Vortex SPARC AR Review
Our Rating: 9
In a Nutshell
Vortex’s high quality offerings continue to stun, this time in the arena of red dot optics. Regardless of what you’re looking for in a red dot optic, Vortex makes sure that your needs are met with an accommodating and expertly crafted sight.
What's the Scope?
The SPARC AR is a red dot sight intended for use with ARs. Made of aicraft-grade aluminum and built to impress, it’ll last you a long, long time.
Size (LxWxH in mm)
Up to 5,000 hours
Lens Cover Type
Bikini-style lens covers
This sight is dead-on at lengths up to 150 or 200 yards. If you’re wanting to go even further than that, Vortex makes it easy to extend the sight with a magnifier so that you can zoom in whenever you need it. Basically, the SPARC AR is made to be versatile, regardless of what your particular needs are.
The battery can last as long as 5,000 hours at the minimum brightness level and up to 300 at the maximum brightness level. However, the great thing about this sight - or one of the great things, that is - is the fact that it uses a single AAA battery. Since these batteries are super common, it’s painless to change out the battery when the situation calls for it, a fact which is bolstered by the battery bay being easily accessible.
Let’s say, though, you’re out shooting and your battery dies on you. What do you do? What’s your option? Fortunately, the SPARC AR works together easily with MBUS backup sights so that you’re never at a loss in a tense situation. Additionally, an auto-off function ensures that if you ever forget to turn the sight off, it’ll turn off on its own, sparing your battery life and making sure that a scenario like the above doesn’t happen.
In terms of build quality, the SPARC AR is stupid sturdy. Waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof, it’ll stand up to much of anything. On the other hand, it’s a little heavy, definitely heavier than you would expect given its relatively small size. It’s not going to significantly weigh you down, but the slight weight difference may take some getting used to. At any rate, though, the thing I love about the SPARC AR (and the SPARC and SPARC II) is that despite the fact that they’re relatively cheap, they feel expensive. I can feel the quality and care that Vortex puts into making these.
The sight is also well provided for: the sight comes with pretty much everything you need right out of the box, including lens covers, a mount, and even a lens cleaning cloth to ensure that your optic stays bright and that taking care of it is as easy as possible. The lens covers snap together when not in use, making them easy to keep up with. Mounting with the included sight is a walk in the park. Detaching the sight can be a pain, though, thanks to the fact that it uses special torx screws and you have to use a torx screwdriver to tighten and loosen them. Once it’s mounted, though, sighting it in is a no-brainer thanks to painstaking design and precise, positive elevation and windage adjustments. Once sighted, it’ll hold onto its zero forever.
Speaking of elevation and windage, it’s worth noting that the adjustment caps don’t include tethers, which some potential buyers may not be a fan of. This is especially worth noting since other Vortex sights around the same price do include tethered adjustment caps, so it’s a little confusing why they weren’t included on the SPARC AR.
I spoke earlier about the Vortex warranty and said I’d explain it, and it’s definitely worth bringing up anyway. Vortex is a consumer-centric company and wants to make sure that the people using its products are happy. As a result, customer service is fantastic, and Vortex provides a no-questions-asked repair-or-replace warranty. It’s fully transferable and helps you be sure that your investment in Vortex optics is a sound one.
Should You Buy It?
All around, I think that this is an impossibly good optic for the price range. If you want a red dot optic for your AR at an affordable price, you really can’t go wrong with picking this one up. In almost every case, Yes, you should buy this scope.
- The Sparc sight features a 2 MOA daylight bright red dot that is quick to spot and paints your target regardless of lighting conditions or background. The dot returns to the last intensity used when powered up.
- High quality, fully multi-coated lenses offer up a clean, wide field of view. With unlimited eye relief and parallax free, the sight gets you on target fast.
- Rear-facing controls offer quick access and are viewable from the shooting position.
- Waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof the anodized, aircraft-grade aluminum body is rubber armored and built to handle the most extreme conditions.
- The sight operates using a AAA battery and offers up to 300 hours of power at max brightness. After 12 hours, an automatic shutoff prevents accidental battery rundown.Nitrogen gas purging with o-rings-seals delivers fogproof, waterproof performance.
Vortex consistently impresses with ultra high-quality scopes at prices that undercut their competitors and offering quality that outshines optics at even twice as much. The SPARC AR is no exception: an exceptional optic that will make pretty much every user happy and that will make your buddies spending twice as much on other optics a little jealous.