Vortex Viper Red Dot Review — The Solution to Keep You on Target

Vortex Viper Red Dot Review


If you’re having problems being on target, then choosing a red dot system may be your answer. What appealed to me most about the Vortex Viper 6 MOA was the fact that it works in conjunction with the existing sights of my pistols this should allow me to quick reference targets and hit them with more ease.

I understood that the Vortex was fairly easy to install on any pistol without the need of a gunsmith — I liked that. This allowed me to try it on both my Glock and my Sig Sauer.  

Things You Need to Know Before Buying a Vortex Viper Red Dot

If you are a first-time shooter or an experienced pro or somewhere in between the Vortex Viper Red Dot will make the shooting experience more enjoyable and provide you with hours of fun target shooting.

Before shopping for a red dot sight, it is best that you go a few rounds of shooting and observe what you like and don’t like.

  • What reticle size do you prefer? What size do you want the dot to be? Some people like bigger dots that they can see better, some like smaller dots that don’t obstruct their field of view.
  • Do you want your iron sights to co-witness? If you do, then getting your sight to an appropriate height is important. So consider your mounting options carefully.
  • What is the state of your eyesight? How much are you able to see in low light? Knowing this will guide you to the sight that can get to your optimal brightness setting.
  • Know how much you’re willing to spend. Click here to check the current price of the Viper Red Dot.


Is the Vortex Viper Red Dot for You?

Vortex Optics Viper Red Dot Sight - 6 MOA Dot

The Vortex Viper Red Dot 6 MOA is precision built optical sight that offers the shooter greater accuracy when shooting on the range or in competitions. It’s ideal for shooting drills and is completely waterproof. It has an impressive battery life offering uninterrupted target practice. The unit has simple to master controls such as easy red dot illumination on the left-hand side of the unit.

The red dot is easy to define albeit a little large and fuzzy at a closer range, however once set up correctly it will enable the shooter to pick out his target quickly.

It has an extensive range of accessories that should meet the requirements of the most demanding shooters. Accessories include a Picatinny rail attachment, protective carry case and more useful additions to the product.

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My Vortex Viper Red Dot Review

Image via vortexoptics.com

The optics on the Vortex Viper Red Dot is precision made and is excellent when it comes to acquiring your target. If you are into long range shooting, the Vortex Viper provides the ideal platform for scanning and target identification. With unlimited eye relief, it will allow comfortable magnified vision for extended periods.

Waterproof and Anti-Fog Optics

It has waterproofing and anti-fog misting of the lenses making this red dot sight the perfect choice for all year round outdoor shooters. The O rings prevent water and dust ingress preventing any targeting anomalies for the shooter.

The optics also have an anti-scratch Armor Tek® coating making the optics as rugged as the body that increases light availability. In my opinion, this sets the vortex Viper Red Dot apart from its competitors.

Adjustable Illumination for Target Acquisition

In low light conditions, the red dot can be illuminated easily by pressing the toggle buttons on the left-hand side of the unit. It is an easy one finger operation allowing the shooter to fix on the target with minimal distraction. The importance of adjustable illumination becomes evident in low light conditions and will enable focused targeting where the red dot covers the target for precise shooting.

The 6 MOA used on the Viper provides the shooter with advanced targeting from close range to long range targets. Regardless of the environmental conditions, the 6 MOA offers the shooter fast target line up and presents the ideal opportunity to hit multiple targets at short range.

Precision Engineering

The unit is robust and feels solid. It is made in a single chassis form to provide strength, with its sleek anodized coating built for the harshest of environments. Combined with the anti-scratch coating and waterproofing you will soon appreciate the investment in this red dot targeting system.

Picatinny Mounting for ar15 and m4 Systems

It is easily mounted on to the counter levered Picatinny rail for use with AR 15 and M4. Not only is the unit robust, but it also looks and performs like the best of the tactical red dot sights on the market for a fraction of the price.

Battery Life

It has incredible battery life created by the low energy components used for the optics. Battery life can be up to 150 hours in maximum illumination and a staggering 30,000 hours in low illumination.  For extended battery life, the Vortex Viper has a battery auto-off feature that shuts down power consumption after 14 hours.

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Vortex Viper Red Dot Pros and Cons


  • Robust and sleek styling offering an aesthetically appealing target sight
  • Optical performance providing an unlimited focus for scanning at long range
  • Waterproof and anti-fog for extended optical life
  • Ease of use, making the unit ideal for the inexperienced and experienced shooters
  • Easy to fit on pistols and Picatinny rails
  • Adjustable illumination for targeting in most light conditions
  • Easy to use the illumination toggle switch
  • Tough anodized finish to prevent scratching
  • Withstands shocks from recoil and general wear and tear when carrying
  • Waterproof
  • 6 dot MOA for perfect target identification in all light conditions
  • Provides the opportunity to consecutively target with increased target acquisition
  • The CR battery has an expected life of up to two years for the average shooter


  • Side mounted toggle switches could be altered when using a carry sling or holstering the pistol
  • Windage adjustment is not precise
  • The fitting can be difficult with cut slides
  • The battery does not fit flush making the first adjustments difficult
  • In some circumstances, you may need to have the unit fitted by a professional gunsmith
  • Other red dot systems offer similar performance and a cheaper price
  • Delivery from the factory can be a problem at times.
  • If the slide is cut it may need to be fitted by a professional gunsmith
  • The blurred red dot at close range
  • Difficult fitting and adjustment on cut slides
  • No carry case

Overall, the performance of the Vortex Viper Red Dot proves to be a good choice for anyone looking for a red dot sight. The product has some attractive features that I like. For example, I found the elevation adjustment particularly easy to use and it provided me with the opportunity to acquire my target and place the red dot precisely where I intended for it to be.

The Viper lights up the target for easy identification regardless of distance and weather conditions.

What Do Gun Owners Think About This Product?

I have scanned a few reviews before I decided to buy the Vortex Viper Red Dot and to be perfectly honest most reviews regarding this sighting unit are very positive.

Of course, there are always some folks who are absolute perfectionists. These folks can find fault with most things. But on closer examination, the problems that this group of reviewers experienced were mainly due to modifications that have been made to their guns, covering performance enhancing issues.

In general, the reviews for this product are very good and without negative comments. Gun owners seem to appreciate the simplicity of the product. The construction and single chassis design provides the perfect solution for absorbing recoil and general knocks and bumps a gun receives when used regularly. When coupled with its smooth lines and tactical appearance the Vortex Viper Red Dot can be the envy of the shooting range.

The optics on this unit offer the same performance as more expensive units and in some cases outperforms the more expensive options. The 6 MOA suits the requirements of most gun owners and provides the ideal opportunity to paint the target red before shooting. I personally like the shockproof system of both the chassis and the optics. It makes this red dot unit suitable for the shooter who does not exercise as much care when transporting guns.

Obviously, price is a major factor when reading reviews and the Vortex Viper Red Dot is competitively priced making the product popular with gun users. There are cheaper red dot units to be found and these may be suitable for the beginner. But, in my opinion for the extra few bucks, the Vortex Viper Red Dot is the unit to buy. 

Actually, it’s hard to go wrong with a Vortex. You can check out this other Vortex product review here.


Is the Vortex Viper compatible with a Picatinny rail?

Yes, the Vortex Viper comes with an attachment that allows easy fixing to a Picatinny rail. Most red dot systems come with a Picatinny rail fitting.

Do I need to purchase specialized batteries for the Vortex Viper Red Dot?

No, the battery is a standard flat battery that can be purchased in most stores and your local gun dealer will certainly be able to tell you where to buy the batteries from if he does not have stock.

Is the Vortex Viper Red Dot suitable for quick shots?

Yes, the Vortex Viper Red Dot will allow you to focus and target quickly enabling fast shots.

Final Verdict

The problem with shooting is, everyone has some advice to give and some of that advice is not always the best. My personal thoughts are that shooting is a sport and sport should be fun. With advances in technology, we can now take advantage of what was once only available to the military in terms of target acquisition.

After purchasing the Vortex Viper Red Dot I have not looked back, my shooting has become more enjoyable as I am now able to get closer to the target with every shot. Not only do I hit the target the upgrade to my pistol has enhanced its overall appearance and functionality.

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