I mounted the Cronus 1-6×24 on my 458SOCOM and headed off to the range. 45 Cal bullet holes are not very hard to see even with 6x, but since I had a smaller caliber rifle with me as well, I took the diminutive Athlon Ares 7.5-22.5×50 spotter along.
At first blush, I like both optics a fair bit.
The Cronus 1-6×24 looks to be very a similar design to Norden Performance 1-6×24 and SWFA SS 1-6×24, except with Athlon’s own reticle and exposed 0.2 mrad per click turrets.
All three of these scopes are made by LOW. All three have identical FOV and all three exhibit fairly similar optical characteristics at 6x, which is to say that optically they are very good, with some evidence of CA at 6x, but good contrast and resolution.
Very importantly, eye relief is long and flexible. The 458 SOCOM kicks quite a bit, but I never got even close to getting kissed by the scope and it held zero without any issues.
The reticle works well at higher magnifications, but gets a little small at lower mags. I think brighter illumination would help, or, alternatively, some thicker reticle features. I’l mess with it some more and see how the reticle works across the range of magnifications.
The tiny Ares spotter seems to perform better than I expected of it based on size and price. Depth of field is a bit shallow and focus can get a little touchy at top magnification. However, the basic image quality is respectable and it is easy to use handheld at lower magnifications. I would probably like it more with a straight eyepiece and I have a few other things to nitpick, but overall, this little spotter will find a permanent place in my kit next to my lightweight AR that is equipped with a 4x scope.
To get an idea of how tiny this thing is, here is a picture of it with a cellphone hooked up to take some pictures. The cellphone is Lumia 1020, which is not a very large phone to begin with.