Vortex Diamondback vs Crossfire Rifle Scopes: Head-to-Head Comparison

I am a huge fan of Vortex Optical Scopes.  Lots of questions come my way about what scope I use and why.  Almost without fail, the answer is a Vortex Optical scope.  I may be a bit biased, but I believe that for the money, you can’t put a better piece of glass on a rifle.

Diamondback vs. Crossfire

Choosing which Vortex scope to put on a rifle can be a confusing situation.  There are several variables to consider

  • What caliber is the rifle?
  • How will the rifle be used?
  • Is the shooter technically competent?
  • What is the budget?

With this kind of information, a much better choice of scope and rifle combination is possible. In the case of choosing a Vortex scope, my suggestions usually comes from the Vortex Optical middle of the price range rifle scopes.   These two lines of Vortex rifle scopes, the Vortex Diamondback vs Crossfire feature similar price ranges and features.

Since both the Crossfire II scopes and the Diamondback scopes have multiple options in the lineup, to make sure that we are comparing apples to apples, I have chosen a single riflescope from each line with similar characteristics.

Here are the picks:

RIFLE SCOPES DETAILS
Vortex Crossfire II Rifle Scopes
  • Long eye-relief is a blessing and makes this scope a joy in the field
  • Holds zero and the reticle is clear and sharp even as extreme magnification
  • Dead-Hold BDS reticle
Check Price on
Amazon.com
Vortex SPARC AR
  • Clear sight picture even at extreme magnifications
  • Easy adjustments with turrets that have positive and assertive clicks
  • Sight the scope at 100 yards and the hash marks make elevation changes easy and quick
Check Price on
Amazon.com

Vortex Crossfire II Rifle Scopes – 4-12x 44 Review

Vortex Crossfire II Rifle Scopes – 4-12x 44

The Cortex Optical Crossfire II riflescopes are probably the most popular and best-selling of the entire Vortex Optical line of scopes.  The Crossfire II series of scopes get categorized as entry-level scopes designed for hunting and general use.  The features list reflects this focus, which makes the Crossfire II scopes so popular. 

The Vortex Optical Crossfire II 4-12x 44 scope falls in the middle of the Crossfire pack as far as the range of magnification and the width of the field of view.  For most hunting rifles calibers, the Crossfire II 4-1x 44 scope is a good choice for a reliable rifle scope.

For me, the standout feature on the Crossfire II line of riflescopes from Vortex Optical is the long eye relief.  The long eye relief not only makes mounting the scope on many rifles much easier, but it is also much more comfortable to shoot for most people.  But, the long eye relief is not the only feature that makes the Vortex Optical Crossfire II an outstanding buy.

Features and Specifications

  • Magnification – 4 – 12X
  • Objective Lens Diameter – 44mm
  • Eye Relief – 3.9 inches
  • Field of View at 100 yards – 24.7 – 8.4ft
  • Tube size – 1 inch
  • Turret Style – Capped
  • Adjustment Graduations – ¼ MOA
  • Travel per Rotation – 15 MOA
  • Max elevation adjustment – 50 MOA
  • Max Windage Adjustment – 50 MOA
  • Parallax Setting – 100 yards
  • Overall Length – 13.15 inches
  • Weight – 17.2 inches

The Crossfire II scopes all include the Vortex Optical proprietary multi-coated lenses that increase light transmission.  Multiple anti-reflective and anti-glare coatings on all glass surfaces that encounter the air are standard.

Vortex Optical has a reputation for building touch and durable rifle optics that can go to the extremes in outdoor use.  On the Crossfire II model line, this includes

  • 1-inch diameter single piece tubes made of aircraft-grade aluminum
  • Waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof constructions to endure the rigors of hunting.
  • Anodized finish for a hard, long-lasting surface to withstand the kinds of punishment that some hunts require
  • Second focal plane reticle
  • Capped recessed turrets that protect the scope and no-tool re-indexing when in the field

One last feature of the Crossfire II scopes that I like is the Dead-Hold BDS reticle.  The hash marks on the Dead-hold BDS reticle are measured in MOA and provide a quick and accurate method of judging holdover and windage corrections without a lot of guesswork. 

The Crossfire II – 4-12X 44 Out of the Box

In the box, when you purchase the Crossfire II 4-12X 44 riflescopes, you will get the following.

  • The scope
  • Removable Lens Covers
  • Lens Cloth
  • A lifetime warranty

What is missing are the scope rings to mount the Crossfire II on your favorite gun.  There are so many options on the market that it is almost impossible to make a recommendation.  My suggestion is to talk to the gunsmith who you choose to mount the scope.  If you intend to do the mounting yourself, do some research.  Remember, no matter the quality of the scope, if the rings don’t hold it securely, you will never get the scope to hold zero over time.

What Others Say About the Vortex Optical Crossfire II Scopes

Pros

  • The long eye-relief is a blessing and makes this scope a joy in the field
  • One of the best scopes I have ever used out to 300 yards. 
  • Holds zero and the reticle is clear and sharp even as extreme magnification
  • For the money, this is one of the best scopes I have ever used
  • The only thing better than this scope is the quality of service I got from Vortex when I damaged the scope accidentally.

Cons

  • At extreme magnification and very low light levels, the images can get fuzzy
  • The turrets can be hard to adjust if you are wearing heavy gloves

Last update on 2020-09-25 at 07:32 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Vortex Optical – Diamondback 4-12X 40 Review

Vortex Optical – Diamondback 4-12X 40

The Diamondback series of scopes from Vortex Optical represent a step-up from the Crossfire series of rifle scopes.  However, many would dispute this categorization based on features available on the Crossfire platform versus those on the Diamondback scopes.

Like the rest of the Vortex Optical rifle scope lineup, the Crossfire II 4-12×44 scope gets above-average ratings and positive comments from users and reviewers alike.  It all boils down to preferences.  In many ways and features, the two scopes are nearly identical, with a few notable exceptions.

The most mentioned difference between the Diamondback scopes and the Crossfire II scopes is the eye relief.  The Diamondback scopes have a much shorter eye relief than the Crossfire II scopes.  This one difference pushes many users to the Crossfire II scopes instead of the Diamondback scopes.

Of course, the Diamondback series of scopes has the list of expected features and specifications on Vortex Optical rifle scopes.

Features and Specifications

  • Magnification – 4 – 12X
  • Objective lens diameter – 40mm
  • Eye relief – 3.1 inches
  • Field of view at 100 yards – 32.4 – 11.3 feet
  • Tube Size – 1 inch
  • Turret Style – Capped
  • Adjustment graduations – ¼ MOA
  • Travel per rotation – 15 MOA
  • Max elevation adjustment – 60 MOA
  • Max windage adjustment – 60 MOA
  • Parallax Setting – 100 yards
  • Overall length – 12 inches
  • Weight – 14.6 ounces

The entire line of Diamondback scopes from Vortex Optical receive the Vortex proprietary combination of lens coatings to make sure that the clarity and life of your rifle scope remain high.  All glass-to-air surfaces receive the Vortex multiple anti-reflective and anti-glare coatings.

Vortex doesn’t drop the ball on their attention to detail in the construction and quality control of the Diamondback line of scopes.  The Diamondback line is all made from aircraft-grade aluminum, one-piece tubes that are one inch in diameter.  Each tube is fitted with O-rings and is argon gas purged to ensure waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof operation.

Internally, the Diamondback line of rifles scopes come outfitted with the Vortex Optical Precision-Glide erector system.  The erector system ensures that the zoom system works effortlessly and smoothly through the entire range of magnification.

The outside of the tubes gets a hard-anodized finish that is rugged and durable.  These construction features make these scopes at home anywhere and in any conditions.

What You Get in the Box with the Diamondback 4-12X40 Scope

  • One Vortex Diamondback scope
  • Removable Lens Covers
  • Lens cloth
  • Vortex Optical lifetime warranty

The Diamondback package does not include scope rings with which to mount your Diamondback scope.  Vortex offers its own precision-matched one-inch rings, which are an excellent choice but pricey.  You can find excellent rings at a better price. 

Our advice on mounting systems is to stick with the known brand names and avoid cheap unknown rings.  Remember that your scope is only as good as the mount that holds it on the rifle.

The Positives and the Negatives – What the Users are Saying

Overall, Vortex rifle scopes rate high marks with users and reviewers alike.  Both the quality of the scopes and the support services of Vortex Optical are rated high. 

Pros

  • Much better quality for the price in comparable rifle scopes.  Why pay more for the same features.
  • The BDC reticle is a dream.  Sight the scope at 100 yards and the hash marks make elevation changes easy and quick
  • Clear sight picture even at extreme magnifications
  • Easy adjustments with turrets that have positive and assertive clicks

Cons

  • The lens caps are a little cheesy.  A nice set of flip-up lens caps would have been nice
  • Can be hard to mount on short action rifles

Vortex Crossfire vs Diamondback Side-by-Side

For clarities sake, let’s look at the major features of the Crossfire II and Diamondback scopes to see how they fare when compared quickly. 

FeaturesCrossfire II 4-12×44Diamondback 4-12×40
Magnification4-12 X4-12 X
Objective Lens44mm40mm
Field of View at 100 yards24.7 – 8.4 feet32.4 – 11.3 feet
Tube Size1 inch1 inch`
Adjustment Graduations¼ MOA per click¼ MOA per click
Max elevation adjustment50 MOA60 MOA
Max windage adjustment50 MOA60 MOA
Eye Relief3.9 inches3.1 inches
Parallax setting100 yards100 yards
Overall Length13.1 inches12 inches
Weight17.2 ounces14.6 ounces

Head-to-head these two rifle scopes are close to being identical.  Each has its characteristics that can sway a user.  In my case, the issue of eye relief is always a factor and the Crossfire II riflescope gets the nod in this area of comparison.  With almost a bit more than three-quarters of an inch more eye-relief, the Crossfire as the advantage over the Diamondback rifle scope.

The Diamondback scopes have a slight advantage in adjustments allowing ten more MOA of both elevation and windage adjustments.  This slight advantage gives a shooter more leeway when adjusting long shots or in high wind conditions. 

Finally, the Diamondback has a decided advantage in weight.  The Crossfire II weighs slightly more than a pound.  The Diamondback ticks the scales at only 14.6 ounces.   Less than three ounces doesn’t seem like much until you have carried a rifle and pack up and down mountains all day.  Ounces can become critical.


So, Which is the Better Choice? – Crossfire II or Diamondback?

Again, I must go back to my original statement.  When choosing a riflescope, you need to consider

  • How you intend to use the scope?
  • What caliber of rifle do you shoot?
  • What ranges do you usually expect to encounter?
  • How technically competent are you using a scope?

If you are an average hunter who regularly shoots at less than 300 yards and uses a mid-range caliber, the Crossfire II 4-12×44 scope is probably an excellent choice for your rifle.  There is no doubt that Vortex scopes will take almost any abuse you can throw at them and still perform.  The clarity of the optics in the Crossfire II scopes will allow you to go beyond 300 yards. Still, most average hunters with a mid-range caliber will very rarely need this kind of telescopic ability. 

For hunters or shooters who want to go beyond the 300-yard range, the Diamondback is a better choice.  The optics at these ranges provide a slightly better image quality.  On a heavier rifle shooting a larger caliber, the lighter weight of the Diamondback rifle scopes may be a consideration as well. 

In the end, my overall pick between the Crossfire II 4-12×44 and the Diamondback 4-12×40 rifles copes goes to the Crossfire.  The long eye relief wins out for me.  I don’t hunt or shoot past 300 yards as a matter of course, so the Crossfire II scope fills every need I have and more.  I think for the average hunter and shooter, the Crossfire II 4-12×44 scope is the choice.


Making the Decision – Fit the Scope to You

The primary consideration you should always make is how well the scope fits you and your needs. 

Consider all the options, features, and your expectations before deciding on the optics that go onto your rifle. I hope that this look at the Crossfire II and Diamondback scopes from Vortex Optical helps you in making that decision. 

If you have any comments, questions, or experiences you would like to share, please use the comments sections below.  We welcome all your ideas and comments, which help this community to be more proficient in our pursuits.



Dennis Howard
Written by Dennis Howard

A life long hunter, fisherman, and outdoorsman, after surviving a devastating tornado in his home town, he saw the effects on people's lives as they struggled to cope. He built his first bugout bag a few weeks later and has been a dedicated prepper/survivalist since that time. After a career as a fireman, Dennis opened a retail store (FFL approved) catering to the military, law enforcement, and like-minded individuals. The store built their own AR platforms. Furthermore, Dennis was also an NRA instructor in both long gun and handgun as well as a certified range safety officer. Read his full interview here. Read more of Dennis's articles.

Leave a Comment