Editors choice Vortex SPARC II Red Dot

Vortex SPARC II Red Dot

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9.3 Total Score
Tough as nails: the SPARC II is combat-ready at a price that'll knock you out.

The Vortex Optics SPARC II wants to play with the big boys. It's a red dot sight that is durable, and has proven itself worth of sitting on top of your primary carbine. It's worth spending a little more than the cheap knock-offs, but won't cost you an arm and a leg like those it would compete with.

  • Tough
  • Good battery life
  • Extremely affordable
  • Comes with variable mounting kit
  • Not as compact as the SPARC AR or similar Aimpoint
  • A little bulky
User Rating: 5 (1 votes)

Vortex SPARC II Red Dot

Today we’re going to look at the Vortex SPARC II red dot. Typically, there’s a huge gap between quality, premium optics, and the junk you’ll find flooding the market at the low end. That’s not to say that all inexpensive optics are junk, it’s just that you get what you pay for. We happily encourage someone just getting into shooting to test out all manner of hardware before they commit, and if they don’t have the cash to spurge on something high end, we won’t tell if you get something cheap. There’s value in becoming familiar with different types of hardware, even if it’s not a long term commitment. While we’d never advocate using some of these products on a primary defense weapon, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting a toy to plink around with on the range. However, we’re not going to be talking about compromise when we talk about the Vortex SPARC II Red Dot.

Someone who is looking for the right gear to go on a weapon that they intend to harvest their food with, or protect their family, would be wise to consider spending money on something that has proven to be tough and durable. That’s why companies like Aimpoint, Trijicon, EOTech, and a handful of others can charge the premiums they do; they simply do not compromise on quality to get a product out the door.

Vortex is a company that has been able to maintain a balance between price and performance, without compromise. Personally, I run an original Strike Fire on one of my primary weapons, and have been impressed with its toughness. I met their president once at a tradeshow, and was very impressed with his commitment to quality and delivering affordable products that perform in the real world. The Sparc II is a good example of such product.

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  • Vortex SPARC II: The Dot That Would Not Die | RECOIL

Vortex SPARC II Overview

The SPARC II from Vortex is a relatively compact red dot optic that is extremely tough. Sealed o-rings prevent moisture and dirt from entering into the sight. It is fogproof, waterproof, and has an operating range from -4F to +158F. There are ten variables of illumination, the lowest of the two are compatible with night vision products. The display is extremely bright during the daytime, and multiple anti-reflective coatings on the lenses increase light transmission. A 12 hour auto-shutdown feature keeps your battery from getting drained, although it is rated for 5,000 hours of operation at the lowest setting, or 300 hours at its highest.

As it’s a 1x red dot, its eye relief is unlimited, and it has a 22mm objective lens; the scope is parallax-free. The reticle is a 2 MOA dot, and can be adjusted in 1 MOA increments, up to 45 MOA per rotation, with a max elevation and windage adjustment of 90 MOA. The SPARC II includes a multi-height mounting system that allows for four separate heights, including absolute or lower 1/3 co-witness.


Full Specs


Product Picture
Reticle Type
Tube Size
Adjustment Markings
Objective Lens Size
Adjustable Objective
Parallax Calibration
Parallax Free
Eye Relief
Eye Relief
5.9 ounces
3.1 Inches
Battery Type
CR 2032
Additional Features
  • Single-piece chassis
  • 10 levels of brightness
  • Multi-height mount system
  • Fully rugged


For as tough as this scope is, it’s relatively light weight. That doesn’t mean its featherweight, or even particularly small. It is 3.1 inches long, bigger than an Aimpoint or even the SPARC II’s younger sibling, the SPARC AR. It is 5.9 ounces, so less than a half-pound is added to your rifle.

The 10 levels of adjustment on the brightness allow for use in all kinds of lighting, and the durability of the product means that you don’t have to worry about the SPARC II failing, regardless of the environment you have it in. Recoil Web did a fantastic durability test of the SPARC II, and came away extremely impressed. You can read that here. They let it soak overnight, froze it, set it on fire, ran it over, and through the majority of their testing, the dot stayed on. They had to SHOOT the damn thing before they could kill it, and then they took advantage of Vortex’s no-questions-asked return policy. That’s pretty amazing.

It’s up to you to decide if you think the Sparc II is as good or better than its competition, but we believe we’ve found the most affordable optic that can be placed atop a fighting carbine.

Peter Palma - Recoilweb.com

That is how we feel about the Vortex SPARC II. It’s not sexy. It’s not the smallest. It’s not the lightest. However, I’d put my trust in it, and that goes a long way.

Vortex Sparc II Red Dot Scope Review

Fun Gun Reviews Presents:The Vortex Sparc II Red Dot sight. It's rugged and yet has a ton of features. Adding the advancements over the Original Sparc, for the ...

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