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My impressions of the Arken optics EP4 4-16X50

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:38 pm
by Dolomite_Supafly
I generally do not do reviews. Mostly because I tend to be very critical of things that almost always end up being more negative than they really are. But with that being said I felt compelled to write about my recent Arken scope purchase. I was not given this scope, I bought it and paid full price for it. I had no contact with Arken before buying it and have zero loyalty to them or any other scope. I bought it to try and I am really glad I did.

So I recently bought a 4-16 power Arken with the 34mm tube. I have owned a few ~$500 scopes recently so I was expecting about the same as most, clear but not crisp optics, muted colors and mushy turrets. When it arrived it was late at night so I was unable to look through it but as I turned the turrets I realized this was not like any other $500 scope I have handled. The clicks are solid and have both tactile and audible indicators that would be hard to miss for anyone other than maybe Helen Keller.

It sat a few days but today I really got into it and without a doubt this is the most impressive scope I have used as of late. I thought my Athlon Ares BTR was a great value at ~$500 but the Arken is the deal of the century by comparison.

I looked through the Arken was was immediately surprised at the clarity but also the generous eye box. It amazed me how the nice the view was. The rest of the scope fades away and there is virtually zero black ring about the view. The edge to edge clarity can only be described using one word, amazing. The eye box is the most generous eye box I have ever seen in ANY scope other than a very low magnification scopes. I cannot say enough great things about the eye box and how the view goes all the way to the edge. It does not fish eye either at minimum to maximum magnification. The generous eye box and edge to edge clarity make using the scope in a hurry easy. The reticle itself is very usable, even at the lowest magnification you can still use it like a duplex reticle. At the highest magnification the lines are still small and crisp. The reticle is laid out perfectly with a tree on the bottom and a BDC above horizontal. THE BDC is spec'd for a 5'10 tall man and 19.5" wide shoulders out to 1,100 yards. And because the shoulder BDC uses a solid line you do not have to guess at distances between the 100 yard increments. Put the shoulder between the lines until the shoulders are touching then you are on.

Today was a very clear day so I decided to compare it to a few other scopes. I was looking at a mountain top with a tree line mixed with green and gray trees with a blue sky as the background.

First I compared it to the Athlon Ares BTR 4.5-27. I set both at 12x and there is no comparison. The Athlon feels like a cheap BB gun Tasco by comparison. The Arken was amazingly clear compared to the Athlon. The colors were also popping in the Arken compared to the Athlon. The turrets are magnitudes better than the Athlon. I do like the zero stop of the Athlon better but other than that they Arken curb stomps the Athlon. My Athlon, if it doesn't sell, will end up on a 22 trainer.

Thinking it can't be that good I compared the Arken to my Steiner M7 4-28. I found it very hard to see a difference between the two. The Arken's clarity is comparable to the Steiner and the colors are just as vibrant. The hues are not the same, not sure which is more correct, but without a doubt both have vibrant colors compared to the Athlon. The eye box is better with the Arken at the same magnification than the Steiner. The Steiner's clicks are audible and tactile but not as much as the Arken. The only thing I am unsure about is the durability of the Arken. Without a doubt the Steiner is durable and I have not used the Arken enough to make a judgement.

And although I no longer have it I would say that the Arken is better than the Vortex Gen 2 Razor I had. I got rid of the Razor because it did not work well with my eyes. The colors seemed off and it didn't impress me with its clarity for a $2,000 scope. The turrets on the Vortex were definitely not as positive as the Arken and the eye box wasn't as good as the Arken from what I remember. I can remember always struggling to get behind the Vortex and with the Arken it seems easier.

At dusk is where the Arken really seemed to shine. I was spotting for a friend today as it got dark. I was behind the Steiner and once it go to a point I could no longer call the hits I put it away thinking I was done. But I decided to pull out the Arken and see how it looked. The target was easy to see compared to the Steiner and I could easily see hits on a white paper at 100 yards with the Arken after it had become impossible with the Steiner. BTW, the friend I was spotting for could not believe how nice it was for the price. He kept looking through it, shaking his head and speechless at the clarity but especially the view.

This weekend the Arken will be put on a 50 BMG to check its durability. And in the coming weeks it will be tested on a 300 PRC to check long distance tracking. I will try to get other shooters to put it on their hard hitting guns to try to break it. And if it does Arken will no doubt take care of it because their customer service is also amazing. I did not have a problem with the scope itself but with something a worker did. There was a minor blemish on the gray finish and a worker used a black sharpie to try to mask it. I would have never noticed the blemish if they had not used a black sharpie to mask it. It did not affect function but regardless Arken CS was all over it. Within 10 minutes I received a phone call and over the next 24 hours I received at least a dozen calls and texts as we worked to make it right. In the end they did everything right and resolved it far beyond what I was expecting. I was even given the personal number of the main Arken CS guy and told to call or text anytime.

I do have a couple of complaints though. The biggest one I have, and it is kind of a big one for me, is the magnification ring is stiff. Stiff enough that it will need a throw lever. Perhaps it will loosen up over time but as of right now it is stiffer than I would like. Not the end of the world as I generally do not dial up or down the magnification but for some it might be an issue. The other issue is it comes with those cheesy elastic scope covers that almost always end up in the junk drawer. I would prefer a set of decent covers like Butler Creeks or something actually usable. The covers that come with it are much higher quality than most but it would be better with decent flip up covers from the factory.

I am not sure what sort of voodoo magic, selling of the soul they had to do to get the planets to align the way they have but whatever they did they have an amazing scope. Clear optics, amazing turrets, seems to track perfectly and has a very useful reticle. Hard to imagine a better scope at any price.

I like the Arken enough that as long as it is durable and tracks well I will be selling my Steiner M7 and replacing it with a few more Arkens, they truly are amazing but especially so for the asking price.

I welcome ANY questions.

Re: My impressions of the Arken optics EP4 4-16X50

Posted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:06 am
by rebel
Anxiously awaiting a tracking test DS! Post a couple of pics if you can.

Re: My impressions of the Arken optics EP4 4-16X50

Posted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:44 pm
by TRshootem
In a query about this optic, I saw a tracking test video on Utube. I had to leave, didn't watch it or save the link. So far, all I've seen and heard has been positive, makes my wallet vibrate with anticipation :lol:

Re: My impressions of the Arken optics EP4 4-16X50

Posted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 5:52 pm
by Dolomite_Supafly

Re: My impressions of the Arken optics EP4 4-16X50

Posted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 11:03 pm
by rebel
Dolomite_Supafly wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 5:52 pm
Tracking test. ... st-8105636
F*&k that guy. I want the DS no BS tracking test. If you don't like you'll say. Let me know brother!