Both Aimpoint and Vortex are monumental optics manufacturers in their own right.
So which optic sight maker will come out on top, a Vortex optic red dot sight or an Aimpoint optics one?
For better comparison, I will look at two products from Aimpoint and Vortex to see how their differences can lead us to a better red dot optics brand.
The Aimpoint ACO vs. The Vortex Strikefire
Aimpoint and Vortex are both optic sight manufacturers that come out with some of the best quality products in the market.
In terms of the objective lens, optics, battery life, and even price point, you can’t go wrong with either brand on your search for your next great optic for range shooting.
Let’s see how each will fair when you put the Vortex Strikefire vs. Aimpoint ACO.
Aimpoint has been manufacturing great optics for almost 45 years now.
They consistently work with both law enforcement and professional hunters to make some of the best optics available in the market.
Their electronic red dot sight has helped people manage short and mid-ranged shooting techniques due to its performance, durability, and overall reliability.
When it comes to a rifle scope, the Aimpoint ACO is their optic designed specifically for modern sporting rifles.
Rugged, durable, and ready to mount right outside the box, this Aimpoint PRO scope is the scope I’d put head-to-head against the Vortex Strikefire, now known as the Vortex Strikefire II.
For other professional users, the Aimpoint PRO (Patrol Rifle Optic) is a popular choice among people in law enforcement and police forces.
I talk more about this optic in our Aimpoint vs. EOTech Comparison Guide.
Designed with fast target acquisition in mind, this red dot sight keeps you situationally aware with its unlimited eye relief and night vision brightness settings.
This will be our comparison point for the Vortex SPARC AR.
These guys have been in the optics business for a little shorter than Aimpoint but have quickly developed a community who are avid fans of red dots and other optics.
I have to admit, I’m a fan as well.
They consistently have their customers in mind when it comes to product development, listen to the waves of feedback to improve a said product, and provide top-quality customer service!
The Vortex Strikefire is a useful red dot optic for fast target acquisition when switching targets is to be expected.
A large field of view and a large MOA dot ensures snappy action when you need it.
Well made and reliable, this will be the Vortex Optics choice against the Aimpoint ACO.
For our choice against the Aimpoint PRO, I have to go with the Vortex SPARC AR.
This red dot sight prides itself on its rugged construction while being reliably lightweight in the field.
It has a smaller MOA dot and has night vision capabilities, similar to the Vortex Strikefire 2, for adaptability on the field.
SIDE NOTE: If you’re interested in scopes, I also highly recommend the Vortex Viper HS-T 4-16×44.
Head to Head: Which Is Red Dot Sight for You?
Now I will go in-depth to individual features found on the Aimpoint PRO, Aimpoint ACO, Vortex SPARC, and Vortex Strikefire 2 to see how they stack up against each other.
I also have a list of the best red dots for AR 15 to help you!
Mount-type, to put it simply, is the method in which red dot scopes are attached to your rifle.
Depending on the kind of mounting a scope would use, you can determine if you will be able to get the accuracy and aim stability you need out of a red dot scope.
Battle of the Co-Witnesses
When it comes to the Vortex Strikefire vs. Aimpoint ACO, both use what you would call a co-witness sight.
A co-witness sight is characterized by the red dot sight aligning with the built-in iron sight of your gun.
The Aimpoint ACO uses a fixed height co-witness mounting, while the Vortex Strikefire 2 opts for a 1/3 co-witness mounting.
To better illustrate the difference between the two, a fixed height mount aligns your red dot with the iron sight perfectly at all times, while a 1/3 mount generally keeps the iron sight out of the red dot when viewed in the center.
You can opt to use the iron sights by viewing the red dot through a slightly lower angle.
I’d recommend this if your red sight goes down right when you have a target in sight.
While the difference is negligible to most experienced rifle users, I have to give this one to the Vortex Strikefire 2.
Even though it may take some practice switching between iron sight and red dot, I’ve found being able to transition quickly to irons to be a useful trait when hunting.
The Picatinny Mount System
In the comparison between mounting styles of the Vortex SPARC and Aimpoint PRO, you’ll need to understand that they use what is called a Picatinny rail system mount.
This means that you’ll be able to attach your scope respective to the bore of almost any gun to get a proper zeroed-in sight with just a few twists of the knob.
When comparing the two, Aimpoint chooses to utilize the QRP2 mount that is specially designed for most Picatinny rail systems.
Vortex, on the other hand, provides not only a fixed height co-witness red dot but the 1/3 lowered red dot as well.
I’ll have to give this one to Vortex Optics Strikefire again, as you are consistently given the ability to switch between a proper iron-sight aligned red dot and the 1/3 lowered one.
When it comes to a rifle red dot, having more sight options is usually a good thing.
I’ve found it useful to have more options, especially when using the same sight on different firearms.
The Aimpoint ACO and Vortex Strikefire both have parallax-free and unlimited eye relief.
This means that your target will always be in focus regardless of the distance of your eyes to the main objective lens as well as its respective angle towards the main optics.
And this goes for both Aimpoint and Vortex Optics.
So eye-relief and parallax are more or less equal for the two brands.
Now a red dot’s MOA, or Minutes of Angle, ultimately decides how big the red dot points will be on your sight.
Usually, these vary between 2 MOA, 4 MOA, and 6 MOA, all with varying degrees of size and coverage in the sight.
How Do MOAs Differ?
A 2 MOA is the smallest dot available and is usually picked to avoid obscuring the target. I find it most useful for farther shots.
A 4 MOA red dot reticle would be the middle-kid; these dots are best for adaptability between long-range shooting and short-range shooting.
A 6 MOA is the largest among other red dots and is often used in fast and cramped situations. I use it when firing at multiple targets during competitions.
Save these for moments when you only have a split second to provide yourself with some close-quarters self-defense.
Among the 4 rifles, all but one uses the 2 MOA red dot reticle size.
The Aimpoint PRO, ACO, and Vortex SPARC all use the same MOA size for fast target acquisition at short to mid ranges.
It’s the Strikefire that gets to edge out a win here!
It provides a 4 MOA red dot sight, making it viable for targets closer than 15 feet without having to increase the brightness of the red dot.
3. Brightness Levels and Battery Life
Anyone familiar with red dots knows that battery life management is a key aspect to make sure you don’t lose your sight in the middle of a hunt or an operation.
I can’t describe how frustrating it is to finally sight your target, only for your sight to lose power right as you sight it.
In this category, you definitely want to find a sight that has a long battery life to lessen the amount of time spent managing light levels.
It allows you to focus on the task at hand.
Hours of Use and Battery Type
With the Vortex Strikefire vs Aimpoint ACO comparison, we see that the Strikefire can manage up to 80,000 hours on the lowest light setting using a less common CR2 battery.
The Aimpoint ACO, on the other hand, can manage 10,000 hours on a standard DL1/3N battery.
The Vortex SPARC opts for an auto-off functionality to save battery after 12 hours of use on its common AAA battery source.
Meanwhile, the PRO uses the standard DL1/3N battery again and manages 30,000 hours of constant-on use.
If I had to pick (which I think I do), I would go with the Aimpoint sights on this one.
Their readily available standard issue batteries and reliable constant power are more convenient than having to tinker with brightness settings/illumination settings.
Plus, Aimpoint also has night vision, which I found integral to hunts that last about 12 hours or more.
Any products you buy should be able to last you a way off from the time you bought it.
If it’s well made, it can even last longer than you initially expect.
Aimpoint and Vortex both do their best in attempting to create some of the most high-quality products you can find in the scopes market today.
Both Aimpoint and Vortex sights use durable and reliable high-grade aluminum construction, which helps keep the scopes damage-free when in use.
With the Vortex scopes, you have your standard range of construction features such as a fogless lens and vacuum-sealed tubes to avoid any moisture build-up.
The Strikefire sight even comes with lens covers for additional lens protection.
The Aimpoint Difference
The differences are stark when it comes to Aimpoint’s construction. These scopes are meant to see punishment and be able to push through.
They can stand around -49 degrees F up to 140 degrees F, keeping environmental effects low on the scope performance.
Aimpoint scopes can also be submerged up to 150 feet in the water without taking in water.
Compare this to Vortex, which won’t be able to handle the same -49 to 140 degrees F range in temperature, let alone handle even 15 feet of submersion in water.
When it comes to hardiness and long life, Aimpoint scopes should be your go-to sight.
I’ve beaten a few up during my testing procedure, and they keep coming back for more.
This section might be the make or break for most of you looking through the list.
Price is, and will almost always be, the strongest determinant factor in choosing a sight that is best for you.
Speaking of which, Aimpoint is the premium-priced brand here.
From Vortex Strikefire vs Aimpoint ACO to the Vortex SPARC vs Aimpoint PRO, the Aimpoint sights almost always costs twice that of the Vortex sights.
If you’ve been reading so far, it won’t be a surprise to see why. Aimpoint’s well-made optics carry with it a tradition of quality and reliability.
This is shown in its high-indestructible construction as well as its attention to details such as optional night-vision and optic clarity.
This doesn’t mean that Vortex isn’t good due to its lower price point.
In fact, you may be inclined to choose Vortex as the winner in this category due to its ready availability to users who are just now looking for a good optic for their AR-15.
With a Vortex optic like a Strikefire or a SPARC, you can choose an appropriate brightness setting, range, and reticle type all for a price that isn’t prohibitive to just the experts.
I find that this makes Vortex just slightly better in terms of brand availability as a whole. It delivers reliability to those on a budget.
Lastly, any good optic needs to have the guarantee of the manufacturer that it isn’t just going to break the minute they receive it.
Often, optic sight manufacturers include iron-clad warranties to persuade their customers of the quality of their product.
Aimpoint warranty is a 10-year limited warranty, which covers manufacturer defects and any non-cosmetic repairs that affect performance.
Keep your receipt to avail of this.
Vortex, admittedly, knocks it out of the park with their warranty service.
They have a lifetime guarantee for anyone who owns a Vortex optic, and you don’t even need to keep the receipt with you.
It’s important to remember that what is on this list is a base comparison of two popular products from equally popular optic sight manufacturers.
As a quick guide, check out the bullet points below to see how the two brands ultimately stack up against each other.
Choose the Aimpoint ACO If:
- You’re willing to spend a bit more on price
- You want something extremely durable and tough
- You need a scope with long battery life and better light management
Choose the Vortex Strikefire If:
- You want a budget-friendly price
- You need different iron-sight to red-dot alignments
- You prefer more Red dot MOA options
- You like something with a lifetime warranty
FINAL TIP: You can also take a look at our List of Rifle Scope Manufacturers for more information on these brands.
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