Vortex Razor HD 1-4x24mm Riflescope Review

Vortex Razor HD 1-4×24 Riflescope. EBR-556 MOA Reticle

Vortex breaks new ground with the introduction of our Razor HD tactical riflescopes—built literally from the ground up to meet the demands of law enforcement, 3-Gun competition, and the discriminating tactical enthusiast. The precision-etched first focal plane reticle is ideal for rapid close and mid-range shooting. Expect fast handling and deadly accuracy when it gets up close and personal with the advanced Razor HD 1-4×24 riflescope.

vortex turrets mil-dot

For science, I borrowed a tortured Vortex Razor HD 1-4x24mm riflescope from CS Tactical and took it to the range. It’s a variable power scope with a front focal plane reticle, featuring drop reference marks calibrated for FMJBT 55 gr. 5.56mm cartridges out to 700 yards.

By design, the user would use 1x for distances inside 50 yds. At 50 and 175 yds., the user can expect a .2” and 2.4” drop, respectively, with a 100 yrd. zero. The EBR reticle is simple to read and the glass is clear with no perceived distortion. The reticle view in 4x is very distinct.

Windage and elevation turrets provide a total of 200 MOA total travel in ¼ increments and has zero stop (Rapid Zero Return) capability. Tactile feel of the turrets were soft and indistinct. If you rotated the turrets several times, the perceived clicks and haptic response improved. This likely warms up whatever lubricant used, but who has time to “prep” turrets?

I prefer to dial in DOPE in milliradian, but I’m aware some folks prefer to click in their MOA adjustments, so this model is certainly available.

vortex scope turret elevation knob

FYI, FFP scopes provide a consistent reticle size respective to magnification of the object being viewed (Reticle will appear larger at higher magnification, and smaller visa versa.) Alternatively, second-focal plane scopes maintains the reticle size throughout the magnification band.

Keeping all variables consistent, notwithstanding magnification, a proper reticle can provide a means for range estimation (really difficult) or quick hold-over shots (very practical). Take a FFP scope capable of 24x magnification as an example. It is being utilized on a long-range, fast moving, target, and the mirage obstruction is quite apparent. Dialing down the magnification will lessen the perceived mirage, and any hold-over leads/adjustments made using the provided hash marks will stay consistent. Without intimate knowledge/experience at different distances, this would be difficult to accomplish with a SFP reticle at a magnification other than what the reticle was calibrated for. You try tracking a fast moving object at 24x at 600 yards with a mirage.

vortex scope turret fiber optic

I can understand why a FFP on the Razor HD 1-4×24 might make sense. If you’re engaging targets at 1x, the tiny reticle details won’t matter and won’t bother to use the bullet drop reference marks. Though Mike appears to state otherwise, I believe the drawback is the faint reticle at 1x; it does not draw in my eye, even with illumination throughout the day. Otherwise, the reticle on 4x is very clear.

vortex scope x1vortex scope x4

To the side, it has 11 levels of brightness, with an off-switch between settings. Levels 6 through 11 can be visible during the daytime, but that entirely depends on the environment. Compared to the Elcan SpecterDR, the Vortex illuminated reticle appeared dim, and low powered despite a new CR2032 battery.

Magnification can be identified using the MagView, a fiber optic indicator against the rear-facing magnification reference. Another fiber optic rod is utilized in the elevation knob as a quick reference point for turret revolutions. I would imagine the fiber optic rods would be prone to cracking, but Mike’s preliminary test demonstrated otherwise.

Revisiting the reticle, you may review how to estimate wind drift and perhaps use the Razor HD for other calibers by looking at their manual.

I’m not wow’d, but this isn’t a bad scope, either. It apparently held up well in Mike’s preliminary torture test and I do like the clarity of the glass and how easy the reticle is to read at 4x. However, at an average retail price of $1,200.00, one might expect better illumination and turrets. Then again, Nightforce and USO apparently have the same illumination issue.

vortex scope turret windage knob

Mounted on a DPMS 1x9 5.56MM upper with an American Defense Scout mount.

I have some doubts if turrets are necessary on a 4x scope with bullet drop reference marks. Will ¼ MOA adjustments from the turret be more consistent than holding over? I think so. Will most shooters take advantage of this? Not likely, but I understand why dialing DOPE is a nice convenience. If a shooter wanted precision, they’ll likely equip a specific rifle for a specialized role. Alas, this scope isn’t for the specialized rig. I would categorize this Vortex Razor HD 1-4x24mm as a product that’s satisfactory at everything – and apparently there’s a market for that. Reports indicate that 3-gunners appreciate this package as they certainly have a dynamic course of fire. It’s certainly a better package than Nightforce NSX.

Regarding alternatives, I can be a bit like Jeremy Clarkson.

The Elcan SpecterDR, in my opinion, has superior illumination, view is magnified with a flip of a switch, has a reticle that’s as practical on 1x as it is on 4x, easy to read, and a red dot that you can use. The price difference between the two units is a brand new GLOCK and extra magazines, but hey – it’s my opinion.

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Categories: Firearms, Gear Reviews, Guns


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