Vortex Strikefire vs Aimpoint – Which Is Better? (ANSWERED)

vortex strikefire vs aimpoint

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Two of the heavy weights in optics design is Aimpoint and Vortex. Aimpoint is well known for their red dots, an optic they invented in the first place. Aimpoint is used by military and police forces across the world. Vortex has a wider line of optics, including variable scopes, red dots, binoculars, and spotting scopes.

Both companies make quality products, and people are often wandering which way to go. In my opinion, police and military are the perfect Aimpoint customers, and citizens are perfect Vortex Strikefire customers. However, also make an informed decision when it comes answering the question, “Which is better when it comes to Vortex Strikefire vs Aimpoint?” So we want to help you there, we gathered a few Aimpoint optics to stand off against the Strikefire.

Vortex Strikefire vs Aimpoint– Intro to 4 Products

An optic on a rifle is essentially standard issue these days. The military, police forces, and civilian shooters discovered long ago the benefits of an optic on a rifle. Even when it comes to close range shooting, an optic provides a massive benefit to the shooter. Aimpoint and Vortex are both very well known for their red dot optics. Aimpoint created the first red dot sight, and Vortex created the idea that a quality red dot can be affordable.

Vortex Strikefire

The Vortex Strikefire made a massive splash in the rifle optics world when it arrived. Why? Because it was one of the first optics out there that found a way to be both budget-friendly and extremely well-made. The Strikefire 2 was introduced to modernize the now discontinued Strikefire. The Strikefire 2 made some needed improvement over the original design and is currently an extremely popular option.

One of the biggest advantages it has over an Aimpoint is price. Aimpoints are extremely well made but expensive. The Vortex Strikefire 2 is able to offer shooters a wide variety of options at a much easier price

The Strikefire 2 has 10 total brightness settings and 2 of them are night vision compatible. This optic costs very reasonably yet has NVG capability. It is a full sized optic that is designed for rifles and shotguns. It’s also capable of working at -22 degrees F to 140 degrees F. It’s sealed with an O ring to prevent water from entering it, but is not submersible. The optic is capable of lasting 6,000 hours on the lowest setting.

Vortex Strikefire II Red Dot

Aimpoint ACO

The Aimpoint ACO is the budget version of a standard Aimpoint. Designed mostly for casual shooters and competitors, it cuts cost by reducing and eliminating certain features. It is ready to mount out of the box and operates for up to a year on a single battery.

It is completely waterproof but should not be submerged past 15 feet. It beats the Vortex in this regard. The Aimpoint ACO and Vortex Strikefire both co-witness with AR height sights, but the Vortex has a ton of different factory made height mounts available.

The ACO is not compatible with night vision though, which is a disappoint since at generally a higher price than the Vortex (though prices do fluctuate) you’d expect this. The Aimpoint is still a very well-made optic, but it’s hard to justify the extra cost in my opinion.

Aimpoint Carbine Optic - ACO

Aimpoint M4

The Aimpoint M4 is an extremely well-made and reputable optic. The Aimpoint M4 is the standard optic of the United States military and one of the toughest, most dependable optics on the market. The Aimpoint M4 is a full sized rifle optic that uses a simple red dot reticle. The use of a unique lens coating gives you a bright light and years of power from a single battery. The Aimpoint M4 comes with warranties that address both competitive and personal use. The optic is perfect for a wide variety of different rifles and is incredibly versatile.

The M4 (see full specs) is capable of lasting 8 years on a single double A battery, which is absolutely amazing. The Aimpoint M4 has nine daylight settings and seven night vision settings. One of the reasons the power lasts so long is that the Aimpoint uses a very simple reticle.

The Aimpoint M4 has an operating range of -50 degree F and up to 160 degrees F. So it is better than the Vortexbut just barely. The Aimpoint M4 is compatible with an Aimpoint magnifier to provide the user with a 3 power optic on the fly. Both the Aimpoint M4 and the Vortex are night vision compatible.

While the Aimpoint M4 can certainly justify the extra cost over the Strikefire, most everyday shooters probably do not need all the features the M4 offers. It’s a great optic for combat, but for the range it might be overkill.

Gun Talk TV and Aimpoint - the Aimpoint CompM4s

Aimpoint T-1

The Aimpoint T-1 is a small optic that can easily be mounted onto any rifle, shotgun, or even a pistol. The T-1 can be used on standard hunting firearms and easily blend into the tactical realm. Since this is a micro optic, it can also be used as a backup optic for a sniper or Designated Marksman rifle.

The T-1 (see full specs) can also easily be swapped from rifle to rifle, or pistol to rifle, or pistol to pistol. The T-1 uses a special coating to create a brighter red dot than any other optic, which allows the system to use less power. The T-1 weighs a mere 3 ounces and is quite small, but the idea is to blend the dot into your peripheral vision.

The Aimpoint T-1 has 13 different brightness settings and you can choose a variety of different MOA sizes for the reticle. However, the reticle is still simply a red dot. What you see is what you get. However, that simple reticle saves a lot when it comes to battery consumption.

The Micro T-1 is waterproof and can be submerged to 80 feet. The battery can also be swapped without dismounting the optic as well. The Aimpoint is also compatible with night vision so it ties the Vortex here. The Vortex still offers an overall large optic and objective lens, and pairs easily with magnifiers.

Aimpoint Micro T-1 Durability Testing and Abuse

Vortex Strikefire vs Aimpoint – Price Differences

Aimpoints are not cheap optics, but you are certainly getting what you pay for. The Aimpoint M4 and T-1 is the choice for someone wanting one optic to last forever or likes to have an Aimpoint instead of a Vortex.

The Vortex Strikefire is becoming quite common. It’s often known as the “poor man’s ACOG,” though certainly you probably can’t be too poor to buy it! It’s versatile reticle options in both the 1x and 3x make it worth looking at.

Vortex Strikefire vs Aimpoint – Which Way?

Which optic will you take? That’s up to you. The more budget-friendly route is certainly going to be Vortex. However, the more tested route is certainly Aimpoint. Vortex does have an amazing warranty and a reputation for excellent customer service. The bottom line is how much you want that Aimpoint name and durability since, in the end, it is better than the Vortex overall.

  • Owner of Reloaderaddict.com, Boyd Smith is a major handgun enthusiast, and although he owns Glocks, he prefers the revolving wheel type. His go-to guns are a Smith & Wesson 642 Performance Center for carry and a Ruger GP100 in the nightstand biometric safe (he has kids). He loads both revolvers with old-school 148-grain Federal Gold Medal .38 wadcutters. It’s OK if you think he’s a wimp. Email him.

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One response

  1. probably an old article, forgive me. very well written and entertaining read though! i own 2 vortex (strikefire and strikefire 2) and 5 aimpoints (2 x comp m2, PRO, 9000sc-nv, m4s) and have a place in my home for both of the brands! if i may add my input to this great article – the strikefires have not ever let me down, and the red/green dot choice is fun and handy sometimes. at their price point hard to beat.. unless you buy used. IF you’re willing to buy used, some incredible deals can be had on aimpoint. both of my m2s were purchased very used, with dings and knicks aplenty. however.. aimpoints are TOUGH. I purchased one of them for as low as $75. now, buying used like that you give up warranty, and in some cases, flat out factory support. but you do get one of the toughest dots on the planet. if i was going to war (heaven forbid), and had a choice, that used aimpoint would go with me before either of the strikefires. also – a note on the aimpoint aco- if you’re even considering this optic, save up the additional $75ish bucks and get a pro. this gets you aimpoints nicer qrp mount, flipcaps on the front and rear, and 50k hour battery life vs 10k on aco. hope my input is of some help.

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