First Look: Vortex Razor HD Gen II 1-6×24

The Vortex 1-6 proved a very good optic for the money and took everything I could throw at it.

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.

Stand by for updates as I continue to evaluate. The future is looking bright for Vortex if they continue to put out products like this.


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This entry was posted in AR15/M4, Long Guns, Review, Weapon Modifications by Joe. Bookmark the permalink.

About Joe

Joe currently serves active duty with 10 years in Naval Special Warfare with deployments to Iraq, Afghan and Pacific Theaters. His qualifications include Sniper, Breacher, Post Certified Pistol instructor, MACTAC Instructor, Naval Range Officer, and Master Training Specialist. Joe has two years as a SEAL instructor teaching marksmanship and tactics. He actively works with southern California local SWAT units as a consultant and also shoots competitive tactical long range competitions when he has time off of work. In addition, Joe is deeply involved with the tactical long range industry actively consulting with many industry leaders.


10 thoughts on “First Look: Vortex Razor HD Gen II 1-6×24

  1. Very well written and informative. Nice to have another option for theintermediate ranges.

  2. Nice article. I initially went with the Vortex scope for my SCAR and was fairly pleased with it’s performance. Good stuff for the money. I got into an Elcan 1-6x at a screaming deal, and that wound up replacing the Vortex on the SCAR. Honestly, I just prefer the Elcan better. It’s been fantastic for the thousands of rounds downrange and in the various classes I’ve attended. For field of view and optical clarity, I think it’s actually better than the Vortex. My only gripe would be the lack of lens covers (I hate those “bikini” style covers). But, different strokes for different folks, as they say ; )

  3. Agent_Orange we had such a bad taste in our mouths from the 1-4′s the 1-6 Elcan had a lot to make up for. Most guys are happy “enough” with them, a good number of guys are mounting Nightforce 2-10′s or 3-15′s on them for a little more distance along with a Doctor Red Dot.

    • Out of curiousity, what sort of issues were you having with your Elcan’s? I know the early generations had some problems (zero loss, etc.), but as I understand it, the new Gen III’s have pretty much solved the teething issues.

      • I will say the new 1-6′s we have, haven’t shown near the issues of the early 1-4′s. My complaints are much more in the ergos and size of the elcan optics. I much prefer the shortdot/razor type of scope. We were having huge problems with wandering zero’s, POI shifts, bad enough to not hit a 10″ plate at 100 yards from one day to the next.

  4. How is the optic holding up? Do you recommend it for a civilian with a scar? Heck, how is your scar holding up?

  5. the optic is holding up great, i would recommend it for anyone wanting a rugged 1-6. I have a couple friends shooting 3 gun who also use it and are very impressed. The SCAR is a ongoing issue with me, they have improved since the first ones we received but in my opinion have a ways to go before they are acceptable.

  6. Joe, thanks so much for the article. This is exactly the type of review I was looking for. Thanks to you I will seriously consider this scope for my semi-precision rig.

  7. Interesting to see this scope reviewed from someone actually using it in field conditions. Very helpful.