Ares BTR to Cronus- Worth the upgrade?

b505jcm

For Sale Access
Feb 13, 2018
48
8
8
Winnsboro, LA
#1
I currently have an Ares BTR 4.5-27x50 in MOA for my 6.5 CM. I've realized over my short time with the scope how much I prefer Mil. I've been seeing some decent prices on the Cronus around here, and can likely get 600 or better for my Ares locally. My question is if you guys think the jump in quality is worth the jump in price? I figure if I wait for the right deal I may be able to get one for 11-1200. Thoughts? Thanks for the help you guys.
 

steve123

Lt. Colonel
Mar 16, 2008
7,635
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Flagstaff, AZ
#2
Yes it is.

My Cronus BTR is just a great scope in every way, superior to the Ares of course, and I have owned an Ares BTR 2.5-15 before and a Ares 4.5-27 right now.

Just yesterday my friends and I were smacking small steel in tricky winds with the Cronus mounted on my 22rf out to 251Y and everybody commented how nice the scope was.

It could be argued the Cronus BTR is the best scope out there right now for the money. I own S&B and they aren't much better than that Cronus. 1-2% more refinement on the S&B for a lot more money.
 
Sep 14, 2011
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#5
Yes, it is a worthwhile upgrade, I have both. Better glass and more forgiving eyebox on the Cronus. Had a friend out recently, he immediately noted how much easier it was with the Cronus at max power.
 
Likes: ThunderRun

b505jcm

For Sale Access
Feb 13, 2018
48
8
8
Winnsboro, LA
#7
I've been pretty happy with the Ares overall. I have no complaints on optical quality. Had I bought it in mil I don't know that I would even want to switch. However, there are a few things I don't like about it. The turrets are a bit mushy, and the illumination is not daylight bright. I considered going to the Ares ETR when it drops because apparently the glass is similar to the Cronus but with locking turrets and a floating center dot. However it is made in China where the Cronus is made at LOW. I have been seeing good condition used units going in the 12-1250 range on the forums so I just thought I'd get people's opinions on it before I took the plunge.
 

supercorndogs

Ham Fisted Gorilla
Feb 17, 2014
2,857
889
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#8
I own and like them both very well. I think both of them demonstrate an excellent value at their price point. I really like that Athlon switched to a splined turret on the Ares. I sold the one I had a few months back, and bought another when I saw they upgraded. I wouldn't mind selling my Nikon FX-1000 to get another, just so I don't have so many different reticles to look at.
 
Likes: Ravenyzf-r6

ThunderRun

New Hide Member
Apr 19, 2018
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#9
I've been pretty happy with the Ares overall. I have no complaints on optical quality. Had I bought it in mil I don't know that I would even want to switch. However, there are a few things I don't like about it. The turrets are a bit mushy, and the illumination is not daylight bright. I considered going to the Ares ETR when it drops because apparently the glass is similar to the Cronus but with locking turrets and a floating center dot. However it is made in China where the Cronus is made at LOW. I have been seeing good condition used units going in the 12-1250 range on the forums so I just thought I'd get people's opinions on it before I took the plunge.
The Ares ETR fits very well between the Ares BTR and the Cronus BTR, in terms of glass quality. The new turret design is incredibly tactile/audible. The demo units we received are awesome, the factory really did a superb job. We just dropped a video of the Midas TAC out to 1,000 and back. I believe there is a similar video of the Ares ETR that should be uploaded to the Facebook page today.
 
Likes: t8500shx
Jan 10, 2018
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#12
Do you know if I can have my Ares turrets upgraded to the new version (Not the locking ETR turrets, just the 2nd gen Ares BTR turrets)? If so what's the cost?
I asked them after I missed a sell on one with upgraded turrets. They told me no. That is not saying that if you returned it just unhappy with preformace of the current turrets they would not do something about it. I was just honestly asking if I could buy the old and pay to upgrade to the new....
 
Jul 7, 2005
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Western Kansas
#15
I had a Bushnell ffp 6-24x50 w/G2DMR scope on the Stiller 2500XR 22LR repeater I built for myself for a couple of weeks before I put a Cronus 4.5-29x56 on it, and after a single range session with the Cronus, there was no way I was going back. After having jelrod convert a couple of CMP 40X & XB rifles into repeaters, I sold the Stiller to a friend, moving that first Cronus to the 40X, and buying another one for the XB. This was several months before I bought a couple of Athlon's Ares mil BTR scopes, and I briefly considered swapping an Ares for the Cronus on one of those rifles, and moving the Cronus onto a new CF rifle I'd just built. But the more I thought about it, the less the notion appealed to me - I shoot the snot out of the 22RF rifles with their Cronus scopes, and just couldn't justify pulling either of those scopes off the 40Xs. I'd tested both them on a tall target & shot a box target to test tracking, and both did a great job - besides, I'd gotten spoiled by the Cronus glass.

I'm not saying the Ares aren't good scopes - on the contrary, they're a very good value at their price point. I've got three of them on CF rifles in 223AI, 6 RAT, & 6x47 Lapua, and am satisfied with the tracking & optical quality. But these three rifles are only shot occasionally, while I shoot the 22s as often as possible. So while I'm happy with the Ares 30mm 4.5-27x50 scopes, and don't have any reservations about selling them to friends & customers, there's enough difference between them & the Cronus that I'm not settling for a scope with slightly less quality on my 22s. When I built another 22RF repeater on a new VGW V-22 action, I didn't hesitate to order another Cronus for it, even though there was still a NIB Ares in the safe....
 
Jan 10, 2018
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#18
From my call to Athlon. They should be getting them mid July. 2 weeks for QC in house. Start shipping out early part of August.

Waiting....they have a few demo models in house now but not sure when those will go out to people doing reviews.
 
Jul 7, 2005
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Western Kansas
#20
If I can shake loose from the farm long enough to make the 350mi drive to KC, I need to get with the Athlon crew to check out the new Ares ETR, and the Cronus tactical spotter w/reticle. Would be worth the drive if they've got a few of these two models in house to look at.
 

ThunderRun

New Hide Member
Apr 19, 2018
59
28
18
#21
If I can shake loose from the farm long enough to make the 350mi drive to KC, I need to get with the Athlon crew to check out the new Ares ETR, and the Cronus tactical spotter w/reticle. Would be worth the drive if they've got a few of these two models in house to look at.
We sure do! Shoot me an email and let me know when you're stopping by. I'd be happy to show you some of our products.
 
Likes: gr8fuldoug
Jul 7, 2005
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Western Kansas
#23
ThunderRun - I'm hoping to have time to shoot up to KC after wheat harvest, but have no idea when we'll be done with it - haven't started yet, and there's finally some rain in our forecast. Ideally, we'll be able to start in another week or so, although if it does rain, all bets are off. Typical western Kansas weather - it was bone-dry all winter, then we finally got enough rain to let the wheat survive & entice us into planting some fall crops. Then we get hit with high winds, hail & a tornado, and now it's been really hot, windy, & dry again for the past 10 days. Just hope it doesn't rain a foot before we can get the wheat out of the field - as poor as it is, it's still better than settling for crop insurance....I think.
 
Jul 7, 2005
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#26
I've had the first of two Ares ETRs on a 40XB 22RF w/Krieger bbl for a week or so of shooting from 50yds out to 200. I was very impressed with the optical quality, the turrets have very distinct clicks, and I like the 'brown' finish, which is close enough to burnt bronze CeraKote that it shouldn't be hard to get a set of rings painted to match the scope's finish. After shooting the ETR on the 22RF, I moved it over to a 7-08 Improved 30* custom and did a fair amount of shooting with it on steel from 600yds. I really had no complaints, aside from the floating dot being a bit too small to suit my tastes. It'll not be distinct or maybe even visible in the 10x-12x range where I'd have the scope set for movers, although the open center of the reticle makes a good aiming point in that magnification range. The dot was fine while I was zeroing the scope on paper, but I'd noticed it being harder to see while shooting on the 22RF on steel at 50yds after a few hits had chipped a bit of white paint off the surface. But when shooting the 7-08 at 600, the dot was easier to see, as long as I had the scope up to 16x or higher. A couple of things to keep in mind here - 1. I've never looked through a Kahles with the SKMR3 reticle; would like to know how the size of its floating dot compares to the ETR's. 2. I'm going to be 67yrs old in a few days - my vision sure as heck isn't what it was 30yrs ago.

Overall, I'm pretty impressed with the ETR. Would I prefer it to another Cronus? No, I think the Cronus is a bit easier to get behind, and I still prefer the more distinct aiming point the crosshair presents, especially on the pre-BTR Cronus reticle, where it is VERY distinct, yet not so heavy as to cover up any of the small targets I've shot in 22RF precision rifle matches. I've shot a couple of 22RF PR matches with a new Cronus BTR, and even though its reticle is much finer than that of the pre-BTR, I still had no problems seeing the aiming point, regardless of the background. I did notice while shooting the oldest Cronus I have on a Bighorn TL2-SA Dasher on the same day that I had the 7-08/ETR out, it seemed that the ETR's glass was a tad bit brighter than that of the Cronus. Barely noticeable, and I'm not at all certain that I'd have the same impression on another dark overcast day like that one. But I've been hoping for the chance to compare the three Athlon scopes - Cronus BTR, pre-BTR Cronus, Ares ETR - to each other, as well as to a Gen III Kahles K624i, all in the same rather dark lighting conditions. Might get the chance later today - if it doesn't rain again.