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Vortex Strikefire Red/Green-dot optic

I've been waiting a while now to write a review on this optic for no other reason than procrastination but figured it was time. I would like to begin with a little background on the optic. It is a sealed, N-purged 30mm tube optic with a 4MOA dot. It has 1/2 MOA adjustments and uses a CR2 battery. The optic is shockproof and was tested with 1000 rounds of .375 H&H Magnum. When I first found the optic in a Tulsa shop I was told that Vortex was having retailers replace any failed optic in the store so that customers didn't have to endure a warranty return procedure. That's a nice touch of customer service.

I purchased my Strikefire in November of 2009 and have put over 5000 rounds through the rifle with this optic aboard. I have changed the battery one time. The Strikefire is equipped with a 6-hour shutoff and a battery will last a reported 130 hours with the red dot on maximum brightness. This color/setting combination makes for the absolute shortest battery life for the optic.

The optic is available with either a low- or high-mount. The high-mount is ideal for an AR co-witness. The mount is of suitable quality for most applications but would best be replaced with a cantilever mount if you desire to mount a magnifier behind it.

After several iterations of on-and-off in the course of installing new parts elsewhere on the upper receiver the optic's zero remained mostly unchanged by going back to the same slot with the mounting screw against the rear of that slot but some minor adjustments were still required. With 1/2-minute graduations the adjustments can be slightly less accurate than may be desired but are easy enough to make. One feature I would like to see here is for the adjustment and battery compartment caps to be equipped with a 'bikini' keeper like some higher-end optics. This feature should be easy enough to provide on an optic in the Strikefire's price point. It should not be reserved, in my opinion, for the most expensive optics(the Primary Arms M3-style optic comes to mind).

The Strikefire sports multiple antireflective coatings on its lenses. In my experience the optics are very clear and remained fog-free with a light coat of EK's Cat Crap antifog product. The optic is reported by Vortex to be parallax free beyond 50 yards and to have less than one inch of parallax within 40 yards. My experience has not yielded a discernable amount of parallax from 3 to 50 yards. A screw-in 2x magnifier comes with the optic but I found it to be minimally helpful, if at all. The Strikefire 3x magnifier and new 180-degree mount look intriguing and perhaps can be the subject of a future review. At 1x the dot is quick to the eye in the high mount and, being parallax free, the optic is easy to use with both eyes open, even at close range.

A kill flash filter is available for the Strikefire if one's operating environment might require it. The lens caps are sufficient but I found that they became difficult to close easily after a period of time. They may be best left open or removed altogether.

The Strikefire is equipped with a night vision (NV) setting. I had the opportunity to test this capability with a PVS-14 and the Strikefire proved to be the inexpensive little optic that could. The dot was crisp, clear and 'halo' free. The overall image was equally impressive with a clear tube.

The operating controls are set on the left side of the optic and include the power button, brightness setting controls and the NV control. The power button turns the unit on to the red dot setting. Pressing it again turns the dot green and once more will power off the unit. The NV and brightness settings buttons are well-located at the rear of the control module facing the shooter. The power button is less well-placed. With the power button placed on the outer side of the control module a right-handed shooter might notice, between strings of fire after the rifle has been hanging, that the dot color has changed. This is only marginally annoying if the color has simply changed but when taking advantage of the eye's preference for all things green it can be dangerous to find that the unit has been inadvertently turned off. This is largely only an issue when letting the rifle hang on the sling over magazines or an armor carrier.

Other than the shortcoming with the power button, lack of cap keeper and quick wearout of the lens cap gaskets I would rate the Strikefire an excellent value with a $159 suggested retail price. The unit can be had for less with a little Google Shopping prowess, though, which just makes it even better. If you're looking for a quality optic with the flexibility of either a red or green dot and equipped with a night vision capability, the Strikefire might just be the optic for which you've been searching.

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Nice review Mike
Thanks, Burk. It's worth noting that the round count in the review was as of about February of this year. I've not put nearly the rounds through the rifle as I would have liked to this year but the Strikfire still hasn't missed a beat. I'm probably up to about 7000 rounds under this optic and I'm as glad today as I was then that I bought it. It's a great piece of kit.
I have been wanting to try one of these. Thanks for the review.