In his Element
Daniel O’Dea was impressed by this substantial riflescope
A while back I was introduced to Element Optics, a brand distributed in Australia by SJS Trading and to be honest my initial thoughts were along the lines of: “Here we go, yet another optics brand.” But after a quick overview from Steve Sayers at SJS my interest was spiked. There are a few different variants with the Element range but in the spotlight here is the Titan 5-25×56 FFP.
On opening the box my first impressions were I was dealing with a rather substantial scope. Weighing just over 1.1kg with a 34mm tube and 56mm objective lens, it’s dominated by generously large adjustment turrets. Clearly aimed at some of the more popular long-range rifle disciplines such as Precision Rifle Series, I could see the scope appeared to carry all the primary desired features. Starting at the front with an outside diameter of 64mm, it’s threaded to accept a supplied sunshade of 75mm in length, lens protection provided via either flip-up or rubberised bikini-type covers. Again, both are part of the kit.
Moving back 60mm the objective housing begins a gradual taper ending at the 34mm main tube 65mm later. The main tube is about 175mm long including the centrally located turret housing, before a short sharp taper back up to the 45mm ocular housing which includes the power change ring and diopter adjustment. The overall scope length finishes at 385mm and I guess proportionally if riflescopes were athletes, this one appears more a rugby player than gymnast – solid and sturdy with a no-nonsense look.
Staying at the ocular housing it’s worth noting the large, bevelled power change ring is clearly marked in increments of 1x from 5 to 8 power before jumping to 10, 12, 16 and finally 25x magnification. All markings line up when adjusted with a corresponding white arrow on the housing.
The ring includes provision for the fitment of an optional quick change or ‘throw’ lever which is also provided as part of the kit. Pleasingly, I found the power change ring to have just about the perfect resistance when moving between settings. It was firm enough for precise, unshifting, adjustment without being so secure you actually need the throw lever to provide leverage to shift it, as I’ve found to be the case in some cheaper optics. The diopter ring is non-telescoping of hard rubber with a small dot and arrow corresponding to centre and the standard +/- to indicate adjustment direction – simple and effective.
At the heart of the scope is the turret tower with three oversized turrets (roughly 35mm diameter), the benefit of a 34mm tube being it provides enough room for the scope mechanism required for said adjustment range. The Titan 5-25×56 has a full 90MOA or 26.2 MRAD of vertical and 50MOA or 14.5 MRAD of horizontal modification which should be ample. It’s available in both MOA and MRAD variants and adjustment values are either ¼ MOA or 1/10 MRAD per click respectively. Likewise the turrets provide 25MOA or 10MRAD tuning per revolution.
As per a traditional three turret layout the top one handles elevation, the right windage and the left parallax adjustment. Having an illuminated reticle, the left turret serves a dual purpose in tweaking both parallax and illumination brightness and also houses a single 2032 battery to power illumination.
The turrets are toolless so you can unscrew the retaining caps by hand to lift them off and reset zero for elevation and windage. Likewise the elevation tower has a zero-stop provision. The zero-stop mechanism is a ring which keys on to a stop that allows you to return the elevation turret to zero by just dialling down until it hits this hard stop, the ring adjusted via three small 1.5mm hex locking screws. Basically you remove this ring prior to initial zero and with the desired zero achieved, the ring is refitted and rotated to its hard stop before the retaining screws are retightened. Now when the turret is replaced and lined up the ‘zero’ stop prevents it from adjusting into negative elevation.
The left-hand turret has a large inner ring to adjust the parallax from as low as 15m out to infinity with clear markings at various likely ranges. An outer smaller ring provides by rotation six levels of intensity for the reticle illumination and with settings marked 1-6, a separation dot position between each number details individual off positions. This means you don’t have to rotate through all settings and one position either way has the illumination on or off.
The Titan 5-25×56 FFP features stainless steel internals claimed to provide better resistance against wear and tear when dialling regularly. Once upon a time most scopes were ‘set and forget’ when it came to turret adjustment ‑ you held over for elevation. These days with rangefinders, ballistic calculators and modern technology it’s far more common to dial for elevation so dials (especially elevation) can receive a real work out.
Within the scope 17 lenses work all the magic providing excellent clarity with ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass minimising chromatic aberration. Basically the scope has high-end internals. ED optical components are made with rare earth elements such as titanium dioxide, zirconium dioxide, calcium fluoride which perhaps hints at where the ‘Element’ brand name comes from. For testing I mounted the Element Titan on my Howa 1500 6.5 Creedmoor (currently KRG Bravo-stocked) and being confident in the rifle’s consistent accuracy, I’ve no hesitation in using it to test optics. To mount the scope, SJS had also supplied Element Accu-Lite ring mounts.
Once on the rifle I sighted in and set the zero-stop. The rifle’s accuracy was repeatable so we were off to a good start. With a 56mm objective lens, light transition was good and the larger objective provides greater exit pupil which bases on magnification ranges from 2.1mm at 25x up to 11.2mm on 5x. Eye relief is long enough at roughly 90mm (3.54^-3.74^ from the specifications) and field of view for the Titan measures 4.6Deg to 0.92Deg highest to lowest at 90m (100 yards). Optically the scope was clear and bright with quality expected of the premium components used.
Apart from optical quality the most important attribute of a riflescope is its ability to track correctly, for its adjustments to perfectly coincide with what’s dialled every time. It’s no use dialing for elevation if, when you return to zero, the point of impact has changed. The Titan started off well when sighting in as, using the reticle, I was able to measure the mils my point of impact was out and pretty much dial straight to zero.
On another occasion I decided I’d run a standard tracking drill by shooting a square. With the rifle on a bench at a 100m I’d start by shooting a round and maintaining the same point of aim. I’d adjust 10 clicks up, shoot another round, 10 clicks right, shoot another, 10 clicks down, shoot again, 10 clicks left and fire the last round. All going well I finished up with a nice square box, one round in three corners and two neatly where I started and finished.
As an MRAD scope with 1/10 MIL adjustments (1cm/100m) this exercise should’ve given me a 10cm square but on measuring it my square was closer to 9cm. Then it dawned on me, my target was set at the 100-yard line, not 100m, as 100 yards equals 90m. 1/10 Mil at 90m = 0.9cm meaning 10 clicks equal 9cm so a 9cm square equals Element Titan tracking perfectly.
I’ve never been a great advocate for illuminated reticles on high-powered variable riflescopes, purely a personal preference as I own a few such scopes with this feature but never seem to use it. That said, this option certainly works as advertised with the Titan. Likewise the on/off attribute between settings I’m sure will be appreciated by those who do like illumination in their glass. The Element Titan comes in either 3-18×50 or 5-25×56 in both MRAD and MOA variants. There are also four reticle options (2x MOA, 2x MRAD) one being a simpler ballistic type and the other the full Christmas tree. Both are front focal plane scopes as per their FFP designation, meaning the sub-tension values remain the same regardless of magnification.
I also discovered Element carry out a rugged testing regime which not only covers the usual nitrogen purging, water, shock, and fog-proofing but tracking and return to zero tests as well as simulated recoil to the value of 1000x1000Gs with each scope technically inspected and individually signed off. Lastly, Element scopes carry a ‘Platinum Lifetime Warranty’ requiring no registration or proof of purchase.
So when it comes to scopes these days, how do you work out what’s what? I look for features, quality of manufacture, lens and components, ability to track and remain consistent and lastly quality assurance and warranty. Seems Element tick all those boxes so the Titan appears to be good value at its price point in an otherwise crowded market. More at www.elementoptics.com.au
|Focal plane||First (FFP)|
|Body tube diameter||34mm|
|Click value||.250 MOA or .1 MRAD|
|Internal adjustment range||E: 90 MOA/26.2 MRAD
W: 50 MOA/14.5 MRAD
|Parallax adjustment||15yds to infinity|
|Field of view at 100yds/m||5x: 24.1ft/7.35m
|Exit pupil||5x: 11.2mm
|Power throw lever||Optional (supplied in box)|