Red Dot Sights are easier to use than iron sights – this is probably why a lot of people are providing their shotguns, rifles, handguns, with this type of contraption. The market responded to this trend by providing gun owners with a wide range of red dot options, with prices that go from $30 to $700. If you are looking for something in the middle, you are in the right place. The Vortex SPARC II Red Dot is a mid-range optic built with craftsmanship which produces quality. If you are in a hurry, check out the reviews on Amazon here,
Red dot sights are a reflex (non-magnifying reflector) type of sights for firearms – but also other devices that require aiming – which give the user an Aimpoint in the form of an illuminated red dot. They’re considered to be fast-acquisition and easy to use for gun shooting and other applications, this is probably why more and more people are considering purchasing one.
Vortex Optics is a well-known American manufacturer of optical equipment and has recently provided its customers with a second-generation SPARC Red Dot Sight: the SPARC II, a well-made and accurate red dot sight that comes at an affordable price. Like its predecessor, the SPARC II is considered an entry-level sight but, compared to the previous version, it has been improved, getting rid of all primary flaws that the previous model had: the new version is tougher, rugged, and the lenses are more clear.
The SPARC name, which stands for Speed Point Aiming and Rapid Combat, pretty much tells the primary purpose of the sight: quick target acquisition and ease of use in rapid combat. SPARC II’s easy setup and good precision make this red dot sight perfect for beginners shooters, but also intermediate or more advanced shooters can appreciate the large section of features that come at such an affordable price. Also, its toughness and ruggedness allow the optics to be used in any environment and condition.
Objective Lens Diameter
Lithium CR 2032
Lithium CR 2032
The SPARC II is also compatible with a variety of firearm platforms including AR-15s, shotguns, and pistols. The multi-height base that comes with the sight offers four mounting heights for users and weapon-specific customization.
Other than the multi-height mount system, the SPARC II package also includes: flip-up caps for both ends of the optics – to protect your lenses from intentional or unintentional damages – a standard CR 2032 Lithium battery, some tools like the T-10 Torx Wrench and the 7/64’’ Hex Wrench, and screws for the mounts and space attachments.
Using various combinations of the high mount, low mount and spacer, the SPARC II can be mounted on a variety of platforms. The height options that can be obtained are:
- 18 mm. Using the low mount alone – for most applications other than flat top AR-15 rifles.
- 21 mm. Using the low mount with the spacer.
- 37 mm. Using the high mount alone – to provide absolute co-witness on flat top AR-15 rifles.
- 40mm. Using the high mount with the spacer – to provide lower 1/3 co-witness on flat top AR-15 rifles.
The Vortex Optics SPACR II projects a 2 MOA diameter red dot with 10 different brightness settings – the lowest two settings are night-vision compatible. You can adjust the dot brightness through the appropriate Up or Down control buttons, that can be found on the left-hand side of the optic.
When mounted the SPARC II is parallax-free. This means that, as long as you’ve zeroed the sight correctly, the red dot will always be on the point of impact, no matter which angle you’re looking from.
Although the manufacturer recommends mounting SPARC II with at least 4-inch eye relief, its objective lens is unlimited eye relief.
The SPARC II doesn’t have any magnification. The previous version came with a 2X magnifier that would screw directly to the scope, and the majority of complaints about the product were due to it. This is probably why Vortex Optics decided not to add a magnifier to the SPARC II.
Windage and Elevation Adjustments
The SPARC II red dot features elevation and windage dials with audible clicks. Each click moves the point of impact one MOA (Minute of Angle), which corresponds to about one niche at 100 yards, 1/2 inch at 50 yards, 1/4 inch at 25 yards, etc….
Adjusting the elevation and windage settings is very simple: once you removed the dial covers, you can use the raised bars on the covers (or a coin, or a screwdriver) to make the adjustment. The arrows indicate the dial adjustment directions so that you can change the bullet’s point of impact as you wish.
The manufacturer recommends an initial boresighting of the SPARC II at a short-range, while the final sight-in should be done at the range using the exact ammunition you expect to shoot with.
Vortex Optics SPARC II is built and refined with top-quality materials that make the device tough and durable. The sight has a one-piece military-grade aluminum body finished with matte black anodizing. Such a construction is able to withstand most stress sources.
All lens surfaces are multi-coated. Through o-ring seals, the optics are also completely waterproof and fog-proof.
The optic was also tested in some intense temperatures. The sight was fully functional between -4 and +158 degrees in Fahrenheit.
One of the negative aspects users complained about the original SPARC was that the battery compartment required a tool to access and couldn’t be reached by hand. Vortex Optics removed this issue providing the SPARC II with a battery compartment on the right side of the device that can be opened by hand. The battery compartment cap is tethered to the body of the device to ensure it wouldn’t be lost.
The SPARC II utilizes a standard CR2032 Lithium battery. Its life depends on the brightness intensity settings of the dot: from 300 hours (at maximum brightness), to 5.000 hours (at minimum brightness)
The SPARC II is manufactured in China, but it has nothing to do with the low product quality that we often associate with Chinese products. The Vortex Opticals SPARC II is a well-designed device and made to last long. In fact, SPARC II comes with a lifetime warranty (that the company calls the VIP Warranty). When a product comes with such a warranty it usually means that it works well and won’t break up easily. The VIP warranty doesn’t cover thefts, losses, or deliberate damage to the product: other than that, Vortex pitfalls ensure to replace or repair any damaged or defective product at no charge.
Most users think the SPARC II has been a solid purchase for them They’re finding it good quality and totally worth its price. Zeroing is easy, the glass is crystal clear, and some also appreciate its compactness.
The negative aspects some buyers pointed out can be summarized as follows:
- Adjustments dials and buttons are little responsive – it can be difficult to hear the click and you need to make a hard push on the buttons.
- Lens caps seem to come loose after a long day at the range.
- A small number of users found that any of the ten dot brightness settings that are available was suitable for them.
If you want to make your own idea, here you can find Amazon buyers’ reviews here:
Pros and Cons
||– Quite unresponsive buttons and dials|
|– Clear glass and dot||– No optical magnification|
|– Easy to mount|
|– Easy set up and zeroing|
|– Compact and durable|
|– 10 dot brightness options|
Overall, the Vortex Optics SPARC II is a great choice for beginners, but also intermediate shooters that look for a good quality product at an affordable price. The optics allows a quick target acquisition, the device quality manufacturing makes it tough and durable. Even though it doesn’t have any optical magnification, the SPARC II remains a valid red dot sight with interesting features, all the more so if we take into consideration its price (red dot sights can cost well over $900!). Last but not least, the lifetime warranty the company offers can give you an additional assurance on your purchase.
Device length: 3.1″ (7.87 mm)
Weight of sight: 5.9 ounces (167 g)
Weight of sight, spacer & mount included: up to 7.9 ounces, depending on the mount (224 g)
Lens diameter: 0,86″ (22mm)
Eye relief: Unlimited. The manufacturer recommends roughly 4 inches (100 mm) eye relief.
Dot size: 2MOA
Brightness settings: 10
Parallax setting: Parallax free
Maximum elevation adjustment: 90 MOA
Maximum windage adjustment: 90 MOA
Windage and elevation graduation per click: 1 MOA
Battery life: 300 hours on highest brightness settings, 5,000 on lowest
Surface color: Matte black finish
Material: One-piece aircraft-grade aluminum
Flip covers: Both front and rear flip caps
Compatibility with various firearms: Yes. The mounts can be used on Picatinny and weaver rail types
Additional features: Transferable lifetime VIP warranty, all caps are attached to the housing, multicoated lenses, maintains zero after being dismounted and reinstalled, maintains brightness settings after being turned off, automatically turns off after 12 hours of no use.