Released for 2021, the Spitfire HD Gen II is the latest iteration of the Vortex line of rifle and carbine powered optics. It offers powered magnification, and Vortex’s classic ranged donut reticle for distance shooting that gives the user a broad range of application. With its other features, the Spitfire HD Gen II is one of the most compact powered optics available.
The exterior chassis of the Spitfire HD Gen II is made from a single piece of aluminum, resulting in a shock-proof housing that withstands recoil or impact. The outer layer of the chassis is then hard-coat anodized in a matte black to provide the shooter with a low-glare surface.
Both lenses in the Spitfire HD Gen II are sealed in multiple anti-reflective coatings that maximize clarity. In addition, both rubberized endcaps to the optic can be folded over and attached to the optic’s body for storage, or completely removed if desired. The Spitfire HD Gen II uses Vortex’s HD Optical System to deliver high-quality resolution with minimal chromatic aberration and extreme edge sharpness. Finally, the internal space is purged with nitrogen gas and sealed with rubberized, waterproof O-rings to prevent moisture penetration and cut down fogging in any extreme temperature.
The Spitfire HD Gen II comes in two models (one in a x3 magnification and another in x5) with each featuring a donut-style reticle, with bullet drop compensator markings for holdover up to 650 yards that make it ideal for the 5.56 cartridge. The reticle has 12 intensity settings (with the lowest two compatible for night vision devices) and runs off a single CR 2032 battery.
The Spitfire HD Gen II comes with variable-height mounts (lower 1/3 Co-Witness and Low-Height) and a T-10 Torx Multi-Tool.
- Magnification……………………x3 or x5 (model dependent)
- Objective Lens Diameter……25 mm
- Eye Relief………………………….3.7 inches
- Field of View……………………..23.3 feet/100 yds
- Adjustment Graduation……..1 MOA
- Max Elevation Adjustment…200 MOA
- Max Windage Adjustment….200 MOA
- Parallax Setting…………………100 yds
- Length………………………………3.6 inches
- Weight………………………………10.3 oz
Product Evaluation Scores:
- Cost – Fair (2/5): With an initial MSRP of $649 (for the x5 magnification), the SPITFIRE HD is a continuation of the previous variant optic with two variable magnification powers available. This gives the end-user the availability to choose which optic best suits their needs. With the added features of an illumination reticle, ruggedized housing, and variable height mounts, the SPITFIRE HD GEN II offers a lot in a package smaller than most with similar magnification. In comparison, market alternatives would include the x5 Cross Dot Reticle Scope ($385) from Barska, the AR-536 Red Dot Optic ($399) from Burris, or the T332 ($735) from Steiner that all place the SPITFIRE HD GEN II at the upper end of similar market optics with the same magnification, and a fair price for its function and design.
- Comfort – Good (4/5): The SPITFIRE HD GEN II easily mounted and felt secure throughout the evaluation period, thanks in part to its picatinny rail mount using two Torx screws to lock itself in. The reticle brightness easily adjusted via the + and – marked buttons on the left side, but the buttons themselves did not have a tactile feel when depressed (something that would have been nice). Both the windage and elevation adjustment dials provided crisp and solid adjustments per MOA and it was easy to zero the optic. The optic glass itself was remarkably clear and the retile was bright and well defined, with the darkened reticle also being visible when the illumination brightness was turned off. The optic’s 25mm objective lens gave a larger, more comfortable field of view for the shooter (when the eye was positioned close enough – but more on that in the Function section below).
- Durability – Excellent (5/5): With the SPITFIRE HD GEN II’s single piece chassis, O-ring gasket seals, and anodizing, it all ensured the optic was able to function regardless of impact, temperature, or moisture encountered on the range. The anodized surface proved very durable and resisted abrasion to a good degree, with only minor surface marring noted from contact with the ground or barricades. Through it all the dot held zero and did not drift despite various stressor and rifle drills. But one of the areas Vortex shines over its competitors is its no-questions-asked Vortex VIP Warrantee where if the optic becomes damaged accidentally at any time, they will replace it (although they will want to hear the story).
- Functionality – Average (3/5): Functionally the use of the SPITFIRE HD GEN II was straightforward. Press/hold the + for ON and press/hold the – for three seconds for OFF. The buttons themselves were large enough to be comfortable but not overwhelming. The intensity levels were clear with the higher being the most optimal for outdoor use, and the lowest two optimal for night vision use. One feature the SPITFIRE HD GEN II had that was a nice additive was an automatic shutoff to prevent battery drain that kicked in after 14 hours of inactivity. One element noted during use was the focal point of the optic’s rear lens is very short, almost to the point of being uncomfortable. The optic itself had to be mounted to the extreme rear of the rail (almost to the point where a bill of a ballcap was touching it) to attain a usable position with a full field of view, and this is something Vortex may want to look into resolving. Traditionally, many powered optics do not have this shallow of a focal point. The only purpose for this design would be for the use of an additional magnifier that would be placed behind the optic, so it is something the end-user should be aware of.
- Weight – Good (4/5): Weighing in at 10.3 ounces (for the x5 magnification variant), the SPITFIRE HD GEN II is several ounces less than its predecessor (most likely attributable to the compact design and battery difference). But the optic itself was neither distracting in weight nor unbalancing to the rifle during function. In contrast, the x5 Cross Dot Reticle Scope (19.2 ounces) from Barska, the AR-536 Red Dot Optic (18.75 ounces) from Burris, or the T332 (14.2 ounces) from Steiner all illustrate the light weight of the SPITFIRE HD GEN II in comparison to older optics with similar magnification and give the Vortex optic a very good weight for its design and materials.
Overall Rating – Above Average (18/25)
I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.
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