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Increased Accuracy in the Turkey Woods: Vortex Venom Red Dot

Recessed adjustments, a large sight window, and intuitive controls make the Vortex Venom Red Dot a no-frills optic for the turkey woods.

(Photo/Adam Moore)
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Whether you’re looking for faster target acquisition on your pistol or more range on your turkey gun, red dot sights can increase your efficacy and range.

While red dots vary in size, they seem to largely inhabit three categories: micro, small to mid-size, and large, closed emitters. Each category serves a function, depending on a shooter’s needs, but quality can also determine this as well (a lot of early, cheap red dots were unnecessarily bulky).

The Vortex Venom delicately walks the line between micro and mid-size red dots. While it’s not a micro dot by recent standards (such as the Vortex Defender or Holosun’s line of microdots), the Vortex Venom is an unobtrusive optic for your turkey gun, but it also won’t feel like a brick if you decide to mount it on your pistol. 

In short: The Vortex Venom is an affordable and streamlined red dot with a large sight window that makes it ideal for a variety of shooting situations.

Vortex Venom Red Dot: Review

Vortex Venom Red Dot


  • 3 or 6 MOA dot options
  • Adjustment graduation 1 MOA
  • Length 1.9 in.
  • Weight 1.1 oz.
  • Exterior lens coating ArmorTec
  • CR 1632 battery
  • Battery life 150 hrs. on high
  • Vortex VIP warranty


  • Budget-friendly
  • Large sight window
  • Low profile


  • Dot bloom
  • Adjustment dials lack responsiveness

Testing the Vortex Venom

This turkey season, I mounted the Vortex Venom on one of my Remington 870s. It comes with a Weaver/Picatinny mount and mounting screws. Sighting in the Venom required a learning curve. I spent several shells before noticing that the red dot wasn’t moving when I adjusted the elevation.

With the shotgun in a rest, I observed the red dot and made a full rotation and back before it finally moved, and I had it dialed in a few shells later. I’ve had zero issues out of it since, but it’s worth noting.

Dot Brightness and Clarity

Vortex offers the Venom in 6 MOA and 3 MOA configurations. With shots inside 40 yards, I’m running the 6 MOA on my turkey gun. Within that distance, you won’t have to worry about it covering up a turkey head, and the dot is plenty bright for low light conditions or extremely sunny days.

The Venom includes two brightness modes, Auto and Manual. Dot brightness in Auto mode adjusts to the ambient lighting conditions and power down after 14 hours of inactivity. You can engage Auto mode by holding the up arrow until the dot flashes three times, while Manual mode engages after the dot flashes twice. 

The dot exhibits a small bloom and a significant starburst effect on higher settings, but I didn’t notice any parallax within 100 yards. On lower settings, the Venom produces a bright, crisp dot.


Vortex Venom Red Dot
(Photo/Adam Moore)

I haven’t had any issues with the Venom holding its zero. After running through various target loads and a box of Winchester Longbeard XRs, and burying the Venom in mud to brace a fall, the dot hasn’t moved. Considering that my gun takes a beating throughout turkey season, I’ve been pleased with the lack of adjustments I’ve had to make since the initial sight in.

Where the Vortex Venom Shines

The streamlined design makes the Vortex Venom ideal when you need to shave weight or space. Recessed windage and elevation adjustments mean you don’t have to worry about large dials getting bumped or snagged on brush. The large sight window, which has a blue tint, makes target acquisition (like picking out a turkey head through the timber) a breeze.  

For less than $250, this red dot is hard to beat, especially since it’s covered by Vortex’s VIP warranty. 

Where the Vortex Venom Can Improve

You can’t feel any clicks when you make adjustments to the windage and elevation, so a clear, tactile response would be nice.

The adjustment mishap I had while sighting in the red dot was a bit unsettling, but I haven’t had any issues with it since. It’s possible an obstruction, like an epoxy, was blocking the housing and eventually broke free once I cranked down on the turret. For what it’s worth, I’ve been running this setup since it happened, and I’ve even checked the zero a couple of times just to be safe. 

Vortex Venom Red Dot: Final Thoughts

Vortex Venom Red Dot Mounted on Shotgun
(Photo/Adam Moore)

The Vortex Venom inhabits that class of red dots that offers intuitive and rugged features at a budget price. Whether you’re chasing turkeys or adding an optic to your bear gun, you should consider the Venom as an affordable and capable option.

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