Rifle Scopes  Vortex Gen 2 Razor, Nightforce Atacr... One must go

Joemannnnn

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Nov 16, 2017
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Hey guys,
I've been on the hunt for a scope for my ar15 Grendel build. I've searched the forums, posted in the forums, pulled my hair out, and more. It's my first step into distance shooting and really working with a scope. I intend to mainly hit the range for practice, but also eventually hunt with this setup.

After my research and shopping the secondary market, I​​​​​ decided to pick up a Vortex gen 2 Razor, 3x18. It's the one scope that really seemed to get good all around reviews and had the most features that interested me. It's likely a nicer scope than I need, but I've learned over the years to buy once, cry once. The big concern, and I'll admit some here did warn me, was the weight of the scope. Sure enough, it arrived and right away I could tell it was a heavy beast. I had convinced myself 1lb more than average wouldn't phase me, but after mounting it on the rifle, I started to get worried. It's a big scope. I love everything else about it, the reticle, turrets, etc. It seems easy to get behind and operate. But I was still second guessing the weight and how it would affect maneuverability, carrying on a hunt, etc.

I decided to buy another scope to compare. It's hard to find these scopes in the area, and even harder to really spend time with them on your rifle and see them side by side. I figured I'd buy another second hand, compare, and resell whichever didn't work. I may lose a little $, but when spending this kind of money, I felt it was worth it. I went with a nicer scope than I need again in the Atacr 4-16 f1. Another well reviewed scope, not too different in price lightly used, similar magnification, more compact, and over 1lb lighter.

The NF definitely feels better on the rifle, and there's no denying it too is a top notch optic. However, I do still find myself preferring the Razor in several departments besides size and weight. I prefer the Razor xmas tree reticle. The Razor's illumination is much brighter with illuminated numbers. The illumination operation is easier and more straightforward in my opinion. You have a bit larger field of view. I feel the eye relief is more forgiving. And I think the eye relief distance is a bit more with the Razor, even more than the specs claim. I feel like I'm right on top of the nightforce. I'll likely never be able to tell one over the other in terms of clarity, so that's a wash.

I'm at a loss for what to. Keep the NF as it's the better fit and accept there is no perfect scope? Keep the Razor and try to deal with the weight? Heck, I've even thought about selling both and simply getting a gen 2 viper as it will have features I seem to like in a lighter package than the Razor.

What other factors should I be considering with these 2 in hand? What would you do?

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Pointman308

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In my opinion the weight of the razor is totally unacceptable for an AR platform and that would be my deciding factor. That Nightforce is top notch to boot,
 

ICU22250

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  • Feb 13, 2017
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    I think the NF 4-16 is perfect for the AR platform, the Razor, not so much.. I also don't fund the NF eye box too tight on the 4-16 but that's just my opinion. They are both great optics in their own right, but fill different roles...
     

    Birddog6424

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  • Apr 25, 2014
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    To be quite honest, I think you are way overthinking this process.

    Those are both excellent optics, and either one of them will perform perfectly on that rifle. You have both optics in your hand, on your rifle, and can compare side by side at your range and your shooting style. There is no one better qualified on this forum or anywhere else to make a decision on which scope you prefer, than you.

    If you didn't already own these optics and were trying to get a feel for them, it would make sense to phone a friend or ask the audience. Your list of scope pros and cons probably doesn't line right up with my list, or everyone else's. So make a list for yourself and see if it helps you get any closer to a decision.

    Good luck.
     

    Lmatt

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    May 16, 2017
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    ^ wont get any better advice than that. I’m going through the same struggle but with different optics. Wish I had my top picks in front of me
     

    koshkin

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  • Feb 22, 2006
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    Like Mr Birddog said earlier: since you have both scopes in hand, you are the best one equipped to decide which one fits your rifle best. Personally, I tested both of these scopes on my Grendel and Nightforce was a better match, although both were a little too big and heavy for the comparatively light weight Grendel I have (midweight 18" barrel). I even took it hunting with the Nightforce on it and while very serviceable, a smaller and lighter scope would have been a good match. In terms of size and weight, Mark 6 3-18x44 was an excellent match for the Grendel, although I liked the ATACR F1 more as a scope. It will be interesting to see how the new Mark 5 scopes hold up.

    In other words, personally, I would keep the Nightforce for this application out of these two. On the other hand, if you are comfortable with both, I would sell whichever one you can get the most money for.

    ILya
     

    CoyoteKilo

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    If you have to keep one, id say probably the NF. I own a Razor and it's way too heavy for an AR imo. With that said, I dont think selling them and downgrading is the way to go, youre going to be really disappointed going from a top of the line scope to a Viper. I'd consider selling both and getting exactly what you want, SB and Khales both make scopes that are light weight with christmas tree reticles in the weight range youre looking for.
     

    Moose

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  • Jul 3, 2005
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    You have 2 very good scopes and if you got the cash keep both and buy a TT315M.If you love long range shooting you will be buying more rifles.I own the gen2 and have it on a 10 lb bolt rifle,It is a beast but i love getting behind the scope.Im just about ready to buy the TT315M after 2 years of researching it.One other thing,now that your spoiled by quality glass it will be very hard to except lower quality glass.
     
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    Joemannnnn

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    To be quite honest, I think you are way overthinking this process.

    Those are both excellent optics, and either one of them will perform perfectly on that rifle. You have both optics in your hand, on your rifle, and can compare side by side at your range and your shooting style. There is no one better qualified on this forum or anywhere else to make a decision on which scope you prefer, than you.

    If you didn't already own these optics and were trying to get a feel for them, it would make sense to phone a friend or ask the audience. Your list of scope pros and cons probably doesn't line right up with my list, or everyone else's. So make a list for yourself and see if it helps you get any closer to a decision.

    Good luck.

    This definitely makes sense and is why I decided to buy the second option. However, even having them both in hand, I'm a newb at this. So I guess I'm looking for other's opinions on what other factors to be looking at. Which factors should be given preference over others.

    For example, does it really matter that the Razor's illumination is brighter? Is that something I should even be concerned about? Is the Atacr eye relief something that has given anyone issues? Or is the Razor just more forgiving than is typical? It's also nice to hear opinions from others who went through the same process and perhaps chose one of these scopes I'm considering and why.

    But yes, at the end of the day I need to pick the one I prefer most. So far, just swapping and looking through them a lot at home, I prefer the Vortex. I'm guessing after some range time, that may not change based on what I'm seeing now. But I do worry the Razor is too big despite the features it has which I prefer over the NF. Unfortunately I can't keep both, not do I want to up the budget. Even if I wanted to save the Vortex for a strictly bench gun, I'd likely want the higher mag flavor in that application.
     

    golden_311

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    I haven’t been behind the 3-18 vortex but owned a 4.5-27 and I am very surprised that you find the eye relief and box easier to get behind then the nightforce. That would have been my whole reason for going with the nightforce. Do others feel that the vortex is easier to get behind?
     

    Niles Coyote

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  • Aug 13, 2007
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    That is a tough decisions, I ran a 4-16 atacr for a bit on my 18" grendel but wanted something smaller and lighter. I almost found it in Vortex's discontinued Viper HS LR 2.5-10x32 ffp with the XLR reticle. If that scope was mrad and had illumination it would still be on there. This past deer season it wore an illuminated 3-9x36 mk4 m3 and for the purpose of hunting deer, that fit the bill rather well. Now, I've been eyeing the new Gen 2 viper with a EBR-2c reticle but I am unsure I would be happy with the size and weight of that optic. In a perfect world I'd have a illuminated 3-12x40 with pst gen2 turrets and a ffp EBR-2c reticle that weighted between 16-24 oz and was 11" or shorter in OAL.
     

    ForeverZ01

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    Feb 14, 2017
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    Nightforce quality in the end is better then vortex. There is a reason everyone knows vortex has great customer service.
     

    Niles Coyote

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  • Aug 13, 2007
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    I have both scopes talked of here and struggle to see a difference, everyone knows nightforce has great customer service too.
     

    StealthOwl

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  • Feb 13, 2017
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    For a maneuverable AR, the 3-18 & 4.5-27 HD IIs are too heavy, but great for a prone/bench gun. ATACR glass has a slight edge though the Razors are already excellent in that regard. Turrets are damned close.
     

    TheOE800

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  • Feb 14, 2017
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    I went with the ATACR 4-16x F1 for my AR application. The Razor G2 3-18x was a consideration, but the weight is really not what I want for what should be a light(er) and handier rifle, even if it has a 20" barrel. The weight is more of an issue here especially because that weight is so high over the bore on the AR making it top heavy.

    TT315M is a good choice, but it's way more than I wanted to spend and I don't quite like the reticle. Honestly I find all the choices in this space compromised, there really isn't a "perfect" choice IMO. Just have to pick the one that fills your needs best with the compromises you can deal with.
     

    bobke

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  • Sep 17, 2010
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    Since you’ve shown interest in Gen2 PRT and no one has mentioned the LRHS/LRTS, which in neither NF or Gen 2 Vortex quality wise, but still very good glass at it’s price point, 30mm, lighter than either, comes with an abbreviated version of a tree style reticle, has lifetime warranty, is 4.5-18x44, available illuminated and is almost perfect for range of Grendel. I have two LRHS on 18/20”” Grendels and find them well balanced and an excellent value at $1k less than either of your current rigs. Perfect no, within reach-yes.
     
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