Gear Review: Vortex Razor Red Dot
Optics at the top of Vortex’s line all share the name “Razor” and the company boldly claims that if their Razor Red Dot was a sports car, it would be a Ferrari. In our search for a reflex sight that is equally at home on both MOS pistols and ARs, we were very curious as to whether this description was an accurate indicator of the Razor Red Dot’s potential. Are they right? Or have they put a Ferrari price on a Chevette?
The Razor’s overall length is 1.8” and weight is 1.4 ounces for just the sight and 2.5 ounces with the included picatinny mount. The single piece, aircraft grade aluminum alloy chassis is built to withstand both recoil and impact. An o-ring seal makes the Razor waterproof and dust proof. The matte finish is low glare.
The wide-field lens wears Vortex’s XR anti-reflective coating and ArmorTek scratch and stain resistant barrier. Adjustments are made in one-MOA increments with the turn of the included wrench. Adjustment points are located on the side and top of the optic for windage and elevation, with a locking screw at the rear of the sight. Maximum elevation adjustment is 170 MOA while max windage is 114 MOA.
There are two Razor Red Dot options: a 3MOA dot and a 6MOA dot. Both have the same specs with a wide field of view. The dot color is adjustable-intensity bright red, though currently that is the only color option. There are nine brightness levels, all adjusted with the up and down arrows touch buttons just behind the glass. Eye relief is unlimited and the optic is a straight 1x-power, non magnification, parallax free.
Battery life with the included CR2032 is up to 150 hours at the highest setting. At low to mid-range powers, Vortex claims the sight will run up to 30,000 hours. Should you forget to shut it off, the 6-hour automatic shutdown will take care of it for you. The well-padded standard box packaging includes a picatinny rail mount and a spacer plate, both 1.5mm and 2.5mm hex adjustment wrenches, the sight’s cover and the necessary battery. Vortex logo branding is clear yet clean and classy. MSRP is $499 however online retailers list them for $399.
As always, the Vortex Warranty Guarantee cannot be beat—lifetime, unlimited, and unconditional. If you’re not already familiar with that, it translates to mean that Vortex will repair or replace your product—at no cost—whether it is defective or damaged, no matter what happened or what stupid thing you may have done to it.
We field tested both the 6MOA and 3MOA versions of the Razor and never got anywhere near to testing the battery life. From what I’ve heard with other shooters, nobody has yet had to replace the juice. Should you need to access the battery however, the compartment door is fairly easily opened from the right side of the sight.
Using the sight is very simple. Either arrow will power it on, and obviously, pressing up and down arrows adjust the intensity. Holding the down-arrow atop the sight for around three seconds turns it off. The controls are easy enough to maneuver for most, though a man with larger than normal fingers may have difficulty accessing the arrows. The included slip-over cover protects the optic nicely.
While we thought the 6 MOA would be a nice dot size that would work equally well both on a hunting pistol and on our competition AR, range time changed our tune. In fact, the 6 MOA was ideal for the AR, but significantly too large and target-obscuring on longer-range hunting or target pistols. When mounted to our Glock G40 Gen4, the 6 MOA dot made the hunting pistol difficult to assess for accuracy at ranges beyond 25 yards. Switching to the 3 MOA sight remedied that situation, however, and we were able to significantly increase our practical hunting ranges, confidence, and accuracy. Check out our G40 review for detailed mounting information.
In addition to the G40, the Razor Red Dot was ideal on the Ruger Charger’s picatinny rail as well. Depending upon your main use for the sight, dot size is a major consideration, as many prefer the larger dots, especially on ARs or turkey/varmint shotguns. We’re glad to see Vortex offering the pair of options, which makes the do-all sight even more appealing.
Regardless which option you choose, the Razor red dot’s function was flawless, with plenty of brightness adjustments for everything from the brightest sunlight, indoor ranges, and lower-light situations. The wide field of view makes shooting with both eyes open a snap. The optic was easy to sight-in and held zero throughout several hundred rounds of 10mm, 300-350 more 5.56, and a few boxes of .22LR.
The features of the Vortex red dot reflex sight put in the class of the Trijicon RMR or C-More in terms of measurables, but at generally less cost and greater warranty. The Razor’s aluminum chassis is weightier than that of the well-known Leupold’s Delta Point magnesium-framed reflex, but that sight comes at a higher price. There’s no test like hard use, and while we can’t speak to all the others, our Vortex Razor Red Dots held up well and were subjected to wind, rain, and snow. Brand preference is up to the end user, but you’d be selling yourself short—or more likely, costing yourself more money—if you don’t give the Razor red dot a shot as your do-all reflex.