VORTEX: Razor HD Gen II-E 1-6 v. Razor HD Gen III 1-10

On a 14.5 ‘recce’ style carbine, with the priority being given to 1x magnification but also wanting the ability to make good hits at 3-500 meters, is the Gen III 1-10 going to offer anything other than 4x extra magnification over the Gen II 1-6?

I feel like they’ve both been out in the wild long enough and run hard enough for folks to have a general idea of the pluses and minuses of each optic. And I know it seems like a dumb enough question, with a very obvious seeming answer of “4x more mag makes the Gen III the better LPVO” but I sometimes wonder if that is really the case… specifically looking at 1x performance.


I haven't seen the need to trade my 1-6 razor in for the 1-10 on a 556 gun. I think if you are going to go to a bigger cartridge with better long-range performance then it makes sense and then you can really utilize the wind holds as well, but from 0-400 the 1-6 razor on my 16" leaves nothing to be desired.

There is always an agreement to be made that more X's means you can see more and identify more, but for me and my actual environment, I have not seen the 1-6 be lacking in doing what I need it to do. I care more about a great 1x that can help me shoot/see further than just more X's.
The Gen3 1-10x is a great optic, but it’s overkill for most carbine functions. It’s a unique optic that fills the DMR and SPR roles jointly. For what you do are planning on doing, the Gen2 1-6x is everything you need. You can make solid hits out well past 500yds with 6x, and if you’re primarily going to be shooting at close range (inside 50yds), the extra savings of the Gen2 will be better. The only thing the 10x top end will give you is more precision for your shots, provided that that is what you’re using the rifle for. If it’s not a precision rig, and you‘re not regularly going to that distance of 500yds or more, then you aren’t really losing anything going with the Gen2.


Regular Member
Doing real world stuff with your gun means that observing is extremely important and every extra bit of magnification helps. If the gun never leaves a range, than it may not matter as much but observing and collecting data with a 10x is almost double as good as with a 6x.

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In the last 15+ years of riding this LPVO wave going back to the first Short Dot, I've written copious amounts on the subject. Given that has fallen largely on deaf ears, I'll keep this short and sweet and hit the key points:

- Optics are heavily subject to personal preference and feature set. Who I am, where I live, what I do, how much I can spend is going to dictate what I like/need and can/will buy in an optic. No matter the person, getting their recommendation without the WHY is pointless!!!

- One company's 10x is another's 8x. The mere 2x given in the Gen 3 Vortex has not impressed me at all...neither has the 10x in the Nightforce 2.5-10x series. While eyes are different, Company "A" may have a higher quality optic in 8x that does not lose a step from Company "B"'s 10x optic in terms of ability to see detail. To this day, I'll happily take the top of the line 1-4x from 15 years ago over a junky, budget 8x of today.

- "Close quarter that can reach out" or "Long-range precision that dial down". Is this a replacement for an Aimpoint/Eotech? Is this something that may be pressed to 1000y? While the gap is narrowing in that there are a few rare birds that do everything within reason and several "Jack-of-all, master-of-none", most people don't want to spend up to or beyond $3k for an an optic, $300+ for a mount, and $500 for a piggy-back red dot to cover their bases. In coming at an LPVO as a singular optic, you may have to look at it from one direction or the other and weigh what's most important.

Beyond that, it's like arguing the "hottest woman".... everyone can agree on the general concepts on good/bad, but no one's going to agree on the finer details.



Both are fantastic optics. I agree with what's already been stated here that the extra magnification isn't really a game changer. I would note that the gen III eye box seems to be a tad tighter than the the Gen 2, but still rocks.

The biggest differentiator nobody is mentioning here is the difference between FFP and 2FP. With the Gen II being second focal plane you are essentially locked into doing all your work at full power when gathering data or actually shooting at distance, presuming your want to actually use your reticle. The alternative is to dial everything, but that isn't always practical. Now since the Gen II maxes out at 6x its a little more workable, but there are definitely times when you might want to be using your reticle but would prefer to stay at like 3-4 power, or even 1. With the Gen III being FFP its nice to know that your reticle is always going to be accurate regardless of the power.


Doing real world stuff with your gun means that observing is extremely important and every extra bit of magnification helps. If the gun never leaves a range, than it may not matter as much but observing and collecting data with a 10x is almost double as good as with a 6x.

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“Real world” we are almost always going to have optics for observation that are of greater magnification than our rifle glass whether it is hunting, LE, or MIL work. I would state that rifle glass’ primary requirement is for shot accuracy, and only secondarily for observation particularly in the context of 5.56 and 1-6x vs 1-10x.

Cheap 10x binos and/or a rangefinder in conjunction with a 1-6x might be a better setup than a 1-10x for real world applications.


Written a few days ago on LF...seems relevant

@pointblank4445 posted:
For a long, long time I was stuck in the precision rifle: "FFP Master Race" ideology myself.
In the context of the LPVO, we need re-think some stuff. Most likely we're talking small-frame semi auto AR15 or a niche' large-frame (where hopefully we've accepted some compromises).
As I have mentioned before, the constant reticle size is indeed a very big benefit to free one's self from the battery-sucking LED technology or the lesser over-illuminated reticle feature of the others (or the dated but effective wire/fiber optic of the Razor 1-6).
While skeptical myself, in my analysis of LPVO's I tried to see if I ever had a situation where the SFP was a factor on less-than-full power where I had to do the conversion for the holds. For LPVO's that max out at 6, 8 or even 10 (like the NF 2.5-10), I have yet to encounter a scenario in active deployment, hunting, class, competition or general shooting that required such a feat.
WHEN the scenarios presented themselves for where I was on 2.5, 3, 4x or whatever, I found that I was rarely outside of my 100y zero for it to matter. Or on the rare occasion it was at distance, I was more than comfortable using target reference holds (holding on parts of the body/target) anyway rather than a reticle hold. Depending on your zero, target size and skill level...300-400y is not an issue with this method.
In the case of ranging, most LPVO's aren't offering enough detail anyways for the ultra-fine milling for precision ranging without considerable practice and skill. Given modern techniques of "hasty-milling" on known-sized targets, range finders and other tech, and just the plain 'ol Mk1 eyeball for estimation, I think this is a bit much to ask of an LPVO for the intended use and the speed, distance and style of engagement/shooting we're likely talking.
In the case of precision, long-range optics...yes FFP all day every day. You are allowed to maintain the prejudice. However, given the massive task the LPVO is expected to perform, SFP is not the handicap many perceive it...in the LPVO.