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Vortex SPARC II vs StrikeFire II - Which is Best?

Low-end red dots are hit or miss. Vortex is always trying to prove that you don’t have to spend  a lot in order to get a great red dot shooting experience. Here, we’re going to be comparing two sights from their two most popular budget red dot lines: the SPARC (Speed Point Aiming for Rapid Combat) II and the Strikefire II.

​Comparison Table

The SPARC II is intended to intended to be a reflex sight, where the StrikeFIre II is meant to be a larger mid-range offering. They’re both excellent red dot optics at an affordable price.

SPARC II

StrikeFire II

Cell

​Weight

5.9oz

7.2oz

​Size (LxWxH in mm)

63.5x78.7x63.5

190.5x158.8x88.9

Waterproof Depth

N/A

Don’t submerge, water-resistant but not waterproof

​Night Vision

Yes

​Yes

​Battery Life

Up to 6,000 hours

Up to 7,000 hours

​Lens Cover Type

Flip-up, attached

​Flip-up, attached

​Cost

Our Review

Like I said at the start of this review, the SPARC II and the StrikeFire II are meant for different purposes. There are a lot of similarities, but there are some key differences that makes the general shooter probably more into the StrikeFire than the SPARC.

Vortex glass is always good, and both optics have glass of really comparable quality. I’m going to go out onto a limb here and say that the SPARC has slightly better glass than the StrikeFire II. Both of them offer little to no aberration or tearing at the edges. Both offer a wide field of view and give you a clear shot on any target. Acquisition on either is easy, but the SPARC has super fast acquisition thanks to the fact that it’s intended to be a reflex sight.

The dots on either are great. With the SPARC II you get a 2 MOA red dot that’s small enough to stay out of your way but large enough to not get lost. It’s highly visible, but the adjustment range between brightnesses is a little small, making both low-light and ultra-bright situations a little difficult to work with. The StrikeFire II on the other hand offers both a red and green dot. The green dot works great for indoor environments or low light, and the red is super bright in the daylight. Either sight works great with a magnifier, which is easy to install thanks to their small size.

The battery life on both is nice, with the StrikeFire II slightly edging out the SPARC II by around 1000 hours. Both have fairly inconvenient battery types, but the battery lasts long enough that you can pick up spares and just carry them with you for the rare occasion that you need them. The controls on both are easy to use. The SPARC II is a breeze to use even with gloves on, and the tethered adjustment caps are a nice touch. The markings on the StrikeFire II could be more legible, and the adjustment clicks are mushy.

In terms of design and build quality, both are great. The SPARC is significantly more understated than the StrikeFire, probably owing to the fact that the StrikeFire is supposed to be mid-sized while the SPARC is meant to be very small and tactical. Both come with flip-up caps. The super sturdy build quality is backed up by Vortex’s fantastic VIP Warranty that is fully transferable and covers any and all damage and defects that may happen to the scope throughout its entire life. Vortex promises a complete repair or replacement at no cost to you, and is renowned for following up on that thanks to their superb customer service.

Vortex SPARC vs Strikefire

SPARC

StrikeFire

​Weight

13.6 oz

7.2oz

​Size (LxWxH in mm)

149.9x116.8x76.2

160x157x80

Waterproof Depth

Submersible, but don't try your luck

Water-resistant but not waterproof

​Night Vision

Yes

​Yes

​Battery Life

Around 300 hours

Up to 2100 hours

​Lens Cover Type

Flip-up, attached

Flip-up

Approximate Cost

$200 or less, normally around $160

Varies, normally less than $200

This one is a lot less of a competition. The early SPARC honestly wasn’t that great. The StrikeFire is lighter, has a much longer battery life, and has both a better quality reticle and better quality glass. The StrikeFire wins this one.

Vortex SPARC II vs SPARC AR

SPARC

SPARC AR

​Weight

5.9oz

7.5 oz

​Size (LxWxH in mm)

63.5x78.7x63.5

149x117x76.2

Waterproof Depth

N/A

20m

​Night Vision

Yes

​Yes

​Battery Life

Up to 6,000 hours

Up to 5,000 hours

​Lens Cover Type

Flip-up, attached

Bikini-style lens covers

Approximate Cost

Less than $200

Less than $200

The SPARC II and StrikeFire II are both suited to short- to mid-range shooting, with longer ranges possible if you use a magnifier. The StrikeFire is more acclimated to a variety of lighting conditions, where the SPARC II has a smaller set of use cases. Either is great for plinking, target shooting, some closer-range hunting and varmint shooting, or tactical situations.

​Uses

A more in-depth exposition on the SPARC II vs SPARC AR has already been done. The SPARC AR is intended to be for ARs and tactical rifles, and packs in a stronger light and more durability in return for a shorter battery life and fewer conveniences, like Bikini-style lens covers. The SPARC II will have you covered for the most part, but the SPARC AR is a great choice for tactical shooting

​Price

Both are around the same price, so there aren’t a lot of differences to speak of in terms of price. The price on either is a great deal, but with the StrikeFire, you really get an incredible experience for the amount that you’re paying, worth at least three times what you shell out.

​Summary and recommendations

All in all, the StrikeFire II is going to be better in the vast majority of cases. The two dot colors, the wider variety of brightness settings, the longer battery life, and generally better construction quality make it a joy to use.

Vortex Optics Sparc II Red Dot Sight - 2 MOA Dot
  • The highly compact, daylight bright Sparc II is packed with performance features and lends itself to a variety of platforms.
  • A modular three piece base offers four seperate mounting heights for user and weapon specific customization. A high base and shim plate offer absolute and lower 1/3 co-witness mounting heights. A low base provides options for handguns or shotguns.
  • Fully multi-coated lenses offer a clear field of view and the unit is parallax free with unlimited eye relief. Elevation and windage turrets adjust the point of impact up and down or left and right.
  • Machined from aircraft-grade aluminum, the one piece body is rugged and lightweight providing shockproof performance withstanding recoil and impact. O-ring seals and nitrogen purging ensure the unit is water and fogproof in the field.
  • Rear facing power controls with only two buttons offer simplicity in use and adjustment of the 10 brightness levels available.
Vortex Optics Strikefire II Red Dot Sight - 4 MOA Red/Green Dot with Vortex Hat
  • The Strike fire II Red/Green Dot is a rugged, reliable red dot sight that is at home in a variety of shooting applications. It allows the shooter to operate between two dot colors and ten brightness settings to easily adjust for changing conditions.
  • Fully multi-coated lenses provide a clean and bright, unobscured point of view. Unlimited eye relief allows for rapid target acquisition.
  • The single-piece chassis is compact and lightweight but still delivers shockproof performance withstanding both recoil and impact. Nitrogen purging and O-ring seals ensure fog proof and waterproof performance.
  • An offset cantilever mount is provided; allowing you to move the sight forward to be used in conjunction with a magnifier and backup iron sights all on the same rail.
  • With aesthetics and functionality in mind, the power controls are at the rear of the Strike fire for easy access. The Strike fire II runs off a CR2 battery. Vortex Optics hat included, hat color may vary.
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