Vortex Venom vs Vortex Viper 

Welcome to my comparison review between the Vortex Venom and the Vortex Viper red dot sights.

Vortex Optics have gradually climbed the ladder of outdoor optics and scopes and has now reached a level that many consider to be at or near the top of the game. First incorporated in 1986, Vortex is known for producing optics of all kinds, including binoculars, spotting scopes, and various sights and scopes for a wide variety of firearms. 

The company is American, veteran, and family-owned and is based in south central Wisconsin. In recent years, Vortex has become a powerhouse among the best of the best in outdoor optics, and for good reason. Their only drawback, according to some hunting and shooting enthusiasts, is that most of their products are manufactured overseas in Asia. 

For those of us who have used Vortex, however, their products are never short on quality and leave other brands in the dust when it comes to overall performance, value and functionality. 

Two of Vortex’s most popular sights are the Viper and Venom.

Ask any gun expert their opinion and they will likely tell you that both scopes are great for a wide range of different kinds of weapons. While that is true, we want to help you sift through some of the finer details for each sight and help our readers reach a decision as to the one that fits their needs best. 

Vortex Venom vs. Vortex Viper

The Vortex Venom and Viper are both red dot sights that are considered to be some of the best sights available on the market in 2020. 

Major Differences

On the surface, both sights might appear to be virtually identical. However, there are some differences in the two that will help you determine your choice based on their intended use. 


The Vortex Venom is the larger of the two and is commonly used for AR’s or other kinds of tactical rifles. This sight can also be mounted to a wide range of different kinds of handguns and is one of Vortex’s most popular products. Shooters have reported that the batteries are easier to change out on the Venom, but the CR 1632 size battery is not as widely available as that of the CR 2032. The Venom also offers differing dot sizes, which is another pro for those needing a good rifle scope.  Check latest price of the Venom. 


The Viper is more compact than its larger cousin, but that doesn’t mean it can’t deliver on quality. This sight offers a smaller sight picture and lower profile than the Venom, making it more ideal for handguns. It only has one dot, but the Vortex Viper is one of the top red dot sights for pistols.  Check the latest price of the Viper.



The Venom features Vortex’s popular multi-coated lens, which provides excellent clarity in low light situations. With a housing crafted from aluminum, this sight is tough while still offering plenty of clarity. 

The Venom features auto-brightness setting that helps with focus in various lighting situations and is also waterproof, which is another reason why most shooter opt for this sight over the Viper when it comes to rifles. 


The Viper might accurately be described as the Venom’s smaller, scrappier cousin who is nearly just as capable in every aspect. It features the same multi-coated lens that Vortex fans are fond of, but only offers one red dot sight option istead of the 3 options found with the Venom. 

The Viper’s slightly smaller, lower profile is obviously designed for handgun use–and it’s hard to find a better red dot sight for a pistol in 2020 than the Viper. 

Sight Picture 


The Vortex Venom was designed as a no-nonsense workhorse of a sight that can function on just about anything that shoots bullets. If features no crosshairs, but only a clear and bold red dot in the sight’s center. This is one of the reasons why AR-15 shooters gravitate toward the Venom. While it can function with handguns without issue, the Viper is much better suited for pistol use. 


The Viper looks quite different than its counterpart as this sight features a slightly larger red dot and crosshairs. Some shooters like the crosshairs that the Viper offers along with the red dot sight and have opted to mount this sight on their tactical rifle. Either way, the Viper is a great red dot sight for anything you want to use it on, but we recommend it for handguns. 

Related: Best Varmint Scopes for .223

Vortex vs. Viper Winner?

To be quite honest, the question of ‘which is the better sight’ rests upon the purpose that you intend to use it. Vortex has created two very capable red dot sights in the Venom and the Viper, but both actually work really well on either rifles or handguns. 

Check out the latest price of the Venom.

Check out the latest price of the Viper.

Our final verdict is simple: if it’s a pistol sight you’re looking for, it’s the Viper you want. For a rifle sight, reach for the Venom.

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