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Arken SH4 & Rings #8590114 05/03/22 02:41 PM
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jeepercreeper Offline OP
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Just got an Arken SH4 yesterday and got it mounted up this morning. As some of you know, Arken came on the scene a couple years ago and have started to make a name for themselves. I was in the market for a budget FFP scope and after having messed with the sub-PST lines of Vortex I was convinced that budget and FFP just cant be used in the same sentence. Stumbled across Arken and read about claims of their scopes being comparable to Vortex Razors and $2k-$3k scopes so got me looking into them more. They are Chinese made but their EP5 model has Japanese glass so that's the model I was after. However, the EP5 is backordered and a 30% off coupon popped up so I decided to just give one of their in-stock SH4s a shot. Also got some of their 34mm rings to mount it in. All in with rings, tax, free shipping I have $363 in it which you can't even get into a Vortex Diamondback FFP for.

Initial thoughts while unboxing is that it "feels" like a quality scope. It is big, beefy & solid. The turrets are REALLY nice - l would say on par with some of the $2k-$3k scopes I've used or played with. They are big, well marked, and better than any scope I own. The illumination is completely worthless - it's not even bright enough to use on a gloomy day. The parallax and magnification adjustment is smooth and easy to work although the "distances" on the parallax didn't seem that accurate. The glass seems to be on par with the Gen 1 PST I own. I'll do more comparison when I have time and when the sun comes out. I still need to shoot it and see how it tracks but initial thoughts are that this is the best budget FFP on the market right now. It is not a $2k-$3k scope but I'd say it's competing against $750 - $1250 scopes pretty easily. It is a pig though so it is not recommended for a hunting gun. It is your gun safe's worst nightmare.

Initial thoughts on the Arken rings are that they are high quality for $64. They are probably somewhere between the Vortex Pro Series and Precision Matched Rings for me, both of which I own. They came with 2 extra screws and are well machined and marked with torque specs. Even if I dont pick up any other Arken scopes, I'll probably continue using their rings unless they give me any issues.

I will work on some pictures and some real-world testing soon when I can. Just wanted to share my initial thoughts and give folks a heads up on the 30% off right now.

Re: Arken SH4 & Rings [Re: jeepercreeper] #8590135 05/03/22 03:01 PM
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Cool post, thx.

I too have been fascinated by Arken. While I plan on getting a much higher end scope, I still would prefer another cheaper option for other rifles. Would love to know how it compares to the swfa 3-15 ffp. 0nly because it's what I got and super familiar with it.

Re: Arken SH4 & Rings [Re: jeepercreeper] #8590241 05/03/22 05:41 PM
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Weird, I can't seem to edit my original post so dropping some pictures here. Click on each picture for a larger view. Sorry, I am a terrible photographer so these suck.

Packaging - This is probably the best packaged scope I've ever bought. It was VERY well protected. Not sure what to make of that if it means its so delicate that it needed to be packed that way, or they just want to ensure it arrives 100% to customers from China. Not sure but definitely topped Vortex in this category. Came with a CR2032 and lens cloth and some stickers.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]


Scope Pictures- As you can see, this thing is beefy. I was able to mount it with Arken low rings but didn't have much room for clearance. I need to adjust the rings a bit more as I like them more evenly distributed on the scope but I was just trying to get the scope as far back as possible for now. It is is not forgiving eye relief wise, noticeably less than my Vortex PST. Supposedly the EP5 is much more forgiving.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

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[Linked Image]

Glass- I apologize in advance but these pictures were done very quickly and very basic. It's the Arken first and then Vortex PST second. Both on 6x. Pictures were with a shaky hand and iPhone so don't read too much into them. To my eye, the glass is about the same between the two even though the Vortex image below doesn't look as great. I didn't have time to pull out any other scopes but really think the Arken competes well with the PST. The downside to the Arken is eye relief and unusable illumination.
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Last edited by jeepercreeper; 05/03/22 06:02 PM.
Re: Arken SH4 & Rings [Re: Korean Redneck] #8590257 05/03/22 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Korean Redneck
Cool post, thx.

I too have been fascinated by Arken. While I plan on getting a much higher end scope, I still would prefer another cheaper option for other rifles. Would love to know how it compares to the swfa 3-15 ffp. 0nly because it's what I got and super familiar with it.


I don't have any experience with the SWFA 3-15 FFP but did run a SWFA SS 16x for a few years. I cant really compare since I dont have the SWFA anymore and it was a fixed scope. SWFA was kind of 2nd on my list for budget FFP but I feel like the Arken probably beats it $ for $.

Re: Arken SH4 & Rings [Re: jeepercreeper] #8590583 05/04/22 01:48 AM
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I can’t understand how the can sell them for that and stay in business.





Re: Arken SH4 & Rings [Re: scottfromdallas] #8590672 05/04/22 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by scottfromdallas
I can’t understand how the can sell them for that and stay in business.


Im not sure. Maybe they are operating at a loss or breakeven while they build their reputation and sales? I have noticed their prices slowing increasing so maybe these were more introductory pricing. I gotta say, when the scope arrived I got the same feeling as when I bought some high-end home stereo speakers at a gas station one time.

Re: Arken SH4 & Rings [Re: jeepercreeper] #8590739 05/04/22 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by jeepercreeper
Originally Posted by scottfromdallas
I can’t understand how the can sell them for that and stay in business.


Im not sure. Maybe they are operating at a loss or breakeven while they build their reputation and sales? I have noticed their prices slowing increasing so maybe these were more introductory pricing. I gotta say, when the scope arrived I got the same feeling as when I bought some high-end home stereo speakers at a gas station one time.


hahahah, "high-end home stereo speakers at a gas station" Love it! great analogy!
no specific info to Arken, but it is a very common long term marketing strategy to minimize the price until they have gotten established. I think Arken will eventually go up in price and/or making much higher end models later.

Re: Arken SH4 & Rings [Re: jeepercreeper] #8591463 05/05/22 03:11 AM
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I have one and love everything about it but the weight.


Bobby Barnett

Re: Arken SH4 & Rings [Re: jeepercreeper] #8595303 05/11/22 03:14 AM
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I have the EP5 and for the money they are a great value. I sold an Ares ETR to buy (2) more. They have really challenged the sub $1k market with the Gen 2 SH4 and EP5. I’ll have to try their rings out. I have heard a lot of positives.


“Two things that define an individual what you do when you have everything, and what you do when you have nothing."


Re: Arken SH4 & Rings [Re: jeepercreeper] #8599922 05/18/22 03:17 AM
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I’ve got 4 Arken scopes (so far). 3 of the SH4 Gen2 6-24x50 (1-MOA & 2 MIL dot) and 1 EP5 5-25x56 (MIL dot). All FFP. I’ve been very pleased with their products. I’m sure I’ll be buying more in the future. Can’t beat the quality at their prices IMO.

Re: Arken SH4 & Rings [Re: TxYoteHunter] #8601790 05/20/22 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by TxYoteHunter
I’ve got 4 Arken scopes (so far). 3 of the SH4 Gen2 6-24x50 (1-MOA & 2 MIL dot) and 1 EP5 5-25x56 (MIL dot). All FFP. I’ve been very pleased with their products. I’m sure I’ll be buying more in the future. Can’t beat the quality at their prices IMO.


Is the EP5 a big improvement over the SH4? I only got the SH4 because the EP5 is backordered but videos on Youtube seem to indicate the EP5 has better glass and more forgiving eye box.

Re: Arken SH4 & Rings [Re: jeepercreeper] #8605592 05/26/22 03:42 PM
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The glass and eye box are better. It’s not like a night and day difference but I do like the EP5 better.

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