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Athlon Helos BTR 1-4.5x24

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  • Athlon Helos BTR 1-4.5x24

    I'm switching to the dark side for service rifle competition.
    Athlon_Helos_BTR_Box.jpg



    Athlon_Helos_BTR_1.jpg





    I heard about this scope a while back and it immediately intrigued me. Athlon designed this scope specifically for service rifle competition and it has a lot of features that make sense. One of those features is big turrets that have zero stops and are clearly marked so that you should never get confused about what dope you currently have dialed in on the scope. That feature became really appealing to me after my disastrous shooting at Camp Perry this year.

    After skipping last year at Perry I was having a hard time getting back into a groove this year. After shooting poorly in the P100, I started off my NTI match by cross-firing my only offhand 10 onto the target next to mine. The wind died down and I still shot out to the left on my rapid seated and rapid prone. I got to the 600 yard line and thought I had a really good read on the light wind that was blowing right to left. I dialed in my windage and fired my first shot. It was an 8 out the left. I was feeling so confident about my wind call that I figured the 8 was a flyer and fired a second shot without making a correctly. Another 8. At that point I figured I just sucked at reading the wind conditions and made my correction to get into the 10 ring. During pit duty I was talking with another competitor and based his wind correction, I realized that after the offhand stage I must have had my windage zero off by a complete rotation (2.5 minutes). After the match I was wandering commercial row and got to handle the Athlon scope in the White Oak store. Suddenly the big single rotation windage and elevation dials were looking awfully appealing.

    Being a guy on a limited budget, the Athlon being the cheapest scope set up specifically for service rifle made it that much more appealing and/or probable for me to purchase. That night, after checking out the scope in person, I got talking to Jester back at the motel. As we were shooting the breeze (pun intended) out on the porch, I started explaining some of the features to him. Another guy staying a few doors overheard us talking and yelled out "Hey, you want an Athlon scope? I'm trying to sell one." After I haggled with him and talked him down to exactly $0 below the price he originally told me, I bought his lightly used scope.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by WARFAB; 08-13-2019, 11:01 AM.
    NRA Life Member
    NRA Basic Rifle Instructor
    www.unconvictedfelon.com
    www.facebook.com/blackcoyotesrt

    I was thinking of his cannon.

  • #2
    Unpacking the box.......


    Athlon_Helos_BTR_Unbox.jpg

    The scope comes in a nicely padded box and includes a manual, cleaning cloth, coin cell battery, and allen wrench to adjust the turrets.




    Athlon_Helos_BTR_Size.jpg

    The turrets are big. To give you an idea of how big they are, that's a .357 cartridge.




    Athlon_Helos_BTR_Turrets.jpg

    25 minutes of clearly marked elevation and 12 minutes of windage in both directions. The 1/4 minute clicks are tactile and line up nicely with the turret hash marks. Shooting Hornady 75 grain HPBT bullets, 12 minutes of windage should be enough to compensate for up to a full value 20mph wind at 600 yards. The windage numbers being marked "L" or "R" is a nice feature that should prevent me from getting confused which way I'm dialing for the conditions. I've heard that can cause problems for people using scopes that only have numerical windage markings.

    The 25 minutes of elevation is more than enough for service rifle competition from 200 to 600 yards, but shooting out to 1000 will require using the holdover marks on the reticle. I hope to get a chance to shoot at 1000 yards some day, but right now my main focus is on EIC points. Not having to worry about having an extra turn on my elevation dial should be advantageous in my quest for EIC points.





    Athlon_Helos_BTR_Parallax.jpg

    Unlike some of the other scopes designed for service rifle competition, the Athlon has a parallax adjustment. It also has illumination for the reticle, but I doubt I'll ever be using it for competition. The parallax adjustment is very stiff, but another competitor who uses this scope told me that is normal. Based on a google search, it would appear as though that's a common trait for Athlon scopes in general.

    This Helos BTR weighs in at a beefy 22.9 ounces. It feels solid and I'm hoping it is rugged enough to hold up to the abuse of service rifle competition. Between the weight of the scope and the mount, I'm sure this scope will be a net weight gain for my already 17+ pound rifle. I personally like a lot of weight so I consider this a feature. Whether or not it noticeably impacts the balance of the rifle remains to be seen. My rifle is already a bit muzzle heavy and I'm not too concerned about it.
    Last edited by WARFAB; 08-08-2019, 07:41 PM.
    NRA Life Member
    NRA Basic Rifle Instructor
    www.unconvictedfelon.com
    www.facebook.com/blackcoyotesrt

    I was thinking of his cannon.

    Comment


    • #3

      Athlon provides very detailed information about their reticle for this scope. I have no idea how much I'll use holdovers, but for Hearst Doubles rapid fire, it might be handy information to know. I'll have to study up.
      Athlon_Helos_BTR_Reticle.png



      The dot in the center of the reticle is tiny. Really tiny. The shooter who sold me this scope moved to a Nightforce because his eyes aren't good enough to see the dot. I've been shooting irons with contacts to get a good sight picture, and I need my contacts to be able to clearly see the dot. Without contacts the dot and fine center crosshairs are a blurry mess for me, even with the eyepiece focus adjustments. I'm sure that's more of a reflection on my astigmatism and presbyopia than the scope's focus adjustment. I've been talking to another shooter who uses this scope and he suggests that the dot is useful, but you can focus on the crosshairs as well. Either way I'll be using contacts, but I'm very curious to get this scope mounted up and see how the reticle looks over an SR target.
      Attached Files
      Last edited by WARFAB; 08-08-2019, 07:38 PM.
      NRA Life Member
      NRA Basic Rifle Instructor
      www.unconvictedfelon.com
      www.facebook.com/blackcoyotesrt

      I was thinking of his cannon.

      Comment

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