It looks like Riton Optics is making the best budget optic in the business.
That’s certainly been my experience after a couple months and a few thousand rounds through the Riton Optics 3 Conquer 3-15×44.
The most important feature of any riflescope is the clarity and light transmission of the glass itself. It doesn’t really matter how many features the scope has, If you can’t see a clear image of your target, everything else is worthless.
The quality of the glass on the Riton 3 Conquer is good enough to leave me a little upset.
Compared to my more expensive Vortex Viper PST, looking at the same target, at the same time of day, the Riton 3 Conquer is the clear winner. It looks like I wasted some money there.
Even more troubling, looking at the same target in failing late afternoon light, where most budget optics can’t compete with more expensive glass, there was very little difference in my Nightforce SHV scope and this Riton riflescope. I paid a whole lot more for the Nightforce optic than the MSRP (not to mention the retail price) for the 3 Conquer.
The image above was taken within the last 20 minutes of legal hunting light with the scope at 10X magnification. The middle of that road is 800 yards away. Were there a deer in the middle of that road, I’d have no issue zooming farther in (it’s at 10X in the photo) and getting a better idea if it was a shooter or not.
Part of what differentiates budget optics from higher-end models is the coatings on the glass. Riton lists this glass as being “Fully Multi-Coated, Full Wide Band, Waterproof Coated, Low Light Enhancement”, but doesn’t provide any more detail on what that means. The “low light enhancement” is definitely there and is accompanied by a slight red/brown tinge of the image.
The literature also doesn’t specify what they mean when they say the scope is “waterproof.” I put it in a tub full of rainwater for half an hour and found no issues after taking it out. The glass spotted a bit, and those spots were easy enough to clean off with nothing other than the supplied cloth.
The Conquer features well-marked turrets and each click is clean and solid. There’s really no mush here at all, and if you are in the very bad habit of counting clicks (instead of reading the dial) this scope will certainly enable your poor behavior.
But far more important than how the turrets feel is how the turrets work. To test the turrets, I mounted the scope on top of a particular homemade favorite AR-15 of mine, the same one I recently took as a backup rifle on a prairie dog hunt.
So mounted, I then place the rifle in a Caldwell Stinger shooting rest and took a single shot at 100 yards. I brought the turrets in every direction several times, then brought it back to zero and took a shot. The shot landed well within the 1 MOA margin of error previously established for this gun. Next, I performed a simplified box test, and then a tall target test to make sure the reticle lines ended up where they should.
It looked like the turrets tracked and the reticle lines ended up exactly where they should.
A few days later I was teaching a mid-range shooter/hunter course. I loaned a student that rifle, still mounted with the Conquer 3-15×44 scope attached. However, prior to handing it to him, I took some shots at the 600 yard line. I dialed 17.4 MOA and found myself to be way high. Using the reticle lines, I found it should be 16.5 minutes of holdover instead.
I assumed something had gone wrong with the turrets and that they no longer tracked. Nope, I had transcribed the wrong line from my ballistics chart, using IPHY instead of MOA. Going back to the Shooter Ap, it told me to dial 16.6 MOA up. I did and put the round right where it belonged. In other words, the turrets worked just fine, I didn’t.
The turret caps themselves come off with a single hex key screw right in the center of each turret. Riton includes all the wrenches you’ll need for any adjustments or setting right there with the scope. There are no locks on the turrets, and there doesn’t need to be one. Since the zero stop is easy to set and works as it should, there’s no need to hide or lock the turrets.
This is the way it should be and I wish every manufacturer did it just like this. I don’t want to have to remove caps to make adjustments, and I don’t want to have to pull up or push down or anything else. The turrets are well and brightly marked, and all the shooter needs to do is look in front of them to see if the zero lines up where it should.
The Riton Conquer line comes with a resettable zero stop. This one’s fairly self-explanatory, but if you’ve never done this before it’s a good idea to watch the very helpful video Riton has on their website.
The zero stop on this scope worked perfectly and precisely. It’s a good idea to set your zero stop a wee bit beyond what your turrets line up at as zero, just in case you change ammunition or your environmentals changes dramatically.
There is only one reticle offered for this scope at this time, and it’s in MOA. It’s two broken lines with multiple hashes, without “Christmas tree” windage marks. This is a second focal plane scope, so you’ll need to do your ranging at the highest magnification.
The reticle is also illuminated, powered by a single, easily accessible battery. If you look closely, you can see that the left side of the reticle in the scope is a bit dimmer and harder to read than the rest. Illumination is laid out with an “Off” between each number setting, as every illuminated reticle with variable brightness should be.
Note that the parallax isn’t labeled for distance. I understand why this is, and why more and more scopes are going this way. Too many people think of the parallax adjustment as “side focus” and that’s not what it is at all. Jeremy did a solid article on parallax adjustment years ago and it’s worth the read.
By not labelling the parallax adjustment with any distances (other than the closest distance), it forces the user to not just dial to a specific yardage, but to actually use the adjustment as it should be used. It’s also slow and can be particularly time consuming on hazy days. If this were my scope, I’d spend an hour getting to know the distances and marking those numbers on the scope.
Riton is located in Tuscon, Arizona, with their magnified optics like this one are made overseas. Their FAQ page says:
We source all of our raw materials and use overseas assembly based on price point. Our optics have hand sourced Japanese or Chinese glass and have final assembly in Japan or China depending on price point.
Given the low price point of this model, I would assume it’s made in China. If that’s the case, then wow, those commie bastards really have come a long way.
Riton’s warranty seems pretty simple. If the scope breaks — ever, no matter who owns it — they’ll send you a new one.
Between this review and some very full days of being used by students, this Riton 3 Conquer scope has seen a lot of use. It never failed, and never failed to impress.
What’s really great is that, for a fairly low price point, a new shooter was able to get very confident with longer range shooting because he could clearly see the target and because the turret adjustments and reticle confirmed the riddles his ballistic app answered.
Specifications: Riton Optics 3 Conquer 3-15×44 Riflescope
Parallax Adjustment: 10-infinity
Tube Diameter: 30mm
Objective Lens Diameter: 44mm
Focal Lens Position: Second Focal Plane
Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated, Full Wide Band, Waterproof Coated, Low Light Enhancement
Reticle: Etched PDTR, Illuminated
Field of View at 100 yds: 38.3ft-7.6ft
Eye Relief: 3.7in/95mm
Exit Pupil: Low 14.7mm – High 2.9mm
Click Value at 100 yds/m: 1/4”
Adjustment Range: 85 MOA
Mounting Length: 5.9in/151mm
Included Items: Flip Up Lens Covers, Lens Cloth, Allen Wrench
MSRP $659.99 (retail about Riton Optics 3 Conquer 3-15×44 Riflescope)
Overall * * * * 9/10
This Riton Optics 3 Conquer 3-15×44 Riflescope now sits at the top of my budget scope list. The glass is clear and much better than I expected, especially in low light. The controls work well and are laid out as they should be. It’s been lugged around for a few months. I didn’t pay much mind to Riton optics before this review, but they have my full attention now. I took something off for the illuminated reticle not being evenly lit throughout because I hate to give anything five stars.