Vortex Spitfire 1X: A Comprehensive First-Person Review

by Dave Chesson

November 21, 2023



As an avid shooter, I’m always on the lookout for optics that enhance my shooting experience. Recently, I had the opportunity to try out the Vortex Spitfire 1X prism scope, and it left quite an impression. In this Vortex Spitfire 1x review, I’ll share my thoughts on its performance, specifications and whether it gives enough value for the price. 

Vortex Spitfire 1X Specs

  • Magnification 1x
  • Objective Lens 20 mm
  • Tube Diameter N/A
  • Eye Relief 3.7 in
  • Weight 11.2 oz

Background and Specifications of Vortex Spitfire 1X

Before I share my personal thoughts on this optic, let me take you through its specifications. The Vortex Spitfire 1X is tailor made for the AR series, making it a go-to choice for both home defense and competition shooting. They optimized its design for the AR platform, ensuring a seamless fit and functionality. 

The reticle is a dual-ring tactical reticle and you can select between red or green for illumination. The etched reticle minimizes distortion, offering a precise aiming point for shooters dealing with astigmatism 

The optic offers a range of brightness settings, proving effective even in bright sunlight. There are no issues with visibility, ensuring a clear aiming point in various environments. It’s powered by AAA batteries and has a 3000-hour rating on the lowest setting. 

Now that you know the specifications of this optic, let’s dive straight into my review. 

Vortex Spitfire 1X Features

Vortex Spitfire 1X Features
1 Brightness settings

User selectable brightness for reticle with 10 settings and off positions between each setting.

2 Brightness control

Top mounted brightness control can adjust to either red or green reticle.

3 Capped windage and elevation adjustment

Windage and elevation caps are used to adjust the zero in 1 MOA adjustments.

4 Reticle

Unique Dual Ring Tactical (DRT) reticle is designed for rapid shooting at close distances. Can be either red or green.

My Review of Vortex Spitfire 1X

The spitfire’s got the razor-sharp optics and doesn’t have any of the blue coloring commonly seen in “value priced” red dot sights. Clarity in the Spitfire, whether the reticle is illuminated or not, is impressive. The black reticle, especially with the power off, is sharp and completely black. Throw on the red or green illumination, especially in broad daylight, and it’s like turning on a spotlight. I cranked up the brightness settings, and no situation made them flinch. This thing’s got your back.

Spitfire offers excellent clarity for close to mid-range engagements. The etched reticle, a standout feature, ensures a clear sight picture, making it a valuable asset in various shooting scenarios.

One of the major selling points for me was the Spitfire’s astigmatism-friendly design. The etched reticle, as opposed to traditional red dots, made a noticeable difference. While I don’t suffer from astigmatism, I can appreciate how this feature addresses common issues faced by shooters with this condition. One of my buddies, who does have astigmatism, says that he gets consistent 1.5MOA 5-shot groups with the Spitfire–a testament to its precision.

The selectable red/green illumination adds versatility to the Spitfire’s shootability. I found the illumination controls intuitive, and I use it at the “constant on” option for nighttime. The 3000 hours rating on the lowest setting provides ample battery life, and it maintains nighttime illumination without the need to remember to turn it.

While I didn’t encounter issues with mounting, some folks have said that the system isn’t as flexible as they want it to be. It’s essential to consider your preferred optic placement, as the Spitfire requires proper eye relief accommodation. The included multi-height mount offers options without additional cost, so I recommend you take advantage of it if you are purchasing the Spitfire.

The Spitfire’s no Trijicon, but the durability is really commendable for its price range. Single-piece chassis, hard-anodized finish, and O-ring seals–it’s a tough cookie. I put it through its paces at the range, and that zero stayed rock solid. No surprises here.

The Spitfire uses AAA batteries, which is a practical choice. While I personally prefer the CR123 batteries, I can appreciate the cost effectiveness and accessibility of using AAA batteries. Spitfire’s reliability is no joke; it handled everything I threw at it. Casual shooter or dead-serious marksman, this optic won’t let you down.

The optic’s dual-ring tactical reticle is a standout feature, a pretty great alternative to traditional red dot sights. While some folks have said they prefer simpler crosshair designs, I found the Spitfire’s design to be distinctive and useful. 

It also brings practicality to the table. The thoughtful additions, such as the common AAA battery, brightness control buttons, and a user-friendly design, are really nice and make using it pretty intuitive. I also really appreciate the inclusion of a riser for AR height and a AAA battery compartment–really great attention to detail by the makers.

Final thoughts on Vortex Spitfire 1X

While the Vortex Spitfire 1X doesn’t do anything special, it’s a pretty solid optic considering its price. The support it gives to shooters with astigmatism, the clear aim and the practical design were enough for it to earn the 6th spot in my best AR-15 optics article—you can read it here

Now some folks might disagree with me on the ranking and I completely understand because there’s a user out there for every optic, but the Spitfire’s specific design and features don’t really fit my needs. However, there’s no denying that it’s a great optic, especially if you suffer from astigmatism, so give it a try yourself. 

Vortex Spitfire 1X Pros and Cons 

  • Built in picatinny mount
  • Red or green illuminated reticle
  • No magnification adjustment

Report Card


Clear and sharp image through the scope.


Simple reticle with either red or green enhances shootability.


The Spitfire worked great in our testing.


All the basic features of a red dot but with red or green dots.

Vortex Spitfire 1X Final Grade

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Reviewed by Dave Chesson

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FAQs for Vortex Spitfire 1X

What is the Vortex Spitfire 1X, and what are its key features?

The Vortex Spitfire 1X is a prism-based design optic, specifically designed for AR platform rifles. It features a dual-ring tactical reticle and selectable red/green illumination, providing shooters with ultra-fast functionality and unique reticle designs.

How does the Vortex Spitfire 1X compare to other red dot sights on the market?

The Vortex Spitfire 1X stands out with its incredible optical quality and lightweight single-piece chassis. Its etched reticle ensures reliable performance in various conditions, making it an excellent choice for shooters, especially those using AR platform rifles.

What are the reticle options available with the Vortex Spitfire 1X?

The Vortex Spitfire 1X features a dual-ring tactical reticle with rapid dialing capabilities. Shooters can choose from different intensity levels of illumination, adapting to specific conditions and ambient light for optimal performance.

How does the Vortex Spitfire 1X enhance accuracy for AR shooters?

With its prism-based design and sharp optics, the Spitfire 1X excels in rapid shooting scenarios. The sight’s unique reticle designs and brightness intensity controls allow shooters to adapt quickly to changing conditions, ensuring precise aiming.

Can I use the Vortex Spitfire 1X in low light or night vision situations?

Yes, the Spitfire 1X is equipped with selectable red/green illumination suitable for various ambient light conditions. It is not designed for night vision but provides a reliable performance in low light environments.

Is the Vortex Spitfire 1X compatible with additional accessories like the VMX 3T magnifier?

Yes, the Spitfire 1X is compatible with the VMX 3T magnifier, enhancing its versatility for shooters who require magnification for specific distances or shooting conditions.

How is the construction quality of the Vortex Spitfire 1X ensured for durability?

The Spitfire 1X boasts a rugged construction with a single-piece chassis, o-ring seals, and a hard-anodized finish. These features contribute to its durability, ensuring reliable performance even in challenging environments.

What power source does the Vortex Spitfire 1X use, and how long does the battery last?

The Spitfire 1X operates on an AAA battery, providing users with a reliable power source. The battery life is dependent on usage, but the efficient illumination controls contribute to an extended lifespan.


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About Dave Chesson

Dave Chesson is prior Navy with a specialty in international arms dealing for the US government across multiple countries. Having traveled the world and abided by ATF and ITAR, Roy has a unique background in legal as well as practical capabilities of weapons deployment and use.

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