Hey shooters! Welcome to my Vortex Venom vs Viper review 2022.
Being a shooter today and not using a red dot is impossible. You want the faster target acquisition that these dots give. But with so many options, you are spoilt for choice. I am here to solve your problem.
In this article, I will review the two popular red dots sights: Vortex Venom vs. Vortex Viper.
Both the sights are from Vortex, so there are quite similar. But I will mention all the things that make them different and also tell you if one is better than the other or if I have a preference or not.
The main difference between the Vortex Venom and the Viper is that the Venom is offered in two dot sizes while the Viper comes only in one.
I have hand-tested every red dot optic I review. This Venom vs. Viper review has my personal experience added with days of research by my dedicated team.
So, let’s start.
What To Expect?
You can expect the following features analyzed in the Vortex Venom vs. Viper red dot review below.
- Battery life
- Battery-related features
- Dot size
- Brightness settings
- Night Vision compatibility
- Size comparison
- Glass design
- Brightness controls
- Windage and elevation settings
Viper vs Venom: Specifications
Vortex Venom vs Viper: Features
1. Battery Life
Both the Vortex Venom and Viper have similar battery life. They run for 150 hours on the highest and 30,000 hours on the lowest settings. Now most shooters keep their brightness intensity to mid-settings; not too low, not too bright.
So, if we take an average, we have almost 15,000 hours of battery life at mid-setting. This run time is less than the other optics with 50,000 hours of battery life, such as Holosun 507c.
One reason you can give for that is the Shake Awake feature missing in both the Venom and Viper. The Shake Awake turns the optic off when it’s still, saving the battery and giving such incredible battery life.
However, Venom and Viper have auto-off features that turn the red dot off after 14 hours. It is different from Shake Awake for two reasons: it takes a long time to shut off while Shake Awake turns the dot off in a few minutes. Secondly, it doesn’t turn on when you touch it; you need to press the button to turn it on.
The Vortex Venom and Viper are on par in this category. Both have an average of 15000 hours of run time at a mid-setting. So, no winner here.
2. Battery-Related Features
Along with good battery life, other features can make or break the deal for you. The two features we will compare of the Vortex Venom and Viper are the placement of the battery compartment and the battery these optics use.
Top-loading Battery Compartment
So, the Vortex Venom and Viper have similar battery life and an auto-off feature. But one difference between the two is the placement of the battery compartment.
It’s not some simple design difference; it’s actually about convenience.
The Vortex Venom has a top-loading battery compartment. What this does for you is that it allows you to change the batteries on your optic without removing it from your gun. It saves you from all the hassle of removing the optic, reinstalling it, and most importantly, re-zeroing it.
With the top-loading battery compartment, you can be sure that your dot is zeroed and doesn’t need any readjustments.
The Vortex Viper, on the other hand, has its battery compartment underneath the optic. So, you must remove the optic, reattach, and re-zero it to change the battery.
I like the top-loading battery compartment; it makes changing batteries convenient. Imagine you are out on the range for a fun shooting day, and your battery dies. An optic with a top-loading battery compartment will allow you to change batteries in a few minutes, while an optic like the Vortex Viper will take most of your time and might ruin your day.
Vortex Venom is a newer and upgraded model than the Viper, so Vortex has kept user convenience in mind while making it.
CR 1632 vs. CR 2032
The Vortex Venom and the Viper comes with the battery included, but unfortunately, they are not the same. The Vortex Venom uses the CR1632 battery while the Viper uses CR2032. So, you cannot use these batteries interchangeably if you own both.
Also, the CR1632 batteries of the Venom are less common and hence harder to find than the Viper’s CR2032 battery.
So, the easy availability of the Viper’s battery makes it better than the Venom.
Winner: Vortex Venom
The Vortex Venom walks away as the winner in this category because the top-loading battery compartment is what most shooters love.
3. Dot Size
One dot size is not better than the other. The red dot size you choose depends on your preference as a shooter and what you will use your red dot for?
One of the main differences between the Vortex Venom and Viper is that the Venom comes in 3 Moa and 6 Moa dot while the Viper only comes in 6 Moa dot.
3 Moa vs 6 Moa
The Vortex Viper red dot offers only one dot option, i.e., 6 Moa. when you place a bigger 6 Moa dot on the target, it will cover more of it. So, a 6 Moa dot is more suitable for a bigger, up close target than a smaller target at a large distance.
A 6 Moa red dot is more suitable for defense situations where the target is big and up close, and you don’t need too much accuracy but speed for hitting it.
You know that we use a handgun for up close targets. So, this makes the Vortex Viper more suitable for a handgun than a rifle. Also, the smaller dimensions of the Viper aid the purpose.
Contrary to this, the Vortex Venom comes in both 3 and 6 Moa. Unlike the 6 Moa, the 3 Moa dot covers a lesser area on the target, making it better for smaller, far away targets. So, a 3 Moa dot gives you the accuracy you need for hitting a target at a distance.
We know rifles are more suitable for hitting targets at a larger distance. So, a 3 Moa dot is more suitable on a rifle than a handgun.
So, with the Vortex Viper, you only get the bigger 6 Moa dot, which is more suitable for handguns. On the other hand, the Vortex Venom doesn’t restrict you to one use. You can buy two different models; one for handguns and the other for rifles. Or you can buy both for different platforms.
Winner: Vortex Venom
The Vortex Venom is the clear winner in this category because it gives the user a choice between 3 vs 6 Moa dot size, while the Viper only comes with a bigger 6 Moa dot.
4. Brightness Settings
The Vortex Venom and Viper have 10 brightness adjustment settings giving you different brightness levels you choose for various lighting situations. This feature allows you to use your optic at different times of the day.
Venom Has Auto-brightness Adjustment
One feature that Venom has is the auto-brightness adjustment. You can adjust the brightness manually and also put it on auto-adjustment.
As I have mentioned, Venom is the upgraded model, which includes more user-friendly features. The auto-brightness will set the dot brightness according to the ambient light it detects.
It’s great to have both manual and auto-adjustment options because users can choose according to their preferences.
Winner: Vortex Venom
Both the Venom and Viper have 10 brightness adjustments, but the Venom is the winner in this category because it has the auto-brightness feature that the Viper doesn’t have.
5. Night Vision Compatibility
There are a lot of red dot optics in the market that have night vision compatible brightness settings. One such optic would be the 507c.
Unfortunately, the Vortex Venom and Viper do not have night vision settings. But, if you put the Viper in its lower intensity settings and use the night vision goggles, you can use the dot with night vision.
However, the dot on the Venom is too bright for use under night vision, even at the lowest setting.
Winner: Vortex Viper
The Vortex Viper red dot is the winner in this category because it can be used under night vision when put on the lowest setting.
6. Size Comparison
When we compare the size of the two optics, the Viper is smaller and sits a few inches lower than the Venom.
This lower profile of the Viper has two benefits. Firstly, when an optic sits lower on the gun, it allows you to get on the target quickly. The Viper sits lower than the Venom, so it gets you to the target faster than the Venom.
The second benefit of sitting lower is that it easier to co-witness with them.
Winner: Vortex Viper
The winner in this category is the Viper which sits lower than the Venom and allows you to reach the target faster.
7. Glass Design
The Vortex Venom and Viper are open reflex sights. The advantage that an open reflex sight gives over an enclosed tube is a wider field of view.
Here the Venom and Viper has different glass design. The Venom has expanded corners that provide a wider field of view. A wider field of view gives a better sight picture and hence more situational awareness.
Some shooters might think it’s not a big deal because shooting requires you to focus on the target more. But I like the wide field of view the Venom gives, and it’s a plus.
Winner: Vortex Venom
The winner in this category is the Vortex Venom because it gives a wider field of view.
8. Brightness Controls
The brightness controls can make or break the deal for some people. You want them to be according to your convenience. So, this is an important consideration.
Venom Has Low Profile Controls
The brightness controls on the Vortex Venom are low profile compared to the Viper, which has controls that stick out. What happens when you have controls that protrude is that they are easy to get bumped accidentally and eventually damage the controls and overall quality of the optic. But, with low-profile controls like Venom, the chances of bumping the controls are less.
Venom Has More Tactile Controls
The brightness controls on the Venom are also more tactile than on the Viper. When you get a nice click changing the brightness, it’s easier to adjust the brightness. You can change settings without looking at it, which can happen in a defensive situation or the dark or when you try to adjust the brightness through your clothing in a concealed carry scenario. In all these dramatic situations, you will realize the importance of having more tactile clicks.
Winner: Vortex Venom
The clear winner in this category is the Vortex Venom because it has low profile brightness controls which are also more tactile than the Vortex Viper.
9. Windage And Elevation Adjustments
The Vortex Venom and Viper have windage and elevation settings that give 1 Moa adjustment. But, on Viper, you can lock the adjustments with the two locking screws.
Locking the adjustments saves you from accidental changes in adjustments. This feature is missing on Venom.
However, you can’t use the locks if you put rear sights with the Vortex Viper.
Winner: Vortex Viper
The Vortex Viper is the winner in this category because you can lock your windage/elevation adjustments. Although you lose this feature if you decide to put rear sights for co-witnessing, having an option still makes the Viper better.
The Viper and Venom are Vortex products with similar durability.
Firstly, they have Aircraft-grade Aluminum housing that gives it a solid build.
Also, the lens on both the optics is multi-coated, which increases light transmission. Moreover, both are waterproof and shockproof.
With all this, both the optics are backed by the legendary VIP warranty of the Vortex. Under the VIP warranty, Vortex will cover any damage to the optic and repair or replace it for you.
This category has no winner because both optics have similar features for durability and toughness.
Price is an important consideration for any buyer; you want to be sure that your product is worth the price you pay. Both Venom and Viper have a similar price. Of course, you can have either one for a lower price than the other, depending on where you buy it from.
There is no winner in the price category because they both have a similar price.
Vortex Venom and Viper have similar durable construction and a similar price tag.
One of the main differences between the two optics is that the Venom comes in two dot sizes while the Viper offers only a 6 Moa dot.
Another important difference is that the Venom has a top-loading battery compartment while the Viper has its battery compartment underneath.
Both have similar battery life, i.e., 30,000 hours at the lowest settings, but they use different battery types. The Venom uses CR1632, which is less common than the CR2032 the Viper uses.
Both the optics have 10 brightness manual settings. But Venom also has the auto-brightness mode, which is missing in Viper.
Both the optics do not have night vision compatibility, but you can use the Viper at its lowest setting for night vision. However, the Venom is too bright even at its dimmest setting to be used for night vision.
The brightness controls on the Venom are low profile and more tactile than the controls on the viper. But, with Viper, you can lock the windage/elevation adjustments, which you can’t do with the Venom.
Lastly, the Viper sits lower than the Venom giving faster target acquisition, and the Venom gives a wider field of view than the Viper due to its expanded corners.
Life is all about making choices. Although both red dots are good quality and perform well, we have to walk away with a winner.
Both the optics come with a similar price tag and offers the same durability. I would choose the Vortex Venom as the overall winner because it has features like the top-battery compartment, 2 dot options, auto-brightness mode, and a wider field of view.
What Would I Pick?
I would pick the Vortex Venom over the Viper because I like the convenient battery change with the top-loading battery compartment with similar durability and price tag.
Not having night vision is not a problem because I don’t use it, and I like the wider field of view.
Yes, the Viper sits lower and allows you to reach the target faster, but Venom is also fast.
However, by choosing the Vortex Venom, I’m not dissing the Viper. If you are someone who wants a lower profile, you can go for Vortex Viper.
Which is better, the Vortex Venom or Viper?
The Vortex Venom and Viper are similar in their durability and price. But, the Venom has a top-loading battery compartment which is missing in the Viper and comes with 2 different dot sizes. The Viper, however, sits lower on the gun and allows you to get on the target faster than the Venom. So, your shooting preference will decide which one is better for you.
Does Vortex Venom have Shake Awake?
No, the Vortex Venom doesn’t have the Shake Awake. However, it does have the auto-off feature, which turns off the optic after 14 hours. It is different from Shake Awake because Shake Awake turns off the optic after a few minutes of non-movement and turns it on as soon as it senses any movement. With the Vortex Venom, you must press the button to turn it on.
Can you use a Vortex Viper on a shotgun?
Yes. The Vortex Viper has a bigger 6 Moa dot, perfect for shotguns.
Is the Vortex Viper good?
The Vortex Viper has a durable construction; it has an Aircraft-grade Aluminum housing and a multi-coated lens. It’s waterproof and shockproof. Also, it has 30,000 hours of battery life at the lowest settings, so you could expect 15000 hours of runtime on mid-setting. And all this is backed up by the VIP warranty from Vortex.