There are a ton of good “budget” scopes in the 1-4X magnification range available for right around the $300 mark. So at $575 (street price) the Atibal Velocity Free-Floating Crosshair FFP might seem wildly overpriced. But that’s not what Atibal sees as their competition. The new company is trying to punch above their weight here, going up against rivlas like the Vortex Razor HD II which runs north of a grand. If they can give scopes like that a run for their money, they have a real shot at making a name for themselves in the optics market. It looks like the new company’s off to a good start . . .
I’m a huge fan of variable scopes in the 1-4x range. Their small form factor is perfect for guns of all sizes and their zoom range is ideal for both hunting and competition shooting in 90% of the situations in which you’re likely to find yourself. Especially here in central Texas you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere you really need much more than 4x magnification to take a good clean shot at a deer. But besides the magnification, the first thing I noticed about the Velocity was the reticle.
Atibal went with a first focal plane (FFP) design, meaning that the reticle stays the same size relative to the target no matter how far you zoom in. That’s ideal for reticles with precise substentions for ranging targets and holding for wind and distance corrections, like the Horus reticle or even a standard MIL-Dot reticle. The difference here is that the Velocity uses a minimalist reticle design — just a fine set of crosshairs in the middle, flanked by what’s basically a German style reticle.
I’m of two minds on this. On the one hand, the design is simple with plenty of white space to observe your target yet enough markings to quickly allow your eye to find the center crosshair line up your shot. The center crosshair is optionally illuminated as well, making it easy to find in low light situations. There’s a sort of zen-like simplicity to it.
On the other hand, this isn’t a $300 scope. Nearly everything else on the market at this level has some sort of BDC reticle or MIL-based substention, even if it’s only an optional feature. Being new, Atibal only offers one version of each scope with no reticle alternatives so for now what you see is what you get.
The Velocity’s fit and finish are where they should be. The tube’s made from aircraft grade aluminum, but the moving parts are finished in plastic. Atibal touts that the magnification mechanism is a proprietary design that keeps everything from moving around under recoil. Moving the magnification ring feels satisfyingly solid without too much resistance.
The turrets on the scope are covered to keep from accidentally turning them. That’s a plus because I’ve turned my un-capped turrets before. On the minus side, the Velocity’s turrets are configured in 1/2 MoA increments. The means the best you can dial in your zero is within 1/2-inch at 100 yards. As someone who loves to fine tune their rifle’s zero as closely as possible, that can be slightly infuriating. You can be 1/4-inch off center and not be able to do anything about it.
The lack of a ballistic reticle would usually mean that the turrets are specially designed to allow the shooter to dial for windage and elevation, but in this case it isn’t all that easy. The numbers on the Velocity’s turrets are small and somewhat difficult to see which can make adjusting them on the fly problematic.
The optical clarity is very good, and the reticle looks great even when illuminated (with no bleed from around the reticle itself). There is a little bit of color bleed from the sides when turned up all the way and zoomed all the way out, but if you tone down the illumination level a touch that goes away.
I slapped the Velocity on a SCAR 17, a rifle known for its scope-destroying ability. After a quick zero I ran a few hundred rounds of .308 Winchester through the gun, then performed a standard “box test” where the scope is clicked 10 notches in each direction until it returns back to the original position. The rounds impacted in exactly the same location as when I zeroed it. Perfect.
So, what’s the verdict? There are a few rough spots for this first offering from a new company, but there aren’t any dealbreakers. The Atibal Velocity is a definite step up from the offerings in the $300 range. What we have here is a very well built scope with great specs that compares favorably to optics selling for twice the price.
Specifications: Atibal Velocity 1-4x FFP Riflescope
- Magnification: 1-4x
- Twilight Factor: 4.9-9.8
- Objective Lens Diameter: 24mm
- Eye Relief: 4.8 inches
- Field of View: 27.5-63 feet / 100 meters
- Tube Size: 30 mm
- Turret Style: Low Cap
- Adjustment Per Click: 1/2 MOA
- Max Elevation Adjustment: 120 MOA
- Max Windage Adjustment: 120 MOA
- Weight: 18 ounces with no mount
- Length: 10.25 inches
- Made of 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum
- MSRP: $639.99
Ratings (out of five stars):
Glass Quality * * * *
It’s not a Swarovski, but for $600 it’s damned good.
Reticle * *
If they had another BDC or MIL-based option I’d be happier, especially at this price point. With this one, it feels like a waste of a first focal plane scope.
Turrets * * *
Solid and repeatable with clean adjustment clicks. I’d prefer 1/4 MoA increments and the numbers could be larger and easier to read.
Overall * * * *
The Velocity is a great step up from a Burris or a Redfield. The large field of view and great mechanics makes this every bit as functional as the bigger players’ offerings but at a much lower price point. A fine functioning scope that won’t break the bank.