Vortex Optics – Spitfire AR Prism Scope Review:
Recently I have published a review of the excellent sight – Spitfire 3x, from Vortex optics. However, with all of its advantages, the sight has a constant 3x zoom, so its purpose – for medium range shooting – it is not always convenient at close range when the distance to the target is from 50 to 100 meters and even less. For example – for practical shooting, where the distances, as a rule, do not exceed 200 meters, and in the most cases even 20-50. Special Forces operators work almost at close range, and almost always use a collimator or mechanical sights.
Hence the requirements for sights:
- Compactness (the sight should be light and small, do not cling to equipment).
- Sight must be rugged (withstand a recoil, shock, and fall).
- Sight should not be affected by temperature changes and harsh operating conditions (dust, snow, mud)
- If possible, be energy independent (or have maximum battery life, backup power supply).
- Reticle should be as simple and convenient for capturing and tracking the target, without overloading with unnecessary information (if possible, with bullet drop correction).
- Reticle should not overlap the target in the main working distances.
- Sight should be easy to use and tune-up.
Being a big fan of the Vortex optics as a “gold” standard between price and quality, naturally, I paid attention to the Vortex Spitfire AR sight, which recently appeared in the assortment of this company.
So, let’s go to sight review:
The sight comes in colorful, original box from the Vortex optics, very similar to Spitfire 3x packaging:
Box from the top:
The side of the box:
Barcode and model number:
Bottom of the box:
The contents of the box, standard for prismatic sights of this company:
- Sight itself.
- Battery (AAA battery)
- A cloth made of microfiber for rubbing optics.
- The installation tool (hex wrench).
- Sight manual.
- An additional turret, marked in yards (the standard is marked in the MOA).
The sight is quite compact and lightweight (sight weighs 317.5 grams), has no projecting parts, which prevents sight clinging for items of clothing or equipment. The distance from the eye to the eyepiece (Eye relief), like all prismatic sights, is fixed and is approximately 9.6 cm. You can read more about this feature in the review of the Vortex Spitfire 3x sight.
The sight designed to work with AR platform based carbines, with .223 Remington (5.56×45) cartridges, but easily withstands the .308 and even 12-gauge shotgun recoil.
The sight comes with an integrated base, for mounting to universal Picatinny rail.
The sight is filled with nitrogen, which eliminates the fogging of the glass with sudden temperature fluctuations, it has flip-top covers, protecting the lenses in hikes or during transportation. In addition, the lenses have multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces that increase light transmission.
The sight lenses:
In comparison with the Vortex Spitfire 3x sight:
The ocular lenses:
The sight’s reticle located directly on the prism, so there is no need to use batteries; however, there is an opportunity to illuminate the reticle for shooting at dusk and at night. Along with this, it is possible to use the sight together with a night vision device, with the minimum brightness parameters.
Subtension detail for the DRT reticle from the manual:
As a power source, a widely available AAA battery used, so you can buy it in any store. The sight has two colors of illumination – green and red with 12 illumination levels. It can be used in twilight or at night, or if your target is dark in color and the center point of the reticle merges with it. The sight illumination will automatically turn off after 14 hours of continuous operation, to conserve battery power. Battery life with minimum brightness settings is about 3000 hours, with a maximum of about 250 hours.
There is no parallax in this sight, the sight is very convenient for quickly capturing and tracking the target, using a grid in the form of concentric circles and a point in the center (the size of this point is 3MOA at 100 yards) greatly simplifies the aiming process. Also, the small size of the central point (about 9 cm at 100 meters) does not overlap the standard targets and allows you to shoot fairly accurately.
Controls of the sight consist of two turrets adjusting elevation and wind corrections, closed with protective caps.
Elevation adjustment turret:
Windage adjustment turret:
In addition, there is a focus adjustment ring at the rear of the scope, under the protective cover, that necessary for adjusting to the shooter individual features, so people with impaired vision can use this sight. Two buttons for controlling the grid illumination.
Windage and Elevation Adjustments:
The Spitfire features adjustments and a reticle scaled in MOA’s— minutes of angle. MOA unit arc scales are used when ranging or adjusting for bullet trajectory. Each small click will move the point of impact ½ Minute of Angle (MOA). ½ MOA will closely correspond to 1/8 inch at 25 yards, ¼ inch at 50 yards and ½ inch at 100 yards.
To adjust the settings:
1. Remove the dial covers.
2. Turn the adjustment dial in the appropriate direction as indicated by the arrows. Move the dials in the direction you wish the bullet’s point-of-impact to go.
3. After sighting in, realign the zero numbers on the turret dials.
The click is well felt and has an audible click, but in noisy conditions, it is not sufficiently pronounced.
The adjustments range is very wide and amounts to 120MOA for both elevation and windage adjustments.
According to the manufacturer, there is the possibility of zeroing the sight after final sight in, but in reality, we cannot make it because of the fact that after unscrewing the locking screw the turret refused to go up, as indicated in the instruction.
There is additional elevation adjustment (BDC) turret included in the package, that marked in yards (1 – 100 yards, 2 – 200 … etc. up to 700 yards), which simplifies the shooting process at various distances, It looks like this: your target at a distance of 200 yards – put the turret on 2, aim at the central point – hit the target! The turret is designed for the ballistics of standard .223th cartridge.
However, given the above, we have not been able to install this turret.
5.56mm BDC turret:
On the shooting range:
The sight was mounted on a Kalashnikov assault rifle (AKM), 7.62×39 caliber and fired from 10 to 200 meters, with 50 meters zeroing. A cartridge used for shooting was Barnaul 7.62×39 FMJ by Barnaul cartridge plant, with 8.3 grams (128gn) bullet weigh. We used a front plate of steel body armor, 25×30 cm in size, as a target. The target was hit at all distances. Despite the fact that the reticle designed for the .223 cartridge – with the Russian 7.62×39 this reticle worked perfectly. Forty cartridges were fired and the average hit point did not shift, the hits were confident, the shooting was fought, from slow to fast fire rate.
Compared to other sights:
We had the opportunity to compare this sight with EOTech EXPS2 holographic sight. Results are in the photo.
Vortex Spitfire AR:
From the front:
EOTech EXPS2 reticle:
Vortex Spitfire AR reticle:
In general, the sight impressed by the picture quality, ergonomics and of course the price (almost 3 times smaller than EOTech) – by all these parameters, exceeding the competitor, which is evident even in photographs.
- Relatively inexpensive and reliable sight for practical shooting, assault operations and for close range hunting.
- Sight has the ability to quickly capture and track targets, including moving ones. This sight can be used in twilight and at night. Along with this, the sight can be used without batteries, which is an incomparable plus, in comparison to the collimating and holographic sights, the loss of power of which during the battle can cost the fighter`s life.
- The sight has small overall dimensions and lightweight, it has mounting on the universal Picatinny rail. The use of widely available AAA batteries, for reticle illumination, negates the need to search for or order an expensive battery.
- The sight can be used by people with impaired eyesight since it has focus adjustment.
- The lenses with an anti-reflective multilayer coating that used in the sight, gives You an excellent bright and clear picture with a large field of view.
- The sight allows you to easily find and hit a target of approximately the A4 size (gong from the bulletproof vest plate) from a distance of 10 to 200 meters.
- Using the same BDC turret (marked in yards) makes shooting at different distances even easier.
- Ideal for installation on carbines based on AR platform, sport carbines based on Kalashnikov assault rifles of any caliber. The sight is assembled very qualitatively; it surely holds the recoil, calibers .223, 7.62×39 and even 12th gauge shotguns.
- The sight is quite suitable for hunters and will be an excellent solution for close range hunting, as well as for fast moving animals hunting, from 10 to 100 meters distances.
- Fixed distance between the shooter’s eye and the eyepiece of the sight, comfortable for the shooter (in this sight it is approximately 9.6cm). But this is probably not a minus, but a matter of habit, In my opinion, I stopped noticing it after about 20-30 shots of using of this sight. In particular, this problem can be solved by using telescopic buttstocks with the possibility of adjusting the length and height of the cheek, for example, SBT-K47 FK from FAB defense, CBSCP from CAA defense, or Zhukov-S from Magpul.
- A rather complicated procedure for zeroing the sight and installing an additional BDC turret.
- As practice has shown, when firing at a distance of more than 100 meters, the optical system of the sight slightly reduces the picture. This is not critical, but not always convenient. However, considering that the sight is designed for shooting at short distances, this feature can be ignored.
- The click sound is not enough expressed and in noisy conditions one has to rely on tactile sensations, which is impossible when with shooting gloves.
Where to order Vortex Optics SPR 200 – Spitfire AR Prism Scope:
(c)2017 by “Siberian-Shooter”. Thanks to: siberian-shooter.ru. English translation from “Siberian-Shooter”.