S&B PMII Dual CC 1-8x24 and Vortex Razor Gen3 1-10x24

koshkin

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Gentlemen,

I have finally posted up the bulk of my impressions on these two scopes.

It is split between three videos. The first one is a very long livecast where the first half hour or so is mostly me talking about the scopes and then there is a general purposes Q&A that is not necessarily relevant. I started doing these Youtube livecasts with reasonable regularity, so I covered the two scopes in one of them.

The other two videos are a lot shorter and offer a look at the reticles.



ILya
 

The King

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    I had the SB 1-8. Now have the Vortex 1-10. The 1-10 survived a 10-15 foot fall in the mountains this weekend, with a direct hit on a turret. It didn't give a shit, and didn't even lose zero.

    Spuhr and Vortex for the win.
     

    Capt_Right

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    I recently picked up a S&B dual CC and one surprise was that the brightness of the red dot drops off significantly when not directly behind the optic, but well within the eyebox. Did you experience this as well and do you know what mechanism is causing this? I don’t have a lot of time behind the scope, but it made finding the dot in bright sunlight slower when shooting dynamically.

    None of my other LPVOs experience this, including my Razor G3.
     

    whisper35

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    Looking forward to watching this as well as getting back stateside to test out my Dual CC.
     

    TDFT1

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    I had the SB 1-8. Now have the Vortex 1-10. The 1-10 survived a 10-15 foot fall in the mountains this weekend, with a direct hit on a turret. It didn't give a shit, and didn't even lose zero.

    Spuhr and Vortex for the win.
    So many dog Vortex, glad to see this post!!
     
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    koshkin

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    I recently picked up a S&B dual CC and one surprise was that the brightness of the red dot drops off significantly when not directly behind the optic, but well within the eyebox. Did you experience this as well and do you know what mechanism is causing this? I don’t have a lot of time behind the scope, but it made finding the dot in bright sunlight slower when shooting dynamically.

    None of my other LPVOs experience this, including my Razor G3.
    All scopes that use diffractive reticle illumination do this to a certain degree.

    ILya
     
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    The King

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    Its mostly because the Chinese made vortex scopes are flat out pieces of shit. I even feel that some of the other Chinese makers have beaten vortexes quality at the super low end these days. The Suck Eagle comes to mind. I wonder what Vortex must be paying to still keep a scope on the market that they have to replace a few times each example. Thats a little harsh - I'm not sure that everyone has that experience with them...but I sure did.

    The Japanese and US made Vortex scopes are brutally competitive with the top tier wherever they happen to be. The 1-10 Vortex is...better I think...than the 1-8 ATACR. And its for sure better than the 1-8 NX8.

    I think my problem is that I shoot every single day. In the mountains/desert. Much of it of a type thats going to be hard on equipment. So I just count the dead scope pile (and dead NV and thermal pile) every year.

    This year its a dead Revic (elevation knob self destructed), dead NF 4-16 ATACR (the rear objective is loose and wobbles around now), dead SB Ultra Short (the illumination controls don't go to 0 anymore, so you have to take the battery out to turn it off), dead PVS-27 (dims after a few seconds of use), dead 640 thermal (tries to zoom itself in without being told), dead drone (collision avoidance system freaked out causing a collision - it literally flew itself into the shit overhead without input), dead PERST-4 laser (my fault, it took the smash down the mountain this week, but it was me or the rifle going over and I picked the rifle) .

    It all breaks - only the absolute best stuff breaks infrequently enough to be worthy.

    So many dog Vortex, glad to see this post!!
     

    koshkin

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    Its mostly because the Chinese made vortex scopes are flat out pieces of shit. I even feel that some of the other Chinese makers have beaten vortexes quality at the super low end these days. The Suck Eagle comes to mind. I wonder what Vortex must be paying to still keep a scope on the market that they have to replace a few times each example. Thats a little harsh - I'm not sure that everyone has that experience with them...but I sure did.

    The Japanese and US made Vortex scopes are brutally competitive with the top tier wherever they happen to be. The 1-10 Vortex is...better I think...than the 1-8 ATACR. And its for sure better than the 1-8 NX8.

    I think my problem is that I shoot every single day. In the mountains/desert. Much of it of a type thats going to be hard on equipment. So I just count the dead scope pile (and dead NV and thermal pile) every year.

    This year its a dead Revic (elevation knob self destructed), dead NF 4-16 ATACR (the rear objective is loose and wobbles around now), dead SB Ultra Short (the illumination controls don't go to 0 anymore, so you have to take the battery out to turn it off), dead PVS-27 (dims after a few seconds of use), dead 640 thermal (tries to zoom itself in without being told), dead drone (collision avoidance system freaked out causing a collision - it literally flew itself into the shit overhead without input), dead PERST-4 laser (my fault, it took the smash down the mountain this week, but it was me or the rifle going over and I picked the rifle) .

    It all breaks - only the absolute best stuff breaks infrequently enough to be worthy.
    What is it that you do for a living?

    ILya
     

    Davess

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    What is it that you do for a living?

    ILya
    Not to get off point but, I can’t find the Vortex anywhere! Also why doesn’t the Minox get more cred? I don’t have experience with one but the reviews look good. Any feedback on them?
     

    R.O.U.S.

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    I really enjoyed the videos.

    I picked one of the S&B 1-8 Dual CC from the Euro Optic sale a few weeks ago. I saw that the user manual had a an estimate of battery life under continuous use. I wrote it down in case anyone was interested.

    The illumination knob goes from 0-6 in both directions.

    Dot: Middle Intensity approx 550h
    Highest Intensity approx 46h
    Cross:Middle Intensity approx 350h
    Highest Intensity approx 7h
     
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    Krazy_jim

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    That Gen3 looks awesome across the whole magnification range. Useable without the illumination and still being fairly capable of minute of man.

    Not sure i like the S&B reticle on the low end.

    I am one of the people who would put it on a hunting setup. Maybe I will stop in at a cabelas next week and see if they have the Gen3 yet. (Canada)
     

    mrtoyz

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    I recently picked up a S&B dual CC and one surprise was that the brightness of the red dot drops off significantly when not directly behind the optic, but well within the eyebox. Did you experience this as well and do you know what mechanism is causing this? I don’t have a lot of time behind the scope, but it made finding the dot in bright sunlight slower when shooting dynamically.

    None of my other LPVOs experience this, including my Razor G3.
    I’ve noticed this as well. Not a huge deal for me but...
    I compared the illumination with a T1 and to my eyes the S&B on 6 (highest setting) the illumination is comparable to the T1 at setting 9-10. Not nearly as bright as the T1 at its highest setting. Again not a big deal for me, just something I thought was interesting.
    The glass is like nothing else I’ve seen in an LPVO, as I expected.
     
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    Capt_Right

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    All scopes that use diffractive reticle illumination do this to a certain degree.

    ILya
    I wonder what makes the S&B more susceptible to this issue. I have the Razor G3, G2, Swarovski and Kahles and any off axis dimming is barely perceivable. However the S&B dims ~30-40% (gross approximation, but significant) when you are barely off center.

    Seems like others have overcome this issue, so I might just need more time behind the optic. If it would stop looking like the apocalypse outside I might get a chance...
     

    stemikel

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    Thanks for creating and posting the videos. I really enjoyed the livestream and feel that I am starting to learn a little bit about optics. I don't mean to derail the thread, but how would you compare and contrast the SB with the ZP8?
     

    jbonnie

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    Thank you, Dark Lord! I got the SB and have the Vortex on order. Have only shot the SB once so far so not enough time to have any views. (As an aside I am a total newbie and only building out my collection of rifles for different functions and find your reviews so helpful. I mounted and sighted in the new March 5-42x56 on Labor Day on my best BA rifle, too.)
     

    koshkin

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    I wonder what makes the S&B more susceptible to this issue. I have the Razor G3, G2, Swarovski and Kahles and any off axis dimming is barely perceivable. However the S&B dims ~30-40% (gross approximation, but significant) when you are barely off center.

    Seems like others have overcome this issue, so I might just need more time behind the optic. If it would stop looking like the apocalypse outside I might get a chance...
    To me it did not seem substantially different from other similarly sized diffractvive dots, so maybe there is sample variation.

    ILya
     

    koshkin

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    That Gen3 looks awesome across the whole magnification range. Useable without the illumination and still being fairly capable of minute of man.

    Not sure i like the S&B reticle on the low end.

    I am one of the people who would put it on a hunting setup. Maybe I will stop in at a cabelas next week and see if they have the Gen3 yet. (Canada)
    The reticle requiring illumination on the low end was just about my only complaint with the S&B.

    ILya
     

    koshkin

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    Thank you, Dark Lord! I got the SB and have the Vortex on order. Have only shot the SB once so far so not enough time to have any views. (As an aside I am a total newbie and only building out my collection of rifles for different functions and find your reviews so helpful. I mounted and sighted in the new March 5-42x56 on Labor Day on my best BA rifle, too.)
    Those are nice scopes.

    ILya
     
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    koshkin

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    Thanks for creating and posting the videos. I really enjoyed the livestream and feel that I am starting to learn a little bit about optics. I don't mean to derail the thread, but how would you compare and contrast the SB with the ZP8?
    It has been a little while since I have seen the ZP8, so it is hard to be certain. If my memory is correct S&B is more forgiving and easier to get behind on 1x, but generally I need to revisit the ZP8.

    ILya
     
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    R.O.U.S.

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    Here is a quick video showing the issue. If this is worse then others then maybe I need to have S&B take a look at it.
    I see the same thing on mine, but is it an issue? Wouldn't you just shoot it with the proper cheek weld?
     

    Capt_Right

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    I see the same thing on mine, but is it an issue? Wouldn't you just shoot it with the proper cheek weld?
    I plan to use this as a tactical scope, so there are two main issues with that. 1) Speed - The faster you can find the red dot the better. If it isn’t max brightness right away it can get washed out by a bright background. It is also better when the dot is always presented in the same way, that way you know what to expect. 2) The max brightness position is pretty tight, so even if you have a good cheek weld and are well within the eye-box of the scope, you are not guaranteed max brightness. There are also a lot of shooting positions which do not allow for a proper cheek weld. These cases are often where red dots win hands down, so I don’t like compromising a use case which is already challenged.

    As I said before, with more time I maybe able to overcome these issues, but I was pretty surprised to find this behavior to this degree.
     
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    freedom71

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    On your video, it looks like the red dot completely disappears when you go sideways off centerline. There's no red, but just a clear space. Am I seeing this right?

    On mine, the red dot is visible at 4-6 on the dial. When I go sideways, the brightness diminishes somewhat, but the red never disappears. I still can see red even in the black shadow on the edge. On max bright (6), the red dot still is plainly visible and usable when I'm off centerline. (I'm testing this indoors like you in your garage.).
     

    R.O.U.S.

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    I plan to use this as a tactical scope, so there are two main issues with that. 1) Speed - The faster you can find the red dot the better. If it isn’t max brightness right away it can get washed out by a bright background. It is also better when the dot is always presented in the same way, that way you know what to expect. 2) The max brightness position is pretty tight, so even if you have a good cheek weld and are well within the eye-box of the scope, you are not guaranteed max brightness. There are also a lot of shooting positions which do not allow for a proper cheek weld. These cases are often where red dots win hands down, so I don’t like compromising a use case which is already challenged.

    As I said before, with more time I maybe able to overcome these issues, but I was pretty surprised to find this behavior to this degree.
    I got you. I put mine on a SR25, so I haven't done anything off hand. Also I've been shooting off a bench, so I haven't done anything with tricky positions.
     

    koshkin

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    On your video, it looks like the red dot completely disappears when you go sideways off centerline. There's no red, but just a clear space. Am I seeing this right?

    On mine, the red dot is visible at 4-6 on the dial. When I go sideways, the brightness diminishes somewhat, but the red never disappears. I still can see red even in the black shadow on the edge. On max bright (6), the red dot still is plainly visible and usable when I'm off centerline. (I'm testing this indoors like you in your garage.).
    The one I tested was like yours. It has just gone back to S&B, so I can't revisit it.

    ILya
     

    Capt_Right

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    On your video, it looks like the red dot completely disappears when you go sideways off centerline. There's no red, but just a clear space. Am I seeing this right?

    On mine, the red dot is visible at 4-6 on the dial. When I go sideways, the brightness diminishes somewhat, but the red never disappears. I still can see red even in the black shadow on the edge. On max bright (6), the red dot still is plainly visible and usable when I'm off centerline. (I'm testing this indoors like you in your garage.).
    The dot is always red, just dims significantly. If we have any sunny days, I’ll try to get a video with a bright background.
     

    david223

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    Here is a quick video showing the issue. If this is worse then others then maybe I need to have S&B take a look at it.
    Damn that looks like looking through a toilet paper roll. Does it have bad tubing effect or is that because of the video?
     

    JRaven

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    Solid content

    I did have a question about the Vortex Razor 1-10x24 - is it compatible with night vision?
     

    Guthwine

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    The loss of brightness when leaving the optical center with your eye. Because it looks like it loses that "halo" (if that is the right word) and you just see the reflective surface when you move left to right. The etched dot might be the cause of that.
     

    Capt_Right

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    Damn that looks like looking through a toilet paper roll. Does it have bad tubing effect or is that because of the video?
    Unfortunately that is what the image looks like. It isn't nearly as big as on the Gen3, so you see a lot of the scope housing. On paper they both have the same FOV at 1x, but I am not seeing that. I wasn't perfect on lining up the front of the objective lens between these two images and I was hand holding my camera, but they were mounted to the same tripod and at most they were only 3-4" different from to back.

    G3 vs Dual CC.001.jpeg
     

    Capt_Right

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    Air quality index was only 70 today, so I was able to go outside and take some videos as well. I compared the Dual CC to a Razor Gen 3 and Razor Gen 2 and found some interesting observations. As a note all scopes were tested at 1x and max brightness and the sun was starting to come down at my 10 o'clock.
    • Dual CC - Just a little past the eye box limit where the dot goes into the black, the red is no longer visible and you only see a clear etched reticle which isn't illuminated. @freedom71 You mentioned that the dot is always red, it would be great if you could check if that is still the case in the sun as that would be a difference between our units.
    • Razor Gen 3 - The red dot does dim as you move off center (as ILya stated), but it drops off very gradually and the total reduction in illumination is minimal. Compared to the Dual CC where there is a drastic drop off right away. However, once you get to the eye box limit, the dot completely disappears and you can't even see the etched reticle. My assumption is that this is due to the FFP reticle on the Gen 3 vs SFP on the Dual CC.
    • Razor Gen 2 - For fun I tried a Gen 2 which also has a SFP reticle. The red dot is visible until the very edge of the optic and barely dims until you get close to the edge.

     

    freedom71

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    Seeing the same thing outside. Still can see red in the scope shadow. This is a quickly-made, rather poor video, but maybe you can see it:



     

    Capt_Right

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    Seeing the same thing outside. Still can see red in the scope shadow. This is a quickly-made, rather poor video, but maybe you can see it:



    Yep, can definitely still see red within the scope shadow where mine is no longer illuminated. Does your dot ever go clear as it reaches the edge of the scope?

    I'll probably reach out to S&B and see what they say.
     

    freedom71

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    Yep, can definitely still see red within the scope shadow where mine is no longer illuminated. Does your dot ever go clear as it reaches the edge of the scope?

    I'll probably reach out to S&B and see what they say.
    Have not noticed it do that. The dot on my scope actually is brighter than shown on my video. It always stays red at the edge, even into the shadow.
     

    dms416

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    Yep, can definitely still see red within the scope shadow where mine is no longer illuminated. Does your dot ever go clear as it reaches the edge of the scope?

    I'll probably reach out to S&B and see what they say.
    Both of mine do the same thing. Always chalked this up as a side-effect of the dot being in 2nd FP and the reticle in FFP...one of my few gripes (outside of the price obviously). Hate how S&B skeletonizes their 3,6,9 duplex stadia to make the optic dependent on electronics on the low end.
     

    freedom71

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    Hate how S&B skeletonizes their 3,6,9 duplex stadia to make the optic dependent on electronics on the low end.
    Yes, it's certainly different from the Vortex 1-10 on this point, as Ilya has emphasized. Perhaps one reason is that S&B wanted the Short Dot Dual CC at 1x to look like a RDS. Aimpoints and other RDSs likewise are dependent on electronics.
     

    TDFT1

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    Gentlemen,

    I have finally posted up the bulk of my impressions on these two scopes.

    It is split between three videos. The first one is a very long livecast where the first half hour or so is mostly me talking about the scopes and then there is a general purposes Q&A that is not necessarily relevant. I started doing these Youtube livecasts with reasonable regularity, so I covered the two scopes in one of them.

    The other two videos are a lot shorter and offer a look at the reticles.



    ILya
    Thanks for Reviews, I had been wondering about the Razor G3 Reticle and how it was firsthand. I expected it to be great at its Price Point compared to the $4K S&B.

    Anyone have any issues with these early G3 Razors that anyone knows about not just “Heard About”?
     

    TDFT1

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    Its mostly because the Chinese made vortex scopes are flat out pieces of shit. I even feel that some of the other Chinese makers have beaten vortexes quality at the super low end these days. The Suck Eagle comes to mind. I wonder what Vortex must be paying to still keep a scope on the market that they have to replace a few times each example. Thats a little harsh - I'm not sure that everyone has that experience with them...but I sure did.

    The Japanese and US made Vortex scopes are brutally competitive with the top tier wherever they happen to be. The 1-10 Vortex is...better I think...than the 1-8 ATACR. And its for sure better than the 1-8 NX8.

    I think my problem is that I shoot every single day. In the mountains/desert. Much of it of a type thats going to be hard on equipment. So I just count the dead scope pile (and dead NV and thermal pile) every year.

    This year its a dead Revic (elevation knob self destructed), dead NF 4-16 ATACR (the rear objective is loose and wobbles around now), dead SB Ultra Short (the illumination controls don't go to 0 anymore, so you have to take the battery out to turn it off), dead PVS-27 (dims after a few seconds of use), dead 640 thermal (tries to zoom itself in without being told), dead drone (collision avoidance system freaked out causing a collision - it literally flew itself into the shit overhead without input), dead PERST-4 laser (my fault, it took the smash down the mountain this week, but it was me or the rifle going over and I picked the rifle) .

    It all breaks - only the absolute best stuff breaks infrequently enough to be worthy.
    Yeah, that’s the one thing and the reason I have CQBSS. I would prefer to never buy a thing from China again, but right now, until they move things back to US, it’s going to be difficult sometimes. The US allowed way to much to go to China under the previous 3 administrations.
     
    Last edited:

    Burdy

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    I want to see a side by side comparison of the K18i with 3GR and the S&B Dual CC short dot w/ MDR-T6 with both at 8 power. If anyone has both, I would greatly appreciate it.
     
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    TDFT1

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    Its mostly because the Chinese made vortex scopes are flat out pieces of shit. I even feel that some of the other Chinese makers have beaten vortexes quality at the super low end these days. The Suck Eagle comes to mind. I wonder what Vortex must be paying to still keep a scope on the market that they have to replace a few times each example. Thats a little harsh - I'm not sure that everyone has that experience with them...but I sure did.

    The Japanese and US made Vortex scopes are brutally competitive with the top tier wherever they happen to be. The 1-10 Vortex is...better I think...than the 1-8 ATACR. And its for sure better than the 1-8 NX8.

    I think my problem is that I shoot every single day. In the mountains/desert. Much of it of a type thats going to be hard on equipment. So I just count the dead scope pile (and dead NV and thermal pile) every year.

    This year its a dead Revic (elevation knob self destructed), dead NF 4-16 ATACR (the rear objective is loose and wobbles around now), dead SB Ultra Short (the illumination controls don't go to 0 anymore, so you have to take the battery out to turn it off), dead PVS-27 (dims after a few seconds of use), dead 640 thermal (tries to zoom itself in without being told), dead drone (collision avoidance system freaked out causing a collision - it literally flew itself into the shit overhead without input), dead PERST-4 laser (my fault, it took the smash down the mountain this week, but it was me or the rifle going over and I picked the rifle) .

    It all breaks - only the absolute best stuff breaks infrequently enough to be worthy.
    Can you elaborate on the REVIC? I was very interested in them, I don’t buy first year items for the most part. Wait to see if they have problems..