Vortex Venom vs Viper: Which one to Choose? [2019 Comparison]

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Choosing suitable optics for your gun can be relatively confusing – particularly considering all the optics on the market that have been equipped with mini red dots. These mini red dots have become increasingly popular – especially when you look at the range of pistols and rifles that are going around on the market.

Thus, when comparing Venom vs Viper, which one should be your ultimate choice? For the price that they are sold at, which one provides the best features? They look relatively similar – so, are there any actual differences between the two of them?

Well, this review will show you the differences, as well as their similarities. You’ll see where they are on par – and where they aren’t.

Vortex Venom vs Vortex Viper – let’s see which one is the clear winner!

Comparison Table: Venom vs. Viper

Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight - 3 MOA Dot
Vortex Optics Viper Red Dot Sight - 6 MOA Dot
Vortex
Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight - 3 MOA Dot
Vortex Optics Viper Red Dot Sight - 6 MOA Dot
Battery Life
On Par (min 150 hours)
On Par (min 150 hours)
Durability
On Par (93%)
On Par (96%)
Auto Brightness
Waterproofing
Weight
1.6 oz
2.1 oz
Dimensions
6.5 x 5 x 2.6 inches
4.5 x 5.4 x 2.3 inches
Material Type
Aluminum
Aluminum
Coating
On Par (multi-coated)
On Par (multi-coated)
Rating
-
-
Reviews
-
-
Price
$229.00
$229.00
Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight - 3 MOA Dot
Vortex
Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight - 3 MOA Dot
Battery Life
On Par (min 150 hours)
Durability
On Par (93%)
Auto Brightness
Waterproofing
Weight
1.6 oz
Dimensions
6.5 x 5 x 2.6 inches
Material Type
Aluminum
Coating
On Par (multi-coated)
Rating
-
Reviews
-
Price
$229.00
Vortex Optics Viper Red Dot Sight - 6 MOA Dot
Vortex
Vortex Optics Viper Red Dot Sight - 6 MOA Dot
Battery Life
On Par (min 150 hours)
Durability
On Par (96%)
Auto Brightness
Waterproofing
Weight
2.1 oz
Dimensions
4.5 x 5.4 x 2.3 inches
Material Type
Aluminum
Coating
On Par (multi-coated)
Rating
-
Reviews
-
Price
$229.00

Last update on 2019-08-24 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Differences and Similarities at a Glance

Without going too deep into the Viper review or the one for Venom, here are their qualities – including similarities and differences – at a glance. At first, we see that the Venom red dot comes in a variety of designs – therefore, giving us more options to choose from.

It is also suitable for long guns in extreme weather situations, being perfect for “rainy days” or environment where it is exposed to fair amounts of shock. The performance level is quite similar, and they are both quite durable. They are so durable, that they are often also compared with the Vortex Razor red dot – which is just as efficient.

Their most notable differences stand in their size. Since the Venom scope is slightly larger than the Viper scope, it may not be as suitable for small guns – and is a better choice for the larger guns. If you are looking for a smaller one, you might want to go for the Viper instead.

In case you want more in-depth review of Venom red dot – we have made a dedicated review just for this scope. You can check it our here.

Cost and Value of the Scope

The price of both units will depend on the demand and supply of the scope. At the time of writing this article, a new Vortex Viper might cost anything from $229.99. At first, the Venom was the more expensive option – but as the demand increased on the Viper, the prices became quite similar.

Granted, depending on the seller, you might still find a Viper at a lower price – but the difference is generally no bigger than $50. Considering that both units can be bought for less than $250, it’s an affordable investment that is suitable for buyers on a budget.

Considering that both the Venom and the Viper have relatively the same build quality, controls, and battery life, one would say that the Viper is a more convenient option. However, that will depend on your personal preferences. 

The Durability of the Scope

When it comes to their durability, both scopes pass with flying colors. There’s only a slight difference that makes the Viper better – but it is so small that it is barely even noticeable.

To put it into numbers, one could say that the Venom red dot has 93% durability, whereas the Viper has 96%. Considering that the maintenance also plays a great role here, their durability is pretty much on par.

Quality of the Scope

Considering that the Venom 3 MOA, as well as the Vortex Venom 6 MOA, are made from an aluminum built, their quality is relatively high. It’s sturdy, which increases the quality, as well as the durability of the unit. Plus, the fact that the unit features a waterproof coating further increases its quality.

Compared to the Venom, while the Viper does have an aluminum case as well, it does not have the same waterproof coating. Therefore, while it may be fairly water resistant, it won’t last as long in wet situations as the Venom does. In this respect, the Venom has a slightly higher quality.

Both units last for a fairly long time in terms of batteries – and when it comes to visibility, they are also on par. Therefore, while one may say that the Venom is of a higher quality, there is not that much of a difference between the two. So, comparing the two, their quality is not that different.

We also have a Best Red Dot Scope article if you want to check for more options.

Practical Application

The purpose of the Venom was to be used on a variety of guns. Since you can choose more than one reticle, you can easily improve your precision shooting with a rifle.

Ideally, if you are using pistols, you might want to go for larger dot sizes as the preferred application. Since the Venom can fulfill multiple roles, it has a great practical application – and therefore, may be mounted on different types of pistols easily.

The Vortex Viper, on the other hand, is more suitable for smaller weapons such as handguns. It is smaller in size, mostly practical for pistol slides that have mini red dot sights. While it may be used for rifles as well, it is not its intended application – and you might want to opt for pistol application instead.

Versatility and Usage of the Scope

When it comes to versatility, the Venom has a great variety of reticle options. For instance, when you install it on a rifle, you may use the small dot for precision shots. On the other hand, if you need the Vortex red dot sight to act as a backup to the scope, you may easily switch to the large dot.

On the other hand, the Viper red dot only has a large dot – which is why it has more precise shots when used on smaller weapons.

Furthermore, the very clear glass will please everyone that is intending to use both scopes. No matter if you are going close range or long range, both units can offer great visibility. However, the Venom has more dots – making it a more versatile choice.

Feature Comparison

While both units have relatively similar features, there are still some slight differences and facts that you might want to know. When deciding between the Vortex Viper red dot and the Vortex Venom 3 MOA (or even Vortex Venom 6 MOA), here are some features compared that might help you decide:

1. Battery

The battery is likely the most decisive factor when comparing any Vortex Optic scope. Both the Venom and the Viper use CR1632 batteries to power – and both of them have auto shut-off feature after 14 hours. The battery life is also on par, both units lasting for as long as 150 hours when they are at the highest setting – and as long as 30,000 hours when they are set at the lowest. It is the same as when you are comparing Vortex Venom vs Razor.

The only difference between the batteries of the Vortex red dots lies in the actual placement of the batteries. For instance, the battery placement of the Venom is at the top of the scope – meaning that you will not be required to unmount and re-zero the unit’s red dot whenever you want to change the batteries.

The only Venom problems that were brought up were the fact that the battery cover has a poor design and that it’s quite difficult to close it when you place the batteries in.

Different from the Vortex Venom, the battery of the Viper is placed at the base of the scope – which means that you’ll not only have to unmount but also re-zero the red dot each time you need a battery chase. You might not have to deal with difficult to close covers here, but you’ll certainly have to waste a lot of time changing batteries. 

2. Dot, Lens, and Glass Coating

The glass of the lens, as well as the coating, is very much the same when it comes to the optics. The differences lie in the dot – and whether you need to make a choice between 3 MOA vs 6 MOA or not. MOA will depend on the range that you are supposed to shoot.

For instance, while the Venom allows you to choose between a 3 MOA dot and a 6 MOA dot, the Viper only permits for the 6 MOA option. This makes the Venom a more versatile choice – because it is suitable for both pistols and long guns. Therefore, if you are looking for a good red dot sight for Glock only, then the Viper should be your first choice.

3. Mounting Height

Both of these units are very popular for the fact that they can be mounted very low. Vortex Venom mount height is only 1.3 higher than the Viper – meaning that there will not be many discrepancies between the barrel and your line of sight.

Therefore, both units can be mounted low enough for many users – and both the Viper and Venom height will give you a perfect line of sight. However, bear in mind that for AR platforms, you will require riser mounts for both red dot scopes.

4. Size and Weight

When it comes to size and weight, both units are very similar. Without the mount, both of them have the same weight: 1.1 oz. The slight differences are only noticed when you add the mount – with the Venom weighing 1.6 oz and the Viper weighing 2.1 oz. None of the Vortex pistol scopes are very heavy – but the Venom is still the more lightweight option.

As for the size:

  • Venom measures at 6.5 x 5 x 2.6 inches.
  • Viper is at a 4.5 x 5.4 x 2.3 inches.

So, what is the difference in size between the Vortex Venom vs Viper? Not that big, to be honest. The Viper viewing window is slightly smaller, but wider, whereas for the Venom it’s slightly bigger, but narrower. Both of them provide very good visibility. 

5. Windage and Elevation Adjustment

Both of these scopes have 1 MOA per click. The maximum internal elevation adjustment for the Venom is 120 MOA which is also the same for Viper. For the Venom, windage and elevation adjustment can be done rather swiftly, without wasting any time on the field.

However, things change for the Viper. For it to be adjusted, you will first have to loosen two of the locking screws that are positioned at the rear of the scope. Because of the design of the unit, you might also have to remove the rear sight to adjust the windage and elevation. For many of those that left a review, this is actually quite a troublesome process.

The Popular Opinion of the Scope

Most people are quite impressed by both scopes, appreciating the fact that they are very lightweight and durable for the price that they paid. However, while most people love the Venom, they are not impressed with the poorly designed battery cover.

The same complaints arise with the Viper – only in this case, there is no battery cover. You have to unmount and re-zero everything – a process that can be rather troublesome.

Other than that, they are fairly happy with the product – and are appreciative of the fact that the Vortex reflex is still up to par, like the Vortex Razor.

Last update on 2019-08-24 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Our Verdict: Which One Is the Best?

Both the Vortex Viper and the Vortex Venom are lightweight and compact, making them a good choice for those who do not like to carry a lot of weight on them. Technically speaking, the Vortex Venom is of a slightly higher quality than Viper – but if you want a lower mount or just want to save a few dollars, the Viper works just as well.

For a more “visual” review, you might want to check out the YouTube comparison below.

Vortex Venom vs Vortex Viper

About Author

I get excited about efficient gear that fulfills multiple roles, and I’ve taken my love of hunting, military equipment, and survival tactics to create RLG. There was so much I didn’t know when I got started, and my goal with this site is to pose you for the very best hunt, the best fishing trips, and teach you how to discern good gear from bottom barrel junk. Together, we’re going to gear up and get ready for anything the world throws our way.