Vortex Strikefire

8.0
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Vortex Strikefire Review Facts

The Vortex Strikefire is perfect for shooters that keep both eyes open. The compact and durable red dot sight allows an unlimited view field with maximum eye relief. The sight is built tough and provides years of service.

The high-quality red dot and the red and green dot scope are among the industry’s best. Vortex handcrafts and tests to ensure the shooter gets 100 percent accuracy every time. Reviews say the Vortex Strikefire is on par with any Aimpoint scope or red dot system. The purchase includes extras that other sights do not, including the mounting rings and hardware to attach the scope.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Durable
  • Extras included in the package
  • Holds zero if the battery is removed or replaced
  • Water resistant
Cons
  • Not parallax free
  • Controls are easily bumped inadvertently
Basic Features

Basic Features

The instruction manual, the lens cleaner, and the installation tool are included in the package. Features include a 30mm tube which is the standard tube size. All mounting hardware options available for the eight-point series of sights work with this sight. It comes with lens covers. Everything needed to get off and running is included in the box, including the battery.

The battery is a lithium-ion battery. It is a standard CR2 battery that goes in a compartment of the sight. It unscrews to put the battery in place and seals tightly when the cap is replaced. The average life of the battery is 2000 hours, depending on the brightness setting used.

On high, the battery lasts 200 hours or eight days; on low, 5600 hours or 230 days. There are ten settings. Standard setting is around three. At that setting, the sight can be left on for days without having to replace the battery. The power button will automatically go off after six hours. The sight will hold zero if the battery is replaced or taken out and put back in place.
Advanced Features

Advanced Features

The sight has a red dot and green dot option which is selectable from the switch on the side. The dot is 4 MOA. A red dot only option is available that supposedly has a brighter dot. It also has an elevation and windage adjustments which are ½ MOA adjustments.

They can be accomplished underneath the elevation knob that is click-adjustable. The clicks are very positive, and the sight is easy to adjust to zero. MOA is a minute of angle measurement. An MOA spreads about one inch per 100 yards. The size is different at different angles. Eight inches at 800 yards is still an MOA.

The controls are on the left-hand side of the sight. One is the power button that also selects the color of the dot. Touch the button once to turn the sight on, touch again to change the color. Holding it for four or five seconds will turn the sight off.

There are two brightness adjustments. The top increases brightness, the bottom decreases brightness. There is a night vision setting. By hitting the button, it dims the dots so that the scope can be used with night vision.

The night vision button cuts the light to zero when night vision optics are being used behind the red dot system. In a completely dark room, the green light can be seen slightly. The red dot cannot be seen at all.

A tester had a bit of concern about the night vision button. If the button is hit inadvertently, it will dim the dot, and the shooter may mistake the sight for being off and mess with the power switch thinking there is a battery issue. Hitting the night vision button again will return the brightness of the dot.
Clarity

Clarity

The manufacturer says the sight is parallax-free just past 50 yards. At a short distance, the parallax effect does not affect accuracy compared to distances that are longer. Though parallax is present, it has no impact on shooting accuracy as long as the shooter sights straight through the close to mid scope.

Parallax is a gun scope optical issue. Parallax is a significant issue for shooters who want precision at middle ranges. Anything within 50 yards can be up to one inch off in impact shift depending on how the shooter looks through the sight.

If the dot is perfectly centered, there should be no issue. However, if the shooter pulls the sight up quickly and has the dot off to one side of the target, there may be a one-inch shift. Anything past 50 yards should not cause the occurrence.

Adjustment points are on the top and bottom. It has a 4 MOA dial which means it covers a four-inch area at 100 yards. There are no issues when shooting at an eight-inch plate at 100 to 150 yards.

A distance of 200 or 300 yards may be problematic. Even then, if the shooter shoots center mass on a body, there will be no problem. Each click is a ½ MOA or roughly a half inch at 100 yards.

The adjustments are easily defined. The adjuster lets the shooter know the direction it is being turned and has positive clicks. Use a screwdriver or coin to make the adjustments. The sight has a low ⅓ co-witness that is a favorite of a lot of folks. The dot is relatively clear. It looks much like an eight-point sight for about a third to half of the price. It holds zero very well.

Reports have been made that the green dot version washes out both the green and red dot in direct sunlight. The red dot only does not present the issue if insufficient brightness. Several testers recommended the red dot only version over the model that has both a red and green dot. Some research says the eyes pick up a green dot faster.

The magnifier is a 2X magnifier. It is not of particular interest to many. One tester described it as ‘hokey.’ It produces a little, but an insignificant difference. The connection between the magnifier and sight is not nitrogen purged. It would likely fog.

Those who like the doubler feel it extends the effective range and makes it a bit more precise. The magnifier has torque heads that make it secure. The doubler screws onto the backside and the clarity can be adjusted.

Co-witness means the iron sights are used with a holographic optic or red dot. It allows shooters to back up iron sights. Attaching electronics to a rifle runs the risk of failure. An optic that depends on electronics to be used would cause devastation in competition, hunting, self-defense, or combat if it were to fail.

It is crucial to know how co-witnessing is done when running a non-magnified electronic optic. The importance of the Vortex Strikefire co-witness is when a failure of the scope occurs due to some reason such as a dead battery, all that is necessary is to hit the backup iron sight, and there is still a perfect sight picture.

Nothing is required to change. It still works perfectly right through the red dot optics. If a sight is properly co-witnessed, it transitions seamlessly from optic back to iron sights. The shooter can continue with a chosen objective with losing very little time.

Iron sight shots are more precise than optics at close range. Quality iron sights are accurate and precise when used appropriately. Iron sights avoid the parallax of a holographic or red dot sight. Parallax is not much of a concern when aiming at large targets.

Small targets such as a shotgun hull are affected by parallax. Iron sights have no parallax issues. The scope has unlimited eye relief. Night vision brings down the brightness of the reticle to a point the shooter can use the weapon. It fits behind the sight.
Primary Use

Primary Use

It works in any 30mm tube. Hitting the night vision button makes it usable only with night vision lenses. The user interface is a bit confusing. Buttons can be easily bumped and turn off the optic or change the dot color.
It is best for varmint hunting, when getting shots off quickly, is more of a concern than long distance shooting.

It is important to consider for what the sight will be used. Rifles that shoot 300 yards are not well-paired with the Vortex Strikefire. For a sub gun or an upper for a nine-mm 40 or 45, which is more of a CQB (Close Quarters Battle) situation, the Strikefire is a great value and a rugged sight. The sight is excellent for quick target acquisition.
Durability

Durability

The Vortex Strikefire is shockproof and waterproof. While the manufacturer claims the sight is waterproof, it does not give a depth reading. The sight is nitrogen filled, so it is moisture and fog proof.

The sight has been tested with 1000 rounds of pre-certified 375 HH Magnum. The sight can take a bit of a beating. It is a rugged and well-built sight. A tester washed mud of the sight by dipping it in water and dropped it on the ground to try to get it to lose zero, and it didn’t.

There were no problems with moisture getting into the sight causing electronic issues. It is waterproof to a certain point. The battery compartment and the optics are O-ring sealed. While one tester felt submerging it in water was not a good idea, he said having the sight out in the rain would do it no harm.
Mounting

Mounting

The mount included with the sight is a bonus. It has six screws to lock it down. It fits directly on a Picatinny rail, which is a slide mount for sights and other accessories. The mount is of decent quality.

The screws that are included see to be made of a soft metal. Using the provided tool may strip them out a bit more than the average screw. It is not a problem if the sight is only going to be mounted once or twice.

If it is going to be taken on and off more than twice, it may be wise to replace the screws. It is recommended to put the screws on one by one and apply lock-tight, but do not tighten them all at once.

Alternate screws when tightening. Do not overkill the tightness. The torque is 15-bit, which is common head size. It has a common coin or screwdriver operated nut. Some people prefer to use a stubby full-handle screwdriver to get a better feel for what is being done.

A reviewer mounted the sight by swinging it down to avoid problems with hitting control buttons. The elevation and windage buttons could still be used, but they were reversed. Windage became elevation, and elevation became windage.

He also mounted the sight as far forward as possible because he had a backup sight he likes to keep on the rail. The scope allows for a little bit of play to be slid forward or back. The mount is solid, and the reticle is clear.
There are four types of mounts - 1.75-inch, 1.18-inch, .87-inch and .83-inch.

A specification is required when ordering. A flat top weapon should be mounted with a high mount sight. The high mounts give a true co-witness.

The low mounts are best suited for shotguns or 1022s. Vortex calls low mounts hunting models. To address eye relief issues the sight can be mounted anywhere on the rail. It is a relatively large optic, weighting the middle is probably for the best.
Body

Body

It is a simple one-piece aluminum design. The six-inch length is similar all eight-point series of sights. There are flip cans on both the front and rear lens. These pop-up caps are easy to open. They keep dirt out when not in use. There are little complaints about the flip caps for the price of the sight.

It is made in China. Most sights at the price mount of the Vortex Strikefire are likely made in China. The scope has about 95 percent of the features of an eight-point sight at about half the cost.
Weight

Weight

Without the mount, the sight weighs 7.2 ounces. The battery used reduces the size and the weight.
Price

Price

It is a terrific value in rifle optics that is affordable without sacrificing quality. Included in the price is all the mounting hardware. It retails for about $170 — the sight of a full-size red dot version and costs less than the micro red dot sight.

The sight is worth the money. It is hard to beat for a cost-effective sight to put on a rifle for CQV (image coding). The Vortex Strikefire is a budget optic. The Strikefire has been on the market for a few years. The release of the Vortex Strikefire 2 has driven down the price of the original sight. Discount prices from $100 to $120 are available.
Key Features

Key Features

* 7.2 ounces
* Inexpensive
* Night vision capable
* Parallax-free after 50 yards
* Six-inch length
* True co-witness
* Two versions available - red dot only and red and green dot
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The Vortex Strikefire can take the recoil of a Bayowolf or nearly anything to which it is mounted. It has features found on scopes that are two or three times more expensive. The sight is versatile and has options that shooter can choose to suit their liking.