Vortex Razor Gen II 1-6 with side of KAC and Geissele

#1
This review is an initial review of the optic, as I spend some more time with it I’ll update this thread.

About 7-8 years ago I helped my father put together a serious use rifle. He wanted a rifle that would be well rounded and useful for a multitude of tasks. What we ended up doing was getting him a Noveske with their 16” stainless barrel. The LPV was really just starting to catch on at the time, and after a lot of research we decided to top it with a Trijicon TR-24 with the green triangle reticle.

Right away I knew I was going to like it, however, after some time on the range and shooting a 2 gun match, I was pretty sold. The TR-24 has some drawbacks, however, it was a solid proof of concept.

While in school I hit some financial troubles and had to sell off my BCM Middy. After finishing up with school, two years ago I got a real job and a steady pay check so I decided it was time to get back into shooting and training. I picked up a KAC SR-15 Mod 2 and topped it with an Aimpoint T2 until budget permitted a good LPV.

For two years I was searching for that optic that fit the bill and I’m pretty sure I’ve found it with the Vortex Razor 1-6 Gen II. I really wanted to not like this optic as it’s not an über elite German wünder optic made by a company with rich history and pedigree, but, the caliber of end users that employ this optic as well as Vortex phenomenal track record with quality and customer service made this optic really hard to beat. As a firefighter I was able to qualify for their first responder pricing which allowed me to get the Razor and a Geissele 1.93 mount for about $600 less than a Kahles.

What I was looking for was a rugged, durable, bomb proof LPV with a good reticle, daylight bright illumination, good glass and minimal distortion at 1x. I decided that I didn’t need external turrets and I didn’t want FFP. In addition to Vortex I considered S&B, Kahles, Swarovski, Leupold, Nightforce, and Trijicon and Steiner.

In the end it came down to a tie between the Kahles and the Razor with me leaning towards the Kahles for no reason other than I liked the Kahles SL1 reticle slightly more. After looking through both optics I was unable to distinguish (to my eyes) a difference in all of the above categories. After talking a lot with a friend who is a truly talented shooter and excellent resource, as well as the previously mentioned reasons above, I decided on the Razor with the JM-1 reticle.

I currently only own one rifle, my SR-15, and I wanted to be able to utilize the rifles full capability. Like many people, my rifle serves multiple functions. It’s my home defense rifle, it’s my ranch rifle, it’s my competition and training rifle and it’s my serious social rifle. I firmly believe that with the smattering of quality LPV’s on the market today, an LPV is bar none the best option for a patrol rifle or serious use rifle where one may be engaging targets past 50 yards.

One of the things I noticed on the range and in competition is that while I can hit IPSC steel 100% of the time all the time at 100 yds with a red dot, PID is difficult or not good enough, and at 200-300 yds, not only is PID nearly impossible, hits on target are substantially slower and less accurate. For both law enforcement officers or a civilian responding to a threat, positive target identification is mandatory. The 16” barrel on my SR-15 makes it a highly effective rifle out to 300 yds, and an effective one out to 600, so why leave capability on the table?

Currently we are fortunate to have a smorgasbord of incredibly good LPV options out there. The days of having to choose between the speed and brightness of a red dot or the reach and greater utility of an LPV are nearly gone. So why the Razor and not anything else? In this case it came down to some minor things, and I hate to say it, but price also. After reading reviews and handling some of the competition, it became evident that the Razor was as good as the competition in many regards, and better than the competition in a few.

Build Quality: 10/10. This thing is built like a brick shit house. If it ever breaks you could literally club someone to death with it.

Optical Quality/Clarity: 10/10. The difference between the quality of glass on the Razor and the Kahles is indistinguishable to my eyes.

Reticle: 7/10: The reticle is an excellent reticle with a very versatile BDC that works out to 600 yds, however, I’ve always been a fan of the horse shoe/dot reticle found in the ACOG and would have preferred that here. Reticle selection is the only thing I found more desirable about the Kahles.

Distortion: 9/10. At 1x there is minimal distortion, especially when compared to an older LPV like the NF 1-4.

Eyebox/Eye Relief: I don’t have any time yet with this optic around barricades or other very awkward shooting positions but initial impressions are that it’s very forgiving. The Geissele 1.93 mount puts the optic at the perfect height for action shooting and duty use, not to mention its literally a piece of machined art.

Illumination 10/10: The illumination is atomic bright. Looking around at in broad Florida day light at my family’s ranch, the dot was atomic bright, even several settings from max.

Overall, I’m extremely impressed. Vortex builds a quality optic and I would say that adding an LPV to my rifle is probably the single best thing I’ve done to as far as making it a more effective fighting tool. I’ve heard that the SR-15 is an exceptionally accurate rifle, however, I didn’t really believe it until I saw it. Shooting my rifle with a red dot I was never able to take full advantage of its true accuracy potential. While sighting in I was amazed at the results. With the Razor and Hornady TAP 55gr Urban (VMAX) I was consistently printing groups in the 1.25 to 1.5 MOA range, and that was four scoops pre workout and me behind the rifle. I would wager that with a better shooter and some even better ammo, this rifle is a solid 1 MOA fighting rifle capable of making accurate hits on target from 0-600 yds. I had plans to eventually do an SPR project, but, I think I’ll just spend the money on hookers and blow instead as I what I have is even better; it’s the weight, size and versatility of a carbine with the accuracy of an SPR.

1x illuminated. This is no where near as bright as the dot gets, i actually should have cranked it up some more as the camera made it look a little dimmer.

6x illuminated

6x

6x, steak dinner is approx 100 yd out.

55gr Hornady TAP Urban (VMAX), 100yd

Money Shot



#KACGEISSELEVORTEXMASTERRACE



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#2
Thank you for all the information & the pics.

My "go to" AR is a BCM 16" middy. I'm really thinking that the Razor may be just the optic that it needs.

I've read where the weight of the Razor bothers some people. Did you find this to be the case? In your post you said that the BDC reticle worked out to 600 yards. What ammo have you used with success in using the BDC reticle?
 
#3
Thank you for all the information & the pics.

My "go to" AR is a BCM 16" middy. I'm really thinking that the Razor may be just the optic that it needs.

I've read where the weight of the Razor bothers some people. Did you find this to be the case? In your post you said that the BDC reticle worked out to 600 yards. What ammo have you used with success in using the BDC reticle?
The weight does not bother me, coming from a T2 it was noticeable at first however, after a few range sessions it became less noticeable. The weight is centered over the rifle so it effects the handling less than if it were out towards the muzzle.

I’ve used the BDC reticle with 55gr TAP, 75gr TAP and M193, it works with all three pretty damn well. Looking at ballistics charts, using a 200yd zero all three are pretty close out to 600’ish yards.


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#4
The weight does not bother me, coming from a T2 it was noticeable at first however, after a few range sessions it became less noticeable. The weight is centered over the rifle so it effects the handling less than if it were out towards the muzzle.

I’ve used the BDC reticle with 55gr TAP, 75gr TAP and M193, it works with all three pretty damn well. Looking at ballistics charts, using a 200yd zero all three are pretty close out to 600’ish yards.


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Thank you so much for the info. It sounds like the Razor 1-6 is what my rig needs.
 
#11
The weight does not bother me, coming from a T2 it was noticeable at first however, after a few range sessions it became less noticeable. The weight is centered over the rifle so it effects the handling less than if it were out towards the muzzle.

I’ve used the BDC reticle with 55gr TAP, 75gr TAP and M193, it works with all three pretty damn well. Looking at ballistics charts, using a 200yd zero all three are pretty close out to 600’ish yards.


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Great write up. Much appreciated.

Where are you finding 75gr TAP? If you dont mind me asking.