Athlon 1-6x Cronus BTR Review

bhoges

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Doug over at Cameraland gave me this Athlon Optics Cronus BTR 1-6x24 SFP - ATSR2 SFP IR MOA to review for him. Athlon is the new kid on the block. They seemed to have an optic for every shooters budget. I’m always leery with new companies in regards to quality and standing behind their products. This year I was able to attend Shot and made sure I stopped at their booth. Being a Firearms Examiner I try to keep up to date on the latest firearms and accessories on the market.
A few months back I reviewed two of their scopes and couldn’t believe how well they performed. For the money you get lots of features and a package that works. This review was more exciting since its their top tier line the Cronus BTR which is made in Japan. This is the same factory that makes several high end scopes.
Overall this scope is very similar to my Vortex Razor except that its approximately $450 cheaper. It’s got a 30mm tube, lit reticle, locking turrets, HD glass, and an etched reticle. First impressions were that the turrets have very positive clicks, smooth power ring knob, and extremely clear glass. The reticle is perfect for my needs and not overly busy. Its designed for the 68gr and 69gr ammunition and has holdovers out to 600 yards.
For testing I mounted the optic using the Vortex CM202 mount. (seems Athlon doesn't make mount as of yet) Figures it was pouring raining when I made it to the range. Perfect opportunity for inclement weather testing. I made sure the scope got good and wet. The locking turrets were easy to zero and the lit reticle was very crisp only 1.4 MOA so no obstruction of your target. It has half clicks that allow it to turn off between each intensity setting. This is a nice feature. Optics were extremely bright and clear even in poor conditions. Excellent relief and no issues with the eye box. I ran 300 rounds though my rifle during my first day out.
Over the next 2 weeks I used the optic indoors at my job. We have a 25 yard range. Its tough to get to my outdoor range as often as I’d like. I did countless drills with my shot timer maybe shooting another 400 rounds. I can honestly say I’m extremely impressed. Running side by side with my Razor there was no difference. The Athlon comes in slightly lighter by 6oz. Its a solid well built unit. The field of view is within a few feet as well. Athlon gives you 120 MOA which is more then you'll ever need. As far as looks I love it. Low profile turrets and a clean look to the scope. Perfect scope for 3 gun matches.
Athlon hit the ground running and seemed to have caught up to the big guys rather quickly. They have an excellent warranty and the products are readily available. I didn't conduct any tracking test due to the fact that once this is zeroed there is no reason to crank the turrets. I did give the gun a bunch of hard hits and exposed it to pretty bad weather. My main concern was function and optic quality. Hands down awesome bang for the buck and I wouldn't hesitate purchasing one. Sure its not cheap but its not made in China or the Philippines. You get what you pay for. My pet peeve is when new optics come out and your waiting a year to get one. Doug showed me everything is in stock which is a plus. Next I’d love to test out the 4.5x29 on my 6x47 Lapua out to 700 yards. (HINT HINT DOUG!!)
FEATURES
HD Glass HD Glass gives you better light transmission, brighter, and sharper image.
Illuminated Reticle The illuminated reticle provides greater visibility during dusk and dawn and other low ambient light environment.
Etched Glass Reticle Reticle etched on the glass that provides excellent backing support for complex reticle design and offers great durability and much higher shock resistance to recoil
Advanced Fully Multicoated Fully Multicoated optics effectively reduces reflected light and increases the transmission of light giving you a brighter image than normal single coated lenses
XPL Coating XPL Coating gives you an extra protection on the exterior lenses from dirt, oil and scratches or anything else mother nature can throw at you.
High Precision Erector System The high precision erector system processed by high precision CNC machine with +/- 0.0001mm tolerance level to provide you the most accurate power settings and smoothest magnification change
6061 T6 Aluminum The 6061T6 aircraft grade aluminum tube that has exceptional strength and superior mechanical integrity will protect these world class optics no matter what punishment you throw at it.
Exposed Tactical Direct Dial Exposed Direct Dial Turrets for elevation and windage allow you to quickly make adjustment as you needed and engage your target within a blink of your eyes
Precision Zero Stop System The system allows you to lock down your zero position and dial back to it with a sharp and precise stop right at your zero mark even you are turning it in pitch-dark or blind folded.
Locking Turrets This Locking Feature allows you to push down to lock the turret and pull up to turn. This feature prevents the knobs from being turned accidentally and keeps your zero all the time.
One Piece Tube Construction Heat treated one piece tube gives the scope extra strength over multi-piece tubes. A one piece tube also is better at keeping moisture out thus keeping your scope fog proof for the life of the product
Waterproof Waterproof to protect the scope in the harshest weather conditions or if accidently submerged underwater
Fog proof Fog proof to allow you to immediately engage your target when you take your rifle to cold ambient temperature from warm inside
Shockproof Robust mechanical system with special designs on both control and erector system that give you the ultimate recoil resistance to withstand 1000G recoil for 1000 times.
Argon Purged Argon Purging uses the inertia gas with bigger size molecules to purge any moisture out of the tube giving you better waterproofing and thermal stability .
SPECIFICATIONS
Magnification 1-6
Objective Lens Diameter 24 mm
Reticle ATSR2 SFP IR MOA, Glass Etched
Surface Finish Matte
Lens Coating Advanced Fully Multicoated
Extra Coating Xtra Protective Coating
Tube Material 6061 Aluminium
Tube Diameter 30 mm
Exit Pupil 11.4-4.0 mm
Eye Relief 3.6-4.0"
Field of View @100 yards 106.9-17.7 ft
Click Value 0.5MOA
Adjustment range per rotation 50 MOA
Total Elevation Adjustment 120 MOA
Total Windage Adjustment 120 MOA
Turret Style Exposed Direct Dial & Locking
Parallax Adjustment Fixed at 100 yards
Purging Material Argon
Length 10.6"
 

diverdon

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A very nice report, thank you. Would you care to say if it is a "True 1X?"
 

bigdaddydmd

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Is the illumination daytime bright? I see you mentioned that it is illuminated for dusk and dawn but is it visible in daylight? Thanks
 

bhoges

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Good point bro I forgot that one. Ill be home soon ill check and get back to you. Excellent point my bad! Thanks
 

b505jcm

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I have the Primary Arms platinum and have been pretty happy with it so far outside of weight. But I shoot almost exclusively 69gr SMK so that BDC is especially interesting.
 

bigdaddydmd

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Looked into these a little bit more since I am hunting for a 1-6. Wish they made this in a MIL instead of MOA only. Perhaps Athlon will release a MIL version in the future.
 

b505jcm

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Almost all BDC LPVOs are MOA. It doesn't matter generally because you zero it and leave it. If you're looking to dial then normally you're not using 1-6. Obviously there are exceptions to this, but that's the norm.
 
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bigdaddydmd

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Yes, I agree you rarely dial with a LPVO, but I would like a Mil reticle just to stay consistent with all my other optics. SFP in a low power is desirable in my opinion since I wouldn't be needing to do holds unless I'm at max power anyway. I just don't want to have all my rifles in a MIL/MIL and then be doing holds in MOA on one rifle. I am certain I will screw it up and forget that its MOA and not mil.

Almost all BDC LPVOs are MOA. It doesn't matter generally because you zero it and leave it. If you're looking to dial then normally you're not using 1-6. Obviously there are exceptions to this, but that's the norm.
 

ThunderRun

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Just out of curiosity, mil vs MOA for these 1-6x type scopes... Are you guys dialing the turrets for your hold-overs or using the reticle?
 

bhoges

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I'd use holdovers on this. Its not a scope you'll be shooting extreme distances with. 6x is limiting. Doesn't really matter if its MRAD or MOA. With .5 MOA its a corse adjustment.
 

ThunderRun

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I'd use holdovers on this. Its not a scope you'll be shooting extreme distances with. 6x is limiting. Doesn't really matter if its MRAD or MOA. With .5 MOA its a corse adjustment.
I'm of the same mind set. I can't say I've ever had an issue with .5 MOA in this style scope, Even in 3gun matches I've never had an issue with the coarse adjustments as we are shooting 8" or bigger plates. The max distance I've run a 1-6x on 3gun targets was about 600 yards. A couple folks in this thread mentioned a desire for a MIL version. I was just trying to get an idea as to why it would there was a demand for it on a "set it and forget it" scope.
 

steve123

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It's one of those can't please everybody things.

Guys used to holdovers with their mil or moa reticles don't need BDC, although some guys like BDC in these type of scopes, it can be a tad faster.

Some guys might be shooting different loads or cartridges that are faster or slower than typical 55fmj. They might want to holdover instead of dial and the BDC reticles wouldn't suffice.

I used to have a SFP NF 2.5-10x24 with LV BDC reticle. Even though that reticle was close to my reloads it was off enough that I needed to tune the sight in distance, less I risked missing too high or low on smaller steel when holding over.

While were on the subject, it's high time Kevin started offering different reticles in the more popular scopes, especially the Argos BTR 6-24, because that's a cool inexpensive scope and us .2 mil guys want that on the main crosshair. Just thin down the reticle used in Ares and you'll be GTG, maybe offer a dot in it as well.
 
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ThunderRun

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Some guys might be shooting different loads or cartridges that are faster or slower than typical 55fmj. They might want to holdover instead of dial and the BDC reticles wouldn't suffice.
Strelok Pro phone app, Any caliber, any load. Change your zero distance and get your subtensions to stay in the "kill zone" at your longest distance hash mark. A lot of times that keeps all the other subtensions in the "kill zone" as well. IE, 53 yard zero instead of 200 yard zero. This is what I do for 68gr handloads in 3gun as well as 300 Blackout subsonic 240gr rounds...

I agree with the more reticle options. Did you hear the Ares ETR floating dot reticle is going to make its way into the Cronus BTR?! It's a start at adding more reticle options to popular models! You guys should see the Cronus with floating dot reticle next year at shot show.
 

longshot2000

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Thanks for the write-up. Can I dig deeper into your eval? Are you saying that the Chronos 1-6x is comperable to the Vortex Razor HD-II ? I have not evaluated this scope. I have evaluated the longer-range scopes, and I know there is a solid following here on the 'hide. I am a certifed scope snob. I have paperwork to prove it. :LOL: I am loving some of the new 1-6x and 1-8x scopes, and seeing better and better offerings. I tend to gravitate to NF, S&B, Kahles, Minox, and venture toward Vortex occasionally (personally). So, I would love to hear more.
 
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bhoges

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Yes, they are very much the same. I believe they might be made in the same factory. One thing is the Razor would stand up to much more abuse due to its construction. If your looking to save some money the Athlon is an excellent choice. As far as glass its only 6x so your not going to notice the difference.
 

KritterGetter

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Jun 26, 2018
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Yes, they are very much the same. I believe they might be made in the same factory. One thing is the Razor would stand up to much more abuse due to its construction. If your looking to save some money the Athlon is an excellent choice. As far as glass its only 6x so your not going to notice the difference.
I know some 3 gunners running Athlon Optics. They beat the heck out of their scopes and have no issue. How exactly is the construction different.
 

bhoges

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Its much lighter than the Razor so I'd assume its not as heavy duty. The Athlon is 6 oz lighter. I just know guys run the Razor hard and they hold up. Either way its a great piece of kit.
 

steve123

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Strelok Pro phone app, Any caliber, any load. Change your zero distance and get your subtensions to stay in the "kill zone" at your longest distance hash mark. A lot of times that keeps all the other subtensions in the "kill zone" as well. IE, 53 yard zero instead of 200 yard zero. This is what I do for 68gr handloads in 3gun as well as 300 Blackout subsonic 240gr rounds...

I agree with the more reticle options. Did you hear the Ares ETR floating dot reticle is going to make its way into the Cronus BTR?! It's a start at adding more reticle options to popular models! You guys should see the Cronus with floating dot reticle next year at shot show.
Yeah, that's another way to do it.

That's a neat feature in S-pro.

Though in preference, it's mils all up for me.
 

b505jcm

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Feb 13, 2018
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Nice features for the cost, and pretty good optical quality. The reticle is really functional. Turret clicks were a bit mushy on mine, required cleaning the o-rings. My only dislike is its a bit heavy.
The Cronus? 18 oz for a quality 1-6 is in the acceptable range of weights in my experience. I know the k16i and the z6i are in that 17-18 oz range. Not sure about the z8i. Everybody loves the Razor at 24-25 oz. Now that's heavy. But if you're coming from a red dot or something yeah there's a noticeable difference in weight.
 

Fret

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Anyone know how bright the illumination is on the 1-6 Cronus with ATSR2 SFP reticle? Is it as bright as the Razor 1-6?
 

ThunderRun

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Anyone know how bright the illumination is on the 1-6 Cronus with ATSR2 SFP reticle? Is it as bright as the Razor 1-6?
Definetly daylight bright. Even on the brightest and hottest competition days it doesn’t bleach out on me.
 
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