I have one of the Cronus which is their high end and itís got very impressive glass and lots of features for the price. Have used a couple of the Ares BTR and they are solid scopes but not made in Japan like Cronus so a step down just depends how much a slightly better glass means to you. As far a Customer Service one of my buddies rides his BTR/ rifle combo on a ATV all the time and lost two of the set screws from the turret. Called them and a complete set with extras and some powdered lock-tite included showed up in two days. I think they are a solid buy in the vast scope market we have these days.
"Anyone taking up handloading necessarily plays with unknown factors and takes chances. But so does anyone who drives a car,goes to a cocktail party,eats in a restaurant,or gets married."
I just received an Athlon Ares BTR 4.5x27x50. I have not mounted yet but is a solid scope with very clear glass all the way up to 27 power. I got the MOA scope and purchased from Optics Planet and with the discounts paid $664 with free shipping
I have a Athlon Midas BTR Rifle Scope 30mm Tube 2.5-15x 50mm on my 6.8 SPC. So far, so good. The reticle is a little thin for a hunting scope, but it is illuminated which helps. Good scope for the money.
Personally, I'm not sure how to feel about tracking reliability of inexpensive Chinese scopes. Shot a few of them at the range and they do offer decent glass for the money, but the build quality didn't feel great and we did have issues with one (an Argos IIRC) not really tracking properly.
If you're going for cheap scopes for long range, go with SWFA. The 6x and the 10x are both solid.
if you're going for hunting scopes in these price ranges, I'd look more at Leupold. JMHO