Vortex Spitfire 3x Vs 1x- Which scope is better


Vortex has gained a reputation of consistently innovating its equipments with each new release featuring enhanced designs and new features. The Vortex Spitfire 3x and 1x differs in functionality and are, therefore, convenient for different categories of users.  The scopes are characteristic of an etched BDC reticle and come equipped with the blue and red illumination.

Scopes from vortex are well constructed, compact, and can easily adapt to different light conditions, users have been provided with up to 5 intensity levels in the 1x necessary for the situational conditions. The below review on the Vortex Spitfire 3x and 1x seeks to understand their differences by breaking down on their features and functionalities.

What are the differences between Vortex Spitfire 3x and the 1x

Vortex Spitfire 3X
Vortex Spitfire 1x
Field of view
31.5 feet at 100yards
75 feet at 100yards
5.5 inches
4.0 inches
15.4 oz
Adjustment Graduation
Dot color
Red/ Green
Eye Relief
Reticle Options
Levels of brightness
12, ( with the last two being ultra-low for use with NV devices).

Vortex Spitfire 3X vs 1X – How do they compare?

  • Reticle Performance

When you aim, the first thing that you see is the reticle and it is what you will use to aim at a target in a far distance. Most reticles are, therefore, made of wire or are etched onto the glass, the Vortex Spitfire 3x features an EBR-556B (MOA) reticle, which has been constructed around the 5.56 x 45 cartridge perfect for both long and close-range shooting. The unique reticle has been etched on the prism thus enables a consistent point of aim every time you want to shoot.

The 1x on the other hand has a different reticle the DRT(MOA), whose performance is a bit minimized and it will, therefore, enable rapid shooting but at a closer distance. The DRT (MOA) reticle has also been etched on the prism and that is not the only benefit that you will enjoy, as the incorporated instant eye alignment thanks to the dual ring design, attracts the eye to alignment with the reticles center and target. The Vortex Spitfire 3X is the best in retical performance because it offers rapid shooting at both the close and long ranges.

Size and weight

Both the 3X and 1X spot different sizes and weights, the former is a lot heavier and bigger at 5.5 inches in length and 15.4 pounds in weight. From the outside you can tell that it has additional features that are significantly absent in the 1X, for example, you will notice that to adjust the light intensity you will have to use the up and down buttons, but for the 3X you have been provided with a rotate dial at the top of the tube, which not only adds to the weight but increases the size of the scope.

And even though the spitfire 3X offers enhanced performance when compared to the 1X, it is quite long which we might say is because it needed to accommodate the additional features, but then again many shooters prefer a unit that is light in weight, the SpitFire 1X, therefore, is the better unit because it is light in weight and can afford rapid shooting at a closer distance.

Build and Design

Vortex thought it wise to make the spitfire 3X functional by integrating more customizable features, and you will, therefore, find that the 1X has incorporated the illumination buttons while the 3X has the rotate dial, with up to 5 levels of brightness; the incorporated innovative feature are the green and red numbers and when set, the chosen color will be shown complete with the intensity.

There are also visible improvements on the lower part of the scope so for the 1X, you will get the mount riser to help you achieve a suitable height for your mission but for the 3X you have the base clamp designed to ensure that the recoil lugs have been firmly fitted on the base grooves. There is also the customizable mount riser, a mounting screw at the bottom, and the base clamp hex nuts on the sides.

The 1X is a simple scope with the most basic features, but the 3X is an advanced unit with additional features, for enhanced performance, so as regards design and build, the 3X takes the win because the lower part has incorporated additional features that enhances the stability of the unit when mounted.

Vortex Spitfire 3X vs 1x – A comparison overview

  • Vortex Spitfire1x overview

Vortex Optics Spitfire 1x Prism Scope - DRT Reticle (MOA)
  • The Spitfire Prism Scope has been built from the ground up to maximize the fast handling performance of...
  • The generous sight picture and forgiving eye box get you on target effortlessly in any scenario. Fully...
  • The dual ring tactical reticle is etched on the prism providing you with a visible point of aim whether...
  • With shockproof construction, the Spitfire withstands recoil and impact while nitrogen purging and o-ring...

Shooters have a special affiliation to the Spitfire 1X mainly because it is light in weight, which enables faster handling and quick performance of the rifles. Combining the best optical quality complete with a forgiving eyebox, the Spitfire 1X allows shooters to hit their target effortlessly regardless of the dynamic environment or the high-stress scenarios.

Illumination control is swift thanks to the easy to use buttons incorporated below the reticle focus, users can, therefore, adjust the intensity by either pressing the buttons up and down or by holding the button down to cycle through the adjustment ranges. The unit additionally offers up to 12 different levels of brightness with the last two designed for use with NV gadgets.


  • Has a good reticle
  • The mount is sturdy
  • Incorporated protective flip covers


  • Terrible optical distortion

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Vortex Spitfire 3X

Vortex Optics Spitfire 3x Prism Scope - EBR-556B Reticle (MOA)
  • The Spitfire 3x Prism Scope excels in close to medium range shooting applications where fast target...
  • Fully multi-coated lenses with anti-reflective coatings offer bright views even in low light conditions....
  • The reticle is etched directly on the prism ensuring shooters have an effective point of aim at all times...
  • A multi-height mount system allows for 30mm and 40mm mounting heights. Dual picatinny rails mounted on...

If you love to hunt while engaging both the close and long-range shooting then the Spitfire, 3X is your unit. The scope is quite long at 5.5 inches but that does not compromise its functionality given that the incorporated lenses are multicoated with the anti-reflective views perfect for use in the low light environments.

And for as much as the Vortex Spitfire 3X is bulky it does come with a customizable mount system, that allows users to achieve two mount systems at 30 and 40mm. Fog and water don’t stand a chance with the scope thanks to the o ring seals and the nitrogen purging feature. Spitfire is best suited for hunting, and out of the box, you will be furnished with a manual to help get you started.


  • Comes with a stable mount system
  • Offers up to five levels of brightness
  • The unit offers optional red or green illumination


  • The optics are not crisp

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If you are just starting and are still getting oriented with the various sights then the spitfire 1X will suffice as it is not hard to use and comes with up to 12 levels of brightness. The spitfire 3X is for the professionals and enthusiasts who love to engage both the long and the short ranges.

Final Verdict: So which is better between the Vortex Spitfire 3X or the Vortex Spitfire 1X?

The Vortex Spitfire 3X is the better unit because it offers the best optics for both the close and the long ranges, has incorporated a customizable and stable mount complete with up to five levels of brightness with the red and green illumination.


  1. What is the probable price range of the Vortex Spitfire 1X?

The probable price range either from the manufacturer or other retailers is between $250 to 350$

  1. How many hours can I get from the Vortex spitfire 3X on the lowest setting?

You will get about 3,000 hrs on the lowest setting.


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