Vortex Spitfire HD Gen II 5x Prism Scope AR-BDC4
The question “which is better: a prismatic sight or a rifle scope?” it will probably remain unanswered.
LPVOs with its many advantages (including, above all, adjustable multiplicity, e.g. 1-6x and even 1-8x, and a large field of view at 1-1.5x magnification) have one major disadvantage: dimensions.
They are usually the size of a ripe banana and weigh around 0.5 kilograms.
I had the pleasure of checking the new Vortex Spitfire HD Gen II Prism Scope, a red dot sight with a 5x magnification approximation of the target.
It is a prismatic red dot sight designed especially for 5.56mm NATO / .223 Rem carbines.
Our Vortex Spitfire 5x is much smaller than the LPVOs (low power variable optics) mentioned in the introduction. And that’s it.
The Spitfire was already on the market, but with a 3x magnification.
So what is the difference between the new model and its predecessor?
Well, the optical system, the body and the reticle have been significantly modernized.
Thanks to this, we get a device the size of an ordinary Red Dot (with great HD optics), which can act as a fixed magnification rifle scope, 5x magnification.
So we get “almost” an LPVO, in addition with the AR-BDC MOA glass etched reticle, adapted to the ballistics of 5.56 mm x 45 NATO cartridges.
The new design of the body made it possible to build a device smaller, and thus lighter than its predecessor.
A completely new HD optical system has been introduced to improve resolution, reduce chromatic aberration and high light transmission.
Despite the size limitation of the Spitfire HD Gen II, the aiming point adjustment range has been increased to 200 MOA (5.82 m / 100 m, both elevation and windage).
This allows you to easily zero the sight on the weapon, even when the mounting rail is skewed.
One full turn of the control knob changes the POI by 42 MOA.
The high-contrast reticle is designed for the Armalite AR15 rifles, which is clearly indicated by the AR markings.
Thanks to the BDC cross, the shooter can make quick changes to the firing distance (that is, in practice, transfer the aiming point to other distances) without the need to make corrections on the turrets.
The AR-BDC4 reticle consists of a central 1 MOA (29.1 mm / 100 m) dot and a vertical line with four horizontal markers that allow for corrections in the range of 273.6 – 547.2 m.
Scaling applies to 300 – 600 yards, hence the need for conversion.
The central dot is surrounded by an incomplete ring in which the lines are 1.5 MOA thick.
Subtension detail for Spitfire HD Gen II 5x Prism Scope.
The ring (or incomplete circle) covers 18.85 MOA, that is 54.8 cm / 100 m.
This is roughly the width of a human figure.
So, if the bust fits within this circle, the distance to the target is 100 meters.
When it is in the middle of the ring, the distance to the target is 200 m etc.
If you are looking for compact alternative of rifle scope for your AR – the Vortex Spitfire Gen II 5x Prism Scope is one of the best options on the market.
The Spitfire™ HD Gen II 5x model comes equipped with an MRDS mounting platform for use with Vortex® Viper® or Venom® MRDS!
This BDC reticle is built to get the most out of the 5.56 cartridge in your AR, providing both rapid target acquisition and the tools for holdovers out to 650 yards.
- HD Optical System Optimized to deliver exceptional resolution, cut chromatic aberration, and provide outstanding edge to edge sharpness and light transmission.
- Brightness Settings 12 levels
- Night-Vision Compatibility The lowest 2 settings are night-vision compatible.
- Waterproof O-ring seals prevent moisture, dust and debris from penetrating for reliable performance in all environments.
- Shockproof Rugged construction withstands recoil and impact.
- Fogproof Nitrogen gas purging prevents internal fogging over a wide range of temperatures.
- Nitrogen Gas Purged Gas purged and o-ring sealed delivering waterproof, fogproof performance.
- Low-Glare Matte Black Anodized Corrosion and wear resistant anodization provides low-glare matte surface and helps camouflage the shooter’s position.
- Compact, Lightweight Design Rugged construction that’s still compact, with a lightweight form-factor.
Included in the Box:
- Rubber Lens Covers
- T-10 Torx Multi-Tool
- Multi-Height Mount System – Lower 1/3 Co-Witness Height and Low Mount Height
- Lens Cloth
- CR 2032 battery
Far better than expected, and yes, I do have other Vortex scopes/dots. Glass is nice and clear, all controls made it easy to get sighted in, along with a quick and easy mount. Put it on a new Christensen Arms CA9, the pic is when first sighting in at 20 yards – 30 rounds up and 70 in center – not bad for a 60+ yr old who uses cheaters. This is truly one of those items – “don’t think about it, just get it!” You’ll be glad you did.
Excellent design philosophy!
Compare the weight, FOV, eye box and eye relief to any LPVO, magnifier, or other prism optic and you’ll see this is the best option at any price. If you couple it with a mini red dot you’ll see why the industry is heading in this direction. If Vortex ever does a more military grade version, I’ll be there for it on day one.