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Vortex Razor Gen 2 4.5-27x56

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/05/2014 at 20:56
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Vortex Razor HD Gen2 4.5-27x56


Ultimately, this scope should have been included in the most recent of my High End Tactical articles, where I was looking at exactly this type of a scope: 56mm objective lens, high magnification and top notch quality.  However, it simply wasn’t available then and even the scope that I got my hands on for this article is a pretty early pre-production sample.  Before I got into some serious mechanical testing I checked with Vortex to see how it is different from future production scopes and they said that some of the optical systems are not as well fixed in place as they will be (they rushed to make these for SHOT) once the production line is fully up and running.  Now, something like that can potentially affect both optical and mechanical performance and I was a little surprised that they still risked sending it to me.  I suppose that speaks to their confidence in the basic design.  In deference to the pre-production status of this scope I did not test it with 338Lapua, but aside from that I did not baby it in any way shape or form.  It went through the same basic turret tracking tests as I usually do, so the scope has a bit over 100 rounds of 6.5x47 behind it.  If something was screwy with the mechanics I would find it.  Moreover, I took a pretty nasty spill together with the scope and while there is some rather noticeable cosmetic damage on the outside, the functionality is unchanged.


When production copies are available, I might get my hands on one and test it with 338Lapua as well, but frankly, based on my previous experience with the Razor HD product line, durability is unlikely to be an issue.


As is my custom, here is the short version:

This scope is absolutely a competitor for the alpha makers and, while not cheap, is a comparative bargain at $2500 street price.  Vortex will most likely do well with this design.  It is heavier than I would like and in terms of pure image quality it is not quite as good as the best (Premier 5-25x56), but it is close enough to compete.  I have looked at quite a few high end tactical scopes over the last few years and optically this scope would not be at the bottom of the pack.  The overall design is superb and this scope is remarkably easy to get behind.  I did not have Hensoldt and Kahles on hand to compare, but it is up there.  All of the other scopes in this category I have seen to date are not quite as forgiving of eye position.


Now, onto the long version.


I compared the Gen 2 Razor to Premier 5-25x56 and March 5-40x56 that I happen to still have here.  Both are excellent scopes and their strengths are somewhat different from each other.  The Premier is the best optimized 56mm scope I have seen to date; it is “the generalist” design, so to speak.  It has been supercede by Tangent Theta scopes which will use the same optical system with re-designed mechanicals, but for my purposes it is a good scope to compare to.  The March, on the other hand, is “the specialist” that is virtually in a class of its own in terms of centerfield resolution and magnification range, albeit at the expense of the FOV and edge performance.  Comparing the new Razor to these two gave me a very good idea how it stacks up.




Before I get into the specifics, perhaps a few words about the whole Razor product line are a good idea.  The original Razor HD scopes were the 1-4x24 and 5-20x50 front focal plane designs.  Both were pretty successful, best I can tell, with the higher magnification version of the scope easily garnering the most publicity of the two.  There were some early stumbling blocks that Vortex quickly resolved and the resulting scopes were very good.  I have seen a few different versions of them, and I was always impressed with what these scopes offered for the money.  The lower magnification 1-4x24 scope was eventually superseded by the first of the Gen 2 scopes the 1-6x24.  This one is a second focal plane design aimed squarely at 3-gun shooters: it features ultra wide field of view and a very bright illuminated reticle.  Fast forward a bit over a year and, in 2014, Vortex introduced two more Gen 2 Razor HD scopes: 3-18x50 and 4.5-27x50, both with front focal plane reticles.  The original 5-20x50 Razor HD will remain in production for the time being as well.


Here is the spec table that I used for the last High End Tactical article with the Razor’s specifications added in.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/05/2014 at 22:45
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Nice review!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/05/2014 at 23:44
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Very good review.  Thank you.  For the first time, I may have a real interest in Vortex.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/06/2014 at 00:04
koshkin View Drop Down
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Thanks.

I think production scopes are not going to get here until the summer.  I was very lucky that I got  a chance to do a proper test on  one of these so early in the game.

Unless there is something catastrophic I missed, Vortex just threw a bit of a monkey wrench into the high end tactical world.

Steiner, Kahles and March are right at $3000 price, so they only need to justify about $500-$600 of price premium over the new Razor.

S&B, Hensoldt, etc have largely moved their prices north of the $4k mark, so they better have something up their sleeve to explain how they are that much better than the competition.

ILya


Edited by koshkin - March/07/2014 at 00:41
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/12/2014 at 22:51
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What do you think about the glass in the gen 2 vs the gen 1? Or are you waiting until the production model comes out?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/12/2014 at 23:39
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As usual a great review.I hope you get a chance to do a side by side with the Hensoldt.Thanks Ilya Excellent
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/12/2014 at 23:49
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Originally posted by Gil P. Gil P. wrote:

What do you think about the glass in the gen 2 vs the gen 1? Or are you waiting until the production model comes out?
 
I think Gen2 is better, but I will double check when production scopes are here.
 
ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/13/2014 at 10:39
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Great review ILya.

Have you done a review on the Razor Gen II 3-18x56?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/13/2014 at 11:19
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Excellent review as always!  ExcellentExcellentExcellent
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/13/2014 at 14:19
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Originally posted by BeltFed BeltFed wrote:

Great review ILya.

Have you done a review on the Razor Gen II 3-18x56?


Thanks.

I will review the 3-18x50 when they get their production going.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/13/2014 at 14:35
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Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

Originally posted by BeltFed BeltFed wrote:

Great review ILya.

Have you done a review on the Razor Gen II 3-18x56?


Thanks.

I will review the 3-18x50 when they get their production going.

ILya

Thanks

I'm really liking scopes in this power range for the all purpose rifle (not carbine) scope.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/13/2014 at 17:46
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Would agree with on that one Lynn! Thunbs Up  Not much you can't do with 3-18X...and good glass of course
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/17/2014 at 12:32
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Any word on if it will come in black?  It is going on a AX338MC in black and it will clash.  I gotta be color coordinated when I'm sending lead 2km pimp-style.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/17/2014 at 14:29
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I got to handle one of these scopes down at SWFA during there grand opening of the new store, and I was VERY impressed with that scope.  I think it may have a home on my DTA 338 LM once it is release.  I asked the Vortex rep if I could take it and test it for him, but I don't have as much pull as some people do.  It is a heavy scope for sure, but every other aspect was impressive.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/17/2014 at 22:34
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Since ILya wrote his review, I've been researching this scope.  I ran across this a couple of days ago:

http://forum.snipershide.com/snipers-hide-rifle-scopes/233760-vortex-razor-4-5-27-worth-giving-up-my-5-5-22-nxs.html

I was especially intrigued by their comments on the scope's weight...


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/18/2014 at 11:46
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Originally posted by helo18 helo18 wrote:

I got to handle one of these scopes down at SWFA during there grand opening of the new store, and I was VERY impressed with that scope. 


Yep, me too. I was there with Andrew and Skylar while we were discussing the new Razor Gen 2's with the Vortex rep. They had the 3-18X50 and the 4.5-27X56 on hand. I don't know if they were pre-production or production versions. Regardless, they are very impressive indeed!

Great review, Ilya! I agree about the turret adjustment feel. They have a very tactile, positive feel with no perceptible backlash. Very nice! Optically, they appeared to be very good, but I was limited to only peering through the window of the store on a very overcast, rainy day.



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/21/2014 at 08:47
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Ted, What was your impression of the weight of the 3-18x50 Razor?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/21/2014 at 11:14
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Lynn, both scopes were very hefty -- close to 3# each! Logic says the 3-18X50 shouldn't be as heavy as the 4.5-27X56, but the specs say the former is only 2 oz lighter than the latter, which I find hard to believe. They were close enough in weight to each other and heavy enough that I couldn't discern a noticeable weight difference between the two. One could likely bludgeon someone to death with either scope! If weight is a concern, these wouldn't be the scopes for you. I would definitely use heavy duty rings with lots of tube engagement area due to the momentum of such heavy scopes during recoil.

Obviously on a relatively heavy LR precision rifle, weight usually isn't as big a concern (and depending on the rifle, may not be a concern at all) as it would be on a hunting rifle.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2014 at 10:28
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Originally posted by Kickboxer Kickboxer wrote:

Very good review.  Thank you.  For the first time, I may have a real interest in Vortex.
 
Really?
 
Vortex makes a very good products, but so many associate Crossfire line with everything that they offer and I think that is were there is a disconnect.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2014 at 10:33
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

Lynn, both scopes were very hefty -- close to 3# each! Logic says the 3-18X50 shouldn't be as heavy as the 4.5-27X56, but the specs say the former is only 2 oz lighter than the latter, which I find hard to believe. They were close enough in weight to each other and heavy enough that I couldn't discern a noticeable weight difference between the two. One could likely bludgeon someone to death with either scope! If weight is a concern, these wouldn't be the scopes for you. I would definitely use heavy duty rings with lots of tube engagement area due to the momentum of such heavy scopes during recoil.

Obviously on a relatively heavy LR precision rifle, weight usually isn't as big a concern (and depending on the rifle, may not be a concern at all) as it would be on a hunting rifle.


 
Agreed, both were heavy, but quite exceptional.  It would not be something I would use to hunt with where hiking would be involved.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2014 at 10:33
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Exceptional review Ilya. Excellent
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2014 at 11:05
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Originally posted by Skylar McMahon Skylar McMahon wrote:

Originally posted by Kickboxer Kickboxer wrote:

Very good review.  Thank you.  For the first time, I may have a real interest in Vortex.
 
Really?
 
Vortex makes a very good products, but so many associate Crossfire line with everything that they offer and I think that is were there is a disconnect.

I never found anything they make more attractive than something else in the same price range.  They were not unique, not more appealing.  However, I like this scope, at least its looks and specs.  The only thing I don't like about it, that I can see upfront, is the low end.  If it were 3x, I would have already ordered one.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2014 at 12:05
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Originally posted by Kickboxer Kickboxer wrote:

Originally posted by Skylar McMahon Skylar McMahon wrote:

Originally posted by Kickboxer Kickboxer wrote:

Very good review.  Thank you.  For the first time, I may have a real interest in Vortex.
 
Really?
 
Vortex makes a very good products, but so many associate Crossfire line with everything that they offer and I think that is were there is a disconnect.

I never found anything they make more attractive than something else in the same price range.  They were not unique, not more appealing.  However, I like this scope, at least its looks and specs.  The only thing I don't like about it, that I can see upfront, is the low end.  If it were 3x, I would have already ordered one.

Picky, picky, picky. Just get the 3-18x50 if you need 3x, after all, who needs 27x for anything other than 338 LM or 50 BMGWink

I'd love to get my mits on the 3-18x50.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2014 at 12:22
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My dear wife told me I should just get another Hensoldt...  SHE has really made the decision tough... but I REALLY love that woman...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2014 at 12:24
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Isn't the Hensoldt SFP though?
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