Trijicon Credo HX

By Jeff Johnston, FE Hunting & Shooting Editor

Expect to pay at least a grand for a high-quality riflescope with a huge magnification range, side focus and an illuminated reticle. But after you do, you can also expect to use it often. 

To me a 2.5-15x42mm or similar is ideal because there’s nothing that can’t be done with it, from hunting boars at night to long-range target shooting in the wind. A couple of my favorites for the money are Leupold’s VX-5HD 3-15x44mm and Trijicon’s Credo HX 2.5-15x42mm. In my experience, most hunters and shooters are familiar with the Leupold. So I’ll focus on the Trijicon here.

The American company famous for its tritium night sights and ACOG battle optics has been making traditional, variable-power riflescopes since 1998 with the launch of its AccuPoint, but only in the last few years has it offered multiple lines across various price spectrums. I believe Trijicon’s Credo HX line is one of the more underrated scopes in terms of features, quality and value. 

Optically this Credo is a powerhouse with a 6x adjustment range (this technology alone is expensive), HD glass and an etched SFP reticle. In terms of quality, its illumination system that features power-off stops between 10 intensity settings is right up there with the most expensive scopes in the world. Its 30mm tube and 42mm objective provides perhaps the perfect balance of light transmission versus low-profile mounting.

Certainly this particular Credo model leans toward target shooting over pure hunting with its target turrets (the elevation turret is uncovered), huge adjustment range of 100 MOA and a complex reticle that features a precise center dot and more hash marks than a gridiron, but that didn’t stop me from taking it mountain goat hunting after I was told to be prepared for a 600-yard shot. I wound up plugging my goat at 150, of course. But it was during the preparation for the hunt—time at the range—where I learned so much about the Japanese-made Credo HX and how it holds its own against scopes costing much more.

I found that its adjustment system is as good as they come; It’s precise, repeatable, and easy to use thanks to big white numbers and clear indicator marks. Its clicks are pleasingly tactile–not mushy—so they can be felt and counted in low light. It has a zero stop and hashes to count revolutions so the shooter can always return to zero. In terms of optical resolution and clarity, I found it also up there with the best after comparing it side-by-side to other brands at dusk. It’s also impressively tough, this I know both from testing when I dunked it in water and by it getting dropped on a log when it slipped out of its saddle scabbard during a steep climb. Fortunately for me and not so much for the goat, it retained its zero. 

Back at home, it sits well on my .270 where I’m never sure if I’ll next shoot a buck at 15 yards in the oak woods, a coyote across a hayfield at night or a steel target at 1,000. What I do know is that of all the optics I own, this particular one seems to get the most use.   

Cost: $1,130 at OpticsPlanet

Pros: top-quality optics, reticle system and adjustments; has features found on scopes costing much more

Cons: would be perfect for all hunting if it were available with a covered or lockable elevation turret 

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