Vortex VMX-3T Magnifier Review

Once I finished installation the my Vortex Strikefire 2, I instantly decided that I need a red dot magnifier as well in order to complete AR-15 build. I could not think of any better red dot magnifier to match with my Vortex Strikefire 2 than Vortex VMX-3T magnifier, so I decided to give it a try.

Currently at $199 on Amazon, Vortex VMX-3T is definitely not the cheapest option out there. But let’s see what it has to offer.

  • The VMX-3T Magnifier and Flip Mount combo adds a 3x magnification to your rifle’s red dot sight. Simple, fast, and effective, the push button design engages and disengages the flip mount allowing the magnifier to lock in at your desired position.
  • The lens are fully multi-coated maximizing resolution, light gathering capability, and color fidelity. Eye Relief-2.2 inches. Field of View-38.2 feet/100 yards
  • The VMX-3T does not require any special sight-in. The dot centering screws can be used to help center your red dot image in the VMX-3T’s field of view.
  • The magnifier is nitrogen purged for reliable waterproof and fog-proof performance in the field.
  • Allows for lower 1/3 or absolute co-witness mounting heights and is ideal for shooters who want to increase the effective range of their red dot sight.
  • Field of View: 38.2 feet/100 yards

First Impression

Vortex Optics do a pretty good job with their packaging, so the first impression that you get when you first open the box is definitely a positive one. And I know you might say “who cares about the box…” True, but at the same time, I have seen some cheap products being shipped in generic boxes with merely a plastic over them… Needless to say, 50% of the time you get a defective product. Well, it is not the case with the Vortex magnifier and I am happy about that.

At 11.8 ounces, it feel pretty light and does not seem to add much bulkiness to your rifle… which is good, again! One thing that I have missed, however, were the covers. Honestly, I was surprised that Vortex did not add covers to VMX-3T magnifier, because they do have awesome flip up covers on their Strikefire 2 red dot system.

Installation of Vortex VMX-3T

Installation is a breathe with the simple one screw mechanism, the same as on their Strikefire 2 red dot sight. The only thing that you need a screwdriver for is to mount the sight itself to the mounting piece. They do ship it separated in order to actually give you an option to mount it as a left or right handed. So, you chose!

Is Vortex VMX-3T Waterproof and Fog Proof?

Yes indeed! The VMX-3T is waterproof, just like its matching red dot system, Strikefire 2. It is internally nitrogen purged for reliable waterproof/fog-proof performance.

What about the Vortex VMX-3T Engage/Disengage Mechanism?

This is another area where Vortex VMX-3T magnifier excels over other magnifiers. I love the engage/disengage mechanisms. I was never a fan of the mechanisms where you have to pull the whole magnifier backwards in order to engage or disengage it. While the mechanism on VMX-3T is not perfect and has some room for improvement, I would still pick it over more common pulling mechanism.

How about the Magnification?

Yes, after all, this is a magnifier right. Well, as it was mentioned above, this is a 3x magnifier with eye relief of 2.2 inches and field of View of 38.2 feet at 100 yards. Here are a few pics that I tried my best to take in order to show how it looks whenever you are looking through this magnifier.

On the Range

Vortex VMX-3T magnifier did very well on the range. Once adjusted it handled recoil very well. The ONLY complaint that I had regarding the range day is that my glass did get a little dirty. (I shoot on the farm and it gets pretty dusty). The included wipe came in handy, but I really wish that Vortex implemented the same flip up covers on this magnifier that they did on their red dot system.

Minor Complaints

And that brings us to the minor complains! Complaint number one: I wish this magnifier had flip up covers! Complaint number two: …it is not really a complaint, but I think the engage/disengage mechanism could have been better if it was spring loaded. You press the button and the magnifier pops out instead of being manually moved. I think it would have made things a little bit more rapid, which is necessary for tactical/combat situations. Complaint number 3: I wish Vortex implemented the adjustment dial covers for this magnifier, just like they did on their red dot system. Now, let me say here, my VMX-3T stayed adjusted without any issues, but, I think covers would add some piece of mind for some folks.


So, conclusion! As you can see, I just could not make this review without complaints, even though they are minor, I had to mention them. Of course, as you can understand, these complaints are relative. Some might not be happy about having flip up covers on their magnifier for example. So, overall, I think Vortex VMX-3T might be worth $199. And while there are other cheaper options available out there, I think that if you want to be more or less serious about the good quality product for your AR-15 and at the same time still be on the borderline of being on the budget… Vortex VMX-3T magnifier might just be for you!

Other Available Options

AR-15 Magnifier Comparison Video

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Vortex VMX-3T Magnifier
Average rating:  
 2 reviews
by Dale on Vortex VMX-3T Magnifier
Good one!

Good one from Vortex. Worth extra money, and still on the budget!

by Jake Hogg on Vortex VMX-3T Magnifier
Great magnifier, buy it!

Had this magnifier for about a year now, still holding nice and tough even after weekly abuse on the range.

3 thoughts on “Vortex VMX-3T Magnifier Review”

  1. Pingback: Best Red Dot Magnifier on a BUDGET ($37.99 and more) - Firearms of America

  2. Pingback: Best Red Dot Magnifier on a BUDGET ($37.99 and more)

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