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Posted: 4/20/2016 9:38:23 PM EDT
I've been working on piecing together components for a long range rifle. I spent weeks reading optics reviews and input from your average joe and professionals alike. I was 90% settled on getting the Nightforce BEAST but was seeing many competitive shooters using the Vortex Razor HD 2 4.5-27 scope. Being an amateur I could not decide which one to get. So in the finest arfcom tradition I got both. Here is my comparison between the two.

Starting with the obvious. The razor is shorter than the beast but noticeably heavier.

I got the razor with the EBR-2C reticle and the beast with the MIL-R reticle. I like the EBR-2C reticle better since it is a "christmas tree" style reticle that allows for faster follow up shots without adjustment to the scope. While nightforce offers similar reticles for the beast they are not illuminated. Speaking of illumination the razor illumination is activated by pulling out a ring knob on the parallax adjustment and turning that ring to adjust brightness. I like that. The beast uses a button you hold to activate. Adjusting brightness is done by momentarily pressing the button.

Windage and elevation on the razor works by pulling the knob and making adjustment. The adjustment can be locked in place by pushing the knob back down. I thought I would like this but pulling and pushing the knob is not smooth and locking them feels crunchy and iffy sometimes. The beast has return to zero locks but otherwise the knobs will move freely.

The magnification between the scopes is different for sure. Setting the magnification to 10x on both scopes produces a different result. To get the magnification the same on both scopes  I had to turn the razor up to about 15x to get the, seemingly, same magnification of the beast on 10x. Even though the vortex offers 27x magnification and the beast is only 25x it produced more magnification to my eye. I will say the eye relief did seem to be a bit more forgiving on the razor than on the beast.

Side by side comparison on image quality I have to say the beast scope is noticeably brighter and clearer. I went back and forth many times doing a side by side comparison looking at various magnification levels at various objects and distances. It was certainly a noticeable difference between the scopes even when I wasn't looking for it. In particular I looked at a tree over 200 yards away in broad daylight. I was able to see better detail with the beast - especially darker areas of the tree's trunk.

I would also note that the beast came with flip covers installed. The vortex came with a basic plastic lid for the front and the back.

If I could have put the vortex reticle and illumination controls on the beast I think I would have everything I wanted in one scope.


There you have it. Again, I am an amateur so take my opinions for what they are worth. Feel free to ask questions and refute my observations. Point out mistakes I may have made in my comparisons. Maybe I'll learn something.
Link Posted: 4/20/2016 10:18:17 PM EDT
1 more thing, if you trip and drop your gun, and F something up, your vortex will be fixed in a week or less.. for free..



NF warranty dont cover that, so it will be a cost... and who can say for time... buddy sent in a NXS for a tracking issue... didnt get it back for 3 months... he lost the whole summer
Link Posted: 4/20/2016 10:19:45 PM EDT
The beast does have a better warranty then most of their other scopes.
Link Posted: 4/20/2016 10:25:15 PM EDT
I run a NF BEAST on my DRD Tactical .338 Lapua. Great optic.
Link Posted: 4/21/2016 9:35:49 AM EDT
regarding the perceived magnification differences, my strong suspicion is this indicates you don't have the diopter set correctly.    i'd suggest repeating your test, but instead of adjusting the magnification, try changing the diopter adjustment.  you will see the image getting larger or smaller
Link Posted: 4/21/2016 9:59:16 AM EDT
The difference in cost is pretty significant

$2300-2500 for the vortex (Depending on Vendor)
$3800 SFP BEAST
$4250 F1 BEAST

I just couldn't justify the nearly $2,000 difference in price for marginal differences



Link Posted: 4/21/2016 10:03:51 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By taliv:
regarding the perceived magnification differences, my strong suspicion is this indicates you don't have the diopter set correctly.    i'd suggest repeating your test, but instead of adjusting the magnification, try changing the diopter adjustment.  you will see the image getting larger or smaller
View Quote


I thought this too and I did play with that some. I will try again to see if there is a difference and update accordingly.
Link Posted: 4/21/2016 3:04:00 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/21/2016 3:21:10 PM EDT

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Rob01:
I was going to say the same thing. Make sure to set the diopter correctly so the reticle is in focus. Power all the way up and parallax all the way up and then face the scope towards the sky or a light colored wall. Only look through a second or atwo max as the eye will adjust if you do. Make small adjustments.



The knobs on the Vortex will loosen in regards to dropping it into lock the more you do it. They are stiff at first. I usually leave my windage locked anyways as I hold all wind but my elevation stays unlocked unless it might get bumped if moving at a match and then I lock it. Nice option to have.



As for caps, order a set of Vortex Defender caps. They are about $20 each so $40 for the set. Well worth it.



I am surprised at your glass comparison as my Razor II was every bit the glass of my S&B 5-25 and others I let look through it agreed. I am wondering if the diopter setting might be effecting that as well when you adjust parallax to clear up the sight picture.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Rob01:



Originally Posted By Foxxz:


Originally Posted By taliv:

regarding the perceived magnification differences, my strong suspicion is this indicates you don't have the diopter set correctly.    i'd suggest repeating your test, but instead of adjusting the magnification, try changing the diopter adjustment.  you will see the image getting larger or smaller




I thought this too and I did play with that some. I will try again to see if there is a difference and update accordingly.




I was going to say the same thing. Make sure to set the diopter correctly so the reticle is in focus. Power all the way up and parallax all the way up and then face the scope towards the sky or a light colored wall. Only look through a second or atwo max as the eye will adjust if you do. Make small adjustments.



The knobs on the Vortex will loosen in regards to dropping it into lock the more you do it. They are stiff at first. I usually leave my windage locked anyways as I hold all wind but my elevation stays unlocked unless it might get bumped if moving at a match and then I lock it. Nice option to have.



As for caps, order a set of Vortex Defender caps. They are about $20 each so $40 for the set. Well worth it.



I am surprised at your glass comparison as my Razor II was every bit the glass of my S&B 5-25 and others I let look through it agreed. I am wondering if the diopter setting might be effecting that as well when you adjust parallax to clear up the sight picture.




 
Optical performance is also affected by the mechanical position of the internals.  We can't say for sure that your eyes didn't like one of the the other, but there are too many variables to call any single person's test definitive.  










Also, there is no such thing as a SFP BEAST.  
Link Posted: 4/21/2016 6:11:19 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By mcordell:
The difference in cost is pretty significant

$2300-2500 for the vortex (Depending on Vendor)
$3800 SFP BEAST
$4250 F1 BEAST

I just couldn't justify the nearly $2,000 difference in price for marginal differences



View Quote


Nightforce does not make an SFP BEAST. All 4 scopes in the BEAST line are FFP, or what NF calls the F1.
Link Posted: 4/22/2016 4:52:29 PM EDT
I would go Nightforce but skip the BEAST and look at this One. It's basically the same scope for less money and less things to mess with.
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