Friday, December 4, 2009
I got my Vortex Strikefire zeroed tonight and played around with it a bit, shooting 110 rounds of Wolf 62gr JHPs. James and I headed out to his place just before sundown and I got about 30 rounds in the darker part of dusk. This really wasn't much of a torture test or anything, but surely 110 rounds would have exposed any serious faults. Overall, it performed flawlessly. Just a heads-up: I don't have time to get proper pictures, but I will put some up. I'll steal a few from around the interwebs until Sunday or Monday. My point-and-shoot Nikon just doesn't take good indoor pictures.
My sight arrived on Monday from www.midwayusa.com and I got it mounted right away. I ordered the Strikefire kit with the AR-15 specific extra-high ring. The ring is a fairly heavy duty six-bolt of the aluminum persuasion. I didn't use thread locker on it, but I did carefully torque everything down pretty well. You have to be careful with scope rings--especially aluminum ones because you can crack them from over-tightening, you can crush the scope tube, or you can break screws, or some combination of the above. Anyway, the ring is good stuff. The optic is NOT mounted in the ring when you receive it. You have to very fastidiously mount the bottom half of the ring to your AR, then level the optic, then place the top half of the ring on and tighten it down evenly. It's a lot easier than it sounds--especially if you've done it a million times before, which I have. (Well, maybe not a million, but nearly.)
The 2x magnifier cuts your field of view by at least half. I haven't tested it yet, but I plan to and I'll do an update accordingly. It is easy to install and remove, but doesn't come with any kind of carrying case (I bet an old 35mm film canister would work great) or lens protectors. For $150 though, I can forgive that and raid my dad's old photography supplies for an empty canister.
On the range, the Strikefire fires a clear warning shot across Aimpoint's bow. With the reticle in red mode, it is a dead ringer for an Aimpoint Comp M2. It has 10 daylight brightness settings, and two nightvision settings. In green mode, the dot seems brighter and blurrier, but James reminded me that the human eye is three times more sensitive to green light than red. The green dot is still pretty good, though I think I prefer red.
The adjustment turrets feel a bit weird at times. The elevation turret didn't have terribly positive clicks, but still made precise and predictable adjustments. The left/right turret had very positive clicks and also adjusted well. All around, fit and finish is more than you'd expect for a $150 red dot sight. The lens covers are sort of flexible rubber/plastic stuff that seems very durable and seals tightly. I absolutely love the control layout (below). It reminds me of an EOTech, but is more accessible if you're right-handed. Left-handed freaks lose out again I guess.
I don't have any real complaints, just some minor gripes. I wish it took AA batteries instead of CR2s. I also don't understand why the Vortex Optics logo is in white on the front of the battery cover (seen below).
Vortex has to know that this is going to be bought by zombie-slayers and weekend-ninjas, and having a huge white logo on the front of your optic isn't terribly tactical. I like the logo, but I think it would make more sense if it were in coyote tan or flat dark earth. I'm halfway tempted to buy a can of Krylon Ultra-Flat and paint this thing coyote tan myself. I'm really thinking hard about it.
With all of 110 rounds downrange, I think I really like this sight. I have about half a case of Wolf ammo to burn up, so I may do that over Christmas vacation. If I can get a couple hundred rounds through this, I think it may very well earn the FLGN seal of approval. This could prove to be SERIOUS value for money.