From CQB to Long-Distance, This AR Optic Does It All

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Designed for rapid target acquisition in close quarter conditions but built with instant BDC capabilities for longer-range shooting, this prism scope delivers on the range without busting your budget.

by the ShootingDaily staff

We’ve run through quite a few red dot optics in the last few years, from platinum-level performers to some that should never have made it out of the bargain bin. What we’ve learned is that price isn’t always proportional to quality, and top-end manufacturing doesn’t always translate to the kind of all-around performance and features we often expect.

Recently, we’ve heard a lot of chatter about the Vortex Spitfire AR Prism Scope (not to be confused with the 1X or 3X Vortex Spitfire Prism Scopes) and decided to check it out. The MSRP is listed at $349, but we found it available from multiple e-retailers for $249.

That made the budget happy.

Vortex SL1_1

Vortex developed the Spitfire AR specifically to address the needs of shooters desiring clear and quick target acquisition with their defensive or target AR platforms. To that end, the Spitfire AR delivers with a large 25mm objective lens diameter and long 3.8-inch eye relief. Properly mounted on our AR, this optic gives a wide and bright sight picture as soon as the buttstock hits your shoulder. No “tunnel visioning” or fighting to get your reticle lined up. With its 79-foot @ 100 yards field-of-view, finding your target in a fast-paced shooting environment is no effort.

Vortex SL1_2

The Spitfire AR’s glass is crisp, and visibility is made even sharper once you dial in the reticle focus. Combined with the multiple anti-reflective glass coatings and laser-sharp reticles (etched and illuminated), we’ve found the Spitfire AR to be about as vision-friendly as they come.

Speaking of the reticle, the Spitfire AR uses the Vortex DRT (Dual Ring Tactical) design. There is a small ring inside of a larger one the really helps with fast target alignment because your eye naturally wants to “follow the center.” For CQB applications or short-range silhouette shooting, this is a quick and natural alignment solution.

Vortex SL1_6

Another feature we really like about the DRT reticle is the zero dot. At 3 MOA, it’s just right for fast, close-in work but still delivers amazingly precise shooting out to the 300-yard-plus range. More on that in a moment.

Vortex SL1_9

The Spitfire AR’s DRT reticle offers red or green illumination to match your shooting conditions, with five illumination levels for each. Two rearward-facing illumination buttons allow you to turn on/off, adjust the illumination levels, and switch colors easily. Since the reticle is etched onto the prism, it remains visible even with the illumination turned off. Forget about fighting to achieve a co-witness with your open sights because there’s no need to.

Vortex SL1_4

Although the Spitfire AR was developed for fast, close work, it’s not afraid of medium- to longer-distance shooting (longer-distance being a relative term, obviously). Windage and elevation graduations are in 1/2 MOA. In other words, one click is about 1/2-inch at 100 yards. Given this fine adjustment, the Spitfire AR will allow you to do some fairly sharp zeroing in the 100- to 200-yard range with one- or two-inch bullseye targets.

Not bad for a 1X optic.

So, what to do with that precise zeroing? Stretch things out a bit farther.

Vortex SL1_5

The Spitfire AR comes with a 5.56mm BDC turret dial that closely matches a 60-grain bullet (.265 G1 BC) @ 3000 fps or the M855 62-grain bullet (.307 G1 BC) @ 2850 fps. The graduation on the turret covers 100 to 700 yards. Once your rifle is zeroed at 100 yards, simply remove the standard turret and install the BDC turret by aligning the 0 mark with the zero-reference dot on the optic body. Now, if you wish to ring steel at, say, 400 yards, simply turn the BDC turret 400 mark to align with the zero-reference dot and you’re on the money.

Vortex SL1_12

As you can see, there are many performance features to like about the Vortex Spitfire AR Prism Scope—not the least of which is the company’s unlimited lifetime VIP Warranty, in which Vortex will repair or replace any damaged or defective optic at no charge to you. That we can transition from CQB drills to long-range steel and back to home defender without changing anything is the kind of do-it-all optic we’ve been waiting for.


Vortex Spitfire AR Prism Scope Specification

Magnification: 1X

Objective Lens Diameter: 25 mm

Eye Relief: 3.8 inches

Field of View: 79 feet/100 yards

Adjustment Graduation: 1/2 MOA

Max Elevation Adjustment: 120 MOA

Max Windage Adjustment: 120 MOA

Parallax Setting: Parallax Free

Length: 4.3 inches

Weight: 11.2 ounces

Vortex SL1_11


Vortex Optics


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