Got some extra dough to bust out on a red dot sight but still don’t want to break the bank?
If so, the Vortex Strikefire 2 may be the perfect mid-range, budget red dot sight for you.
Keep reading my Vortex Strikefire 2 review to find out if you’d be a fit!
- Overview of the Vortex Strikefire 2 Red Dot Sight
- What to Consider When Buying a Red Dot Sight
- About Vortex Optics
- Vortex Strikefire 2 Review
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Vortex Strikefire 2 Alternatives
- Final Verdict: Is the Vortex Strikefire II Red Dot Worth It?
Overview of the Vortex Strikefire 2 Red Dot Sight
The Vortex Strikefire 2 Red Dot Sight is upgraded from the Vortex Strikefire 1.
The first thing I’ll say is that it’s an affordable red dot sight at a mid-range price point.
- Brand: Vortex
- Color: Black
- Dimensions: 7.25 x 6.25 x 3 inches
- Objective Lens Diameter: 30 mm
- Weight: 7.2 oz
- Magnification Range: 1x
- MOA Type: Red/green dot
- Brightness Settings: 10 Levels
- Eye relief: Unlimited
- Affordable: The Strikefire 2 is an excellent choice for those on a budget. It retails as one of the top AR scopes under $200.
- Red/green dot selection: You can choose between a red or green dot reticle without any issues
- Green light is helpful for low-light situations
- Auto turn-off: After 12 hours, the Strikefire 2 Red Dot Sight automatically shuts off
- Exceptional light transmission
- Lifetime warranty
- Can be heavy or bulky
- Reticle may be too large: This is a con, depending on whether or not you prefer a larger reticle. The 4 MOA dot may be too big for farther distances. I’d suggest this more for for close-range engagements
- Not very durable
- Low-quality mount
What to Consider When Buying a Red Dot Sight
So, you’ve decided to buy a red dot sight.
Bear with me as I cover some essential things I think you should consider when setting your sights on a particular red dot sight:
There are two design choices for a red dot sight. These are either the “open” or the “closed” design.
An “open” design, also known as a window design for the small window it has, has a single lens in front of the emitter.
While this design is lighter and offers a better scope of vision, I’ve found that the open design makes it more prone to damage.
The “closed” design, also known as a tube design, has the lens behind the emitter.
The space inside is sealed to keep out foreign elements and has all of the interior workings inside the closed tube.
While the tube design offers more protection against the elements, thus letting it last longer, it has a limited scope of vision.
#2 Reticle Size
I’d recommend a larger dot sight if you want fast target acquisition and a smaller dot for precision shooting.
Most red dot sights have a 4 MOA, meaning that the dot can cover 4 inches at 100 yards.
Consider the weapon’s size you’ll be attaching the red dot sight.
If you ask me, it’d look extremely awkward to see a handgun with a big red dot sight on it.
Basically, the red dot sight you choose should be proportional to the weapon it will be mounted on.
A smaller weapon, such as a small handgun, should be paired with a smaller sight, while a larger weapon, such as a rifle, should be paired with a larger one.
#4 Battery Life
Remember that most red dot sights are battery-powered.
When I buy a red dot sight, I like to consider two things when choosing my battery type: battery life and ease of access.
- Look for a red dot sight with a battery that can match how often you plan to train or shoot using your rifle. While most red dot sights can last for 10,000 hours or 5 years, take note that cold weather tends to drain batteries.
- Regarding ease of access, check to see if you can easily find replacement batteries for the sight. Sights that require special order batteries can put you at a slight disadvantage when you run out of batteries and can’t replace them.
This is an important aspect that many people tend to forget about.
Before buying a red dot sight, I check if it’s compatible with your co-witness.
Be sure that you can use the sight you buy in conjunction with your BUIS in the event of sight failure.
To ensure that they are compatible, one of the most important things I look at is the HEIGHT.
Be wary of certain aftermarket red dot sight mounts that are too tall and make it impossible to work with any co-witness.
#6 Other Features & Accessories
What are the conditions you’re shooting in?
Do you need any special features for the shooting you’ll be doing?
If you’re going to be shooting mostly under dark conditions, I advise getting a red dot sight that is night vision compatible.
This means that you can adjust the dot so low that you can safely put a night vision monocular behind it without worrying about bloom.
If you plan to shoot under such conditions, be sure to get the appropriate sight to avoid any problems!
The expected application for your guns should determine your budget.
For example, an inexpensive red dot sight under $100 is great for messing around and shooting at different targets like pop cans or cookies.
They’re best if you want to shoot without a formal structure.
For most optics, I can usually tell quality from the price.
Red dot sights in the higher price range usually have better glass quality and can take higher recoil or abuse levels.
About Vortex Optics
Vortex Optics is a Wisconsin-based manufacturer of quality optics proudly owned by a family of American veterans.
They are known for producing different weapon scopes, holographic, and red dot sights.
They are especially famous for their unconditional, unlimited lifetime warranty.
Are Vortex Sights Any Good?
My simple answer? YES!
They’re so good and reliable that they are used even by law enforcement professionals.
You can learn more about them in my Aimpoint vs Vortex Optics Comparison Guide.
Are Vortex Optics Made in the USA?
While all Vortex products are designed in the USA, they are often manufactured in Japan, China, and the Philippines.
However, the company itself employs over 300 hardworking Americans.
Vortex Strikefire 2 Review
The Vortex Strikefire 2 Red Dot Sight is a bestselling affordable red dot sight.
It has received overwhelmingly positive reviews for the excellent quality it can deliver for a great price!
Overall Rating: 4.6 out of 5 Stars
Design – 5/5
This open-style scope is made from a single alloy aluminum billet with a 30 mm tube that allows for a large field of view.
Thanks to its simple and lightweight design, the Strikefire 2 is ideal for beginner shooters who want to focus on their technique without worrying about fancy, advanced optics.
It’s hard to go wrong with the Strikefire 2 Red Dot Sight. Simply hold down the UP button to power the sight on or off. Holding the DOWN button, on the other hand, changes reticle color.
These same buttons adjust brightness settings on the Strikefire 2.
That being said, nothing is stopping an advanced shooter from striking fire with this one.
However, I understand any shooter who finds this scope a bit too heavy and bulky, especially when compared to other scopes on the market.
The Strikefire 2 is ideal for both left and right-handed shooters.
Lenses – 5/5
The Strikefire II Red Dot offers high-quality glass and multi-coated lenses.
This scope offers reduced glare and high light transmission, so you’re assured of a bright and crisp sight picture.
I also like that they’ve got extra protection thanks to their flip-up lens covers.
Eye Relief – 5/5
Aside from the flip cap optic covers, the Strikefire II Red Dot Sight offers unlimited eye relief and a 30 mm objective lens.
It lets you get the maximum field of view possible, even with both eyes open.
You can rest easy and focus on your technique without worrying about eye positioning or having to close one eye!
Configurations – 5/5
This scope comes with a red and green dot reticle with ten variable illumination settings.
The 4 MOA single red dot is clear, bright, and great for short-range split-second target acquisition. It won’t wash out even on the brightest of days.
For low light conditions, however, the Strikefire 2 also comes with the option of a green dot which offers high contrast that helps you out in these situations.
HOWEVER, while the green dot is great for low light and night vision, in my experience, it can be washed out in very bright environments.
I don’t recommend using the green dot in these conditions.
Durability – 4/5
Made of aircraft-grade aluminum with a hard-anodized finish, you can expect that the Strikefire 2 is waterproof, shockproof, and fog-proof.
While the Vortex Strikefire 2 is incredibly ruggedly durable for its price point, I DON’T recommend it for home defense purposes.
Battery Life – 5/5
The Vortex Strikefire II Red Dot Sight uses a single CR2 Lithium battery that can power the scope for 5000 hours (6 months), way above the battery life of other scopes in this price range.
If used on the lowest setting, you can get an even longer battery life of 80,000 hours.
A nice feature that the Vortex Strikefire 2 Red Dot has is its auto-turn-off feature.
After 12 hours of idle time, the scope immediately turns off to preserve power, extending the battery life of the Vortex Strikefire 2 to 7,000 hours.
On top of that, the battery compartment is easily accessible for a quick change!
NOTE: The scope does not have an auto-on feature.
Elevation and Windage Adjustments – 4/5
The Vortex Strikefire 2 Red Dot adjusts with increments of ½ MOA with audible clicks for increased precision.
However, they can be difficult to adjust.
I usually need to remove the flip caps COMPLETELY before making adjustments.
You can’t just make adjustments with your hands, either. You need to use a coin or screwdriver to adjust the turrets to your liking.
This is both a boon and a bane:
- On the one hand, you don’t need to worry about ruining your set adjustments on the field.
- However, if you need to change your settings to make the shot, it is a tedious process that may result in your target leaving the area before you’ve even finished.
Parallax Error – 5/5
The Vortex Strikefire 2 has minimal parallax error compared to other sights in this price range.
I could probably go out on a limb and say that it’s parallax-free, as any parallax errors are minimal and practically negligible to the untrained eye.
Mounting – 3/5
The Vortex Strikefire II Red Dot Optic comes with a high rise mount (cantilever ring mount) made to fit Picatinny and Weaver rails.
I’ll be honest — the cantilever mount isn’t good.
While it helps with mounting, especially for flat-topped ARs, the included cantilever mount isn’t that durable.
However, don’t let this take away from the quality of the Vortex red dot optic itself. After all, the cantilever ring mount is just an included freebie.
Warranty – 5/5
As a quality optic from Vortex Optics, the Strikefire 2 comes with the legendary Vortex UNLIMITED lifetime warranty.
A VIP warranty of unconditional service for a lifetime partnership with your optic that can last longer than marriage!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Vortex Strikefire 2 Night Vision Compatible?
The two illumination settings on the Vortex Strikefire 2 are night-vision compatible.
What Magnifier Can Be Used With the Vortex Strikefire 2?
I recommend the Vortex VMX-3T Magnifier with Built-in Flip Mount for the Vortex Strikefire II Red Dot.
Can Co-Witness Be Achieved With the Vortex Strikefire II Red Dot?
The included mount will result in the optic bore center being positioned 40 mm above the base.
If mounted on an AR-style platform, expect a lower 1/3 co-witness with existing BUIS.
Vortex Strikefire 2 Alternatives
What other alternative red dots on the market can give the Vortex Strikefire II a run for its money?
1. Vortex Sparc AR
Both the Vortex Sparc AR scope and Vortex Strikefire 2 have the Vortex Lifetime Warranty.
If you’re looking for something pricier and of higher quality, the Vortex Sparc AR could be the one for you!
- Better dot crispness and glass clarity
- 2 MOA red dot
- Less bulky
- More expensive
- 5000 hours battery
- AAA battery
- 4 MOA red/green dot
- 7000 hours battery if used constantly with a bright red dot
- CR2 battery
2. Sig Sauer Romeo 5
This is another great alternative to the Strikefire 2 that’s CHEAPER and MORE DURABLE.
- 2 MOA red dot
- More durable
- Motion-activated auto on
- Auto shut off after 2 mins
- 50000 hours battery
- 5-year warranty on electronics
- Better glass coating
- 4 MOA red/green dot
- Auto shut off after 12 hrs
- 5000 hours battery life
- Vortex lifetime warranty
Final Verdict: Is the Vortex Strikefire II Red Dot Worth It?
With its great quality and options of red and green dots, the Vortex Strikefire II is a scope DEFINITELY worth your money!
While I do think it’s got some drawbacks, you can’t expect a perfect scope below $200.
However, the Vortex Strikefire II Red Dot exceeds expectations and is WAY BETTER than other red dot sights in this price range.
FINAL TIP: If you’re still interested to look for other options, we also have a complete buying guide on top-rated red dots for AR-15.
CHANGELOG: October 4, 2022 - minor content edits May 16, 2022 - minor content edits