The word “Credo” is derived from the Latin word meaning “I believe,” which makes it an interesting choice for a name for a new line of riflescopes from Trijicon. After testing one of these new riflescopes, which are built with the rugged durability you would expect from a company that has spent decades developing optics for the U.S. armed forces, I believe Trijicon has hit the sweet spot in balancing quality and price.
The new product line actually consists of two lines named Credo and Credo HX. Credo scopes are designed primarily for tactical and competitive shooters. Nine different models are available, ranging from a 1-4×24 scope on the low-power end to a 4-16×50 model, with a lot of interesting stops in between. Standard features include adjustable LED-illuminated red or green reticles with an “off” setting between each brightness setting; repositionable magnification levers; a matte black finish; an easy-focus diopter eyepiece; and multi-coated, broadband, anti-reflective glass. From there, you have a host of options. You can choose either first or second focal plane models with 30mm or 34mm tubes and either 0.1 MRAD or ¼ MOA adjustments. Depending on the model, you also have a choice of exposed, exposed/locking, or capped elevation adjusters. All scopes are dry-nitrogen filled to prevent internal fogging.
The Credo HX line is designed for hunters. These scopes, with a satin finish, also have user-adjustable red or green LED-illuminated reticles. Seven different models are available, ranging from a fairly trim 1-4×24 scope to a 4-16×50 model. Some have large objective lenses – up to 56mm – to provide a generous exit pupil size for improved performance in low-light conditions. These scopes have slightly less aggressive knurling on the controls than their stablemates and a variety of hunting-specific reticles. Depending on the model, you can choose an MOA precision hunter, MOA segmented circle, standard duplex, MOA center dot, BDC hunter holds .223 or BDC hunter holds .308 reticle. Both the first and second focal plane models are available. The 1-8×28 scope has a 34mm tube, while the remainder has 30mm tubes. Adjustments are ¼ MOA per click, and the range of adjustments varies from 50 MOA on one model up to 100 MOA for several others.
One thing that sets these scopes apart is the degree of torture testing Trijicon subjects them to before bringing them to market. Each model is subjected to thermal shock tests in temperatures ranging from minus-20 degrees to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Zero is checked on each design after 1,000, 3,000 and 5,000 rounds to ensure there’s no reticle shift. The scopes are also subjected to drop tests, water immersion tests, and shock and vibration tests. The scopes come with a limited lifetime warranty for the original owner, and electronic components have a five-year warranty.
As a hunter, I was keenly interested in the Credo HX family of scopes, and the model sent to me for testing was the 2.5-15×42 riflescope with a red illuminated MOA center dot reticle. This is a second focal plane model, which means the reticle size appears constant regardless of magnification, and the reticle subtensions are calibrated to correspond to a specific magnification setting. In the case of this scope, that setting is at 15X. The bottom of the reticle provides the handy information that each subtension mark on the reticle equals 1 MOA at 15X, 1.5 MOA at 10X, 3 MOA at 5X, and 6 MOA at 2.5X.
My initial impression of this reticle was that it was a bit thin for hunting in low light or the dark woods, but that concern quickly went away when I turned the illumination on. Historically, I have not been a big fan of illuminated reticles because I’ve had them fail at inopportune times, but my opinion began to change several years ago when I had to make a no-kidding, right-now shot on a big Wyoming mule deer that had seen enough of me and was two steps and two seconds away from disappearing. I used a Trijicon AccuPoint scope on that hunt, and I’m convinced that the illuminated center dot in that scope made all the difference in allowing me to make that shot as quickly as I had to. With this new scope, I found it easy to dial through the power settings to achieve the desired level of brightness, even in bright sunlight. Power for the LED illumination is provided by a standard CR2032 battery, which Trijicon says has a rated run time of 68 hours at a power setting of 7.
This scope, with a 30mm tube, has a capped windage adjustment turret with an 80 MOA adjustment range. The elevation turret is exposed, has a 100 MOA adjustment range, and is marked in ¼ MOA increments. The left-side turret serves a dual purpose. An inner adjustment ring allows you to correct for parallax from 10 yards to infinity, while the outer ring controls LED illumination with 10 power settings. I found all adjustments to be crisp and fairly stiff, which is a good thing as they are unlikely to be moved when they shouldn’t be.
The elevation adjustment is also equipped with a return-to-zero feature. Setting the adjustment is a simple procedure. Once the rifle is zeroed, you unscrew the top cap, remove the adjuster body and loosen three hex screws around a return-to-zero disc. You then drop the disc to the adjuster housing and rotate it clockwise until it stops. Then tighten the hex screws, reinstall the adjuster body at the zero position, screw the top cap back on and you’re in business.
The field of view with this model is a bit more than 41 feet at the lowest magnification and 6.9 feet at the highest. The exit pupil measurement varies from 0.42 inches to 0.11 inches. Eye relief is 3.4 to 3.9 inches. The scope weighs 22.9 ounces.
To test the scope at the range, I mounted it on a Ruger American Go Wild rifle, chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor, which I knew to be quite accurate with a Black Hills Gold load using a 143 gr. ELD-X bullet. I had the rifle zeroed in three shots, and proceeded to test the scope using a standard “box” tracking test to see how well the scope’s elevation and windage adjustments tracked. Happily, the scope performed just as it should. Elevation adjustments were dead on. Windage adjustments varied a bit, but that was likely due to the fact that I was shooting on a day when the wind varied from four to 12 miles per hour, and lateral point-of-impact variations were within the range I would expect with that sort of fluctuating wind. I burned through a couple of boxes of ammo repeating the test, and results were uniformly consistent, with the rifle returning to zero as I fired and dialed through the adjustments.
To gauge the quality of the glass in the scope, I compared it to several other good riflescopes, with comparable ranges of magnification, from other big-name U.S. brands in my collection. Relying on the one instrument that matters most to me – the standard-issue human eyeball – I lined up the scopes side by side and aimed them at a wooden fence with dense foliage around it at 100 yards, figuring the weathered fence presented a fair approximation of the color of a deer.
In the middle of the afternoon, the scopes started out on fairly equal footing in terms of color, brightness, and sharpness of detail, but it was immediately obvious that the Trijicon had better edge-to-edge clarity. It also seemed, to my eye, to have just slightly more contrast. Ten minutes before sunset, the slight difference, in contrast, was still there, and from sunset on, a very interesting thing began to happen. I could clearly make out more detail in the Credo HX scope.
Twenty minutes after sunset, it started to become difficult to make out crosshairs in all the scopes against the darkening foliage, but that was quickly remedied by turning on the Trijicon’s illumination. Ten minutes later, when legal shooting light would have expired in most places, I was still able to make out more detail looking through the Trijicon scope, making it a clear winner in my non-scientific but convincing low-light testing.
In my mind, a little voice was saying, “I believe” I like this scope. Its performance was even more impressive when you consider that a couple of scopes I tested it against had larger objective lenses which, in theory, should have given them a bit of an edge over my test scope in low light. They didn’t.
MSRPs for the Credo and Credo HX scopes range from $799 to $1,799.