Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x40mm Riflescope
By the Guns and Shooting Online Staff
Vortex Optics (http://www.vortexoptics.com) is located in Middleton, Wisconsin USA. The Crossfire II is Vortex Optics entry level riflescope line, and a rather extensive line it is. There are four models with 30mm main tubes and nine models with one inch (25.4mm) main tubes. All are variable magnification riflescopes. Models range from 1-4x24mm to 6-24x50mm AO.
Most Crossfire II models are offered with a choice of three reticles. These include a standard Duplex type (V-Plex), a Duplex type with bullet drop compensating hash marks on the reticle (Dead-Hold BDC) and a Duplex type with an illuminated red center dot (V-Brite).
It would be interesting to know how Vortex chose the name Crossfire. The term "cross fire" implies that the line of sight aims in one direction and the bullet path crosses it to go in another direction. Not exactly what you want from your riflescope!
The 3-9x40mm Crossfire II scope that is the subject of this review was mounted for testing on a .30-06 (long action) Mossberg Patriot rifle. The mounting latitude is good and should be adequate for most rifles.
This scope can be purchased as a combo with select Patriot rifle models, as we did. Of course, it is also sold separately by many retailers, including Midway USA, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's. In 2015, the online price is around $130-$150 for the 3-9x40mm, depending on reticle. This price class means the Crossfire II is competing in the marketplace with the likes of the Sightron SI and Nikon Buckmaster II.
The hard anodized, matte black, one-piece, one inch diameter main tube is machined from a solid block of aircraft grade aluminum. The scope is purged, nitrogen filled and O-ring sealed to prevent fogging. The optics are fully multi-coated.
Our sample came with a Dead-Hold BDC reticle, which has three little hashmarks on the thin part of the right, left and bottom cross-hairs. These are used to estimate bullet drop and windage for long range shooting. Since it is our habit to zero all hunting rifles for the maximum point blank range (MPBR) of the cartridge/load we use and never to shoot beyond the MPBR, we have no need for any sort of BDC reticle. However, the BDC reticle does no harm, beyond being a little busy.
The minimum eye relief is 3.8 inches, which is sufficient for an eight pound .30-06 rifle. The eye-box provides adequate latitude, so that head position is not super critical.
Windage and elevation adjustments are made with resettable, fingertip windage and elevation knobs that are a bit taller than normal. They move in 1/4 MOA increments with a rather soft tactile click, so one must be careful not to over adjust by mistake. The adjustment range is 60 MOA for both windage and elevation. The protective caps are aluminum, not plastic.
The Vortex VIP warranty is worth mentioning. It is an unlimited, transferable, lifetime warranty that promises Vortex will repair or replace your riflescope at no charge, no matter how it became defective or damaged. It doesn't matter who purchased the scope or whose fault it was it became damaged and no guarantee card or sales receipt is required. Loss, theft, deliberate damage and cosmetic damage that does not affect the performance of the scope are not covered.
We found the Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-9x40mm scope entirely suitable for its intended purpose on our .30-06 test rifle. The optics are adequately sharp and contrasty across most of the field of view. Sharpness falls off toward the edge of the field of view, but not enough to be irritating. (You are not looking at the edge of the field of view when aiming.)
Flair suppression is good, as is usually the case with fully multi-coated optics. Distortion, color fringing and field curvature are present in all riflescopes, but these aberrations are adequately controlled in the Crossfire II.
The 40mm objective lens lets through plenty of light for shooting in dim light. Set at 6x, the exit pupil is 6.66mm, which is more light than most human eyes can accept. Set at 5x, the exit pupil is a whopping 8mm. (The average human eye pupil can dark adapt to a maximum opening of 5-7mm, depending on age.)
The rubber covered fast focus ring at the end of the ocular bell is certainly convenient when more than one person needs to shoot the rifle. We much prefer this European focusing system to the traditional American eyepiece focusing method of turning the whole ocular bell on fine threads.
The heavily knurled zoom ring can be turned with gloves on, but rotation requires enough effort that it is unlikely to be changed accidentally. This is as it should be.
The windage and elevation adjustments were more accurate than one might expect for a scope in this price range. We were able to quickly and accurately zero our test rifle at 100 yards with minimum ammunition expenditure. During our time at the range nothing broke, nothing fell off and the scope performed very well.
Three staff members used our Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x40mm test scope and we all agreed that it represented good value for the money. We would be perfectly happy to use it on an important hunting trip.
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