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Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Review {2023}

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You have probably been hearing and reading people recommending the Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Sight as a great budget pick, but is it really?

If that’s a question on your mind as well, then you are in the right place. I used the Crossfire for 3-months and after spending plenty of ‘romantic’ nights and days with it in the wild, here’s what I think about it.

The review is done based on factors like durability, waterproofing, turret adjustment, portability, optics clarity, illumination, etc., to ensure you get the best bang for your buck (you DO NOT want to miss this).

Do you hate reading through long 10-15 minute articles? No problem, I have you covered. Here’s my take on the Crossfire in-brief.

Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Review

Vortex Optics Crossfire Red Dot Sight Gen II- 2 MOA Dot (CF-RD2)Check Latest Price on Amazon

For budget buyers, considering the Vortex Optics Crossfire costs around $150, it sure is worth the consideration but what makes it a big yes for me is that there’s more to it than just its price tag.

For example, at this price range, it is one of the few to come with 6 levels of illumination for clarity in low light. Also, it has unlimited eye relief, an excellent 50,000 hr battery life along smooth dials and turrets that allow you to make adjustments quickly. 

Oh, and its aluminum build along with sealed o-rings make it waterproof and durable enough for rigors of the wild.

And it is these features that make it a top-notch budget pick ideal for both budget buyers and beginners.

Not content with the info? Or are you curious to know more about the scope now? Either way, this detailed review tells you A to Z of the Vortex Optics Crossfire Sight.

Let’s dig into it.

What’s Included in the Package:

  • (1) Crossfire Red Dot Sight Gen2 (CF-RD2)
  • (1) Durable rubber cover
  • (1) T-10 Torx wrench
  • (1) CR 2032 battery
  • (1) Lower 1/3 co-witness mount
  • (1) Low height mount
  • (1) Set of Mounting Screws
  • User Manual

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Design and Durability

Whether you spend $150 or $1500, you want your RDS to last you for years, right? Well, the Crossfire is designed and built for just that (this baby will last you for years to come)


As I mentioned above, it has an aircraft-grade aluminum build. This means it can take all the bumps and hits that come with hunting in the wild. 

Furthermore, thanks to the sealed o-rings, you can also use the RDS in rain or even leave it submerged in around 3ft of water for about 8-10 minutes as it keeps the water from seeping in. But make sure you do not let it go deeper or leave it longer.

Then there is also the nitrogen purge that ensures the lens never gets foggy, making it the ideal budget choice for hunting in colder or rainy regions as well.

Covering this solid build and adding a layer of protection against scratches is the hard-anodized finish. But that’s not all it does. This finish also improves camouflage by reducing the glare (because, in the end, your safety is paramount.

Even with all this, Vortex Optics manages to keep the red dot sight light and compact. Yup, whether you want to carry the scope in a bag (fits right into any pocket) or have to move around with it mounted on a rifle or shotgun, it is a breeze.

That is because it weighs a mere 5.02 oz and its length is just 2.5 inches making it one of the most compact red dot sights on the market.

Lastly, if you still have any problem with the Crossfire, backing it up is a lifetime warranty which means you won’t have to spend a penny on repairs and replacements (one of the reasons why I love Vortex scopes so much).

Red Dot

Talking about the red dot, the illumination is a pleasant surprise as most cheaper scopes and red dots don’t have illumination, but it comes with its cons.

Vortex suggests it has 11 illumination levels and while they help, you won’t notice much change in the illumination as you go from 1 to 11. So it is useless?

Absolutely not but yes, it does restrict the use of the scope based on the light around you. But you can always counter that with a night vision (purchased separately)

Yes, the first two brightness levels are night-vision compatible making the red dot sight your eyes even in the dark. The brightness can be easily adjusted using the knob on the right side, which is smooth.

The red dot sight is also ideal for long-distance aim mainly because it is a smaller 2 MOA (Minute of Angle) (you want accuracy, the sight delivers just that).

Even the eye relief is unlimited, giving you the freedom to place your eye based on your comfort (troubled by scope bites? Well, not anymore). You can even shoot accurately with both eyes open.

And lastly, adding to the accuracy is its parallax-free design.

Battery life

If you use the reticle illumination quite often, you do not want the hassle of having to charge the battery every few hours, right? 

Well, the new Crossfire model comes with a bigger and better CR 2032 battery which will easily last you around 2 days (just don’t forget to shut it off when not needed).

And it is pretty durable as well as Vortex Optics guarantees that it will run for 50,000 hours without a hitch. 

And when it does run its course, replacing and putting in a new battery takes less than 5-minutes thanks to the easily accessible and conveniently located side battery compartment.

Mounting the Crossfire

Mounting this red dot sight is fairly easy, and as you continue to use the scope, it will take less than 5-minutes to get the job done.

Here’s how you mount the Crossfire correctly whether on a rifle or a shotgun.

  • Fix the sight onto the rail or base. The right position is the one where the brightness knobs come on the right side.
  • The mount shouldn’t be moving in the base groove. You also want to place the red dot with about 4 inches of eye relief (at the least) to prevent scope bite.
  • Next up, you need to hook the base clamp around the rail or base from the outside. 
  • Once done, all you have to do is press the sight down and forward close to the muzzle. Your package will include T-10 Torx Wrench. Use this to tighten the base clamp bolt.

And voila, your new red dot sight is locked and loaded and ready for some action.

You can go with either the low mount or the high/Lower 1/3 co-witness mount based on the situation and your preference. Both these amounts are provided in the package along with screws needed to keep them in place.

Windage and Elevation

Windage and elevation have a direct relation to accuracy so getting these right is a priority. The elevation can be adjusted using the turret on the top while the windage turret is located on the right side next to the brightness dial.

If you want to raise the elevation move its turret counter-clockwise and if you want to move the windage to the right, rotate its turret anti-clockwise.

Each click on either of these turrets adjusts the point of impact by 1 minute of angle. This means if you are aiming at 100 yards, it will move by an inch, whereas for 50 it would be 0.5 inches, and so on.

Both the turrets are covered while this makes adjustments on the fly slightly difficult, it provides added protection to these delicate parts while preventing accidental changes (set it once and it stays that as long as you want).

And when needed, the covers easily come off as well. Though when you remove it, do make sure you keep the covers safely as they are easy to lose (trust me, been there, done that).

Once the cover is removed you will find numbered markings in white. These, in tandem with the audible clicks of the turrets allow you to get precise adjustments each time.

Optics Clarity

Well, being a budget scope, it does not come as a surprise that the Vortex Optics lens isn’t the clearest, but within this price range, it sure outdoes most of its competition.

The lens is multi-coated with anti-reflective material but the lower quality of the lens and coating mean the optics clarity is average when you aim long distance like 100+ yards.

Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Specifications:

  • Reticle: 2 MOA Red Dot
  • Brightness Setting: 11 settings (2-night vision compatible)
  • Magnification 1x
  • Unlimited Eye Relief: Yes
  • Parallax Free: Yes
  • Multi- Coatings: Yes
  • Battery Type: CR 2032
  • Battery Life: 50,000hrs @mid brightness setting
  • Adjustment per Click: 1 MOA
  • Windage Adjustment: 100 MOA
  • Elevation Adjustment: 100 MOA
  • Housing Material: Aluminum
  • Surface Finish: Anodized Finish
  • House Color: Matte Black
  • Weight (oz): 5.2 oz
  • Dimensions: 2.5 inches in length

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My Final Verdict

There’s everything I have to say about the Vortex Optics Crossfire Red Dot Sight. It sure does have its drawbacks, but for anyone on a tight budget, it is hands down one of the best alternatives on the market.

Especially since the Crossfire is covered with a lifetime warranty which makes it a risk-free purchase. 

Have you used the Vortex Crossfire before? Do you agree with me? Do share your experience with the scope in the comments below. You can also get in touch with me for any questions you have in mind either via the comments or the contact page.

About Author

James Towndrow, a NRA-certified Firearms Instructor. During a career of 18 years had won several shooting competition including major leagues. Taking all those experience down the road, is now a successful Shooting Instructor in Texas, US.