifically for close or medium range targets, and is not intended for long distance targets be they paper or flesh and fur or feathers. Have realistic expectations when you mount this scope on your weapon and know what you plan on using it for beforehand, to be sure it is the proper tool you need. Also remember that this particular scope is made with the AR line in mind, and that can mean the difference when choosing this or another scope of equal value. This one will certainly do the job, assuming it suits your weaponry. Not all scopes will suit all guns; that simple fact is enough to cause some gun owners to look elsewhere – just be sure that you are looking for a scope that actually suits your gun. Just bear in mind that your firearm should always be used in safe practice and with more caution than is strictly necessary.


Quite a few aspects of the construction of the Spitfire 3x were designed with longevity and sturdiness in mind. The chassis is a single piece of metal with a shockproof rugged construction in order to withstand recoil from weapons or impacts if you accidentally bump a tree branch. The low glare matte hard anodized finish is also built to last, and the Spitfire 3x can function between -22 degrees and 122 degrees Fahrenheit. There are O-ring seals that make this scope waterproof and dust proof, and nitrogen gas purging means that the unit is also fog proof. At max brightness settings, you will get approximately two-hundred and fifty hours out of this sight’s illumination; if you turn down the intensity of the settings, you can get as many as three thousand hours of use. Going anywhere without a backup battery is not recommended, just in case, but depending on when you last changed it this might seem like a bit of paranoia or over-packing. Still, if you cannot quite remember the last time you did change the batteries, best to bring a spare instead of regret not having one. This scope will work without the illumination, but that does not imply it will be the most optimal setting for the scenarios in which you will find yourself once you arrive at your destination. Do yourself a favor and bring a spare, so you will never need to find out.


The Spitfire 3x has a somewhat broad range of heights to suit various weaponry and conditions. With the riser you can reach up to forty millimeters in height, or by removing the rise you can mount this scope to modify it for lower heights of around thirty millimeters. Just be aware that during these non-riser times of lower height, you may actually pick up seeing the gun’s manufacturing front sight through the scope. If you think this will be a distraction, try and keep the scope on the riser. If your needs cause you to lower the scope further, just be aware that you may be seeing something potentially distracting. This scope also comes with a Picatinny rail system for mounting reflex sights as well, but whether or not you opt for a second sighting or scoping device on the same gun is entirely up to you and your needs. Just be sure you read any and all owner’s manual related documentation on how to safely mount both objects first – even if they are listed as compatible, different models and makes may mount differently than others, and you will kick yourself if you damage a scope, an optic, or even your weapon’s receiver, in the process of affixing them together. Know what you are doing before you begin, and you should be fine.


The body of the Vortex Spitfire 3x is a mere five and a half inches long stands only a few inches high off of the top of your gun. The whole thing is coated in a low glare matte finish for a low-key appearance and comes with flip-caps to protect the glass pieces when not in use. The whole thing is wrapped up in a neat single-piece chassis, making it a breeze to keep track of and control without feeling intimidated by a myriad of small parts or intricacies. There are multiple dials due to the various elements of adjustability, and they are located on the top and side of the scope. For certain settings, such as illumination, there are only five options to choose from, but for others such as the MOA there are over one hundred to choose from, making their adjustment dial far more detailed. One tick of the dial will adjust the angle in ½ increments, making it a much finer alteration at a time. Learn which dials are where, especially if you plan to make adjustments while looking through your scope at a target. The grab of a wrong dial could alter your adjustments very differently than you meant to, and it could take some doing to get it back to where you needed it to be.


Nobody wants a heavy scope mounted on their already heavy rifle if they are out hunting. Likewise, no target shooter, if they have a rifle rest or otherwise, wants to deal with a scope adding pounds to their weaponry. It may not affect the shooter’s performance negatively, but it will certainly affect their fatigue after a while, especially if they parked their car a fair distance from their setup point. It is therefore with some pleasure that the weight of the Spitfire 3x can be reported as just under fifteen and a half ounces in total weight. This ensures that a weapon’s overall weight will not increase by an inconvenient amount for any hunter that has to lug their gun to and from a hunting or range sight every time they want to use it. Certainly, there are smaller, lighter scopes out there that might do a similar job, but also consider that they will not magnify the same way, they will lack the intricacies of the 120 MOA this scope offers, and they may not even be a prism-style scope. Do not think you need the lightest scope on the market if you need one that can perform heartier tasks. Even the Vortex Spitfire comes in a smaller, 1x magnification option, but if you want a 3x job you are not going to find it in a 1x magnification scope. Being lightweight is an important aspect of any tool or accessory, but also consider the performance you need and the reasonable size and weight that your performance needs will require. Above all, be realistic.


The price tag of any gun accessory might be a bit intense to a first-time buyer, but a functional piece of equipment like the Vortex Spitfire 3x is less of an accessory and more of an investment. If you use your gun to hunt for dinner, you will want to consider any increase to your performance an advantage, provided the cost is fair. If the $200-$450 range seems too high or unfair to you as a buyer, shop around and see if you can find the same value elsewhere. If you can, more power to you, but do not discount the Spitfire 3x simply due to price tag – the old adage is not a myth: sometimes you do get what you pay for. Shop the price and do your homework, and the Spitfire 3x will come out as a top choice. Also bear in mind what else you might be getting included in your purchase; some retailers in person or online might not offer the same as others. Some include an anti-fog cleaning cloth, some include a carrying case, and others include a warranty or owner’s manual (or both). Weigh any and all options you consider carefully.

Key Features

-prism with etched reticle for point-of-aim consistency
-versatility and multitudes of adjustments for various conditions
-waterproof, dustproof, and fog-proof for durability

Bottom Line

This prism scope has an impressive array of stats and specs that will perform well between 0-500 yards as you adjust to suit the distance and conditions. For less than the price of some other tactical or hunting gear, you can have a piece of equipment that will illuminate your aim and help you strike true on your intended target. If you are firing at targets on a range, you will be able to hit center mass in a nice grouping; if you find yourself hunting with a rifle – AR or otherwise in design – it will help you hit the mark and bag yourself some delicious dinner. It is compact enough that it may be able to stay mounted in some styles of carrying case and ignore the normal bumps and jolts of riding home in the back of your vehicle. Likewise, it can work in the rain and dark without fear, with some night vision goggle compatibility and nature-proof construction and engineering. If you can stay out there and hunt, this little beauty can stay there right with you and help you aim at anything in the close to medium range of distance. The two separate color choices for dot illumination are helpful for those who might see one pigment better than another, the EBR-556B etched reticle visible even without the illuminations for consistent point of aim no matter what.