U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- At SHOT Show 2020, the biggest news in the low power variable optic world was the new Vortex Razor HD Gen III 1-10x. It was the first time a major manufacturer jumped out with a 1-10x and the hype has stayed pretty high even with the whole world turning into a dumpster fire shortly after SHOT show. The concept of a 1-10x is really amazing when you think about it, possibly the most versatile optic ever made. This one optic would potentially allow the user to engage targets from close quarters, all the way out to 1000 yards. It is undoubtedly a very big deal.
For those that don’t know, a low power variable optic is an optic that will work on 1 power, basically as a red dot, giving you quick target acquisition and transitions, while having the ability to magnify and giving the potential ability to shoot farther or get more precision accuracy at shorter ranges. This model allows you to go all the way to 10 power magnification, which is pretty significant. Even more significant, they do all this and keep it about the same size as their 1-6 Razor.
Like I’ve said, this is a 1-10 power optic; it has a 34mm main tube, both turrets are capped, and have one-tenth mil adjustments. The Razor Gen III is 10.1 inches long and will tip the scales at 21.5 ounces. The Razor may be a little heavier than some scopes, but the toughness of these scopes is legendary, and the fact that Vortex added all this magnification while keeping the same length and weight as their 6 power is truly amazing. The clicks on the turrets are audible and tactile. The illumination dial is pretty nice; you pull it out to make your brightness selection, then you can push it in to lock in your setting. Between each brightness level there are off positions, this is cool because you can keep the scope dial right next to the setting you desire, allowing you to quickly turn on and off the illumination at the setting you like.
The Razor Gen III’s reticle is definitely daytime bright, it works great as essentially a red dot at lower magnification, and at the higher magnifications, it has a Christmas tree drop gradient allowing you to range longer shots quickly without dialing. The Vortex Razor Gen III is also first focal plane, meaning the measurements in the reticle will be accurate throughout the magnification range. Another small touch I really like, is that the center of the reticle is slightly transparent, allowing you to not lose targets in the reticle. This is a great feature and I hope other companies mimic this because it seems I’m always shooting something farther than I should, and the targets are small and I lose them in the reticle. One other thing I’d like to add, if you have used an older Razor where the magnification adjustment was super tough, and you had to hold the rifle down to make the adjustment, that is completely gone. The Gen III adjusts very smoothly.
I’ve never really tried to see just how far I could shoot a 10 power scope. Normally, if I’m going to try and shoot say, 1000 yards, I’ll use a more powerful scope. But I thought it would be interesting to see what we could do. For this little test, I strapped the Vortex razor 1-10x to the Savage Elite precision in 6mm Creedmoor. That way, I knew I would have plenty of gun; kind of odd seeing a low power variable optic on a long-range rifle, but it's for science, and let's face it, I’ve done way dumber stuff than this. Actually, my first attempt at 1000 yards was far easier than I thought it would be. The Vortex Razor paired with the Savage made this particular shot a breeze. While I was reviewing this scope I did get the opportunity to shoot a little over 1000 yards, and even out to 1200 yards I was still getting shots on target. I will say when I stepped out to 1300, that’s when I could no longer make the bullet slap the steel. Now that’s me, with my eyes, and I’m sure there are people out there that could go even farther. But, I’m really impressed with this, and to be honest, I never thought you could effectively use a 10 power scope at these distances. Just goes to show you, you never know till you try.
One thing that became noticeable when shooting at those distances, there is no parallax adjustment on the Gen III. Now that’s not unusual in a LPVO, but this more powerful optic may be something Vortex may want to consider in a future revision. Vortex says the parallax is set to 150 yards, and the scope was more than able to get the job done. But again, I think it’s something to consider as this type of scope gets pushed out farther. What do you guys think?
There is one thing that I would be doing a disservice if I didn’t mention. The only sacrifice in this truly amazing LPVO is the eye box is kind of small, vertically. For those that don’t know, the eye box is the area behind the scope in which you can see through the scope. A forgiving eye box allows you to be in almost any position behind the scope and effectively use it. However, a small eye box means that you will have to make sure that your eye is perfectly lined up directly behind the scope or you won’t see a thing. Most people will have their rifle adjusted for this, it was just probably more prominent for me because we were jumping the Razor from gun to gun, and the guns weren’t always set up perfectly for this scope. For instance, on this JTAC Industries Elf Owl, the scope was set up a little high for the rifle, and when your eye wasn’t perfectly lined up we all experienced some scope shadow. I will say it was only on setups like this, and we never experienced it when the scope was on an AR-type rifle or anything else you could get the proper height cheek weld. Most users will have one rifle dialed in with this scope, and you shouldn’t have any issues, but as I said, I just feel I should make a potential buyer aware. In the grand scheme of things, that’s a very small issue with everything else Vortex was able to accomplish with this package.
All things considered, this is one of the most impressive scopes I’ve ever shot. What other scopes can be at home and effective on an AR15 engaging targets quickly at 25 yards, or a long-range rifle shooting out past 1000 yards, with no to very few compromises whatsoever. That also brings up “what exactly do you do with this scope?” Well, pretty much whatever you want. I personally think it would excel most on something like an AR10, or better yet a POF Rogue or Revolution. Because that would give you something that is very effective at shorter ranges while being able to reach out far enough to really take advantage of the 10 power magnification. I think it would also make for a great hunting scope on an ultra-compact package like the Q Fix. Of course, it will also be great on a typical AR, and I’m sure that’s how most people will use it.
This is an awesome scope, and there are really so many uses for it because it is so versatile. While it may not be perfect, it is extremely good and executed very well. I actually thought there would be more sacrifices to get a scope as versatile as this. Vortex has done a phenomenal job with this scope and it does live up to the massive hype that it gets. This will change the industry and it will be interesting to see how the other large scope companies try and mimic the Vortex Razor Gen III because Vortex has made some very large shoes to fill.
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