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AR15 Mounts and Optics: Vortex Strikefire Initial thoughts/evaluation

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Vortex Strikefire Initial thoughts/evaluation


[size=5][b]Vortex Strikefire Red dot optic[/b][/size]



For those who don't know me, I am a cheap bastiage! :laugh:

While being a bit of an optics whore I am always on the look out for quality yet inexpensive optic options. So I was quite intrigued when I head about the new optic recently released by Vortex.

I thought it seemed like a good thing to check out as its price tag is around $130-$150. I haven't found a red dot optic under $300 that I would give a thumbsup yet, but a lot of people just can't afford a $300+ for an optic...

After talking with Tigerstripe(who happily agreed to do a review if given the chance) I sent an email off to Vortex asking if they had an Eval program and were interested in providing us with a demo.

Adam at Vortex said he would be happy to send us a demo.

So, the optic arrived today and you know me, I couldn't just send it on to TS for his review, I had to play with it a little!!!

[img]http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b58/captainbarre/vortex%20review/IMG_1784.jpg[/img]



In any case, here are my thoughts so far after a quick look...



Here are the specs listed on the side of the box:

[img]http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b58/captainbarre/vortex%20review/IMG_1787.jpg[/img]


One odd thing I noticed was the web site and manual claim it is 4moa, the box says 2moa. Comparing it to my 4moa Aimpoint I would say its definitely 4moa.


Here it is with everything included from the box:

[img]http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b58/captainbarre/vortex%20review/IMG_1788.jpg[/img]


Optic (includes flip-covers)
Doubler
Heavy duty 30mm extra high ring and wrench
Lens wipe
Manual and mount instructions
*CR battery – I had installed it before taking the pic.


[img]http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b58/captainbarre/vortex%20review/IMG_1789.jpg[/img]

& Double installed.
[img]http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b58/captainbarre/vortex%20review/IMG_1790.jpg[/img]
& Side by side with Aimpoint.
[img]http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b58/captainbarre/vortex%20review/IMG_1791.jpg[/img]




So to start things off, first thing I did was play with the controls. There are only 4 buttons on the device to keep things simple.

Power on the side:

[img]http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b58/captainbarre/vortex%20review/IMG_1796.jpg[/img]


And the illumination up/down controls and NV button on the rear:

[img]http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b58/captainbarre/vortex%20review/IMG_1798.jpg[/img]


The optic has 2 different colors, red and green. While in principle I would like the option., the simplicity of the controls make it a little irritating. The power button doubles as the color selector. So you press the power button and the optic powers up. You press it a second time and it changes color. Press a third time and it turns off. However each time it turns off, it will turn on as whichever color it was last. Not a big deal, but if your not a fan of a green reticule or are just obsessive compulsive like me, it can be a little irritating.

The other complaint I have is while playing with it, I was adjusting brightness and accidentally hit the NV button as they are very close together. For a few min I thought the optic had died. I cycled it off and back on… nothing. So the NV setting holds even when cycled on and off.

The turrets are just like the aimpoint, need a screwdriver or coin to adjust.

The doubler was one of the coolest things I have seen in recent past. Its simply a tube that screws in behind the optic(can be installed with or without removing the rear flip cover) and brings it up to 2x magnification.

It also has a focus twist on the rear so you can focus the magnification, something that my PO Boy 2.5x magnifier does not have.

Now the million dollar question… does it work with a magnifier?

I am happy to say that yes it does. I installed the Optic, Doubler, and my PO boy and to my pleasant surprise I found it works just fine.


[b]A few other points of interest:[/b]

Battery is advertised to last 2000.
There is a 1 hour auto-off feature in case you forget to turn it off. This can be potentially problematic if you are using it in a hunting or competition environment. The aimpoint and Eotech you can turn on and just leave. This you will have to cycle every so often to ensure it does not blink out at a crucial time.

As a comparison to the Aimpoint Comp M2. The unit weighs 7.2. ounces as compared to the Aimpoints 7.1 ounces, it is about ½ in longer than the aimpoint without the doubler attached.

It does have threading in the front but I am not sure if that’s for install of a kill-flash or sunshade or simply the way the glass was installed.

[b]Conclusions so far:[/b]

I have not had the chance to shoot with it, Stuck up in the NE and my range is inaccessible till spring, so we have to wait till I send it down to TS for live fire testing, but initial impressions are good.

The unit is very solid built. The only potential week point I can find is the control scheme is attached to the side of the optic. There is no play however and I have no doubt it will not budge. The finish is nice and the glass is pretty clear, though it did seem to exhibit a bit of a red-ish tint. This shouldn't cause any real problems though as the optic is meant for both eye open shooting, even with the doubler. One eye can be closed to get more precision, and that is where the redish tint may cause some irritation to some shooters.

As far as clarity, I would say its on par with my pretty close to my aimpoint.

I am really looking forward to TS’s hands on live fire review and eval. It does say it is Parallax free past 50 yards, I will be interested to see how off it is below 50 yards….

Short of it not holding zero, or having any severe functionality problems, I would say this is looking to be a hell of an optic in its price range!

Here are a bunch of pics I took for fun:

[img]http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b58/captainbarre/vortex%20review/IMG_1794.jpg[/img]


[img]http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b58/captainbarre/vortex%20review/IMG_1795.jpg[/img]

Optic alone:
[img]http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b58/captainbarre/vortex%20review/IMG_1806.jpg[/img]


With Doubler:
[img]http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b58/captainbarre/vortex%20review/IMG_1807.jpg[/img]


With Doubler and POboy 2.5 for 4.5x total magnification:
[img]http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b58/captainbarre/vortex%20review/IMG_1808.jpg[/img]


Through the optic, no mag:
[img]http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b58/captainbarre/vortex%20review/IMG_1799.jpg[/img]


2X Doubler:
[img]http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b58/captainbarre/vortex%20review/IMG_1801.jpg[/img]


2X doubler and 2.5x POboy = 4.5x (sorry for the crappy pic, the high ring that came with the optic is not lined up right and I didn't feel like re-mounting my Aimpoint):
[img]http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b58/captainbarre/vortex%20review/IMG_1802.jpg[/img]
 

 

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