We are slowly emerging out of “Lockdown” here in Wales, the weather is still fresh, windy, hail and some sunny spells. Getting out to the Range is a strange feeling after so many months, but during those months, plans for improving my Ruger M77 22LR were underway. Only outdoor ranges are open as of today, with guidance still in play.
A previous article covering the Element Titan 5-25x56 FFP for the Ruger Precision in 6.5creedmoore its application and was covered for the awesome glass, it’s features, quality and warranty. You might want to check it out if you haven’t already.
Element Optics spun off from FX Airguns, a top-end air rifle company in Sweden. Element Optics have 3 scope brands in their line up - Helix (SFP and FFP), Titan (FFP) and Nexus (FFP). Their scopes are positioned in three tiers to disrupt the scope market with features and operational simplicity that we all want. I would say the Titan rivals the Nexus on a couple features (top-end magnification of 25 vs 20, vertical turret travel with the 34mm tube vs 30mm) giving shooters options - without quality degradation. Their line-up is not complex, which makes it easier to chose based on your needs (2 solid reticle choices for all their line-up - dirty for long range/bench or clean for hunters). The turrets have stainless steel internal parts for longevity, repeatability and tactile feel. This is refreshing to see that a company is focused on what shooters really require in many disciplines of the sport.
Element Optics is a recent company and puts a great emphasis on precision and quality - after all, a rifle scope is a precision instrument. If you can’t see it, dial to it, you can’t shoot it. The Element team knows this all too well. Translating philosophy into product can be challenging, entering a crowded market to boot.
How about the Element’s entry level scope? The Helix comes in a Second Focal Plane (SFP) with a 6-24x50 spec, and brings in a few key features where before I would have thought would sit on my centre fire rifles. There are plenty of reviews on this scope on YouTube, this is a first impression out in the field - all of the reviews are great, but first hand observations count just as well.
My current scope, Top Notch 3.5-10x42 has covered turrets, zero’ed at 50m, and can plink all day at the target board, the goal here is to tighten the groups. It has a bell-mounted parallax, the eye relief is decent and field of view is good. A good friend got me this scope, he got me 2 of them, another sits on my Ruger 10/22. I have been happy with the setup, so I brought the Helix along for a side-by-side comparison. Well, it was a night-and-day contrast. At 10x magnification the Helix just stood out with its glass coatings giving a warm picture as if there were no lenses in between my eye and the target.
The reticle was also less cluttered at the POA as the Element Helix has a uncluttered dot, where the cross/circle obscures some of my target bull. And suddenly I realized that sub-tensions have been missing in my life, being able to measure corrections are now possible. Even better given exposed tactical turrets that can repeat all day, and have a zero stop.
Top Notch Scope:
Element Helix SFP:
This scope would do well on my .223 and even my .308. The philosophy that “glass” is the bigger investment in a rifle setup is shifting. Next, I will be comparing the Vortex Viper PST Gen 1 SFP 6-24x50 which sits on my .308 with the only real difference would be illumination - a feature I hardly ever use. This scope comes at £335.00+S&H which breaks the mold when it comes to Features/Function/Quality/Warranty/Price. Recoil tested to a 50GMG makes this scope a bit too much for my 22LR needs, or should I change my expectations and take that Ruger M77 to new distances and be dialing like my centerfires - providing greater capabilities for an already great rifle.
The Element Helix SFP brings higher-end features and quality/warranty to a much lower price point, that make this a life-long scope a great fit to the rifle of your choice. The scope industry has shifted in the past 18months - bringing many scope companies to compete in the low-midrange price bands. Thanks to reviewers by Mike Conrelison, Cyclops and others on YouTube, it allows to sort through what is good or average. Element Optics is vocal on their philosophy, but active on customer service and being engaged with the shooter community - and they are delivering the experience. I believe if Element maintains this level of commitment to our community, they will give Vortex and others like them something to worry about. It’s great to see shooters making equipment that is dialed into our needs. Great stuff that works, and a great team that stands behind it.