Everyone is looking for an edge. We are all looking for any way to enhance our success, regardless of the arena in which we compete.

Since the beginning of using optical devices on rifles we have been seeking the best performance possible in the smallest, lightest, strongest, and most economical package. While that may be a daunting list the advances in technology in the last decade have made a lot of things possible. Within the optics market there are several capable options available that meet the above criteria. As with any product there is always room for improvement or simply a different answer to the question. Vortex Optics has offered another answer to the question and in the process they have created something special.

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Vortex is not new to making red dots; in fact they have 11 models available. For 2018 Vortex decided rather than make a new model they would update and improve one of their existing models. The result is the new Crossfire red dot with an improved design with high quality features at a price point that will make you smile.

With the new Crossfire, Vortex has created a fast and compact red dot sight at an affordable price. The Crossfire features a 2 MOA, day light visible red dot with 11 brightness settings allowing the user to adjust the dot to their preferences and circumstances.

The included skeletonized mount is available in low or lower 1/3 co witness to make it compatible with a variety of weapon systems. Also included are a T10 Torx, CR2032 battery and lens cover. Vortex says the battery life last up to 7,000 hours with the dot on medium brightness settings.

The Crossfire is gas purged and O-ring sealed to make it water and fog proof. It features anti-glare coatings on both lenses to enhance clarity. It is wrapped up in a 6060 aluminum housing for durability. It also comes with the Vortex Unconditional Lifetime Warranty.

The Crossfire is small and light weight. It doesn’t take up much space on your rifle and its weight is so negligible it doesn’t change the perceived feel or balance of the weapon. The size saves weight and space on the top rails for accessories if necessary. Anyone who has carried a rifle and full load out for any length of time will appreciate the minimalist design.

The windage and elevation adjustment caps have a raised bar on them that interfaces perfectly with the adjustment knobs on the optic. This is easily one of my favorite parts of this optic. It makes zeroing extremely easy and quick as you don’t need a special tool.

The caps are not connected to the optic so you can lose them easily of you aren’t careful. However, in a pinch you could use a coin or even a key to make adjustments if necessary. The adjustment knobs also have an audible click which aids in the zero process as it helps eliminate guess work while zeroing. With each click equivalent to 1 MOA it streamlines the process of zeroing.

The Crossfire is very fast despite its small size. In side by side comparisons with other red dot optics the target acquisition and transition times were nearly identical. Drills were run multiple times with two different shooters using different optics producing consistent times for both shooters. This lends credence to the fact that the Crossfire is just as capable as its leading competitors.

The 11 brightness settings easily allow you to adjust the brightness settings for work in low light situations. Even in direct sunlight, or under a bright light on light colored targets the dot was bright enough to easily and quickly get hits.

You will notice from the pictures that the brightness knob is huge relative to size of the optic as a whole. While it may look funny it makes adjustments easy and quick because you can get a good grip on the adjustment knob due to its size. It is big enough that even gloved hands can make easy, quick and precise adjustments as necessary.

One possible issue with the Crossfire is that the brightness adjustment knob only works in one direction and stops at 11. This means once you get to setting 11 you have to go backwards to get to a lower setting rather than continuing to turn the dial in the same direction. While this is negligible it would be nice if it could go from setting 11 to 1 and back to 11 without having to rotate all the way down and back up. This isn’t a deal breaker for me but it is worth noting.

While the Crossfire is durable I have seen one break. At SHOT Show, during a demo, a Crossfire was dropped and the brightness adjustment knob/battery cover came off of the optic. It was dropped on a hard surface from about chest height. While the battery cover and battery came off of the optic, the dot continued to work as soon as the battery was pushed back in to place.

I tried to replicate this scenario during my testing but was unable to get the optic to fail. During my testing of the Crossfire I dropped the rifle and optic several times on gravel, grass, and hard packed dirt from chest height. I was unable to replicate the damage I witnessed previously. I will note that there was no affect on the zero from dropping the optic repeatedly.

I acknowledge that my dropping of the optic is not exactly scientific; but I feel comfortable saying the optic will not only survive but continue to function and hold zero during common use. Of course, if a problem does arise, Vortex will fix it for you no questions asked under their warranty.

Multiple people who used or handled the Crossfire during testing commented on how small and user friendly the optic is. Literally everyone who we talked to about the Crossfire was surprised at the accessible price point.

The quality of the Crossfire is easy to see. The Crossfire has everything you need in a red dot optic: quality performance, ease of use, speed, durability and a fantastic warranty. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a red dot. At only 2.5” long and 5.2oz with an MSRP of $219 this little optic packs a big punch.

While the Crossfire is not the Holy Grail of optical sighting solutions it does offer the perfect mix of great performance at an unbeatable price point. If you are in the market for a red dot I highly encourage you to take a hard look at the Vortex Crossfire and use the money you save for ammo and training.

Material Disclosure

I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer via Spotter Up so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.

*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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By Nathaniel Lindsley

The grandson of two veterans, Nate found a passion for the military and firearms at a very young age. He is an 8+ year veteran of the US Army Infantry with over 22 months deployed in operational environments. Nate is a student of the gun and of all things based around the employment thereof. Nate is a lifelong shooter, firearms enthusiast, concealed carry advocate, competitive shooter and instructor. He has a passion for gaining and sharing knowledge as well as challenging people to think critically about their approach to techniques and tactics. Nate is voracious reader and consummate researcher. He has a bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science. His hobbies include all things related to the gun, studying the human condition, and working out. He enjoys the quiet times when his Belgian Malinois, Kairo, and Dutch Shepherd, Titan, aren’t begging for his attention.

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