First Look: Vortex Defender-XL Red Dot Sight

by Tommy Grant

We take a quick look at the new Defender-XL from Vortex Optics, a large pistol red dot sight designed for competition.

Vortex Optics has just released the third model in its Defender line of pistol red dots, the Defender-XL. As the name suggests, it’s larger than both the Defender-ST and the Defender CCW. While it was primarily made with competition handguns in mind, the Defender-XL will be right at home on any firearm where optic size doesn’t matter, whether that be a home defense pistol, a shotgun or even a PCC.


The biggest advantage of a larger red dot sight is the greater field of view it can provide given the increased window size, and the Defender-XL offers just that with its ultra-wide aspherical lens. To complement the enhanced window size, the red dot is available with either a 5- or 8-MOA reticle. Brightness is manually adjustable and there are 10 levels for daytime and 2 for use with night vision.


The other features worth mentioning are what you’d expect of a red dot in Vortex’s Defender line. Mounted via a DeltaPoint Pro footprint, it has motion activation, a 10-minute auto-shutoff, a textured front surface to assist with racking a pistol and a top-mount battery compartment. Speaking of batteries, it runs off one CR2032 and has an advertised runtime of 25,000 hours.


Each Defender-XL red dot will ship with a ShockShield polymer insert, a Glock MOS adapter plate, a Picatinny mount, a rubber cover, a lens cloth, a tool and one battery, as well as 5 sets of mounting screws. It’s available now and MSRP is $599.99.

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  • The Trijicon RMR
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