I bought my first Vortex 10 ish years ago, one of the original SPARCs, and it is still in use to this day. I can't count how many guns on which it has been mounted. It's enjoying "retirement" mounted to a Browning Buckmark. Yes, monkey and football comes to mind
But I'm cheap and it works.
I also have astigmatism. so red dots have always been a bit of a challenge. Some burst better or worse than others and it's always been a sort of compromise. I put a 1-6 Strike Eagle on one of my ARs a few years back and really liked illuminated reticle. So much that it became my go to AR. So when this latest generation of the Spitfire came out, and in 3x magnification, it seemed like a no brainer. Last week I picked up a BAD Workhorse and immediately ordered the Spitfire.
The other optic in the running was a Primary Arms in 2x with their ACSS reticle. Pretty solid optic as well but after hearing some mixed reviews about the chevron, and both the ability to see it and use it, I chose to go with the Vortex as I like the simple 1 MOA dot and horseshoe design. And truth be told, the Vortex has it in the looks department as well (if that matters to you.)
Mounting. If you don't have experience with mounting magnified optics keep in mind this is not a red dot. In order to get decent eye relief you will need to mount it as far back on the rail as possible. Think of it as a really short scope. Once you get used to indexing your cheek weld it's no problem getting a good sight picture when you shoulder the rifle. For the first few times you may be searching for it but once you get the mechanics of it nailed down it will become second nature. For those used to magnified optics it will be second nature. The mount is also once of the nicest stock mounts I've seen. I have no desire to replace it. In fact Vortex should sell these things separately.
Magnification. I opted for the 3x. This is a short range rifle and its intended use is inside 100 yards. So far I have had no problems using the 3x at contact distances and, at least for my eyes, am pretty sure I will be fine with it out to 200 as well. They also make a 5x if you want to go longer. When I was trying to decide on which magnification I wanted I set my Strike Eagle to 3x and then 5x and then gave it a test run with both eyes open to see which magnification worked best for my eyes. I have line of sight at my place out to 100 yards and beyond. Then I practiced some room clearing drills. For me the 5x was too much inside the house.
Illumination. I don't use it in daylight but it's there if you need it. When it starts to get dusk it definitely helps. One button push to turn it on and it has an auto shut off after 14 hours. And it automatically turns on to your last brightness setting which is nice as well. The other benefit of having an etched reticle is even if the batteries give up the ghost you can still use the reticle (Unless you are in the dark. I haven't checked to see if you can pick it up using a WML yet. )
We are still under a decent amount of snow so I have not had a chance to take this to the range and put it through its paces. Going to go to the indoor range to get it dialed in this weekend at 25 yards so I am at least on paper.
So far I really like this optic. So much that I took the time to write this up. When was searching I didn't find any good reviews on it so figured I would offer my .02 to anyone who is trying to decide. You guys with astigmatism will definitely appreciate this thing. Granted I have been limited to unboxing, mounting it and pretending to shoot random wall art around the house and the neighbors shed out back. I only wish there was an 1x MRD-ish sized version to mount on my Scorpion that had a 9mm reticle.