Athlon Cronus Spotting Scope

A sure hit with long-range shooters

The reticle of the Cronus uses ranging marks designed to work with the IPSC targets commonly found on PRS and 3-Gun courses.
The lower marks can also range a 72" enemy combatant. Photo: Athlon Optics

Bang! “Miss, 6 inches right” … Bang … “No, too much, don’t you know what 6 inches is?!”

We’ve all been there, especially with new shooters. Trying to make a hit at long range is hard enough, but trying to get a rookie to learn what “X” feet or inches really looks like at extended distances is tough. Fortunately, Athlon’s Cronus Tactical spotting scope makes it easier.

The Cronus Tactical is a 7-42X first focal plane (FFP) spotting scope that takes the guesswork out of corrections and range estimation. Housed inside the first focal plane is a mil-dot reticle, which stays relative to the target size throughout the entire magnification range. Using this reticle a spotter can see where on the scale the shot impacted and relay accurate information back to the shooter, such as “1.5 mils left” instead of “I guess, like, 2 feet left.” The reticle is marked in 0.2 mil increments for fast but precise measuring. Shooters with minute-of-angle scopes can just multiply by four for a good rough estimate (3.44 if you want to get technical).

The reticle also has a range-finding scale for PRS shooters and those who enjoy shooting standard IPSC silhouettes. By using the lines off to the right and left in the bottom half of the reticle, a spotter can simply line up head to base and see how far away it is by the correlating number. Military and LE shooters also have lines subtending 72″ to gauge how far away a 6 ft. tall man is. When my wife was checking the 600-yard target, I ranged her up — it worked!

Athlon’s newest optic comes with a Picatinny rail for mounting a laser rangefinder so you
can identify and range targets with one hand. Photo: Athlon Optics

If I had to explain the functionality of the Cronus, I would describe it as “A riflescope and a spotting scope had a baby.” Focusing is done back by the eyepiece, like a riflescope — except it has a 3-position eyecup, like a spotter. You can also screw the Cronus onto a tripod via the standard thread. But like a riflescope, it is built on a straight tube for instinctual target acquisition as opposed to an angled housing which usually takes a few extra seconds while you figure out where you’re actually pointing. The tube, incidentally, is built out of aluminum — like a riflescope — not plastic like some cheapo spotters out there.

Lastly, the Cronus has a Picatinny rail section at the 12 o’clock position and comes with a proprietary mount so you can slap on your favorite laser range finder to spot and range a target in seconds. This would be ideal for hunting, especially varminting where you may need to engage multiple targets quickly and at many different distances. We found the Cronus for sale on for $999.99. Pricey, but it is FFP and is built with fully multi-coated Extra-Low Dispersion glass so you’ll be getting what you pay for. The price includes the scope, rangefinder mount and sunshade. The Cronus is also covered by Athlon’s no-fault transferable lifetime warranty. For more information visit their website — and stop bickering about the range. You’re grown-ups for crying out loud!

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