Vortex Venom

Vortex Optics Venom Review

Sometimes Vortex is seen as the new upstart that is just causing trouble in the optics industry.  While this is somewhat true, the only way they cause trouble is by producing optics that challenge the industry standard and offer outstanding value.  For the money, there may be no other brand around that gives you the quality of a Vortex optic.

Though Vortex is a U.S. based company, all of their optics are made overseas in various locations.  In the case of the Venom, it is made in a state of the art facility in the Philippines. This is the same facility that produces their very high-end Diamondback optics.  Once shipped, all optics go through quality control and testing in their Wisconsin facility to ensure they meet the standards Vortex demands.

If you have ever used any Vortex optics you understand how good these standards are.  The Venom definitely lives up to the rigorous testing requirements and is a solid performer in a crowded market.  There are hundreds of red dot sights from the ultra-cheap to the very expensive. The Venom falls somewhere in the middle of the cost bracket but falls near the top of the quality.  How they manage and stay in business this is a mystery.


Vortex’s Venom red dot is machined out of a hard alloyed aluminum as a single piece.  This makes it incredibly rigid which is a requirement for any optic that has to deal with the stress of recoil.  The similarly machined base matches with both Weaver and Picatinny rails to fit on most any rifle, pistol, or shotgun.

For the lens portion, Vortex uses a high-density glass that can withstand any normal abuse and probably much more.  This is permanently seated and sealed to the aluminum frame to prevent shifting and loss of zero.


Because the Venom has no magnification, you could assume that optical quality is less of an issue. This may be partly true but the better the optic the better your target acquisition can be.  For the Venom, Vortex has opted for a premium extra-low dispersion glass that is near optically perfect. With the red dot off, it is almost impossible to even see the glass in the frame.

This all-in production mentality is what has allowed Vortex to take the market by storm.  To continue on that line, Vortex uses a fully multicoated lens that provides excellent color transmission and prevents reflection and glare.  The lens coating adds a layer of slickness that makes them easy to clean and prevents fogging.

Durability and Weather Resistance

With a fully machined aluminum body and high-density glass, the Venom is about as tough as a red-dot can be.  It is fully capable of handling any normal level of field abuse an optic can take and probably far more. For the hunter or target shooter, it may actually be over-engineered but that just means you are guaranteed to have a lifetime or more of use.

All open portions of the sight are sealed with O-rings to prevent intrusion of moisture, dust, and any other foreign matter.  This includes the battery compartment. This solid mounting also makes the optic completely shockproof. The end result is an optic that can stand up to hard use in any environment for as long as you may ever need.

Features and Function

There are two versions of the Venom available, one with a 3-MOA dot that works well for long rifles and a 6-MOA dot that is preferred for pistols and shotguns.  This gives you options for excellent accuracy with nearly any firearm with a single sighting option. The dot has a total of 10 brightness levels to ensure easy visibility in any lighting condition without washing out the operators view during low light operation.

Red dot sights have essentially infinite eye relief so it can be mounted as near or far from the user as is comfortable.  The dot is self-centering and once it is zeroed, the bullet will always impact precisely where the optic is pointed. Though it is tiny, you will see a huge increase in both accuracy and speed with the Venom.  This is probably the one single thing you can do to make yourself a better shooter overnight.

To keep you on target, the Venom is adjustable in 1 MOA increments for both windage and elevation.  The maximum vertical adjustment is 130 total MOA and for windage, you get 100 MOA. To break that down, a usual range would probably top out around 100 yards with this type of optic and at that range, you could get nearly 10 feet of adjustment.

To operate you will need a single CR2032 battery but you will hardly ever have to replace it.  On its lowest setting, the Venom can get nearly 30,000 hours of solid run time. On the highest setting, it still gets over 150 hours of run time.  To ensure longer battery life, Vortex has also incorporated an auto-off feature which will shut the unit down after 14 hours of continuous use. This helps if you are sometimes forgetful when you store your weapon.

When mounting on a rifle or shotgun, everything is fairly straight forward but with some handguns, you may have issues if they have slide cutout.  The type of mounting option will depend on your pistol and are often made by your pistol manufacture. Alternatively, you can use a Burris Fastfire mount which will solve most of your mounting issues.  If you want other options, there is a complete compatibility list available on the Vortex website.


With mounting versatility, extreme durability, and outstanding optical quality, the Vortex Venom is a great choice for most any short to medium range firearm.  It may have the price of a budget optic but far exceeds them when it comes down to quality. You can easily expect the Venom to compete with any of the biggest names in optics and perform just as well.

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