In a rare misstep, Vortex completely misses the mark on the Crossfire. An otherwise great sight is ruined by the fact that a lot of them have manufacturing defects. Money is best spent elsewhere - other Vortex offerings in the same price range offer the same Vortex build quality and warranty while not being as prone to being poorly made.
The Crossfire is a very compact and versatile red dot that can work for any weapon, but perhaps works best on pistols and handguns.
Size (LxWxH in mm)
Submersible, but don't try your luck
Up to 7,000 hours on max brightness
Lens Cover Type
$200 or less
The adjustments on the sight are fairly nice, as well. Nothing too special, but they do their job effectively. The brightness dial leaves a bit to desired, as you can’t go backwards on it. If you want to go to a bright setting, you have to go through all the dim settings first before you get there. Again, not a fatal flaw but certainly a little annoying.
The overall build quality is pretty much what you may have come to expect from Vortex products if you’re even remotely familiar with their work. It’s lightweight and compact, and will work on a variety of weapons thanks to this. However, it’s also durable and built to last, and it’s far sturdier than you may expect any sight at its price range to be.
Quality of life with this sight is alright. The lens covers that come with it aren’t attached, which means you’re at risk of losing them. Since other sights in the same price range have attached lens covers, one has to ask whether it would have really cost that much to just give the Crossfire flip-up covers so that it’s on the same page as the rest of the competition. It does come with two different mounting height options, which gives you the option to cowitness - and it does cowitness really well. It should generally come with everything you need, including a battery.
Installing the Crossfire is pretty easy, and sighting it in afterward is a breeze. Once zeroed, it should hold zero for hundreds of rounds easily, but some say that after 500 to 700 rounds the dot may start to wander. Still, an easy fix and not a huge problem. The usual Vortex promise of fogproof, shockproof, waterproof holds true here, meaning you can bump this thing around and not worry too much about it losing zero or getting scuffed up. With that said, when a mount is this light, it does make you hope that the sight’s mounting feels secure. That’s a desire that the Crossfire’s mounting doesn’t really meet.
All in all, though, it’s an extraordinarily well priced red dot sight, coming in at $149 or even less depending on where you get it. Considering the competition, this isn’t a terrible investment, especially when you take into account the fact that your $149 also nets you the famous Vortex customer service and warranty offering. The Vortex warranty is a fully transferable lifetime warranty that covers any and all damage or defect to the sight, with a no-questions-asked repair-or-replace promise. Combine this with Vortex’s broad staff of friendly faces and your investment in this sight more than pays off for you.
Although cheap, I’ve got to say that all in all, this red dot is a little underwhelming, especially as a Vortex offering. Vortex normally offers very high quality products, so when one clearly lacks the quality assurance that it deserves, it sticks out like a sore thumb. Even though the sight is fantastic when it’s in fully working order, I’ve got to say that just because of the risk of getting one of the bad ones, it doesn’t make sense to spend your money on the Crossfire - especially when there are other Vortex offerings in the same price range that are available, more modern, and more reliable. No, you shouldn’t buy this sight.
It’s not often that Vortex leaves me disappointed, and maybe it’s not fair to rag on a sight that’s since been discontinued - especially since there were probably reasons that it was discontinued to begin with. However, I can’t measure how disappointed I am in the fact that this is not an explicitly bad sight. If it were, this review would be much easier. But it’s not a bad sight. It, in fact, is a pretty good sight when it works as intended. It just often doesn’t, and that’s enough to make purchasing a Crossfire in this day and age a questionable decision.