Vortex Crossfire vs Diamondback: Which Rifle Scope is Better?

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Vortex makes extremely good rifle scopes. The Crossfire and the Diamondback are both great choices. So which rifle scope is better? That depends on what you want to do with the scope. 

Comparing the two Vortex scope families is like comparing apples to apples.  All good apples are good to eat. Some apples are better for pie. Some apples are better for baking. Some are better for applesauce.

First, let’s take a look at each one. Then, what they have in common, then differences. Finally, we will do a side by side comparison. For this review, we leave out the red dots and crossbow scopes.

Crossfire Scopes

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescope - Dead-Hold BDC Reticle

The Vortex Crossfire is actually a group of scopes. They are:

  • 2-7×32 1 inch tube (recommended for rimfires)
  • 1-4×24 30mm tube
  • 4-12×44 1 inch tube
  • 3-9×40 1 inch tube
  • 3-9×50 1 inch tube
  • AO 4-12×40 30mm tube
  • AO 4-16×40 30mm tube
  • AO 4-12×50 30mm tube
  • AO 6-18×40 30mm tube
  • AO 6-18×50 30mm tube
  • AO 6-24×50 30mm tube
  • OPMOD 1-4×24 30 mm tube
  • Hog Hunter 3-12×56 30mm tube

1. Second Focal Plane (SFP)

All these are second focal plane (SFP), meaning the reticle stays the same size as you zoom in. This is the style I prefer, especially for longer range shooting.

I may need the bottom part of the reticle to make my most accurate shot. At a high zoom, that part disappears.

2. Zoom


The AO 6-24 reaches into the realm of long distance shooting. Yes, you can use any of these scopes for long and extreme long range shooting. If you want to be in the winners circle regularly, then you want as much magnification as you can get.

At max zoom, this delivers a 4.4-foot field of view at 100 yards. The average adult whitetail is 6 feet long. You cannot see the whole deer at maximum zoom at 100 yards or less.

You can certainly count all the points on a rack at that distance with maximum zoom.

3. Reticle

Depending on the model, you get a choice of reticle. They are:

  • Dead-Hold BDC. This has a duplex reticle with dots on the W/E lines.
  • Straight-Wall BDC. A duplex reticle with 3 hash marks on the lower elevation line.
  • V-Brite. A thin duplex reticle that is illuminated.
  • V-Plex. A thin duplex reticle.

4. Click Value

Again depending on the model, some of the turrets are elevated and some are low profile. This does not make a difference in how the scope works.

None are ballistic turrets, allowing shot to shot adjustments. The Crossfire, depending on the model, maxes out at 100 MOA W/E

5. Eye Relief

Best Long Eye Relief Scopes

Eye relief will vary from around 3.7 to 4 inches. The 4 inches is very generous. Your chance of getting a scope eye is small. 3.7 inches is nothing to complain about, certainly.

Diamondback Scopes

Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical 4-12x40 Second Focal Plane Riflescope - VMR-1 Reticle (MOA),black

The Vortex Diamondback is a family of scopes. This group does not have a red dot nor a crossbow scope. It offers 2 long-range tactical scopes.

  •  1.75-5X32 1 inch tube
  •  2-7×35 (rimfire) 1 inch tube
  •  3-9×40 1 inch tube
  •  3.5-10×50 1 inch tube
  •  4-12×40 1 inch tube
  •  4-16×44 30mm tube
  •  6-24×50 30mm tube

1. Zoom

With a 24x zoom at the high end, the Diamondback is the same as the Crossfire. E

2. Reticle

The Diamondback series ranges from a plain duplex up to the EBR-2C. The EBR 2C is lighted duplex at the center and has some marks on the windage line. 

The upper elevation is hash marked and the lower has a small Christmas tree reticle, and the large hash marks are 2 MOA apart.

3. Turrets

The Diamondback Tactical 4-12, 4-16 and 6-24 are the only scopes in the family with tactical turrets to make shot-to-shot adjustments. Other turrets are high or low profile, depending on the model.

4. Click Value

The Diamondbacks all have 1/4 MOA. Depending on the model you can get as much as 125 MOA W/E adjustment. This is a higher value than the Crossfire

5. Focal Plane

Depending on the model, you can get a first focal or second focal plane. In a 1st FP, the reticle enlarges as you zoom in. With a marked reticle, this means your shots can be as precise as possible.

You know the space between the shots. As what you see gets bigger, the actual measurement stays the same. You are zooming in on the reticle as well as the target.

6. Eye Relief

The Diamondback eye relief ranges from 3.1 inches to a maximum of 4 inches. 3.1 inches is very close. Do not use one of these scopes on a gun with heavy recoil. Your chances of getting scope eye increase the closer your eye has to be to the scope

Similarities Between Crossfire and Diamondback Scopes

Similarities Between Crossfire and Diamondback Scopes

1. Warranty

Vortex offers a lifetime warranty. Better yet, the warranty transfers to the new owner if you sell it. If Vortex cannot fix your scope, they will replace it with one of similar performance and value.

2. Shockproof

These Vortex scopes are rated for heavy recoil. 

Would the rimfire version hold up on a .458 Lott? Well, I cannot say for sure. If it does not, Vortex will replace the scope. But do you really want to take that risk when you are on the hunt of a lifetime? Of course not.

Some people shoot them on the .50 BMG. You may be pushing past the limit with some of the small magnification scopes.

As a .50 BMG owner and shooter, I prefer a different scope. Vortex will certainly give you a lifetime of shooting with something like a 300 Magnum family, the 375 family and even the big bores like the .400s.

3. Glass

Vortex lenses are coated for maximum light gathering and minimum dispersion. The glass in these scopes are just a step below European optics. European glass will cost you several times what a scope from either Vortex family sets you back.

The Diamondback does have a better set of glass.

4. Parallax

Parallax adjustments vary. On some it is fixed and on some it adjusts to infinity. Parallax matters when you are shooting long range.

If you pay attention shooting out to 200 yards, then you can get by with a fixed parallax at 100 yards. If you want to reach that 1,000 yard line, you need to adjust the parallax for best performance.

5. Click value

The click value on all Crossfire and Diamondbacks are 1/4 MOA. Total adjustment ranges vary from 40 to 100 MOA W/E depending on the model.

6. Eye relief

Both scope families offer a 4 inch eye relief, depending on the model you choose.

Differences Between Crossfire and Diamondback Scopes

1. Price

The Crossfire family has an MSRP of MSRP $199-$280. The Diamondback costs more with an MSRP $499-$600; sometimes you can get them cheaper.

2. Glass

While the glass in both families is quite good, the Diamondback goes a step further than the Crossfire. If you shoot in good light conditions, you will not notice a difference.

The Diamondback’s additional glass work has an edge here. This also explains the cost difference in the less expensive models. Is the difference worthwhile? Read the conclusion to find out.

3. Eye Relief

With a low of 3.1 inches, the Diamondback loses ground to the Crossfire.

4. Zoom

At 1.75x on the low end for the Diamondback, the Crossfire has the widest field of view.

5. CQB

If you need a scope for close quarter battle, the Crossfire 1-4×24 is the only one fitting that bill. It makes a great scope for an AR platform for CQB tournament shooters.

Comparing the Two: Crossfire vs. Diamondback

Crossfire vs. Diamondback

As you compare these side by side, remember this is for the family line of scopes. Within each family, things like zoom, click values and reticles can change. 

Start with price. How much can you spend? Crossfire is less expensive. Diamondback costs more. Then, if you are not sure what to get, look at the zoom you need. 

Do you shoot past 500 yards? Then get a high zoom. Staying under 200 yards? You need less zoom.

Next, consider your shooting conditions. The bigger the front bell (objective lens), the more light the scope gathers. Big bells function better in low light than small bells. 

The tube size also determines how much light is funneled to your eye. The 30mm tube lets in more light.

The table below compares the two scopes to help you make a decision about which one to choose!

Lifetime warrantyLifetime warranty
Excellent glassSuperior glass
Wide magnification rangeWide magnification range
Variable W/E adjustmentVariable W/E adjustment
1″ & 30mm tubes1″ & 30mm tubes
15 choices8 choices
4 fairly plain reticles5 choices; EBR-2C has a Christmas tree
All 2nd Focal PlaneTwo 1st FP, Six 2nd FP
Max adjustment 100 MOAMax adjustment 125 MOA
Eye relief 3.4-4″Eye Relief 3.1-4″
CQB – yes, 1-4×24CQB – no
MSRP $199-$280MSRP $320-$600


The Diamondbacks are a better scope in terms of light performance. At long ranges, the tactical Diamondbacks also have the edge. This does come at a higher cost.

If your wallet aches when you pull it out, the Crossfires are your friends.

If you know you are shooting in good light and limit your shots to 300 yards, the Crossfire will serve you very well. I have some on my carbines.

All my hunting is under 200 yards (South Georgia forests) and my old eyes tell me when it is time to put the gun down. The very best light-gathering scopes v. average light-gathering scopes make no difference to me at twilight.

If you have really reach out or hunt the twilight hours, spend a little more on the Diamondback. If I was a young person with good eyes, I would have Diamondbacks.

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