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Element Optics Helix 4-16x44 FFP

Element Optics Helix 4-16x44 FFP

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, MOA or MRAD specifications and the choice between first or second focal plane. Now, they have clearly seen the benefits and attractions of such features allied to a 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 offers a Platinum lifetime warranty to assure their customers of long-term performance and durability, beginning with the smooth, hard anodised 30mm main tube and the 51mm external diameter objective bell that houses the 44mm glass lens. An extended sunshade is supplied, adding 63mm to the overall 360mm length. A moderate 675-gram 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.

Dialling in

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.

The collar is deeply segmented for grip and an additional throw lever is supplied. It rotates clockwise, about 100°, to vary from 4x-16x magnification, with the corresponding FFP reticle appearing to ‘grow as you go’, so remaining perfectly in proportion to the displayed image.

Rearmost, the ocular body measures 44mm in diameter and is parallel in profile, which is great for rear night vision add-ons like the PARD 007A, which I used with the scope.

Beautiful simplicity

A fast-focus eyepiece ensures the reticle remains in sharp focus. 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.

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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, aligning it to the starting position of your chosen ballistic setup.

An Allen key is supplied for the throw lever, along with 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. The 0.1 MRAD click values are equal to 10mm at 100m. If you prefer Minutes of Angle, the scope is available in MOA, with a reticle to suit your needs and 80/45 MOA overall travel and ¼ minute clicks.

Tactile interaction

Both dialling turrets are easily gripped with slightly flatted knurling, whereas the firmer left-hand 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 the 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.

Realistic compromise

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’, as 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 to 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 rotation (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. A refined balance of mechanics, optical quality and field of view is 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 a broad 8.8-2.2m@100m lateral field of view from its 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.

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  • Element Optics Helix 4-16x44 FFP - image {image:count}

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  • Element Optics Helix 4-16x44 FFP - image {image:count}

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  • Element Optics Helix 4-16x44 FFP - image {image:count}

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  • Name: Element Optics Helix 4-16X44 FFP APR-2D MRAD
  • Tube Diameter: 30mm
  • Length: 360mm
  • Weight: 675-grams
  • Exit pupil: 13.5-3.3mm
  • Eye relief: 94mm
  • Field of view: 8.8-2.2m @110m
  • CLick values: 10mm @100 metres (0.1mRad)
  • Vertical adjustment range: 23.3 MRAD
  • Horizontal adjustment range: 13.1 MRAD
  • Minimum parallax: 15m
  • Price: £412.00
  • Contact: Sportsman Gun Centre - www.sportsmanguncentre.co.uk