Guns Review: The 1-10x Atibal X Scope Dave Merrill January 16, 2019 Join the Conversation The future of modern carbines is low-power variable optics (LPVOs). Like the leap from iron sights to red dots, there is an upfront cost, but unfortunately for the consumer, making this step costs approximately twice as much to upgrade from a red dot to a variable. The free market has responded, and we've seen a heavy increase in new and inexpensive options. Even five years ago this would have been unthinkable. The realm of variable optics, once relegated between the options of Walmart-cheap and S&B costly, now has a big fat middle range. Since their inception, Atibal has been steadily improving the quality of their product line while keeping their prices affordable. The first Atibal optic we got hands-on with was their inexpensive second focal plane (SFP) XP8. Though it had some warts—it was also a mere $400. Atibal followed it up with their FFP 1-6x Mirage (better), and then the Apex 4-16x FFP (better still). Don't get us wrong, NightForce they are not, but they don't pretend to be. Often we are cajoled by budget optic companies proclaiming they are ‘just as good as,' but Jimmy Labita of Atibal has never tried to feed us that line. Frankly, in an industry full of wild claims and exaggerations, it was a breath of fresh air. And, at least at the time of this writing, the Atibal X is the first and only front focal plane (FFP) 1-10x power optic on the market under $1,000. The Atibal X has a lot of the features that we look for: a mildot reticle, 1/10th mil adjustments, FFP, great tactile clicks, easy zooming, and illumination that is actually what we would consider daylight bright (with an asterisk). It's exceedingly hard to make a daylight-bright illuminated reticle with a FFP scope; most on the market sans a small handful with bright reticles are second focal plane. This is because the reticle on an FFP scope is exceedingly small—and the higher the variation in power, the smaller the physical reticle itself has to be. Usually, with the brightness pumped on one of these, it turns into a blurry mess. Atibal's solution with the X wasn't necessarily to needlessly dump light into the reticle but instead opted for a reticle design that aids in this endeavor. Reminiscent of the EOtech VUDU line of optics, the Atibal X features a 20mil by 20mil ‘X' outside the reticle itself that illuminates along with a quarter-mil center dot. For those who live in the MOA world, the X translates to roughly a 68.75 MOA (~72-inches at 100 yards) diamond. Being right around six feet in height makes it very easy to get rough range estimation against human targets. Being an FFP scope, as you zoom in for a more refined aiming point, the X moves out of the center giving you access to the mildot reticle. Up close? Put the red on the target and pull. Further away? Zoom in. One feature that we were extremely happy to see was that the six illumination levels feature an ‘off' between each setting. If you want to save battery life, select your desired brightness level and then just give it one click in either direction. The turrets are easy to float, and all you need is a hex wrench to pop it off and shift after zeroing. The turrets also lock and are in a ‘pull out to move' arrangement. Zero worries about minor bumps or bangs playing mucky muck with your adjustments. The eye box of the Atibal X is more than reasonable with 3.6-inches at high magnification and 5.5-inches at low magnification. For comparison's sake, the 1-6x Vortex Razor HD II has four inches of eye relief at the highest magnification. We've seen a trend of larger optical tubes for increased light-gathering properties and the Atibal X is no different. With a 35mm tube it bulges out one millimeter more than the “standard” large tube but there are still several options out there (it doesn't hurt that the new Leupold Mk5 also rocks a 35mm tube). Even still, Atibal teamed up with Bobro Engineering for a 35mm mount option so you can order them as a pair—at a helluva discount too! Currently the Atibal X is $799 with a mount and $649 without. Not too shabby for the best optic Atibal has ever put out. There was a time where “Made in China” was the kiss of death at least as far as firearms accessories were concerned. But the place of manufacture alone is no longer a disqualifier regarding optics—at least not this one. This shouldn't be too much of a surprise, as we've been using a handful of camera lenses with Chinese glass in them for some time. Undoubtedly we're going to see both Vortex and Primary Arms release similar models, just as they've done with every other Atibal release. But for some reason, Jimmy gets them into the hands of the public before everyone else; hell, he was showing this one off a year ago. SPEC BOX Make: Atibal Model: X Magnification: 1-10x Focal Plane: Front Tube Width: 35mm Length:10.1-inches Weight: 21-ounces (no mount) MSRP: $799 (with mount) Explore RECOILweb:Children of the Civil WarMaxim Defense PDX, M-RAX Rails, & Stock for the SIG SAUER MPXEl Chapo's Fast & Furious Fifty CalEDCpen: the "ultimate minimalist everyday carry pen"