Even though Vortex is a young company, they've already established a few popular series over the years, namely Crossfire, Diamondback, Viper and Razor. Razor is a synonym for high-end, top quality optical devices of theirs, featuring only the best components that they have at disposal. A few days ago, another member was added to the family – Razor HD Gen III 1–10x24.
Let’s take a look at the history of the wide-angle riflescopes in the Razor series. The first one, Razor HD 1–4x24, was introduced almost ten years ago. It was succeeded by Razor HD Gen II 1–6x24. This was one of the first riflescopes of a non-European origin that could compete with all the best European wide-angle riflescopes. For this reason, it became immensely popular. Its only major drawback was its weight – at more than 700 grams, it was significantly heavier than the competition. Vortex was aware of this fact, so they introduced the upgraded version, HD Gen II-E 1–6x24 version, making crucial amendments to the mass. Now, at the beginning of 2020, the 1–10x24 Gen III version has been scheduled for release.
So, what treats does the new Razor HD bear along? Let’s start with the most obvious one, the zoom factor. We at Optics-trade were expecting an upgrade in the form of a 1–8x riflescope, but Vortex went one step further (as usual) and surprised us all with a 1-10x model. With some cheaper riflescopes, the performance at bigger magnifications usually isn’t breath-taking, but this is a Razor HD – we are absolutely positive that it is going to astonish us even at its max. magnification. What else is new? The tube diameter is no longer 30 mm – Vortex went for the 34 mm tube but managed to retain the same weight as that of the HD Gen II-E model. There is not as much elevation range as on the old model (the new model has 120 MOA/30 MRAD of elevation, the old one had 150 MOA/43.6 MRAD of elevation) – we can attribute this to the bigger zoom factor. Fortunately, the elevation range isn’t of grave importance because this is a wide-angle riflescope where substantial adjustments to the elevation are only scarcely needed. The field of view has been slightly increased. You now get a Switchview Throw Lever, lens covers and sunshade in the box, which wasn’t the case with gen II. The expected retail price in the US is placed at 2899 $. We will have to wait for the European price (we expect it to be around 2600–2700 €), but one thing is certain – the gen III model will be quite pricier than its predecessor.
As this is a 1–10x riflescope, we can refer to it as an all-rounder – it allows shots on great distances thanks to a maximum 10x magnification and super-handy use with both eyes open at the lowest 1x magnification.
What remains the same?
The Razor HD Gen III is still a Japan-made, first focal plane riflescope with low, capped turrets. There are two options available, with click value either in MOA or MRAD. The scope is supplied with the corresponding reticle (EBR-9), making it either an MOA/MOA or MRAD/MRAD. The click values are ¼ MOA and 0.1 MRAD, respectively. It features quality glass, as befits a high-end Vortex riflescope, and is fully multicoated. It convinces with amazing resolution and colour fidelity. Some of Vortex’ famous coatings are found on the lens surfaces, among them XR™ Plus which increases the light transmission rate, and ArmorTek™ which grants additional protection against abrasion, repels dust and water droplets. The interior is purged with argon, ensuring that no internal fogging can occur when temperatures drop below zero. Razor is made of high-quality aluminium, and the construction is rigid enough for it to withstand the recoil of even the most powerful calibers. It is IPX7 certified, meaning that you can safely submerge it to a depth of 1 meter of water for around 30 minutes. It has an eye-relief of around 9 centimeters. There are 11 illumination intensity levels to choose from and an off switch between each of them. The illumination is powered by a battery of the CR2032 type. The riflescope’s operating range is from –20°C to 60°C.
The riflescope still features Vortex’s signature ‘stealth shadow’ colour (anodized finish).
The parallax remains fixed at 100 yards (91 m). Some will undoubtedly question the lack of the parallax adjustment setting since some riflescopes from competitors (March, IOR) with an identical configuration have it. Nevertheless, most wide-angle riflescope users don’t need an adjustable parallax, hence having a fixed one is simpler solution for most.
Razor HD riflescopes are among the most sought-after optical devices for military, law enforcement use, and competitions. We are sure that Gen III 1–10x24 will reinforce Razor HD’s reputation. We’ll take a closer look at its capabilities at this year’s Shot Show where Vortex will be making an official introduction to the public.