$1,899 (Vortexoptics.com) This year saw a slew (I believe that is the proper technical term) of excellent riflescopes ranging in price from above $2,000 down to just under $200. But somehow I just kept coming back to the new Vortex Razor Gen II. The scope is made from 30mm one-piece aircraft-aluminum tubing and fitted with high-density extra-low-dispersion glass -elements fully multi-coated to retard -reflected light, as well as a scratch- and dust-resistant exterior.
Most noticeable is the aggressive knurling on the turret caps—and on the -illumination dial, a just-this-side-of-chainsaw-teeth violently aggressive knurling that can be felt through thick gloves. In a bow to This Is Spinal Tap, the dial goes to 11, turning off between increments. The second-focal-plane illuminated reticle, which does not change size with magnification, includes reference marks matched to .223 and .308 ballistics but is easily adapted to almost any cartridge and bullet with the vortex online long range ballistic calculator. Essentially a medium-range scope, the Razor Gen II would truly shine for hunting African dangerous game. —Tom McIntyre