In this Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 review, we are going to look at one of Athlon Optics’ top of the line rifle scopes in the Athlon Cronus Cronus BTR 4.5-29×56 Gen 2 model. Featuring Athlon Optic’s UHD glass, the Athlon Cronus Rifle Scope gives you the magnification you need to make those extremely long shots, but also allows you to dial it down to a 4.5x magnification for your up close shots.
Love optics? We certainly do here at Backwoods Pursuit, so make sure to check out our MONSTER 26 BINOCULAR REVIEW, as well as our massive 19 SPOTTING SCOPE REVIEW. For both of those reviews, we lined up the optics and tested them side by side!
Now before we get into the details, I just want to say that I am by no means an expert, long range or competition shooter. The basis for this review is coming from a hunting perspective and someone who enjoys shooting longer ranges. Bottom line: We tested this scope to see how it performed on one of my hunting rifles.
4.5-29×56 Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 Review: The Testing
I put this Athon Cronus BTR Gen 2 on my tried and true Ruger M77 MK II chambered in a 7mm Magnum and put the scope through the paces at the range and in the field. I’ve taken a lot of animals with this gun and recently added this new Boyds At One Thumbhole stock to give it a nice new look and perfect the fit.
I’m a huge fan of Boyds stocks and love the relaxed hand position this At One Thumbhole (and the Featherlight Thumbhole) gives you. It promotes a nice relaxed trigger pull, helps you dial in the fit, and makes your gun look pretty dang nice, too. Check out this video for a full rundown of these incredible gun stocks!
Boyds Gun Stock Review
Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 Review: What’s In the Box
The Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 4.5-29×56 mm rifle scope comes with 2 batteries for the illuminated reticle, the Allen wrenches needed to remove the turrets and set your zero stop (more on that below), a cleaning cloth and manual.
I do wish it came with a throw lever, sun shade, flip up caps, and maybe even a neoprene cover, but I’d rather have a company provide a high quality scope at a great value than a bunch of extras that you may or may not use. I opted to pick up a PhoneSkope neoprene scope cover and a set of the Butler Creek flip up scope covers as I personally prefer that style. I also picked up a MK Machining throw lever and a scope level made for this Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2. They’ve worked great.
Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 Review: the Specs
The Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 UHD 4.5-29×56 mm rifle scope is full of great features that include some pretty impressive specs. It comes in either a MOA or MIL version, so no matter what your preference is, Athlon Optics has you covered. You get a monster 110 MOA of elevation adjustment and massive 64 MOA windage adjustment. If extreme long range is your game, this Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 4.5-29×56 mm definitely fits the bill.
You’ll probably notice that this scope is a bit on the heavy side, so if you are building a lightweight rifle, this really isn’t the one for you. However, if you need a scope to reach out there a long ways, this is an amazing scope.
Here are some other specs:
4.5-29×56 Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 Review: Eye Relief
The Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 gives you a nice 3.6-3.8 inches of eye relief, keeping your face plenty far away from the scope to avoid getting a nice half moon decoration on the top of your nose/eye. The Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 doesn’t give you quite as much eye relief as one of its similar competitors, the Bushnell Elite Tactical XRS, but it’s close. I found that this Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 gave me better optical performance, and it seemed to hold its eye relief better throughout its zoom range.
During testing I did find that the Athlon Cronus BTR did lose a little eye relief at the very top end of the zoom range, but then again the specs say that, so no surprise there. I tested it side by side with others like the Bushnell Elite Tactical XRS II, as well as the Tract Toric 4-20×50, the Zeiss Conquest 6-24×50 and Sig Sauer Tango4 6-24×50 rifle scopes and the Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 was right there at the top of the list. Obviously it’s a very different scope than some of those others, but none the less impressive.
First Focal Plane & Subtensions
The Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 rifle scope is a first focal plane scope. What does that mean and how is it different than a 2nd focal plane scope? A first focal plane scope is one where the reticle gets larger as you zoom the scope in (unlike a first focal plane scope where the reticle size remains the same throughout the zoom range). The nice thing about a first focal plane scope is that your subtension remain the same, no matter what magnification you are using. The challenge with a second focal plane scope like the Zeiss Conquest V4 is that your subtensions change depending on the magnification you are using.
Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 Review: Turrets & Parallax
Between field testing and range time testing for this Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 review, I found the turrets were extremely crisp, well defined, featured a very nice zero stop (covered below), and were very comfortable to use. The numbers aren’t the easiest to read compared to the numbers on other rifle scopes we’ve tested, but you get an incredible 24 MOAs per rotation and the MOA marks go all the way up to 50, so you know exactly where you are at when dialing in for your shot.
The tradeoff of the small numbers makes it easier to know were you are in your rotation, but makes the number a little tougher to read. Pros and cons here, but I didn’t find the numbers TOO small by any stretch, just not as big as others we tested. For hunting purposes, I wish the Cronus BTR Gen 2 had locking turrets, but if you as long as you understand the optic, taking a quick glance to make sure your turrets didn’t move is no big deal.
The Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 4.5-29×56 gives you a monster 110 MOAs of elevation adjustment and 64 MOAs of windage adjustment- plenty for those extremely long shots if you are into that. The Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 turrets were so precise, extremely audible and tactile, and didn’t want to run past the adjustment you were trying to get to like others we’ve tested. The Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 turrets are some of my favorites to use. They are just so crisp and clean, and definitely the most audible and defined of any rifle scope we’ve tested.
The Athon Cronus BTR Gen 2 4.5-29×56 also gives you a side parallax adjustment that ranges from 25 yards to infinity, and the knob is located on the left side of the scope just inside the illumination knob. The parallax adjustment knob was a bit on the stiff side for me, and I felt like it took a little too much effort to move it. That’s nice for keeping it in place, but makes adjusting it a little more difficult.
Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 Review: Zero Stop
Another great feature of the Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 rifle scope is its Zero Stop feature. A lot of scopes feature this these days, but it is really useful for easily zeroing your scope without having to look at the numbers to make sure you are zeroed. It’s easy to set up once you get your scope sighted in and your zero set to whatever yardage you prefer.
Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 Review: Image quality
An Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 UHD 4.5-29×56 rifle scope review wouldn’t be complete without testing the optical performance throughout the zoom range of the scope. While testing it both in the field and at the range, this thing was impressive. Not only do you get fantastic edge-to-edge clarity, amazing color contrast, and a great field of view, you also don’t get much of the black ring, or “dreaded donut,” that so many scopes have. The optical performance of the Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 is flat out spectacular!
There was a little loss of image quality at the upper end of the magnification range but it maintained a nice clean image all the way up to 29x. Some of this is corrected using the parallax and/or the eyepiece focus adjustment, but the image quality just wasn’t quite as good at maximum magnification. As you probably already know, this isn’t uncommon with optics in general. The image was still extremely good, though.
Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 Review: Tracking Test
Another part of this Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 review was to hit the range and see how the scope tracked. To test this I used a lead sled, zeroed my rifle at 100 yards, and put a bullet in the bullseye. Then I moved the turrets 3 MOAs up and 3 MOAs to the right and took a shot, set the scope back to zero, then moved the 3 MOAs down and 3 MOAs to the right, and took another shot.
I did this around the four corners of the target to see if there was any variance in the ACTUAL reticle travel vs. what the turrets said. I found the Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 to be dead on in this test as I couldn’t find any variance in actual reticle travel vs. what the turrets indicated.
Athlon Cronus 4.5-30x50mm Magnification & Functionality
With the Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 rifle scope you get a monster zoom range of 4.5 up to an impressive 29x which is plenty for those extremely long-range shooting sessions. The zoom mechanism is smooth, but I’d recommend adding a throw lever included with the Cronus BTR. I did find that it required a bit of force to operate the zoom mechanism, and using the throw lever really helped. I would have definitely welcomed less resistance when operating the zoom, but with the throw lever, it’s not bad.
How The Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 Ranked
Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 Review: Conclusion
After going through the paces for this Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 review, I absolutely LOVED the Cronus 4.5-29×56. It really offers you a great value. You get a lot of bang for your buck with outstanding optics, a great zero stop, a well- designed layout and very sharp, tactile turrets, a monster zoom range of 4.5-29x and the Allen wrenches needed to get your zero stop. At the end of the day, the Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 4.5-29×56 mm rifle scope was super impressive all the way around. A phenomenal scope at a great price!
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