Featured Better on a Budget: Atibal XP6 Mirage Dave Merrill February 22, 2018 Last year we gave a rundown on one of the more budget-friendly variable optic options, the Atibal XP8 in the article: Ballin’ on a Budget–or just Budget?. Atibal upped their game with the addition of the XP6 Mirage, a 1-6x front focal plane (FFP) optic for $415. We’ve been shooting and generally banging it around for a few months, so we give you our thoughts and discuss some features. As a quick refresher, with a second focal plane (SFP) optic, the reticle remains static regardless of the scope magnification level. When you increase the magnification of FFP optic, the reticle also increases in size. There’s debate about the usefulness of this feature in some crowds and for some uses, but FFP optics are a bit more complicated to engineer and manufacture than their SFP brethren. Invariably this means a higher price point, which is what made us so cautious about the XP6 Mirage in the first place. Before even digging in, we noticed the packaging itself was superior to the earlier optics, as was the manual. Sometimes when companies put more money into presentation it means they lacked in other areas. But if you couldn’t tell already from the title, it’s clear some more time and thought went into the XP6 Mirage than its predecessor. The coating on the scope body seems thicker (we still scratched it, because of course we did) and it also comes in grey, because of course it does. FEATURES From the outside, the XP6 looks nearly identical to the SFP 1-8x XP8. It has the same 30mm tube, convenient removable throw-lever for a rapid shift in magnification, and the same basic turret design. The XP6 is slightly longer at 10.5-inches and weighs slightly more (18-ounces v 17.6-ounces). If you’re familiar with the XP8, and well, the Vortex Strike Eagle, this is going to look very similar. The weird non-locking return to zero is still present. Same battery in the same place, and the extra battery storage in one of the turret caps. And we always love that the illumination goes to eleven. Other Specifications include: »Magnification: 1-6x »Objective Lens Diameter: 24mm »Eye Relief: 4 inches »Field of View: 116.5-19.3 ft »Tube Size: 30 mm »Turret Style: low profile capped »Adjustment Per Click: 1/4 MOA »Max Elevation Adjustment: 60 MOA »Max Windage Adjustment: 60 MOA »Weight: 18 ounces with no mount »Length: 10.5 inches »Made of 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum We note that the XP6 Mirage now has more refined 1/4-MOA turret adjustments as opposed to the rougher 1/2-MOA XP8. Because the turrets are otherwise the same, this does cut your adjustment ability in half. And of course, it runs until 6x and not 8x. Though the eye-relief is listed at 4-inches, it’s slightly more generous at 4.5-inches at highest magnification. GLASS You should never expect a girl working the street to be at the same level as a high end escort, nor should you be looking for Swarovski glass inside an optic that costs less than the mount you’d put that Swaro in. With that said, the glass on the XP6 is better than the glass on the XP8. There’s still some bulging distortion, and you’ll also notice a lateral image shift. Chromatic aberration was clearly present as magnification increased, but it was not as heavy as the XP8 (to see more about chromatic aberration and other optic errors read the piece on the Atibal XP8). High end precision optic this is not. Every variable power, well, anything will have a sweet spot regarding clarity. This goes for telescopes to microscopes to camera lenses to rifle optics. Somewhere around 3.75x power is where the Atibal XP6 Mirage looked ‘best’ to my uncalibrated eye. RETICLE And here’s the part that I really like about the Atibal XP6 Mirage. Several previous optics that Atibal put out included a bullet drop compensator (BDC). These may look great on paper, but the reality is that you’re unlikely to be using the same rifle and ammunition setup as the guys laying it out, and even if you are, you’re probably not in the same weather. If you’re just blasting at a cardboard target from six feet away, well… any of them will work. These days a BDC is usually sold to the civilian market as a gimmick. And we were happy to see that the reticle in the XP6 Mirage does not include a BDC but instead some clear hash lines that actually mean something. First let’s have a look at how the reticle appears at either end of the spectrum. Here’s a breakdown of the reticle, shamelessly stolen from the instruction manual We have a 1 MOA center dot, with a 32 MOA horseshoe around it. Note that it’s the outer edge of the horseshoe that is 32 MOA. Starting at 4 MOA below the center dot, we have a 16 MOA line with hashes every 4 MOA. All of this gives us two capabilities: the ability to range targets that we know the size of, and the ability to make our own unique BDC. We can use any number of free or inexpensive ballistic engines to come up with our drops. We highly encourage you to read the complete No True Zero: Don’t be a Basic Bitch–Make your Zero Personal from RECOIL issue 35 which gets far more in depth. Here’s a quick example, using data from two different rifle/ammo combinations with two different free or cheap apps. We highlighted what each hash would mean on the charts themselves. On the left we have it out to 575-yards without touching the elevation knob once, and on the right out to 700-yards for the same. Your rifle will vary, but simply finding it out is rather simple. We definitely are fans of Atibal going away from the generic BDC. ON THE RANGE AND LOOSE ROUNDS We mounted the XP6 Mirage on a Grey Ghost Precision Light 5.56 rifle. We decided to roll with a Midwest Industries QD mount over the less expensive TPM because we’ve had great results with it in the past. Despite being banged around a bit, the XP6 held zero and passed a box drill with no major issues. The illumination isn’t there yet–it’s very hard to make a ‘daytime bright’ reticle with a FFP variable, and once you do the costs can go up considerably. Did it blow our minds? Absolutely not–but just a mere handful of years ago this scope at this price point would have been absolutely unthinkable. Atibal has been making strides in the right direction, and if the trend continues, we all win. When we’re talking night vision, optics, and wet weather gear, you do get what you pay for, but the XP6 Mirage is hitting above its weight class. We’re not running out and replacing our much more expensive low-power variable optics with these, but the XP6 is a solid entry-level option for the LPVO curious. 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