Vortex Venom Review: Small Sight, Huge Performance

Last Updated on May 11, 2023.

The popularity of mini red dot sights has been increasing steadily, and with the amount of models available on the market today it can be tough to make a decision. 

Do you need a mini red dot for a pistol, a small carbine, or as a backup mounted on a ranged scope?  The Vortex Venom can fill all of these roles.

Vortex has a reputation of manufacturing high quality and dependable optics.  The Vortex Venom is no different – it is a fantastic mini red dot.  The Venom is easy to use, has a clear sight picture, and the option of a 3 MOA or 6 MOA dot means you can choose the model that best suits your eye.

Vortex Venom


  • Small and lightweight.  The Venom is great for adding performance to your firearm without adding too much weight or bulk
  • Top load battery compartment will save you time and avoid the hassle of having to re-zero with a new battery
  • Easy to see dot with a clear sight picture thanks to the multi-coated lens
  • Tough construct to withstand any environmental condition
  • Unlimited eye relief allows for mounting onto the firearm anywhere the shooter desires without issue


  • 1 MOA changes on windage and elevation do not allow for the most precise adjustments
  • Battery life on highest setting is very poor
  • Side mounted controls could possible get bumped in a holster or while on a sling

Venom Red Dot sitting on a Sig Sauer P320 | Photo by lord_of_salem_doberman

The combination of quality and features that Vortex puts into each one of their optics means you are always getting a ton of sight for the price paid, and the Venom is no different. Similar mini red dot sights can cost hundreds more, and sights in the same price range do not hold up against the performance of the Vortex brand. 

As an added benefit, the VIP Lifetime Warranty is included with all Vortex sights. If you should happen to experience a failure or a defect it will be taken care of. Vortex provides excellent customer service and will work with the customer to fix any issue they may have.

Sight Review and Breakdown


1. The Venom is available with a 3MOA or 6MOA red dot. This allows the shooter to choose their preferred size. Both are easy to see and 10 different brightness settings allow for use in any lighting condition.

2. The multi-coated lens provides a wide range of view and clear sight picture at all times while reducing glare.

3. The top-load battery compartment saves the user time and money. Thanks to this design you will not have to re-zero the sight after a battery change as the sight can remain mounted.

4. The unit is both weatherproof and shockproof to protect against the elements, protect against dirt and debris, and withstand thousands of rounds without adverse effects from recoil.


  • Magnification: 1 x
  • Eye Relief: Unlimited
  • Dot Size: 3 MOA/6 MOA
  • Maximum Elevation Adjustment: 130 MOA
  • Maximum Windage Adjustment: 100 MOA
  • Length: 9 inches (without mount)
  • Weight: 1.1 ounces (without mount)
  • Venom on a MP7 airsoft replica | Photo by land_warrior_sports

    Ease of Use and Reliability

    The basic controls on the Venom are extremely easy to use. On/Off and brightness functions are controlled via Up/Down buttons on the side of the unit.  These are easily reachable when mounted on a rifle or on a handgun as the main optic.  If the Venom is mounted as a backup sight along the side of a scope you may have more difficulty reaching the controls.

    Windage and elevation adjustments are set flush with the body to protect against accidental changes.  No special tools are required to adjust the settings.  The battery sits in the top of the unit just behind the glass and is easily reached for quick replacements.

    The Venom has proved to be an extremely reliable sight, and very few users have experienced issues with the unit.  It is quick to get on target with the wide view lens, and holds zero well.

    Venom on a HK VP9 | Photo by jzy_goes_pew_pew

    Battery Life

    Illumination is powered by a CR1632 battery featuring a 14 hour auto-shutoff.  Battery life lasts from 150 hours on the brightest setting and up to 30,000 hours on the dimmest.


    The cost is reasonable for a mini red dot of this quality.  The Venom can be found on the retail market for under $250.

    Who is this Sight for?

    Type of Shooter

    The competition shooter will find this sight to be a great asset no matter the application.  Casual shooters will enjoy it on the range.  It is also a great choice for those depending on it to help them protect themselves and their families.

    Type of Firearm

    This sight would be a great addition to a full sized handgun being used for competition or hunting.  The Venom allows for quick targeting, and in rapid fire shooting it will be extremely easy to get your rounds down range and proceed to the next target.  Several mounting options for handguns are now available.

    Vortex Venom on a Smith and Wesson 617 | Photo by  ca2ndamendment

    It would also work well on carbines or shotguns designed for home defense or competition shooting.  The wide field of view allows for easy two-eye open shooting, and the dot is clear and bright enough to give you the confidence that your rounds are hitting the target.

    Our Opinion

    Vortex Venom

    The Vortex Venom is a mini red dot that can serve multiple purposes

    While not the most rugged sight available today it is still built to withstand years of use and punishment.  

    The sight picture is clear, the dot is bright, and the controls are easy to use.

    For the cost it is a great mini-red dot.  

    With the reputation of Vortex’s quality, as well as the lifetime warranty, you are getting an amazing sight for your money.

    Other Options Worth Looking At

    If you are not sure about using a mini red dot and want to try a cheap option first there are several options from Firefield and XTS are available in the sub $100 range.  There are many options coast about the same as the Venom, but it is difficult to find another mini-red dot with the same quality at this price.

    If you want a more rugged choice the Trijicon RMR is well known as being a top-tier mini sight.  Prices start around $350 for a basic model and most options cost far more.  While these are tougher sights than the Venom, the features and controls are very similar.

    Other Models from the Manufacturer

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