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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/13/2016 at 13:40
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Has anyone tried a Cronus yet? I'm ready for another high end scope ($2-3k range). But the Cronus has me thinking. I'd love to try it out. Please let us know if you have any experience with it
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/13/2016 at 14:26
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Originally posted by tucansam tucansam wrote:

I spent part of the evening <span style="line-height: 1.4;">getting the Argos BTR mounted on my 22, hoping to get to the range tomorrow.  I hung a plumb bob near by back door and moved to the other part of the house, some distance away, so I could get the scope level.    </span>

A couple of things to note.  

At 24x I was able to focus the scope down almost perfectly.  32 feet, measured, from the door/wall I was looking at to the front of the objective lens.  I ran the power down, and somewhere between 20-22x, the image became perfectly clear.  So focus down to ten yards.... awesome for those who need it.

In playing with the focus ring from behind the scope, I noticed two things.  First, the level of resistance the focus knob offers going back down from 24x to 6x gets stiffer around 17x, and stays stiff until around 14x.  When I dial up from 6x to 24x, the entire range is smooth.  But when dialing from 24x back down to 6x, there is a very discernible bump, rough spot, or something that makes the resistance needed to turn the knob "heavier."  I spent a few minutes cranking the knob back and forth, hoping it was a pile of accumulated grease that just needed to be worked out -- no change.  Its not a show stopper, just something I noticed.

Also, speaking of the power adjustment ring, there is front-to-back movement in the ring, about 1/2mm if I am gentle, and I can deflect it almost a full 1mm if I push and pull on it hard enough.  

Again, probably not a show stopper, and I am still impressed for under $400, but now I am really anxious to get it to the range and start cranking on its various components.



A couple of comments: does the side focus knob still change resistance half way if you loosen there front ring?

Also, what is the closest distance at which you are able to dial out the parallax completely? Sharp focus does not necessarily mean no parallax.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/14/2016 at 03:38
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This is why I should not drink rum and Coke before I post.

The focus knob (side focus) is fine.  The _power_ ring is what is giving me some added resistance.  Sorry for the confusion.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/14/2016 at 05:32
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Ilya´s question is still valid, just substitute "front ring" to "rear ring".


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/14/2016 at 09:59
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Originally posted by driller2948 driller2948 wrote:

No Pics

how do you post a pic?  I'm just a grasshopper, but don't see option??? 


Robert, the forum has a minimum post count, prior to being able to attach photos. Once you reach 50 posts, you will have the availability to post pictures.

Please continue to add content here. We appreciate you joining and contributing content to OpticsTalk.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/16/2016 at 08:38
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Will loosen the scope rings and re-test the mag knob on my next days off.

New questions... Re: Talos BTR.  The 4-14x44 model.  On the website under specifications, it lists "0.2mil" as the "click value."  But the pictures of the scope have "0.1mil" marked on the turrets, and the manual says the same thing (0.1mil).  Which is correct?

Anyone have a Talos BTR and have you compared it with the Argos?  Looking for differences, specifically glass.  I think the Talos is a notch below the Argos, if I am understanding their site correctly.

Thanks.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/26/2016 at 22:29
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Update.  Still haven't gotten to the range.  Pulled the scope off to take it to the field to test it with some others, and without the potential lateral torque of being bolted down to a rail, the power ring still "sticks" as previously mentioned.  In addition, after comparing it to the scopes below, I must say I am less than pleased with the turrets.  There is simply too much mush.  They are not terribly accurate, insofar as they rarely land on a mil line when turned.  Still, for the money, this is a LOT of scope.

I don't have a good way to mount my phone (camera) to a scope, so I don't have any pictures through each scope.  But here are some thoughts on how the Athlon compared to a few others.

--

I found a few scopes that were either not mounted to rifles, or had not yet been zeroed to a rifle, and packed them up to take to work with me.  Here are the scopes.



From left to right, Leupold Mark AR 3-9, SWFA SS 3-15, Bushnell (Bausch and Lomb) Elite 4200 6-24 circa 2001, SWFA SS 5-20HD, Athlon Argos BTR 6-24.

Another view:



I also had my Leupold Mark 3 3-9 at work:



Here is what I was looking at.  The red-roofed house with the evergreens is 350m away, and the house with the wooden fence and windmill is 250m away.





As you can see, it was raining and overcast.  Lighting was somewhat poor.  I have been hoping for a bright sunny day, but its monsoon season.  I have days off coming and if I have clear skies, or at least a lot of sunshine, I will spend some more time behind each scope.

On the house with the evergreens, I was looking for color, brightness, and the ability to resolve the lines in the tile roof, aluminum siding, and on the right of the house you will see a black domed object, some sort of trellis.  On the house with the wooden fence, the windmill is stuck over top of a washed out grey/green background.  To the left of the wooden fence there is a red ATV.  To the left of the ATV is a shed with an open door.  Inside that shed, in shadow, is another ATV.  Again, I was looking at color, brightness, and how much detail I could see in the windmill's vanes, the red ATV, and the ATV in the shed that is not getting a lot of light.

The Leupold Mark 3 was the worst of the bunch by far, optically, but has other attributes that make it a good scope (like the fact that is has been extensively abused for its entire existence and still functions perfectly).  The Athlon handily beat the Mark 3 on image quality at six through nine power, not even a contest.  But the Mark 3 has laboratory-like accurate turrets, and has fallen from a helicopter and lived to tell the tale.  It saw service with the Navy's surface warfare folks before I got it, and I've carried it daily for probably nine or ten years now, and I do not treat this scope well at all.

The Leupold Mark AR was a pretty close comparison, at six and nine power both it and the Athlon were super clear, very bright, and had good color.  The Mark AR is, as far as I know, a 150y fixed parallax scope.  But I could still make out a good amount of detail on the houses and ATVs etc.  No issues there, it and the Athlon were pretty identical.

The SWFA 3-15 is the scope that I am thinking of replacing with the Athlon, and its interesting because I literally could not tell the difference between the images at six, nine, and 15 power, aside from the SWFA being perhaps a little brighter.  Could have easily been the changing weather conditions, the sun was setting and the clouds were moving all over the place.  Both are heavy and feel very strongly build.  The Athlon has a better reticle.  The SWFA has MUCH better turrets.  Its a wash.  The images in both scopes were crystal clear, sharp, and bright up ato 15x.  I wish SWFA would make a 5-20 or 6-24 version of this scope, not the HD line in the $1000+ range, but a mil/mil compliment to the 3-15.  A better reticle would be nice too.  SWFA, I would buy a ton of them on your Black Friday sale!

The Bushnell Elite 4200 was surprisingly bright and clear, given its age.  While I presume optics coatings have made many leaps in the last 15 years, this scope held its own with everything else I brought with me.  It was razor sharp and very clear, and super bright.  It outperformed the Athlon above 16x, interesting considering its a 1" tube with a smaller objective.  May have been brighter overall, similar to the SWFA 3-15.

The SWFA 5-20HD completely destroyed the Athlon optically, as one would expect from a $1000+ scope.  But I must say that the difference in image quality and brightness, while noticeable, would not be enough for me to spend another $600+ to get the SWFA.  But the SWFA has other features that I feel trump the Athlon, not the least of which are its turrets.  Again, the Athlon has a vastly superior reticle.

The Athlon began getting VERY critical with eye relief somewhere between 16-17x.  I was holding each scope to my eye with my hands, so take it with a grain of salt, I couldn't hold each scope 100% steady all the time.  But above 16x, the Athlon very clearly became dim, almost brownish in color, and I realized I was starting to see the very beginnings of scope shadow.  Once I played around with my eye position, things got a lot better.  Still, above 16-18x, the Athlon begins to drop a lot of light.  Above 22x its dim indeed.  Not unusable, but again, the old Elite 4200 handily beat the Athlon in image quality at higher mags, as did the SWFA HD.  While usable at 24x, I will personally probably use the Athlon in the 19-22x range, and now I am really glad I didn't buy the 8-32!!!!  I could make out all of the same detail in the houses and objects as all the other scopes, but the ATV in the shed, in the shadow, was lacking in detail above 18x or so, the image simply got too dim.  Still usable for sure, just lacking in detail.  Same with the slots in the aluminum siding, tiles on the roof, vanes on the windmill.  Visible, just without as much "pop" as the others at high mag.

The turrets continue to be not so great indeed.  I don't have any other cheap Chicom stuff to compare it to, ie BSA, PA, etc.  So maybe that's par for the course with these super inexpensive scopes.  I hate to sound critical, the Athlon is truly a marvel of price/performance (at least optically, still gotta do the tracking test).  But if anyone from Athlon is reading, if you gave me more precise turrets, and/or 10mil/rev, and/or a legit zero stop, I would pay twice as much for this scope to get those features.  Cranking a turret and being off by 0.1 or 0.2mil on a 22LR at 50y won't even be noticeable, but I was planning on putting this on a 24" 308, and at 1100y, 0.1mil can make a difference.

Still very impressed with the scope and anxious to get it to the range for tracking and what not.  

As an aside, and to add to my previous post, I pulled my SWFA 1-4 (not the HD) out of my safe and its length and weight specs are very similar to the Athlon Argos BTR 1-4, which I may buy in the next couple of weeks.  I love the SWFA, but the reticle is more complex than a traditional mil reticle, the center is cluttered, and I'd rather devote the time learning how to use it to something else.  For that reason, the Athlon has appeal, with its more "standard" mil reticle.  I am curious to compare them side by side.  Biggest thing will be if the Athlon's illum is daytime visible.  I was not a huge fan of FFP scopes in the 1-4 or 1-6 range, but if I can turn it into a legit "dot sight" at 1x, with daytime visible brightness, and then crank to 4x for a ranged shot, it would be a winner at this price point.  I hate dot sights but do like holo sights (was a fan of EOTech until they knowingly screwed LEO and .mil) and in particular prismatics, but a variable that can do a dot's job at true 1x and add magnification when needed would find a home on almost all of my ARs.  The other question, and I think I mentioned it before, is that Athlon's site lists the 1-4's turret at 0.2mil/click, while the pictures and manual list 0.1mil/click.  

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/27/2016 at 13:54
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Great write up and comparison. Thanks much
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/28/2016 at 03:42
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Scope is going back to Athlon.  I will contact them tomorrow and arrange to have it looked at and/or replaced, unless they have some advice that works.  Here are some turret pics from tonight.  This is completely unacceptable, unfortunately, even at this price point.

--

I pulled off the elevation turret to inspect the internals.  

Here is "Zero."  As close to zero as I could get when putting it back on.  



Here is one click "up"



And again, here is one click down, back to "Zero"




From Zero, here is five clicks "up"



Five more "up"



Five more "up"



Looks halfway decent, until I dial back down to zero, here is 14 down:




That was 15 up, and 14 down.  14 down landed perfectly on zero, one more down, for a total of 15, landed somewhere between zero and 0.1mil down.

I ran the turret up and down several times, in the middle of its range of adjustment, and also near the top and bottom of its adjustment range, and I get the same thing every time.  The zero "floats."  Sometimes I can land on zero, and when I do, dialing up or down lands me sometimes on a marked line, and sometimes in between lines.  Dialing back down to zero sometimes lands me on zero, and sometimes lands me either 0.1 left or right of zero, or somewhere in the middle (0.05mil left or right)

--

After much cranking, I got it back to "zero," but only by turning somewhere in between clicks, ie, probably riding on the bearing in the turret:




Five up




Ten up




And at that point zero went back to the actual zero line on the scope.  

So basically, none of the adjustments are repeatable, or accurate, or reliable, at all.

Windage was the same, although I did not pull the windage turret off, it is as it came from the factory.  It started at zero, perfectly.  10 right landed on 1, 20 right landed on 2.05ish, 30 right landed on 3.1, and 40 right landed on 4.2.  40 back left to zero landed on 0.1 left of zero.

A second test of the above windage test was *perfect*, landing on the actual numbered line each time, through 50 clicks.  But then dialing back to zero, 50 clicks back left, it landed on 0.1 from zero.

It seems to help if I dial *quickly*, but if I dial slowly, or only dial a few clicks at a time, major problems.  If I want it to go back to zero, or land perfectly on a witness mark, I have to dial past that point, and then back.  IE, dial down past zero, then back up to it.  Or dial left past zero, then back right.  Then it landed on the correct spot.  Sometimes.

I still had my SWFA 3-15 off my rifle and, while I've never had tracking problems with it, I decided to run the same tests.  Flawless, 100%, every time.  5/10/20 up/down etc landed on the exact spot, perfectly, every time.  Clicks were 100% solid and precise, vs the very mushy Athlon, which has a tremendous amount of play between each click, and can't seem to line up with witness marks more than half the time.



Edited by tucansam - July/28/2016 at 04:07
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/28/2016 at 08:16
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Did you ever check tracking on a rifle?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/28/2016 at 08:55
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Unfortunately, this is the same problem I've run into with every Chinese scope I've ever purchased. It seems that have the glass and main tube figured out, but the internal adjustments have always been way off. Very unfortunate, as I need a good FFP for my new .308 shorty
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/28/2016 at 09:39
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Hi Tucansam, Thank you for spending time reviewing the product! We got your email as well. Feel free to send the scope back and we will figure it out for you. If that is a lemon, we will replace it with a new one for you. The turrets of Argos BTR have some play in between clicks we are fully aware of ( not saying yours is acceptable). We are trading off this somewhat mushy turret with the greater glass quality, complex reticle, FFP, illumination, 10 yard to infinity parallax adjustment ( all the nice features you and many others like) so we can keep the cost down and make it affordable for a vast group of users who can not afford $$$$ or higher $$$ range scopes.  So far the feedback we got on Argos BTR is that it tracks very well although it has a bit mushy turrets. Have guys who are using it for their PRS matches for several months and reported a great tracking performance. Again feel free to call us at 855-913-5678, we will be more than happy to talk to you and get some first hand information we believe that is what will help us get better.

As far as for your suggestions for getting all the features you like but with sharper turrets, we are listening. Stay tuned for 2017 SHOT...Thanks again!

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NICE!!!  These walls have sharp hearing!!!!! Excellent  Excellent
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/29/2016 at 01:34
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Wanna talk customer service?  Email to Athlon at 3:57AM, response from Athlon at 6:25AM telling me to fill out a warranty form and RMA it.  Awesome.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/29/2016 at 08:09
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/29/2016 at 11:47
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Athlon is a good company.  They are new, but they know what they are doing.  I having looking at the Cronus 1-6x24 and it is a pretty nice scope.

I'll look at other models as well, but I figured I should start with their top end stuff first and work my way down.

I will say this: I own the 7.5-22x50 spotter and considering how small and inexpensive it is, it absolutely kicks ass.  It is the spotter I keep in my car at all times and I use it all the time.  Is it the best compact spotter? No.  Is it the smallest decent spotter? Yes, I think so.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/02/2016 at 23:14
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1 Aug UPS has the scope, on its way to Athlon.  Will report back shortly.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/10/2016 at 20:17
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Athlon Midas BTR PR31 vs Vortex Spitfire 3x.

Anyone have a direct comparison?  

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2016 at 06:35
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Scope came back from Athlon today!

No complaints about cust service, 8/8 is the date they show taking custody of my scope, 8/10 is the day they show sending out a replacement.  No note inside the box indicating what they found with the old scope, just an invoice indicating a one-for-one swap with zero balance owed by me.

New scope has exact same problem as old scope.  Exactly the same.  The "zero" click lies somewhere between zero and 0.1mil, and one click down from zero lies somewhere between 0.1 and 0.2mils.  Rinse and repeat throughout the entire dialing range, just like the old scope.

Windage, same.

I could live with the clicks not lining up 100%, but they don't line up 100% consistently.  If I knew "half a millimeter to the left of each witness mark is the actual click value" that would be fine.  But each click results in the witness mark falling somewhere else entirely, no consistency at all.  Plus still tons of play between clicks, more than any other scope I've tried.  

I pulled out my Bushnell Elite 3200 fixed 10x mil/mil ($199 special from that company named after the WWII naval battle after Pearl Harbor) and its turrets are 100% slop free and 100% on the mark every time, they are like sophisticated calibrated brain surgery equipment compared to the Athlon.

So if I am going to use the scope for just hold overs, it will work fine.  But I like to dial.  So, my verdict: I will continue to buy SWFA 3-15s on sale, and this Athlon will go on one of my .22LRs to be used as a novelty.

My hopes for the future are several.  

I hope Athlon fixes the turret issues on this line of scope, and lets us current owners swap them out.  And I hope the next gen of this model has a totally redesigned or at least significantly improved turret, and if that results in a price increase, so be it, I will happily pay.  The glass and reticle are superb.

I also hope other manufactures see Athlon's truly outstanding reticle and incorporate something similar in their designs (SWFA please pay attention here!!!!!).  

I was going to buy a 4-14 from Athlon, now I believe I will pass, at least until next Shot Show when new models come out and the products and company gain some maturity.

Still happy with the scope FOR THE PRICE, but its not a serious piece of equipment in my opinion.  Sorry Athlon.  

I am keeping the scope because I know Athlon is a new company and I am not totally dissatisfied with the product.  I know every company and product line has growing pains.  Hopefully my purchase will help them make the next generation better.

In the meantime, back to SWFA as my go-to scopes while I save for better stuff.  Just wish I could get Athlon's reticle in my SWFAs......

--

As an aside, I ordered a Vortex Spitfire 3x, even though I liked Athlon's reticle better.  The Vortex was cheaper and I now feel like I'd like to go with a more time-proven product for now. 

A friend of mine ordered one of their Ares 20-60x85 ED spotters, I will try to get some time behind it and see about posting some info and opinions on it, from he and I and other shooters.


Edited by tucansam - August/16/2016 at 06:40
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Thanks for the heads up Tucan. Hopefully Athlon will fix this in the next gen scopes. Any other of their lines of scopes have this issue?
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I would send it back again, and if another comes with the same issue I would request a refund.  Bummer deal.
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So what you seem to be saying is that something that might have been too good to be true was too good to be true?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/18/2016 at 18:47
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Here is a copy of the email I sent Athlon, hopefully explaning a little better what I have going on, same issue again as the old scope:

-- 

There is play in the turrets, which I find totally acceptable at this price point.  But the turrets don't land on witness marks consistently.  Meaning, if I dial five tenths up, I may end up just left of the five tenths mark.  Then if I dial up five more tenths, I end up just left of the 11 tenths mark, or right of the 10 tenths mark.  Dial back down to zero, I may end up at zero, or just left of it, or just right of it.  Basically as I am dialing, I have to count clicks, because the turrets often land on or  near a witness mark to the left or right of the actual mark I am trying to dial to.  Its hard to explain, I hope I'm not being too confusing.  The play I can live with, I just can't get it to dial accurately.


What I have found, is that if I dial very purposefully, one click at a time, it seems to go OK, but if I crank fast, like dialing straight up to 2 or 3 mils, that's where I begin to have issues.  Even dialing slowly, I still get enough play to where I don't know if I've landed on 2.5, 2.4, or 2.6 mils, for example.  If I count up 30 clicks, I generally land on or near the 3 mil hash mark.  But if I rapidly run up to 3 mils, and then slowly dial back down to zero, I may get 29, 30, or 31 clicks to get me to the zero hash mark.

 

This is going on a 22LR, so I'm not overly concerned about being off a tenth of a mil or two, but for a more precision gun, it would be a problem. 

 

Like I said, this is the same behavior as the first scope.  Just curious what the chances would be of my getting two lemons in a row.  To be fair, there are times when the dialing is basically perfect.  But for every perfect dialing attempt, there are four or five that are inaccurate to the point that I don't know exactly what dope I've dialed, unless I meticulously count clicks each time.  And even counting clicks, I may end up a tenth above or a tenth below where I am trying to dial, according to the witness marks.

--


I have now had several perfect dial attempts, and a ton of ones where I can't be sure, to within a tenth of a mil, where I have landed.  Again, on my 22LR trainer it probably won't be a huge deal, as the gun isn't accurate enough to be able to differentiate in tenths-of-mils at 30, 40, 50 yards etc.  But on a one hole rifle, or shooting out at very long distance, this is going to be a problem.  For now I am going to take it to the range and just very slowly and meticulously dial tenths, and see how it fares.  Interestingly, the clicks on this new scope are much more tactile and audible than on the old one.  Glass is still very clear, with a little CA, but not too bad.  Focuses down to 10y just like the old one. 


If anyone specifically has a Talos FFP, please post your thoughts on the turrets.  Or even the SFP Midas.  Athlon said that they don't expect their turrets to be Chronos-like at these price-points, but I'm curious if the internals are the same across all scope lines, or if some are better than others.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/18/2016 at 20:11
supertool73 View Drop Down
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Try cleaning all the grease off a applying new
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2016 at 02:32
tucansam View Drop Down
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Thanks, good idea.  I have Miltec 1, dielectric grease from my old Super Sniper 10x, and a handful of other pretty generic greases.  What would you recommend?
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