Am I wary of budget-priced optics? Yes, I am, and that’s often because companies will over advertise what their optics are designed for. I am a true believer in the idea that cheap optics have their place and are fine if you are realistic about your expectations. That’s what drew me to be a little less wary of the Axeon Optics Hunter’s series. Axeon Optics sent me a few Second Zero systems I reviewed earlier this month, and with them, they sent me an Axeon 4-12×40 optic from their Hunting line.
The keyword there to me is hunting. Hunting is a bit different than duty, tactical, or even competition use. Hunting tends to be a little slower and a little softer on optics. Sure, some hunters go hard and disappear into the woods for several days and hike out massive elk over twenty miles of rough terrain. That 1% of hunters need different equipment than 99% of us, who hunt as more of a hobby than a lifestyle.
What it’s All About
For the rest of us, the Axeon 4-12×40 is a pretty sweet choice. As a hunter, I like something light and friendly, and my most significant demand is that it is sealed against the weather and capable of taking some bumps and bruises. The Axeon 4-12×40 fits that need by being fully water and shockproof. I tend not to hunt in the rain, but the dew is often thick, and it’s easy to get soaking wet on my way to the tree stand. The optic is also very lightweight for having a 12 power magnification. It’s a mere three-quarters of a pound.
The scope is a little over a foot long and made from a machined aluminum tube. It’s not compact per se, but very light for its size. The 40mm objective lens allows me to mount the optic nice and low, which is more comfortable for me, especially on my bizarro Ares SCR design. The low mount is necessary for a good cheek weld with this rifle, and likely most hunting rifles.
While my rifle recoils very little, the Axeon 4-12×40 does have a 3.5-inch eye relief to accommodate heavier hitting rounds like the 30-06. It’s a smart inclusion.
Parts and Pieces of the Axeon 4-12×40
As far as the moving pieces, the Axeon 4-12×40 is quite simple. The magnification ring glides smoothly and is scalloped to provide a solid grip on the ring. The turrets are a low profile design but do not require a tool to make adjustments with. The focus is adjustable as well, and that is a simple feat to accomplish.
The simplicity matches the low price of the optic. It doesn’t provide massive target turrets you don’t need for hunting, or a throw lever for the rapid magnifications change hunters don’t need. If I had to choose one thing to change, its that I would have tethered caps, and that’s my wish for all optics because I lose them often.
Through the Glass
The Axeon 4-12×40 provides a surprisingly clear picture for such an affordable optic. Dismounted from my rifle, I could easily make out a stop sign a quarter-mile away from me. I could read the words STOP clearly enough.
At half a mile, I could see a deer, but I couldn’t tell you with surety if it’s a buck or a doe. I wouldn’t take a shot at that range anyway, but it’s nice to know I could at least scout that far ahead.
The sight picture is unobstructed with its simple duplex reticle. The duplex reticle is all 99% of hunters need. If you have to start estimating bullet drop, you are likely too far from your prey to make an ethical kill. Or, if you have a Second Zero equipped, there is seriously no need for ballistic drop reticle at 300 or 500 yards.
A duplex reticle and a high magnification rating make it easy to hunt a variety of critters. From deer to tree rats or prairie dogs, the Axeon 4-12×40 will get it done. The clear sight picture and decent magnification makes hitting and seeing those small pests easy.
The big does it hold zero question is a big one, and losing zero tends to be a major issue with cheap rifle scopes. I dismounted the scope from my rifle post zero and dropped it, dropped it again, and dropped it one more time. Reattaching it to the same position on my rifle was easy because I marked the rail with some nail polish.
I reattached, tightened it down, and hit the range once more. The zero had no noticeable shift. It stayed locked on, and with a paper target, I had no problems hitting dead center at 50 and 100 yards. Besides some minor scuffs, the scope was undamaged.
The Axeon 4-12×40 is a superbly simple optic, and simple is good. Simple often means affordable. This little fella would be a great optic on any hunting rifle outside of that crazy 1% who need a tank more than they need a scope. This might not be a fancy option, but fancy is overrated in the hunting world. Check the Axeon 4-12×40 out here.