AllOutdoor Review: Athlon Optics Argos BTR Gen2 1-8x24mm SFP IR
Adam Scepaniak 04.14.22
When it comes to running a modern sporting rifle – or what many more commonly call an AR-15 – the king of optics is the LPVO (Low-Powered Variable Optic). The age-old debate of whether or not you should use a red dot versus a traditional riflescope gets put to rest when an LPVO is the best of both worlds. You can run an LPVO on 1x magnification with a full field of view (like a red dot), and then you can conversely increase the magnification up to 4x, 6x, 8x, even 10x to tag targets out to 500 yards plus (like a traditional riflescope)! I have been on the LPVO bandwagon for quite some time now because they simply offer so many benefits bundled into one package. One strong contender for this category of optics is the Athlon Optics Argos BTR Gen2 1-8x24mm SFP IR which we will review here today. Let’s dive in!
Athlon Optics Coverage on AllOutdoor
- AllOutdoor Review: Athlon Optics Talos BTR 1-4x24mm LPVO
- AllOutdoor Review: Athlon Neos 4-12×40mm BDC 22 Rimfire
- AllOutdoor Review: Athlon Argos BTR 1-4×24mm AHSR14 FFP IR MIL
- AllOutdoor Review: Athlon Argos 20-60×85mm HD Straight Angle
Nomenclature – Athlon Optics Argos BTR Gen2 1-8x24mm SFP IR
Before we full on swan dive into what the Athlon Optics Argos BTR Gen2 1-8x24mm ATSR5 SFP IR MOA is all about we will take a step back and do some deciphering. Starting from the front of the name, we are working here with an Athlon Optics product hailing from the “Argos” series. Complete conjecture on my part, but the Argos BTR is argon purged for waterproofing and thermal stability so the series name could be a nod to that.
Next, “1-8” describes your magnification range and 24mm describes the objective diameter (front lens diameter furthest from the shooter’s eye). The characters of “ATSR5” indicate the name given to the reticle by Athlon Optics. SFP is an acronym standing for “second focal plane” which explains what plane of the glass inside the scope that the reticle is etched in. Finally, IR is short-hand for “illuminated reticle” and MOA is short for “Minute of Angle.”
MOA is elaborating as to what unit of measure the windage and elevation turrets are set for adjusting. If that vocabulary marathon is still a bit confusing, Athlon Optics does a good job of explaining their scope in the quote below:
“If you’re looking for a top rated rifle scope, check out the Argos BTR GEN2 family of rifle scopes. The Argos BTR GEN2 family is great for those looking to get started in PRS or other long range shooting disciplines.”
Specifications – Athlon Optics Argos BTR Gen2 1-8x24mm SFP IR
The Argos BTR Gen2 1-8x24mm SFP optic from Athlon Optics is a mid-tier optic for rifle work spanning long-range shooting down to CQB work at a breath’s distance. If you want high-quality at a more attainable price-point this is the optic you will want to chase. All of the specifications and features for this LPVO can be read below as presented by Athlon Optics:
- Magnification: 1-8x
- Objective Lens: 24mm
- Reticle: ATSR5 SFP IR MOA, Glass Etched
- Surface Finish: Matte
- Lens Coating: Wide Band Fully Multi-Coated w/ Xtra Protective Coating
- Tube Material: Aircraft Grade Aluminum
- Windage/Elevation Adjustment: 0.5 MOA Click Value
- Overall Length: 9.8″
- Overall Weight: 16.1 Ounces
- ADVANCED FULLY MULTI-COATED: Advanced Fully Multi-Coated lenses provide better light transmission with optimum brightness and true color across the entire spectrum.
- XPL COATING: Extra protection on the exterior lenses to prevent the scope from enduring dirt, oil, and potential scratches.
This scope is covered by the Athlon Optics “Gold Medal” Lifetime Warranty where if your scope is in need of repair or replacement there is no receipt required, no registration required, and there will be no cost to you. Athlon fully stands behind their optics so you can have the ultimate peace of mind in the field or at the range. The current MSRP for the Athlon Optics Argos BTR Gen2 1-8x24mm ATSR5 SFP IR MOA is benchmarked at $474. A further explanation as to what the Athlon Optics Argos BTR Gen2 1-8x24mm ATSR5 SFP IR MOA is all about can be read below directly from Athlon Optics:
“If you’re looking for a top rated rifle scope, check out the Argos BTR GEN2 family of rifle scopes. The Argos BTR GEN2 family is great for those looking to get started in PRS or other long range shooting disciplines. This family of rifle scopes featuring FFP and SFP models, True Precision Zero Stop, Fully Multi-coated Lenses, Direct Dial Elevation & Windage Turrets (Capped in 1-8×24), Illuminated Reticle, 30mm Tube.”
Tracking – Athlon Optics Argos BTR Gen2 1-8x24mm SFP IR
A simple test I perform with all optics as part of their initial sight-in process is “tracking.” What is meant by this is if you make an adjustment – through either windage or elevation – by clicking a fixed amount on your turrets, that should actually pan out on paper. This refers to a scope tracking correctly across a paper target or other target you might engage. You never want to adjust your elevation say 10 MOA and then an optic does not act as advertised and only gives you 8 MOA of adjustment.
So, to test the tracking, I shot a 5-shot group. Then, I adjusted 2 MOA to the right. Next, I shot a second 5-shot group, and finally adjusting 2 MOA down. After wandering around my target, the scope gave me the exact amount of elevation and windage adjustment I was dialing in which is perfect. To finish the test, I repeated the process, but performed it in reverse to see if I would finish where I had began. The scope did return to its starting point so it passed the tracking test. I can also state that over the course of 1 year of intermittently shooting the scope, it always responded accordingly. Another test I typically incorporate in optic reviews is a Parallax Test, but it was not necessary for the Athlon Argos BTR Gen2 because this optic has a fixed parallax.
Field Use – Athlon Optics Argos BTR Gen2 1-8x24mm SFP IR
Athlon Optics has been generous enough to allow for us to review and have this optic in our possession for the better part of a year now. While I have been utilizing the LPVO on-and-off for many months now, the largest volume of shooting it saw in one day coupled with some of its most dynamic field-work was recently out at the F5 Farm (Froelich Firearms – Farm, Field, Forest) training facility run by professional, World Champion shooter and Federal Premium sponsored athlete Josh Froelich. His diverse training complex we will cover in greater detail in a standalone article in the future, but how we really pushed the Athlon Argos BTR Gen2 was in CQB/close-quarters shooting as well as some precision, long-range.
Throughout the initial sight-in process, our aforementioned tracking test, and confirming zero on site at the F5 Farm, the windage and elevation turrets had a crisp tactile click, but it was not audible. This can be both good and bad. For target shooting, I’d like to have the audible click to confirm every increment increase or decrease input I make, but for hunting scenarios I appreciate the silent adjustment. The windage and elevation turrets are in 1/2 MOA increments and I would have liked to have seen finer adjustment for shooting at distance. For close quarters work – like at 50 yards or less – it is a non-issue.
On 8x magnification you have a pretty small eye-box, or a small window for eye relief. It would have been nice to see it be more generous, but most scopes when you max out their magnification are like this. The diopter or eye adjustment, as well as the magnification adjustment, are firm yet smooth. They can be easily adjusted yet wouldn’t be bumped out of position.
Conversely, there was a very generous eye-box/eye relief running 1x and 2x in CQB/close-quarters engagement around vehicles, tight corners, and shooting while on the move. The Argos BTR Gen2 had very clean glass in low-light, bright daylight, and even swirling dirty wind conditions. We got exposed to a little bit of everything at a full day of shooting at F5 Farm.
The bullet drop layout of the reticle is spot-on which I never was able to fully test until we started some precision, long-range shooting at F5 Farm. I have never taken my BCM RECCE-14 KMR-A rifle out beyond 200 yards before, and I got positive hits on steel out to 450 yards within 5 minutes utilizing the reticle dot tensions and sub-tensions coupled with great instruction from the instructors on-site at F5 Farm.
Final Thoughts – Athlon Optics Argos BTR Gen2 1-8x24mm SFP IR
So, what are my final thoughts on the Athlon Optics Argos BTR Gen2 1-8x24mm SFP IR?… Summarily, I was surprised and supremely impressed by this LPVO from Athlon Optics. I felt equally confident ripping steel targets at 5 yards as I did at 450 yards with this optic. The glass is very clean for a $475 riflescope, it tracked/zeroed perfectly, and it has all the features you’d desire minus all the hyperbole and fluff other scopes might have. If you are in search of a mid-tier optic that is more attainable/affordable around $500 or less, this is a great buy!
In closing, I want to say thank you to Athlon Optics for allowing AllOutdoor and myself the opportunity to try out their Athlon Optics Argos BTR Gen2 1-8x24mm SFP IR. That is always greatly appreciated. Also, we would like to know what all of you guys and gals think? Do you believe that the Athlon Optics Argos BTR Gen2 1-8x24mm SFP IR is something worth spending your money on? Would you shoot a league with it? Use it on a hunting rifle? As always, let us know all of your thoughts in the Comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.