Athlon vs Vortex Riflescope – What’s the Difference?

Imagine a scenario where you just got yourself a rifle that you were planning to buy after waiting for ages. You might think that you are now ready to go out in the wild, and shooting targets that are further away is just one trigger pull away. Well, that is where you are wrong.

If you want to get the best out of your long-range rifle, you would require a decent riflescope on top of it. And when it comes to riflescopes, two of the leading brands are Athlon and Vortex. That is why Athlon and vortex riflescope is a hot topic nowadays.

However, because of being the go-to options, they are the ones that most people fall into a dilemma with. Thankfully, you will not have to face that kind of situation because we are here to make things easier for you.

Athlon Riflescopes or Vortex Riflescopes?

Now that you have gone through the reviews, you would want to know about how the scopes from both the companies hold up when compared, right? Well, that is what we are going to discuss in this segment.


Most of the units that are from Athlon are on the first focal plane. As a result, the reticle will change its size when you zoom in and zoom out. It is something some shooters love while some despise.

That is why, if you were strictly looking for something that has a static reticle, shooting for the Vortex scopes would be your best bet.


The lenses utilized by both brands are of high quality. They implement multiple layers of coating on the surface to enhance the clarity and the brightness of the image.

But Vortex uses a proprietary XR coating, which has a tendency of wearing off over time. However, that scenario of coating wearing off is extremely rare and will only happen if the lens is rubbed repeatedly for an extended amount of time.


Both manufacturers utilize high-quality materials for the body and the knobs. However, the knobs on the Vortex is not that consistent.

Some of the units tend to ship with stiff knobs that are quite hard to adjust. But, we must say that the knobs that Vortex utilizes are extremely clicky. As a result, you will feel each of the adjustments you are going to make.

Athlon vs Vortex Riflescope – Comparison in 2023

Last update on 2024-02-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Athlon Riflescope

Recommended Athlon Riflescope to Buy

The optics manufacturer Athlon has been around in the market for a long amount of time. While they are here, they are pushing out reliable and high performing optics that are for different purposes. They are devoted to design and deliver superior quality scopes and other competitive outdoor accessories.

On that note, the pricing that their products have is pretty competitive too. That is why their scopes are now one of the go-to options for competitive and recreational shooting.

Athlon’s engineering department is devoted to delivering high-performance optics that will make acquiring and tracking targets an easy task for competitive shooters.

The materials they use are of high-quality, making their products deliver the promise of performance that they make. So, you are sure to get a redefined shooting experience, no matter what series of scope that you wish to buy from their lineup.

Recommended Athlon Riflescope to Buy

Even though most of the scopes that are from Athlon will offer you good enough performance for competitive shooting, not all of them will be worth the money. To make things easier for you, we have huddled a shortlist of the ones that are worth the money you would have to spend on them. They are as follows:

1. Athlon Optics Argos BTR GEN2 6-24X50 First Focal Plane Riflescopes

Athlon Optics Argos BTR GEN2 6-24x50 Riflescope - APMR FFP IR MIL, Black

Reflection and glaring issues are what the optics suffer the most in harsh lighting conditions. However, you will not have to worry about those if you opt for the BTR GEN2.

To begin with, the lens that the scope features are fully multicoated. That coating will reduce the chances of you getting distracted and losing the target for glaring and reflection issues. Also, it enhances the transmission of light, which will result in a brighter image.

Other than that, the unit features a Zero Stop mechanism that will enable you to lock your preferred zero position. Even when you are in a pitch dark environment, you will be able to return to zero marks because of that quickly.

The unit is built reasonably well too. It is fully waterproof, allowing you to traverse through harsh terrains without having to worry about any damages occurring to the scope.

Apart from that, the reticle style that it boasts is the first focal plane. It will stay the same in all settings. By zooming in or out, the size of the reticle will shrink and grow. Because of that, you will be able to track further and closer targets efficiently.

Product Specification

  • Color: Black
  • Item Dimensions: 14.1 x 2.2 x 1.8 inches
  • Sport Type: Hunting
  • Item Weight: 3.2 Pounds
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Compatible Devices: Rifle


  • Fully multicoated lens
  • Lets an adequate amount of light pass through the tube
  • Equipped with an easy to set Zero Stop mechanism
  • The body is waterproof
  • Features a first focal plane reticle


  • Focus adjustment knob is a bit finicky
  • Not that clear when the zoom is set at 100 yards

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2. Athlon Optics Helos BTR 6-24×50

Athlon Optics , Helos BTR , Riflescope , 6-24 x 50 First Focal Plane (FFP) 30 mm Tube, Illuminated...

Acquiring a target with fog on the inside can become a challenging task. That is what Athlon is set to mitigate with this unit that they are offering.

First of all, the unit has argon gas purged in. The gas has a relatively large molecule size, which will be highly efficient in the case of keeping the moisture out of the inside. Worrying about fog building up on the inside is something that you will not have to do because of that.

Aside from that, the reticle that it boasts illuminates in the dark. For that reason, tracking targets in a dimly lit environment will not be that much of a challenging task for you. You can even hunt in the dusk.

Alongside that, the body has proper sealing and an adequate amount of waterproofing. As a result, you can go on shooting adventures in rainy and harsh environments. That waterproofness also increases thermal stability.

The optics that it sports have layers of coating. Because of being fully multicoated, the lens will be able to mitigate glaring and reflective issues efficiently. You can precisely track targets under direct sunlight. Also, both the wind and elevation turrets have a locking mechanism.

Product Specification

  • Color: Black
  • Item Dimensions: 17 x 5 x 4 inches
  • Item Weight: 1.9 Pounds
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Compatible Devices: Rifle


  • Sports argon purging to eliminate moisture buildups
  • Reticle illuminates in the dark
  • Boasts adequate waterproofing
  • Lenses have multiple layers of coating
  • Both the adjustment turrets have a locking mechanism


  • Does not hold the zero after making adjustments
  • It does not have that much magnification capability

3. Athlon Optics Ares ETR UHD 4.5-30×56 First Focal Plane Riflescopes

Athlon Optics Ares ETR Riflescope 4.5-30x56 34mm APLR2 FFP IR MOA Reticle

Not everyone prefers the same type of reticle. Well, Athlon kept that in mind, and that is why they brought out the Ares ETR in different reticle styles.

Unlike some of the scopes that are out there, this one is available in both reticle styles. You can choose it in the IR MOA reticle style or the IR Mil reticle style. The MOA has a 0.25 click value, enabling you to set it at the position you prefer.

Both of the reticle styles have a first focal plane. That allows you to take full advantage of the dynamic reticle. You can make it shrink or grow by changing the zoom settings.

The lens that it boasts is made of ED glass. That glass reduces chromatic aberration substantially. As a result, you are getting a bright and crispy clear image. The color and the contrast is well balanced as well. You will be able to accurately track your targets.

Apart from that, the advanced Zero Stop mechanism is also implemented in this unit too. It will enable you to lock your zero position. After that, you can return to your set zero position with just one click.

Product Specification

  • Tube Diameter: 34 mm
  • Focal Plane: First
  • FoV at 100Y: 24.5-3.75 ft
  • Eye Relief: 3.9″


  • Available in both reticle styles
  • The reticle is in the first focal plane
  • Features ED glass that reduces chromatic aberration significantly
  • Sports an advanced Zero Stop mechanism
  • Offers crisp and sharp image


  • Image tends to lose clarity after getting magnified
  • The focus knob is not that clicky

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Vortex Riflescope

Recommended Vortex Riflescope to Buy

From scopes made for competitive shooting to other optics that are meant for outdoor usage, Vortex has an extensive lineup of all of them. And all of the product that they are offering is highly reliable as well. That is why their units have been on the top of the consideration list for most of the advanced shooters that are out there.

Alongside that, Vortex doesn’t take things lightly when it comes to quality. They choose the best of the best materials that are out there for the manufacturing process. That is why their products have been highly reliable. And because of how they are manufactured, they last for an extended amount of time as well.

Apart from durability, Vortex keeps all of the functional aspects in mind in the case of lenses. For that reason, their scopes offer a high level of performance. You are sure to have a competitive edge with one of these on your rifle.

Recommended Vortex Riflescope to Buy

As we have said, Vortex has an extended lineup of products in each of the categories. The same thing goes for riflescopes too. And there is a high chance of you getting baffled among them. But we would not let that happen to you. That is why we have sorted out the ones that are worthy of recommendation. They are as follows:

4. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6x24 Second Focal Plane Riflescope - BDC3 Reticle (MOA), Black

Being able to easily change the magnification can come in handy in tricky hunting situations. Well, that is what Vortex is set to deliver with this scope that they are offering.

First of all, it features an updated magnification ring. It now has a thread-in lever. Because of that, the magnification indicators can be seen even when your eye is inside the scope. You will not have to take your eye off your target while trying to zoom in.

Apart from that, the reticle that it features illuminates in the dark. Because of that, tracking targets in the dark will not be an impossible task for you. Also, it focuses relatively fast, allowing you to quickly acquire and track your targets.

On that note, the focus dial is pretty easy to adjust as well. It is located on the eyepiece, which will make it easier for you to adjust it. The body also has nitrogen purging that will make sure that fogs don’t get built up when you are in a highly humid environment.

Lastly, the lenses have a multi-layer of coating. Those coatings will enhance the low light performance and ensure that the light transmission is adequate in any lighting conditions.

Product Specification

  • Color: Black
  • Item Dimensions: 13.88 x 4.5 x 4.5 inches
  • Sport Type: Hunting
  • Item Weight: 8 Ounces
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Magnification Maximum: 6 x
  • Objective Lens: 24 Millimeters


  • Boasts an updated magnification ring
  • Its body is nitrogen purged
  • Features an illuminated reticle
  • Lenses have an adequate number of coatings
  • Focus knob is easy to adjust


  • Lens cap feels a bit cheap
  • Coatings on the lens tend to wear off over time

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5. Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 4-16x44 SFP Riflescope VMR-1 MRAD , Black

Being able to choose the size of the objective lens is something that most of the manufacturers do not offer. Well, Vortex is not like most of the other manufacturers in that regard. And this unit can illustrate that perfectly.

First of all, you will have the full freedom to choose the type of reticle for this unit. There are two options available for that. Alongside that, you will also have two different options in the case of the size of the objective lens. You will be able to get the one that you are most comfortable with.

Apart from that, the lenses have a reasonably low dispersion rate. Also, there are advanced XR coatings on the surface of the lenses. For that reason, you would get a high resolution and well color-balanced image while looking through it.

Other than that, the turrets that are on the scope are exceptionally clicky. You are going to feel each of the adjustments that you would make with those. As a result, you can precisely track your targets.

Aside from that, there is a four-times zoom knob. That is combined with a parallax knob, which will offer you an exceptional amount of versatility.


  • Two reticle style and objective lens size options available
  • Lenses have XR coatings on them
  • Exceptionally versatile
  • Turrets are relatively clicky
  • Sports a 4X zoom knob


  • The parallax knob is a bit stiff
  • Lining up the reticle can be difficult in some specific scenarios

6. Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II First Focal Plane Riflescopes

Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 2-10x32 First Focal Plane Riflescope - EBR-4 Reticle (MRAD)

Inert gas purging and O-rings sealing are essential for shooters that like to travel through harsh environments. Well, Vortex has implemented both of them in this scope that we are going to talk about.

As we have mentioned, the unit is purged with argon gas. For that reason, you will not have to worry about moisture and fog getting built up on the internals. To seal that efficiently, it has tight O-rings. As a result, it achieves a higher resistivity from water and dust.

The glass that it boasts has a low rate of dispersion. Because of that, the color fidelity and the resolution of the image will be high. The XR coating on the lenses will ensure that an adequate amount of light passes through the glasses.

Alongside that, you will be able to customize the reticle according to your preference. It has ten different intensity levels. There are off positions in between each of the settings, which will make sure you can precisely adjust it.

Other than that, it features an advanced zero stop mechanism. The reticle is also laser etched. As a result, it will be much easier for you to get back in the zero position.

Product Specification

  • Color: Black
  • Item Dimensions: 6 x 6 x 22 inches
  • Sport Type: Hunting
  • Item Weight: 16 Ounces
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Magnification Maximum: 10 x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 32 Millimeters


  • Sealed with tight O-rings
  • Sports argon purging to make it fogproof
  • Lenses are fully XR coated
  • Boasts high color fidelity and resolution
  • Reticle is laser etched


  • The turrets are a bit stiff
  • Does not have a built-in sunshade


Now that you have an adequate amount of information on the topic of Athlon or Vortex riflescope, hopefully, making a choice between the scopes will not be that much of a difficult task for you.

That being said, we would want to wrap things up here by hoping that no matter which scope you buy, you can easily acquire targets and can precisely track them down.