Vortex SPARC AR Review: Grab the Best Deal in the Market

When you’re cash strapped and you still want a sight with superb optics and resistance against shocks, fog, water and snow, Vortex SPARC AR red dot should come top on your mind.

That’s one of the best deals in the market considering that its price is around $200, but you’ll sacrifice weight and compactness. The sight has just about anything a hunter would desire for hunting game.

What’s more awesome about the deal is that battery life is long as long you keep the brightness level of the reticle low.

Nonetheless, whether there’s bright light or no light at all, you should be able to see the reticle, no matter where you position your eye from the ocular lens.

Read our review to learn more about a reasonably-priced scope with features that are just enough for your hunting needs.

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Vortex SPARC AR Red Dot Sight - 2 MOA Dot
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Vortex SPARC AR Red Dot Sight - 2 MOA Dot
  • The Sparc sight features a 2 MOA daylight bright red dot that is quick to spot and paints your target regardless of lighting conditions or background. The dot returns to the last intensity used when powered up.
  • High quality, fully multi-coated lenses offer up a clean, wide field of view. With unlimited eye relief and parallax free, the sight gets you on target fast.

While certainly not the lightest and most compact of red dots available on the market, SPARC has its share of strengths that are difficult to replicate.

Weighing 7.5-ounces (0.213 kg) and measuring 2.9-inches (7.25cm) across, the sight is somewhat bulky and hectic for a hunter taking a lengthy hike.

However, costing not more than $200, SPARC remains an amazing product at its price range, especially if you’re operating a tight budget.

Reticle’s size is 2-MOA, which is small enough to paint targets at longer-range distances without obstructing your vision. You may need a bigger reticle if you’ve a handgun or a shotgun. Even despite its smallness, the reticle can still be visible. 

If you’ve astigmatism or poor sight, the reticle’s sharpness may be distorted, reducing precision of your aim and contributing to Vortex SPARC AR problems.

While there’s no distance which you should start worrying about parallax errors, as in any other red dot, you should be careful not to place your eyes too close to the ocular lens.

Find the most comfortable spot where you can see the red dot while not in danger of having your face hit by a recoiling setup. In case you’re unable to see the red dot, you may be having eye sight problems.

Bright light can also reduce the visibility of the reticle, and you may need to increase brightness, although this can count against battery life. Luckily, there are 10 different intensities of light to which you can vary brightness.

Vortex Sparc AR Review

Powering the intensity of the brightness of the reticle is an AAA battery. While battery life may not be nearly exciting, it’s well worth it if you take measures to preserve it, so it doesn’t run out sooner than later.

With maximum brightness, battery life reduces to less than 300 hours, but auto shutdown occurs after 12 hours. Battery life can extend to 5000 hours at the lowest brightness intensity.

When you switch on, the sight would remember the last intensity, and this can help you save your most favorite brightness setting for the next hunting session.

One thing that makes SPARC truly outstanding is its ability to switch off automatically when not in use. That can count toward preserving battery life.

It’s consoling to note that the manufacturer anodized the aluminum chassis, and covered it with rubber armor to resist shock from recoil.

Purged with nitrogen, there’s little cause for concern about fogging up of lenses. O-ring seals around the lenses and flip caps prevent water from entering inside.

And the sweeter news is that optics are sandwiched between several layers of multiple coatings to make the most out of available light. So, no matter how poorly lit your environment is, you can still paint targets red.

By buying this sight, you’ve the benefit of acquiring targets fast.

Best of all, you can aim or hold down your sight with both your eyes wide open, as the field of view, at the magnification power 1x, is widest. Objective lens’s diameter is 22mm.

With the package comes a mounting plate with a riser, which can vary height between absolute co-witness (37mm) and a higher 1/3 co-witness (40mm).

How to Mount Vortex SPARC AR

You shouldn’t take mounting for granted, as it determines the quality of performance. Mounting is easier than you may think when you do it correctly. Your firearm’s rail must have a weaver or a picatinny style.

Don’t despair if you firearm uses any other mounting base, as there’s never a short supply in the market.

How to Mount a Vortex Razor Red Dot

Some of you prefer a gunsmith to do the job, but that should be your last resort.

You’ve two height options when mounting the sight:

  • Absolute co-witness
  • 1/3 co-witness

When you buy the sight, the manufacturer has pre-set the mount to 1/3 co-witness. So, the height of the lens’s center above the rail’s surface is 40mm by default.

If you want to reduce the height, remove the shim of the rail, which is 3mm thick. Now, the rail’s surface is 37mm below the lens’s center.

You can also vary the height. To do that, unfasten the four screws holding the clamp against the shim. Replace with shorter screws, which come with the package. Return the clamp back by fastening the screws at the four slots.

Continue reading to learn how mount SPARC AR sight onto a rifle.

  • Face the buttons for adjustment control and place the sight on the rail of your firearm. Ensure the edges of the mount are in perfect alignment with the grooves of the rail.
  • Slide the mount along the rail such that you’re able to position your eye comfortably at a position, which is at least 4-inches from the ocular lens. In that way, you’ll prevent injuries from recoil.
  • Check whether there’s attachment between the rail’s exterior and the clamp.
  • Press down the sight and slide it along the rail toward the muzzle.
  • Afterwards, use the available hex wrench to fasten the screw of the clamp.

How to Zero Vortex SPARC AR

After you mount sight on the rail, it’s time to zero. When it comes to zeroing, two factors play out:

  • Maximum shooting range
  • Cartridge

These factors are very important, because they determine how much you’ll spend and whether the shooting range you choose is sufficient, falls short or exceeds your needs.

We recommend you choose a range of between 25- and 50-yards as a standard reference point.

First off, look through the bore of the barrel of your firearm. For a clear sighting, remove the bolt.

Look Through the Bore of the Barrel

  • Attach your gun squarely on a rest and replace the bolt.
  • Look through the barrel and align the bullseye with the interior of the barrel.
  • Once you center the bullseye inside the bore, make corrections for bullet drop and wind drifts until the red dot is in alignment with the bullseye.

Zero the Sight at the Chosen Range

Once you determine the maximum range for your situation or needs and the cartridge you intend to use, it’s time to adjust the precision of the sight.

  • Once you complete looking through the bore of the barrel, shoot once or twice at the zero distance, and examine the center of the groupings. You can make corrections for bullet drop and wind drifts to bring the point-of-aim to the bullseye. That means you’ve to rotate the dials in the direction you wish to move the point-of-aim (see making adjustments for bullet drop and hold-off).
  • Now, shoot toward the target three times.
  • Examine the center of the groupings, and use it as a reference point. Repeat the procedure for corrections in an attempt to move point-of-impact.
  • Fire three shots again to verify whether the bullets are lodged in precise locations. If you’re not satisfied, repeat the procedure.

Making Adjustments for Bullet Drop and Hold-off

When you rotate the dials for hold-off and hold-over, you’ll hear clicks. One click moves the point-of-aim by 1-MOA, which is equivalent to 1-inch at 100-yards.

If you choose your sight in distance as 25-yards, 1-MOA would be equivalent to moving a point-of-impact by ¼-inches.

And so, if you found the center of grouping to be 5-inches off the bullseye after taking three shots at a distance of 25-yards, you’ll have to hear 20 clicks to rotate the dial to move the point-of-aim 5-inches toward the bullseye.

If that happens to be bullets that have drifted 5-inches off from the left of bullseye, remove flip cover and rotate the dial anticlockwise to bring the point-of-aim toward the right.

If bullets were lodged 5-inches to the right of the bullseye, rotate the dial clockwise to move the point-of-impact to the left.

If the bullets were lodged 5-inches above the bullseye, rotate the dial clockwise to move the point of aim down.

Rotate anticlockwise to move point-of-aim up if the location of the lodges is 5-inches below the bullseye.

  • Open the flip covers. You may take advantage of the battery cover to fasten and unfasten the dial covers.
  • Use a slot-tipped screwdriver, coin or dial cover to turn the dials.
  • Follow the arrows to rotate the dial in the correction direction. Make sure you rotate the dial to move the point-of-impact toward the bullseye.


While Vortex SPARC AR with magnifier may not be the lightest and most compact red dot sight you can find on the market, it really has excellent optics.

With multi-coated lenses to maximize light transfer and a frame made up of tough and resistant materials to resist shock from recoils, the sight remains one of the best deals in the market.

It’s difficult to see why someone with a need to hunt or shoot at a close range won’t consider purchasing a red dot sight that offers you durable battery life.

Nitrogen purging prevents fogging up of optics. O-ring seals around the turret caps and lenses prevent water from entering.

Everything you need to make purchasing decisions is in this Vortex SPARC AR review.

Last update on 2020-05-30 at 13:55 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Steve Coffman

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