If you’re thinking of picking up an FFP scope, Mike Morton reckons the Athlon Talos deserves a place on your shortlist.
First focal plane telescopic sights are on the rise. They’re a bit like bullpups in many ways: some shooters view them as being fickle and fanciful, while others find them to be flexible and fantastic. But again like bullpups, they’re here to stay, with the Talos BTR 4-14×44 from US company Athlon Optics being a great example of the latest breed.
The Talos BTR 4-14×44 is a bit of a Goldilocks scope, being not too long at 12.9 inches (32.8cm), not too big with a 44mm objective lens, and offering a useful magnification range from 4-14x that’s just right for most applications. It has side focus parallax adjustment and an illuminated reticle, and manages to deliver all this for a wallet-friendly £300.
With an FFP scope like this, the size of the reticle will shrink or expand along with your target as you zoom in or out. This offers quick target acquisition at low power, while giving you precise holdover positions with finer details at higher magnifications.
Athlon’s APLR2 FFP IR MIL reticle is based on the milliradian, a unit of angle that’s usually shortened to ‘mrad’ or ‘mil’, with one mil measuring 3.6 inches (9.1cm) at 100 yards. The windage and elevation turrets are also graduated in mils, with each click adjusting the crosshair by 1/10 of a milliradian.
So if your shot is falling half a mil low, for example, you’ll need to adjust up by five clicks. And because this is a first focal plane scope, the relationship between the reticle and the turret adjustments will be the same for every level of magnification. The reticle is illuminated in red, with 11 levels of brightness.
This may seem like overkill, but the additional degree of fidelity will be really useful when using the scope at different levels of magnification. A smaller reticle, as viewed on a low-mag setting, will need a very different level of illumination than a large reticle on high-mag at the same degree of ambient light.
In Greek mythology, Talos was a giant bronze man who guarded the island of Crete. With its high build quality, optical quality and level of features, we suspect Talos may end up being a giant in airgun shooting lore as well.
MANUFACTURER: Athlon Optics (www.athlonoptics.com)
SCOPE SUPPLIED BY: Rifleman Firearms (www.riflemanfirearms.com)
MODEL: Talos BTR 414X44 FFP IRMIL
TUBE DIAMETER: 30mm
MAGNIFICATION RANGE: 414
OBJECTIVE LENS: 44mm
RETICLE: APLR2 FFP IR MIL
ILLUMINATION: Red, with 11 levels of brightness
EYE RELIEF: 3.23 to 3.15 inches
CLICK VALUE: 0.1 milliradian
ADJUSTMENT RANGE PER ROTATION: Five milliradians
TOTAL ELEVATION ADJUSTMENT: 20 milliradians
TOTAL WINDAGE ADJUSTMENT: 20 milliradians
TURRET STYLE: Exposed
PARALLAX ADJUSTMENT: Side focus – 10 yards to infinity
PURGING MATERIAL: Nitrogen