Rifle Scopes S&B 5-25 or Vortex Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27

USMCCOMBATVET

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For those of you with experience on either of these scopes - Shell out the money for the Schmidt and Bennder PMII 5-25 or buy the Vortex Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27? Have the $ for either.
 

nfoley

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Rob01 has extensive experience with both, and I believe recently sold his S&B and is using the vortex. If he does not chime in here I recommend sending him a PM. Knowledgeable guy, would be worth listening to his opinion.
 

ZombieMonkey

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I would say that the new vortex definitely would be at the top of my list if I were comparing the two scopes. I love my S&B, but for the price and performance specs of the new Razor it would now tip the scales in favor of the Vortex. Also factor in the fact that S&B's warranty is not what it used to be and it becomes a no-brainer in my mind. I just wish Vortex would have put a locking diopter adjustment on these. The only downside to the Vortex that I can see is that you are going to be adding 10oz over a comparable S&B, which is a decent amount on a rifle that is likely already on the heavy side.
 

White Mamba

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I was able to look through the new vortex at Sac today and was really impressed. I would probably save the $1000 and go Vortex over the S&B
 

cramey74

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The Schmidt will hang on to it's resale much better. I have seen used HD Vortex scopes selling for $1200.00. Show me a mint used S&B 5-25 for $1500.00. Nothing at all wrong with the HD Vortex, just something to think about.
 

BullzeyeNJ

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    Schmidt & Bender has set the standard. I think they are worth the extra coin. Buy once, cry once applies here.
     

    Flyingbullseye

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    The Schmidt will hang on to it's resale much better. I have seen used HD Vortex scopes selling for $1200.00. Show me a mint used S&B 5-25 for $1500.00. Nothing at all wrong with the HD Vortex, just something to think about.

    That has yet to be seen for the Gen 2 Razors (too early) and Schmidts may change their resale values as new competition with lower retail prices are coming out that will go head to head with all their features but with better warranties.
     

    sib1948

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    I would take my S&B over a Vortex any day. March also. Vortex, however, are a great buy for the money. Cheaper parts allow more for practice ammo!!!

    PS-Don't forget the new Steiner T5Xi due to arrive at dealers mid September. All the right features and even cheaper and smaller than the new Vortex "beast". The new Nightforce BEAST seems to be falling from grace lately!
     
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    HumbleEinstein

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    I would take my &B over a Vortex any day. March also. Vortex, however, are a great buy for the money. Cheaper parts allow more for practice ammo!!!

    PS-Don't forget the new Steiner T5Xi due to arrive at dealers mid September. All the right features and even cheaper and smaller than the new Vortex "beast". The new Nightforce BEAST seems to be falling from grace lately!

    The BEAST's turrets are ridiculously bad. When will nightforce learn to give people what they want? The ATACR should have been FFP and the BEAST should have stayed on the drawing board.
     

    Voltron

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    You really can't go wrong with either. I'm a big fan of Steiner scopes, for the money they are hard to beat. They also have the T5Xi line coming out at an incredible price point.
     

    Rob01

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    Both are excellent scopes. The S&B is the gold standard which others are judged as it has been for many years and for good reason. Great glass, good internals and tracking. That said the price continues to rise for the same product and the warranty went down to 2 years. Yes I know all about how Jerry will take care of you and why the 2 years happened but it is still 2 years on paper.

    Vortex has stepped into the high end market with the Razor II and did so with an excellent product. The Razor II scopes have been in development and testing for a couple of years so they weren't rushed to market and customers have to worry about becoming the beta testers of the scope. They have been sent to customers in a very good final form so they are ready to hit the ground running. The product you get in the Razor II to include the great glass, good internals and tracking and for the price you get it boils down to the best value. Not to mention the full lifetime VIP warranty which is nice to have.

    Resale value has been mentioned and yes the S&B does hold it's value well but if you have looked in the for sale section they aren't jumping off the page as they sued to and the prices are dropping in the used market. I am guessing this is due to the new influx of excellent scopes, like the Razor II, that are competing with the S&B and you can get new for less than used S&Bs. The HD models mentioned in the above post are the original Razors which could be had as low as $1550 new. That is not the new Razor II which being so new there isn't a used market yet.

    Some will want the S&B name and product and they will get a good product for their money but being a firefighter and a thrifty bastard, my wife calls me cheap ;) , I always look for the best value. I won't go cheap automatically and have paid more than a similar product which I felt gave me what I wanted over the cheaper alternative but in the case of these two scopes I don't feel that going with the Vortex is giving up anything but the name to the S&B. And if you don't believe me look at the opinions of many who have actually held, looked through and shot the Vortex. This is a new scope from the ground up so don't use any other products to try and judge it by.
     

    lowlight

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    I stopped at the Vortex shop 2 weeks ago, it was a basic walk thru but impressive what they are doing. It's easy to underestimate them, the direction they are going, and what you are actually getting for your money. It's a solid scope, with great features and an even better price point. The only problem I see is people comparing older models to the latest ones. If you haven't used the new one, you can't comment and you honestly don't know what you are comparing. Saying the resale value is not there is understanding what the company is doing and the moves they are making. It's very forward thinking, I can't disclose what I saw, but I will tell you the new scopes have US parts in them. It's no longer a dropped shipped from Japan product.

    As noted, the S&B is the gold standard and has built a brand that most will covet. But the prices have risen and continue to rise as do the instances of problems thanks to issues with the locking turrets. Every week I see or hear of a S&B returned because of issues with the locking turrets. The resale prices are also dropping, you can find 4-16x models which once resold for $2800, now being listed at $2200. With the 3-27x over $5k you can easily get 2 Vortex 27x scopes for the price of 1 S&B.

    if you believe the additional cost is going to give you any shooting advantage you are sorely mistaken.

    For the guys who think the NF Beast is falling out of favor, lol, classic. The dealers sell them the day they arrive. Odds are you never used one, (and looking through one is not using it) . I have used them consistently since Oct 13 and it's been one of my favorite scopes. The turrets are fast, and work, for shooting steel the lever isn't even necessary for most targets and ranges. It's only the guys who buy everything simply "because" who move past them, he'll guys bought AI ATs on here and sold them for the next greatest rifle on the block. I laugh when the "more money than sense" crowd comment. They buy the latest and greatest and flip it within days, then log on and give their opinion how "they used one and..." Lol

    same thing with the Vortex, if you have more money than sense, buy the S&B, you clearly need the affirmation of your status, if you want one of the best scopes for the money, from a company who is constantly moving with the shooting community then, consider the other choices out there. You won't ever be questioned for buying a S&B, but you should weigh the entire picture, not just what the cheerleaders say.

    Decisions are hard when it comes to scopes, but you no longer have to spend $4k-$7k to have all the features or a great product.
     

    TheBigCountry

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    Rob's and Lowlights words speak volumes. As soon as I get the money, I will be picking one up
     

    2834

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    Personally , won't be selling my PMII's. truth be told, there really the only scope I understand, been shooting with them for many years now. Have one of the new Vortex's on order in MOA, which will go on a 243 gamer rifle. I'm really curious about what's been said, and how my eyes will adapt to the new scope. It works or it doses. In that case, it's back to another PMII.

    Older retired guy, and my eyes don't always work with some scopes I've tried. It's tricky.
     

    USMCCOMBATVET

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I have a Razor HD GenII 4.5-27 on order, but some guys were trying to talk me into the bender. Based on the reviews and comments I will be sticking to the GenII
     

    deadnbrkn84

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    I'll also add to this. Look at what Vortex is doing for the community. They sponsor almost every big match in the US. I see more of their stuff on the prize tables then almost any other vendor. When was the last time you saw S&B sponsor a match? They don't do shit for the community as far as I'm concerned.
     

    JC Steel

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    I agree with dead here. Pretty much a scope or two on every prize table for precision rifle matches across the country.
    Although you dont see companies owned outside the states contribute to the US matches very often.

    Do US scope makers sponsor matches over in Europe or Australia? Don't know.

    My thoughts on the comparison,

    I dont have a dog in the fight, Yet, hope to own two of each of these scopes.

    I am excited to hear feedback and comparisons from shooters who actually purchase these Gen 2 Razors. I am not sure that anyone that has used the new razor has paid a penny for them. Smart by Vortex obviously, get a handful of scopes in the hands of a couple top national shooters, or powerful people in the community. Let them write some good posts about it and let it take off from there.

    I have looked through and fingered the new razor on a few different occasions. I will says the turrets feel really nice. Some of the best I have felt.

    The glass-
    It is hard for me to tell it is better than, or worse than scope A,B, or C. I will need to spend lots of time behind it to be able to say that.

    I do think that Scott had a lot of influence on this scope. Scott is a very knowledgable guy, excellent shooter, and ambassador to our sport. If scott thinks its the cats meow, and that the new razor will out perform other scopes on the market, I have no reason NOT to believe him.

    I am on the list for 2 of them. And I am excited to use them. I am also excited to see other opinions of guys that buy them with there hard earned money. Thats my 2 cents
     

    Rob01

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    I am not sure that anyone that has used the new razor has paid a penny for them.

    Just so you know I paid more than a few pennies for mine. Not full retail but not free by a long shot. ;)
     

    Daryl licht

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    It depends on what kind of shooting you'll be doing. I've got both and am 59 and I've got to tell you that with older eyes the SB's glass will make your eyes feel young again. Also...and this is experience talking after having laid up behind an optic for hours on end the SB will not fatigue your eyes. Any scope will work if your going to take it out once in awhile and blast away but for serious professional work pick the SB. My vortex is on my .22
     

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    rw496

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    I am excited to hear feedback and comparisons from shooters who actually purchase these Gen 2 Razors. I am not sure that anyone that has used the new razor has paid a penny for them. Smart by Vortex obviously, get a handful of scopes in the hands of a couple top national shooters, or powerful people in the community.

    lol...I spent quite a few hard earned pennies on it too. I tried to explain to my wife that I am going to be a top national competitor and powerful in the community, but she wasn't buying it
     

    kurt

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    It depends on what kind of shooting you'll be doing. I've got both and am 59 and I've got to tell you that with older eyes the SB's glass will make your eyes feel young again. Also...and this is experience talking after having laid up behind an optic for hours on end the SB will not fatigue your eyes. Any scope will work if your going to take it out once in awhile and blast away but for serious professional work pick the SB. My vortex is on my .22

    my eyes might be getting old but that sure looks like a pst on the 22 and not the new razor?
     

    redneckbmxer24

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    Uhh, I'd hope that the new Razor has a bit better glass than the PST... More like a lot better everything than the PST, not exactly much of a comparison.
     

    Rob01

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    It depends on what kind of shooting you'll be doing. I've got both and am 59 and I've got to tell you that with older eyes the SB's glass will make your eyes feel young again. Also...and this is experience talking after having laid up behind an optic for hours on end the SB will not fatigue your eyes. Any scope will work if your going to take it out once in awhile and blast away but for serious professional work pick the SB. My vortex is on my .22

    You are honestly comparing a PST to the new Razor II? LOL You need to get behind a new Razor II before using the blanket "Vortex" comparison to the S&B. Those that actually have have totally opposite opinion as yours. A PST is no comparison to the S&B obviously but the new Razor II is.
     

    JLR

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    If my decision making came down to a S&B or the new Vortex, I'd be going with the Vortex. There's just not enough difference to justify the extra money for the Schmidt any more. Way too many good scopes out there for less money.
     

    JC Steel

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    Just so you know I paid more than a few pennies for mine. Not full retail but not free by a long shot. ;)


    That is why I appreciate your review of the scope. It honestly comes from a different point of view in my opinion.

    Rob I dont have near the sponsors you have, And probably dont get near the "bennys", I just know reviews come in different light when the person has to fork over some coin for the product to start out with.

    And in your case, the review you did on the scope is top notch. Vortex did right by getting one in your hands asap. I have read that darn review 5 times...... out of 10,500 plus views, I am doing my part!!

    ill do another review when i get my two scopes, i am guessing it will look about like yours
     

    Rob01

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    Rob do you miss the H2CMR?

    Not really. The .2 mil marks were nice but as long as i have .5 marks I can work very accurately for holds and for ranging the 1C and 2C have .1 mil marks out on the outer edges.
     

    Night Eagle

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    this is a bit off topic here, but why the 4.5-27 as opposed to the 5-25. im just wondering what the reasoning is behind this. maybe cheaper to build?
     

    killer-e

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    Have a older razor hd and s&b 5-25. Got the s&b over the new razor because I lucked out and found a mint used one for the same price as the new razor. Can't bring my self too spend new s&b money it's a little much.
     

    sib1948

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    Still seems like only a few (? 10-20) of the 4.5-27X Vortex scopes have been released the the buying public. Also I believe many people are still waiting for their BEAST orders to be filled. What is causing such a big delay for Vortex and Nightforce to get their present orders filled? There must be some kind of production issues.
     

    Philotimos

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    Still seems like only a few (? 10-20) of the 4.5-27X Vortex scopes have been released the the buying public. Also I believe many people are still waiting for their BEAST orders to be filled. What is causing such a big delay for Vortex and Nightforce to get their present orders filled? There must be some kind of production issues.


    Not sure about Nightforce but I'm sure not all new Vortex owners have posted they've received them and there are more online retailers showing in stock, until they're picked up of course. I have heard on here there are some members still waiting on there Vortex but I think that's more of a Vendor issue. I back ordered mine end of June and got it end of July through Cameraland and have heard many have picked up from there and other Vendors the same way. Eurooptics, Milehigh is constantly putting up posts having them in stock. Again, I think it's just a few that are stuck having placed full deposits with vendors that just didn't have the buying power others might have.
     

    dcnyli

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    I am very happy with the Gen2's i own and if there was one thing I would ask for to add it would be an H59 reticle, other then that I can't legitimately reason a way to spend more on the S&B. Extra cash is bullet money

    Now if someone knows of a way, who or how to get an H59 in a Gen2 4.5-27, I'm all ears.
     

    yej0001

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    For those with experience on both Gen I and Gen II Razor, how big a difference is there with regard to glass quality and overall comparison? Major vendors are selling Gen I razor off the factory inventories for 1399- worth to jump in to get one (even though I don't need a scope right now)?
     

    SNAFU308

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    I had one of the original Razor HD's and also own a S&B PMII, I also got to fondle a pre-production version of the Gen II's but that wasn't for long. I'm very happy with my PMII (no big surprise) but the Gen II razor looked good and i'm looking forward to getting my hands on a production version. The vortex warranty is hard to beat and the Gen II razor has a lot going for it in regards to features and price.

    The Gen II razor wasn't around when I bought my S&B but if it was I think it would have been a pretty tough choice and I really think the Vortex may have won out. I do think that some who buy the S&B do it purely for the brand name on the side. S&B have earned their reputation but you do need to look at all the factors involved (price, features, warranty, reticle choice etc) and how they apply to you.
     

    djskit

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    I have both. Shot the Vortex at Surefire 2 weeks ago and the Schmidt at our steel match last Sunday.

    Is the Schmidt better? Yes. Is it $1400 better? I'm not sure.
     

    Rob01

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    Is the Schmidt better? Yes. Is it $1400 better? I'm not sure.

    First question is debatable for some but not me and why I sold my S&B to get another Razor. As I have said I have showed my old S&B to others and they couldn't tell any difference in glass. And I like the feature set from the locking knobs to illumination position to clickless zeroing better on the Razor II. The only thing I would want in the Razor that the S&B has is the .2 mil marks on the reticle and that is a small thing that's nice but not needed.

    Second question is definitely no.
     

    peaceatwar

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    Pretty genius marketing approach from vortex letting the pros get their hands on the new Razor before anyone else. I've still yet to see one so I can't pass judgement.

    I can say that all my Schmidts were worth the money and I think anyone asking the question should keep in mind WHO is answering. You don't want to bite the hand that feeds you.

    I tried out nightforces, steiners, vortex(not the new one) and schmidts and I find the schmidt to give the clearest image with the best reticles and the most reliable turrets. Schmidt doesn't just have some companies beat in offering reticles i.e H2CMR but how they deploy a common reticle like how H58 is .02 thinner in a 4-16x42 then in a bushnell.
     

    Rob01

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    Just so you know no one is feeding me. I paid for my scope and waited 6 months to get it. I decided to get on board with Vortex after seeing the scope at SHOT and being in this sport for quite a while I can see quality pretty easy and this scope is quality.

    I used to get offended when people through out backhanded statements like "I think anyone asking the question should keep in mind WHO is answering" but not anymore. People who know me know I wouldn't use something that doesn't work. We get offered to shoot for alot of companies and probably turn down a majority. It's not about just getting stuff. Also if you see I didn't speak badly of S&B as they are a very good scope but not $1400 more good and I used to shoot for S&B and have owned more than a few and did a side by side comparison with the new Razor. So take my word for it if you want or don't. Your money but when you get to look through one and handle it finally then let me know so I can say I told you so ;)
     

    bhoges

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    I have two Gen I scopes and just got two Gen II on Wednesday. I haven't been to the range as of yet to compare them. I love the new system to set the zero as well as the lit reticle adjustment. If there is a difference between the glass in the two I doubt its huge. The old ones are a great deal at $1400. I hope to have more input on sunday.
     

    peaceatwar

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    Just so you know no one is feeding me. I paid for my scope and waited 6 months to get it. I decided to get on board with Vortex after seeing the scope at SHOT and being in this sport for quite a while I can see quality pretty easy and this scope is quality.

    I used to get offended when people through out backhanded statements like "I think anyone asking the question should keep in mind WHO is answering" but not anymore. People who know me know I wouldn't use something that doesn't work. We get offered to shoot for alot of companies and probably turn down a majority. It's not about just getting stuff. Also if you see I didn't speak badly of S&B as they are a very good scope but not $1400 more good and I used to shoot for S&B and have owned more than a few and did a side by side comparison with the new Razor. So take my word for it if you want or don't. Your money but when you get to look through one and handle it finally then let me know so I can say I told you so ;)

    Never said you got it for free. I will check out that scope one of my teammates is holding out on getting an H2CMR to try out the new vortex. Damn things haven't arrived yet though and they've been on order for months! Was hoping to have it by PRS finals but that was a no go.
     

    Rob01

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    If there is a difference between the glass in the two I doubt its huge.

    Wait until you look through it. There is a difference. The glass on the new scopes is right there with all the high end scopes.
     

    bhoges

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    Wait until you look through it. There is a difference. The glass on the new scopes is right there with all the high end scopes.


    Rob, you made me pull them both out. Gen II is brighter and sharper. I wish I had something detailed to look at. I have to wait until Sunday which sucks. Just wish it came with flip up lens covers.
     

    Rob01

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    Yup the Gen II has great glass. Let us know how you like it after the Sunday range trip.

    I want more and more people who get these to give their reports so people don't think I am a shill or full of shit when I post about the scopes. I have showed mine to over a dozen people and everyone was impressed with the scope.
     

    djskit

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    The only thing I would want in the Razor that the S&B has is the .2 mil marks on the reticle and that is a small thing that's nice but not needed.

    Second question is definitely no.

    My thoughts exactly - but if you take 1 mil out of your elevation dial you can use the Vortex reticle's 1st stadia with its .2 mil dots as a pretty darn good substitute.

    I did this in our last paper match at 800, 900 and 1,000 and it worked great. But I would only use that trick during extended prone sessions at one distance.