The Athlon Argos BTR Gen2 riflescopes are FINALLY available - and we’ve got a comprehensive review below that hopefully helps you decide if this family of scopes is right for you.
For this review, I wanted to focus on what has changed or been upgraded between the 1st generation of Athlon Argos BTR riflescopes and 2020’s Gen2 editions.
My goal is for this to be the only review you need to read...
Without further ado - let’s get to it!
- Glass (8/10)
- Turrets/Tracking (8/10)
- Magnification (9/10)
- Value (10/10)
- Overall Grade = B+ (35/40)
What I like:
- "Budget builders will love it for its versatility, durability, and rich assortment of top-of-the-line features - all for around $400"
What I DON'T like:
- "The clarity drops a little as the magnification increases (obviously less so with the more powerful 10-40x56)"
Who is this scope for?
Last year, when we found out Athlon Optics was releasing the 2nd generation of their hugely popular Argos BTR scopes, we immediately wanted to get the inside scoop.
So, we pressed our reps at Athlon to give us a sneak peek of all the upgrades and new features they jammed into the new scopes.
It was hard to believe they were able to get such a high-quality scope for the price point in the first generation - but once again they were able to improve on a great budget scope and keep it at the same bargain price point!
This scope is perfect for someone:
- Who is looking for an all-in budget build of under $1,000 (gun and scope)
- A beginner long-range shooter who wants to stretch into those longer distances, but doesn’t want to stretch their wallet
Now, don’t get me wrong, this scope is a high-quality scope… But it’s not going to live up to the likes of an Athlon Ares or Cronus, or a $2,000 Leupold.
PRS beginners will like this scope for the ease of use and simple reticle.
Budget builders will love it for its versatility, durability, and rich assortment of top-of-the-line features - all for around $400.
What’s different about the Gen2 models?
The 1st generation scopes have been heralded for having some of the clearest glass for the price.
Take a look at this side by side comparison from the Scopes Field blog:
(image credit: Scopes Field)
The image on the right was taken through an Athlon Argos BTR Gen1 6 24x50 and the one on the right through a $2,000 6.5 Creedmoor Leupold.
From what we’ve heard from our Athlon insider, the Gen2’s glass has remained as high-quality as ever, but Athlon decided to focus more on some other feature improvements that might have been lacking in the Gen1 models.
I’ll get to that later...
Lastly, like you might expect, the clarity drops a little as the magnification increases (obviously less so with the more powerful 10-40x56), but for the money the Argos BTR Gen2 holds its own with the best of ‘em.
You’ve got plenty of choices in reticles with this year’s Gen2 release.
And guess what...
There’s now MOA options!
Here’s what you can choose from -
Argos BTR GEN2 6-24x50 AMPR FFP MIL
Argos BTR GEN2 8-34x56 APMR FFP MIL
Argos BTR GEN2 1-8x24 ATSR5 SFP MOA
Argos BTR GEN2 6-24x50 APLR2 FFP MOA
Argos BTR GEN2 8-34x56 APLR2 FFP MOA
Argos BTR GEN2 10-40x56 BLR SFP MOA
As you can see, 4 out of the 6 options are in first focal plane - a feature normally only found in high-end scopes.
This means quick target acquisition - no more calculating windage or hold over - they’re all right there for you no matter what magnification setting you’re on.
And here’s a sneak peak into what you’d be seeing when looking through the scope:
ATSR5 SFP MOA
As with all these options, you’re getting an etched glass reticle, which means you don’t necessarily need the illumination or battery to operate (although sometimes you’re probably going to need it), and you can feel more confident in your scope’s long-term durability.
Finally, the newly designed Bench-rest reticle on the 10-40x56 gives you easy access to your elevation and wind hold over adjustments.
Turrets & Tracking:
One of the most common complaints I heard from customers about the first generation Argos BTR was that the zero stop wasn’t a real zero stop... You were required to set it manually.
Not the biggest deal in the world for someone with experience, but if you’re new to the game, it might take you a few tries to get it right.
Well, Athlon heard your complaints and fixed them in its Gen2 scopes - zero stop added ;)
That’s not all they’ve improved, either…
The Argos BTR got great reviews for its tracking, but the turrets could have used some improvement and were characterized as mushy at times.
Well, the Gen2 reviews we are getting from customers are saying things like, “Clicks are crisp and audible,” and you can hear their quality for yourself in this promotional video by Athlon.
We also followed up with some of our customers to get an unbiased test on the Gen2s tracking capabilities.
After 5 rounds of shooting groups, the 8-34x56 tracked true.
It only started slightly coming off its true markers at around 8 MILs from zero.
Based on the grouping test, I’d give these scopes a solid B (8/10) for the price.
Like I mentioned earlier, the Argos Gen1 models were heralded for their clear glass and impressive magnification all while being a “value” scope.
Well, the Gen2’s build upon that reputation with another incredibly clear scope, even at high magnifications.
“At 100 yards, 40x is crystal clear,” one of our reviewers stated. We would love to know how the clarity drops off at the longer distances, but for around $400, you aren’t going to find another scope like it.
And finally, the parallax starts at 15 yards and goes to infinity - and in all our tests it worked flawlessly.
Although the Argos BTR Gen2 family of riflescopes prices between $379 - $429, they boast features that are usually reserved for scopes 2-4x more expensive.
If you’re looking for a budget build scope for an upcoming PRS match, or you want to put together a complete rig for under $1,000, or you just want to get a high-quality scope without dropping 4 digits - this is the scope for you!
And if the price wasn’t enough, you’re also getting Athlon’s Lifetime Warranty to put your mind at ease in case anything goes wrong.
In conclusion - we’ve knocked the scopes’ final score because of the grouping test results mentioned earlier and the clearness of the glass at higher magnifications - but all together this family of scopes is as good as it gets for the money.
Final score = 35/40 (87.5%)