Vortex Defender CCW – Your Next Carry Optic?


Do you carry or want to carry a Glock 43X MOS or 48, S&W Shield Plus or Equalizer, Sig Sauer P365 of any kind, or other micro compact handgun? Do you want all the features of a bigger red dot in a smaller, more concealable package? Are you looking for a great first red dot for a handgun, compact carbine, or even a shotgun? If you answered yes to any of these questions, the new Vortex Defender CCW may be for you.

The Defender CCW is Vortex’s newest red dot sight, designed to be mounted to most micro-compact handguns for a concealed carry application. While the features, size, and price make this an attractive optic for CCW, it is also right at home on many long guns. Backed by Vortex’s unquestionable VIP warranty, this red dot sight represents Vortex’s top tier product and will give you a lifetime of service.


The Vortex Defender CCW packs a ton of features into an extremely compact package, punching well above its class. The unit is waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof, ensuring that will keep working even in the toughest of conditions. It features a motion activation feature so the optic is ready to go without having to switch it on manually, while a 14 hour auto shutoff ensures that even if the optic is bumping around in your glovebox all day, the battery won’t drain inadvertently.

The Fast-Rack™ texturing on the front face of the optic jumps out at you immediately, and allows the operator to use the optic as additional leverage when mounted on the slide of a semi-auto pistol, offering great grip especially for shooters with smaller or weaker hands. 

Vortex offers the Defender CCW with either a 3 MOA or 6 MOA dot. The MOA size roughly calculates to inches at 100 yards, so the 3 MOA dot will cover a 3 inch circle at 100 yards and the 6 MOA dot will cover a 6 inch circle at 100 yards. The 3 MOA dot offers a more precise aiming point, while the 6 MOA dot offers slightly quicker dot acquisition for the shooter. Either way, the dot size will be smaller than the front sight on most handguns, meaning you will still be more precise than using iron sights.

This model uses the common Shield RMS/SMSc footprint, meaning it will drop right on to slim frame Glocks, P365 models of all kinds, many S&W CCW handguns, Springfield Hellcat and similar, and more without any adapter plate. 

While the above features all make the Defender CCW a great choice for concealed carry, the optic also includes a low picatinny mount, perfect for use on a .22lr pistol or rifle, defensive or hunting shotgun, or even many 9mm carbines.

In the box, Vortex includes:
-1˚ Shim Plate
-Picatinny Rail Mount
-Rubber Cover
-Lens Cloth
-CR1632 Battery
-Custom Tool
-6 Sets of Common Mounting Screws


In this size and class of optic, other manufacturers offer competing models that we carry, such as the Holosun 407K, 507K, and EPS Carry, and the Sig Sauer Romeo Zero Elite.

Optic Reticle Housing Material Features Motion Sensor Price
Vortex Defender CCW -3 MOA red dot
-6 MOA red dot
7075 Aluminum -14hr Auto -Shutoff
-Aggressive texturing
-Picatinny mount included
Yes $249.99
Holosun 407k -6 MOA red dot
-6 MOA green dot
7075 Aluminum -Shake Awake technology to activate the optic when in motion
-Programmable settings
Yes $224.99 (Red)
$239.99 (Green)
Holosun 507k Selectable 2 MOA dot and/or 32 MOA circle (red or green) 7075 Aluminum -Shake Awake technology to activate the optic when in motion
-Programmable settings
Yes $295.99 (Red)
$319.99 (Green)
EPS Carry MRS Selectable 2 MOA dot and/or 32 MOA circle (red or green) 7075 Aluminum -Enclosed emitter Solar failsafe Yes $399.99 (Red)
$429.99 (Green)
Sig Romeo Zero Elite -3 MOA red dot
-2 MOA red dot with 32 MOA circle
Polymer with optional steel shield -Tap controls No $179.99 (3 MOA dot)
$199.99 (Circle Dot)


All in all, the Vortex Defender CCW offers great features at a reasonable price, with total backing by Vortex’s industry leading warranty policy. While designed and intended for concealed carry use, this optic fits nicely into a role of plinking fun on something like a Ruger PC Carbine or for turkey hunting on a shotgun. While Vortex certainly didn’t invent a new category of red dot, they might just have perfected it.

by Tyler P