Vortex Strikefire Review

In a Nutshell

Vortex’s no-frills entry to the Strikefire series stands the test of time as a great entry-level red dot optic. Worth the purchase if you come across one

Our Rating: 7.8 / 10

  • Accuracy: 9
  • Features: 6
  • Optics: 7
  • Construction Quality: 8
  • Value: 9

What’s the Scope?

The Vortex Strikefire red dot sight is a versatile optic available with a 3, 4, or 6 MOA dot, with a choice of either red-and-green-dot functionality or red-dot-only functionality

Quick Specs

Size (LxWxH in mm)160x157x80
Waterproof DepthWater-resistant but not waterproof
​Night VisionYes
Battery LifeUp to 2100 hours
Lens Cover TypeFlip-up
Approximate CostVaries, normally less than $200 (Check Latest Price)

Our Reviews

One of the things that Vortex often does is setting the tone for a series right from the very beginning. If the second and third products in a Vortex series were great, you can almost guarantee that the first one was as well. This holds true with the Vortex Strikefire red dot sight.

The Vortex Strikefire has a nice and crisp picture, right away. Some kits also come with a flip-up 2x magnifier that lets you double your usable range, which is a nice touch in clutch situations where you need a bit more distance. For the most part, the optics are nice. They do have a green tint, which people who prefer a truer color sight won’t like, but it’s a small price to pay given the great price of the Strikefire.

You can purchase either a 3, 4, or 6 MOA dot version of this sight, and in either case, the dots are well-defined and ultra clear. Unlike some similarly priced sights, you can use this sight even in bright daylight, with the dot being clearly visible even then. Night vision settings turn this into a full versatility sight, which can carry you through both bumps in the night and hunts in the day. Some people report that on the highest setting there’s a slight blurring of the dot. I haven’t had such a problem, but your mileage may vary. You can get a version which includes both a red and a green dot, but on this model the red dot isn’t bright enough, so I’d opt for the red-dot-only version.

One of the main problems with this sight is the overall design. The power button and night vision mode button are poorly placed. It’s too easy to bump them in the case, turning your sight on and wasting your battery. It’s also easy to fumble and accidentally turn your night vision on in the daytime. The sight includes an auto-shutoff feature after a while, fortunately, so if your sight does get turned on in the case, it’ll at least hopefully turn itself off before your battery life really dies. Also, the 2x magnifier is a nice thought, but it’s hard to use it in the field or while moving, which means that it’s pretty much a bench-only feature.

In terms of build quality, things are hit or miss. The overall construction is rugged, like one would expect from Vortex products. But some of the finer details aren’t so great. The adjustments on this sight are a little stiff, for instance, and aren’t very satisfying to use. Once you zero in, you probably won’t have to mess with them too much, but still – it’s not ideal. Also, the lack of a cord to hold on the adjustment caps, so you may end up losing them. The fact that the lens caps are flip-up and built into the sight is super nice in a way, but it also is hard to close them, making the convenience a little null.

On the other hand, it does include all the tools you need to get going. The mount and covers are provided, making set-up a breeze, and once you’ve set zero, it’ll hold it forever. In other words, putting it on and shooting is super simple. It’s also extremely versatile and fit for multiple weapons, from small pistols to ARs. Likewise, it works for many different circumstances – whether you’re hunting, in a competition, in a tactical situation, just running safety drills, or in a life-or-death emergency, the Strikefire will do the job perfectly.

Lastly, as with all Vortex weapons, you get the wonderful Vortex VIP warranty. This warranty ensures that through the lifetime of the sight, you’re totally covered. It’s a fully transferable lifetime warranty that covers any and all damage that might come to it. You just mail it in – no warranty card needed – and they’ll fix it or replace it at no cost.

Should You Buy It?

This sight is a fantastic value. For the few shortcomings from early design flaws that were improved with the Strikefire II, you absolutely know what you’re getting. Regardless of your situation, if you want a cost effective red dot sight, then Yes, you should buy this. Plus, since there’s a newer model, you can probably get a great price!

Closing Comments

The Vortex Strikefire is to this day a fantastic sight. While the Strikefire II improved on its faults, you aren’t spending as much for this as you would for the Strikefire II. Other Vortex red dots in the price range are comparable, but for a versatile and safe option that will work on any weapon, the Strikefire is an excellent choice.

Besides, don’t forget to check out our review of the StrikeFire II. If you are a big fan of the StrikeFire series, check out how StrikeFire II stands against Sparc II.