Vortex Razor HD 5-20×50 Review

The Vortex Razor HD 5-20×50 riflescope is a new design by Vortex. Whether you are looking for a scope to use while hunting in extreme weather conditions, or want a scope to improve your shooting precision, the Vortex Razor HD 5-20×50 can do it for you.

Made out of a 35mm diameter one-piece tube, this is a first focal plane scope. It is available in both MOA (Minutes of Angle) with ¼ MOA graduation and MRAD (Milradian) with 0.1 mRad graduation configurations. The quality lens and Vortex propriety lens coating maximize the amount of light transmitted, making it a great scope for using in low light conditions.

Meant for intermediate to long-range hunting or target shooting, features such as parallax correction and minimization of chromatic aberration will bring your shooting up a level. If you are looking for a scope with sharp and bright images throughout the zoom range, you’ve found it with the Vortex Razor HD 5-20×50.

Vortex Razor HD 5-20x50

Pros and Cons of the Vortex Razor HD 5-20×50


1. Bright and Clear Image

The Vortex APO (apochromatic) system corrects the color of any light coming into the lens. It works over the full visual spectrum, resulting in minimal chromatic aberration. The glass is high-density extra-low dispersion and coated with Vortex’s proprietary anti-reflective coating XR technology on all glass-to-air surfaces.

2. First Focal Plane Reticle

The Razor HD 5-20 x 50 first focal plane reticle allows you to use holds or set your target range at any magnification. The reticle is glass-etched, allowing for a clear reticle design, and two glass layers protect the etching. A dedicated wheel controls the eleven illumination settings. Set off to the side, the wheel won’t block the turret settings. Between each illumination setting is an OFF setting to allow you to return to your previous setting without going through the entire range.

3. Solid Construction

The one piece 35mm tube means better accuracy through improved alignment. Made out of aircraft-grade aluminum, the Vortex Razor HD 5-20×50 is rigid and strong. The surface coating has a low-glare matte finish to help camouflage your position when hunting. Plus Vortex proprietary ArmorTek protects the lenses from oil, scratches, and dirt.

4. Waterproof. Fog Proof. Shockproof.

The Razor HD 5-20 x 50 has O-rings to keep out dust, moisture, and debris. Purging with argon gas keeps the lenses from fogging. The solid construction protects the scope from impact and recoil.

5. Side Focus

Located on the left side of the turret is the side focus. It is easy to access when in a shooting position and provides parallax removal and optimal image sharpness.

6. Rapid Zero Return

The Rapid Zero Return (RZR) feature allows the Vortex Razor HD 5-20×50 easy and fast zero point return. Without RZR, the shooter must pay close attention and count the number of revolutions when dialing big corrections. With RZR Zero Stop, you can spin the elevation knob back to its original zero without having to worry about counting turns.

Vortex Razor HD 5-20x50


The biggest negative item is the weight of this scope. At 35.2 oz., it is heavy and the 35mm diameter makes it big and bulky.

Some of the accessories that come with the Razor HD 5-20 x 50 could be eliminated, with a resulting price cut in the cost of the lens. The Flip-up scope caps are barely usable and not of the quality you would expect from Vortex. You might find use for the included sunshade but the scope is already long at 15.8 inches. Adding the 4-inch sunshade just makes the scope that much longer.

The Anti-Reflection Device works well but because it is a tight grid, a lot of light gets blocked. Not the best device to use in a low light situation. One thing the Razor HD 5-20 x 50 doesn’t come with are mounting rings and there is some limitation in options because of the 35mm diameter. You can buy them from Vortex and which rings you use will depend on your rifle. Some shooters felt that the low rings were too low on some rifles and medium rings made for a better setup.

While it should be simple to zero the Vortex Razor HD 5-20×50, the zero stop feature makes it a bit complicated. You need to loosen set screws and remove the elevation turret caps. Then follow several intricate steps listed in the manual before replacing the cap and tightening the screws.

As a first focal plane reticle, it can be hard to see the target when used in low light with low magnification and a cluttered background. If this is the environment you’ll be shooting in, have a spare CR2032 battery handy because you’ll be using the scope’s illumination a lot.

Depending on the purpose for this scope, 5x magnification may not be low enough for the desired field of vision to track moving targets. And at 20x, the Vortex Razor HD 5-20×50 has a very narrow field of view.

Who Is This Product Best For?

The Vortex Razor HD 5-20×50 is best for shooters who will be shooting long range. As compared to a more common 30mm tactical scope, the wide 35mm tube has more room inside for the erector assembly. The result is a scope with a wide range of windage and elevation adjustment. At 1000 yards, elevation is a big concern so whether shooting competition or tactical, this scope can handle it.

When compared to other scopes in its price range, the Vortex Razor HD 5-20×50 ranks well. The fast focus eyepiece allows for quick and easy focusing. Vortex’s Radius Bar provides a tactile reference point for turret turns and there is a fiber optic rotation indicator. Turret clicks are firm and, once set it does a great job at holding zero. With the high-end optical quality, the precise and solid elevation and windage adjustments, the Razor HD 5-20 x 50 feels, handles, and looks solid, exactly what you would expect from Vortex.