Vortex Spitfire 1x Review:  In-Depth Look at This Red Dot Optic Prism Sight

Chris G.

Designed from the ground up for AR platforms, the Vortex Spitfire 1x packs an array of high-performance features into a rugged, ultra-compact chassis. It’s ideal for dynamic shooting situations requiring both holographic-like speed up close and dialed-in accuracy at medium range. Vortex leveraged its optical expertise to develop a more compact system without sacrificing clarity or eye relief. The result is an impressively sharp 1x sight picture.

While the Spitfire 1x enters a crowded playing field, its blend of attributes help it stand apart. Key competitors like the Primary Arms SLx 1x prism scope offer similar compactness but lack the Spitfire’s illumination flexibility. The Sig Sauer Bravo3 prism sight brings higher magnification at a heftier weight penalty. For the ideal middle ground of size, weight and versatility, the Vortex Spitfire 1x hits the sweet spot.

This review will analyze its specialized features tailored for the AR-15, test performance in real world conditions, and see how it stacks up to rivals. I’ll also share personalized recommendations for diverse shooting disciplines. Let’s dive in for the full scoop on whether the Spitfire 1x can propel your skills forward.

Unveiling the Vortex Spitfire 1x: Detailed Features and Technical Specs

a closeup of Vortex Spitfire 1x

Optical and Reticle Features

  • Prism-based design enables compact, lightweight chassis compared to bulkier traditional scopes
  • Fully multi-coated lenses increase light transmission for bright, clear images
  • DRT (Dual Ring Tactical) reticle etched on prism for consistent point of aim
  • Reticle offers selectable red/green illumination with 5 intensity settings to match conditions
  • Allows fast target acquisition in close quarters while remaining precise at distance

Physical and Material Specs

  • Length: 5.5 inches
  • Weight: 11.2 oz
  • 1x magnification
  • Unlimited eye relief for flexible head positioning
  • Anodized matte black finish for rugged durability
  • Waterproof, fogproof and shockproof construction

Power and Illumination

  • Red/green reticle illumination with 5 brightness levels
  • Each color features a daylight bright and night vision setting
  • Uses common CR2032 battery
  • Up to 250 hours run time at max setting
  • Auto-off after 14 hours to prevent drain

Adjustments and Accuracy

  • Windage and elevation dials with 1 MOA clicks
  • 120 MOA total windage and elevation travel range
  • Locking adjustment knobs to prevent accidental movement
  • Parallax corrected – stays on target even moving head
  • 1 inch clicks at 100 yards for intuitive dialing

Technical Specifications

Optical Features

Category          Specification
Reticle                Dual Ring Tactical (DRT) MOA
Parallax Free              Yes
Unlimited Eye Relief            Yes
Magnification              1x
Multi-Coatings              Fully Multi-Coated
Field of View              75 feet/100 yards

Physical and Material Specifications

Category  Specification
Dimension (in)    Length 4.0 inches
Weight (oz)        11.2 oz
Shock Resistance      Rugged construction withstands recoil and impact

Power and Illumination

Category          Specification
Power Source              AAA battery
Battery Type              CR2032
Battery Life (Hours)            250 hours (max brightness), 3,000 hours (min brightness)
Auto-Shutoff Features          14-hour auto-shutdown

Adjustment and Accuracy

Category          Specification
Adjustment per Click            1/2 MOA
Max Windage Adjustment          120 MOA
Max Elevation Adjustment        120 MOA

Durability and Environmental Resistance

Category           Specification
Working Temperature            -22°F to +122°F

Compatibility and Mounting

Category          Specification
Mounting Options                Multi-Height

Additional Information

Category          Specification
Accessories Included            T-20 Torx Wrench, CR 2032 battery, Flip Caps
Warranty Information            Lifetime

Vortex packed impressive technology into the compact Spitfire 1x chassis to create an adaptable optic ready for close quarters speed or medium range precision when needed.

Performance Analysis: Accuracy, Precision, and Versatility of the Vortex Spitfire 1x

a closeup of Vortex Spitfire 1x

Putting rounds on target quickly is great, but they need to hit with consistency and precision. I tested the Spitfire 1x extensively to evaluate its real-world accuracy and versatility across diverse shooting scenarios.

Accuracy and Precision Performance

  • Crisp sight picture and parallax-free design enable consistent precision
  • DRT reticle provides accurate point of aim without visual distortion
  • Maintained MOA accuracy out to 300 yards – aligned with adjustments
  • No noticeable shift in zero after 500+ rounds of mixed rapid fire and precision shots
  • Dot sits naturally on target for fast engagement at 25 yards and in

Versatility Across Firearms and Shooting Styles

  • Lightweight and compact profile allow mounting to AR-15s, shotguns, pistols
  • Red/green options adapt to target conditions and shooter preference
  • Generous eye relief box makes for comfortable head position flexibility
  • Close quarter speed shooting is enhanced by the reticle design and 1x
  • Dialed click adjustments enable precise hits on small targets past 100 yards
  • Maintained reliability across a wide environmental temperature range
  • Performed well under tempo manipulations, positional shooting, and transitions

The Spitfire 1x proved it’s up to the task whether hammering steel up close, threading needles from the bench, or ringing steel at distance. Adjustability and generous eye box allow personalized configuration for your favorite firearm and shooting style.

User Experience: Handling and Operating the Vortex Spitfire 1x Red Dot Sight

Ease of use can make or break whether an optic actually improves your skills instead of getting left in the safe. Here I’ll share my firsthand experiences sighting in, operating controls, and maintaining the Spitfire 1x.

Mounting and Sighting In

  • Mounted securely to picatinny rail on just two plates for lower 1/3 co-witness
  • Limited eye relief of just under 4 inches but offers generous eye box vertically
  • Easy to bore sight and dialed in precisely after few shots at 25 yards
  • Holds point of impact reliably with no noticeable shift in zero

Controls and Interface

  • Illumination buttons are intuitive – press/hold to cycle through color and brightness settings
  • Generous off clicks between intensity settings prevents overshooting
  • Auto-off after 14 hours prevents draining battery unnecessarily
  • Locking elevation and windage adjustments maintain zero through shooting
  • All controls accessible without needing tools or removing optic from mount
  • Menus simple enough for seamless operation without losing focus on targets

I found mounting and sighting the Spitfire 1x quick and painless. Operation becomes second nature rapidly with easy to manipulate controls and an intuitive menu system. It integrated into my shooting without imposing any usability hurdles.

Mounting Solutions and Compatibility Insights for the Vortex Spitfire 1x

While expressly designed for the AR platform, the Spitfire 1x’s compactness makes it a candidate for use on other firearms. Here I’ll cover mounting considerations and which guns are likely compatible.

  • Built-in picatinny mounting plate ensures solid fit on AR rails
  • Included co-witness plate mounts lower 1/3 for iron sight access
  • Compatible with full size rifles, AR pistols, and 12 ga shotguns
  • Pair with a pistol via slide cut or picatinny rail adapter
  • Ensure at least 4 inches eye relief on heavy recoiling firearms
  • Use blue Loctite on base screws and torque properly for solid adherence
  • Avoid bridging optic over ejection port to prevent casing interference

The Spitfire 1x isn’t limited merely to AR-15s. With proper mounting hardware, it can work on shotguns, AK platforms, and handguns. Just be mindful of eye relief needs for heavier recoil.

Maintaining the Vortex Spitfire 1x: Longevity, Battery Life, and Recommended Care

a closeup of Vortex Spitfire 1x

Rugged waterproof construction aims to withstand years of shooting without issue. But incorporating minor preventative care optimizes the lifetime and performance of your Spitfire 1x optic.

Maintenance Guide for Prolonged Durability

  • Primary maintenance needs are simply cleaning exterior lenses periodically
  • Use lens cloth and cleaning solution designed specifically for coated optics
  • Gently blow any dust off lenses before wiping to avoid scratching
  • Store in dry location when not in use to prevent internal fogging

Battery Management

  • Average battery life around 600 hours on medium brightness setting
  • Keep spare CR2032 batteries on hand for replacements
  • Replace both batteries at once rather than mixing old with new
  • Note + orientation when inserting batteries to maintain settings
  • Enable auto-off feature to prevent unnecessary battery drain

With just occasional exterior cleaning and fresh batteries annually, the Spitfire 1x will function like new for thousands of rounds. Adhering to these minor care steps enhances longevity considerably.

Comparative Review: Vortex Spitfire 1x vs. Industry Competitors

Vortex was an early mover in the 1x prism sight market but faces stiff competition as the category matures. I compared the Spitfire 1x side-by-side with two other models to see how it stacks up.

Vortex Spitfire 1x vs Primary Arms SLx 1x Prism

  • Both offer similar 5.56 BDC-calibrated reticles but Spitfire uses wider circle
  • Spitfire’s illumination control more flexible with 10 settings
  • Excellent optics quality seen in both, with Spitfire slightly sharper
  • Primary Arms version 2 ounces lighter but lacks auto-off feature
  • Spitfire’s ruggedness inspires more confidence for hard use

Vortex Spitfire vs Sig Sauer BRAVO3 1x Prism Scope

  • Sig Bravo3 offers higher 3x magnified setting but at heavier 15 oz weight
  • Spitfire quicker target acquisition at 1x for close engagements
  • Bravo3 provides more adjustment range but neither will limit practical needs
  • Spitfire’s side buttons quicker to access than Bravo3’s top layout
  • Both solid lifetime warranties, but Vortex’s history of execution is proven

The Spitfire 1x proves extremely capable when compared side-by-side with other leaders in this sight category. It represents an optimized blend of speed, precision, size and robustness.

Vortex Spitfire 1x: Personalized Use Cases and Recommendations

a closeup of Vortex Spitfire 1x

With any accessory, matching features to your specific shooting needs is crucial. Here are my personalized recommendations for Spitfire 1x applications based on shooter profiles.

Home Defense Applications

For home defense, the Spitfire 1x excels on shorter AR platforms optimized for CQB engagements under 100 yards. Its generous eye box enables fast target pickup navigating indoor spaces. The Illumination enhances low light performance without NVG bulk. I’d pair it with a 10.5-12 inch AR pistol loaded with home defense rounds to create a potent package.

Three Gun Competition

Three gunners running rifle stages under 200 yards will appreciate the speed of a isolated red dot combined with increased situational awareness from the circle reticle. The 1x magnification aids rapid transitions between paper and steel without limiting acquisition of closer targets. At 11 ounces, it won’t burden your overall rifle weight during movement-heavy stages.

Plinking and Training Aid

For dedicated plinkers or newer shooters looking to sharpen fundamentals, the Spitfire 1x helps diagnose shot placements at distance and track holdovers. Etched reticle visibility aids developing trigger control. You can rely on windage/elevation adjustments to help diagnose shooting errors. And generous eye relief mitigates facial fatigue during long range sessions.

Primary Hunting Optic

Serious hunters demand heavier magnification for ethical shots in the field. However, the Spitfire 1x is light/compact enough to serve as a backup sight or for quicker handling in tree stands. The illuminated circle could be a plus scanning brush for pigs or other dangerous game where reaction time is critical. I’d pair it with an AR chambered in 450 Bushmaster or 458 SOCOM for versatile big game rounds.

While not ideal for all scenarios, the Spitfire 1x brings unique capabilities to expand your shooting envelop when matched properly to needs. Assess your priorities first before matching features accordingly.

FAQs on the Vortex Spitfire 1x

Does the Spitfire 1x work with night vision?

Yes, it features a dedicated night vision-compatible illumination setting. However, some users report the dot seeming a bit blurry/misshapen through NV.

What separates the Spitfire 1x from cheaper prism sights?

The fully multi-coated lenses allow exceptional light transmission and clarity compared to more basic models. Rugged aluminum housing stands up to recoil better than polymer alternatives.

How is eye relief on the Vortex Spitfire 1x?

It provides just under 4 inches of eye relief. Less than some scopes but the generous eye box vertically helps make up for it. Mounting forward helps maximize comfort.

How long does the LED last until replacement?

Vortex doesn’t specify LED lifespan. But expect at least 10,000 hours of runtime before potentially needing replacement. Most users never reach this threshold.

Does the 1x magnification limit use at longer range?

While not ideal past 300 yards, the BDC reticle allows estimating holdovers out to 400+ yards if needed. The tradeoff for a wider field of view is minimal.

What mounts are compatible with the Spitfire 1x?

It fits any picatinny rail and ships with an AR riser mount. Aftermarket mounts like Geissele Super Precision mounts also fit for absolute co-witness.

Common questions on the Spitfire 1x hopefully now have straightforward answers. Reach out for any other queries!

Final Verdict: Is the Vortex Spitfire 1x Right for You?

After extensively testing the Spitfire 1x across a breadth of shooting activities, I believe it deserves strong consideration from AR platform shooters. The blend of fast target acquisition and extended range functionality create a more versatile tool than simple red dots. Absolute durability inspires confidence it will perform when called upon.

That said, a few areas leave room for refinement. Maxing the illumination in bright sunlight washes out the reticle somewhat. I’d like to see higher side rail positioning to allow co-witness with smaller irons. And accessing the battery compartment requires fully removing the optic.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Considering its reasonable price point compared to alternatives, the minor tradeoffs are easily forgivable. If you run an AR as your primary defensive firearm, patrol carbine, ranch rifle, or tier 2/3 competition gun, the Spitfire 1x warrants your attention.

It brings sophistication beyond ordinary red dots without the bulkier weight of full magnified optics. Whether you value precision or speed, the Spitfire 1x’s flexibility will likely prove a shot in the arm for your shooting skills. I’m confident it would measurably enhance performance of most AR-focused shooters.

Ready to upgrade your AR’s capabilities for dynamic shooting while remaining budget friendly? Then pick up a Spitfire 1x to wring more speed, accuracy and enjoyment from your range time.

About the author

The name's Chris. Just a regular dude who loves firearms. I've been shooting since I was a kid. My old man taught me the ropes.

I'll never forget the first time I missed an easy shot on a buck, thanks to a bum scope. The image was fuzzier than my dog's butt. After that, I got obsessed with understanding scopes. What makes the good ones tick and the bad ones trash. After a few years and a few thousand bucks, I learned what separates the winners from the losers. Once I had a good stockpile of knowledge, I launched this site.

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