Athlon Optics - Argos BTR 6-24 FFP



  • Spent today playing with the Athlon Optics Argos BTR 6-24x50 FFP.

    In summary, the scope has a lot of value at the price point. With a M.A.P. of $369, you certainly don't have to come out of pocket much to get one in your hands. The scope is better than the majority of other scopes with equal capabilities at this price point. However I think there is a bit of over-hype going on around the Athlon brand right now. They are the new kid on the block and have a lot of staying power, which clearly is offering a lot of value for the dollar, but this scope is not what some out there are claiming it to be. Here's my take on it.

    Magnification 6-24
    Objective Lens Diameter 50mm
    Reticle APMR FFP IR MIL, Glass Etched
    Surface Finish Matte
    Lens Coating Wide Band Fully Multicoated
    Extra Coating Xtra Protective Coating
    Tube Material 6061 Aluminium
    Tube Diameter 30 mm
    Exit Pupil 8.2-2.1 mm
    Eye Relief 3.3 inches
    Field of View @100 yards 16.7-4.5 feet
    Click Value 0.1MIL
    Adjustment range per rotation 5MIL
    Total Elevation Adjustment 18 MIL
    Total Windage Adjustment 18 MIL
    Turret Style Exposed
    Parallax Adjustment Side Focus – 10 yards to infinity
    Purging Material Argon
    Length 14.1 inches
    Weight 29.6 ounces

    The packaging is pretty nice. Snug foam insert with the scopes wrapped in a plastic bag should keep them plenty safe during their travels. Boxes magnetically shut, so there will certainly need to be some care taken. The scope comes with flip caps, which is a nice touch. The rear one doesn't fold forward at all, so if you wear a cap, you'll have to remove your cap or the scope's ocular cap.
    LRqfq43h.jpg

    The turrets and turret housing reminds me of Primary Arms, BSA, and a number of other manufacturers that have low end scopes out there. The clicks are mushy with quite a lot of backlash and they don't typically line up on the click indicators properly. The windage turret on this scope found center click right between two markings while the elevation turret was a little closer to one of the markings. This is a supremely annoying thing as you basically have to remember what side of the indicator your actual zero is, and due to the way the turret caps index with the turrets themselves, it's never certain just which direction it may be off. This is something we've seen before on many many scopes with turrets of this design.

    Not much force is required to turn the turrets, as the clicks are quite weak. Having them accidentally move during normal use is a real possibility that you'd need to constantly check for if you are hunting or in a match that required slung movement. Just taking the rifle in and out of a drag bag could easily throw a click or two on. The turret caps are a little "grabby" which would facilitate this. With clicks this weak, bit flutes on the turret caps are certainly not necessary. Bottom line; the turrets are pretty terrible, but are commensurate with other optics in this price range.
    4HXQe9Ah.jpg
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    Despite the above, the scope actually tracked quite well and held zero fabulously. I mounted it on a 40X rimfire and zeroed it. I fired one shot, turned the turret all the way out, and back down to zero, then fired another shot. The zero held perfectly. I did the same, but ran it all the way down, then back up to zero, and again the zero held perfectly. Did this about 10 times each. I put 10 mils in the rifle and fired a group, and it measured 10 mils. Did this at least 5 times. The reticle scale subtends correctly, and measurements read on the reticle and input to the turrets tracked spot on. It struggled a bit with tiny tenth or two tenth mil adjustments from time to time... but hell, so do all the S&B 5-25 PMII's I have! Just as always has been the case, it's best practice to put a rough adjustment in the scope and dial into spring pressure for your final setting. It is an absolute given that you can NOT properly test an optics ability to hold zero on something like a 22lr. Lack of appreciable recoil completely negates this.

    One of the high points of this scope is the parallax. It can be run parallax-free on max magnification down to 10 yards, which is excellent for a scope in this price point. Definitely an excellent budget rimfire optic because of this. The parallax isn't intuitive in that you turn it away from you to parallax closer, and sadly this is a mechanic that it shares with many other optics. You can feel tight spots and loose spots as you rotate the parallax knob through it's range of motion, and the yardage markers are not dead on with the actual parallax range in the world. That too is not uncommon for optics of this class. The thing I found most interesting was the 200yd, 500yd, and infinity markings on the scope are all very tightly clustered. I'd say within a 20th of a revolution of the turret. This results in a very forgiving parallax in a centerfire situation. You could literally go shoot an entire PRS match with the parallax set to infinity or just slightly before it... and never touch it the entire match. That's pretty forgiving. At closer ranges obviously it takes a bit more work, but still it was not difficult going from far targets to close or vice versa. Bravo Athlon. It is a key feature that has a monumental effect on a shooters ability to engage targets effectively with the optic, but is usually overlooked on optics in this price point. Bravo indeed.
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    On to the most subjective aspect of the optic; glass quality. I feel these scopes have been massively over-hyped in this area in particular. Given the fact that the majority of shooters will never own a truly great optic, this is unsurprising to me. After all, if you do not own a full spectrum of product offerings available, you can not possibly have the experience required to make a comparison and place a product's capabilities appropriately in relation to those offerings. I found the glass to be better than competing models at this price point, and certainly good enough that it will not be the deciding factor regarding a shot in the field. Outside of field use in front of a shooter that understands the dollars they spent, this scope is extraordinarily poor compared to the $1000-$2000 scopes that other reviewers think it is as good as. Sure, I've seen steiners with far worse CA and artifacts, as well as others, but these scopes are not carrying some magical glass either. For the price, it's nice enough however. Subjective as they may be, here is a few through-the-scope shots.

    Athlon 6-24 @ 6x
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    Athlon 6-24 @ 12x
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    Athlon 6-24 @ 24x
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    Bushnell LRS 6-24x @ 24x
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    Schmidt & Bender 5-25 @ approx 24x
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    Tangent Theta 5-25 @ approx 24x
    fcIOfJhh.jpg

    Take what you will from those images. You can plainly see the blue and purple fringing of the black dots on white paper with the Athlon. Yet look at the Bushnell LRS!!!! That scope cost me just shy of $1000, and here this $350 scope is keeping right up with it. Sure the Athlon might be a touch worse, but $650 worse? Lets not forget the turrets on those Bushnell scopes are nearly as poor as the Athlon. Their indicators don't line up either! Athlon Argos scopes are going to be absolutely slaying the bottom line against competitors like Bushnell. It's simply a money thing. The operational capabilities between the Argos and the Bushie just aren't far enough apart to justify the kind of money being asked there. Bushnell got away with it for a long time as they were about the only scope configured like this available beneath $1000 that had a decent reticle and parallaxed down to under 50yds. This made them great rimfire trainer scopes. However, Athlon will be completely and totally taking over that market in the next year.

    For someone wanting to get a cheap scope to learn the ropes regarding computing and dialing firing solutions as well as getting some experience with FFP reticles, the Argos 6-24x50 from Athlon optics is an excellent choice. It is also at home on backup rifles, rimfires, or rifles that simply need an optic but don't get shot much. Tough to spend big money on scopes for rifles that just sit around. With these inexpensive Athlon scopes, you can easily afford to have mil/mil/ffp on your rifles that don't see much use.

    If you would like to order an Athlon optic, just give us a call at 605-554-1911.

    ZMoGdheh.jpg



  • @orkan could you do the grease "fix" on the turrets and tell us how much it improves it. (Supposedly clean the grease of the o-rings in the turrets and use better and less grease)

    Sucks the turrets don't line up, and there's no zero stop I take it? I'd be curious to know if they're designed in a way a guy could do washers like on the swfa ss.

    The pictures were a bit of a shock, the Bushnell looks better but not much, but they're just pictures.

    The reticle looks really useable and the lines aren't overly thick.

    I look forward to the other reviews, I hope you do the Cronus, as that one has certainly gotten the most hype it seems, and guys like Frank Galli think it's a bit overhyped as well.



  • @rhyno said:

    could you do the grease "fix" on the turrets and tell us how much it improves it.

    No. I have no interest in telling a customer "well if you replace the grease on your turrets..." It's not like an optic should be like a car, where you have to perform oil changes and shit. Besides, I have 3 argos scopes here. This isn't a sample size of one we're talking about. They all stink on ice regarding the clicks. Though they do so in a fashion commensurate with the price point. I wish we could spend $350 and have good clicks, but that's just not the reality of the world today.

    I did pop one turret off and wipe off the grease and oil it a touch. Still sucked. No two ways about it, these clicks are what they are. You can mask it with a regrease, for sure... but the backlash is still there.

    @rhyno said:

    there's no zero stop I take it? I'd be curious to know if they're designed in a way a guy could do washers like on the swfa ss.

    No zero stop, and from what I've read, the washer trick does indeed work.

    @rhyno said:

    The pictures were a bit of a shock, the Bushnell looks better but not much

    While it is pretty difficult to get good through the scope pics, those images are pretty representative of what it's like looking through them. The TT bests the S&B, but its much easier to see that in person than through those pics. The Bushy and the Athlon really are quite close to each other in every respect. The Athlon is even illuminated, while the bushnell is not.

    @rhyno said:

    The reticle looks really useable and the lines aren't overly thick.

    Yes, the reticle is plenty good. Workable. Not too thick at all. They did a great job there. The Talos 4-14 has a significantly thicker reticle in it. Borders on being too thick. Same crappy turrets on that though too. The 8-34 performs pretty well in good light. Though all these Athlons seem to really struggle when the last bits of light are present. Again though, this statement must be tempered with the fact that more expensive scopes struggle just as much.

    These scopes are NOT what some have claimed. Yet they offer a good value. They do that for sure.

    I consider them the strongest "gateway" brand out there right now. They have a full lineup of mil/mil/ffp which will get guys started. Either due to peoples lack of budget, lack of seriousness, or lack of brains... there's a need for low and mid-tier scopes configured like this. Athlon is going to be wildly successful in 2017. I have no doubt about that.



  • @rhyno
    Washers work for a zero stop. I used the:

    Non-Ferrous Fastener Inc.
    909-548-6726
    http://www.non-ferrousfastener.com
    websales@non-ferrousfastener.com

    NF9320 (.932 od x .381 id x .031 th) Special F/W Nylon

    I got 10 for $6.55 including shipping.



  • Very good, I agree with you on the grease.



  • @orkan
    Nice write up Greg.
    As an owner of one of these I can honestly say you hit the nail right on the head as usual.



  • Thanks for the write-up. I might have a place for one or two of these in the future. This would be very nice on a 300 blackout.



  • Sure thing. Just say the word and I'll hook you up.



  • Really glad to hear you say the hype is just that. I saw a guy on another board last week saying how Vortex has been just ripping people off with the PST, because this is just as good for a lot less.

    My son grabbed one for his RPR. Mounted it and it would no longer track, zoom, or do anything. Torqued it down in TPS rings to their specs. I couldn't believe that the tube let the internals get crushed from just a few inch pounds. But hey, it's a $350 scope.



  • The hype has made my stay away from Athlon, to me it's to similar to Savage. Not the product but the fan base.



  • @norcal_in_az said:

    Really glad to hear you say the hype is just that. I saw a guy on another board last week saying how Vortex has been just ripping people off with the PST, because this is just as good for a lot less.

    My son grabbed one for his RPR. Mounted it and it would no longer track, zoom, or do anything. Torqued it down in TPS rings to their specs. I couldn't believe that the tube let the internals get crushed from just a few inch pounds. But hey, it's a $350 scope.

    Just curious...but which torque wrench?



  • @dddoo7 said:

    @norcal_in_az said:

    Really glad to hear you say the hype is just that. I saw a guy on another board last week saying how Vortex has been just ripping people off with the PST, because this is just as good for a lot less.

    My son grabbed one for his RPR. Mounted it and it would no longer track, zoom, or do anything. Torqued it down in TPS rings to their specs. I couldn't believe that the tube let the internals get crushed from just a few inch pounds. But hey, it's a $350 scope.

    Just curious...but which torque wrench?

    I don't know. My brother helped him install it.



  • 15 in/lb is not much. A 15 in/lb slightly out of calibration torque wrench is quite a ways out percentage wise.