In the quest to find the perfect, simple, red dot sight, the Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Gen 2 caught my eye. It promises a blend of efficiency and no-frills operation, and I’ve just got to take a look. As someone who loves both speed and precision, the draw of the Crossfire is undeniable. Let’s hit the range.
My First Impressions
Upon unboxing the Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Gen 2, the first aspect that struck me was its compact design. The black matte finish comes across as durable and tactical, while the lightweight form is highly appealing. Holding it in my hands, I could feel the quality craftsmanship synonymous with the Vortex brand.
Mounting it onto my AR-15 was a breeze thanks to the included skeletonized lower 1/3 co-witness mount. It seated perfectly on the rail, providing a rock-solid platform. The Crossfire’s aesthetic appeal was not just visually pleasing but it seemed ready for a rigorous day at the range or in the field.
Turning on the sight, I was greeted with a crisp and bright 2 MOA red dot, which stood boldly against various backgrounds, and the promise of up to 50,000 hours of battery life was another impressive feature. It seems to strike a solid balance between performance and simplicity.
The optics quality of the Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Gen 2 is a showcase of functionality meeting simplicity. The sight doesn’t boast of a myriad of features but what it offers is perfectly executed. The lenses are fully multi-coated to boost light transmission, helping create a clear and unobstructed view of the target.
The 2 MOA red dot reticle is a hallmark of precision and speed. It’s bright enough to quickly draw the eye, yet fine enough to allow for precise shot placement, even at extended ranges. The dot stood stark against all backgrounds, whether it was the foliage-rich woods or the monochrome backdrop of the drywall in my living room. The unlimited eye relief provides endless flexibility for the shooter’s comfort.
Additionally, the Crossfire is designed to keep things simple and effective. There’s no magnification, which aligns with its purpose of providing a straightforward point of aim. The sight picture is uncluttered, offering nothing but the crisp red dot to focus on, which I found to be a refreshing change from some of the more feature-heavy optics in the market.
The Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Gen 2 sports a 2 MOA dot reticle, a feature that swiftly became the focal point of my appreciation for this optic. The dot is unambiguous, bright, and fast to acquire, even in close-quarter situations, yet it remains fine enough to facilitate surgical accuracy at longer ranges. The 11 illumination settings add a layer of adaptability, allowing me to tune the dot’s intensity to match the ambient lighting conditions.
During one of my range sessions, the sky was overcast, yet the red dot remained sharp and easily discernible against the targets. In broad daylight, I was able to crank up the brightness to level 11, which made the dot vivid against the sunlit backdrop. Switching between the illumination settings was a breeze, thanks to the easily accessible dial.
The reticle is also etched directly onto the lens. This feature ensures that I have a point of aim even if the battery dies or the electronic illumination fails. There’s nothing more comforting than a failproof backup.
Windage & Elevation Adjustments
The Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Gen 2 is endowed with straightforward windage and elevation adjustment dials, which are not only intuitive but also provide invaluable tactile feedback. Each click is a 1 MOA adjustment, giving you an adjustment resolution of about one inch per 100 yards.
To make adjustments, I removed the turret caps and used a coin to turn the dials in the direction I wanted the point of impact to shift. The instructions were clear: turning the elevation turret counter-clockwise would raise the elevation, while turning the windage turret clockwise would move the point of impact to the left. The tactile clicks offered a good sense of how much adjustment I was dialing in, which was particularly useful when I was fine-tuning my zero.
In short, the windage and elevation adjustments on the Crossfire Red Dot were a breeze to work with. They were clearly designed with the user’s experience in mind, which makes them a reliable and user-friendly choice for shooters with a wide range of skill levels.
The Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Gen 2 doesn’t cut corners when it comes to build quality. The chassis is crafted from aircraft aluminum, which balances strength and weight, tipping the scales just over 5 ounces. One of the first things I noticed was the hard-coat anodization that envelops the exterior. This treatment gives the surface a low-glare matte finish which not only looks great but also serves a practical purpose, it helps to camouflage the position and shields the optic against hazards like dirt, oil, and scratches.
Whether using the high mount or low mount, the Crossfire Red Dot attaches securely to the base, staying solidly seated in the groove. The mounting process was straightforward and once tightened, the optic held its position steadfastly without any wobble or shifting, even after being battered by high-caliber recoil for a day.
Overall the build quality of the Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Gen 2 is impressive. It’s clearly built to endure in the field while providing a super-sharp, crystal-clear point of aim. The attention to quality construction makes it a solid choice for anyone looking for a durable red dot.
Real-Life Testing: A Day In The Field
As I ventured into the field with the Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Gen 2 mounted securely atop my rifle, I aimed to evaluate the sight’s performance in real-world scenarios and to see how it stood up against the varying lighting conditions of the Lone Star State.
Upon arrival at my testing ground, the morning mist was slowly lifting, presenting a slightly humid but clear day. The first order of business was a quick zeroing-in at the 100-yard mark. The audible clicks of the windage and elevation adjustments were reassuring as I dialed in my desired settings. The process was straightforward, and within a few minutes, I was on target, ready to engage.
The 2 MOA red dot was quick to acquire targets in close quarters, yet fine enough to maintain pin-point accuracy at extended ranges. While I definitely didn’t need all 11 illumination settings, I made sure to work my way through them as the notorious Texas sun ambled across the sky and varied the light conditions. There was never a time when I wasn’t able to get a crisp reticle, even in the noonday sun.
The unlimited eye relief was a feature that I found particularly useful during rapid transitions between targets. I also put the sight to the test in a rapid-fire scenario to gauge its ability to maintain zero under recoil. It held up admirably, with no discernible shift in point of impact even after several rounds downrange.
As dusk approached, I really began to appreciate the multi-coatings on the lenses, which helped push through more light in the final minutes of the day.
Pros & Cons
- Long Battery Life: With up to a 50,000-hour battery life, the Crossfire Red Dot Gen 2 ensures a reliable performance over an extended period.
- Versatile Mounting Options: The inclusion of both low and skeletonized lower 1/3 co-witness mounts provides versatility in mounting the sight on different firearms.
- Compact and Lightweight: Weighing just 5.2 ounces, the Crossfire Red Dot is lightweight and doesn’t affect the balance or handling of the firearm. Its compact design also allows for easy storage and portability.
- Battery Access: Although not a major downside, some users might find the battery compartment a bit tight to access, especially in hurried situations or under gloves.
- No Night Vision Compatibility: The Crossfire Red Dot Gen 2 lacks night vision compatibility, which may be a downside for individuals who require a sight for low-light or night-time use.
Who Should Buy This Scope?
The Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Gen 2 is a no-frills optic that’s created specifically for shooters who crave simplicity and efficiency. It’s an excellent choice for individuals who are looking for a reliable red dot sight for fast target acquisition in close to mid-range shooting scenarios. The sight is particularly suited for use on handguns, shotguns, and rifles, thanks to its versatile mounting options. The sturdy construction makes it a great choice for outdoor enthusiasts and professionals who might expose their gear to harsh conditions.
The Final Word
After some extensive testing and reflection, what it really boils down to, is the Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Gen 2 is the epitome of simplicity and functionality. It provides a clear, bright dot with easy-to-use controls, and while it may lack some of the bells and whistles found in more costly optics, it excels in doing what it’s designed for, providing a reliable point of aim for quick target acquisition. The Crossfire Red Dot Gen 2 is another winner from Vortex.
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.