Like many of you, I’ve always been interested in long-range shooting. I blame it on the Pripyat level of Call of Duty 4.
These days, I do a lot of my precision shooting in real life, from long-range hunting to Precision Rifle Series competition. And, of course, one of the most important aspects of any long-range shooting setup is your scope, so I’m always on the lookout for the latest and greatest.
One of the more affordable options out there that I’ve been seeing more and more interest in has been the Athlon Optics Midas Tac 6-24x50.
And so when Athlon offered to send me one for a review, I jumped at the chance. I’d been hearing good things about the Midas Tac line, and had good experiences with other Athlon products, so I wanted to see for myself what all the fuss was about.
A Little Background on Athlon and the Midas Tac HD Line
First, for those of you who aren’t super familiar with Athlon Optics, they’re a relatively new company that was founded by some former Bushnell folks with long experience in the optics industry.
As a company, they’re focused on bringing lots of value to customers by eliminating some of the middlemen in their supply chain and then passing those savings on to us.
They’re also headquartered in Olathe, KS, which is just outside of Kansas City, home of the best BBQ in the country. (Fight me in the comments about it).
The Midas Tac is part of their mid-range line, and you can usually find these scopes online for a little under $700. That’s either really cheap or a significant investment, depending on your perspective, but for what you get here, I’ll go ahead and tell you it’s a bargain.
Rifle Scope Construction
Here we have a pretty standard 30mm tube made of aircraft-grade aluminum. That 30mm tube diameter makes finding mounts and rings easy (though I had an especially easy time because Athlon also sent me a set of their excellent precision scope rings).
The tube uses argon for the purging material to keep it fog proof in changing temperatures, and the precision-machined erectors make for smooth adjustment through magnification power settings.
Athlon also tests the crap out of these scopes, with 1000G of simulated recoil applied 1000 times to make sure everything is shockproof. Eye relief is a very comfortable 3.7” and the field of view is 17.8x4.6ft at 100 yards.
Athlon Midas Tac 6-24x50 Reticle Options
This scope is available with three different FFP reticle configurations. The two mil choices are the APRS2 and APRS3 FFP IR Mil, and the MOA option is the APRL4.
The Midas Tac HD 6-24x50 that I got my hands on has the APRS3 first focal plane reticle in it. This reticle is glass-etched, and is non-illuminated, which I actually prefer in a scope like this. This reticle adds the “Christmas tree” section for quick windage and elevation compensation for something like PRS or tactical shooting.
If you’re looking for a long-range hunting scope and don’t want the Christmas tree, I’d recommend the APRS2 FFP mil reticle as it’s less cluttered, and of course if you’re a MOA type of person, go with the APLR4 reticle design.
Everything else about the three scope options is the same other than the MOA-flavored reticle option obviously having MOA adjustment on the turrets.
Using the Turrets
Speaking of turrets, the mil version here has 25 mils of total elevation adjustment, plus 15 mils of total windage adjustment range, on top of the reticle holdover positions. The turrets have a very audible and tactile click that is fairly crisp, especially for the price. Click values are a standard 1/10 mil.
Many scopes in this price range have mushy adjustment clicks which can be a problem when you’re dialing windage and elevation in a hurry. Not a problem here. The turrets were also 100% accurate during a tracking test, which I was pleasantly surprised by in a scope at this price point.
The Midas Tac has a capped windage turret, which is the turret style I prefer because the 6 mils of windage hold you get with the reticle are more than enough for competition or hunting.
Taking the cap off will still allow you to dial windage without tools, but you’ll probably leave it on to keep it safe from accidental adjustments.
The elevation turret has a precision zero stop system that is adjustable via three set screws that you tighten with the included Allen wrench. I consider a hard zero stop pretty essential for this type of scope, so it’s nice to see that here. Any scope without a zero stop elevation turret just isn’t a serious contender for any kind of long-range shooting in my opinion
Finally, the side focus parallax adjustment knob is easy to adjust from 10 yds to infinity without breaking your cheek weld.
Glass quality is always subjective, but Athlon’s HD glass here is clear and bright, and I’d actually put it on par with some far more expensive scopes in the $1,200-$1,500 street price range. I could clearly see holes in paper at 400 yards, which is as far as I have paper targets setup.
The lenses are fully multicoated and use Athlon’s wide band XPL coating for reduced glare, a sharper image, and increased light transmission, though you’ll probably still want a sunshade. Between this coating and the 50mm objective lens diameter, I would easily have had enough light to be able to take a shot on a deer at the end of legal shooting hours.
The other coating is their Xtra protective coating (heh, EXTRA coating . Get it?) to keep the lenses safe from any dirt, dust, and grubby fingers that may come near them.
They’re also nice enough to include a little microfiber cloth which is handy if, like me, you live in a house full of pet hair and dander.
Shooting With The Athlon Midas Tac 6-24x50 for Review
At the range, I was very pleased with the performance of this scope. I mounted it on a Ruger Precision Rifle that I use for a test bed, and I think that’s perfect for this because this is a budget-minded optic so a budget-minded rifle makes sense. Go with the Ares BTR or ETR for the upgraded version.
Overall, this would be an excellent setup for a beginning PRS shooter, especially one without a huge amount of cash to spend.
The scope worked well out to 800 yards, and I have every confidence that if I had a longer shooting lane it would be able to keep on going.
After zeroing, I was able to get first-round hits on steel at 400, 600, and 800 yards, and running a (loosely) simulated PRS course of fire felt very smooth. I think my best grouping at 100 yards was something in the neighborhood of ½ MOA, but that’s more to do with the rifle than the scope (and frankly, some luck with factory ammo).
Still, the scope didn’t get in the way, which is really what you want. When your heart is racing and you’re trying that 300 yard cold bore shot on a whitetail, or you’re vying for positions in a PRS match, your scope should work with you, not against you. And the Athlon Midas Tac absolutely did that for me.
I also took my Dad out with me as he’s thinking about getting into PRS and, even though he was using a Christmas tree reticle for the first time, he had no problem getting hits at the max ranges we had setup.
Oh, and when we took a break for pictures, a very persistent butterfly came by and gave its approval as well.
Conclusion By the Numbers
Glass Quality: 4/5
Durability & Construction: 5/5
Tracking & Repeatability: 5/5
Perhaps the biggest surprise I got out of my time with this scope. I’m used to 2-3% of deviation (at minimum) when testing tracking on scopes in this price range and I saw literally none here.
Warranty & Support: 4/5
Athlon has a lifetime warranty, I’ve always had good luck with their customer service, and I’ve seen similar reports in online customer reviews.
There’s a surprising amount of competition in the $500-$700 tactical scope market, but in my opinion, Athlon and Vortex are the ones doing the most to pack features and quality into this price point.
Overall Rating: 4.5
Yes, Athlon sent me this in exchange for an honest review. That said, I’d have been happy to spend my own hard-earned money on this scope. You get a huge value for the price, and it performs as well as some scopes that cost almost twice as much.
Parting Shots: Who Should Buy This Scope?
If you’re looking for a budget PRS scope, or you’re looking to get into long-range hunting, then this is a great scope. If I was just getting into Precision Rifle Series, or any long-range target sport, then this rifle scope would be a series contender for my top pick.
I’ve got scopes in my collection that clock in at over 2k, and in the right hands this scope could certainly be competitive with them in a PRS match. If things were less plaguey right now, I’d be more than happy to slap this scope on one of my competition guns and go to a match with it.
Also, after using it, my father, who is about as set in his ways with scopes as it’s possible to be, said that he was going to pick up the MOA version of this scope for NRL22.
I can’t possibly give this a higher stamp of approval than telling you that my dad, a crotchety 70-year-old man (who’d never heard of Athlon), said that he’s going to buy one, so I’m just going to wrap it up there.
Athlon Optics Midas Tac
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What do you think of the Athlon Midas Tac Review? Have you used one for yourself? Let us hear from you in the comments!