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Vortex Optics Sparc II Review – a perfect wallet-friendly red dot

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Vortex Optics Sparc II review covers one of the great red dots for an affordable price. You can be sure that anything made by Vortex optics will be a quality piece and this sight won't disappoint you.

Reviewed item:

Vortex Optics Sparc II

Editor's rating:

Battery life

Toughtness

Features

Ease of Use

PROS

  • Very durable, especially within this price range
  • Highly affordable
  • Easy to setup, adjust and zero
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    Great for beginners
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    Ultra-compact

CONS

  • No option for magnification, which previous model had
  • Brightness buttons can be quite unresponsive

Quick overview

Sparc II is a second generation Sparc red dot, which is a great entry-level sight for most users. The previous generation didn't sit well within high Vortex Optics standards and they improved it a lot making this Sparc II. The price of both sights is the same, but this one is much tougher, rugged, the lenses are more clear and it got rid of all primary flaws that previous generation model had. Just like any other Vortex Optics product, it comes with a lifetime transferable VIP warranty.

Deep dive into Vortex Optics Sparc II

Here are the qualities that makes the Sparc II device a favourite among law enforcers and gun enthusiasts. 

Vortex Optics Sparc II Attached To a Rifle

Description of the Vortex Sparc II red dot sight

Made by one of the great optic manufacturers - Vortex Optics, this red dot is one of the best entry-level sights you can purchase. The "Sparc" name stands for “Speed Point Aiming for Rapid Combat“. It pretty much tells you the primary purpose of the sight - quick target acquisition and ease of use in rapid combat.

Sparc II was developed as a second generation Sparc model. Many people had minor issues with the first Sparc model, which resulted in a lot of negative feedback being shared online and Vortex Optics has decided to address those flaws by creating a superior model that fits their high quality standards.

Eventhough the optic is made in China, it doesn't feel anything like you'd expect from a Chinese product, usually associated with lower product quality. Just as additional assurance, Vortex Optics provides their usual transferable lifetime VIP warranty. They promise to replace or repair any damaged or defective products with no questions asked and without caring who sold you the optic. As long as it's an original Vortex Optic - you will be covered under their warranty.

The Vortex Optics Sparc II comes in a small box filled with all kinds of goodies. You will notice that without the sight, there are 2 different mounts, flip-up caps for both ends of the optic, spacer, the usual tools like hex key, torques wrench, screws for the mounts and spacer attachment as well as a standard CR2032 battery, which the sight uses.

Vortex Optics Sparc II Packaging

The different mounts are 18 mm and 37 mm height, which could be extended by an additional 3 mm if you decide to use the spacer. Both mounts are compatible with picatiny or weaver rails on a firearm.

We would recommend using the smaller mount if you're attaching it to a shotgun or handgun, while using the taller mount will provide absolute co-witness on any flat-top AR-15.

The caps that sight comes with are easily detachable and will protect your lenses from intentional or unintentional outside damage sources, while the battery included in the same package is a standard CR2032. The advertised battery life is 300 hours at highest brightnes settings or 5,000 hours on lowest ones. After 12 hours without any interaction with controls, the Vortex Sparc II will shut down by itself.

One of the concerns and negatives of a previous generaction Sparc sight was that the battery compartment couldn't be reached by hand and required a tool to access. Vortex Optics has addressed that and made sure that the new generation optic comes with a battery compartment on the right side of the optic, which can easily be turned by hand. The battery compartment cap is also tethered to the housing, making you certain that it won't be lost.

The Vortex Optics Sparc II red dot projects a 2 MOA diameter red dot with 10 different brightness settings. The settings are also saved and upon each use, meaning that the optic will remember last brightness settings used, continuing to use them next time you turn it on.

Vortex Optics Sparc II Reticle

Image source - VortexOptics.com

You can adjust the brightness settings by using Up and Down arrow keys, which could be found on the left-hand side of the optic. We've noticed that sometimes these buttons could be quite unresponsive and require an unexpectedly high force when pushing them to work properly. Not sure whether this was a small defect on the sight we've tested or it's common for other Sparc II sights as well.

A mounted Sparc II optic is parallax-free, meaning that as long as you've zeroed the sight correctly, red dot will always be on the point of impact, no matter which angle you're looking from. The objective lens also has unlimited eye relief, while the manufacturers recommend mounting it with at least 100 mm (or 4 inch) eye relief.

The previous generation came with a 2x magnifier, which would screw directly to the scope, while this one doesn't have any magnification. Majority of complaints for the original Sparc red dot came because of the magnifier and Vortex Optics decided not to add it to their second generation optics.

On the right side of the scope, right next to battery compartment, you have windage adjustment and on top of the sight you'll be able to find elevation adjustments. Both of these allow for up to 90 MOA adjustments with 1 MOA graduation per click.

The adjustment caps are tethered to the optic using a short steel wire, which is wrapped using black fabric, with the intention of avoiding glare as well as potential damages that it could couse to the outside of housing.

Vortex Optics Sparc II right side

Vortex Optics Sparc II toughness review


Vortex Optics Sparc II is considered to be one of the toughest red dot sights within it's price range. The sight has a one-piece military-grade aluminum body, finished with matte black anodizing. Aluminum body is able to withstand most common stress sources like recoil or high caliber rifles and shotguns, being dropped from shoulder height.

All lens surfaces are multicoated, which is standard for this type of an optic. It is also O-ring sealed, making it completely water-proof and fog-proof. 

The optic was also tested in some intense temperatures (note that we have not tested these temperature claims ourselves). The sight was fully funcational between -4 and +158 degrees in Fahrenheit (or -20 to +70 degrees in Celsius).

The sight comes with the standard Vortex Optics warranty, which is fully transferable and lasts a lifetime. They will replace any damaged or defective part with no additional charges or questions asked about it.

If you're still not convinced - Recoil Web has performed Vortex Optics Sparc II review with quite an interesting toughness test, which can be found by following this link. It should give you a better idea of how tough this red dot is.


Extensive list of pros:

  • Durabile and tough.
  • It's lightweight and quite small.
  • Highly affordable.
  • 300 - 5,000 hour battery life, depending on brightness settings.
  • 10 different brightness options, including several options for nightvision use.
  • Great optic lens.
  • Easy to mount, adjust and zero.
  • Single, crispy clear red dot.
  • Comes with transferable lifetime VIP warranty.
  • Can be mounted on picatinny and weaver type rails.
  • Comes with 2 different height mounts and an additional spacer.


Complete list of cons for Vortex Optics II gun sight:

  • No option for maginification, although additional attachments could be used to get that option.
  • We've noticed that brightness buttons could be quite unresponsive sometimes.
  • Red dot has rather slow refresh rate, which could leave a visual trail when quickly switching targets.


Vortex Optics Sparc II specifications:

  • 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 mount (224 g)
  • Lens diameter: 0,86" (22mm)
  • Eye relief: Unlimited. Manufacturer recommends roughly 4 inch (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: CR2032
  • Battery life: 300 hours on highest brightness settings, 5,000 on lowest
  • Surface colour: 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
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Fogproof: Yes
  • Shock-proof: Yes
  • 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.


Conclusion

This Vortex Optics Sparc II review covers the pros and cons of the sight. Overall, the red dot is a great choice for both beginner shooters as well as for intermediate or even more advanced shooters. For beginners the main benefit is that the Vortex Optics Sparc II has a good precision and is easy to setup, while intermediate and more advanced shooters will get to experience the large selection of features that aren't common for a sight in this price range.

The optic allows for really quick target acquisition, overall ruggedness and toughness of the optic allows it's use in any environment and condition. Taking the price into consideration we can definitely say that the Vortex Optics Sparc II is completely worth the price. At this price level, you can hardly find a better red dots than this one.

Overall rating: 4.6/5.0 stars

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