Back in October, I did a review on the Razor HD 1-6 GEN II from Vortex Optics and overall it was a fantastic option. At the time, it was one of the nicest LPVOs I’ve tested and owned. Fast forward to SHOT Show when Vortex unveiled their new Razor HD GEN III 1-10×24 optic and I immediately had questions. From the initial specs, I was rather confused how Vortex managed to create 10x of magnification without making the optic longer in overall length. I was incredibly interested, so Vortex was nice enough to send out a review sample for me to try out. Over the last three months, I have been testing it and have had enough trigger time to figure out an overall opinion. Let’s dive into the specs and my thoughts on the Vortex Razor 1-10.
The Vortex Razor HD GEN III 1-10×24 has the overall same length and measurements as the older GEN II-E 1-6×24. Vortex wanted to keep the 1-10 compact and the overall length is 10.1″ with the weight coming in at 21.5 oz. The eye relief on the Razor is around 3.5″ and is manageable under 10x when changing targets rapidly. Probably the biggest difference between the GEN III and GEN II Razors is the slight elongation of the tube between the turrets and eyepiece. It’s a slight change from the older 1-6 variant but isn’t enough to make it feel like a real difference in size.
Tube and Turrets
The largest difference between the older GEN II-E and the new GEN III 1-10×24 is the bump up from a 30mm body tube up to a larger 34mm tube. The illuminated reticle is a dot at 1x and at 10x it’s a nice circular optic with your MRAD adjustments down below. One thing I didn’t understand in the original 1-6 GEN II-E was the covered turrets with screw-on caps rather than manual turrets. After owning the 1-6×24 for a year and shooting the 1-10 for the last couple months, the lower profile covered turrets are accessible but stay out of the way if you use them in quick transitions.
The etched glass reticle is compact and simple to use at lower power but becomes more applicable at higher powers. The parallax is fixed at 150 yards which didn’t seem to impede me in any way whether it’s shooting quickly on 1x or taking shots at a distance at 10x. Over the last few months, I’ve taken the Vortex Razor 1-10 out a number of times with a mix of close transitions drills at 1x to longer ranges with the higher power magnification. Right now MSRP on the Vortex Razor 1-10×24 GEN III is set at $2,899.99 with a street price around $2,000-2,200. Let’s take a look at what I experienced in my various range trips.
For my testing, I decided to put the 1-10 on a few different rifles I own to get a general consensus. Vortex sent a 34mm mount with the optic, but I wanted to check out the aftermarket support for a lightweight 34mm scope mount. There are a few different offerings from American Defense Manufacturing and other companies. For this test, I purchased a Scalarwork’s Leap 34mm 1.93 mount for the best balance between longe range shooting and having the ability to test how fast the reticle is at 1x during transitions and shooting various drills. I used three different rifles to test the overall accuracy including a SIG 716 GEN 1 Patrol rifle, a 14.5 pinned and welded 7.62×51 rifle I built, and the 15.1″ 5.56 RECCE rifle I wrote about a few weeks ago.
For the majority of testing, I used the 308s since the higher power capabilities give the shooter more options for long distance shooting. For the first two range sessions, I mounted the Razor 1-10 onto the SIG 716 Patrol rifle with Federal 180gr Non-Typical Soft Point rounds as well as some 155gr A-MAX Hornady Black Ammo. I set up targets at 50,100, and 200 yards and decided to do a quick zero and accuracy test at 100 yards. With the Federal, I was getting right around 1.5-1.75 inch groups and with the Hornady Black ammo I was getting roughly the same sized groups with the majority being 1.5″ to 2.75″ at 200 yards.
The first two range sessions were a couple hundred rounds of just shooting at various distances on different targets being called out by a spotter. By the end of the two trips, I had right around 350 rounds through the setup and I was impressed. It was a great way to practice using different magnification to make impacts. One thing I noticed was the eye relief on the Vortex 1-10 was nearly identical to the older 1-6 Razor despite having 4x more magnification. It was slightly less than the previous model but I figured it was less than an inch which in the grand scheme of things didn’t make a big difference.
Jack Of All Trades Drills
The third range session was a mix between shooter closer range and shooting at 100 yards and a 12-inch steel target at 400 yards. The Razor feels like a true 1 power and with the illuminated reticle, the gun feels like a bulky red dot when shooting targets up close. The party piece is pushing the magnification up and making quick hits on targets before transitioning back to closer ranges. After finishing up my 6th or 7th drill, I really started to see the potential for the Razor 1-10 for 3 gun competitions or building the ultimate “Jack of All Trades” rifle. I ended the day with a 100-yard accuracy test with some 150gr SIG Sauer FMJ ammo. With the different rifle and ammo, I had a 1-inch group at 100 yards and with that final group, I called it a day.
5.56 Transition Drills
I spent the majority of my time testing the Razor at distance and honestly, it should be tested at distances past 100 yards and not up close. I did want to give it a good shakedown up close running and gunning with close distance engagements. After some consideration, I threw the optic on my 5.56 RECCE Rifle that has a 15.1 barrel. The gun looked odd but in the name of science, I decided to give it a whirl. After about an hour and a half, I came to the conclusion the 1-10 is easier to maneuver than the 1-6, and the smaller reticle at 1x on the 1-10 seems faster than the larger crosshairs on the previous generation. The small reticle brought your eyesight to the middle of the optic naturally making target acquisitions extremely fast.
One of the contributing factors to the quick shots is the higher 1.93 mount from Scalarworks since there’s little to no movement to line up on target. I wasn’t sure on the overall height of the optic mount but after shooting quick transition drills with a rifle, I am a true believer of the higher mount. After a few hours of shooting drills with a local instructor, I was tired but had faith that Razor 1-10 is capable of doing a great job at closer ranges with the 1x and illuminated reticle.
So after a couple months and around a thousand rounds, the Vortex Razor 1-10 somehow remains a mystery to me. I really can’t understand what kind of black magic Vortex did with their new Razor. Now don’t get me wrong, the eye relief distance is a little less than the 1-6×24 and the eye box doesn’t seem as generous either but it’s marginally different from the original. I know the price is steep, and it’s built like a tank compared to something like a Kahles 1-8, but the Razor 1-10 is now my go-to LPVO. After testing, I typically will ship the optic back and call it a day, but the Razor 1-10 is one of the very select few I coughed up the money to purchase and keep.
I know some of you will say there is lighter and “just as good” optics out there and it’s ok to disagree with me but I’m not sure there’s a better Jack of All Trades optic on the market today. When I started reviewing this optic, I seriously wondered if it would live up to the hype that it received at SHOT Show and so far it definitely delivers on its promises. I plan on continue using and abusing the Razor 1-10, so if things change I will definitely keep you guys updated.
Let me know what you think in the comments below. Do you think it’s been hyped up or do you think it’s something different on the market? Let me know in the comments below. If you have questions feel free to shoot me a message on my Instagram page @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there and thanks for checking out TFB.
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