By Chris Parkin

High magnification can so easily be seen as a benefit, yet I am a bit of a stickler for the benefits of low magnification and improved resolution, especially when compact is king. Element optics have certainly made a name for the high mag scopes offering all the latest mod cons like zero-stops, reticle choices, M.O.A. or Mrad specifications and choice between first or second focal plane and now, they have clearly seen the benefits and attractions of such features allied to smaller hunting scope too.

4-16x magnification from a 4x erector tube has to be my favourite magnification range for a general UK pest control or stalking optic when moving quarry is off the cards, I was off to a good start here. Element offer a Platinum lifetime warranty to assure their users of long-term performance and durability beginning with the smooth, hard anodised 30mm main tube shrinking from 51mm external diameter objective bell housing the 44mm glass lens. An extended sunshade is supplied adding 63mm to the overall 360mm length, moderate 675gr mass offers further assurances to glass and metallic innards rather than featherweight polymers. Flip up and elasticated lens caps are supplied which is a great option to suit user favour.

A spherical central saddle supports upper elevation, right side windage and left side parallax controls. Ahead lies 57mm of free tube space for scope rings with 69 mm to the rear before the magnification control collar and ocular body. This collar is deeply segmented for grip and an additional throw lever is supplied. The collar rotates clockwise, about 100 degrees to vary from 4x-16x magnification with corresponding FFP reticle appearing to `grow as you go` so remaining perfectly in proportion to the displayed image as FFP users’ desire. Rearmost, the Ocular body is 44mm diameter and parallel in profile which is great for rear night vision add-ons like the PARD 007A I used with the scope.

A fast focus eyepiece ensures the reticle remains in sharp focus and I was happy with the setup straight away on a CZ457 rimfire which gave me great, low-cost opportunities to test functions and dialling repeatability once zeroed. The upper and right turrets dial to control reticle position and once zeroed, the outer knurled caps can be released without tools, just a firm grip twisting anti-clockwise. This allows the engraved collar to lift off and be re-positioned aligned to the starting position of your chosen ballistic setup. Allen keys are supplied for the throw lever and a smaller one for the zero-stop which is straightforward, all you have to do is loosen three grub screws, rotate into position and all is done. If you eventually go beyond the first turn, the underside of the turret offers a vernier scale to track your overall position within the mechanical range of 23.3 Mrad vertical and 13.1 horizontal with intervening 0.1mRad clicks that equal to 10mm at 100 metres. If you prefer Minutes of Angle, the scope is available with corresponding M.O.A. clicks and reticle to suit your needs, 80/45 M.O.A. overall travel and ¼ minute clicks.

Both dialling turrets are easily griped with slightly flatted knurling whereas the firmer left side parallax dial’s star like projections are a little more aggressive. This is a subtle detail I applaud Element for, because the backlash free dial is correspondingly quite stiffly weighted, and you require and receive excellent grip for its precise adjustment to dial out parallax error. Element supply a clear instruction manual to explain all features which for a more experienced user, all seem very logical with defined functionality rather than simplistic creativity for its own sake. The reticle is well explained and well scaled for optical clarity that matches the click values. I found image resolution perfectly adequate for the price point and certainly not sacrificed in the quest for greater unusable capability, the reticle was well etched with clear resolution and although complex, not difficult to retain focus on in the accessible eye box and exit pupil.

As a hunting scope, due to the 44mm objective, it’s not as bright as 50 and certainly 56mm equivalents but offers perfect functionality and compactness in their place. Image focus is flat across the full field of view with no noticeable undesirable visual disturbance. It paired well with the PARD actually and these make a great combination for intermediate and low light use. It was also nice to see eye relief not advertised or stretched to be “Magnum capable” which for rimfires and air rifles, also with their own compact action dimensions, can struggle to accommodate 100mm of eye relief. The Helix has 3.7”/94mm and immediately steps ahead of many competitors for that fact alone. Too many low-mid range optics like to boast the magnum claims and fail for it. Dial direction is intuitively engraved with clear white markings and with 6 mRad per resolution (60 clicks) vertically, you have a fair shot planned before reaching the second rotation. Windage is logically marked left and right of centre.


I like seeing a seemingly simple scope well executed, refined balance of mechanics, optical quality and field of view not forgotten in the pursuit of high magnification and complicated turret setups. The Element does exactly as it says with useful accessories supplied and in the 4-16 range, shows broad 8.8-2.2m at 100 metres lateral field of view from it’s modest 4x erector tube’s zoom. Performance in diminishing light corresponded linearly, tallied with human perception and there were no specific `steps` diminishing usability of magnification at these extents of performance. Overall, a thumbs up from me at this price point.


Magnification range 4-16x

Tube Diameter 30mm

Objective Lens 44mm Exit Pupil 13.5-3.3mm

Eye relief 94mm

Field Of View 8.8-2.2m @110m

Click value 10mm @100 metres (0.1mRad)

Overall adjustment range 23.3mRad vertical, 13.1 horizontal

Minimum Parallax 15m

Length 360mm

Weight 675gr


Photo Captions

  1. Element Optics Helix 4-16X44 FFP APR-2D MRAD
  2. Clearly marked turrets indicate direction and value
  3. Shooters eye view
  4. Parallax runs down to 15 metres
  5. Parallel ocular body allows rear add-ons to remain secure, here a PARD 007A
  6. Flip up and elasticated lens caps are supplied
  7. Setting the zero stop with supplied Allen key
  8. Vernier scale indicates rotation beyond the first turn
  9. Elasticated rubber lens caps
  10. Straightforward instruction manual contains well explained details of reticle and mechanics
  11.  Element Optics Helix 4-16X44 FFP APR-2D MRAD is also available in Minutes of Angle version