Swampfox Kraken Review

When it comes to the red dot optics market, we’ve recently noticed a push towards closed emitter-style red dots.

Most of them are expensive and on backorder, but luckily we received one optic that isn’t sold out or on backorder. And are happy to bring you this first look at the Swampfox Kraken.

There are a ton of features on the Swampfox Kraken that give it instant appeal to many shooters clamoring for a closed emitter optic.

Let’s break those down into two sections, Specs & Features / Controls in one section. And Build Qualities and Warranties in the second section.

Kraken Closed Emitter 1×16 Red Dot 3 MOA

at Amazon
Prices accurate at time of writing

Specs & Features

  • Swampfox Optics, Colorado-based company
  • Length: 1.85"
  • Width: 1.38"
  • Height (without riser): 1.27
  • Weight: 2.5 Ounces
  • 3 MOA
  • Available in Red & Green Dot (test sample is green dot)
  • 10 settings , 2 night vision
  • 1X power
  • Intensity adjustable on side marked with up and down arrows
  • One CR2032 Battery (side mounted)

Battery Life

  • 850 hours at brightest setting
  • 8100 hours at medium setting
  • 9000 hours at lowest setting
  • 2 Years approximately using Shake n Wake feature (shuts off optic after 4 minutes)

Misc Specs

  • 50,000 round guarantee
  • Working temperature range -4*F to +140*F
  • Shockproof to 1500 times the force of gravity
  • Provided with mounting plates for RMR mount pattern and Glock MOS mount pattern
  • Available Rebel Riser

MSRP: $349.00

Usage and Controls

When I first unboxed the Kraken and dug into it, I’ll admit, I actually read the manual. And was shocked at the feature list and how well thought out the Swampfox Kraken is.

One feature that has become the industry standard is the Shake-N-Wake feature which powers on with movement. And Shuts off after 4 minutes with no movement. This is nice as it saves battery life and is one less thing for shooters to worry about.

The time delay on the auto shut-off feature on the Kraken is 4 minutes, I appreciated Swampfox publishing the time instead of us having to guess.

The illumination controls are located on the shooter’s left side of the optic. Featuring a simple rubber-covered Up/Down arrow. The buttons are barely audible when pressed and are easy to engage with or without gloves.

Swampfox Kraken Review
Swampfox Kraken wit Rebel Riser on MP5. Photo:Rick Dembroski

Zeroing controls are where you would expect them to be, elevation on top. And windage on the right side next to the battery compartment.

When it comes to illumination controls one feature often overlooked is how to power down the optic. Although the Kraken does not have a dedicated OFF button, it uses the Down button. In order to cycle the Kraken off the user only needs to hold the Down button for 3 seconds and the optic powers down.

This renders the Shake N Wake feature off as well. To turn the optic back on, simply press the Up button and the dot reappears at the medium setting.

Making changes to elevation and windage while using the Swampfox Kraken can be done with a small flathead screwdriver. Rather than a Torx bit or special tool. A small note, Swampfox does include a combination screwdriver/torx tool, and a CR2032 battery with this optic but not an extended riser. We will cover that in the Build Qualities section.

The Dot

The backbone of any optic is, of course, the dot. Swampfox offered the Kraken in both a red and a green dot variety when it first came out late in 2022. The 3 MOA dot according to Swampfox is parallax free at 33 yards.

And at distances closer than 33 yards they report the parallax error is minimal. At distances past 100 yards, the company does say some parallax will be observed by the shooter.

Swampfox Kraken Review
Kraken is available in Red or Green 3 MOA dot. It doesn’t bloom like this in real life. Photo: Rick Dembroski

This is only my second optic using a green dot and I will say that it is taking some getting used to with a grassy background. It also seems that the green dot is harder to pick up with a bright light behind you.

Since I am testing this at the beginning of an Alaskan summer with 17 hours of daylight per day, it was a concern of mine. However, with any optic the more I use the Swampfox Kraken the less of an issue it becomes.

Build Quality & Warranty

One major advantage the Kraken has over other optics in its class is that Swampfox includes two of the most popular base plate patterns for its optic. The Trijicon RMR and the Glock MOS. This really is a stroke of marketing genius for the staff at Swampfox. As many closed-emitter-style optics tend to run into mounting issues. Since many of them use a proprietary mounting system.

The optic itself is manufactured from 7075 aircraft-grade aluminum. And at the time of this article, only available with a black finish. While the Kraken’s reported water rating is only 3 meters it does feature a stunning shock resistance of up to 1500 G’s (G = force of gravity roughly 22 mph in one of 3 axises).

Another build quality note is the working weather rating for the Kraken. Its published range of normal operation is -4*F to +140*F. This is great for hot climates but could be problematic for shooters in northern states that routinely shoot at or near freezing. While the stated low range of -4*F seems low, it’s actually not hard to achieve if you factor into wind chill on the range.

This past winter I was on the range at 20*F and when the wind kicked up it pushed the temperatures down quickly. Thinking about that day, I wonder how the Kraken would work if someone was counting on it as a duty weapon in the winter. Just some things I pondered during this review.

Swampfox Kraken Review
attery compartment shown: CR2032 battery provides 2 years of average use. Photo:Rick Dembroski

The final thing we want to mention is the warranty that Swampfox stands behind. All Swampfox optics come with a 50,000-round warranty that covers damage and failure but of course not intentional damage to the optics.

The company in their warranty statement (Swampfox Warranty Link) also mentions that painting the optic does not void their 50,000 round promise. Simply put, if you have any issues with the Swampfox Kraken or any Swampfox optic, just pay for shipping and they’ll do the rest.

Final Thoughts

At $349.00 the Swampfox Kraken offers shooters an affordable closed emitter style dot optic with simple controls and an unbelievable warranty.

When you combine that with the two supplied mounting plates, it places the Kraken ahead of many other optics. Shooters who want to entertain the idea of using the Kraken on a pistol caliber carbine or something with a Picatinny rail can do so by purchasing the optional Rebel Riser for $75.00, which will allow for both lower 1/3 and absolute co-witness of the front sights.

This added flexibility is yet another nice feature of the company

As the field of closed emitter optics gets more crowded each year, there will be more brands and models to select from. Right now though, if you want a closed emitter style optic and you are tired of delays and back orders, the Swampfox Kraken is a phenomenal opportunity.

What do you think? Is the Kraken something you would consider? Why or Why Not?


*Originally published on The Gear Bunker

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