Featuring high-definition views, incredible low-light performance, light weight, and parallax correction, here is a premium scope that’s as comfortable on a mountain rifle as it is heavier long-range oriented platforms—and it won’t break the bank…
by Mike Disario for ShootingDaily; promoted by Vortex Optics
As shooters and hunters, we all know the value of quality optics…usually because we have used optics of questionable quality and unquestionably disappointing performance at some point in the past. No lessons are better learned than the hard ones. Most of us have lost a shot due to lens fogging, poor light transmission, or weak platforms that allowed our zero to get knocked out of whack in the middle of a hunt.
Premium optics, however, often come at a price far exceeding our budget. That’s not to say they aren’t worth the cost, but when a top-end scope costs as much as a do-it-yourself western big-game hunt, our optics budget usually becomes biased more towards affordability than having the best of the best of the best.
Fortunately, there are a few companies in the outdoor space who have figured out the magic formula for delivering maximum quality and performance at a cost that doesn’t set us back two or three years’ worth of hunting trip savings. One such company is Vortex Optics. Vortex has claimed the high ground in recent years in the “affordable quality” optics category by delivering intelligent engineering and quality construction at price points well below that of competing technologies. Not only that, all products are backed by the unshakable Vortex VIP Warranty that’s good for the lifetime of the product, no questions asked.
The latest example of this is the company’s Razor HD LH rifle scope.
We recently acquired a Razor HD LH to round out the transformation of our Remington 700 .300 SAUM from a big-game brush gun to a long-distance tack driver. We invested a good penny in an adjustable stock platform and premium trigger, so we needed an optic that would allow our rifle to reach its full potential without putting a second mortgage on the house. The Razor HD LH fit the bill nicely.
The “LH” stands for Light Hunter, and at 16.5 ounces for the 3-15×42 model we selected, the Razor HD LH is just that. In addition to the relative low weight for an optic of this caliber, the Razor HD LH is also quite streamlined with its solid-block aircraft-grade aluminum body and svelte objective and ocular lens bell dimensions.
As you would expect from quality glass, the Razor HD LH offers exceptional clarity and definition with no discernable drop off along the edges. Ditto for chromatic aberrations. There are none that we can see. Credit this to the scope’s extra-low dispersion glass and apochromatic lenses. The latter brings the various light frequencies into common focus to eliminate the rainbow effect along the edges. We also found the Razor HD LH to offer excellent low-light transmission courtesy of full multi-coating on all air-to-glass lens surfaces—something every hunter can appreciate when shooting against a dark hillside or when hunting heavy timber.
In addition to the scope’s optical performance, the Razor HD LH offers several features we really like:
Long eye relief – With its 3.8-inch eyebox, the Razor HD LH makes it easy to acquire your sight picture across the magnification range, and keeps your eye far enough away from the ocular bell to avoid “scope bite” when shooting larger caliber rifles.
Locking eyepiece – A threaded ring in front of the eyepiece allows you to lock the eyepiece in place once you have achieved the ideal focus. This prevents accidental movement in the field.
Second focal plane reticle – The Razor HD LH’s reticle is located behind the image erecting lens and magnifying lenses, meaning that the size of the reticle doesn’t change as you adjust the magnification. We’ll take a second focal plane reticle every time for precise long-distance work.
Side focus (3-15×42 model) – Parallax (apparent shifting of the target relative to the reticle at high magnification when your eye moves, causing minor shift in point of impact) is addressed with a side focus. By simply adjusting the focus, the image sharpens and parallax error is eliminated.
“Clean” reticle design – The Razor HD LH 3-15×42 comes with the Vortex HSR-4 reticle. We like this because it is super clean, with fine crosshair subtensions and 2 MOA hashmark spacing for holdover and windage correction. This design allows for precise long-distance shooting while the predictable subtensions allow you to quickly get on target if you know your cartridge’s bullet drop.
Light weight – Did we mention this scope is light? Yes, and it bears repeating. Since our aftermarket stock added some extra weight, we seriously appreciate the fact that the Razor HD LH doesn’t weigh in at typical “long-range optic” levels.
Perhaps as much as anything else we like about this scope is its diversity. We’ve found that the Razor HD LH delivers the goods for our long-range target shooting needs, yet comes packaged so it feels right at home as a hunting optic.
For those of us with budgets that require a bit of multi-tasking capabilities in our sporting arms, the Razor HD LH comes in on top.
And While We’re Talking Long-Distance…
Whether you’re target shooting more than 500 meters or are pursuing large game across wide open spaces, a spotting scope goes hand-in-hand with a long-range rifle scope. Here, again, Vortex steps up to the Everyman plate with their Razor HD Spotting Scope.
With magnification and objective lens combos spanning 11-33×50 up to 27-60×85 in both straight barrel or angled configurations, there’s a Razor HD for every spotting application. As with the Razor HD LH scope, the Razor HD spotting scopes utilize high-definition, apochromatic, fully multi-coated lens systems for optimal clarity and resolution at a price well below competing technologies. We’ve used these while hunting elk in Montana and have been 100-percent satisfied with their performance and durability. For a moderately price, high-performance spotting scope, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better value than the Razor HD.
article copyright © 2017 ShootingDaily.com; promoted by Vortex Optics
Although Vortex Optics is one of our sponsors, the views expressed in this article are those of the author. ShootingDaily.com receives compensation from Vortex Optics in various forms to help promote their products.