Vortex Professional Optics: The Vortex Viper Red Dot Review

Gone are the days when people would just be content with guns in their skeleton forms. Today, modification is the order of the day, with the addition of the micro red dot optics being one of the most popular modifications.

In the near past, if you intended to modify your pistol with the use of red dots, only three options were available namely: the Trijicon RMR, which is crazily expensive, the Burris Fastfire 3 that though affordable is incredibly large and bulky for many, and the Vortex Venom that was ridiculously large but affordable.

>> An Honest Trijicon MRO Review
>> The Expert Vortex StrikeFire 2 Review

This Vortex Viper Red Dot review brings to you a great product that produces incredible performances with its relatively small size and affordable price. It's like an amalgamation of the Vortex Venom and the Trijicon RMR.

Vortex Viper Red Dot


Specifications of the Vortex Viper Red Dot

  • 1.8 inches length
  • 1 x magnification
  • 6 MOA dot size
  • 120 MOA maximum windage adjustment
  • 1 MOA adjustment graduation
  • Unlimited eye relief
  • 1.1-ounce weight
  • Parallax free setting

The Vortex Viper Red Dot comes with a super-low mounting height offering a perfect handgun solution. It offers shooters the speed and simplicity advantage and in conjunction with the suppressor height iron sights, you end up with a perfect sighting accessory in all respects. The 6 MOA dot ensures fast target when aiming to shoot, with the result being fast target acquisition and execution.

The daylight bright red dot is easy to see and paints targets regardless of lighting conditions or background.

The Construction

The Optics

The Vortex Viper is an improvement of the reliable Trijicon RMR which was very reliable but quite annoying due to the fact that it only used to have a green tinted glass. The Vortex Viper Red Dot is great as you can now enjoy the red tinting option, which is very effective under low light conditions.

  • Anti-Reflective Coating

The lens features some of the best anti-reflective coatings in the industry thereby giving it a very bright and crisp image view performance. The lenses are fully multi-coated and are ultra clear, this producing a wide unobstructed and clear field of view.

  • ArmorTek Coating

This is yet another specialized lens coating but unlike the anti-reflective coating, this one is intended for lens durability as it protects this optics from dirt, oil, and scratches.

Controls and Adjustments

  • Brightness Controls

It features 10 different brightness control levels with the adjustability being as simple as pie. Arrows are used for adjustments. The number of adjustment levels is a point to note. A whooping ten adjustment levels is an indication that you will comfortably and efficiently use your sighting accessory in virtually all the light environments.

  • Intuitive Controls

This is a very simple red dot optic device to operate. It comes with two up/down buttons built on its left side. The Vortex Viper will instantly be powered upon pressing any of these two buttons. Simply long press the down arrow and it will turn off.

The Battery and Powering

It is powered by the use of a CR2032 battery which is easy to find online and in some countries and states. This battery is not that easy though to find in some other countries, especially the developing countries. The battery is also a bottom load design. This is a con as it implies that the red dot will need to be dismounted for the battery to be replaced.

The battery life at its brightest setting is 150 hours with a whooping 30,000 hours when on its lowest setting. When fluctuating between 85% - 100% brightness levels, you may get up to 1000 hours of battery life. This is so impressive and economic.

Mounting & Installation

This Vortex Viper Red Dot features a Picatinny rail mount. It mounts and sits pretty low, a very important aspect that has made it a reliable for concealed carry when mounted on a pistol.

You may have become concerned about learning that you would have to be removing your sight whenever you want to change the battery. Your question is, “would it lose its zero?” the answer is a no. The sighting device has been designed to hold its zero even after so many removals. Zeroing the Vortex Viper Red Dot during installation isn't as easy as it is the case with most of the sighting accessories on the market.

Quality Construction

The sight features multiple anti-reflective glass coatings for maximum light transmission performance. The constriction is rugged, with a highly durable hard anodized finish. The finish comes with almost no glare thus making it almost impossible for the game to be alerted.

  • Shockproof: It comes with a shock proof rugged construction that is capable of withstanding any drop off impact and recoil effects thus guaranteeing its durability.
  • Weatherproof: The O-ring seal prevents any dust, debris and above all, moisture from penetrating into the inner parts of the sight. This makes it a reliable solution for all environments.
  • Compact and Lightweight: Though longer than the RMR, if it weren't for the single-piece chassis used in its construction, the sight could have been longer and heavier.
  • Length: It measures 1.8 inches in length. This is a whooping .75mm longer that the RMR. Is there a reason behind this length? Let's consider a distinction of the two.

Whereas Trijicon RMR’s front is curved, that of the Vortex is curved. The flat front makes it more compatible and necessities for a closer and lower profile if the slide of your Glock is to be milled in front of its rear sight.

Mounting Options

  • Optic Behind the rear sight

The slide milling is done towards the furthest back possible, with the rear dovetail being relocated to the optic’s front. This keeps the milling a good distance away from the safety system area

  • Optic In Front of the Rear Sight

This option brings the Vortex Viper pretty close to the location area of the safety plunger. This is a great positioning for the pros but the entry level shooters may find it a bit uncomfortable. If this is uncomfortable to you, purpose to mount the Vortex Viper Red Dot behind the rear sight.

  • Suppressor Sights

These are necessities if at all you have made up your mind and are going for the Vortex Viper Red Dot just like is the case with any other red dot. These are sights that give the shooters the capacity of co-witnessing with their red dots.

Adapter Options

The red dot sighting accessories are becoming more popular thus companies have resorted to manufacturing adapter plates for the same. It is a great idea that comes with the Vortex Viper Red Dot too but isn't a wise thing to carry your pistol this way.

Pros and Cons

Pros of the Vortex Viper Red Dot

  • Lightweight Construction: It is one of the lightest gun optic devices as it weighs at mere 1.1 ounces with the battery already installed.
  • Durability: The toughness of the Vortex Viper Red Dot can be described as being as tough as nails. The product features a shockproof construction which ensures it is safe even upon dropping off. Its waterproof feature boosts its durability even the more.
  • Versatility: This can be seen from the fact that the product features the red dot tint which is of great use at night and the ten different brightness control levels means you will use your sighting device in almost all the lighting conditions
  • It Never Forgets: The Vortex Viper Red Dot will always remember the last brightness setting level you left it at. Upon powering it off and a subsequent switching on, the most recent brightness setting will be retrieved thus making work easier for the user.


  • It features the CR2032 battery type which is not that easy to find in some countries. The battery is also the not so much preferable bottom load design. The battery life is also shorter than that of the RMR
  • It is a bit longer than the Trijicon RMR

Vortex Viper Red Dot


User Reviews

The only negative review that is almost universal, specifically to those who had used the Trijicon RMR is the fact that the battery life of the Vortex Viper Red Dot is a bit disappointing. However, it is still far much better than the battery lives of some of the other red dots on the market.

Other than that, the Vortex Viper Red Dot review give credit to the clear lenses of the sighting device as well as the fast target acquisition. It is an excellent optic that will well sit on most of the pistols and rarely bother you with the zeroing issues that frequently bother those using other sub-standardized sights. It is a highly recommendable sighting accessory.


As per this Vortex Viper Red Dot review, it is evident that this product is a darling and joy to own and use. In spite of the bottom load battery feature and its .75mm additional length, the product is amazing. You will love its performance in any terrain and environment, thanks to the wide brightness level range and the low profile, waterproof & rugged construction that makes this to be possible. The result is a Red Dot sighting device that produces excellent results when it comes to defensive and offensive requirements.

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