The Athlon MIDAS HMR rifle scope is in its own series with a 2.5 to 15 magnification range, which is a good start for up-close to medium range work. The MIDAS HMR is one of three scopes Athlon sent us to review, and of the three in this review series, is the cheapest option, but they offer a wide range of optics for almost any budget. The three scopes, ARES ETR, HELOS BTR, and this MIDAS HMR have roughly the same magnification range with several different features and price points between them. Let’s see what the MIDAS HMR has to offer.
Athlon Optics @ TFB & AllOutdoor
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- AllOutdoor Review: Athlon Optics Argos BTR Gen2 1-8x24mm SFP IR
- AllOutdoor Review: Athlon Optics Talos BTR 1-4x24mm LPVO
ATHLON MIDAS HMR SCOPE REVIEW: INITIAL IMPRESSIONS & SPECS
Taking the Athlon MIDAS HMR out of the box, it felt solid and stout. The matte black finish was as expected and felt as if it should hold up well. The Minute of Angle (MOA) reticle is practical, without being cluttered and is definitely a step up over a simple duplex crosshair. The MOA lines are a bit sparsely numbered, with 20 MOA being the first number shown from the center, but the spacing checks out when you count the hash marks. The distance between each hash mark is 2 MOA, with the same spacing for the interruption between the 10 and 12-30 lines.
The Athlon MIDAS HMR scope’s reticle is located in the Second Focal Plane (SPF), which means that the reticle stays the same size regardless of the optical magnification level, but it also means that the MOA subtensions are only absolute at the highest magnification, 15x. This aspect of SPF is what some people would call a deal-breaker, however, some long-distance shooters see this as a feature, not a bug. By doing a bit of math, dialing back the magnification should change the subtensions to quantifiable numbers. For example, if the hash marks equal 2 MOA at 15x magnification, then at half magnification, just a hair over 8x, each mark should equal 4 MOA.
The first 10 MOA lines; up, down, left and right, are illuminated. The MIDAS HMR’s illumination dial is the outermost portion of the left turret, while the inner dial adjusts the parallax. The illumination dial has six brightness settings, which are each separated by an off setting. I like this feature since you can set your off setting to the nearest couple brightness levels according to your most likely need, or you can quickly adjust to the most extreme levels of 1 or 6 from the off position between them. The illumination dial cap houses the battery compartment, which accommodates a standard CR2032 battery.
The MIDAS HMR has turret caps, which give a subdued tactical look to it, while still having practicality between the AHMR reticle, illumination, and a reasonable magnification range that still lets the user engage targets up close, and out to 500 to 1000 yards, depending on caliber.
RANGE TIME WITH THE ATHLON MIDAS HMR SCOPE
The Athlon MIDAS HMR has crisp glass, with only an ever-so-slight hint of distortion around the farthest edge. My camera won’t always show the reticle and the background as clearly as the naked eye does, but you can get the idea in my real-world photos. I mated the MIDAS HMR scope to my Leupold Mark AR 30mm scope mount, and paired the system with my AR-15. Despite only having a 16-inch barrel, the HMR rifle scope didn’t look out of place, and I felt that the only thing I was sacrificing, optically anyway, was home defense and CQB. However, at those ranges, one could eyeball it if this setup was all they had.
The parallax adjustment moves smoothly but is stiff enough to stay in place. The elevation and windage turrets adjust with audible and tactile clicks with each quarter MOA turn. The magnification throw knob is easily adjusted but takes intentional force to move it. The magnification knob is milled in a way that allows for better grip but isn’t rough on the hands.
I enjoyed slapping my MK Machining Covid target at 200 yards, standing, and standing supported. I also took Hornady’s 75-grain SBR Training loads out to 500 yards, which required a bit of homework leading up to since I was using a 16-inch barrel and the listed test barrel length for that load is 24 inches, yet designed for 10.5 to 12-inch barrels (head-scratcher, I know). I took a couple guesses on muzzle velocity for the ballistics calculator, but it paid off; I found that a 19 MOA hold over on the reticle did the trick, and I was hitting the right elevation. I didn’t hold off for windage at all since I wanted to see what it was doing on paper.
I enjoyed my time with the Athlon MIDAS HMR rifle scope, with each feature being user friendly, and the overall construction was soundly built and sturdy. The reticle’s markings were a bit sparse, which took me a bit more time to line up my shots at distance and double checking I was on the right hash mark. However, I can certainly see the value in having less clutter compared to Christmas Tree reticles, which I know can be off-puting to some shooters. Despite all that, Athlon’s AHMR reticle was still reliable and got me on target at 500 yards on a really windy, gusty day. The clarity of the HD Glass was superb.
The Athlon MIDAS HMR scope is currently only available in 2.5-15×50 and carries an MSRP of $649.99 on Athlon’s website. You can view the MIDAS information HERE on their dedicated page, or check out their website, AthlonOptics.com.
What do you think about the Athlon MIDAS HMR? If you’re interested in this optic, which gun would you put it on?
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