Vortex Strikefire 2 Review: Versatile Mounting Sight for Carbines

Vortex built Strikefire 2 with carbines in mind, especially AR15 rifles. With a mount height fixed at 1/3 co-witness, it’s easy to see why.

However, you can go lower than the 1/3 co-witness height if you replace the platform with a ring mount. And that makes for a very versatile sight, as you can mount a handgun or a shotgun.

What’s even most striking about the red dot sight is large optics coupled with multiple coatings. While magnification power remains fixed at 1x, using the red dot gives you crispier, clearer and brighter images than most red dots.

Built to resist shocks and impacts, Vortex engineered the construction with anodizing and ruggedness.

Anodizing on the body and optics also removes glares. Therefore, targets discovering your hideout position shouldn’t be your main concern.

While the sight isn’t the lightest and most compact you can ever come across in the market, it remains a useful addition to your hunting gear when you’re embarking on a long hike.

Read our Strikefire ii review to learn about an affordable scope with commendable optics at its price range.

Vortex Strikefire 2 Review

With a slightly larger objective lens, it’s not surprising why vortex Strikefire II red dot weighs 7.2-ounces (204.1g). And it’s not certainly the most compact red dot sight you’ll ever come across on the market, as its length is 5.6-inches (14cm).

But what truly separates the red dot sight from others is its generous battery life. When you use the maximum brightness setting, battery life is 400 hours. And it rises to 7,000 hours if you use lower brightness.

On top of it all, a larger optic means brighter, crispier and clearer images, as resolution has increased. However, magnification power remains fixed at 1x. Vortex Strikefire 2 with magnifier can enable you to sight targets at long ranges.

Therefore, in close-up situations, you have an unmatched awareness of targets around you, as you don’t have to close one to take aim. In that way, you take advantage of your peripheral sight.

Contributing to optics quality are multiple coatings to make the most out of the available light.

Anodizing the frame whose composition is an alloy of aluminum, what results is a matte finish, which removes glares.

Therefore, you can aim and hold down your sight without having to worry about a target spotting you.

Nor do you need to worry about glares and reflections, which irritate and obstruct your vision when aiming sight.

Anodizing also helps to strengthen the frame, enabling it to withstand shocks and impacts, which result from recoil and dropping or hitting, respectively.

Moreover, the frame’s surface is uneven to enable toughness in inhospitable conditions.

Contributing to toughness, water resistance and compactness is the fact that the frame isn’t modular but rather a single piece.

O-ring seals around the optics and flip caps add to water and moisture resistance. And these seals conspire with the anodizing to prevent debris and dust from leaving unsightly marks on the frame.

Inside of the frame is a purging of nitrogen gas. Hence, you can move across variable temperature environments, and your optics won’t fog up.

Powering the red dot reticle is a single CR123A. You can vary the intensity of the brightness of the reticle in 10 different levels.

Even when you wear a night vision goggle, you can comfortably combine it with the sight at the lowest settings. You have an option to convert reticle color from red to green.

No need to remember your favourite brightness, as the sight remembers the last setting you used before you switched it off. Even if you forget to turn off the sight, it’ll switch off automatically after 12 hours.

Vortex designed Strikefire II with a flat-topped AR15 in mind. And so, you can’t vary the height – the distance between the optics center and the rail’s surface – because it’s fixed at 40mm, which is a 1/3 co-witness height.

Just like any other red dot sight, Strikefire II gives you unlimited eye relief. So, you can be sure of placing your eye at any distance from the ocular optics and still be able to see the reticle.

All you need to do is to paint the target and shoot! You get enormous advantage over your competitor in modular sporting, as you can acquire targets fast and hassle-free.

In connection to that, parallax isn’t an issue, so you don’t have to worry about the distance its effects become apparent.

Another outstanding feature of the red dot, which is worth mentioning is that the power control buttons face behind.

Why is that the case?

So you can access them easily. Rear-facing controls also contribute to beauty.

On top of the frame is a turret with a dial for bullet drop (hold-over) correction. On one side is a turret with a dial for wind drifts (hold-offs) corrections.

Battery compartment is on one side of the frame above the turret for hold-off.

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How to Mount Vortex Strikefire 2

How to Mount Vortex Strikefire 2

Your AR15 rifle must have a rail whose style is either a picatinny or a weaver to be compatible with the 1/3 co-witness mounting platform. Contrary to what might think, mounting isn’t hard.

As long as you follow correct steps, you won’t need the expertise of an experienced gunsmith. Hiring experts should be your last-ditch effort.

And if your rifle lacks the aforementioned rails, don’t despair. Plenty of gun dealers are willing to offer you a rail at a good price.

While Vortex pre-sets the height at 1/3 co-witness level, you can replace the mount with a low ring mounting platform (18mm) with a 3mm shim. And that can enable you to mount on the rail of a shotgun or a handgun.

Follow the following steps when mounting Strikefire II onto your rifle.

  • Remove a cap from the upper half of the mounting platform and set it aside from the lower half.
  • Place the lower half onto the rail, ensuring you attach the mounting platform firmly on the grooves of the rail.
  • As you position the platform along the rail of your gun, ensure you’ve a distance of more than 4-inches of your eye from the ocular lens. You don’t want recoil shocks and impacts on your face.
  • Check whether the clamp of the rail is firmly attached to the rail’s exterior.
  • Press down the platform against the rail, sliding it along the rail track toward the bore of the barrel.
  • Use the hex wrench provided to fasten the clamp of the rail. Fasten the clamp of a rail with a torque between 35- and 45-inches/lbs.
  • Now, mount the sight onto the lower half of the mounting platform, ensuring you face the control buttons for adjustment.
  • Replace the cap you removed from the upper half of the mounting platform on top of the sight.
  • Ensure screw slots are in alignment.
  • Insert the screws for the cap.
  • Fasten them proportionally until they are tight. Avoid over-fastening them. A torque of between 15- and 20-inches/lbs is just enough.
  • Once you complete fastening, the sight should be firm and steady in its position along the rail of your rifle.

Vortex Strikefire 2 Adjustment

Installing Battery

  • Covering the batter cavity is a flip cap. Remove it.
  • Insert the battery in the cavity, ensuring the “-” faces outward.
  • Return the flip cap back.
  • Screw it down in position. Ensure the O-ring seals around the cap are in correction position.
Vortex Strikefire 2 Installing Battery

Turning on and off the Sight

strikefire 2 on and off the Sight
  • As you face the ocular lens behind the frame, there are two buttons, one with an arrow facing upward and the other with an arrow facing downward.
  • Press the upward-facing arrow button once and release it. The sight will switch on.
  • Pressing and holding the downward-facing button for a couple of seconds will shut down the sight.
  • In case you forget to switch off the sight, after 12 hours, it will shut itself down.

Varying the Intensity of Brightness of the red dot Reticle

There are 10 intensity levels of brightness of the reticle. The lowest settings – 0 and 1 – ensure you’re able to see the dot when you wear night vision goggles.

  • Tap the upward-facing arrow button to increase intensity.
  • Tap the downward-facing arrow button to reduce intensity.

Making Corrections for Wind Drifts and Bullet Drops

Rotating the dials of the two turrets moves the point-of-impact of the bullet toward the bullseye.

You’ll have to hear one click for a point-of-impact to move by ½-MOA. That’s equivalent to a distance of ½-inches at 100-yards, ¼-inches at 50-yards, and so on.

And so, if your zero distance is 25-yards, and you want to move the point-of-impact by 1-inch, it’ll take 8 clicks.

But first things first.

  • Unfasten the flip cap covering the turrets.
  • Use a screwdriver, a raised bar on the cap, or a coin to turn the dial.
  • Follow the arrow of the dial to dictate your direction of moving the point-of-impact of a bullet.
  • If, after you shot several times, and the center of the groupings is 1-inch away on the left of the bullseye, turn the dial anticlockwise to move the point of impact to the right.
  • If the center of groupings is 1-inch above the bullseye, turn the dial clockwise to bring it down.

How to Sight in a Vortex Strikefire 2 Sight

Once you mount Strikefire II onto the rail, it’s to sight in.

Sighting in helps you to determine the most suitable shooting distance and cartridge for your needs. To determine your needs, you need to bore sight first.

For you to get a clean look through the bore of the barrel, you’ve to remove bolt on your rifle.

Here’s how to Bore Sight

On a rest, place your rifle squarely and extract the bolt.

Now, look through the bore of the barrel and align the bullseye with the inside.

Once you center the bullseye within the bore, make corrections for wind drifts and bullet drops.

How to Sight in at the Range

Once you determine your range and cartridge, it’s time to sight in.

  • Place a shot once or twice toward the target at the desired range. Ensure you align the reticle with the bullseye.
  • Now, place three shots and examine the groupings this time. Take note of the distance from the bullseye the center of the groupings makes.
  • Using the center as a reference point, make the necessary corrections for bullet drop and wind drifts.
  • Fire three shots to verify precision. Repeat the procedure if you’re not satisfied.

How to Turn off Vortex Strikefire 2

Press and hold the downward-facing arrow button for a couple of seconds.

Conclusion

What’s most striking about Strikefire 2 is its relatively large objective lens and long battery life given that it retails below $200.

Built for AR15 rifle enthusiasts, the sight’s mount height is fixed at 1/3 co-witness. However, you can replace the mounting platform with a ring, so you get the lowest mount possible at 18mm.

With this ability to go lower than 1/3 co-witness, you can mount other carbines, shotguns and handguns.

And that makes up for a good deal.

It’s difficult to imagine that you can get multi-coated lenses at its price range.

Indeed, Strikefire 2 is exceptional in its makeup.

Steve Coffman
 

Steve is a shooter and an excellent hunter. He spend most of the times of his life with firearms and hunting. He has very good knowledge in hunting Gears and Rifles.

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