Sights

Vortex Venom vs Viper Red Dot Comparison [FAQs Included!]

Ever wondered which is better – the Venom or Viper? The Vortex Viper & Venom are both very popular red dot sights that are priced very similarly and offer almost identical features.

However, there are differences (large & small) between these red dot optics including reticle design, optic durability, field of view, battery life & more!

After comparing these two optics in great detail, it’s clear to me that Viper & Venom are better suited for different use cases. The Vortex Viper works best for concealed carry applications. The Vortex Venom works best for hunting & range shooting.

In this post, we’ll dive deeper in to the comparison of the Vortex Venom vs Viper, company reputation, and most important factors to consider before buying a red dot sight. Read on to help you decide which is the better sight for your shooting needs and preferences.


Vortex Venom vs Viper: Main Differences

In this post, well analyze the below differences between the Vortex Viper & Vortex Venom Red Dot Sights.

  1. Reticle Design
  2. Optic Durability
  3. Field of View
  4. Battery Life & Compartment
  5. Use Case
  6. Eye Relief & Comfort Comparison
  7. Footprint Comparison
Best For Hunters
Best For Concealed Carry
4.8
4.6
  • Great For Hunting
  • Great Dot Intensity Controls
  • Solid Battery Life
  • Great For Self-Defense Pistols
  • Very Low-Profile Design
  • Unobstructed field of view
  • Slightly Larger/Heavier Than Viper
  • More Pricey Than The Venom
Best For Hunters
4.8
  • Great For Hunting
  • Great Dot Intensity Controls
  • Solid Battery Life
  • Slightly Larger/Heavier Than Viper
Best For Concealed Carry
4.6
  • Great For Self-Defense Pistols
  • Very Low-Profile Design
  • Unobstructed field of view
  • More Pricey Than The Venom
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1) Reticle Design

Both the vortex venom and viper red dot sight feature Vortex’s smart red dot design, which provides fast target acquisition and excellent performance at various ambient light conditions. Additionally, both sights also has 10 brightness settings, providing a clear sight picture in both low and bright light conditions.

However, regarding reticle design, I have to lean toward the Venom, because where the Viper only has a 6 MOA model option, the Venom has a 3 and a 6 MOA option.

The 3 MOA dot is ideal if you want a more effective sight at longer ranges. And the 6 MOA dot is perfect for close-range, fast-target acquisition scenarios.


2) Optic Durability

Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight
4.8
Pros:
  • Great For Hunting
  • Great Dot Intensity Controls
  • Solid Battery Life
Cons:
  • Slightly Larger/Heavier Than Viper
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Both the venom red dot sight and the Viper is constructed under the strict quality guidelines of the Vortex company. Therefore, you can expect a high-quality, extremely durable little red dot sight in both models. This is why I also rated both these optics as one of the Best Ruger Mark IV Optics as well!

Both red dots are built from aircraft-grade aluminum – meaning they are extremely tough yet optimally light. Both sights are nitrogen-purged and have the ArmorTek lens finish – meaning in addition to being waterproof and shockproof, they are also fog proof.

There is not really much to differentiate these two sights from each other in terms of durability. However, I want to say the Viper wins this category – it just feels more durable for me.


3) Field of View

Both these two Vortex red dot sights have unlimited eye relief – allowing them to have a parallax-free design and boosting their field of view as you don’t need any specific eye position when you aim.

When we compare objective lens diameter, the Venom takes the win. The Venom has an objective lens diameter of 26.1 mm. In comparison, the Vortex Viper red dot only has a 24 mm objective lens diameter. The large lens diameter was one of the deciding factors in my comparison of the FastFire 3 & Vortex Venom red dot sights as well.

This means that the Venom has a larger window size and enables me to have slightly better situational awareness.


4) Battery Life & Compartment

Both red dot sights have a rated battery life of 150 – 30,000 hours. I get 1,000 hours out of both sights when used in auto mode, more or less.

However, I place a huge emphasis on the battery compartment location. I’m not too fond of a bottom-located battery compartment because of how impractical it is. Viper red dot sights have a bottom-located battery compartment, and Venom red dot sights have a top-located battery compartment.

So, it is safe to say that the Venom is the winner.


5) Use Case

Vortex Optics Viper Red Dot Sight
4.6
Pros:
  • Great For Self-Defense Pistols
  • Very Low-Profile Design
  • Unobstructed field of view
Cons:
  • More Pricey Than The Venom
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Both these red dot sights are suitable for handgun, shotgun, and rifle use. Yet, I would go for the Venom if you want a red dot sight that has both fast target acquisition and long-range performance because of the red dot size options. However, if you want something that excels in close-range performance, then go for the Viper.

So, in terms of use case, the Venom is better for a hunter or someone who enjoys target shooting. And the Viper is perfect for self-defense or tactical use in buildings.


6) Eye Relief & Comfort Comparison

As already mentioned, both sights offer unlimited eye relief, which means that they offer an extremely comfortable aiming platform. As we saw in our comparison of the Holosun 507c & Vortex Venom, the comfort level of a red dot sight depends mostly on the individual.

The Viper is a small red dot sight, which allows it to also have a low profile. Therefore I prefer it because it is more comfortable to aim with.


7) Footprint Comparison

Both these Vortex sights use the Picatinny mount. However, because the Viper is slightly smaller, it has a more compact mounting and makes it more suitable for concealed carry. It is very important to understand the difference between red dot footprints when picking the best option for you.


Which Should You Choose?

If you want a red dot sight for your self-defense pistol and primarily for concealed carry, then opt for the Viper. However, if you want a red dot sight with better long-range capabilities to accompany you on your hunting and range shooting expeditions, go for the Venom.

Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight
4.8
Pros:
  • Great For Hunting
  • Great Dot Intensity Controls
  • Solid Battery Life
Cons:
  • Slightly Larger/Heavier Than Viper
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Buyers Guide

Vortex Company Reputation

Most of us are familiar with Vortex. This company has an esteemed reputation for producing high-quality, reliable, and affordable optics. This company’s optics has been the go-to option for many hunters, law enforcement, and sport shooters for nearly two decades.

The company also offers the “VIP warranty,” a lifetime warranty covering repairs and replacements for any damage or defects. The warranty comes without any additional cost to the customer, even if the product is transferred to a new owner.


How We Review Red Dot Sights

When we review red dot sights, we always follow guidelines on how useable and practical the sight is for the average American. Therefore we review red dot sights on the following:

  • Value:  Is the red dot sight priced competitively with the rest of the market? Do all the features justify its price? What additional features does the sight have that make it a better option than its competitor?
  • Battery Life: Does the sight have a battery life of at least 500 hours? Where is the battery compartment located – it should be located on the top or side and not at the bottom.
  • Reticle Design and Brightness settings – The red dot sight should have a practical reticle size or should have a selection of sizes you can use, like the Holosun’s MRS. Additionally, the brightness settings should be diverse and suitable for low and bright light conditions.
  • Durability and Optic Design –  The sight should be designed to be highly durable and able to handle extreme environmental conditions. After all, you don’t want your red dot sight to fail when a bear charges you.

Who Needs A Red Dot Sight?

A red dot sight is perfect for anyone who wants to increase the accuracy and range of their handgun, shotgun, or rifle. As we saw in our review of Red Dot Sights For A Canik TP9SF, choosing the best red dot depends on a variety of factors. Additionally, a red dot sight also allows you to have faster target acquisition – a necessity in life-or-death situations.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is the vortex venom a good sight?

Yes, the Venom is an extremely good sight. It offers a versatile and highly durable aiming platform to the user.

Which is better Vortex Viper or Venom?

The Venom is the better sight. It has more reticle size options, is more durable, and more practical - thanks to its top-located battery compartment.

Does vortex venom have shake awake?

No, the Venom does not have a shake awake feature.

How long does the vortex venom stay on?

The Venom has a 14-hour auto-shutdown feature - meaning it will shut down after 14 hours if the sight is accidentally left on.

Is the Vortex Viper worth it?

Yes, the Viper is worth it. It is highly versatile and durable - allowing the shooter to reach optimal shooting performance.

Are Vortex Viper binoculars any good?

Hunters and birdwatchers highly regard the Viper binoculars for its excellent lens clarity, durability, and affordability.

The Bottom Line

There you have it. There’s not much difference between these two sights. The Venom is better in terms of versatility and practicality, and the Viper is better in terms of comfort. I prefer the Venom because, in the end, practicality is regarded higher than comfort. Unless you are on the range for hours on end and want something comfortable, then the Viper might be better. Still, the Venom remains a viable option because of that 3 MOA reticle size. But ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and your use case.

Best For Hunters
Best For Concealed Carry
4.8
4.6
  • Great For Hunting
  • Great Dot Intensity Controls
  • Solid Battery Life
  • Great For Self-Defense Pistols
  • Very Low-Profile Design
  • Unobstructed field of view
  • Slightly Larger/Heavier Than Viper
  • More Pricey Than The Venom
Best For Hunters
4.8
  • Great For Hunting
  • Great Dot Intensity Controls
  • Solid Battery Life
  • Slightly Larger/Heavier Than Viper
Best For Concealed Carry
4.6
  • Great For Self-Defense Pistols
  • Very Low-Profile Design
  • Unobstructed field of view
  • More Pricey Than The Venom
Lasso Brag

About the author

Patrick Howard

I have been working as a gunsmith for 20 years. Rain, fog, moisture, high temperature, or even snow are all the things a product must withstand in order to be recommended by me.

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