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Arken Optics SH4 GenII video review

Watch Rex Reviews’ brand new video on the Arken Optics SH4 GenII.

Tiborasaurus Rex talks about the Arken Optics SH4 GenII.

His comments on this video: 

What is the best value for a long range precision scope for under $500? 

Budget optics that can actually stand up to the rigors of real field use are rare as hen’s teeth. After searching for years, the new Arken Optics USA SH4 6-24X50 GEN2 FFP MOA VPR Illuminated Reticle with Zero Stop – 34mm Tube optics may be the top contender in this price range. 

The new Generation 2 Arken SH4 has performed incredibly well in all of our testing thus far. It has stood up to the recoil of the Barret M82A1 .50 cal BMG without any problems. It is still tracking with reliable precision on the Steyr SSG 08-A1. This may be the best long range precision scope we have seen in its price range ever. 

Please stay tuned for for testing results as they come in. 

Lifetime Warranty Precision Tracking Guaranteed
First Focal Plane (FFP)
Zero Stop Included
Magnification: 6-24x
Objective Diameter: 50mm
Eye Relief: 3.5 inches
Field of View: 20.88-5.22 ft @100 Yards
Tube Size: 34mm
Turret Adjustment: 1/4 MOA
Reticle Position: First Focal Plane
Reticle Details: VPR MOA
Zero Stop: AZS Zero Stop System
Zero Reset: Yes
Elevation Adj. Range: 108.8MOA
Windage Adj. Range: 34.4MOA
Adjustment Per Revolution: 20 MOA
Parallax: Side Parallax Adjustment 25Yds – Infinity
Illuminated Reticle: Red
Turret Rotation: Counter Clockwise (CCW)
Length: 14.1 inches
Color: Matte Black
Weight: 36.6 oz
Sunshade: Yes

 

 

New Arken Optics EP5 launched!

Arken EP5

Arken Optics has launched the new EP5 line of optics, to follow in the footsteps of the previous model, the EP4

The EP5 boasts the same quality we have become accustomed to with the EP4 and SH4 gen 2 range. The EP5 comes with a 5-25×56 magnification range, 10 MIL elevation per rotation, Zero Stop, Illuminated reticle, and it has been upgraded with ED Japanese glass.

How to choose a long-range rifle scope

How to choose a long-range rifle scope

If you ask 100 shooters, you would probably get an 100 opinions on how to choose a long-range rifle scope. The focus of this article is with the long-range shooter in mind. However, hunters and other sports shooters may also be interested in some of the features that long-range scopes offer. Below are a few things to consider. 

Tracking (repeatability, precision)

This, in my opinion, is the single most important factor when choosing a long-range rifle scope. Whether your rifle scope has all the bells and whistles, MOA or MIL, has a massive range in elevation, it is all pointless if your scope does not track accurately, and doesn’t do so repeatedly.

This may seem obvious; however, many people focus more on the bells and whistles than the basics.

Do your homework, watch some reviews with box tests (or Thiborasaorus Rex’s “truth stick” reviews). There is a collection of Arken Optics reviews on the South African Arken Optics website.

One of the reasons why I am such a big fan of Arken Optics is that they are the only scope manufacturer, to my knowledge, that offers a Precision Tracking Guarantee on every scope they build. Watch some reviews, these scopes are amazing.

Turrets (open/close, tactile, slop, durability)

When shooting long-range, you will typically be dialing your dope (although you will be doing quite a bit of hold-over to compensate for misses, wind, and quick changes in target distance).

This means that you would typically want a scope that has open turrets. Scopes with covered turrets are typically not designed to be dialed all the time, and you will probably find that the tracking is not that great (although an open turret does not guarantee precision tracking either).

Things to look out for are how “tactile” / audible the clicks are, whether there are any slop or mushiness on the turrets and whether the marks align properly. This will give you a good indication of the quality of the scope’s internal mechanisms.

If your scope does not have a zero stop, it is also very important that it has an indicator that shows how many revolutions your elevation turret has been turned.

I don’t look twice at a long-range scope that only adjusts 5 MIL in one revolution, but they are out there, and you may have made multiple turns on the elevation turret to dial out to 1200m

Also, look for the durability of the turrets. I am not a big fan of scopes with plastic turrets, and some of the big brands with metal turrets have failed me in the field with broken off elevation turrets.

Also, be very wary of scope turrets that would be prone to failure when there is a lot of dust. Long-range shooting typically happens on your belly in the dust and wind (or off barriers) and some of the new scopes have lockable turrets mechanisms that look to me like they would bend and take on dust very easily if they are set to adjust.

Parallax adjustment.

I have burnt my fingers before with a mid-priced “big brand” scope. In principle, the scope was a good option, 6-24 FFP scope… However, the first one I bought had an issue with the parallax adjustment extremely stiff, and after replacing it with another, I could not get the scope to focus beyond 350m.

You should especially look out for the parallax distance measurements on the further range. If they are too close together, it is unlikely that you will be able to set your parallax correctly. Remember that if your parallax is not set correctly, and you move your eye just a few mm to the left or right, the point of impact on your target can shift significantly at distance.

Glass

Everybody appreciates good clear glass. It is probably the first thing that people look at when looking at a new scope. Typically lower end scopes have lower end glass. The glass from Germany is typically the best, Japan a close second. Glass from China is typically not as good, however, some of the high-end HD Chinese glass is much better than it used to be.

Focal Plane

A rifle scope’s reticle is placed either on the First Focal Plane, or the Second Focal Plane.

Most of us are familiar with SFP scopes, where the reticle seems to stay the same size, no matter what magnification the scope is set to.

With FFP scopes, the reticle increases and decreases in size as the magnification is changed, which means that the reticle, relative to the rest of the objects in the scope picture, remain the same. But because the rest of the objects become bigger and smaller as we change the magnification, so does the reticle.

The benefit of using FFP will be that the markings on the reticle will always be the same, relative to the target, no matter what magnification you are on. The downside is that the reticle may be very fine or thicker than you may prefer depending on the magnification setting.

With SFP scopes the reticle always remains the same size, however, the scale of the markings on the reticle is only correct at a single magnification.

If you only dial your dope, the Focal Plane of the scope does not really make much of a difference. If you however use hold-over, FFP scopes are beneficial because the markings remain the same relative to the target, no matter what magnification you are on.

Elevation Adjustment Range

The adjustment range is important when you try to push the limits of your caliber and bullet combination. This is where the tube diameter makes a difference. Typically the thicker the tube (34mm vs 30mm) the more internal adjustment is available. Some scopes advertise high elevation adjustment, but it becomes very limited when the zero stop is enabled.

Reticle

Reticles are also a matter of preference, however, some reticles are more suitable for certain applications than others. With long-range shooting applications, shooters usually prefer a reticle with markings on them, to use as holdover points.

Typically “Christmas tree” type reticles are preferred when quick follow-up shots are required. It gives more exact aiming points.

How thick or thin the reticle is also made a big difference in FFP scopes, where manufacturers have to strike a balance between having the reticle being visible at low magnification, but not to thick at high magnification. I typically shoot at 10x – 16x, so I typically set the scope to these magnifications to see if they are suitable for me.

Magnification

I find that long-range rifle scopes running between 6x and 24x is the sweet spot for me. 6x is low enough when I need to shoot off barriers or off-hand, and 24x is more than sufficient for applications where I want to zoom in close.

I typically shoot between 10x and 16x, and I like not to set the scopes to their maximum. I find that the quality of the image is better at slightly lower magnification.

Zero Stop

Look at any long-range shooting competition, and you will almost always find someone who was one revolution out on their elevation. Zero stop enables you to set a hard stop where your rifle is zeroed (in my case at 100m). Keeping track of how many revolutions you have turned almost always end in mistakes. 

Also be aware that some of the well know brands loose a large portion of their elevation adjustment when the Zero stop is enabled. (some only allow one revolution on the elevation turret, and some only 2).

Angular adjustments Mil / MOA

Once again a matter of preference and what you are used to. As long as the reticle and the dials are calibrated in the same angular measurement (moa/moa or Mil / Mil). I prefer Mil because I know one click = 1cm at 100m or 2 cm at 200m etc.

Price

As with most things, you typically get what you pay for. With Arken, you get very good value for money.

Bringing it all together, what type of long-range shooting will you be doing?

“Tactical” type long-range shooting competitions like PRS and NRL are very popular at the moment. Typically you would want a rifle scope that has

  • Repeatable / accurate adjustments
  • Open Turrets
  • FFP scope
  • Christmas Tree type reticle
  • 4-16 or 6-24 magnification
  • Zero Stop
  • Has enough elevation adjustment for long-range shooting.

The above list of considerations is most that you need to consider how to choose a long-range rifle scope.

We are the dealers of Arken Optics in South Africa. Arken offer scopes that tick all the boxes when it comes to long-range rifle scopes, at a price that is dominated by entry-level products.

Visit our web store to see all the rifle scopes that we have available: https://engageoptics.co.za/index.php/product-category/optics

Where to buy Arken Optics in South Africa?

Buy Arken Optics in South Africa

Engage Optics is the distributor of Arken Optics in South Africa

Arken optics landed for the first time in South Africa early 2021. Engage Optics is proud to be the distributor in South Africa. Therefore, you can buy Arken Optics in South Africa on our web store: https://engageoptics.co.za/index.php/product-category/optics/

Arken Optics are known for precision tracking, where they guarantee a tracking deviation of no more than 0.5%. Additionally, they include high-quality glass and a First Focal Plane reticle.

We sell the full range of rifle scopes, which can be viewed  on Arkens’ website: http://arkenopticsusa.com.

Where are we located?

Engage Optics is an online store. Therefore, you can buy Arken Optics from us, and we deliver anywhere in South Africa. We have an office in Technopark, Stellenbosch. All in-stock products can be viewed there. Feel free to make an appointment.

Why buy Arken Optics in South Africa?

The Arken EP-5 and the SH4 Gen2 range of rifle scopes has everything you would be looking for in a rifle-scope. Japanese glass (EP5), Open tactical turrets that are guaranteed to track, superior build quality, 34mm tube at an affordable price point. It also includes a lifetime guarantee. Engage Optics offers local service and a local presence for servicing your warranty.

We are passionate about Arken Optics, and we are excited to serve your long-range rifle scope needs.