Mar 282016

In my SHOT 2016 description I mentioned that Vortex has a new line of hunting scopes called Razor HD LH and that they looked pretty good. I now have these in hand and preliminary testing suggests that they are everything I thought they would be.  I need to do a more thorough check-up to be sure, but they look like very polished designs so far. I briefly looked at the 1.5-8×32 and will test it in more depth later on.  However, for now, I sent it off to a friend of mine who is a major fan of tweener scopes to look at.  It will be very interesting to compare this scope to the new Leica ER5 1.5-8×32.

The 3-15×42 model will go onto my precision Mosin project gun (it has an accurate McGowen barrel on it) shortly and I will work it out there. The model I am going to focus on first is the 2-10×42, since that is likely to be the most popular of the HD LH models for general hunting. In terms of comparables, this scope is really most similar to Zeiss Coinquest HD5 2-10×42 and early indication suggest that it might walk all over it.  Another similarly configured model is the new Sig Optics Whiskey 5 2-10×42 which is available both with and without illumination. Here is the spec table:

Vortex Razor HD LH 2-10×40

Swarovski Z3 3-10×42

Kahles KXi 3.5-10×50

Sig Optics Whiskey 5  2-10×42

Meopta MeoPro 3.5-10×44

Zeiss Conquest HD5 2-10×42

Length, in







Weight, oz







Main Tube Diameter







Eye Relief, in







FOV, ft@1000yards

56.2 – 10.8

33 – 11.7

33.6 – 12

49.9 – 9.9

30.9 – 10.8

52 – 10

Exit Pupil, mm

14 – 4.7

10.7 – 4.2

11.8 – 4.4

10.6 – 4.2

Click Value







Adjustment range

90 MOA

 48 MOA

48 MOA

96 MOA

62 MOA

80 MOA

Reticle Illumination












$900 ill



I added the much more expensive Kahles in there since it is probably the highest end 1″ hunting riflescope on the market now.  The rest of the scopes were picked based on similarity of configuration and price. Compared to its two most direct competitors, Sig and Zeiss, the Razor HD LH is shorter, lighter, and has wider FOV.  It is also less expensive than the Zeiss. Meopta and Sig have the reticle illumination (optional on the Sig).  However, the G4 reticle in the Vortex is quite good in low light (in the interest of full disclosure, the G4 design seems to have come out of some suggestions I made to Vortex a year or so ago, so it is natural that I like it).

Another thing that is interesting is that in the table above, three scopes are from Europe and three are made in Asia.

Swarovski and Kahles are from Austria, while Meopta is assembled in the US out of components made in the Czech Republic.  All three use the older style 3x erectors.  The Austrian contingent offers notably wider FOV at equivalent magnifications, but the wider zoom ratio of the Asian made scopes allow them to go lower, so ultimately they can go faster at low mag.

The Meopta has a lower zoom ratio without any FOV advantage over the Razor.

With the Asian scopes, Razor is made in Japan, Conquest HD, if memory serves me right, is mostly made in China with some final assembly done in Germany (I think the attach the eyepiece in Germany).  Where Whiskey5 is made, I am not sure, but it is either Japan or Phillipines.

All three of these have 5x zoom ratios which mostly shows on the low end with wide FOVs at 2x.  I specifically picked scopes with 10x on the high end to make for an easy comparison.

One of the usual compromises for high zoom ratio is finicky eye relief, so that is the first thing I checked with the Razor.  The eye relief on these scopes is long and extremely forgiving.  This easily one of the best designed eyepieces I have seen lately, and probably the best in the sub-$1k market.

Here is a quick handheld cell phone snapshot of the reticle in the 2-10×40 (the scope was at 5X for the picture and I had no problem with a handheld shot:

The scope comes with a sunshade and I am starting it out on another Mosin project.  It is ugly as sin (the rifle) and is still a work in progress, but it is a pretty good base for testing a scope:

 Posted by at 9:18 am

  6 Responses to “Vortex Razor HD LH Riflescopes”

  1. Nice. Looking forward to learning more following your further evaluation of this scope.

  2. Is that a Rock Solid Mount? Who installed the McGowen barrel for you?

    • That is indeed a Rock Solid Mount. As far as the barrel goes, the rifle in the picture has an old take off 91/30 barrel installed on a Antique hex receiver. I do have another Mosin witht the McGowen barrel and the barrel on that one was installed by the folks at McGowen. I sen them a barreled action and they removed the old barrel and fitted a new one on.

  3. I am considering jumping on a 3-15 for a 4th of July deal on my ultralight 280. Do you have enough time behind these to give a basic review compared to an HD5, Big Sky, VX6, etc? I have always been disappointed with Vortex glass, and don’t want to make an $800 mistake… Also, LOVE the reticle. 😉

    • I have not really done low light yet, it’s hard to say for sure. So far, it is at least on par with VX6 and HD5 in a lighter package.

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