When it comes to investing in a rifle scope, I seek out optics that don’t just perform well under ideal conditions but thrive in the unpredictable. A weekend hunting trip can be kissed by the gentle morning sun, only to be shrouded in shadows by noon, and a tactical situation can go from a sunlit street to a darkened building in a heartbeat. It’s in these ever-changing settings where the Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope claims its fame. Let’s dive into the Vortex Crossfire II 3-9×40, and see if it actually walks the talk.
My First Impressions
Unboxing the Crossfire II 3-9×40 gave me the immediate impression of solidity and high build quality. The one-inch tube, crafted from a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum, carried a promise of endurance wrapped in a sleek, professional demeanor. The frame was lightweight but robust, which is essential for effective use in a wide range of settings from wilderness hunting trips to high-stakes tactical scenarios.
The scope comes ready for action with removable lens covers, a lens cloth, and a CR2032 battery. The hard-anodized finish not only adds a touch of finesse but also serves a critical function, minimizing glare that could give away your position. Mounting it was easy and the adjustment turrets seemed like they would be made for easy zeroing and compensation.
The Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x40mm seems to be created specifically for the field, and I can’t wait to get out there with it.
Real-Life Testing: A Day In The Field
I decided to take the Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x40mm out for a spin on a crisp autumn morning. The day promised clear skies with a gentle breeze, a perfect setting for some field testing. Armed with my trusted Remington 700, I headed to my local shooting range nestled amidst a serene woodland backdrop. The sun was just beginning to cast its warm, golden rays as I set up my station.
I began with zeroing the scope at 100 yards, which went smoothly. The optic clarity was remarkable and the lenses did a fantastic job at maximizing light transmission, especially during those early hours. With the scope zeroed, I proceeded to engage targets at varying distances, stretching out to 300 yards. The variable zoom was a charm, providing a clear and crisp view of the targets regardless of the distance.
I set up a few drills to test the scope’s tracking and re-zeroing capabilities. Transitioning between targets placed at different distances was smooth and seamless, and the fast-focus eyepiece ensured a sharp reticle focus swiftly. Even with the heavy recoil, the scope held its zero impressively.
As the day progressed, I was obviously faced with varying lighting conditions, but it was during midday that I appreciated the included sunshade. It cut glare substantially and helped the sight keep a razor-sharp picture. As I packed up with the sun dipping low, casting a cool hue over the serene east Texas woods, I felt confident that I could make this scope a permanent part of my gear, and was already looking forward to taking it out again.
The scope claims to be a companion in low-light situations, a claim that often separates the mediocre from the excellent. As the sun began to set, painting the sky with shades of dusk, the Crossfire II stood its ground. The fully multi-coated optics did a remarkable job of pulling in light, making target identification and engagement considerably easier even after the sun fell behind the horizon and we were left with just dregs of daylight.
The variable zoom of 3x to 9x proved to be a versatile feature. At 3x magnification, the scope provided a broad field of view, essential for keeping situational awareness at a peak in a dynamic environment. Zooming in to 9x, the scope transitioned smoothly, bringing distant targets into clear, sharp focus.
The 40mm objective lens played its part well, offering a generous amount of light transmission which was particularly noticeable during those early morning and late afternoon hours. The sight picture was clear, with no noticeable distortion at the edges and no chromatic aberration, both of which can be common with higher zoom levels in other scopes.
Second only to the quality of the optics, one of the most important qualities of a scope is its reticle, and the Vortex Crossfire II sports a second focal plane reticle, which maintains its size regardless of the magnification setting. This is a feature I appreciate, especially when moving between different ranges in a more high-stress or fast-moving scenario.
The Ballistic CQ reticle is designed for quick target acquisition, and it lives up to this design goal admirably. The holdovers are perfect for estimating bullet drop over mid to long ranges, without being complicated or cluttered. This makes it particularly user-friendly under stress, where simplicity and speed are of the essence.
When engaging targets across fluctuating distances, the reticle created a clear point of aim and made compensating for bullet drop quick and intuitive. I particularly enjoyed the holdover spacing, which made them easier to use in my opinion. The finer subtensions also didn’t block out the target but were visible enough to be useful.
The illumination was handy, and the option to choose between red or green was great since I personally prefer green whenever possible. The range of brightness settings was enough to keep up with the changing ambient light conditions of the day, whether it was bright sun or overcast. Overall, the reticle was consistent and reliable, and you can’t ask for more than that.
Windage & Elevation Adjustments
Adjusting windage and elevation on the Vortex Crossfire II was a breeze. Like other scopes, the Crossfire II sports tactile and audible feedback with each adjustment, which while expected is also appreciated. This helps with making adjustments without taking your eye off the target.
The reset turrets are capped to help stop accidental adjustments while making a return to zero simple and fast. Each click adjusts the point of impact by 1/4 MOA, which allows for fine-tuning when sighting in and making field adjustments. Even at this resolution, you still get a full adjustment range of 60 MOA for both elevation and windage, which is far more than I’d ever need for working with a scope like this within its recommended distances.
The build quality is one of the first things you notice when you pick up the Vortex Crossfire II. It’s built to withstand just about any operating environment. The design feels robust while the single-tube construction from aircraft-grade aluminum alloy gives this scope a sturdiness that easily translates to longevity.
My day in the field ended up putting the claims of waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof to the test, much to my surprise and against the predictions of my weather app. The scope remained clear and functional even when I encountered an unexpected downpour and the subsequent temperature drop which would cause the less robust optics options to fog up.
The included lens covers are a nice touch and provide an additional layer of protection for the fully multi-coated glass. The coatings are designed to help the optics shake off things like dirt, oil, and even abrasions and scratches, while also promoting maximum light transmission. Even in the worst conditions, images are bright, crisp, and true to life.
Vortex nailed it with the Crossfire II’s build quality. I know with full confidence I can take this scope anywhere that I may need it, from a hunting expedition to a competitive shooting event, and it will provide the top-tier performance I’m looking for.
Pros & Cons
- Versatile Magnification Range: The 3-9x magnification range is versatile enough for both close and mid-range targeting, making it a flexible choice.
- Durable Construction: With a single-piece tube made from aircraft-grade aluminum and a hard anodized finish, this scope is built to withstand just about anything you can throw at it.
- Ease of Use: The capped reset turrets, fast focus eyepiece, and straightforward mounting process make it user-friendly, even for those new to scopes.
- Battery Life: The battery life, while decent, may require a replacement if used extensively on higher illumination settings.
- Weight: At 15 ounces, it’s not the heaviest scope out there, but it’s also not the lightest, which could be a factor for those looking to minimize their gear weight.
Who Should Buy This Scope?
The Crossfire II 3-9×40 is an excellent choice for hunters, target shooters, and outdoor enthusiasts looking for a reliable and versatile scope without breaking the bank. Its durability, ease of use, and optical clarity make it a great option for those who are venturing into the outdoors in varying light and weather conditions. Whether you’re going on a hunting trip, hitting the range, or participating in friendly shooting competitions, this scope is up to the task. Its features cater to both experienced marksmen and individuals new to using scopes, offering a balance of performance and value.
The Final Word
The Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x40mm scope proves to be a robust and reliable companion for a variety of outdoor shooting activities. Its exceptional optical clarity, user-friendly features, and durable construction make it a value-packed option for those seeking reliable performance at a reasonable price. While it has a couple of minor downsides, they hardly overshadow the scope’s advantages. It’s a highly commendable choice for anyone who needs a good variable magnification scope.
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Mike Fellon is an experienced firearms enthusiast and optics expert. He delivers unbiased and detailed rifle scope reviews. Born and raised in Dallas, Texas. He inherited his hunting passions after his father John – he was fascinated by his stories, hearing how much attention, focus, dedication and patience he invested in shooting every animal. When he was old enough, his father first allowed him to shoot some cans and bottles with his shotgun, and then took him hunting – it was love at first sight. Mike has never stopped shooting ever since.