First impressions can often disclose an apparent truth about a product. Whenever new optics are tested, the initial analysis tends to offer facts that will eventually be confirmed. The Riton X5 Primal 3X-18X-44mm felt of appropriate weight for a 30mm tube. A quick look through the riflescope revealed it to be clear to the edge, and brighter than what the naked eye could see. This first impression was assuring.
Riton has been around since 2013, when law enforcement and military veteran, Brady Speth, set out to develop affordable, quality optics. Moreover, the optics had to provide the advantages a shooter or hunter needed to be successful with consistent results. My first experience with Riton Optics was in central California on a hunt for black-tailed deer. After three days of searching grapevines, I was able to take a trophy black-tail, in an exciting flurry of activity.
The buck started to walk through row after row of grapevines across the top of the field as I folded out the bipod on my rifle. I sat down, leveled the rifle, found the buck in the X5 Primal adjusted the parallax. My guide was asking if I had a clear shot, but it seemed as though I could only see the buck’s head for a second before it disappeared into the next row of vines. Would I be able to get a shot at the crafty old blacktail, or would he cover ground quickly enough to avoid a steady crosshair?
I was following the buck and trying to time its visibility between rows. The deer was almost straight above us at 260 yards. As the buck’s antlers started to poke through the vines in the same row in which I sat, I followed its slowly appearing body in the riflescope and gently squeezed the trigger.
The buck collapsed in its tracks, as I quickly chambered another round. My first California hunt was one to remember with a tremendous old buck. The deer was much bigger than anticipated, and the riflescope played a vital role in the success of the adventure.
A riflescope with detail, clarity and brightness made it possible to distinguish the deer’s anatomy and find the vitals through a maze of vines and leaves. The optic ensured accuracy for a challenging shot.
Concept, Technology, Characteristics The X5 Primal line uses HD/ED glass to provide crisp, clear images that magnify light. This Extra Dispersion (ED) of light is noticeable across the field of view. The 30mm tube provides durability, and allows for 108 MOA of total adjustment. While the larger tube does add weight, it also provides strength to withstand the rigors of hunting and still hold zero. The capped, zero-resettable turrets make the X5 Primal line well-suited for hunting up-close or delivering long-range accuracy for ethical shots.
Situated in the rear of the image erector and magnifying lenses, the X5 Primal uses a second focal plane (SFP) reticle that maintains the same appearance at any magnification. However, shooters using reticle hash marks need to know that the subtensions used for estimating range, holdover and windage correction are only accurate when the riflescope is at maximum magnification. The Mechanical Zero, meanwhile, is pre-set from the factory with the reticle in the center of the 108 MOA adjustment ranges.
Long-range hunting scopes need parallax adjustment to offset optical illusion at farther distances. The X5 Primal has parallax adjustment on the lefthand dial of the scope. The parallax moves the planes at which the reticle and target are in focus, such that they share the same plane.
On the Range The X5 Primal was easy to sight in, with repeatable results at 100 yards. The ¼-inch MOA adjustments were precise and held true after several shots. The scope was mounted and bore-sighted, and after shooting several groups was dialed in to shoot precise at 100 yards.
The turrets were easy to reset to zero with an Allen key, allowing the turret to be used for long-range shooting. Multiple three-shot groups at 100 yards off a bench showed consistent and accurate results. The best group was just under 1 inch, proving minute-of-angle accuracy. Even with shooter inaccuracies, the largest group was still under 2 inches.
Shoot the Square—Precise Adjustments At 100 yards the turrets were adjusted four clicks, equalling 1 inch in elevation, before setting windage. The exercise was repeated to attempt to shoot the corners of a 1-inch square. The four shots were close to an inch apart, proving the scope was more consistent than the shooter. The four shots measured 1½ inches between the farthest bullet holes, and had more of an “L” shape than a square. There was no doubt the adjustments were correct, and the group and shape were due to shooter variance.
Long Range To truly test the optic, it would only be fair to use it at long range, as it is designed for hunters wanting to reach out with precision. Water jugs were used as targets placed at random distances. Range, dial and shoot for a water explosion is the best way to describe the result. The Ballistic: Advanced Edition smartphone app was used to calculate trajectory and adjustment.
Shooting a Mossberg MVP-LR (Long Range) in .308 Winchester, with 180-grain Bonded Soft Point bullets, the target at 325 yards required a -5.92 MOA elevation adjustment for showering results from an exploding water jug. Shooters wanting to get on target quicker could use the MOA hypertensions on the reticle to hold over for trajectory and faster acquisition.
The X5 Primal 3X-18X-44mm is marketed as a long-range hunting optic. Therefore, hunting bullets were used in the testing. Match grade bullets would likely provide even better accuracy at all ranges, but the tests were completed as a hunting scenario.
Freeze the Optic The riflescope was subjected to winter conditions and performed as well as any other day. The X5 Primal was also placed in the freezer for four hours. When removed, it was easy to manipulate the magnification setting with the integrated throw lever, with no extra tension or effort. The turret adjustments even made distinct clicks. It was interesting to take the scope immediately into a warm environment, with more than an 80°F difference from the freezer. The lenses did develop moisture, but the reticle and targets beyond 100 yards were still clearly visible. The moisture beaded on the scope within minutes and was easily removed with a non-abrasive cloth.
Water and Moisture The scope was left in a sink of water for several hours, while the turrets and magnification ring moved easily and did not provide leaking points. It is safe to say the riflescope is waterproof.
To ensure no cosmetic damage was done, a towel was laid on the ground, and both scope and rifle were dropped twice from 4 feet off the ground. Despite this, shooting at 100 yards, the X5 Primal shot true to the original sight-in adjustments.
Brightness, Clarity, Resolution The riflescope was used early morning and evening under low light and provided bright, clear images. A current issue of American Hunter was placed at 100 yards, and the subtitles on the cover could still be read a half-hour after sunset, with sharp resolution. Even in a downpour, the optic proved to gather and transmit light, with clear and concise images.
A copy of American Hunter, barely a spec at 100 yards.
Specifications Model: Riton X5 Primal 3X-18X-44mm Type: Hunting Riflescope Magnification: 3X-18X Objective Lens Diameter: 44mm Eye Relief: 3.5” Exit Pupil: Low 8.2mm - High 2.8mm Field of View @ 100 Yards: 35 feet at lowest magnification, 6.2 feet at the highest magnification Reticle: PHR (Precision Hunting Reticle); second focal plane, with windage and elevation hypertensions Adjustments: ¼” increments at 100 yards Coatings: Fully Multi-Coated, Full Wide Band, Waterproof Coated, Low Light Enhancement Dimensions: 30mm tube; 13.37 inches in length; 24.4 oz in weight Construction: 6061-T6 Aircraft Grade Aluminum Parallax: Side, 10-infinity Accessories: Integrated throw lever MSRP: $999.99; ritonoptics.com