First things first: this Vortex Razor HD Gen II Review is my first review of Vortex, and actually my first review of the new optics lines we are now carrying.
That’s right folks, Blue Line Optics now sells, tests, reviews and uses Vortex Optics, Leupold and US Optics.
What this means for you – you now have access to data driven reviews and answers to your questions about all these scopes, as I take them apart one by one and test their Tracking, Features and Optical Quality.
What this means for me – I have a whole ton of new toys to play with, and will be spending more time at the shooting range this summer than I probably have in my entire life.
If you just stumbled across this off Google or Bing, let me welcome you to Blue Line Optics reviews. In our reviews, we perform pretty standard but rigorous testing of rifle scopes.
We test the features, the tracking, the optical clarity. Then we combine all these scores into one final score so that you can use this data to make objective and rational decisions about what you want to buy.
Because really, $2,000 is too much to spend on something you’re going to end up not using. Or something you get in the mail and realize was oversold by the manufacturer.
Which is where we come in – we spend the money on these scopes, test them out, give you the facts, then let you decide for yourself, before even buying anything.
And in this article we’re going over the Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II. This was a flippin’ blast to do and I had a ton of fun with this scope.
But I’ve been really curious about the Razor HD Gen II ever since I reviews the Athlon Ares ETR. The Ares ETR got a very very good score. Okay, the Ares ETR got a perfect score.
And if you don’t remember, we stack the Razor HD Gen II up against the scopes that we review as the benchmark for the features score.
So needless to say, this was definitely the first Vortex scope I wanted to take an in depth review and look at.
So without further adieu, here is the full and unabridged Vortex Razor HD Gen II Review!
The Vortex Razor HD Gen II
The Razor HD Gen II is Vortex’s premiere rifle scope. These scopes have been flying off the shelf at retailers all over and selling out at Vortex HQ regularly – trust me, it took a couple of weeks to get some in.
Vortex jam packed the Razor HD Gen II with features, premiere glass and incredible precision turrets that make this one of the top scopes on the market.
Coming in at $1999.99 for the basic MRAD and MOA reticles (okay they’re not basic, but compared to the Horus reticle versions…), they are priced right in the range where folks can justify making a purchase.
They upgraded the turret system to feature L-Tec turrets, which is a brilliant system combining both the ability of a true zero stop and locking Elevation and Windage turrets.
What stood out to me about the turrets was how easy they were to use. It’s difficult and takes some manufacturing dollars to make a true zero stop, and even more dollars to give you locking capabilities.
Most scopes just do the capped turrets. Which, don’t get me wrong, are fine. But for those of us who like to make quick adjustments while still having the ability to lock these adjustments in.
The Razor HD Gen II also features a fast focus knobbed, side focus parallax adjustment, IR capablities, fully-multicoated optics and finally an extensive reticle selection.
Which is what, in my mind, sets the Razor HD Gen II above the ETR and other scopes of similar quality. As you’ll see in the scoring below, the ETR and Razor HD Gen II score pretty much the same, and the ETR is far cheaper.
However, the Razor HD Gen II has a few features that do make it worth the extra money. One of those things is the variation in reticles.
The RHG2 (Razor HD Gen II, it’s a lot of words to type over and over again) can come in an EBR-1C MRAD, EBR-2C MRAD, EBR-7C (MOA or MRAD), Horus H59 and the Horus TREMOR 3. This is one of the cooler features actually.
Horus Vision, for those of you who don’t know, is a premiere reticle maker. Like this is the type of business they specialize in. Other high scope manufacturers feature Horus reticles too, like Leupold and US Optics.
I talked about the Horus H59 in the article about advanced reticle types, so I won’t go into it too much here. But basically what you need to know is the reticle is structured to make your job of hitting the target much easier by featuring more useful holdovers with spacing enough to keep the reticle clear.
Well that’s my personal take on the Razor HD Gen II. Now let’s take personal opinion out of the equation and get into the data, shall we?
So up until this review, I have been using the RHG2 as the benchmark for the features score on optics. So I had to figure out what else to do here.
But then I thought – well, it has all these features that I personally consider to be the best features to have on a scope.
In fact, the Razor HD Gen II has more features than scopes that are sometimes 150% the price! Sometimes even more.
Typically you go for something like a Nightforce when purchasing a scope of this caliber. Even most Leupold’s don’t have all of these features combined in one.
So really, it’s natural for the RHG2 to set the bar right? Then I remembered that it also has the supreme reticle selection. So I came up with the below results:
I put it up against the Ares ETR. Why? Because the ETR had the best features score when standing next to the RHG2.
So I have to apologize here, because this chart puts the Razor HD Gen II at an additional 2 points. But this doesn’t put any of the scores off by much, just a couple of points.
I added an additional 2 points for the RHG2 because of the premium reticle selection. Not: this does not downgrade the ETR reticle selection per se, it just makes the RHG2 better.
Let’s look at tracking.
Perfect tracking, need I say more? There were only 4 times the reticle missed alignment with the place it was pointing.
Which puts it’s overall tracking percentage at 99.95%, which is right next to the Ares ETR (99.96%). At that point, I consider the differences negligible.
The Shot Group Tracking Test got a 27/30, which is 2 better than the Shot Group Tracking Test for the ETR.
This gives the Razor HD Gen II an overall score of 95%. Note: this does not mean it tracks at 95%, this means the score is 95%. To see how we make this calculation, view the spreadsheets attached and also watch the tutorial here.
Optical Quality Score
I was not surprised when we did the Optical Test, because the reputation around Vortex glass has been great.
I’m not exactly sure where the glass comes from but I believe it is China. But to be honest, this is not a bad thing and most big manufacturers are doing it.
In fact, all the Athlon scopes I’ve reviewed so far have been Chinese glass, and they have been getting consistently A and B scores. What most people don’t realize is that China used to be the place to get cheap crappy stuff, but over the past couple of years they’ve adapted to consumer demands and have gotten their act together, for lack of a better term.
As you can see, the Razor HD Gen II got an incredible glass score, even better than the ETR (although not by much, this is a not a statistically significant error).
One thing to note here – the RHG2 features Edge To Edge clarity on it’s glass. This definitely showed on those far away tests we did.
Overall, very impressed with the Optical Quality on the RHG2!
Final Score & Conclusion
To sum things up, let’s look at the final score!
It should come as no surprise to you that the Vortex Razor HD Gen II got a solid solid solid A. Coming in at 658.72 points out of 683 total, the scope gets a 96.45%.
Tracking is borderline perfect, Features got above 100%, Optical Clarity was solid. Overall, this is a scope that is very much worth the money.
Now, when we compare this scope against something like the Athlon Ares ETR, which is $800 cheaper, a lot of people wonder – is it worth the extra money?
And that’s a good question. The answer is a bit complicated, because I really can’t tell you – this all depends on your preferences.
The L-Tec turret system is definitely better to use than just a simple locking turret, like the ETR. to to mention the Edge to Edge clarity, and the etra selection in reticle design on the Razor HD Gen II.
Are these worth the extra $800 to you? If so, then yeah, you’ll be happy you spent the extra money. If it isn’t, then the ETR is a great scope to get.
The bottom line is I’ve yet to find anyone who has been disappointed with the Razor HD Gen II. And if you’re looking to get one yourself, we sell them here and you can get 12% of your first order at the store. Head there now.
Drop a comment below – what do you like the most about the Vortex Razor HD Gen II?