A fresh and happy hello to everyone as a new writer for Modern Service Weapons. Choosing what to review first was a interesting dilemma. Just having finished a block of training at work I had the opportunity to run the new Vortex 1-6 through a pretty intense month of trigger time and abuse. Looking at options of glass to run on a SCAR17 I first looked at what I wanted to accomplish with it. The optic we usually run is the ELCAN Spectre DR 1-6, which I am not the biggest fan of which is another review all together. I was looking for engagement range from zero to 600 meters, big eye box, good clarity, tactile adjustments, easy to use illumination and something low power but able to be shot on 1x as well as get some magnification for farther shots.
The market has been flooded lately with what seems like every optics manufacturer releasing 1-6 or 1-8 power optics including USO, Leupold, SWFA, Vortex, Schmidt and Bender, Zeiss, among others. Looking at it from a price/quality standpoint I have been incredibly happy with the Vortex 5-20 Razor scopes I have been running on some of my bolt guns for tactical matches and work so I decided to give the Vortex 1-6 a try. Vortex is not a new company by any means but newer when compared to companies like Zeiss, Leupold and Schmidt and Bender. Their Razor line of optics have proven well priced, rugged, and extremely high quality
Initial impression is this is a RUGGED scope just like the 5-20. It is not light at 25oz, I firmly believe with a quick detach mount you could pull it off and use it as a tertiary weapon. I like that though in equipment, the feeling that I’m not going to break it if I’m a hard with it. The elevation and windage adjustment knobs are under screw on caps which is a nice feature, removing fear of knocking them when running or moving with weapon. The knobs have very tactile ¼ MOA clicks, zero is very easily set with a single allen key on top of the knob. The power adjustment is aluminum and fairly easy to grab although a lever is quickly on my list of things to get as quickly changing power without one is not the easiest task. The tube is 30mm making it the same as any Nightforce optic and giving you plenty of mounting options.
The reticle chosen to Vortex to run in this optic is called the JM-1 BDC reticle. Designed by Jerry Miculek as a 3 gun BDC reticle for hotter competition ammunition the reticle lined up nicely with my 16″ 7.62 SCAR. Through my training block targets were between 30-600 meters and the JM-1 worked extremely well. The glass quality is head and shoulders better then that of the ELCAN and better then a Nightforce 2-10x 24 we happened to have out there with us too.
Overall I’m extremely happy with this scope and look forward to using it more extensively. It made it though thousands of rounds, being thrown in weapons boxed with other weapons, patrolled with, helicopter sandblast, and overall treated like the tool it is. It made it though with flying colors. Stand by for more as I continue to use and abuse this piece of glass.