The most important part of your firearm is the optic.
You can spend all the money you want on an after market trigger, but that trigger doesn't get pulled until you've acquired your target.
You can buy the highest quality match grade ammo, spend your life savings on upgrading the inner workings of your rifle - but without the pin-point precision of a finely tuned optic, that firearm is no more effective than a piece of raw, unformed steel.
The optic is what connects the fired round to the intended target.
Enter the Vortex Optics Crossfire Red Dot.
With a rugged looking matte black finish of its hard anodized aluminum, the first thing you'll notice is the Crossfire's durable construction.
One of the most prominent features of the Crossfire is the angular design of the top portion of the optic.
In the event of a drop, the top end of the rifle will likely roll downwards as it's the heaviest part of the firearm. This means that in all likelihood, your optic will be the first point of impact with the ground, taking the full force of the drop (as seen in Larry Vickers' torture test of the DDM4).
Vortex has reinforced the top portion of the optic so that the steel angles gradually to meet the top turret, thereby protecting it from any damage that would otherwise be incurred by a drop.
In regards to the turret itself, the screw cover is multi-purposed in that it not only protects the turret from unwanted movement, but it also doubles as the turret adjustment tool.
Simply remove the cap and insert the flat blade along the top side into the depression in the turret, and any windage and elevation adjustments can be made easily without the use of other tools to operate.
Perhaps the biggest selling point of this optic is that it is night vision compatible.
The dial allows for two different infrared light settings, a dimmer N1 and brighter setting of N2.
Level 3 is a very dim visible light setting that would be used for lowlight conditions, while levels 4 through 7 would be used for normal daylight conditions.
There is a noticeable increase in brightness between level 7 and level 8, with levels 8 through 11 producing a substantial amount of illumination.
These higher settings prove vital in any snowy environment as the Surface Albedo effect (defined as the ratio of radiosity to the irradiance received by a surface) makes for almost blinding conditions that would otherwise overpower a red dot with less illumination power.
The red dot itself is a crisp, 2-MOA point of light, adjustable in 1 MOA increments to a maximum of 100 MOA.
The battery life is listed as 50,000 hours on level 6, which is just over 2,083 consecutive days. A pretty impressive feat considering the optic is powered on a single CR2032 battery.
The key to this optics lightweight construction is the skeletonized structure of it's lower 1/3 co-witness mount.
For those unfamiliar with the term, lower 1/3 co-witness simply means that while aligned directly with your red dot, the backup irons will appear in the lower 1/3 of the optics field of view.
While maintaining its structural integrity, the skeleton mount sheds any unwanted weight, keeping the entire package weighing in at only 5.2 ounces.
An impressive feature, considering it weighs less than a can of pop.
The skeletonized mount can also be swapped out for the included low mount option for mounting on a shotgun or a pistol.
The most impressive aspect of the Crossfire Red Dot is the clarity of the optic.
The Crossfire lenses are multi coated to increase light transmission, using anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces.
Not only that, but the inside of the optic is Nitrogen purged - a process used to remove all impurities out of the air within the optic housing.
Finally, the O-ring seal keeps this optic isolated from the elements, including harsh weather conditions such as rain and snow which would otherwise impair its clarity.
Utility: Extremely durable, Lightweight.
Application: CQC (AR-15, Shotgun, Pistol)
Aluminum with hard anodized finish.
Weight: 0.147kg (5.2 oz) with mount
MASS // Heavyweight Middleweight Lightweight Feather
DURABILITY // Impregnable Durable Average Delicate
+ Night vision compatible
+ Parallax free
+ 50,000 hour (2,083 day) battery life of level 6 setting
+ Anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces
+ Lifetime VIP Warranty
Critical Analysis: - Brightness dial only moves in one direction
- Dial is located on right hand side, meaning trigger hand must come off the firearm to adjust
A true revolution in the industry in terms of durability and clarity, the Crossfire Red Dot from Vortex Optics will outperform any other red dot, and will do it at half the price.
Backed by their industry best lifetime VIP warranty, the Crossfire Red Dot will likely become your go-to for all your CQC needs.