Vortex Razor AMG UH-1 Review : Should You Buy this Relatively New Holographic Sight from Vortex?

Gungoal's Rating

 

Vortex Razor AMG UH-1 is a holographic sight under $400 from Vortex, who intend to capture market share from people who defect from EOTech due to its thermal drift scandal.

But is Vortex Razor AMG UH-1 the best deal in its class or is there a better holographic sight? Worry not, I’ll tell you all there is to know about this optics so you can make informed decision whether Vortex Razor AMG UH-1 is the right optic for you.

Quick summary

Compared to EOTech EXPS2 , Vortex Razor AMG UH-1 has slightly crisper reticle. And I like the AMG UH-1’s reticle 6:00 triangle for additional close distance reference. Battery life is supposedly better. Furthermore the AMG UH-1 dot cannot be seen by people on the other side, unlike EOTech’s and Aimpoint’s. Lastly, Vortex Razor AMG UH-1 is cheaper than the EXPS2 at the time of this writing.

Compared to Holosun HS510C, the AMG UH-1 is a true holographic sight, as opposed to HS510C. The Holosun is a reflex sight with 2 MOA dot and 65 MOA ring style reticle. HS510C has less clear glass and less defined reticle. Being a reflex sight, HS510C parallax error is significantly more than the Razor AMG UH-1. The only thing going for HS510C is cheaper price.

Vortex is one of the most popular optic brand in the U.S. They have significant market share in both entry level and high end optics. One of the most cited Vortex quality is its reputation in taking good care of its customers.

What are the PROS and CONS of Vortex Razor AMG UH-1?

Pros

  • Crisp reticle
  • 1 MOA dot and 65 MOA circle with a 6:00 chevron
  • Long battery life compared to other holographic sight
  • Parallax free
  • Superb lifetime warranty from Vortex

Cons

  • Heavy and bulky
  • Not battle proven
  • Reticle fading around the edges

 

Vortex Razor AMG UH-1 competes directly with EOTech EXPS2

Prior to the introduction of Vortex Razor AMG UH-1, EOTech is the undisputed king of holographic sights, due to its ruggedness and battle proven reputation. Whether for occupational use, home defense or competition shooting, EOTech had a firm monopolistic grip in this market.

Then came along Vortex Razor AMG UH-1, and a lot of people gave it a try due to enticing features and cheaper price. Today the AMG UH-1 becomes a strong contender with overwhelming positive reviews.

My recommendations? Get this Vortex Razor AMG UH-1 if you’re looking for a holographic sight but don’t want to spend an EOTech price.

Best for : Shooters who value parallax and distortion free holographic sight.

Dot & Glass 4.9/5
Ease of Use 4/5
Weight and Size 4/5
Durability 4.5/5
Value 4.4/5

 

The Whole Story of Vortex Razor AMG UH-1

Since no optics nor products exists in isolation. And words such as “crisp” and “great” dot don’t really mean much when you have no benchmarks. I’ll be comparing Vortex Razor AMG UH-1 with other holographic sights in similar price range, so you know what’s the best option for your money.

Read on to find out why Vortex Razor AMG UH-1, even though impressive, isn’t a perfect holographic sight.

Meet the Benchmarks

Vortex Razor AMG UH-1 costs about $400 (at the time of this writing). And I’ll be comparing it with :

EOTech EXPS2 Holosun HS510C
  1. EOTech EXPS2  – $500 (at the time of this writing)
  2. Holosun HS510C – $300 (at the time of this writing)

These are 2 popular options in the market with similar price point and should give you a realistic feel of how good Vortex Razor AMG UH-1 really is.

Razor AMG UH-1 : Crisper dot than EOTech EXPS2 and much better than Holosun HS510C

AMG UH-1 Reticle
AMG UH-1 Reticle

Before getting to the comparison part, let’s familiarize ourselves with Vortex Razor AMG UH-1 first. Vortex Razor AMG UH-1 has 1 MOA dot + 65 MOA ring with a triangle on 6:00 of the ring. It has 15 brightness settings, none of which are night vision compatible.

Compared with EXPS2, I found Vortex Razor AMG UH-1 to have crisper reticle and is more pleasing to my eyes especially when I focus at my target rather than the reticle itself. Note that if you focus at the reticle itself, you will see grainy feature, which is normal for every holographic sights. UH-1’s reticle design has a triangle at 6:00 for close distance shooting, which I think is a cool concept. But obviously, this is a matter of preference.

Glass is equally clear. The UH-1 has a very slight bluish tint which should not affect performance.

In tactical situation, the UH-1 has one distinct advantage, that is the “zero forward signature”, which means no light emission whatsoever on the other side of your lens to give out position to your opposition. EOtech EXPS2 red dot doesn’t have this feature and can be seen from the other side.

2moa vs 1 moa dot size comparison
A 2 MOA dot is not just double the size of a 1 MOA dot. In fact, It is 4x bigger. – (πr2)

Furthermore the UH-1 has better FOV, which makes it easier for you to pick up the dot after recoil or when using weird shooting position (such as prone shooting under a car).

One issue about Vortex Razor AMG UH-1 is reticle fading. When you move its reticle toward 0.5” left or bottom edge of the glass, you’ll see the outer circle’s left side fade away. This symptom is quite annoying, but does not really affect performance.

Compared to HS510C, Holosun HS510C is not a true holographic sight as its dot is created by using good old LED technology of reflex sights. HS510C’s reticle isn’t as crisp, and its glass has more distortion compared to the UH-1 as dictated by reflex sight’s technology  limitations. HS510C glass is also worse than EOTech EXPS2.

All 3 optics have bright dots which can be used outdoors on sunny days.

Vortex Razor AMG UH-1 Battery Life is Considerably Long for Holographic Sights

holographic sights how it works
Holographic sights use laser diode, instead of LEDs, causing battery consumption to be much higher than reflex sights.

Holographic Sights utilise laser emitter rather than LED and generally consumes much more energy with similar light output. With this different fundamentals, it’s the norm for holographic sights to have significantly less battery life than reflex sights.

If you’re looking for a red dot where you change battery once every 2 years, holographic sights are not for you.

But among holographic sights, the UH-1 has considerably long battery life. And to solve the shorty battery life issue of holographic sights, Vortex added a USB port to charge your battery from external sources.

Summary of Batteries for each Mentioned Optics

Razor AMG UH-1 EXPS2 HS510C
Battery type CR123A, LFP123A CR123A CR2032 and Solar
Battery Life 1,600 hours 600 hours 20,000 hours (Circle dot)

50,000 hours (Dot only)

Alternate energy source USB port for external source Solar
Low Battery Warning Pulse for 5 seconds Auto Battery Check Indicator
Auto-On Feature Motion Activated
Auto-Off Feature Automatic shut off after 14 hours Automatic shut off after 8 or 4 hours Sleep mode when idle for 10 minutes

Holosun HS510C has a solar panel attached as a secondary power source. Supposedly the solar panel will detect ambient light and switch between battery automatically. It can run on medium brightness solely on solar.

Easy to use brightness controls, No auto-brightness feature

You control UH-1’s brightness with its “+” and “-” buttons located on the rear of the optics. This is an ambidextrous design. There are 15 brightness settings to choose from and a 14 hours auto-off feature. You can manually disable the “14 hours auto-off” by holding “-” for 5 seconds. To enable the auto-off feature again, hold “+” for 5 seconds.

The EXPS2  and the HS510C have 20 and 10 brightness settings respectively. Holosun HS510C has 2 lowest brightness settings as its night vision levels. The HS510C also has auto-brightness feature.

1 MOA dot + 65 MOA ring with chevron reticle

Name Reticle Options
Vortex Razor AMG UH-1 1 MOA dot and 65 MOA circle with a 6:00 chevron
EOTech EXPS2
  • 1 MOA dot and 68 MOA ring
  • (2) 1 MOA dot and 68 MOA ring
Holosun HS510C
  • 2 MOA
  • 65 MOA circle
  • 2 MOA + 65 MOA circle

For the UH-1, there’s only one reticle to use. As for the EXPS2, you get 2 mutually exclusive options (that is you can only choose one). For HS510C you can switch between these 3 options.

Vortex Razor AMG UH-1’s Integrated QD Mount

The UH-1 comes with an integrated QD mount which makes it easy to mount on Picatinny and Weaver rails. This integrated QD mount is not removable.

EXPS2 and HS510c also come with their own QD mounts.

AMG UH-1 Holographic sight has very little parallax error

Test results by greeneye tactical
For detailed parallax test data, check out Greeneye Tactical website here.

Holographic sights are the best of the best for mitigating parallax errors. I tested by moving my head around while looking through it and found parallax to be very minimal. The UH-1 is comparable to EXPS2 in terms of parallax error.

The HS510C is a reflex sight and has significantly more parallax compare to the other two optics.

Holographic sights are generally heavier and bulkier than reflex sights

The UH-1 and EXPS2 are slightly heavy and bulky compared to other red dot sights. If you’re concerned about weight, you may have to consider other options.

Vortex Razor AMG UH-1 EOTech EXPS2 Holosun HS510C
Weight (oz) 11.8 11.2 8.3
Length (Inch) 3.6 3.8 3.3

Moderate durabiltiy, Superb warranty

The UH-1 glass is made from polycarbonate which has shatter resistant property. The downside of polycarbonate is its scratch-prone surface, but Vortex remedied this issue with highly scratch resistant coating. It features shockproof and waterproof housing.

I personally have a great run with Vortex Razor AMG UH-1 and have experienced no durability issue.

That said, the UH-1 is not yet proven and we need more time to test the optic. If you’re looking for a battle-proven holographic sight, within the next 5 years there is only the EOTech option.

Holosun HS510C is not military or home defense grade and should not be used as such. It would work well on a range gun though.

Warranty Breakdown

coin pile
Good transferable warranty increases reselling value.
  • Vortex Razor AMG UH-1 – Lifetime warranty
  • EOTech EXPS2 – First 5 years warranty, next 5 years $79 bench-fee
  • Holosun HS510C – Lifetime warranty on original purchaser

Vortex Lifetime warranty and Customer Service have great reputation and you can rely on them if any issue arises.

Admittedly, the best warranties are the ones that you *don’t* ever have to use them. But at least you get a peace of mind that your optics will be taken care of for years to come.

 

Hear What Others have to say about Vortex Razor AMG UH-1

 

My Verdict of Vortex Razor AMG UH-1

Compared to EOTech EXPS2 , Vortex Razor AMG UH-1 has slightly crisper reticle. And I like the AMG UH-1’s reticle 6:00 triangle for additional close distance reference. Battery life is supposedly better. Furthermore the AMG UH-1 dot cannot be seen by people on the other side, unlike EOTech’s and Aimpoint’s. Lastly, Vortex Razor AMG UH-1 is cheaper than the EXPS2 at the time of this writing.

Compared to Holosun HS510C, the AMG UH-1 is a true holographic sight, as opposed to HS510C. The Holosun is a reflex sight with 2 MOA dot and 65 MOA ring style reticle. HS510C has less clear glass and less defined reticle. Being a reflex sight, HS510C parallax error is significantly more than the Razor AMG UH-1. The only thing going for HS510C is cheaper price.

Gungoal's Rating
Pros Cons
✓ Crisp reticle ✗ Heavy and bulky
✓ 1 MOA dot and 65 MOA circle with a 6:00 chevron ✗ Not battle proven
✓ Long battery life compared to other holographic sight ✗ Reticle fading around the edges
✓ Parallax free
✓ Superb lifetime warranty from Vortex

 

Alternative options

1. EOTech EXPS2

  • Battle proven
  • Less crisp reticle
  • Less battery life
  • Worse warranty
  • Higher priced

 

2. Holosun HS510C

  • Cheaper
  • Worse glass and reticle
  • Not holographic sight
  • Dot and circle reticle
  • Better battery life
  • Auto brightness
  • Worse warranty
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