Vortex Crossfire II vs. Diamondback: Comparing Vortex Rifle Scopes and Binoculars

A common question we get at AR15Discounts.com concerns the Vortex Crossfire II vs. Diamondback. It’s a great question, and its understandable as its natural to want to get the most out of your hard earned money. With optics that are less than 300 dollars, it can all seem a bit dubious, leaving you to wonder just what the catch is. So, whats the deal with these budget scopes? Are they worth it, and if so, which is the better choice? Well, the answer depends on what you’re looking for. The bottom line is that Vortex’s reputation for quality optics at reasonable prices is what has put them on the map and won over countless shooters over the years, and both the Vortex Crossfire and Vortex Diamondback lines have been at the forefront of their budget lineup for very good reason.

Why Choose Vortex?

When you’re venturing into the world of optics, whether for hunting, bird watching, or other outdoor pursuits, choosing the right equipment can make all the difference. Vortex Optics offers two popular lines that often come up in discussions: the Crossfire II and the Diamondback. Both lines include rifle scopes and binoculars. While these Vortex offerings are very budget focused, there are still many scenarios where this price point makes a lot of sense. In fact, for most of you reading this, there’s likely no reason to spend more, as long as you understand just what you’re purchasing. This guide aims to clarify the differences, helping you decide which line might suit your needs better.

A Note on Quality and Chinese Optics

A quick note on quality. In my experience with Vortex, different levels of their optics are made in different parts of the world. Unless this has recently changed, it is our understanding that the Crossfire II is made in China, while the Diamondback line is made in the Philippines. Your milage may vary, but if we had the choice, we’d always choose a country other than China for optics. If that’s the case for you too, then we can wrap up this article very quickly: Go with the Diamondback. Still here? If so, read on to learn more about the basics between the Vortex Crossfire II vs. Diamondback.

Vortex Crossfire II 3-9×40

Rifle Scopes: Vortex Crossfire II vs. Diamondback

Entry-Level Accessibility

Both the Crossfire II and Diamondback rifle scopes represent the more accessible end of Vortex’s offerings, often regarded as ideal entry-level choices. They come equipped with features like cap turrets and BDC-style reticles, favored by hunters for their simplicity and effectiveness.

For novices venturing into shooting sports or hunting, opting for a budget optic instead of a pricier, top-tier rifle optic presents a practical approach for several reasons. Initially, budget optics serve as a cost-effective introduction, allowing newcomers to acquaint themselves with optic functionalities without a hefty financial commitment.

Vortex Crossfire II 1-4

This strategy permits beginners to assess their preferences and requirements before investing in a more premium option. Moreover, selecting a budget optic from a reputable manufacturer with a quality warranty provides added assurance. In the event of any issues, such as defects or failures, the warranty offers protection and potential repair or replacement solutions.

This Vortex Crossfire II 2-7×32 Scout Scope would be an ideal optic for an AR.

Additionally, choosing a budget optic with a strong warranty like what Vortex offers can help maintain its resale value to some extent. Although your Vortex Diamondback or Crossfire not command as high a resale value as a top-tier optic, it retains a degree of marketability, offering beginners flexibility if they opt to upgrade or switch optics later on. Ultimately, commencing with a budget optic bolstered by a dependable warranty underscores a prudent approach for novices, offering affordability, functionality, and potential resale value.

Optical Quality and Configuration Options

The Crossfire II, while being the more budget-friendly option, offers a variety of configurations that can appeal to those new to hunting or target shooting. It includes options like the 1-4x, 3-9x, 4-12x, and more specialized variants such as a 6-18x, 6-24x, a 2-7x Scout scope, and a 1-4x with illuminated options. This variety allows users to select a scope that closely matches their specific needs. They even make one for rimfire.

In contrast, the Diamondback steps up in terms of optical quality, which is noticeable in its clearer visuals and a broader field of view. However, it typically offers fewer configuration options compared to the Crossfire II. Logic might suggest that if you don’t need a more specific offering that the Crossfire II provides, then a smart move is probably to spend the extra money and put it towards a Diamondback optic…correct? Not so fast. We need to talk about eye relief and how the Diamondback unfortunately underperforms in this area.

Eye Relief and Usage

One notable distinction is in eye relief—the Diamondback has shorter eye relief compared to the Crossfire II, which can be a critical factor when mounting on higher-recoil rifles. Eye relief on a scope refers to the distance between your eye and the rear lens of the scope at which you can see the full field of view without any obstruction. It is crucial for comfort, especially when using high-recoil firearms, as it helps prevent injury from the scope hitting the user’s eye area. If one scope has better eye relief than another, it would allow the shooter to maintain a greater distance from the scope while still being able to see the entire sight picture, enhancing safety and comfort during shooting.

The longer eye relief of the Crossfire II can offer more comfort and safety under such conditions. It also means that it is going to be a bit faster. This might be something you can live with, or it could be something that ends up being very frustrating, depending on your needs.

Build and Durability

This is one area where I really wouldn’t have major concerns. These are budget optics designed to be used and abused, and with Vortex’s insane transferrable lifetime warranty, both lines boast robust construction typical of Vortex products—they are waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof. The Diamondback, however, is often considered to have slightly better build quality and can handle powerful recoil more effectively due to its premium construction. Frankly, due to cost and warranty, I wouldn’t factor this into my decision one way or another.

Cost Consideration

For those on a budget, the Crossfire II offers significant value, providing durable, reliable performance at a lower price point. However, for a bit more investment, the Diamondback’s superior optics provide a noticeable enhancement in clarity and performance. At this budget level, it’s probably more important to look at features offered versus additional cost savings.

The Crossfire line also includes a quality, affordable red dot…perfect for an AR.

Crossfire II Rifle Scopes


  • Variety of Configurations: Offers a wide range of options including various magnifications and illuminated variants, providing flexibility for different shooting conditions and preferences.
  • Cost-Effective: More affordable than many other scopes with similar features, making it an excellent entry-level choice for budget-conscious users.
  • Generous Eye Relief: Longer eye relief makes it safer and more comfortable to use, especially on higher-recoil rifles.
  • Durability: Like all Vortex products, these scopes are built to be durable and reliable, with waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof capabilities.


  • Optical Quality: Made in China, it does not match the optical clarity and field of view provided by the more advanced Diamondback line.
  • Weight: Tends to be heavier than the Diamondback, which might affect handling and balance on lighter rifles.
  • Limited Premium Features: Lacks some of the higher-end features and refinements found in more expensive scopes. That said, it’s an entry-level scope, and you’re getting a lot for the money, relatively speaking.

Diamondback Rifle Scopes


  • Superior Optical Clarity: Made in the Philippines, this scope offers better glass and a wider field of view compared to the Crossfire II, enhancing target visibility and accuracy.
  • Robust Build Quality: Constructed to withstand even powerful recoil, making it suitable for a wider range of firearms, including high-caliber options.
  • Streamlined Offerings: Focuses on the most popular configurations, ensuring quality and consistency across models.
  • Enhanced Features: Comes with improvements like shorter eye relief tailored for professional usage and demanding environments.


  • Price: More expensive than the Crossfire II, which might be a barrier for those on a strict budget.
  • Fewer Options: Fewer model variants available, which might limit users looking for very specific features or magnifications.
  • Shorter Eye Relief: Although part of its design for a broader field of view, the shorter eye relief could be less comfortable for use with high-recoil rifles. Depending on how you feel about this, this could be a deal breaker.

What Would We Buy?

If forced to choose, the Diamondback optics are probably a better choice due to their being made in the Phillipines and having better-quality glass. I’d manage the best I could with eye relief or perhaps consider spending more for a higher-tier Vortex optic.

Binoculars: Vortex Crossfire vs. Diamondback

Vortex Optics Crossfire HD 10×50 Binoculars

Construction and Optical Performance

While both the Vortex Crossfire HD and Diamondback HD binoculars appear similar and are both tripod-adaptable, just like the rifle scope lineup, there are some overall differences in construction and performance. The Vortex Diamondback models feature tougher build quality and argon purging for enhanced weather resistance, compared to the nitrogen purged Crossfire models.

Optical Advantages

The Diamondback binoculars offer advantages like a larger field of view and a shorter close focus distance, which can be crucial for activities like bird watching. They also boast superior low-light performance, thanks to their dielectric, fully multi-coated lenses that enhance light transmission.

Portability and Durability

Diamondback HD binoculars are lighter and more compact, making them easier to carry during long outings. Their rugged construction ensures durability and resistance to environmental challenges.


While Diamondback binoculars are slightly more expensive, they provide a higher quality optical experience, justifying the cost for serious enthusiasts or professionals. However, for casual users or those with budget constraints, the Crossfire series offers commendable performance and good durability at a more affordable price.

What Would We Buy?

If forced to choose, the Diamondback HD binoculars are a probably the better choice because they have top-notch lenses and argon purging for clearer views, especially in low light. They’re lightweight and compact, so they’re easy to carry around during outdoor activities. Plus, they’re tough and resistant to harsh conditions, ensuring they’ll last a long time. Overall, they provide better clarity, portability, and durability compared to other options. Yes, there are better binoculars out there, but none at this price point that we would recommend wholeheartedly. With the Vortex warranty, its even more of a no-brainer.

Vortex Diamondback HD

Crossfire Binoculars


  • Affordable Pricing: Offers good optical performance at a lower price point, making it accessible for beginners and casual users.
  • Durability: Encased in rugged rubber armor for increased resilience against drops and impacts.
  • Good Weather Resistance: Nitrogen purging ensures fogproof and waterproof performance, making them suitable for various outdoor conditions.
  • Versatile Use: Ideal for general outdoor activities like hiking, bird watching, and hunting.


  • Optical Performance: While decent, it does not reach the high standards set by the Diamondback models, especially in low-light conditions.
  • Heavier and Bulkier: Slightly heavier and larger, which might be cumbersome during extended periods of use.
  • Longer Close Focus Distance: The 6 feet minimum focus distance can limit observation of close subjects compared to the Diamondback’s 5 feet.

Diamondback Binoculars


  • Excellent Optical Quality: Superior lenses and argon purging enhance clarity, brightness, and resistance to internal fogging.
  • Enhanced Low-Light Performance: Better at gathering light, which significantly improves visibility under dim conditions.
  • Compact and Lightweight: Easier to carry for prolonged periods, advantageous in extensive outdoor or travel use.
  • Robust Construction: Tougher build and anodized coating provide extra durability and resistance to harsh environmental conditions.


  • Higher Cost: More expensive than the Crossfire, potentially putting it out of reach for those on a limited budget.
  • Limited Cost Spread: While offering more lens strength varieties, the higher base price might still be a barrier for some.
  • Less Variety in Low Price Options: Fewer choices at the lower end of the price spectrum, which could limit options for cost-sensitive consumers.


The choice between Vortex’s Crossfire II and Diamondback lines ultimately depends on your specific needs and budget. If you are new to outdoor activities or require a more forgiving price point, the Crossfire line offers substantial quality and variety. For those seeking higher optical performance, better construction, and can afford a higher price, the Diamondback line is undoubtedly the better choice. Both lines uphold Vortex’s reputation for quality and durability, backed by their excellent lifetime warranty, ensuring that whichever you choose, you’re investing in a reliable product.