Vortex Razor HD 1-4 Review

Vortex has been making quite a splash on the tactical optics market the last couple of years. They are getting this for a few key reasons:

  • They are listening and responding to what their customer’s want. Primarily Scott at Vortex has been active on the tactical and optics forums. This postives of this kind of interaction can not be overstated. Smart companies adopt to the latest trends and take advantage of them
  • Customer service: Vortex is earning a reputation for being a no hassle company, should you run into a problem, they simply take care of it, not fuss, no BS.
  • The right features and specs for a fair market price, i.e., a good value.

1-4 scopes have been all the rage the last 2 years and everyone wants a true 1x for CQB type use, much like using a red dot. We also want to be able to reach out and make accurate shots as well as be able to identify targets well. Red dots solve the CQB issue but lack when it comes to distance and or low light. Adding a magnifier in a flip to side mount helps with the latter but adds a lot of weight and just is more crap on the gun to deal with. Been there, tried that, pass. As most people have come to realize a better option is a 1-4 with a true 1x for close in work with a 4x magnification at the top end. That’s enough to easily hit COM at 3-400 yards and beyond.

Vortex Razor HDs utilize High Dispersion glass which means, in short, exceptional clarity, resolution, contrast and brightness. Frankly, it’s right in there with the top end European glass in a package that costs less.

We reviewed two models, the CQM-R and EBR 556


  • first focal plane reticles
  • 30mm tubes
  • illuminated reticles with an 11 position switch with off postitions between each number.
  • glass etched reticles
  • Length: 10.3″
  • Weight: 20oz

CQM-R model

Features a MOA based reticle design that appers much like a simple duplex in the center of the scope at 4x and as you turn down the magnification, heavy bars from the side and bottom start to come out and form what resembles a heavy German # 4 reticle which draws the eye towards the center.

There is a BDC calibrated elevation turret with 2 sets color coded BDC numbers. Running a 100 yard zero with out 700 yard markings.

• Green numbers match 62 gr. M855 5.56mm ammunition.

• Copper numbers match 55 gr. M193 5.56mm ammunition.

The turret features a red fiber optic pin to show you where your zero setting is at.

We tested the BDC out to 500 yards and it worked as advertized.

EBR 556 model

Features a BDC calibrated reticle and is based around a 55g .223 round.The center of the reticle is a circle that has an outside diameter of 19″, about the same width as a human torsoe, This allows ranging at varyying distances which are covered in the manual in depth. Running a 100 yard zero you have out to 700 yards in 100 yard increments. Addtionally, there are 10 MPH hold offs to allow for wind drift at the varying distances.

The elevation and windage turrets are the same MOA with .25 MOA clicks and zero feature that the CQM-R have (minus the BDC feature as it’s incorporated into the reticle)

Which model is right for me?

Really, that is purely a presonal preference and based on whether you want to dial in your extended distances or use the reticle to do it for you. Both have their pluses and minuses. Some people like the simpler reticle and prefer to dial in their distance and feel BDC reticles are too busy, others want the faster engagement of the BDC reticle.

Bottom line

These are both well made and well though out scopes.

They have great glass and are built tough and come with a lifetime zero hassle warranty. They have a street price in the 12-1300 dollar range and are good solid values. FFP scopes enable the ranging functions of the scope to be used at all magnification levels as opposed to say at the highest setting like most 2nd focal plane scopes.

We ran both scopes hard for several months with zero issues.

The turrets had a postive feel to them with an uadible click, they both passed the box test upon arrival and at the end of the test period.

I certainly look forward to more time with Vortex optics, in fact, we have purchased a few of the 2-7 viperss as they are absolute standouts in the 2-7 hunting market.

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Founding staff member, avid shooter, hunter, reloader and all around gun geek with an obsession for perfection

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