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Vortex Sparc 2 vs Sparc AR – Which is Better?

Vortex Sparc AR vs Sparc 2

Vortex Optics is well-known for its budget-friendly, high-quality products. If you want a solid sight for high-speed reflexive shooting that can last a lifetime, read this review of Sparc AR and Sparc 2. Find out which one matches your firearm and shooting purposes.

Between Sparc AR vs Sparc II, both are equally reputable in terms of ergonomics and performance. However, there are some distinct differences between the two. Sparc AR optic is slightly bulkier and heavier than Sparc II. It has ambidextrous top-mounted button controls, allowing easier adjustments in the brightness settings. In Sparc II, these buttons are located on the optic’s left-rear, which could be a bit inconvenient for right-handed shooters to navigate.

Sparc AR has longer battery life expectancy than Sparc II. It is powered by an AAA battery, while Sparc II runs by a CR2032 battery. The glass of Sparc AR has less bluish tint than Sparc 2; hence it’s clearer and brighter.

Moreover, Sparc 2 has a lower mount than Sparc AR. It is compatible with ARs and a variety of non-AR platforms. Sparc AR is intended specifically for AR 15 or similarly-sized rifles.

Specification Chart

Sparc AR

  • Magnification: 1x
  • Low Light Capability: Yes
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Fogproof: Yes
  • Field of View: 32.8ft
  • Travel per Rotation: 45 MOA
  • Parallax Setting: Parallax Free
  • Eye Relief: Unlimited
  • Country of Manufacturer: USA

Sparc 2

  • Magnification: 1x
  • Low Light Capability: Yes 
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Fogproof: Yes
  • Field of View: 32.8ft
  • Travel per Rotation: 45 MOA
  • Parallax Setting: Parallax Free
  • Eye Relief: Unlimited
  • Country of Manufacturer: USA

Any Similarities?

Vortex Optics manufactures both Sparc AR and Sparc 2. Constructed from a single piece of aircraft-grade quality aluminum, they are both durable and impact-resistant. These optics are fully multi-coated to increase light transmission and reduce glare. The glass is waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof. Both have two mounting options: lower 1/3rd co-witness and absolute co-witness mount.

These optics feature 2 MOA red dots, which are easy and fast to control. The daylight bright red reticle is quite visible, clear, and uncluttered. These red dot sights have a 10-brightness setting. They are night-vision compatible, and both provide a split-second target acquisition. They also have a 12 hours auto-off feature.

  • Durable and impact-resistant
  • Versatile
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable price

Main Features

Price

Many of us are inclined to equate high prices with high-quality features, but not necessarily so. Sparc AR and Sparc 2 are quite affordable relative to other high-end sights. They are well-known to be incredibly reliable and rugged, delivering an impressive performance that wowed many gunslingers. You will get more than the price you paid for.

In choosing a red dot sight at an appropriate price range, consider its purpose, performance level, machination, and battery accessibility. If you’re an economically practical person, get a Sparc 2 as it’s cheaper than Sparc AR.

For cost-effective hunting optics, check out this Leupold VX-3i scope review

Weight & Size

The two red dot sights vary in weights and sizes. For some users, heavier and larger sights don’t matter as long they work perfectly well. But for some, they consider the weights and sizes for practicality and ease of use purposes. Smaller firearms should mount a smaller and ultra-compact red dot sight, especially for everyday concealed carry. For mobile hunting, mount a lighter one for efficiency, rapid response times, and precise shooting.

Sparc AR is a bit bigger, heavier, and sturdier than Sparc 2. Its objective lens is 22mm. The length is 2.9’’, and the weight, 7.5 oz. Meanwhile, Sparc 2 has an objective lens of 22mm. It is 3.1’’ long and weighs 5.9 oz. Both use a 2 MOA dot size.

Vortex Sparc AR weight

Warranty

These optics are covered by an unlimited lifetime warranty that is fully transferable. Vortex Optics will do repairs for any damages and defects at no cost and will also issue a replacement for a deprecated and inoperational product. Take note that the warranty doesn’t render for loss, theft, or deliberate damage.

Sparc 2 has been discontinued and is replaced with Vortex Crossfire red dot. Consequently, you may not find them in some retail stores. If you purchase one, you can still avail of the warranty’s provisions even when its production has ceased.

Battery Life

Battery life expectancy and the accessibility of the battery are important considerations when buying a red dot sight. Sparc AR runs on an AAA battery and can last up to 50,000 hours. In minimum brightness settings, it can work up to 5 000 hours.

AAA battery is virtually everywhere, so access isn’t an issue. Meanwhile, Sparc 2 is powered by a CR2032 battery. This battery can last up to 300 hours in maximum brightness settings but can reach up to 5 000 hours in minimum settings. This battery may not be readily available in some stores, but you can preorder it.

Both sights have impressive battery life. They will shut down automatically after 12 hours of non-use, thereby saving up battery life.

Image Quality

Vortex Sparc AR image quality

These optics can provide you with a crisp, clear, and unobstructed sight picture than iron sights. Highly visible images make aiming faster and accurate.

An AR 15 red dot sight is perfect for targets within 100 yards, but it can also work for longer ranges.

One of the great benefits of a red dot sight is the increased speed of acquiring targets without compromising shooting accuracy.

Regardless of your head position, the image will remain clear, and the sight’s accuracy is unaffected.

Brightness Control

The two sights have 10 brightness settings. As such, they are a great choice for a variety of lighting conditions. Sparc AR’s brightness controls are located on the optic rear, whereas in Sparc 2, they are on the left side of the optic’s rear. Many marksmen like the Sparc AR brightness control buttons’ configuration because it’s much easier to navigate.

Focus & Clarity

These sights have multiple anti-reflective coatings on air-to-glass surfaces for increased light transmission and glare reduction. You can mount them at any distance from your shooting eye with no issues with focus. You can still get an impeccably clear and bright image like your normal vision. With an illuminated dot reticle, your target is always in line with the point of impact no matter how far it is.

Many experts claim that the ideal reticle for close-range engagements and rapid shooting is 2 MOA red dot. Why? Because it allows shooters to stay focused on the aim and therefore facilitates accurate shooting.

For crisp and clear images, here’s our article on Vortex Crossfire vs Diamondback.

Zoom Range

The two-dot vortex optics don’t magnify the field of view. The image is just like that of your naked eye. However, the advantage of a non-magnified optic or a 2 MOA dot is quick target acquisition, especially at close-quarter settings. They allow a single point of focus, allowing the users to keep their attention on the target while aiming at a variety of angles. Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about parallax and eye relief because there is no magnification. You can just mount a magnifier if you want to zoom in your targets.

Vortex Sparc AR range

Eye Relief

One thing to examine in choosing an optic is the comfortable distance between your shooting eye and the eyepiece. The 2 dot vortex optics have an unlimited eye relief, which is appropriate for firearms with heavy recoil. You can shoot with your eyes open while taking advantage of your peripheral vision for the quick response and rapid tactical maneuverings.

For a more flexible shooting experience, check this Vortex Viper PST Gen 2 review here

Field of View (FOV)

Magnification and FOV are inversely related: as magnification increases, the FOV decreases. We want to have a wider FOV for accurate shooting and rapid acquisition. Hence, the smaller the magnification, the better the FOV. The two red dots in this review have a 1x magnification that can provide you with a maximum FOV. Sparc 2, including the SPC model, has been replaced with Vortex Crossfire Red Dot, which also features 1x magnification and maximum FOV.

Vortex Sparc AR Pros & Cons

PROS

CONS

Vortex Sparc 2 Pros & Cons

PROS

CONS

Vortex Sparc 2 or Vortex Sparc AR? We Pick...

Between Vortex Sparc AR vs Vortex Sparc II, we pick Vortex Sparc AR because of its exceptional features and quality. Our reviews show that it’s effortless to use and works well with AR 15. Its optic glass is quite clear, and it has variable brightness settings to address different lighting conditions.

Upon purchase, it comes with a T-10 Torx wrench and a rubber cover with flip caps. It features a non-critical eye relief and a wider field of view for rapid target acquisition. We like that it’s great for close-range engagements, tactical shooting, self-defense, and home-defense.

Looking for a good AR rifle scope? Here’s our Nikon P-308 scope review.

Vortex Sparc AR product

Our #1 Recommendation

Vortex Sparc AR

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