We’ll be taking a detour from the regular article with this Athlon Midas HMR review. I say that because the scopes we’ve been focusing on are more focused towards long range precision shooting, whereas the HMR is primarily designed with hunters in mind.
Not that you can’t using it to shoot steel. This also doesn’t mean you can’t use a scope like the Ares BTR or ETR for hunting if you choose – plenty of people do.
But there might be certain features you prefer to have when in a hunting scenario, versus a long range tactical application.
For instance, when hunting you might be running into a low light scenario if you’re out and about in the early hours of the morning. For that, an illuminated reticle can be very helpful.
And in a long range shoot where you have to adjust magnification to hit targets at multiple distances, an FFP scope will be much beneficial than an SFP scope (see FFP vs SFP).
That being said, the HMR was designed for hunting. Featuring capped windage and elevation turrets, an illuminated reticle and priced under $500. A lot of hunters are taking a look at this scope.
Today we’re going to take a deep dive into the optic and put it through the same tests we put the Ares ETR and Ares BTR over the last couple of weeks. You can check out the full Athlon Midas HMR review video below, and read on to see even more in depth details about the scope.
The Athlon Optics Midas HMR
Like I mentioned above, this scope was built with the hunter in mind. That being said, the Midas line (including the BTR Gen 2, TAC and HMR) is part of the upgraded series of scopes Athlon released after they figured out how to build really high quality turret systems.
For those of you just getting into the PRS business, a high quality tracking system is rare. And scopes manufactured in China aren’t known for their high quality tracking systems. This is usually reserved for the European brands – hence the extra $3k on the price tag.
Athlon seems to be getting this perfected though, which is testament to their innovation. All of the lines of scopes from the Midas on up have this High Precision Erector System.
The systems are processed by computer numerical control machines, or CNC machines. This allows incredibly precise manufacturing capabilities.
(If you want a good example, check out the turrets for the Ares ETR to the right. Not bad right? The Midas Line has similar turrets).
Furthermore, Athlon seems to have much more control over the manufacturing process than their competitors do. This is the source of their innovation in the supply chain.
The emphasis on hunting is why we see a Second Focal Plane setup instead of First Focal Plane. SFP is advantageous over FFP in this situation because the reticle won’t obstruct the shot, since it doesn’t grow when you magnify the scope.
More features important to hunters are the capped windage and elevation knobs, an illuminated reticle and a heat treated one piece aluminum tube. (Obviously, tactical shooters will find these useful as well).
Your magnification range is lower, going only from 2.5-15x. But most hunting shots don’t actually need much more than that anyways – 24x and beyond is usually only for longer applications.
Which made it a bit challenging for us to review, because our review system was set up for the 24x systems. But we make do.
Combine all of that with HD glass, you get a scope built for that perfect hunt. But does it hold up under pressure?
Let’s find out!
For testing the HMR, I had to decde if I was still going to stack it up next to something like the Vortex Razor when it comes to features. If you remember we did that for the Athlon Ares ETR Review.
A criticism of continuing to do this approach would be – “Hey Ryan, this scope is designed for hunting, so shouldn’t it be judged off of hunting scopes?“
Agreed, it is a scope built for hunters, as per the advertisement. That being said, these reviews (as they currently are) are not meant to be reviews for different kinds of scopes but rather all scopes in general.
For that, we need to have a standard, and compare the scope to that standard. Eventually we can go into the different types of scopes, but for now let’s just get a general gist shall we?
With that being said, here’s how the Midas HMR scored:
As you can see, we didn’t even have to worry about the HMR being blown away by the Razor. Most of the features the Razor advertises, the HMR has too.
And that should be expected. Points were docked for missing an illuminated reticle, a small Objective Lens, smaller Tube Diameter, no edge to edge clarity (although still clear glass) being an SFP instead of FFP scope and having less Elevation Adjustment.
This brings a grand total of 35/44 points on the features score, which is a 79.5%. The Midas HMR is $489.99, and the Razor Gen II is $2k. Big price difference.
Like mentioned above, the Midas, Ares and Cronus lines at Athlon feature the incredibly accurate and incredibly high quality turrets Athlon has figured out how to make for 1/3 the cost of rivals.
Our tracking results for the HMR are below:
This sucker tracked damn near perfectly. This both should and shouldn’t be surprising at the same time.
It shouldn’t be surprising, because it features the same turret system as the Ares ETR which as you might recall tracked perfectly too.
But it should be surprising, because this is a $500 scope. I don’t know many $500 scopes that track like that.
Most will have some sort of error in there. But the Midas was damn enar flawless. And if you don’t believe me, just check the data. Numbers don’t liee.
Final point allocation was 122.05/130, which gives the Midas HMR turet tracking a 94%. Outstanding!
Again we run into a bit of a problem here: the HMR only goes up to 15x magnification. If you recall, our optical test is designed for low, mid and high magnifications, with the high magnification usually being 24x.
This obviously wasn’t possible with the HMR, so I had to decide:
Do we do the full test and grade off that? Or do we average it out to account for the quality it could match?
Well I think we have to do both, which is what I ended up doing.
(Note: there is an error on the “Max” field. The points are labeled next to the 24x, but we measured with the 15x)
All in all, I think the resulting score was pretty fair. We get a 148/181 which gives the HMR an 82%, so a solid B.
What I think should be noted here, is that it’s likely the HMR would have been A in terms of glass quality, had it had that extra magnification power.
Notice I said “it’s likely” because we can’t be sure about that. The higher the magnification, the blurrier the glass gets.
So the HMR gets a B, mainly due to the lack of power.
So we come to the final score, the moment you’ve been waiting for.
In short, the HMR gets a solid B, coming in a 148/181 points which gives an 85.93%.
The biggest things working against the HMR in terms of points was the Optical Quality and the Features Score.
This had more to do with the fact that the scope was being compared to $2000+ scopes like the Ares ETR and Vortex Razor HD Gen II. Considering the grading curve, the HMR performed very admirably.
Considering the price tag of $489.99, the HMR performs beautifully. Capped turrets, crystal clear glass and a more or less perfect tracking system makes this a very competitive scope for it’s market.
Now I want to hear from you: what do you think about the Midas HMR? Would you use it to hunt? Why or why not?