Versatility of the Element Optics HYPR-7

by Chris Turek

The Element Optics HYPR-7 has taken the optics world to another level, combining digital reticle technology with world-class glass clarity. When the HYPR-7 was announced, I immediately knew I wanted to get my hands on one – but what I didn’t realize was just how versatile it would be.

HYPR-7 stands for “Hybrid Precision Riflescope 7x”. This smart device combines the superior clarity and resolution of an analog optical system with the flexibility of a digital reticle, with technology far ahead of its time enabling you to reach further, faster. With a variety of on-board sensors and a powerful ballistic chip, you no longer have to process information & input firing solutions yourself – It is all done for you in a fraction of a second. And it gets even better…With the ability to integrate with other devices, you’ll be able to create a shooting system according to your requirements and experience the full potential of the digital system, all while enjoying a crisp image through ED glass.

Pairing this optic with the Element Optics Ballistic App creates a user interface that allows for all required data to be uploaded quickly and easily, and with a ballistic profile uploaded to the scope, accurate firing solutions can be calculated in a millisecond. Among the many features, this new app will maximize your precision without complicating the process. Here is a quick rundown of the features:

  • Create ballistic profiles for different rifles.
  • Choose bullets from an extensive database featuring Doppler-verified drag profiles.
  • Calibrate BC, Muzzle Velocity, and more using the “true” feature, and choose from a variety of drag functions (G1, G7, GA, RA4)
  • View graphs and tables with ballistic data, and export/import profiles.
  • View predicted point of impact in a reticle view (FFP and SFP)
  • Obtain weather reports for your location.
  • Connect with smart devices like the Element HYPR-7 and Element Rangefinders to synchronize profiles & preferences.

The LIVE BDC Reticle

Watching Matt Dubber from Element Optics go through the demo of this new optic at the Rocky Mountain Airgun Challenge, there was one feature that got my wheels spinning with ideas. That feature is the Live BDC Reticle. This new feature creates a Bullet Drop Compensation (BDC) reticle based on the ballistics data entered in the app. When you pair the app to the HYPR-7, it pushes the data to the optic and creates a custom digitally rendered reticle with hold-over points based on the Step Yardage distances set in the app. 

The examples Matt showed was very much tailored to firearm performance, but I got to thinking… How flexible was the LIVE BDC reticle and could it be modified to align with the ballistic characteristics of arrows?  Why you ask? Well… I am first and foremost an airgunner and when it comes to hunting, Deer are my passion. In the years of dedication to my craft as an airgun hunter targeting this game species, there is nothing more lethal and ethical than a broadhead shot from an airgun.

The issue though is that I live in Michigan and arrow-slinging airguns are not yet legal. So during the archery season, I switch my hunting tactics to a crossbow. But can the HYPR-7 work with arrows? Oh yes it can!

The Problem with Crossbow Scopes

The reason why I wanted to test my theory for this specific use case was I have been growing frustrated with the current technology with crossbow scopes. For one, I find it frustrating that Crossbow manufacturers insist on including an optic with most crossbows on the market. This not only increases the overall cost of the purchase, but I often find the quality and features lacking. 

My biggest hang-up with crossbow scopes is they have attempted to use second focal plane optic technology to mimic velocity rating adjustments by using magnification to true up your arrow ballistic drop to a particular magnification level with approximate velocity markings on the magnification adjuster of the optic. These are rarely accurate and I have a few crossbow scopes where the stated velocity markings are over 50 FPS off. 

This is where the HYPR-7 wins. At a fixed 7x magnification, the LIVE BDC reticle automatically creates holdover points aligned with real data from the app. In my testing, this is accurate within an apple-sized target out to 55 yards (which is my ethical limit for shot distances with a crossbow). 

To get the most accurate data I have been using the FX True Ballistics Chronograph which is radar-based technology to not only give me actual velocity readings at arrow launch but also measure velocities at 4 separate yardages down range. To true up my data I use 15-30-45-and 60-yard chronograph settings to get velocity measurements. The chronograph also has a built-in Ballistic Coefficient calculator that gives you a BC reading of your projectile. As of today, there isn’t an actual drag model for arrows that is publicly published, but even just using the G1 profile, I have found that the solutions the app pushed to the HYPR-7 puts out give me ethical precision suitable for an ethical hunt.

Zeroing the HYPR-7

The zeroing feature of the scope is pretty slick. You choose your point of aim on your target box and send one. My first shot was 12 inches left. I open the Zeroing feature on the optic, hold my original point of aim and move the zeroing reticle to the point of impact. Click save and the next shot was dead on! One shot zero! 

Now that I had my 25-yard zero, I set out to test how accurate the LIVE BDC reticle was. I was shocked! 25 yards bullseye, 40 yards within an inch of my hold, 55 yards within an inch of my hold. It only took 3 shots to confirm my DOPE! The ballistic solution calculated by the Element Optics Ballistic App was almost perfect.

Field of View

The next feature that blew me away was the field of view. When I saw that they manufactured this 7x magnification I thought to myself this was a mistake. 7x is often WAAAAY too much magnification for the kind of hunting I do in thick cover while archery hunting. At that magnification level, you often get “lost” in your scope as you see a Deer walk in and when you try to get a sight picture through the optic all you see is trees and heavy cover. The benefit of the HYPR-7 is that because there is no erector tube, the optical system is able to be engineered for a greater field of view than a traditional 7x riflescope.

What this means is that you are getting 7x magnification but it “feels” like you are looking through a 4x optic which is a typical crossbow magnification. So when that Deer is working its way through the cover you can look to the edge of the scope visible area and pick your shot windows of opportunity AND you have the magnification to count antler points or age the deer to decide if you are going to take the shot. This often only gives you a matter of seconds to make that decision. So you have a good magnification and an amazing field of view… Best of both worlds!

The Proof is in the Freezer and Hanging on the Wall

All of this testing was purely academic. It was time to put it to the real test. I set up the HYPR-7 paired with my new Ravin R10X and got velocity readings right at 420 FPS. I entered my data into the Element Ballistics App and verified my 25-yard zero and 40 – and 55-yard LIVE BDC holdovers. Dead on. 

It was October in Michigan and by mid-month I was getting some really good buck movement on my trail cameras during daylight. It was go time! After a few days of sitting, I passed on a few spikes as there are antler point restrictions in the counties I hunt. Needs to be 3 per side on your first Deer and 4 per side on your second. I had one rather large oddball 4-point step out and with the 7x magnification I saw right away he didn’t have brow tines. Not a shooter. 

We had been seeing a MASSIVE amount of does on camera and collectively decided within Deer Camp we need to take a few to get the buck-to-doe ratio back in line. I had a group of 4 does step into my area right after daylight and pulled up to take a shot. Once again the 7x magnification helped me decide to take a shot or not. Oddly all 4 of them had the typical stubby head structure indicating they were yearlings. To avoid accidentally shooting a button-buck I held off. The big momma stepped in after a few minutes but I got busted and she winded me.

So I got up and decided to move to another spot that had better wind.  As I was moving to my other stand I spotted two doe to my right. I moved slowly to get in position to take a shot. All of a sudden I heard a snap over to my left and I immediately saw antlers moving through some cypress trees in the swamp. 

I hit the ground and peeked over the tall grass. I pulled up the Ravin and looking through the HYPR-7 I immediately saw that it was a wide 8-point shooter at roughly 60 yards! The issue though he was moving some VERY thick cover. Using the wide field of view I spotted a 12-inch hole through a fallen tree and knew that would be my only shot opportunity. I tracked him moving right to left for about 20 yards and he was walking slightly towards me which was going to give me a dreaded quartering-to shot. I knew I would need him to not only step into that 12-inch window but also wait for his front should to clear and avoid the dreaded scapula when slinging arrows. 

He kept coming slowly with his head down. 60-50-40 yards and once he got to that window I guessed he was around 30-35 yards. Using the LIVE BDC reticle I bracketed the difference between the holdover points, waited for his shoulder to clear, and sent it. I saw the Ravin lighted nock zip right through him EXACTLY at my hold point. I knew I had just smoked the biggest free-range Michigan buck of my life.

After a short 50-yard track, he was down. He dressed out at 185 yards field dressed and for sure over 200 pounds on the hoof. I had a beautiful European mount created with his beautiful rack and a TON of venison in the freezer. For the highly pressured and hunted part of Michigan I hunt, he is most likely one of the largest Deer I will ever harvest. 

In Conclusion…

I have found a unique use case for the HYPR-7 with crossbows, and from here on out, this will be my go-to optic when slinging sticks! Using optical glass with a digital reticle overlay is truly amazing technology, but it is the ballistics data precision by pairing it with the Element Optics App that makes this thing shine. I can’t wait to test this with other shooting implements in my arsenal. Stay tuned!