STNGR is a company I wish more gun owners knew about, and hopefully, this article brings them a little attention. STNGR started primarily as a handguard company producing some very good AR-15 rail systems. They sell direct to consumers and have an awesome setup for attaching your rail system.
We aren’t talking rails today, though, as STNGR has extended their brand and moved into red dot sights. The STNGR Axiom is a soon-to-be-released red dot sight that’s built on a back-to the-basics philosophy.
The Axiom is a compact red dot sight aimed at long guns. The Axiom is made from 6061-T6 aluminum and designed to be robust. It complies with IPX7 standards for waterproofing and, according to STNGR, is built for abuse. The shockproof test was conducted by giving it 600 Gs 1000 times.
The Axiom has a two MOA reticle and 11 brightness settings. Two settings are night-vision compatible and the battery life is rated at 50,000 hours. The Axiom comes with two mounts, a QD lower 1/3rd co-witness option and a low mount.
Swapping mounts is easy and I mounted the SNTGR to my KelTec SUB2000 and its MCARBO optic mount. The Axiom mounts perfectly for co-witnessing with the SUB2000’s iron sights. The brightness control is a simple ring with settings from 0 to 11 for quick and easy brightness adjustments. The turret caps are notched for making adjustments, which are appreciated.
The Axiom…Same Old, Same Old?
You may be reading this thinking, well, that sounds like every other compact red dot on the market. And you’re right…the Axiom doesn’t try to be revolutionary. It aims to be a good optic at a good price.
The Axiom’s MSRP of right around $115 puts it just $34 more than the unreliable Pinty optic I reviewed last month. Compared to that optic, the Axiom is smaller, has interchangeable mounts, and comes with a lifetime warranty.
I’m torn as to whether I have a slight astigmatism or not. Some dots appear to me to be quite blurry, but others are crisp and sharp. The Axiom presents a very crisp 2 MOA red dot that doesn’t seem to star out unless I dial up a really high brightness setting in a dim environment.
Looking through the optic reveals a slightly bluish tint. It’s not annoyingly blue, but it’s noticeable. The bluish tint is common on red dots and tends to make the dot appear brighter at lower settings. This improves battery life by allowing you to use the optic at lower settings.
At the Range
The SUB2000 is a fun gun, and I had just gotten the MCARBO scope mount when the Axiom was dropped at my door. With the included low mount, these two seemed to be a match made in heaven.
After swapping mounts, I hit the range for a quick zero confirmation. Since the optic co-witnesses, I knew I could just align it to my irons and be basically there. A quick confirmation proved that I was on target and ready to rock and roll. I used the caps to adjust the dot, and the little slots are quite convenient.
The SUB2000 is a blowback-operated pistol caliber carbine and has a fair amount of recoil for a 9mm carbine, so it seemed like a fair platform to test the Axiom. I ran drills utilizing several hundred rounds of 9mm throughout the morning into the afternoon using the Axiom.
I adjusted the setting as needed, but even at the brightest part of the day, I didn’t need to go above seven to see the dot. The brightness adjustment dial provides tactile feedback and little resistance to change its setting. I’ve used dots like the TRS 25, which seems to want to test hand strength in order to change brightness settings. The Axiom doesn’t test you that way.
In the brighter outdoors setting, the blue tint is hardly noticeable. The dot was nice and crisp, and the small size made it easy to see my target at various ranges. At 100 yards, a 9mm PCC is stretched, but the 2 MOA dot is still small enough to allow you to easily see your target.
At closer ranges, the dot is still easy to see and use for rapid-fire CQB style shooting. Mind you, the SUB 2K offers a third point of contact, so the dot tends to naturally be placed where I’m looking when I shoulder the gun. On a handgun, the 2 MOA dot might be a bit small for rapid engagements.
The Axiom’s dot never flickered or fluttered throughout my testing, and after several hundred rounds, the Axiom kept on keeping on. To give it a little recoil, I thought, let’s toss it on an AR-10 pistol and see how it holds up.
These days, 7.62×51 isn’t cheap, but right now, the price difference between 5.56 and 7.62 isn’t that much, so I went full hog. I loaded a 20-round PMAG with some 168 grain Atlanta arms ammo and proceeded to convert ammo into noise. An AR-10 pistol with a 10-inch barrel isn’t a pleasant shooter, but boy oh boy, it’s a fun one. Regardless of the recoil and concussion, the STNGR Axiom didn’t fail.
It never fluttered or flickered or shut itself off. It absorbed the little bit of abuse I could put it through without complaint. Back to the SUB 2K, the STNGR Axiom went and where it lives and serves to this day. The little Axiom is a rock-solid budget red dot that excels in the basics of being an optic.
Specifications: STNGR Axiom Red Dot Sight
Objective Lens: 20 mm
Length: 2.5 inches
Width: 1.7 inches
Height: 2 inches
Weight: 4.6 Ounces
Waterproof Rating: IPX7
Battery Life: 50K Hours
Ergonomics * * * * *
The optic is small, light, and plenty compact. The brightness adjustment dial provides tactile feedback and is easy to rotate. The STGNR Axiom isn’t a fancy optic, but it’s a handy one.
Reliability * * * * *
The Axiom is the little budget optic that could. I have had no reliability issues through thousands of rounds, and it seems to absorb recoil without complaint. It’s waterproof — you can dunk it for a half hour — and feels well-made despite the low price tag.
Ease of Use * * * * *
The Axiom was easy to zero, easy to swap mounts, and easy to mount and dismount. Again it’s very simple; it holds its zero and presents a clear and crisp red dot.
Overall * * * *
One star off for how noticeable blue tint compared to other optics. That’s me trying to find something to complain about. Admittedly the low mount having a QD option would be slick, but it’s not something worth docking a point over. STNGR’s Axiom is a rock-solid little optic with a very high performance to price ratio.