With the range being closed for a second time this year, I’ve had a little more time to dedicate to doing more in depth reviews. Like the title says, this is my review of the Vortex Razor Gen III 1-10x24. I’ve seen previous attempts at a 1-10 before and while those attempts were cool, a lot of them had something peculiar about them, that made them outliers.
Like many of you, I’ve not had the luxury to put endless rounds down range so I’ve had to settle with an abbreviated evaluation cycle. In my last review I started at the front of the optic and worked my way to the back, but I’m going to make a departure from that format for this review and start with the “cons” of the optic first. This may foreshadow my opinion of this optic, but I think it’ll make more sense that to jump from pro to con and back to pro again.
The first “con” that I came across was the very light bluish hued tint towards the edges of the glass. I’ll preface it with this, it’s not anywhere as bad as the RMR, so let me just put that out there right now. I noticed this hue more when I was looking at something that was white. For those that don’t know, the tint is there on purpose to increase the visibility of illumination which is often the Achilles heel of first focal plane optics. You'll see what I mean if you look at the top arc (from 9 o'clock to 3 o'clock in the picture below from The Armory Life) there is some slight distortion and coloration of the dirt as well as the insert image of his white and red target that shows a slight blueish hue. Some may not notice this as much and it may not bother them.
The Gen III does not have parallax adjustment and that can be a deal breaker for some. Vortex probably has some very good reasons as to why they didn’t work to try and include this in their Gen III, but it is what it is.
My next “con” may sound like me nitpicking, but I was a little disappointed in the reticle size in relation to the field of view at 1 power. It just seems empty. There’s a lot of space around the “T” reticle even with the center illuminated during the day. I might have preferred a much larger “T” that gradually fades out of view as the magnification goes up, eventually leaving just the Christmas Tree. Otherwise, the glass is decent for the price point with limited distortion towards the outside edges at 10 power. I noticed a little chromatic aberration at 10x but that is to be expected. The center reticle is translucent at increased power, and I find myself rather ambivalent towards that. It’s cool that you can see through the reticle at range while it’s not illuminated, but is that a big positive? I’m not sure. This is the last gripe, if I can even call them that, against the scope.
Speaking of illumination, the illumination dial to me is perfect. It’s a rather large diameter knob on the left that has a shut off notch between each level of illumination. Each level is tactile and you can really feel the knob settle on each setting. This is a pretty common feature on most modern tactical rifle scopes in the past few years which allows the user to set their preferred illumination level, and make a partial turn to shut the illumination off rather than having to go all the way back to 0.
The Gen III runs capped turrets which prevent unintended adjustments when using the scope in competition or in the field. My preference is for capped turrets, but I know a lot of other shooters prefer exposed turrets. I believe Vortex intended to market this scope towards the LE/Mil market and is the reason why they went with capped turrets. I’m drawing my conclusion from the marketing materials that Vortex has been putting out there and the types of social media personalities they’ve been sending scopes to review to. If you're one who wants to manually adjust your dope based on your own hand loads, simply leaving the caps off isn't a problem and you'll like the very easy to adjust turrets.
The biggest plus in my book, and I’m not alone in my opinion, is that Vortex was able to squeeze all the capabilities of a 1-10 in the same footprint as their 1-6 and still improve on it. This to me is worthy of an industry award and why the Gen III has garnered so much positive praise.
In addition to squeezing all that performance into the same package, Vortex has managed to improve the Razor’s already impressive light gathering ability by increasing the diameter of the tube to 34mm. That 4mm does make a big difference in light transmission which is only going to help you distinguish your target at range. During the summer months here, light is overly abundant, but if you're going the the Pacific Northwest, or hunt in Alaska where it can get overcast in a heartbeat, that larger diameter will help gather up what light there is.
The magnification adjustment has been significantly tweaked with the Gen III to the point where you don’t have to have the hand strength of Hercules in order to make adjustments. The Gen II was notoriously sluggish when time came to change magnification. I’d go so far to say that this has the best adjustment “ring” of any of the scopes I’ve recently had – it’d give my Mark 6 a run for its money. It comes with an adjustment “cat tail” and I reluctantly installed so I could fully review the scope as Vortex has it boxed, but I don’t feel I need it.
Overall, if this scope is in your range, I won’t hesitate to tell you to give it a moment of your time. I didn’t want to turn this into a comparison with my Vudu, Trijicon, or Mark 6, but the Gen III can definitely stand on its own merit. I’m going to go so far to say that Vortex has another “Gold Standard” product on its hands.
Weight: 21.5 oz
Reticle: EBR-9 MRAD
Eye Relief: 3”- 4”
Focal Plane: First
Magnification Range: 1-10X
Price: $2899 @ Vortex
$1999 @ Optics Planet
$199.99 @ Wish (j/k)
FOV @ 100 Yds: 11.7’
Here are some “Pro” opinions: