I love new toys. While in the hunting and shooting world there are many tried and true brands and models, I’m always eager to give new stuff a try. Riton Optics is most definitely the new-kid-at-school in the optics world, but that’s not always a bad thing. Founded by a team of veterans – of both the U.S. Military and Law Enforcement – Riton has a simple business model: offer a quality product for a fair price, with a solid warranty.
I’ve had the opportunity to test drive some of Riton’s products, including a couple of their riflescopes and a binocular. While at first look, the Riton stuff may appear to lean very heavily toward the tactical end of things, there are more useful applications than will first meet the eye.
The Scope of Things.
I put a couple of Riton scopes through their courses, starting with the RT-S MOD 7 1-5×24 IR. It’s a 30mm tube, with a nice and useable quick-acquisition reticle. Using a full horizontal crosshair, with only a lower vertical wire, there is a nice bold circle surrounding the intersection. The inner section of the crosshair and the circle are both illuminated. From the center point, there are two-minute graduations (for 20 minutes) on all three wires, giving a useful, yet not overly cluttered reticle.
- Riton RT-S Mod 7 1-5x24IR
- MSRP: $749.00
- Riton RT-S Mod 7 4-20×50
- MSRP: $949.00
- Riton Mod 5 HD 10×42 Binocular
- MSRP: $599.00www.ritonoptics.com
The bold circle has a five-MOA radius, so close targets that require fast acquisition are easily obtained, as that bold circle naturally centers the eye. It’s perfect for three-gun, it’s a great woods scope for a deer hunter, and it makes a wonderful dangerous game scope. The windage and elevation turrets give a positive click, in ½-MOA increments, and the third knob – on the left side of the scope body – is to control the illumination.
The knob is marked in increments of 0 to 11, with the 0 setting turning the illumination off, and 11 being the brightest. To test the mettle of this riflescope, I mounted it on my Legendary Arms Works Big Five rifle, chambered in .404 Jeffery.
Hanging with the Recoil.
While not exactly a cannon, the Jeffery does generate an appreciable level of recoil, and if a scope has a flaw or weakness, the .404 Jeffery has the goods to bring that to the surface. Sitting comfortably in a set of Talley detachable rings, the Riton RT-S MOD 7 1-5 handled the big safari rifle just fine. It took adjustment well, held zero like a champ, and with that illuminated reticle will make a great tool for hunting black bears and Cape buffalo; both are black animals that prefer the dappled shadows.
The larger RT-S MOD 7 4-20×50 makes a great choice for a long range scope, or for longer range hunting of big game or varmints. A 30mm main tube, combined with a 50mm objective lens, allows for plenty of light transmissions. Large push-pull locking turrets – that are boldly labeled in 1/4MOA increments, perfect for my old eyes when up close in the prone position – allow for the scope to be dialed for longer ranges, and the left side parallax knob keeps things in crisp focus.
Mod 1 Reticle
The Mod 1 reticle – fixed in the second focal plane – gives hashmarks in 4MOA increments on the left, right and lower crosswires, giving the shooter a good holdover option, as well as a wind correction measuring tool. I mounted the test scope on a Legendary Arms Works Professional .308 Winchester – a rifle who’s accuracy potential I knew already – in a set of Talley rings, and started working around the target to see how well the scope would take adjustment.
It walked up and down the target just as well as the rifle was capable of, and stayed put when I wanted it to. I really can’t ask for any more than that from a scope. If I had to find a gripe with the 4-20×50, it was that the power adjustment ring was a bit stiff; it took some effort to change magnification values. I’m sure this will ease up with time. The ring itself (on both models) offers a positive grip; even with gloves on there was no slipping in the hands. The scope even came with a pair of flip-up scope covers, fore and aft, to protect the lenses.
With eyes in their middle forties, I usually need to make an adjustment in reticle focus no matter what brand of riflescope I’m using, and having that reticle perfectly in focus is paramount. Both models allowed me to dial the reticle into a sharp, crisp image, so I could precisely hold on the smallest part of the target I needed to.
Hunters, as a rule, have come to rely more on a binocular in recent years than they ever have. Even at close ranges, a good binocular can help you find game you simply wouldn’t see without them. I took the RT-B Mod 5 10×42 binocular around the world – well, to Europe and around my home state of New York – with me for a hunting season to see how they’d fare.
Not just sunny afternoons, but the day-to-day rigors of hard hunting; in and out of the truck, from hot to freezing cold, in the snow and rain. I was very impressed with the durability of unit; there was no fogging or loss of clarity in spite of the varying climate conditions.
How do they compare?
Are they on par with the clarity of the high-end European binos? No, they aren’t, but at a quarter of the price they offer a fantastic value. With a center focus knob located in a position that is easily manipulated with even cold hands, and an adjustment ring on the right eye – and once you get perfect focus it stays put – the RT-B Mod 5 represents a binocular that any hunter will appreciate. A magnesium-alloy frame keeps weight down – even with strap and lens covers on, the binocular weighs 1 lb., 12 oz. – and that’s a good thing for long glassing sessions.
The evergreen colored, rubberized finish doesn’t reflect light, and stands up well to day-to-day use. I carry my bino with the strap over my right shoulder, just under my left arm, out of the way of my rifle. Hunting the thick hemlock forests of the Catskill Mountains will take its toll on any gear; from glassing in the truck with the heat on, through the rain and snow of the Catskills, not to mention the pouring rains of Poland which we hunted in, the Riton binocular took it all like a champ.
All in all.
Riton isn’t the only good company out there, but they produce high-quality products, and that counts for something. The glass is Japanese, vastly superior to the Chinese-made stuff I’ve used. Riton’s got something for every budget; the scopes I was provided for testing were the Mod 7 line, their best, but there is a Mod 5 and Mod 3 line that will cut down costs.
What I like most about the Riton products is the way they’ve packed the line full of good, useable features, while not cluttering up the reticles or adjustment knobs. Eye relief was no issue; even on the big .404 there was over three inches of relief, and it never came close to biting me. The scopes I’ve tested gave exactly what I’d want in a scope of the correlative magnification. And the binocular stood up to my own level of expectations, no matter the conditions. If you’re in the market for a new optic, whether scope or binocular, give Riton a look; with a value-packed product line and a lifetime warranty, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised with the new-kid-on-the-block.
For more information about Riton optics, click here.