Vortex Venom vs Viper – Which is Best?

Looking for a comparative buying guide between the Vortex Venom and Vortex Viper? You’ve come to the right place.

Both are comparable in price. In fact, there are mini Red Dot optics on the market today that cost two to three times the price of these Vortex models. We discuss the features of both sights to provide you with the relevant information for you to decide what best fits your needs.

Here’s a quick reference guide comparing both sights:

WeightSize L x W x H mmWaterproof depthNight VisionBattery LifeLens cover TypeApprox Cost
Venom1.1 oz.48.2 x 28.2 x 25.9 (front), 10.4 (back) mmO-ring seals prevent moistureChoose between 10 levels of brightness in manual mode or switch to auto mode14-hour auto-shutdown; Up to 150 hours at highest setting; Lower settings allow up to 30,000 hours.ArmorTek® protects exterior lens from
scratches, oil, and dirt + protective cover.
$225
Viper1.1oz45.97 x 26.9 x 25.9 (front), 8.4 (back) mmO-ring seals prevent moisture.Adjustable illumination intensity14-hour auto-shutdown; Up to 150 hours at highest setting; Lower settings allow up to 30,000 hoursArmorTek® protects exterior lens from
scratches, oil, and dirt + protective cover.
$225

As you can see, both the Venom and Viper are comparable in price, weigh the same, have identical battery life, are both waterproof and shockproof (constructed of aluminum), and come with lens covers. Each also comes with an unconditional lifetime warranty and includes a mount, wrench, rain/protective cover, lens cloth, mounting screws (Venom), battery and screwdriver (flathead wrench for the Venom). Both offer a clear, wide field of view. Deciding which one is right for you depends on size, design, and functionality, which we discuss here.

The Venom

Rated as “the best bang for the buck” (pun intended) from a customer, the Venom is available in 3 and 6 Red Dot, making it a great choice for both long guns and handguns. The 3 MOA red dot is excellent for the precision needed for rifles; the 6 MOA red dot model works best for handguns. Many owners like the ease of the compact design with top load battery access. This allows the sight to stay mounted during battery changes. The Venom uses the CR 1632 battery, which is not as common as the CR 2032 (used by the Viper). It is also slightly larger than the Viper.

The windage and elevation adjustments are “super sleek and make sighting in a breeze.” Power and dot intensity controls are conveniently located on the left side of the sight to choose between 10 brightness levels. The Venom also has an auto-brightness mode that uses an ambient light sensor to control dot intensity if the shooter prefers. These brightness levels are a unique attribute of the Venom allowing full functionality regardless of lighting conditions or background.

The Venom Red Dot will fit well on your rifle or shotgun giving you optimal flexibility. Vortex says, “Make your rifle, pistol, or shotgun even more poisonous with the Venom Red Dot sight.”

The Venom has 493 reviews on Amazon, 74 percent of them are 5-star. One customer review said, “Almost perfect. This is the best combination between price and accuracy. An all-around great Red Dot.”

The Viper

In one review, a customer stated, “This pistol and Viper Red Dot performs better than I could imagine.” Its low profile and compact design makes it perfect for handguns, and its low height allows it to co-witness with suppressor height pistol sights. 

Unlike the Venom, the Viper has only one dot choice, the 6 MOA dot. The 6 MOA dot diameter gets shooters on target fast. This optic’s multi-coated lens increases the efficiency in transmission of light but also reduces glare, allowing for clarity. The finish is in matte, and it is waterproof to improve its durability.

Like the Venom, the controls are located along the side of the sight.  It also has the same battery life as the Venom, although it uses a CR 2032 battery.  However, the sight must be removed from the mount for battery changes.

The fully multi-coated, ultra-clear lens offers a wide, unobstructed field of view. The left-side up/down power and illumination controls are easy to access and manipulate. The daylight bright Red Dot is easy to see and paints targets regardless of lighting conditions or background. The recessed 1 MOA windage and elevation adjustments are super clean, protected from incidental contact, and always “at the ready.”

The Viper has 156 reviews on Amazon, and 69 percent of them are 5-star. One customer review said, “…the Venom is a little easier to operate and the battery compartment is on top, so changing it is easier. The viper is a little lower profile so it can co-witness with the gun’s sights better. I have the Viper on my Smith &Wesson M&P Performance Center, and really like it.”

Summary and recommendations

The Venom is a 3 MOA dot and Viper comes in both a 3 MOA and 6 MOA dot. Depending on what you’re shooting and at what distance will determine your preference between the different sights. Said one customer, “In my opinion, a 6 MOA dot would be better unless you’re trying to shoot bullseye out to 50 yards or so.”

The Venom is slightly bigger than the Viper, making the Venom a great choice for rifles and the Viper a solid option for pistols.  The battery changes on the Viper are more difficult, but due to this design, it does have a more compact profile. We like the 10 brightness levels of the Venom.

Conclusion

As you can see, both the Venom and Viper are comparable in price, weigh the same, have identical battery life, are both waterproof and shockproof (constructed of aluminum), and come with lens covers. Each also comes with an unconditional lifetime warranty and includes helpful accessories. Both offer a clear, wide field of view. Deciding which one is right for you depends on size, design, and most importantly functionality. Venom a great choice for rifles and the Viper a solid option for pistols.  

Sources: 1, 2

About the Author RifleGuy

Husband, dad, shooter and computer nerd. Especially fond of Charlotte sports teams, Big Foot, Star Wars, and blowing up fruit at range. NC-born & raised, surviving day-by-day looking down the barrel.