Performance and competition are adjectives that aptly describe the Razor HD Gen III 1-10x24 rifle scope. The following content is an in-depth review of the Razor HD Gen 3 1-10X24 scope.
Vortex has created one of the premier optical systems in the industry by adding 4X more magnification, which makes this low power variable optics even more capable for long range hit than the previous GEN 2 1-6X.
We will look at some of the outstanding and unique features of the next generation of Razor Scopes.
We are going to cover:
- Core specifications
- Differences from the GEN II and GEN III.
- NEW RAZOR EBR-9 reticles
- Recommended scope ring or mount
- Performance reviews by shooters who have used this versatile scope
The scope comes in a big box nicely packaged and feels very premium.
The scope comes with manuals, a Vortex Sticker, warning label...etc but most importantly, the scope comes with
- 2" long sunshade
- Lens protectors
- Magnification dial lever (a ~$34 value add-on accessory you get it for free)
- Scope mount torque value warning card
- Lens cloth
- Hex wrench
- 2 CR2032 Batteries
- Magnification: 1-10X
- Objective Lens: 24mm
- Focal Plane: First Focal
- Tube Size: 34mm
- Reticle Type: EBR 9
- Turret Type: Capped
- Length: 10.1 inches
- Weight: 21.5 oz
- Field of view at 1X : 116ft@100 yards
- Field of view at 10X: 11.7ft @100 yards
- Low capped Turrets
- Max Elevation: 120 MOA
- Max Windage: 120 MOA
- Fixed Parallax to 150 yards
What Makes The RAZOR 1-10X Special?
The RAZOR HD Gen 3 1-10X is special in the low power variable optics category for being the first successful 1-10X scope similar size & weight to a GEN 2 1-6X, with a bigger eye box at 1X that is great for CQB and 4X more magnification.
There have been other 1-10X LPVOs attempt in the past, but Vortex has knock this thing out of the park!
Here are some excerpts from OpticsPlanet, “Vortex Razor HD Gen III 1-10x24 Riflescope, the latest generation of glass for your rifle provides a clear sight picture and plenty of innovative features.”
“XR fully multi-coated lenses that amplify light transmission and eliminate reflections to create the brightest, most vivid sight picture possible. Also, the APO system ensures peak color-accuracy across the entire visible light spectrum.
Design Ideas From Vortex Engineers
Engineers have accomplished Vortex's aim of keeping the GEN III the same length and weight of the GEN II version. It is hard in this day and age not to shrink everything or enlarge the product out of proportion. Overall length is 10.1”, with the weight coming in at 21.05 oz.
Keeping tactical equipment the same size is not a simple thing to do. Military and Law Enforcement should maintain their GOOD rating on the Razor HD because of exceptional optical clarity.
Razor HD is a first focal plane scope and is an incredible piece of optical quality. Glass for the Razor is exceptional as everyone believes. What makes everything work and why Vortex Razor lenses are such innovation is its XR fully multi-coating process.
Edge-to-edge brightness and clarity give shooters a better sight picture than any other product on the market. Next level optics shows how seriously Vortex and its team of engineers are taking the leadership role.
So-called experts bandy about the term edge-to-edge at every level of product review. However, the Razor provides an optic that has quickly become the bonafide leader. Illumination does not vanish outside the eye box.
Qualified shooters report. At two yards, the optic’s center is clear with minimal distortion. At higher magnifications, the eye box gets tighter with quicker acquisition quality.
Eye relief is a respectable 3.6 inches and manageable with each magnification change. Sighting adjustments are; ¼ MOA per click, with a full rotation of 25 MOA. The Vortex APO has a fascinating indexing system.
Construction and Longevity with the Razor GEN III
The Vortex Razor GEN III provides some innovative features, adding nothing to the external dimensions. That feature is remarkable. It is a little pricey; however, once the shooter knows what they are getting, the cost is easier to take.
Razor’s Objective Lens is 24mm, with the unique look of the larger 34mm tube size. The concept is a microscope taken to the extreme. One of the design goals with the enlarged ocular assembly was the broadest field of view possible.
Vortex began 1-10X24 concept talks in 2016, with the premise being increased magnification and a first focal plane reticle. Oh Yeah, No weight increase! It would seem Vortex accomplished its goal.
Vortex winning the SOCOM contract in 2013 was a big deal. The company had two significant engineering teams on one product, the Razor. Scope designs came from Vortex engineers, not purchased from oversea labs.
Illumination on the Razor has been re-engineered, even though Vortex still uses an inefficient 2032 battery. The GEN II 1-6X scope featured a second focal plane reticle and channeled its light by fiber-optics. This system does not work with a first focal plane scope like the 1-10X.
They attach a prism to a red internal LED light. The prism acts like a lens and channels light to the center of the reticle. This brilliant innovation means over 90 percent of emitted light makes it to the eye of the shooter, and it works great on 10X during twilight time frame with no weapon light support.
With a far reaching weapon light, there is no problem reaching out and positively identify the target in low light on 1X and 10X.
With an illumination dial on its left side, adjusting the Razor is straightforward. Pull the dial away from the scope with its knurled portion, unlocking the system, allowing adjustments. It feels sturdy and very high quality, and the battery sits inside the illumination turret.
There is no technological stone left unturned with the Razor GEN III. Waterproof to IPX7 standards, which is 30 minutes in one meter of water? Argon purging scope tube; means a fog proof operation in a variety of temperatures.
Reticles and Capped Turrets
These small glass parts are my favorite content within a quality rifle scope. It is the heart of the optics.
Razor HD GEN III 1-10x24 offers two new aiming points, EBR-9 MOA and EBR-9 MRAD.
¼ MOA per click
Per Rotation: 25 MOA
Max Windage: 120 MOA
Max Elevation: 120 MOA
Graduation: .1 MRAD
Rotation: 10 MRAD
Elevation and Windage: 30 MRAD
Vortex builds the erector assembly for the Razor with long-term precision in mind. Paraphrasing from the design features stated at the Vortex website; the turret and how it interfaces with the erector assembly are incredibly precise—hardened steel rings and floats come with a US Patent.
The erector assembly itself has been premium engineered. Brass alloy and anti-galling, add chromium vanadium erector springs polished by tumbling. The results are a solid feel at the touch point. Razor reticles feature a quick range estimation to scale at 600 yards in the 12 o’clock position.
Quick holdovers out to 650 yards, with wind speeds of up to 20 mph, are scaled under the reticle. Competition shooters find the reticle is ideally suited for live-fire corrections if needed.
Razor’s EBR reticle works well for the shooter. The Vortex aiming point is a hashmarked MOA reticle that uses subtension lines for windage, ranging, and holdover.
The Vortex EBR is an ultra-precision laser etched glass reticle. Lower magnification on the Razor translates to a 4 MOA red dot sight.
An MRAD reticle features Christmas tree markings and foregoes the BDC up to 650 yards with 50 yard increments. The full reticle breakdown is here. Cap protected turrets have seen a makeover on the GEN III.
If you ever wonder what the difference between ballistic turret and ballistic reticle, please click here to learn more.
Cap protected control surfaces keep inadvertent changes from ruining your hunting day. Razor turrets have plenty of tension to stave off most accidents. Turrets are labeled well and have a good tactile feel.
Turret knobs are removable if the shooter wants to set the scope back to zero. Unscrew the center screw and pull the turret straight up. Remove and then press back down with the “0” as the indicator, re-insert the screw and tighten.
It doesn't seem like a big deal, but serious shooters do not baby their gears in the field and the dials areas tend to make contact with stuff a lot such as sling, bags, chest rig...etc, so you want to protect it as much as you can if you dial the turret a lot, even for an expensive scope like the RAZOR that is built to survive in an rugged environment.
Recommended Scope Rings and Mounts
Go to the ones that sold you the scope for accessories.
I chose the cantilever style mount; this is a forward location, giving the shooter more sight picture and a better eye-relief and improved head position. The cantilever gives you an extra 20 MOA to play with.
34 MM Rings are precision matched height Picatinny, from .92 inches to 1.45 inches. There is a lot of precision milling going on with these rings. Bead blasted and tumbled finish.
Shooters recommend a set of Remington rings, and Ruger makes a set that fits nicely on the Razor.
Another recommended scope mounts are Giessele Super Precision, Scalarworks and LaRue Tactical. We recommend LaRue Tactical's QD lever mount if you swap optics quite often.
Generous Eye Relief - Minimum Cheek Position Shift from 1X to 10X
Any time when a shooter picks up a magnified scope, knowing the eye relief distance on the highest power is important.
Generally speaking, eye relief distance shortens when magnification increases and the eye box shrinks. That will change the shooter's cheek weld position and possibly the scope mount height to compensate.
The Vortex RAZOR 1-10X's eye relief distance at 10X is about 3.4", just slightly less than the RAZOR 1-6X, and it's amazing that Vortex kept the 1-10X as close as the 1-6X.
As far as eye relief goes among other 1-10X scopes from the past, Vortex did it the best. At 10X power, the eye relief is very forgiving and there is a minimum cheek position shift from 1X to 10X, which is something I loved.
For competition shooters who have to transition rapidly from 1X to 4X, 6X, or 10X, the Vortex 1-10X will give you that capability to run the stages smoothly.
CQB & Mid Range Performance
The increases to 10X and a front focal plane riflescope give the shooter outstanding accuracy and versatility. Target acquisition at more significant distances is easier. Tactical rifles in higher calibers will be much more effective and engagement ready.
In every reviewed field test, the Razor performed admirably. The eye box at 1X is wide and clean for a shooter to quickly pick up the sight picture without scope shadow creeping in.
At each power range, the field of view was outstanding. Razor illumination was excellent, even in bright light with multi-colored targets.
The Razor was fast and easy to shoot; at close range, there was plenty of magnification. No matter the manner of engagement, the Razor was fantastic at both ends of the dial.
The Vortex GEN III is more than just another version number for the Vortex Razor. With several years of design work, the optical and mechanical systems have been redesigned. 10X power bridges the gap between a mid-range LPVO with a long range precision scope without compromising size, clarity or any field of view.
Two new reticles for a shooter’s enjoyment gives clear elevation and windage reference points. Offering both MOA and MRAD aiming points says Vortex wants to expand the Razor’s marketplace.
Vortex stands behind its products with a lifetime, unconditional warranty.
Razor’s re-engineering of the illumination has produced a remarkable optic. The illuminated reticle is extremely bright and keeps the center dot visible with any conditions. Stating again; the new technology means 90% of the visible light is getting to the shooter’s eye.
The Vortex Razor fits comfortably on most rifles and is highly functional on short-barreled ARs. It is going to be interesting to see how Vortex is going to top the next iteration of the Razor.
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