Athlon Optics Helos BTR GEN2 2-12×42 Rifle Scope Review

I have to say, I wouldn’t have picked the Helos BTR at first glance. It’s just not my type of scope for my hunting rifles. I like simple, no moving parts, and plain reticles. But after Athlon sent me this scope to try, I’ll admit that I became a convert. It’s more elegant than needlessly complicated, more elegantly durable than fragile. And the features it has, though not necessarily designed for what I’m going to use it for, are excellent.

This scope is in the mid range of the market, and has very high quality glass with Advanced Fully Multi-Coated lenses. The image quality from this scope was actually pretty shockingly good. So far I’ve only tested it at the range, but I’m really looking forward to using it in the field this fall. One thing really cool about this scope is the wide range of zoom settings. Starting at only 2 power, it can be used in very close up situations. It’s very rare that I’ve seen a scope go down to 2 power before, but I can imagine plenty of instances when it’ll be useful. And a 12 power on the high end is more than enough for my purposes, as hunting shots are never taken at super far distances. It also has a 42mm objective lens which gathers plenty of light and gives a good wide field of view without being overbearingly huge.

This scope is offered in a few different reticles, all of which fall into the category of complicated “christmas tree” reticles. That means they have a variety of hold points to account for both elevation and windage, and you can make accurate shots in a variety of situations without adjusting the turrets at all. In the past I’ve skoffed at such complicated reticles. After all, they do make the sight picture very complicated and harder to understand in the heat of the moment. My scope has the AHMR2 FFP IR MOA option. This reticle has hold overs that are designed for a variety of cartridges in 100 yard increments out to 700 yards, and can also be used to make distance estimates out to 600 yards based off of a deer’s body. After shooting this scope once, I can tell that my fears of complication were overblown that and that it’s going to make an excellent addition my arsenal. Here’s the scope reticle so you can see for yourself it’s versatility:

The scope has true precision zero stop and locking turrets, which are very intuitive and feel extremely solid. I have a much more expensive Night Force scope on another one of my rifles, and I think the Athlon’s are designed better. They are beefier, lockable, and seem ready to withstand the rigors of the field.

I mounted this scope using Talley one piece rings to my Tikka 6.5mm Creedmore, which has quickly become my go to rifle to hunt with. After getting it all dialed in, I took it to the range. I haven’t been able to do a ton of shooting with it yet (the ammo shortages have been making that harder and harder), but I did get it zeroed immediately thanks to the awesome and precise measurements from the turrets. It’s intuitive to use, and I’m looking forward to refining the scope and get it dialed in to take a mule deer this fall.

Overall, I would highly recommend this scope for a lot of people. It’s not a simple beginner scope like I would recommend to a new hunter, but if you have the budget for it and the desire to step up to a more versatile scope, this is a fantastic option.