With IWA and Shot Show 2021 cancelled, Vortex had no choice but to present their novelties online. It is not Vortex’s habit to come up with a single novelty at this time of the year, so they introduced a few. We already published an article on the brand-new Fury HD 5000 AB LRF-binoculars and the Sparc Solar red dot. This time, we are going to delve into the world of prism scopes – that’s right, Vortex introduced a brand-new prism scope, a second generation of their famous Spitfire series.
Wait, it looks like a red dot sight
Even though prism scopes are far more compact than riflescopes, they are typically a lot bigger than small tube red dot sights. When we first saw the new Spitfire HD, we could not believe that it is prism scope. It is almost half the size of the first-generation model, not to mention that is a lot lighter too. It resembles a red dot sight only on the outside, though – when you look through, a glass-etched, astigmatism friendly reticle can be seen. It is of the BDC-type, compatible with the trajectory of the 5.56 cartridge. It features both bullet drop and wind holds.
In contrast to the first-generation series where only one model was available (3x magnification), Vortex went for two models in the second generation:
- 3x magnification model
- 5x magnification model
The latter is slightly bigger and 37 grams heavier. It comes with an additional feature, though. On top of it, there is removable plate. Under it, there is a mounting platform for the Docter/Noblex footprint. It allows you to mount a compact, open-reflex red dot sight with such footprint on it, Vortex Viper and Venom included. This greatly increases its versatility of use; having both 5x and 1x magnification at disposal makes for an incredibly useful setup that can be used in various situations.
The price of the 3x magnification model is around 450 €. The 5x magnification model is 50 € more expensive.
A modern design
Vortex is no stranger to modern design of optics. The windage and elevation adjustment screws are now flush with the housing, a concept also introduced in their brand-new Sparc Solar red dot. The battery compartment does not protrude as much as the one on the first generation.
2 mounting adapters are supplied with the new Spitfire HD prism scopes, a high one and a low one. The former is great for use on AR-15 rifles, while the latter works great on traditional rifles with a Picatinny rail on the receiver. Should you remove any of these two adapters, you will notice that there is an Aimpoint Micro mounting footprint underneath.
Goodbye, green illumination
That is right, the new models no longer feature both green and red illumination, only the red illumination is available. There are, however, more illumination levels at disposal, 12 instead of 5. The highest are super-bright while the lowest two are NVD-compatible. You win some, you lose some. Vortex replaced the illumination intensity knob with two buttons, making the device sightlier and less bulky.
Interestingly, the optics have been improved too. Image clarity, colour fidelity, and image sharpness have all been improved. The new Spitfire HD models have a forgiving eye-box and provide around 6.5 centimetres of eye relief.
We are amazed by the compactness of this prism scope – the 3x magnification model is no bigger than a standard small tube sight. The Aimpoint Micro footprint makes it compatible with a series of aftermarket adapters, which is great. 12 illumination settings, a forgiving eye-box, a modern design – there are plenty of features to look forward to, Vortex VIP warranty included.