Vortex Sparc AR 1X22mm Review – 2022 Report

Adding a red dot sight to your AR is one of the best investments you can make. An AR sight will significantly increase the precision of your shot, and target acquisition under 100 yards will be much improved.

Today, we’re discussing the Vortex Sparc AR 1x22mm, which is one of the best AR red dot sights on the market today.

  • 2 MOA dot and up to 5000 hours of battery life
  • 10 brightness settings & 2 night vision compatible
  • Rear facing controls and parallax free design
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Vortex SPARC AR 1x22mm


  • Mount included
  • Ultimate durability
  • Unlimited eye relief
  • Automatic shut-off and automatic return
  • Brightness adjustability and red dot reticle


  • 90 MOA adjustment for windage and elevation

Vortex Sparc AR 1x22mm Specs

  • Eye Relief: Unlimited

  • Adjustment Options: 1 MOA

  • Parallax: Parallax Free

  • Windage: Adjustable Dial on the Side: 90 MOA

  • Elevation: Adjustable Dial on the Top: 90 MOA

  • Type of Reticle: 2 MOA Red Dot Circle

  • Magnification: Fixed Standard 1x Power

  • Focal Plane: Single

  • Objective Lens: 22mm Objective Lens

  • Field of View: Maximum


Below are the main pros:

Automatic Shut-Off and Automatic Return

To save the battery, the Sparc AR 1x22mm will automatically shut off after 12 hours. Not all AR sights have this feature, which is what gives this AR sight the first of the many pros.

The sight also has an automatic return that returns the sight to the last intensity used before it was turned off. With this feature, you don’t have to worry about resetting the sight intensities for your firearm each time it is powered on.

Unlimited Eye Relief

The eye relief of the Sparc AR 1x22mm is unlimited. This is important because it prevents your eye from being placed directly onto or extremely close to the ocular lens. If you place your eye directly onto or close to the ocular lens, the recoil of the rifle will impact your eye or head and likely cause an injury.

Having an ocular lens with unlimited eye relief means you can keep your head a safe distance away from the sight and still obtain a clear view through the sight.

Brightness Adjustability and Red Dot Reticle

The red dot reticle on the sight is bright and can be seen vividly in the daylight. There are 10 brightness illumination settings, with the two lowest settings being night-vision compatible. The size of the red dot is 2 MOA, which measures around 0.6mm. It is a small red dot, but this also makes the precision of the red dot extremely accurate.

Ultimate Durability

The Sparc AR 1x22mm has maximum durability that an AR sight can have. It is waterproof, fog-proof, and shock-proof, as well as shock-resistant. It can also resist extreme temperatures, from -4 below 0° F to 158° F.

If your Sparc AR 1x22mm becomes damaged, defective, or inoperable, Vortex will replace or repair the sight at no cost to you. This is part of their unlimited lifetime warranty VIP (very important promise) guarantee.

Mount Included

Finally, one of the last advantages worth mentioning about the Sparc AR 1x22mm red dot is the included mount that comes with the sight. This is nice because you don’t have to purchase an additional Picatinny or Weaver rail to attach to the AR to mount the sight. Not only does this save you money, but it also saves you time.


Below are the main cons:

90 MOA Adjustment for Windage and Elevation

The maximum adjustment for windage and elevation is 90 MOA. We’ve listed this as a con only because similar models, like the Crossfire Red Dot, allow you to make windage and elevation adjustments up to 100 MOA. It’s not a huge difference between 90 MOA and 100 MOA for windage and elevation adjustments, but we feel it is important to know.

Best Uses For the Vortex Sparc AR 1X22mm

The Vortex Sparc AR 1x22mm is best used for ARs and rimfire rifles for either hunting or recreational target shooting. Any application where you don’t need to magnify the target is highly recommended for this red dot sight.

How Magnification Plays a Role in the Uses

The magnification of the Sparc AR 1x22mm red dot sight is fixed at standard 1x power. This means you can’t zoom in to a target further than 100 yards, but that is unlikely when using a red dot.

How Yardage Plays a Role in the Uses

The maximum windage and elevation travel per 100 yards is 90 MOA. This means that if you need to adjust MOA regarding elevation or windage, the maximum MOA adjustment you can make is 90.

Each click on the windage and elevation dial accounts for 1 MOA, and 1 MOA is equivalent to a 1-inch difference between your red dot and the barrel of your gun for every 100 yards. The maximum MOA you can make on windage and elevation is 90.

Is the Vortex Sparc AR 1X22mm Compatible With Any Rifle?

The Vortex Sparc AR 1x22mm is intended primarily for ARs. First, the mount of the sight is designed to attach to an AR, and it comes with an AR-compatible mount. If you choose to mount this sight on a different firearm, such as a handgun, you will need to purchase a Picatinny or Weaver rail to first attach to your firearm. This will give the sight a base to fasten to when it is mounted.

If adding the Vortex Sparc AR to another type of rifle, make sure it is a rimfire rifle. Users have placed the Sparc AR sight onto a Ruger 10/22 LR with success. If the Sparc AR is attached to a rifle other than an AR, which is the type of firearm base the mount is intended for, you will need to add a Picatinny or Weaver rail to the rifle you are mounting it to.

What Do I Need to Know About Mounting the Vortex Sparc AR 1X22mm?

The Vortex Sparc AR 1x22mm comes with a mount that can be placed onto your AR, making this red dot sight compatible with ARs. However, that doesn’t mean you are limited to mounting the Sparc AR to just Armalite rifles. With the right rail base, you can mount the Sparc AR to other rimfire rifles or handguns.

When mounting the Sparc AR to an AR, make sure you use the wrenches that come with the Sparc AR. It comes with a Torx wrench and a hex wrench for easy mounting, tightening, and securing.

If you consider mounting the Sparc AR to a rimfire rifle or handgun, you will need to purchase a Picatinny or Weaver rail to mount onto your firearm first so that the Sparc AR can properly mount to your firearm.

The final consideration when mounting the Sparc AR is the spacing you want to have between the sight and the gun's barrel. You can choose a lower ⅓ co-witness height or an absolute witness height.

The ⅓ co-witness height includes a 3mm shim that will make a 40mm distance between the base and the optic center. To have an absolute witness height, you will remove the shim to give you a 37mm distance between the base and the optic center.

What Makes the Vortex Sparc AR 1X22mm Stand Out From the Competition?

For the money, the Vortex Sparc AR is the best red dot sight when using an AR or rimfire rifle to shoot a target at 100 yards or less.

These are some of the main features that make the Vortex Sparc AR stand out:

  1. Large maximum windage and elevation MOA adjustability at 90 MOA

  2. Typically retails at less than $200

  3. Battery replacement is easy and convenient, using just (1) AAA battery

  4. Eye relief is unlimited, giving you a clear line of vision through the lens from 4 inches away

  5. Lens covers included to protect the lenses when not in use

Even though we listed the maximum windage and elevation of 90 MOA as a con earlier in this article, it’s important to understand that 90 MOA is still a large allowance of adjustability for a sight. We listed it as a con because there are similar sights, such as the Vortex Crossfire Red Dot, that have a 100 MOA adjustability.

Comparison Review

Sig Romeo 5 vs Vortex Sparc AR

The Sig Romeo 5 is similar to the Vortex Sparc AR in durability and ruggedness. Essentially, if you are choosing a red dot sight based on durability, it’s six one way, half a dozen another. Meaning, they’re essentially the same.

One area where they differ, however, is the battery type and battery life. The Sig Romeo 5 uses a CR2032 battery, which ultimately gives the sight a longer lifespan, estimated at approximately 50,000 hours. The Vortex Sparc AR uses (1) AAA battery and only provides around 5,000 hours of life. The convenience of the Vortex Sparc AR using a AAA battery makes it easy to replace as needed, as you will typically have AAA batteries on hand rather than a CR2032.

All in all, the Sig 5 Romeo and Vortex Sparc AR are similar red dot sights with a slight advantage going to the Vortex Sparc for its included lens covers, a low mount and high mount option, and unlimited eye relief.

Vortex Sparc AR vs Aimpoint

The biggest difference and the most visual difference between the Vortex Sparc AR and the Aimpoint is the size. The Aimpoint is larger, causing it to weigh more. The Sparc AR is more lightweight and sleek, which gives it a more overall compact design.

The two sights share many similarities. They both have unlimited eye relief, and they are both parallax free. Where the internal differences come into play relates to the maximum windage and elevation adjustments for each sight.

The Aimpoint only allows a maximum MOA of 66, whereas the Sparc AR can adjust to 90 MOA. However, you can adjust the Aimpoint MOA by 0.5 MOA per click, where you are forced to increase the MOA by 1 for every click on the Sparc AR.

Vortex Sparc AR vs Holosun

The Vortex Sparc AR and the Holosun are similar red dot sights with similar features. They are both water-resistant and shock-resistant, as well as parallax-free with unlimited eye relief. They each have adjustable brightness, but the brightness levels vary between the two. The Vortex Sparc AR has 10 different brightness levels, while the Holosun has 12.

The Holosun has a maximum MOA adjustment range of 60 MOA, while the Sparc AR maximizes at 90 MOA. On the contrary, the Holosun will adjust 0.5 MOA per click, which is a beneficial feature if you need to adjust for those distances when you don’t need to adjust a full MOA.

The warranty of the Holosun is only three years for the electronics and five years for the lenses, while the Sparc AR has a lifetime Vortex warranty.

All in all, the Vortex Sparc AR and the Holosun are both great compact red dots, with the advantage going to the Sparc AR.

Vortex Crossfire vs Sparc AR

The Vortex Crossfire is an update to the Sparc AR. Because it’s an upgrade, it takes the Sparc AR features and has improved upon them.

For example, the Sparc AR uses (1) AAA battery, which only provides about 5,000 worth of battery life. The Crossfire was improved to use the CR2032 battery, which gives it between 50,000 and 70,000 hours of battery life, depending on the brightness setting.

Another feature that was improved upon in the Crossfire was the maximum MOA adjustment. While it’s not much, it’s still worth noting that the maximum MOA for windage and elevation adjustability for the Crossfire is 100 MOA. The Sparc AR maximum MOA adjustability is 90, which is still an exceptional range of adjustability.

Aside from these slight improvements made on the Crossfire, they are essentially the same red dot with the same overall features.


We recommend adding the Vortex Sparc AR 1x22mm to your AR because it is affordable, compact, and durable. It provides an accurate shot at 100 yards with a bright red dot. Because it doesn’t have additional magnifying capabilities, it’s best for shots at 100 yards or less.

People Also Ask

Still have questions? We have gathered the answers to some of the more commonly asked questions to further help with this Vortex Sparc AR review.

What Kind of Warranty Does the Vortex Sparc AR 1X22mm Come With?

The Sparc AR comes with a VIP (very important promise) lifetime warranty. Vortex ensures its customers that they will receive a full replacement or repair for their equipment should it become defective, damaged, or inoperable.

How Much Does the Vortex Sparc AR 1X22mm Weigh?

The Sparc AR is a lightweight 7.5-ounce red dot. It is ideal for ARs and rimfire rifles because of its sleek, compact, and lightweight design.

Can You Use Vortex Sparc AR 1X22mm in Low Light?

Yes, there are 10 different brightness settings, with the lowest two settings being compatible in low light.

How Long Does The Battery Last on the Vortex Sparc AR 1X22mm?

The battery of the Sparc AR will last approximately 5,000 hours.

What Battery Does Vortex Sparc Use?

The Sparc AR uses (1) AAA battery. Thus, the battery life of the Sparc AR is not as long as models that use a CR2032 battery.


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