Vortex Optics has what are among some of the most often discussed (and sometimes polarizing) optics you can find on the web. While their supporters point out the company’s cost-to-quality ratio, excellent warranty and successful track record, their detractors mainly seem to find fault in some of their products being made overseas. In my experience testing and reviewing Vortex’s products, I have been really impressed with their entry-level optics. As usual, I had to put aside my earlier opinions when it came time to give a fair review to the Vortex Crossfire red dot.
The Crossfire is a small little optic weighing in at only 5.2 oz and 2.5″ long. The skeletonized mount allows for low mounting and lower 1/3 mounting. 100 MOA of vertical and horizontal adjustment come in 1 MOA increments. Waterproof, multiple coatings on the glass and with an anodized exterior, the Crossfire has amply considered protection and performance. Up to 7,000-hour battery life on a single CR2032 battery (while in the middle of the 11 brightness settings), the 2 MOA dot will be visible for a good long while.
I’ve had the Crossfire for months now. I’ve taken it out a number of times, usually on my ultralight AR-15 build. A couple of features that have really stood out so far are the adjustment caps and the skeletonized mount. The caps I love for their little ridges on the outside of ’em which are designed to easily engage the adjustment turrets. On such a small optic, it’s nice not to need to bring a screwdriver or search around for brass casings to adjust zero with.
While mounting the Crossfire, I wasn’t in love with the mount itself. A spring-loaded claw with a t-10 Torx head screw. It just seemed unwieldy getting it mounted. Ever since it’s been mounted though, I’ve loved it. It isn’t as quick to take on and off as a throw lever, but weighs less as a result. I lose little Allen keys too often, which added to my initial dislike, but T-10 Torx is common enough, I always seem to find an extra.
In use, the Crossfire has held up wonderfully. It’s been rained on for hours on end, been banged up against rocks and has felt the kick of recoil many times. It has held zero wonderfully, and when I performed a “return to zero” test (30 clicks up, 25 right, 30 down, 25 left) it ended up right back where it started.
The Vortex Crossfire could easily be called “king of the entry-level red dots”. There are a few that are cheaper, but the Crossfire is worth every penny of it’s $149 street price. With an excellent warranty (and a reputation for standing by it, every time) you are covered should an issue arise. If you’re in the market for an inexpensive red-dot that will last a good long while, the Vortex Crossfire is well worth checking out.