Vortex Razor Gen III 1-10×24 FFP (MOA reticle) LPVO Review

Like most casual gun owners, I spent a long time not wanting to spend a lot of money on optics. I think this is typical behavior of gun owners who do a lot of static shooting; we want to throw all that money into cool-looking guns, not on scopes and reflex sights. I mean, there’s lots of cool-looking, cheap reflex sights and scopes with lots of features, right? And glass is glass! How big a deal is it?

And, the same as everyone else, that erroneous line of thinking gets dispelled the second you look through a really good reflex sight or scope. For me, those were the Mepro RDS and the Sig Tango6 3-18×44. They just blew me away compared to the cheaper Chinese optics I had been using, and made me realize there was an actual performance advantage in having that stellar glass and tracking. Combine that with wanting to shoot at a much higher performance level, and you’ve got a recipe for willingness to throw a lot more money into optics.

This leads me to today, where I’ve put down the money on a Vortex Razor Gen III 1-10×24 scope with MOA/BDC reticle. In terms of both street price and MSRP, it’s the most expensive scope I own. On the other hand, it’s also going on the rifle I plan to shoot the most, in a competitive environment, so is it money well-spent? Read on.

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Advice For Your First Shooting Class(es)

I’m writing this post for my friends who are looking at training, but are afraid they’re gonna do it wrong.

First of all, even training imperfectly is still an improvement over not doing it at all. You don’t know what you don’t know, and going to a shooting class is a great way to figure out those unknown unknowns in a safe, controlled environment.

But, if you want some specific suggestions about how to get the most out of your class, here’s a list I compiled from my experiences and some friends I talked with. Just to keep it real and less preachy, I’m also going to list when I failed at doing what I recommend.

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Kel-Tec SU-16D9 SBR Review

One of my “grail guns” has always been the Kel-Tec SU-16D9 SBR. This is, as grail guns go, a bit of an oddity. It’s cheap. It doesn’t have a sterling reputation. The after-market is almost nil.

But what it does bring to the table is a piston-operated 5.56 carbine that weighs almost exactly 5lbs with optic, muzzle device, and decent stock. I know this is not as impressive as it once was in this era of $2500 4lb titanium/carbon-fiber AR-15s, but for one fifth the price, it’s still a pretty stunning accomplishment.

I have never seen a proper end-user review of the Kel-Tec SU-16D9, so I am very pleased to bring you this one!

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ARPC Intermediate Action Shooting Class AAR

As the DC-MD-VA area slowly opens back up from COVID-19, the number of training classes available has slowly increased. While I try to be cautious and only take outdoor classes, wear my mask, etc., it has been nice to get back into shooting more heavily again.

One class that was supposed to happen in April, but got delayed to June, was the Intermediate Action Shooting Class that Arlington RPC was putting on at AGC for the newer Givati RPC. Having not done a class with the instructor or at AGC, I thought this was a great opportunity to get out of the house and do some shooting.

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Building Out The Katana: High-Speed Competition ARs

I recently built out a multi-gun AR on a pre-ban lower in an effort to create a rifle that would be more suited to shooting multi-gun competitions. I find that the full top-to-bottom of the parts selection process isn’t always discussed thoroughly, so that got me thinking that I should lay all of that out.

After the break are the elements of my “high-speed” AR, with some explanation of why I chose them.

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Green Ops Private Instruction Impressions

After signing up for the Defensive Pistol II clinic I took recently, I had contacted Green Ops about the possibility of doing some private or semi-private instruction afterwards. I had a new rifle I had built that needed to be put through its paces, and I needed to knock off some rust in preparation for getting back to some multi-gun matches. I offered to share the time with another student to knock some of the cost off, and I think that turned out well.

One of the neat things about private instruction is that it gives you the chance to focus on the things you want to focus on. My fellow student was interested in transitions; I wanted to put a little time into splits and distance shooting. We got everything done plus a bit more!

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Greens Ops Defensive Pistol II Clinic AAR

It has been a long time since I’ve gone shooting, probably 2.5-3 months. The pandemic and resulting lock-down has been brutal in many respects, but the closure of all the ranges and mass class cancellations has been particularly tough on me. When I found out that Green Ops was doing their Sunday clinic at an outdoor range, I jumped on it. It’s not a “no risk” sort of situation, but I felt that the outdoor setting greatly mitigated the possible risks to the point that I felt it was safe enough to participate in.

What did I think? Read on.

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A quick thought about multi-gun LPVOs

While I wait for my Razor HD GenIII 1-10x MOA/BDC to get delivered, I wanted to discuss multi-gun LPVOs, and why people don’t seem to get what makes for a good one.

What do you do in multi-gun? Shoot lots of not-small targets at distances of 10-500+ yards on a timer, usually in decent weather. This generates some requirements for our LPVO.

You need to be able to shoot at a distance without dialing in – quickly. I know a lot of people bash BDC reticles, but if you’re trying to hit a target at 475 yards on the clock followed by another target at 350, dialing isn’t an option. I don’t think most people are going to remember their holdover in mils for every 50yds in the middle of a competition. BDC is where it’s at.

Further, if you have an array of targets at 150yds, you do not necessarily want to have to dial to 6x/8x/10x to engage. FFP becomes important.

You need to be able to shoot close-in – quickly. Field of view is important for fast target transitions. Having a bright reticle that you can easily find in the sun is important. Being able to shoot both eyes open at 1x is important. Having a scope that doesn’t weigh your gun down is a nice thing.

So what are we looking for in an ideal multi-gun scope?

  • Efficient FFP/DFP BDC reticle compatible with our rifle/ammo. This may mean altering your rifle or ammo slightly. The reticle also needs to be easily usable at 1x.
  • Bottom end magnification of 1x, with a wide field of view.
  • Top end magnification as high as it can go – preferably 6x or higher.
  • Daylight bright illumination.
  • Ability to quickly change zoom levels (think magnification lever).
  • Lightweight, or at least not too heavy.
  • High-end glass clarity.

What makes the Razor GenIII interesting is that it meets all of those criteria. There are scopes that can compete with it – the S&B Short Dot coming to mind – but they all tend to be a lot more expensive.

Of course, there are a lot of quality scopes that meet some or most of those criteria, and they may be perfectly suited for other uses. For example, I have an SMRS 1-8.5x FFP scope that I really like on my AR-308… but it has a mil/mil reticle, it’s heavy, and it doesn’t go daylight bright (just daylight visible). It would just not be a great choice for a multi-gun scope. It’s probably a pretty great choice if I’m OK spending the time to dial in for that first shot hit on a 2MOA target, though.

There is also a whole school of thought that says that you can get by with an RFP scope with a good BDC reticle that doesn’t have daylight bright illumination because if you use the BDC, it will always be at max magnification. There is nothing wrong with this viewpoint, but I am a little suspicious that scopes with top-end magnifications of 8x or 10x might find it constraining for things like 200yd shots with fast transitions.

An email I wrote to a friend regarding home security

I’ve been quiet lately because all the ranges are closed, and classes and matches are getting cancelled. Dealing with the kids’ distance learning and working from home full-time has also been a combination of stressful and distracting.

One recurring theme I’ve seen online (and in person!) is that gun stores are getting hit hard by new gun buyers who are just figuring out that the state isn’t always the best thing to rely on to protect you in a crisis. I’d like to share an email I recently wrote (lightly redacted) I wrote to a friend when he asked me about home security. My response is not gun-oriented, but goes over options that include them. I’m not an SME, and doubtless left things off I shouldn’t have, but I think it covers a number of topics that people who are unfamiliar with protecting themselves should think about.

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Savior Equipment “S.E.M.A” Mobile Arsenal Backpack Quick Review

I bought Savior Equipment’s “S.E.M.A” backpack a bit after SHOT Show using a 35% off coupon I received from them at the show. I believe this coupon was being handed out freely, so I don’t think I am overly biased, but full disclosure, etc. I didn’t want to post about it before I had a chance to utilize it for hauling things around for a good month or so. We’ve passed the benchmark, so I felt justified in writing a review.

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