Vortex Diamondback Tactical vs Athlon Argos BTR

loveha

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The scope is going on a Sig 716. Something I don't shoot much. Both are close in price, with features I like.
I'm fine with either reticle, and the vortex not having illumination.
Question I have is, glass clarity. Which is better?

I'm also open to other similiar scopes. They just need to be in the $350ish price range, ffp, mrad, 30mm tube, and 50mm objective.
 

Ryridesmotox

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I have an argos. It's not very good glass, the turrets are squishy, no zero stop (has plastic shims), but it isn't a huge hindrance (for me) at 1000 yards on my 308 howa. Its held zero and the reticle is not terrible. I just wish the glass was clearer. It feels like it fatigues my eye. I have tried the diopter setting everywhere, and it's just meh. I feel similar about the vortex but I dont have as much time behind one.

As long as you understand you are getting a $300 optic and it isn't some secret that has top tier level glass then you'll be fine. I got tired of my argos BTR and ordered an XRS2/kestrel with that GAP deal. If you are in or near southern California, you can have a look through mine. But it won't be mounted on a rifle, as soon as my XRS comes in, that argos is going in a box in the back of the closet lol

Edit: before someone says anything, I'm not trying to shit on the Argos scopes. I have taken it to 1k yards and it has been decent. But I feel as though people get this unrealistic expectation that it will have crystal clear glass with zero CA all the way up to 24x mag. I can get to maybe 16x before the CA is pretty bad. But at 308 or 7.62x51 distances, you dont need much more than 16x to be honest.
 
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Vodoun daVinci

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I have not worked with the Vortex Diamondback specifically. My first scope was a Vortex Crossfire 6-24X50 and it was OK on glass quality. I moved up to an Athlon Argos BTR 10-40X56 and find it worth 2X-3X the $ I paid for it. Glass is good - not great at 40X but at 30-35X it looks as good as I need it to look with no CA and a good, crisp image. Tracks perfectly and the turrets have a nice distinct click.

I like the Athlon scopes. I was whoring for Vortex scopes last year (and still love their stuff) but for what I'm doing I'm getting near $1K scope performance for <$400 and completely happy with my Athlon which is SFP.

I find that "glass quality" and a shooters opinion of it is highly variable. Beauty being in the eye of the beholder and all. Try and look thru both/all yer options if you can.

VooDoo
 

RifleBlog

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Own both, Vortex Diamondback. Glass is comparable imo, Vortex has the edge in warranty and less sloppy turrets.
 
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Alabusa

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I have an Argos on my 22lr and am happy with it. I have taken it to 400 yards and it tracked great and always returns to zero. Glass is acceptable but not great. Nice scope for the $$.

Had the Vortex DB tactical before the Argos. Dumped the Vortex for the Argoe and am glad I did. Just my opinion.
 

steve123

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These cheaper scopes vary.... if you got one with poor glass you need to send it back. For example one of my friends Argos BTR's has nice glass! The rest have okay glass, but none of ours have poor glass.

I can say that my Argos BTR scopes have better glass than my SWFA's do/did, I sold most of them. As well as comparing to a fairly large bunch of cheaper scopes like Burris, Leupold, Simmons, Tasco, you know, those old less expensive 3-9's and 4-12's we used to buy way back when.

I'm not unhappy with my cheaper Athlons but I will say that spending the extra money for the TAC series is worth it.

I might buy more Talos 4-14's because they are so inexpensive and I like the reticle but I'm not buying more Argos BTR's, I'll buy TAC's instead.
 
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Ryridesmotox

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Yea, Steve has it right there... go for the next step or 2 up. The Midas tac or the Ares aren't a whole lot more and some placed have the ares on sale right now. It really is worth the extra jump in glass. Yea its double the price, but doubling 250 bux isnt that bad. Doubling $1k is not as fun
 
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loveha

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I know I'm buying a cheap scope, but it's got to be better than a decades old 3-9. It will eventually move to another rifle which only has a cheap 3-9 Redfield when I buy the scope for my MPA. Then the Ares BTR on that will go back to the Sig 716.
Currently saving for a Nightforce ATACR.
I'm kind of leaning towards the Vortex. The reticle is just a tad nicer to me.
 

Ryridesmotox

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I used to have a red field battlezone 3-9. That was a pretty good scope imho. It was pretty good glass for the money. I sold it years ago, but I remember the glass being a little better than my argos
 

steve123

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When we have compared we dial the mag down on the Argos to the max mag of those old scopes, now the comparison is apples to apples, then the Argos usually steps out ahead. It's at max mag when the image is degrading a little.

I was really surprised when we were shooting our 22 rimfires at the 400M turkey which was painted black. Argos BTR at 15x vs SWFA 3-15 at 15x. Three of us confirmed, the splats were easier to see with the Argos, same splats were very hard to discern with the SWFA.

I like nice glass as much as the next guy but there are certain features that win out in the overall satisfaction of usability. Having those features weighs in heavily to me. Some of the nicest glass there is in a 1" tubed scope resides in the old B&L 6-24x44's but that scope has 1/8th moa turrets, 24 moa total travel, duplex reticle, all standard for back then. I won state matches in Field Target with this scope, now I use an Argos BTR, I'd never consider going backwards again...
 
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jaywhite97

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I haven’t messed with the Athlon but the Vortex in my opinion is okay glass at best. Turrets are mushy parallax adjustment is horrible.. just not a fan
 

jmb1911

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I've not tried the Athlon, but I have done a build with the Vortex DBack Tactical 4-16.

The glass is good for the price point.

Two biggest negatives for me are the mushy-ness of the turrets compared with my SFP Viper HS and the lack of a zero stop (which is also an issue with the HS).

I'd honestly spend twice as much and get the FFP PST, perhaps pick up a used one on the forum.
 

CSTactical

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The scope is going on a Sig 716. Something I don't shoot much. Both are close in price, with features I like.
I'm fine with either reticle, and the vortex not having illumination.
Question I have is, glass clarity. Which is better?

I'm also open to other similiar scopes. They just need to be in the $350ish price range, ffp, mrad, 30mm tube, and 50mm objective.
We have a stack of Vortex Diamondback 4-16 FFP's which is a good scope for the dollar value if you're interested :)
 

Vodoun daVinci

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The other issue is that Athlon seems to offer combinations of reticles, magnification, and stuff like illumination that is not directly comparable in Vortex, Nightforce, etc. We can't/I was not able to do direct comparisons. I have a Brothers that adores and only buys top end Vortex and a Nephew that only shoots Nightforce (Marine Expert) and both of these guys love my 6.5 CM with Athlon.

And when we all shoot together my budget minded Savage 10 FCP-SR in a MDT chassis and XLR butt stock and Athlon optics hangs right in there at 600 yards with some pretty expensive shit. And the guys that own the expensive shit shoot just as well if not better with my cheap rig with Athlon optics. To get a similar reticle we'd have to go to a Vortex Golden Eagle at 2X the price. NF doesn't seems to offer what we like.

Athlon is serious shit if it works for you.

VooDoo
 

loveha

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Well I went a different direction and just broke out the plastic. Camera Land had an open box, unmounted return Ares BTR 4.5-27x50 for $580. I like my lower power Ares BTR 2.5-15x50 well enough.
 
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gr8fuldoug

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Well I went a different direction and just broke out the plastic. Camera Land had an open box, unmounted return Ares BTR 4.5-27x50 for $580. I like my lower power Ares BTR 2.5-15x50 well enough.
I just adjusted your order to include the Athlon sunshade, no charge, since you're a member here :)
 

nockhunter

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I am thinking about this scope for my "base class" nrl22 rifle. T1x with Athlon argos BTR, or Cabelas Covenant 7. I just don't know how the new warranty policy is going to be handled for Cabelas. The box still states a lifetime warranty, but who knows what can happen down the road.

Mike