Vortex uh 1 gen 1 vs gen 2- which is the best Holographic Sight?


The idea behind using the holographic sights is to achieve precision shooting thanks to the incorporated magnifier. A holographic optic with the best magnification and a larger field of view makes your target appear a lot bigger than it actually is.

A logical question that might be lingering in your mind is why should you use the holographic sight yet it retails at a steeper price when compared to the red dots. Sights perform almost the same function, so many people normally look for precision and less weight, and when compared to other units, red dots are much more versatile and can even be mounted on a hand gun.

The above is what makes the sights distinct; the holographic sights, therefore, can only be mounted on rifles. What’s more is that it becomes much easier to get an accurate shot when using the holographic sights as compared to the red dots. With that in mind both UH1 GEN 1 and GEN 2 are products of the same company, however, they are a bit different in terms of features and functionality, join us as we explore.

What are the differences between Vortex UH GEN 1 vs GEN 2?

Vortex UH GEN 1
Vortex UH GEN 2
Dot Size
Travel Per Rotation
16.5 MOA
Not Available
3.6 inches
3.9 inches
11.8 oz
11.0 oz
Mount type
Night vision
Not compatible
Micro USB Port
1 micro USB port
Not available

Vortex UH GEN 1 and GEN 2- How do they compare?

  • Build and Design

The Vortex gen 1 features a traditional design when compared to gen 2, which has greatly improved on the aesthetics. The gen 2 holographic sight is a bit compact, and on the back, it has incorporated an additional button, a feature that is significantly missing in gen 1; the purpose of this extra feature is to enhance the illumination settings suitable for night vision.

The above, therefore, means that Vortex gen 1 is not suitable for night vision, you will also notice that the rear window of the gen 2 is bigger when compared to gen 1, and this helps to increase the field of view. Another major improvement on gen 2 is the battery cap that has incorporated a tool-less design which makes switching the batteries a breeze, for gen 1 you will have to find a screw driver, which is hectic when you are in the field.

Gen 1, on the other hand, has incorporated an enviable feature “the micro USB port” used to charge a rechargeable battery, which then powers the holographic sight. Gen 2 is therefore, the better holographic because it has improved the size of the rear window, which then improves the field of view and has incorporated an additional button necessary for the intensity settings of a night vision equipment.

  • Optical Performance

The Vortex gen 1 holographic unit boasts a single fused holographic element that has been permanently fixed to ensure it delivers a sharp image, users can, therefore, expect zero distortion and fade. And even though it lacks the night vision feature, the unit has eliminated the invisible stray light emissions and you can, therefore, expect it to maintain a stealth profile even in the low light situation.

The gen 2 on the other hand, is quite functional in that you get a clear and bright optical view even without using the full brightness settings incorporated in the unit. The holographic remains unbothered even when used under the full glare of the sun and will therefore provide you with a crisp vision; hiccups will however, be experienced during transitioning from one target to another, because of the slow refresh rate.

When it comes to optical performance the Vortex gen 1 takes the win because it works great under a low light profile, and during transitioning from one target to another, the refresh rate remains crisp.

  • Size and Weight

At 11.9 inches the Vortex gen 2 is a bit bulkier when compared to gen 1 which comes in at 11.6 inches single piece tube necessary for better accuracy and improved visual performance. On the flip side the Gen 2 weighs less at 11.0oz making operability a breeze as you can easily shift from one target to another, Gen 1 is a bit heavier with up to 11.8 ounces meaning that it will add extra weight on whichever device that you mount it on, so transitioning will not be as fast.

The Vortex gen 2 is therefore, the better unit because even after incorporating a longer tube it has still managed to retain less weight which many users like and would appreciate any sight that offers the best optical performance and is a few pounds lighter.

Vortex UH 1 GEN 1 vs. GEN 2 – A comparison overview

Vortex UH 1, GEN 1

The Gen 1 was Vortex’s first holographic sight that was developed to offer improved performance in terms of precision shooting, is a welcome improvement from the red dots, not to mean that the red dots are any less effective only that if you want to achieve precision thanks to the zero distortion capability then the gen 1 holographic should suffice.

The outer casing has been made of a durable aluminum housing, with the operational features conveniently equipped on the sides. The flash adjustments for elevation and windage have been incorporated on the sides, including the quick-release mount on the opposite side for ease during mounting. To get the unit up and working is a CR123A battery that offers efficient illumination; with up to 1700hrs of battery life in the middle setting, which is actually high given that you are powering a laser.


  • Offers crips clear opticals
  • Incorporates a micro USB port for battery charging
  • Offers longer battery life (15 to 1700hrs)


  • Incorporates a small rear screen

View Price Here

Vortex UH 1, GEN 11

Boasting improved physical features the Vortex gen 2 offers improved performance when compared to its predecessor the Vortex gen 1 and you will therefore be able to use it with the night vision equipment. Alternating between night vision and day mode has been facilitated by the additional button incorporated at the back of the unit.

Additionally, you get an enhanced rear window with an improved field of view when compared to gen 1. The battery used on both units is the same, however; getting access to the battery in the gen 2 has been simplified and you can access the compartment without tools.


  • Comes with the best optics
  • Works best with both eyes open
  • The field of view is enhanced


  • Does not have a micro USB port

View Price Here


As it turns out the Vortex UH 1 gen 1 and gen 2 have more similarities than differences. Both units work great but if you are looking for a holographic with an enhanced field of view then the gen 2 is the perfect option.

Final Verdict; So, which is better the Vortex UH 1 Gen 1 or the Vortex UH 1 Gen 2

Both the Vortex gen 1 and gen 2 are great holographic sights given their magnification feature, and with all features considered, we must say that gen 1 is the better unit because it offers great optics even when transitioning from one target to another. So while gen 2 has incorporated a larger rear window it does compromise on vision during transitioning as the refresh rate is quite slow.


  1. What is new in the Vortex gen 11 optics?

The unit is night vision compatible complete with 4NV settings and a dedicated NV button.

  1. Is the Vortex gen 1 still in production?

The Vortex gen 1 hasn’t been discontinued.


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