Vortex Spitfire

Gear Review – The Spitfire

Ok… I don’t normally do gear reviews… but this one is worth writing about.

A few weeks back I decided to build out a new AR-15 platform. 

When it came time to choosing an optic I had some decisions to make.

All of the scopes I have on my bolt action rifles are by Leopold and I have had tremendous luck with their product when shooting out at long distances.

On AR platforms though my experience is significantly limited.

The optic we have on one of our Artemis Rifle is an older edition Vortex Surfire. I have to say I am somewhat enamored of this company.

Their red-dot scope (which on the Artemis AR is non magnified) has been through a beating at our shop. 

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In fact the abuse it has taken is so bad that at one point the circuitry failed. 

We contacted Vortex to try and trouble shoot the problem. Without hesitation they sent out a new red-dot scope and a return box so they could do quality control on their damaged product.

Full warranty… no questions asked.

I respect that a great deal.

So… I was predisposed to going with Vortex for an optic on this rifle.

Their new product was the Spitfire.

This baby is magnified 3x which has some interesting advantages, and one potential draw back.

I new that I would be shooting a course that would reach out to 300 meters so I wanted some type of magnification, but I also knew that I would be doing CQB (close quarters battle) which meant that If I had a really strong scope it would be worthless if the target was up close.

3x magnification seemed to fit the bill.

The Vortex arrived and easily mounted on my rig. 

Unfortunately, because of the magnification and the limited eye relief, my back up iron sights are completely worthless. If the scope goes down I need to keep a wrench on me to remove it before I switch to my iron sights.

In fact… because of the limited eye relief I need to have the scope back so far it actually interferes with the flip up rear sight.

When I was at the SHOT show I wandered over to the Vortex booth to find out if they have a quick detach mount for the Spitfire…

They don’t.

Oh well.

The really cool thing about the scope though is the reticle which is built for 100 to 300 yard point of aim control marks.

It also has a green and red illumination feature which is kinda neat too.

Most interesting though is the way the brain perceives things under 3x power.

Shooting with both eyes open my vision focuses on the reticle when looking at targets at distance.

When I moved the rifle in for CQB work though… (with both eyes open)… the target was not magnified. Instead a glowing reticle floated in space right on the target.

I will tell you that at 100 yards slow fire with the firearm on a sand bag I was able to consistently shoot 1 inch groups. Under fast target acquisition at 100 yards shooting 10 round “bursts” I was able to get a nice 5 inch grouping.

The speed of acquisition with this reticle is amazing!

All in all this is an amazing tool! 

At roughly 300 bucks it is also a great value. 

All that being said… in the end it was the warranty that really sold me initially… but my impression of the actual product is a favorable as it gets!


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