Vortex Spitfire 3x Prism Optic – Review

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Vortex Spitfire
Vortex Spitfire 3x Prism Optic

U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Vortex has been producing a wide variety of optics, primarily centered around two camps.  The low-cost, high volume buyer, and the discerning shooter willing to shell out thousands of dollars for one of their HD series.  This has left some in the middle feeling underrepresented, but the sheer volume of sales Vortex commands each quarter shows they're doing something right.  This is my final individual optic review that builds towards the battle royale “ACOG Killers?” series.  Let's bring in the contender, the Vortex Spitfire 3x!

Vortex Spitfire 3x Prismatic Scope

Tech Specs:

  • Battery Type: CR2032 3V Lithium Coin
  • Battery Life:  250-3000 hours
  • Click Value:  1/2 MOA
  • Eye Relief:  2.8″
  • FOV:  31.5′ @ 100 yards
  • Illumination:  Red/Green, 5 Intensity Levels
  • Magnification:  3x
  • Mount:  Multi-height
  • Reticle:  EBR-556B (MOA)
  • Max Elevation Adjustment:  120 MOA
  • Max Windage Adjustment:  120 MOA
  • Weight: 15.4 oz
  • Waterproof, Fog-proof, Shockproof
  • Multi-coated lens
  • Made In China
  • Lifetime Warranty

According to the spec sheet, the Vortex Spitfire should have what it takes to hold its own against the rest of the “ACOG Killers” entries.  The heart of any good scope though is its reticle.  The EBR-556B (MOA) Reticle is a fine entry, giving a good, bold semi-circle to ensnare the eye, and plenty of horizontal references to mark your dropping bullet against.  The EBR reticle has given me an easy time pinging steel at the range.  While it's not designed for maximum precision, it achieves its role as a “jack-of-all-trades” force multiplier.

Vortex Spitfire
Vortex Spitfire Reticle

Let's talk about the optic's construction.  The turrets are attached by a wire and are adjustable via the external nubs on the outside of the turret caps.  While this isn't as convenient as finger-adjustable turrets, it works.  However, the retention wire snapped on my first range outing, leading to a (temporarily) lost turret cap.

Vortex Spitfire
Vortex Spitfire 3x Prism Optic

The brightness knob is easy enough to grab and spin, though its proximity to the top turret means you'll be a bit tight on space.  Having 5 brightness settings in two colors is really a “shooters preference” item, as some shooter's eyes really need a color that's not red, more so than they need more brightness options.  Also, the reticle is etched onto the prism, so even if your battery goes down you still have a functioning optic.  That's good news with a maximum battery life of 250 hours at max brightness.

The glass?  Well that's something Vortex is known for getting right, and they delivered here as well.  Color and light transmission are right on par with the best of the rest.  Their multi-coated lenses are among the best anywhere near their price point.  Eye relief is comfortable at nearly 3″, and it's not nearly as picky on the Spitfire as other prismatic optics.

Vortex Spitfire
Vortex Spitfire 3x Prism Optic

I've run the Vortex Spitfire on a handful of different rifles, all AR-pattern guns.  The Spitfire makes a great short-to-mid range optic, which I define as out to 500 yards.  At 3x magnification, it's quick enough to get on target for close work, yet the solid reticle design gives you good holdover marks for 500 yards.  It's a good “Goldilocks” optics, but a couple of things keep it from being great.  First, having the retaining wire break off the turret cap during my first trip out was disappointing.  It's a small piece, but definitely weakens my confidence in the product.  To follow that with the mount's thumbscrews coming loose is a reminder that while The Spitfire is a good value, it may need a little more TLC than a higher-end model.

The Vortex Spitfire is a good optic, and I've enjoyed shooting with it.  Don't let my two relatively minor complaints lead you to think i don't like this: I do.  Despite having a literal pile of alternative optics choices in my shop, this one will continue to ride on one of my rifles.  I like shooting with it, and it shoots well.  Just consider a daub of LOCTITE on the thumbscrews!

Vortex Spitfire
Vortex Spitfire 3x Prism Optic

The Vortex Spitfire has an MSRP of $449.99, and street price of $349.  Be sure to check back in, as the next article in this series is the “ACOG Killers?” finale!

For previous entries leading to the “ACOG Killers?” finale, see:


About Rex Nanorum

Jens Hammer

Rex Nanorum is an Alaskan Expatriate living in Oregon with his wife and kids. Growing up on commercial fishing vessels, he found his next adventure with the 2nd Bn, 75th Ranger Regt. After 5 tours to Afghanistan and Iraq, he adventured about the west coast becoming a commercial fisheries and salvage SCUBA diver, rated helicopter pilot instructor (CFII) and personal trainer, before becoming a gear reviewer and writer.”

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