One of the most versatile optics options out there is the mini red dot. Mini red dots can be used on any platform, be it a rifle, shotgun, handgun, or sub-gun. Their small size and intended use make them an excellent choice as a primary optic on some guns and a backup optic on others. The Vortex Venom has recently slid across my desk for test and review, and it’s proven itself to meet the versatility demanded by red dots.
Vortex Venom Specs
The Vortex Venom comes in two variants, one with a 3 MOA and one with a 6 MOA reticle. The different sized reticles are important to consider when choosing which Venom you want for your platform. The 3 MOA reticle is more beneficial for rifle or sub-gun platforms that can be used at five yards and beyond. The 6 MOA reticle is larger and better suited for handguns and shotguns. At close quarters, where speed is critical, bigger reticles are easier to see.
The Venom uses the popular Docter footprint; this gives you plenty of mounting options and makes it easy to specify a cut for a handgun slide. Systems like the Glock MOS design can accommodate the Vortex Venom as well.
The Venom is small measuring only 6.7 x 5.1 x 2.9 inches. It’ll squeeze into any AR 15 case you have. The Vortex Venom weighs a mere 1.1 ounces on top of its small size. The optic even has a top-loading battery that I love. The fact that I don’t have to remove the optic to change the battery makes the system all the more convenient.
6 MOA reticle is a perfect option for short-range, home defense-based weapons. Looking at my arsenal, I have many choices on which to mount the Venom. One such option was my Mossberg 930 SPX. The Vortex Venom fit perfectly with the included Picatinny mount, and the optic was the perfect height to co-witness with the SPX’s iron sights.
Once I locked the Vortex Venom down on my SPX, I hit the range with a few loads of buckshot and a couple of slugs to try things out. In the shotgun world, there is some debate between ghost ring and bead sights. Ghost rings are more precise, but a bead is faster. The Vortex Venom ended that argument. It’s faster than a bead and more precise than ghost ring sights.
It makes engaging at 10, 15, 20, and 25 yards fast and easy. You can get on target very fast with that big bright 6 MOA reticle and dispense 12 gauge justice at a comfortable rate. Back out to 50 yards, I used slugs to ring a steel gong from the standing with excellent precision.
The reticle has 10 brightness settings, and man oh man is this thing nice and bright. Even in the brightest times of the day, the Vortex Venom shined on without issue. It can easily be too bright if you don’t watch your controls. Speaking of, the up and down controls are simple and easy to engage with: swapping brightness levels is simple, and the buttons are easy to reach and access.
Durability and Field Test
The Venom’s ability to withstand 12 gauge recoil is a testament to its strength. Some optics like to flicker or blink when met with harsh levels of recoil, but the Vortex Venom isn’t one of them. It takes the punishment without issue. Optics designed for pistol slides have to be robust, and the Venom surely is.
The Vortex Venom is a monstrous red dot sight that is built to be shock-, water-, and recoil-proof. Vortex backs that claim with the VIP warranty, which is one of the best in the business. The low price makes it attractive and I’m purchasing another for my 80 lower pistol build. When you purchase a Vortex Venom, you know you’re getting an optic backed by a great manufacturer.
Overall the Vortex Venom is a versatile and easy-to-use optic. Its size and weight are minimal; its ergonomics are awesome; and the damn thing is built to last. What else could you want?