Vortex 5-20x50 Razor HD
- By Pete Moore
- 0 Comments
- Last updated: 14/12/2016
A new name in optics over here is Vortex and after two scope tests I have to say they build some good glass. I saw them at IWA 2010 and was impressed by their comprehensive product line. Naturally they have turned their attention to the police/military sniper market and come up with the Razor 5-20x50 HD.
Big and Bronze
The Razor shows a 34mm, one-piece body in a flat, non-reflective bronze, type-3 hard coat anodised finish. There are large, target-type windage and elevation turrets with a side-focus on the left of the saddle marked out to 500 then 8. The magnification ring is checked rubber with raised, rearwards facing lugs with the numbers on them for easy viewing, also a fast-focus eye piece and rheostat at 10 o’clock on the bell. There are flip-up lens caps, kill flash objective lens cover and a spirit level that clamps to the body tube. It’s quite a big package at 35.2 oz and 15.8” long.
The spec of 5-20x50 is versatile with a decent sized objective that is generous in terms of mounting height than a 56mm. Likewise at x20 you have useable magnification that’s not critical in terms of eye relief. The Mil-Dot reticule is in the 1st focal plane. This is far more versatile in terms of using it for rangefinding and range/windage correction as it stays true no matter what mag you select. However, the actual cross/target gets bigger and smaller as you dial up or down, sometimes this can make the ret less than useful at low power…
0.1 Mil rad
Click values are 0.1 of a Mil-Dot (0.36”) with the turrets being divided into 5 x 1-Mil sections, each sub-divided into 10 (0.1 Mil). In English this means that for each turn you have 18” with six and half rotations in total (117”). Naturally all figures are cumulative so add every 100 yards/meters you go out. For example a Mil-Dot is worth 3.6” @ 100 yards but 7.2” @ 200 and so on. You can also get the Razor in MOA if you prefer.
The elevation turret shows a fibre optic (radius bar) in the top that coincides with the 0 position, so in low light conditions you get an idea where you are. This idea is carried through onto the magnification ring with a fixed pointer (mag view) that allows you easier setting/seeing of the power. The rheostat offer 11-positions and sensibly can be switched off between each setting, so making it quicker to return to it, in use I found the drum a bit low.
There are three reticule offered, with hash marks as opposed to dots. My example was the EBR-2 MRad. This consists of a Mil-Dot centre cross that offers eight dots per arm at 3, 9 and 12 o’clock positions and nine at the six. This one is subdivided into ½-Mil. The other three show the same out to five then the final three are 0.2 Mil for fine work.
Further on the 6 o’clock arm is a Christmas tree-type dotted grid around the vertical stadia. There are nine lines that expand out to the base with 1 and 0.2 Mil subtensions. These will allow finer range finding and make applying lead/windage corrections easier through the ret at longer ranges. The outer/thicker bars at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock subtend 0.8 Mil. Though sounding quite cluttered it’s easy to use and not overly complicated as can be seen.
Other reticule options include the EBR 3 MRAD, which shows a simplified (1 and ½ Mil) Mil-Dot centre cross with the thick outer arms subtending 0.1-Mil. If you prefer MOA there’s the EBR 1 with 2, 5 & 10 MOA subtensions.
Turrets move smoothly and easily with positive and audible clicks, but like all un-capped target-types you have to be aware that it’s all too easy to knock them off position. The Razor offers Zero Stop, which allows you to zero then set a base (stop) position that can be quickly returned to should you get lost in rotation. This is easy to set, but make sure you wind the turret to its lowest position before you slack off the three set screws that lock the Zero Stop. This facility is not on the windage turret, as it’s not required…
When adjusting/zeroing in Zero Stop mode there are no clicks, but once you re-tighten the screws they come back. This is not linked to the outer/removable turret drum, which can be set to 0 position separately once you have set up the Zero Stop. Included is a 2mm Allan key for the purpose and Vortex’s web site has a video clip of how to do the job, which is useful.
In terms of size and view the reticule is just about usable at the minimum mag of x5, though the 0.2 Mil marks are a little indistinct. These don’t really come into play until x7-8, though in general the top end power does not make the markings as thick as a telegraph pole. So overall a workable system with enough precision for a decent aim point, shot placement and rangefinding.
Optical quality is good with a number of proprietary coatings on the lenses to improve clarity and light transmission. The end result being a clear, crisp and true colour picture. Though a relative newcomer in comparison to the market leaders the Vortex Razor is a good scope showing high build quality, good optics and a practical design. Also on offer are 35mm rings. The Zero Stop facility is most practical for this sort of equipment. Price-wise it’s on a par with the other high end tactical glass.
For: Right up there with the other tactical/precision optics
Against: Expensive, but aren’t they all?
Verdict: If you have the need then the Razor will do the job
35mm rings £200