Red dot sights are a perfect target acquisition solution for many applications, but specifically for hard recoil weapons where you don’t want the scope to slam into your eye and for combat or fast acquisition solutions where you don’t have time to scope for a shot. Electronic red dots have been around since 1975 when Aimpoint introduced the first one to the market. Since then, these sights have improved in design, power and affordability. In this review, I present a comparison between two very similar products; the Vortex Crossfire and the Sig Sauer Romeo 5.
A comparison between Sig Sauer Romeo 4 vs Romeo 5
|Sig Sauer Romeo 5||40,000 hours||2 MOA Dot / 65 MOA Circle||5.1 Ounces|
|Vortex Crossfire||7,000 hours||2 MOA Dot||5.2 Ounces|
Sig Sauer Romeo 5
The first thing I noticed with Romeo 5 was its compact rugged design that makes it an excellent solution for budget red dots for fast acquisition and combat-ready situations. This small lightweight sight comes with their standard MOTAC™ (Motion Activated Illumination). The MOTAC is the Sig system that turns the power off when the weapon or sight has been immobile for 10 minutes, it reactivates when sensing movement.
The Romeo 5 comes with a reticle selector and offers two options; a 2 MOA Dot and a 65 MOA Circle option. The CR2032 cell provides power for up to 40,000 hours due to the MOTAC and allows you to select between 10 brightness levels, which includes 8 for daytime and 2 for night vision. Another feature for power saving, but also for operational performance is the automated illumination control, where the system changes the brightness based on the ambient light of the environment. You can always turn this off and go manual if you prefer, but I have always found the automatic option to be the best solution.
This sight is a standard 1x parallax-free optic, and the red dot can be accompanied by a 65 MOA circle that gives you just a bit more control over target acquisition.
The Romeo 5 chassis is a solid anodized aluminium black body with an M1913 Picatinny low mount riser and a 1.41” co-witness riser too. The body is designed to be waterproof and is IPX7 rated. You can drag this sight through water down to 10ft and still get an excellent result. The internal tube has been nitrogen purged, so the device is completely fog proof too.
To sum up the Romeo 5; it’s a compact, simple to use combat-ready red dot sight. It is easy to assemble onto the weapon, easy to operate and provides great performance for most weapons and especially perfect for home defence.
The Vortex Crossfire Red Dot is similar to the Romeo 5 in both design and performance but falls in the power life sector. This is another affordable red dot sight and is a great home protection device and fast target acquisition solution for range and competitions.
The Vortex brightness control is on the right of the body, and unlike the Romeo 5, the Vortex doesn’t come with push-button brightness adjustments. The Vortex comes with a rotary dial where I selected the brightness dialling 9.5, 8.5, 7.5 etc., and it comes with an off switch. This sight provides 11 brightness levels.
This sight comes with an acceptable parallax error when factoring in the price, and the body is designed to allow for fast cheek free sighting to assure you don’t get hit in the face.
The mount is a skeletonized version, although this did not make it lighter than the Romeo 5 and the red dot doesn’t come with an additional reticle. The elevation and windage adjustments come with a 100 MOA max, and the graduation is per 1 MOA click.
The Vortex is easy to mount, and easy to deploy, and is another fine solution for home defence and for range and competition shooting. It is not rugged enough to be considered a combat-ready device. This model does not come with a motion detection system, and the battery life will only reach 7,000 hours, this mainly due to the absence of a motion detection activator, and according to Vortex the battery will last up to 50,000 hours when set on middle brightness levels, you just need to remember to turn it on and off all the time.
Let me start off by stating that both of these models are excellent solution providers coming in at a similar price, making them budget-friendly options for excellent home protection. When it comes to combat use, both of these are not the device you want since they are too simple for true combat-ready situations. With this in mind, these are perfect inexpensive range and competition solution providers and are perfect also for beginners that want to take their first step into the world of target acquisition.
In terms of physical properties, the Vortex and the Romeo 5 are both 2.5” long. The Vortex has a 21mm objective lens compared to the 25mm Romeo 5 objective lens.
Both devices provide excellent battery life, the Romeo 5 does have the advantage of the MOTAC and is more rugged and combat-ready than the Vortex. With this in mind, remember that the MOTAC and “always-on” functionality is not really that important for range and hunting requirements. What really counts is accuracy of the optics and performance under stressful conditions. Both these sights provide good functionality and as such, meet the brief for the budget range they are constrained within.
The bottom line is that the Romeo 5 offers more in four areas; the reticle option, the automated brightness the MOTAC, and its combat readiness. As such, the Romeo 5 is my preferred sight when comparing between the two and factoring in the price where the Romeo 5 is actually less expensive than the Vortex.