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BigJimFish
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Posted: 5/1/2012 10:44:18 PM
By Les (Jim) Fischer (BigJimFish on AR15.com and SnipersHide)
May 1, 2012

I think that this scope was the biggest surprise for me at Shot 2012. After the partial spinoff of Leupold's tactical division, I really didn't expect a whole lot of interesting tactical products to come out of mainline Leupold. After all, even before the tactical division separation, it was not very often that Leupold would bring an innovative tactical product to market. I didn't expect this to happen any more often after the split. That was an incorrect assumption. Perhaps competition between the two Leupold divisions, or perhaps simple market trends, lit a fire under the folks at Leupold. This year's VX-6 1-6x is a 1-6x scope with a daytime bright flash dot style illumination is very much what the market has been looking for in general, as well as specifically, from Leupold. Interestingly, it is also not based on the concurrently released Mark 6 1-6x scope from the tactical division.

At the time of Shot, the VX-6 was not available with any type of ranging reticle: be it Metric, English, or Stadia. The rep I spoke with let me know that he did not find this acceptable and was pushing for a change. A few months later he called back to inform me that, through the Custom Shop, the VX-6 would be able to be purchased with the Firedot SPR mil-based reticle and .1 mil adjustments. This Firedot SPR reticle is currently the only special reticle that can be purchased, via the custom shop, for this scope. The cost for this SPR reticle / mil adjustment custom shop rout is $950 as compared with $900 for one of the standard, non-ranging, models. The rep was so excited to get the word out on this scope that he sent me his personal, never before mounted or used, scope. I did not expect this. He was not only willing, but actually freely offered to have his own optic used for testing before he had even had a chance to shoot it himself. That is some impressive and unusual devotion. While I have had individuals send me their personal scope to do testing on before, those individuals owned their companies whereas this fellow, presumably, does not.

Here is the VX-6 mounted on my 16" AR:



Here is the lineup of scopes that were used as references for the VX-6 in this review. From top to bottom:
Leupold CQ/T
GRSC Japanese-made 1-6x
US Optics SN-3 3.2-17x
Nikon M-223 1-4x
Elcan Specter DR 1/4x
GRSC Korean-made 1-4x (prototype)
Leupold VX-6 1-6x




Table of contents:
-Background
-Physical description
-Reticle description, explanation, and testing
-Comparative optical evaluation
-Exit pupil and eyebox discussion
-Illumination subjective and comparative evaluation
-Mechanical testing and turret discussion
-Close quarters testing
-Summary

Background: Leupold is one of the few remaining U.S. optics manufacturers to actually make products in the United States. It is also one of the few to still make products instead of subcontracting their manufacture. The golden ring products, as well as the more expensive tactical division products, are made in Oregon. There was a bit of a flap recently about "made in the USA" labels on sporting goods in the California court system that forced most companies to creatively word labels (or disingenuously label product boxes instead of the products.) Leupold has gone with the less nebulous "USA Designed, Machined, Assembled" on the scopes. This new labeling is a response to legal semantic wrangling and not to any change in the manufacturing process. The scopes do have imported glass (almost all U.S. scopes do) and some other imported parts and pieces, but they are made here in the same manner as they have been for as long as I can remember. Leupold's U.S. manufacture, long history of quality and durability, and exceptional warranty have made them a perennial favorite of shooters. Even those who don't own a Leupold scope have them to thank for the current industry standard practice of lifetime warranties.

Physical Description: The VX-6 has a sleek, hunting scope styled appearance without the giant knobby growths often found on scopes trying to appear tactical. At 14.6 oz, it is significantly lighter than most quality 1-4x and 1-6x designs. Perhaps part of this it that the adjustments and illumination controls are sleek and low profile. Three gunners will desire a switch view for the power, as the ring is fairly small and stiff. I expect you won't have to wait long, if at all, for this. Actually, I expect one already exists that will work, as the size looks to be the same as the Japanese GRSC 1-6x. The focus on this scope is the euro style fast focus type that I prefer and which does not require rotation of the eyepiece to adjust. Machining on the VX-6 is very good, befitting its price point. The objective is threaded, so it is quite possible that a kill flash will be offered by somebody for it. In addition to the scope Leupold also sent me their Mark 2 IMS mount. This mount has performed without issue for me and at $90 will be a good choice for a lot of people mounting a variety of optics.



Reticle (refer to the pic below while reading the description): The reticle is one of the most important, and certainly the most debated, features on any optic. While we all agree we want a scope that is clear and tracks well; deciding exactly what is desired on a reticle is a less definite proposition. Including the custom shot Firedot SPR reticle that is in my test scope, the VX-6 can be had with three different reticle options. These are: a German #4, an "illuminated circle dot post" which can be described as crosshairs with a wider bottom post and a circle, and, of course, the Firedot SPR pictured below. Only the Firedot SPR is a ranging reticle, but it is important to note that although it looks like a modified mil dot reticle (having 1 mil graduations), its divisions are 2.5 mils. This came as something of a surprise to me as I received the scope before getting a dimensioned diagram of the reticle. After testing and finding that the increments were so unusual and large, I thought that there had been a mistake in translating the reticle from the VX-R Patrol to the VX-6, wherein differences in the optical design caused the reticle to be magnified. That is not the case. It was intended to have 2.5 mil increments.

As you have probably gathered from my tone, I am not in favor of Leupold's choice with regards to the increments for two reasons. The first reason is that, quite simply, the larger the increment; the less precise the ranging will be. It is hard enough with full, traditional, 1 mil increments to estimate accurately enough to make long range shots. While 6x is limiting, you certainly can't use .1 mil increments. It is not so limiting that you can't do 1 mil or even, possibly, 1/2 mil. I have 1 mil increments in one of my 6x scopes and have used a 4x that pulled off even smaller 2 MOA divisions. The second difficulty for 2.5 mil increments is that it is very difficult for the user to estimate between the markings. While you probably have some experience breaking an increment into tenths (any individual in the sciences does this as part of significant figures practices); breaking a 2.5 unit increment down further is not an easy chore. The estimate will be difficult, slow, and error prone. This is especially problematic when seen in light of the fact that these increments are so big that your guess is going to have to be dead on. My thoughts come down to this: I do not have confidence that I could range well enough with these increments to justify having them. I would probably buy the German #4 reticle in this scope because the speed benefit gained from it being less crowded is of more value than the ability to range poorly.

An image of the VX-6 Firedot SPR reticle at 6x and the ranging target made to test the accuracy of the reticle elements at 50 yds:



Before I leave this section I would be remiss not to mention that the reticle in the example I had was tilted by a degree or two. This is not uncommon and I would not have noticed it if I hadn't mounted the scope using the feeler gauge method. The cant was not great enough to measurably throw off the tracking. In the end, I re-mounted the scope freehand and the problem was thus remedied. It is quite possible that such slight cant is within the tolerance of most scope manufacturers' QC.

Comparative Optical Evaluation: The most predictable aspect of any scope will be its optical clarity. While an expensive scope may have a lesser reticle and a cheap scope may be outfitted with an excellent one; you can be pretty sure that the clarity of the more expensive scope will be better nine out of ten times. This Leupold is, comparatively, a little ahead of its price point. As you might expect, it was very close in performance to the GRSC 1-6x at $1,025, but it is slightly clearer and has a much larger field of view. This is more significant than being slightly clearer than one competitor, as almost every other scope at this price point from a variety of brands is manufactured by Light Optic and one can expect the Leupold to slightly edge them all out in clarity. The rest of the side-by-side optical evaluation was very uneventful, which is precisely what you want. I didn't notice a problematic amount of chromatic aberration or any of the various distortions. I also did not have a problem with glare or stray light handling. I would have been very surprised if I had, since Leupold seems to be well ahead of the market with regards to light management, even in their much less expensive products.


Scope compilation photo with scopes set at high magnification:



Exit Pupil and Eyebox Discussion: First, lets discuss the exit pupil. The exit pupil is the size of the disc of light at the point at which it is focused for your eye. Assuming you are using this scope for close quarters work and you are moving about; your head will not be completely stationary regardless of how good your cheek weld is. A larger exit pupil will allow you to keep view of the object through the scope despite your movement, though it is notable that, due to parallax error, the reticle will not be exactly where it should be when your head is far off center. People refer to range through which your eye can move about and still get a good image as the "eyebox". Obviously, exit pupil is a very important specification on 1-(n) power scopes. Mathematically, the largest an exit pupil can be is the diameter of the objective lens / the magnification. I have noticed a trend for scope manufacturers and optics websites to simply list the results of this mathematical formula as their exit pupil. Roughly half of the scopes do this and, dollars to donuts, it is incorrect on every one of them. Exit pupil can be roughly tested by placing a brightly illuminated object at some distance from the optic and measuring the disc of light transmitted through the scope at its smallest point. Below is a photo of my measurement setup.

Exit pupil measurement setup:



What I found when measuring exit pupil corresponds well to my experiences testing the scopes by bobbing my head around a bit. Here are the numbers I measured for the 1x scopes in today's lineup, as well as some others I measured in the past that might be of interest in order of largest to smallest 1x exit pupil:

Nikon M-223 1x, 16.7mm, 4x, 5.3mm
Viper PST 1x, 16mm 4x, 6.4mm
Razor HD 1x ,13.2mm 4x, 6.5mm
GRSC K 1x, 13.1mm 4x, 6.7mm
GRSCJ 1x, 11.2mm 6x, 4.6mm
Leupold VX-6 1x, 10.7mm, 6x, 4.4mm
Elcan Specter DR 1x, 8.0mm 4x, 7.4mm
Leupold CQ/T 1x, 9mm 3x 4.86mm

The Leupold VX-6 officially reported exit pupil numbers were 10-3.9mm: not far from my measurements. As you can see from the list of measured values, these are on the lower side of the average for 1-(n)x scopes. They are not commendable, but not really a red flag either.



Illumination Subjective and Comparative Evaluation: Illumination has often been a sticking point for 1-n(x) scope designs. For many makers the goal has been to duplicate the daytime bright illumination of a red dot sight while maintaining the many advantages of a true refracting optic. This has been quite difficult and few manufactures have succeeded. Most 1-n(x) scopes are simply not illuminated in the daytime and instead the reticle just appears black.

In this optic, Leupold has taken the rather unusual step of using an optical fiber to carry the illumination from the diode source to the reticle; rather than reflecting light from the illumination source off an etched reticle. The result is that this scope offers daytime bright point illumination in the same manner as a red dot. It is actually brighter than the inexpensive red dot it was compared to in the close quarters testing, though less bright than the Elcan. A side benefit of this unique illumination system is that this optic has zero illumination signature at the objective. Many tactical users have been frustrated by optics whose illumination bleeds out of the objective and gives away their position. This scope does not allow any illumination to escape the objective. I suspect that another side benefit of this illumination scheme will be long battery life, as only a little light is needed when it is all transmitted in the correct direction.

The engineering-minded observer will have figured out by this point that the fiber illumination system precludes floating elements in the reticle. This is the same design limitation faced by Trijicon in the Accupoint scopes. This is also the reason that the reticle is fairly thick in this scope: it must hide the fiber and therefore must have significant bulk. At this point, illumination in 1-(n)x scopes is a simple trade off. You can have floating elements or you can have daytime bright illumination, but you cannot have both unless you spend the kind of dough that gets you up into the world of Elcan and S&B.

The last thing to mention about the unusual illumination system of the Leupold VX-6 is that it is a very advanced single button digital system with a motion sensor. This is an ingenious solution to the problem of people leaving the illumination on when not in use, killing the battery, but not wanting the scope to shut off automatically as they may need it in an emergency. The Leopold shuts off, quite quickly actually, but wakes back up when moved: a very advanced illumination system that comes as close as anything to being both idiot-proof and not likely to fail you when you need it in an emergency. It also automatically returns to the last illumination setting used when turned back on, but you probably guessed that. I am sorry to say that in the following illumination photos it is difficult to judge the relative brightness of the two point illuminated scopes (the VX-6 and the Elcan Specter DR). They appear dim but are not. They are much brighter than the full scale illuminated scopes. It seems that a digital camera is unable to capture this.

1x illuminated compilation photo:



Mechanical Testing and Turret Discussion: The power change and box tests are designed to test the accuracy, repeatability, and independent nature of a scope's adjustments. In the box test, the shooter aims at the same place when firing all shots, but moves the adjustments between groups such that a box is formed by the groups fired. The power change test is performed by firing a group at each end of the power range of the scope without moving the adjustments. Each group is fired at a different target and any shift in the position of the groups indicates a shift in the point of aim when the power is changed. Theoretically, front focal plane scopes will not show a shift in the groups while 2nd focal plane scopes will. The magnitude of the shift will dependent of several factors, including how far from centered the adjustments of the scope are after being zeroed. In practice, almost all scopes I have tested have shown a shift in point of aim when the power is changed. In this review, for the very first time, I have done the box testing and power change testing on my Anschutz .22lr rifle using a BKL adapter to provide a Picatinny rail. While the cheek weld is not great, the superior accuracy of the Annie provides for excellent resolution.

VX-6 box test:



VX-6 power change test:



The VX-6 box test proved to be flawless. I would have preferred for the clicks to be a bit less mushy feeling, but it appears the feel was no indication of a lack of mechanical precision. I find these adjustments very good for the purpose of a 1-6x scope. They are low profile and capped. They also use a simple and easy pull up / push down mechanism to reset the zero indicator. The VX-6 has 1/4 MOA adjustments standard with the "Circle Post" reticle and .1mil clicks with the German #4 reticle and the SPR reticle, via the custom shop. It is notable that a few wrinkles to these adjustments are available via the Custom Shop. The adjustments are "CDS" compatible and so you can purchase dials marked with your custom BDC data. You can also purchase a special zero stop assembly that is uncapped. In this case you will receive one custom BDC dial free as well. This uncapped assembly may be run with or without actually using the zero stop and can also be had in 1/4 MOA or .1Mil. The mil dial travels 8 mils per revolution.

The VX-6 power change test showed a shift of 2 MOA from one end of the magnification range to the other. This is probably a better indication of the amount the erector was off center for this scope to be zeroed while mounted high on my Anschutz than anything else. It serves as a reminder to the shooter of the nature of point of aim shift with power change in most optics, but says little about this particular scope. All in all, the choices Leupold made regarding its adjustments are very good, as is the scope's performance.

Close quarters testing: This section of testing is new in this review. I have received many requests for my opinion regarding which optics are the fastest at 1x. This has lead me to start testing specifically to that end. The testing consists of a display of vital sized targets between 10 and 25 yards away that are engaged from a variety of positions as quickly as possible. The targets are audibly reactive, making hit identification easy. It is not unlike some stages of three gun competitions except that, being as cheap as I am, I use an air-soft. The air-soft also allows for targets that move since having someone downrange poses no safety hazard beyond welts. This course of fire was run though by several individuals of varying abilities in order to get as diverse a set of opinions as possible. In the future, I will be writing a composite article with generalized recommendations and guidelines for picking close quarters optics, but for now I will be focusing specifically on the VX-6.

Close quarters testing the VX-6 with a very ugly, very warm, hat:


The specific scopes used as references in evaluating the VX-6's close quarters performance were: an Elcan Specter DR 1/4x, Leupold CQ/T, GRSC 1-6x, and a cheap Simmons red dot. Individuals opinions of and performance with each optic varied. This was especially true of the red dot, which rated as high as second for one reviewer, but which was rated last by many. Testers were less split on the VX-6: it rated between 3rd and 5th out of five scopes.

Specific attributes of note with regards to this speed rating were the illumination, reticle, exit pupil, and, most importantly, barrel distortion. The illumination of the VX-6 was lauded. As I mentioned before, it was the second brightest scope in the lineup, and easily bright enough for daytime use. Its illumination is also restricted to a single bright point. The consensus was that this is the best possible illumination configuration for speed. The reticle, however, was less loved. It is thick and does not help its bulk by featuring a circle that, though it may have been added for speed, just gets in the way. The reticle gave me this overwhelming impulse to reach out and brush it away as if it were a spider web. It was just too much. The exit pupil was a lesser factor. It is smaller than many of the other optics, but not the smallest, and I think if it hadn't been for the last issue, no one would have minded much.

The most problematic aspect of the VX-6 for close quarters use was the barrel distortion. This is a radial type distortion wherein the image appears to bulge out towards the user. This is not noticeable when you are not panning the optic across an area since the distortion does not sufficiently bend objects to make them appear unusual, but as you move the optic; it becomes obvious that the distortion is present. More importantly, it becomes difficult for your eye behind the optic to sync with the one not looking though the scope. It is not as difficult as it would be with a non-1x optic, but it is still a problem. I expect that all the refracting optics (i.e. all but the red dot) in this lineup show some type of radial distortion, but it was only noticeable on the VX-6 and was that scope's single greatest difficulty in close quarters use. It was problematic enough to set the VX-6 back behind most of the scopes that had no daytime bright illumination, despite the excellent illumination scheme of the VX-6.

The effect of barrel distortion on parallel lines:



Summary: The VX-6 is the scope that many folks have been asking for. It is 1-6x, has an innovative and daytime bright illumination scheme, and is produced by one of the most trusted manufacturers in optics. In my testing, I found it to have better than par clarity in addition to repeatable, accurate, and independent adjustments. Additionally, the user has available a significant number of meaningful options from the Custom Shop with regards to both adjustments and reticle. It can even be purchased with a mil ranging reticle and matched adjustments, though I think the graduations on the reticle are a bit too large. The biggest problem this scope exhibited in testing was barrel distortion, which made its close quarters speed somewhat less impressive than the illumination scheme lead me to expect. All in all, I expect Leupold will sell these things faster than they can make them.



For those of you looking for the simple pro and con list, here you go:

Pros:
Optical clarity is excellent; above par at this price point
Daytime bright red dot illumination with innovative digital control and wake-on-shake capability
Fit and finish are excellent
Adjustments are accurate, independent, and repeatable
Adjustments are low profile, capped, and the zero indicator can be easily reset
Significant options are available to the buyer, both in reticle and adjustments including a mil/mil option and a zero stop
Free CDS dial that you can engrave with the BDC for your favorite load
Reticle is accurate
Excellent warranty from a longstanding industry leader
Lightweight for the class

Cons:
In my opinion, the reticle graduations on the mil ranging reticle are too large and it needs to lose the circle: all the reticles available are a bit bulky
Reticle in the one I had was canted, slightly
Exit pupil is on the low side
Has a barrel distortion problem that causes it to be slower than most comparable scopes at close quarters.
bp7178
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Posted: 5/2/2012 4:34:17 PM
[Last Edit: 5/2/2012 4:36:36 PM by bp7178]
Have you used the VX-6 with any of the other reticles? I'm leaning toward the duplex. I like the German 4, but I find myself wishing the bold portions were the same size as the duplex, and the fine segment...more fine.

IMO, this would be a very strong scope with a simple mil-dot reticle. The duplex seems to get close to that, obviously lacking the mil-dots.

On the turrets, does the lower picture show the windage with the cap off? Is it in similar style to the ones found on the Trijicon TR24? Adjust, pull up, twist to zero and push down...
Bhart89
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Posted: 5/2/2012 5:25:03 PM
Originally Posted By Z3roCoo1:
I know its not a "true" 1x, but does anyone have experience with the Bushnell Elite 4200 1.25-4? They are going for a very reasonable price on Amazon so I picked one up. I should have it in my hands next week.

I'm sure its no IOR or Swarovski, but may currently be the best deal in $300 low power variables. It's supposed to have good glass and build quality. One thing that I really liked about it is that its about inch or two shorter and a few ounces lighter than other illuminated 1-4 scopes.


I have a Bushnell Elite 4200 1.25 - 4. It is an outstanding scope. I also got it when Amazon had a crazy deal on them (I think I paid $250 about 4 years ago for it) You will not br dissapointed.
KJ4MZE
BigJimFish
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Posted: 5/3/2012 1:12:02 AM
Have you used the VX-6 with any of the other reticles?
I saw it with the circle dot post at Shot. I prefer the SPR or #4 to that reticle.

On the turrets, does the lower picture show the windage with the cap off? Is it in similar style to the ones found on the Trijicon TR24? Adjust, pull up, twist to zero and push down...
Yes and Yes.
bp7178
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Posted: 5/17/2012 12:44:41 PM
Has anyone else been able to get a VX6 with the SPR reticle from the custom shop?
BigJimFish
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Posted: 5/30/2012 12:07:00 AM
[Last Edit: 6/8/2012 5:15:48 PM by BigJimFish]
Review of the Elcan Specter DR 1/4x combat sight with 5.56mm calibrated reticle. Distributed by Armament Technology Inc.

By Les (Jim) Fischer of opticsthoughts.com (BigJimFish on AR15.com and SnipersHide)
May 26, 2012

The Elcan Specter DR mounted to my 16" AR



It is a commonly accepted maxim of most rifle scope users that the magnification settings between the lowest and highest magnification of a scope are largely unused. This seems to be particularly true of the 1-(n)x scope class. The Elcan Specter DR dispenses with these intermediate settings all together in their design. They do this, not by using conventional methods such as those employed in the Pitbull by IOR, but rather by fundamentally rethinking the assumptions made by virtually all other products in the industry. These assumptions such as internal adjustments and strictly coaxial lens placement are quite fundamental and challenging them has resulted in a dramatically different product.

In the vast majority of variable power rifle scopes the change in magnification of the image is facilitated by movement of lenses along the axis of the scope main tube within a second smaller tube known as the erector tube. When you turn the power adjust ring you are literally sliding lenses backwards and forwards. This is not so with the Elcan. When you flip the power selector lever on it you are rotating a second lens group, that serves to decrease the magnification of the primary group, into the sight line (for 1x) or out of it (for 4x.) I find it hard to adequately and quickly explain the difficulties that doing this imposes on an optical designer but I will try.

The group of lenses that the Elcan substantially alters the placement and function of, housed in the erector tube in a conventional scope, are multi-function in nature. Depending on the particular scope, they can be used not only for magnification, but also for parallax correction, to flip the image right side up (this is what the erector in erector tube means,) for elevation and windage adjustment, and lastly, even as the location of the reticle element itself. Since the Elcan scope will only have these lenses as part of the optical system half the time (on 1x) these functions will have to be otherwise dealt with. Elcan accomplishes this by having a fixed instead of adjustable parallax, putting the reticle in the second instead of first focal plane, moving the erector lens outside of the lenses that control magnification, and lastly, moving the windage and elevation adjustments outside the main tube. At this point the reader is probably somewhat lost regarding the technical details of optical design. That is quite alright. We will move on the testing of the optic and evaluate whether all the remarkable and unusual changes in the design have added up to a net improvement in combat optics or not.

Here is the lineup of scopes that were used as references for the Elcan Specter DR 1/4x in this review. From top to bottom:
Leupold CQ/T
GRSC Japanese-made 1-6x
US Optics SN-3 3.2-17x
Nikon M-223 1-4x
Elcan Specter DR 1/4x
GRSC Korean-made 1-4x (prototype)
Leupold VX-6 1-6x




Table of contents:
-Background
-Physical description
-Reticle description, explanation, and testing
-Comparative optical evaluation
-Exit pupil and eyebox discussion
-Illumination evaluation
-Mechanical testing and turret discussion
-Close quarters testing
-Summary and conclusion

Background:

I think the first thing to discuss when talking about the background of this optic is its unadulterated military focus. Perhaps even more than the ACOG the Elcan SpecterDR is sight specifically designed for combat. In both cases the ranging elements of the reticle are entirely based on the human body with little or no mil, moa, or other generic stadia elements present. Both sights use chest width brackets in the same, now familiar, method for bullet drop and ranging. For its longer range drop lines the Elcan than switches to circles for less precise "area of fire" use. These circles are based on the height of a human at these ranges. Both of these sights have their bullet drop calculated for military rounds fired from common military rifles. In the case of the Elcan it can be purchased in 5.56mm 7.62mm flavor. The Elcan's external adjustments can only be described as zeroing only so it is important to note that if you are compensating for bullet drop or windage the reticle will be your only aid. The windage and elevation knobs are not capable of being used in that fashion. The Specter DR 1/4x carries the somewhat cumbersome military designation SU-230/PVS in the SOPMOD Block 2 kit. It is also designed to be compatable with the AN/PVS-24 clip on night vision device. The SOPMOD version of the Specter DR has a slightly different reticle than the version imported by Armament Technology for civilian sales. I believe the imported version to have the slightly better reticle of the two. The reticles do not differ greatly.

The reticle in the SU-230/PVS-C version (The same reticle as the Trijicon TA01ECOS SU-239/PVS):


Design aspects and fielding history aside, there is another way in which Elcan is really a step further into the Military world even than the Trijicon, (who manufactures a line of hunting scope in addition to its ACOG and designed its ACOG without government dollars.) Elcan is wholly owned by Raytheon who's primary business is cruise missiles, obtains more than 90% of its revenue from military contracts, and is the 5th largest military contractor in the world. I mention all of this because the gun community is large and diverse and it's members buy rifle scopes for different intended purposes and hold widely varying political values. Know the purpose of this scope, its limitations for other uses, and from whence it came and make your decision according to your values and the merits of the optic.

Physical description:

This sight is a pretty strange looking contraption. I am not really sure where to start in describing it. About half the folks I show it too look in the wrong end first. I don't even think its immediately obvious that it is an optical sight at all. It looks something like an obscure auto part that might be bolted somewhere on the engine. It is much shorter than most rifle scopes and has none of the controls located in the conventional locations. The optic consists of a single piece main tube attached to an arms throw lever base by the windage and elevation adjustments. This is quite unusual. while rare external adjustment scopes exist, such as the U.S. Optics SN-9, this is the first such scope I have seen that actually uses the adjustments to attach the main tube to the base. The quality of construction of the scope appears to be very high though quite unadorned. Finish is simple hard anodizing and care has been taken to apply thread locker to many of the external screws. I suspect all relevant fasteners have had this treatment though it is more apparent on some types of fastener than others. This is very much in keeping the practices preferred by the military customer. As for the weight, it is heavier than you would expect given its small footprint. However, its 22.7oz weight includes the mount and is less than most higher quality 1-4x scopes when mounted in a 6.9oz Larue LT104 mount. This is despite the fact that most of those scopes have a 24mm objective and the Elcan has a 32mm. The area of a 24mm lens is only 56% that of a 32mm. I do not consider the Elcan overweight. Rather, it is significantly lighter than comparable designs while delivering larger lens area. All in all the appearance of the Elcan, though unusual displays quality of construction and a clear focus on durability.

Reticle description, explanation, and testing (refer to the pic below while reading the description):

The Specter DR combines several elements most users will be quite familiar with in its reticle and provides that reticle in versions calibrated for the two most common military rounds (5.56 NATO and 7.62 NATO). The version I tested and have pictured is 5.56. All ranging must be done on 4x as this reticle is 2nd focal plain. The basic desingn of the reticle is a simple floating duplex crosshair but it has been embellished with a variety of ranging and bullet drop features. The ranging lines out to 600m are 19" wide at the corresponding distance and are calibrated for the drop of 5.56 NATO from an M4. This is similar to the well known Trijicon system as well as that of several other makers. I tested the sizes and positions of these reticle elements on a calibrated target and they are correct. Below the 600 meter line is an additional 4 circles for further ranging. I was unable to find the exact specs for the position and size of these circles. I understand that a man standing at the correct distance can be roughly bracketed height wise. It is important to note that these ranging circles are set up for the M249 light machine gun and not the M4. The ballistics of these two weapons are significantly different at this range with the drop from an M4 being less than that of an M249. These circles are therefore higher than they would be if compensating for drop from an M4. Lastly, there is a 300-600m calibrated stadia section in the lower left of the reticle. This displays 30" heights at the appropriate range. I have seen similar sections to this on many European sniper scopes (they typically use 1m.) These stadia sections can be used against a variety of sitting or standing human dimensions. Overall, I find this reticle to be a better than average stadia based ranging reticle. I will also mention at this point that the Elcan includes a set of back up iron sights on the top of the scope. Due to the external adjustment scheme of this scope they are theoretically zeroed in concert with the optics. This is quite unique for this type of sight. These sights sport a 4" sight line similar to many handguns and I expect that is about the accuracy you would get. Still, it might be enough to get me to forgo full size backup sights to save weight.

Elcan Specter DR reticle with 5.56mm calibration and flash dot illumination


Comparative optical evaluation:

There are many, many good things to say about the Elcan here. As you can see from the list of comparison scopes I am ran this thing side by side with some very nice upper mid range stuff, the GRSC and Leupold, as well as one top tier full size sniper scope of considerably higher cost, the USO. I spent a good bit of time comparing the Elcan to the USO at 4x. It is very close though different. It has an even larger field of view than the USO which is already a whole lot larger than the other two. It has clarity that looks on parity with the USO at 4x in the center of the field though it shows more distortion towards the edges of its remarkably wide field. This is amazing clarity and the distortion is not very problematic at 4x because you are not trying to merge the images of both eyes at 4x. I have often said I would rather have a bit more field of view with distortion at the edges at high power than give up the view to get flatness. At 1x the Elcan does not distort things and allows for your brain to easily merge the images from both eyes. I also think that it is important to mention again here that the Elcan has a 32mm objective that offers almost twice the area of competing 24mm objectives. As a consequence of this it's low light performance is easily class leading. The optics of this Elcan are quite impressive, in line with top tier European stuff.

Scope compilation photo with scopes set at high magnification:



Exit pupil and eyebox discussion:

Some old spec sheets I had found on the Elcan listed the 1x exit pupil at 28mm. Sometimes I don't know how these numbers come to be. It is not that big. I measured it at 8mm and that is also the number on the current Armament Technology (the U.S. civilian distributor) literature. Interestingly, due to the unusual optical system this 8mm number only drops to 7.4mm at 4x and not 2mm. that is a huge 4x exit pupil but a small 1x exit pupil. This is something of the reverse of what you would desire. As I have mentioned in previous articles, exit pupil is the variable that corresponds best to, though not completely with eye box, the amount that you can move your head and still get a sight picture. Bigger is decidedly better at 1x where one will be when moving around and doing CQB stuff. The eyebox is not the best feature of the Elcan though it does feel a bit bigger than the numbers suggest it should. This is probably due to better than average forgiveness regarding head position front to back.

Here are the values I have measured for exit pupils that I have personally tested on various scopes so far in descending order of 1x exit pupil size.

Nikon M-223 1x, 16.7mm, 4x, 5.3mm
Viper PST 1x, 16mm 4x, 6.4mm
Razor HD 1x ,13.2mm 4x, 6.5mm
GRSC K 1x, 13.1mm 4x, 6.7mm
GRSCJ 1x, 11.2mm 6x, 4.6mm
Leupold VX-6 1x, 10.7mm, 6x, 4.4mm
Leupold CQ/T 1x, 9mm 3x 4.86mm
Elcan Specter DR 1x, 8.0mm 4x, 7.4mm

Another unique result of the Elcan Specter DR flip to the side optical system is a consistent eye relief regardless of power setting. In most traditionally designed scopes the eye relief changes with the magnification sometimes by more than an inch though often by only a half an inch. The DR exhibits no change, an obvious positive as no head movement whatsoever with be necessary.

Illumination evaluation:

Elcan's illumination system is operated by a knob on the left hand side of the tube. This knob is the closest any control gets to the traditional position on this scope though it has a good deal more function than most other illumination systems. Dialed forward from off illuminates just the central dot. Dialed backward illuminates the whole reticle. There are 5 settings in each direction. These settings are sufficient for everything from night vision to daytime bright illumination. It is important to note that because the dim settings are adjacent to the off spot on the dial and no tactile indicator of dial position exists visual inspection of the dial or counting from an end point is necessary to make sure that the off selection has been reached unless you are using nightvision and can actually see those dim settings. The illumination dial also houses the battery and features a tethered cap to keep you from loosing it. The battery is a very unusual DL 1/3N size. I sent my wife had my wife do a little survey at a local hardware and grocery store and neither stocks this size. It is a bit uncommon.
The dot illumination on the Specter DR is bright. I mean it is Aimpoint, daytime, you will not doubt or complain bright. You want a 1-4x that is red dot bright here you go.

1x illuminated compilation photo:



Mechanical testing and turret discussion:

Much discussion has been had on the unique flip to the side lens system that changes the power of the Specter DR and has been claimed, by some, to cause larger than normal zero shift with power change. I have seen many claim large shifts with their Elcans and others have claimed none. Having tested a variety of scopes of conventional design I have found zero shift on virtually all of them regardless of 1st (supposedly immune) or 2nd (susceptible) focal plane design. The fairly large central dot on the Elcan did not allow the testing to be as precise as I had hoped for the power change test. You can see that the 1x group is larger than most of the 4x groups but that notwithstanding I saw a very small, on the order of 1 MOA shift. This is less than most scopes I have tested have and I find it easily acceptable.

Elcan Specter DR 1/4x power change test



As for the box test, I hesitated to even do one of these for this optic and I think the reasoning behind that hesitation is a good place to discuss the unique mounting and adjustment system on the Elcan. As I mentioned before, the Elcan attaches to its mount via its adjustments, which are external. This mount is limited to Picatinny rails and unfortunately uses A.R.M.S. throw levers which have difficulty fitting on out of spec rails and being MIM instead of forged have been known to break on rails that are to large.... They loose their arms from time to time. If your rails are not in spec or if you simply wish to have the flexibility of mounting your sight on other, out of spec, rifles you may desire to have the stock A.R.M.S. levers subbed out for MK II levers. This can be performed by the folks at A.R.M.S. The cost of this conversion is something in the neighborhood of $20. You can also have them send you a conversion kit to do it yourself.

The windage control is a 1/2 MOA click coin driven screw located at the front and on the side of the mount. The front end of the main tube is actually anchored to the base via this adjustment. The elevation adjustment is a large flat wheel located directly underneath the main tube at the rear of the mount. Like the windage, the elevation also anchors the main tube to the base. Unlike the windage, the elevation can be finger adjusted and also has a little locking lever to prevent accidental movement. These adjustments are for use zeroing the optic only and not for compensating for windage or drop.
Because of the uncomfortable positioning of the elevation adjustment and the tool necessity of the windage they are not well suited for regular use. They also are not accurate or independent according to the below box test. Given adjustments that display the right magnitude of movement and also only adjust the direction they are supposed to adjust each group should have the same positioning relative to its corresponding box that the first, upper left hand group, had to the first box. You can see this is not the case. This also does not matter because you couldn't easily use the adjustments for drop and windage anyway. That is why I almost didn't do the test at all. I was curious though so I did it anyway and I thought that you probably were as well so I have written it up. I found the adjustments functional for zeroing and the scope held zero fine but don't get any ideas about using these controls for other purposes.

Elcan Specter DR box test:



Close quarters testing:

The Specter DR 1/4x was part of my very first formal close quarters testing exercise. have received many requests for opinion regarding which optics are the fastest at 1x. This lead me to start testing specifically to that end. The testing consists of a display of vital sized targets between 10 and 25 yards away that are engaged from a variety of positions as quickly as possible. The targets are audibly reactive making hit identification easy. It is not unlike some stages of 3 gun competitions except that, being as cheap as I am, I use an airsoft. The airsoft also allows for targets that move since having someone down range poses no safety hazard beyond welts. This course of fire was run though by several individuals of varying abilities in order to get as diverse a set of opinions as possible. In the future, I will be writing a composite article with generalized recommendations and guidelines for picking close quarters optics but for now I will be focusing more specifically on the Elcan.

A photo during our close quarters testing with a very ugly hat:


The specific scopes used as references in evaluating the Elcan's close quarters performance were: a Leupold VX-6 1-6x Leupold CQ/T, GRSC 1-6x, and a cheap Simmons red dot. Individuals opinions of, and performance with each optic varied. This was especially true of the red dot, which rated as high as second for one reviewer but which was last for many. Testers were less split on the Elcan. It took home half the first place votes and never scored less than the middle of the pack. Overall it ranked second though I liked it best.

The Elcan's performance was effected by a number of variables for the better or worse I will discuss the impact of each. The first thing to mention is that the remarkably bright red dot illumination of the Elcan was best in class and a great asset to the sight. It was actually brighter than the red dot sight used in the line up. All users chose to use the Elcan in this point illumination mode though it could also be used unlighted or with full reticle illumination. Not surprisingly, everyone agrees that a red dot is faster than no red dot.
The Elcan is also benefited by a very flat and generous field of view. No problems were noted by participants with eye synchronization when moving about with one eye looking through the scope and the other not. Poor eye synchronization is the number one variable when it comes to speed in CQB situation. A bent field or lack of a 1x setting is a non-starter. The good folks at Armament Technology sent me a Specter 1.5/6x in addition to this 1/4x. While its construction and optics are at the same level I did not find the 1.5/6x near as useful as the 1/4x. I was not alone in this assessment. I received these scopes directly from a military tester. They came to me with the 1/4x having an almost dead battery and the 1.5/6x a brand new one. I switched the batteries.
Another important factor in speed is having an aim point centered in the field of view. All refracting scopes exhibit this as a function of the optical system. The Elcan actually accomplishes this a bit differently than other optics but the effect is the same. Red dot sights to not necessarily have the dot centered in the field of view. In fact, it will almost never be centered and in the case of our example it was not even close. An off center aim point slows you down a good bit.
Not everything was completely in the Elcan's favor. It suffered from two variables that slowed it down relative to its peers. The first, and most important was the cross hairs. The scope to Edge out the Elcan has mostly circular reticle elements and no cross hairs and though it had more reticle elements they covered a much smaller area of the field of view. The big crosshair the Elcan has doesn't actually benefit the scope any and, due to the unique optical system actually wags at the user. Allow me to describe this unique phenomenon. With most refracting scopes as users eye moves within the eye box the image bends slightly but the reticle appears the same. With the Elcan part of the reticle actually bends. Specifically, the horizon line of the crosshair moves. It appears to be waving to you. Very strange indeed. This reticle was certainly not the most problematic in the lineup for CQB but it was not the best either.
The last difficulty for the Elcan was the exit pupil. It was smaller than any of it's competitors and so head position was more critical. I thought that this would be a very large problem. In truth it was only a minor one. Exit pupil seems to have less effect than I originally anticipated.

Summary and conclusion:

If you have read this far and have some familiarity with the Specter DR you are probably quite baffled that I haven't mentioned the easy and remarkably quick power change. For many people this is the reason to buy the Elcan. The throw lever is quite simply the quickest, easiest, and best power change mechanism. I think it is also illustrative of many of the features that Elcan has been able to become class leading in with this design. It not only has the best power change system but also the largest objective lens, shortest length, dramatically best field of view, and the best illumination system. It is also top shelf with regards to optical clarity.

The cost for all these bests is really fairly minor compared to the gains. It has limited system for adjustments and an A.R.M.S. base. It is heavier than many would like, though lighter than most comparable optics. It also has a very uncommon battery. Lastly, it sports only a 1 year manufacturers warranty despite it's price tag of close to $2k. This warranty can be increased to three years by purchasing from Armament Technology, the U.S. distributor. No other optic even near this price range has so limited formal support though Elcan does provide repair services so breakage does not mean the end. The simple fact to remember, regarding the warranty, is that the Elcan is not made by a commercial company but rather by a military contractor. They are not in a customer service business.

There is little doubt in my mind that I would rather be deployed with one of these than an ACOG, red dot, or some combination of those. It is worth the extra 10 or so ounces. The Specter DR ranks very high on my list of 1-(n)x scopes. It is both truly unique and excellent.

Here is your pro and con breakdown:

Pros:
Quickest, easiest, fastest, best power change operation
Largest objective lens in class for best low light performance
Largest field of view in its class by a substantial margin
Class leading daytime bright, night vision compatible, dual mode illumination system
Near the top in close quarters performance
Optical clarity on par with 1st tier European optics
Slightly lighter and much more compact than comparable optics
Integrated BUIS that are zeroed with the scope
Mount included
Kill flash and clip on night vision can be purchased separately

Cons:
Expensive at close to $2k
1 year warranty (or 3 year through Armament Tech) is much less than anyone else offers at this price point
Adjustments are zeroing only and are exposed to the elements
ARMS base
4x top magnification is less than most other scopes in this price range now offer
Unusual and hard to come by battery for illumination system
Sniper3142
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Posted: 5/30/2012 1:36:10 AM
Great writeup on the Elcan.

Now, what we need is an Variable Power Acog with a low end of 1x and a high end of 6x (1x/6x) with a similar power switching system to the Elcan.

Fiber optic and tritium powered illumination, with a battery option; and built-in mounting points @ 10, 12, & 2 o-clock for a MRDS (Trijicon RMR would be great).



I wish


Augee
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Posted: 6/1/2012 1:30:34 AM
[Last Edit: 11/26/2012 5:52:08 PM by Augee]
Originally Posted By BigJimFish:
>snip<


Great review, I couldn't do better if I tried!

A couple comments, however:

The military SU-230/PVS-C versions do not have the "aiming circles" in the reticule, and in fact use a slightly different one than the commercial models.

It is the same reticule as the TA01ECOS SU-237/PVS Sight Unit:



The only difference is that there is a center dot and no partial illumination like the ACOG version. Per ELCAN, the reticule is "SOCOM specific" and that is why it is not offered on commercial models.

Also - regarding the ARMS mounting levers:

You can, and I have replaced the ARMS levers on both of my SU-230s with ARMS MKII levers which are adjustable for rail width - they are available in a retrofit kit from ARMS for $15 + shipping for a set of two, and are pretty easy to install. You can also have them replace the levers for you if you are uncomfortable hammering rollpins out of your expensive optic.

~Augee
BigJimFish
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Posted: 6/8/2012 5:17:29 PM
Thanks for the corrections Augee. I have updated the review to reflect these changes.

-Jim
33shooter
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Posted: 6/8/2012 5:20:01 PM
Leupold CQBSS 1.1-8x recently had a MSRP Drop to $2999
cms81586
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Posted: 6/8/2012 5:58:02 PM
Originally Posted By 33shooter:
Leupold CQBSS 1.1-8x recently had a MSRP Drop to $2999


If you're military call for the FED/LE price list. It's a lot cheaper than that.
Have you donated to your local volunteer fire department lately?
"I'll take a puppy on Italian Herb and Cheese...baked please" - DoubleARon
33shooter
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Posted: 6/8/2012 6:02:45 PM
Oh yes, yes it is...It's now in range
BigJimFish
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Posted: 6/10/2012 6:22:02 PM
I have updated the GRSC review on page 17 to close quarters testing data taken when testing the Leupold VX-6 and Elcan Specter DR.
JOHNNY223
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Posted: 6/12/2012 2:30:36 PM
Has anyone pulled the trigger on getting the Bushnell Tactical 1-6.5 yet ? I'm seriously considering this or the soon the be released Vortex HD 1-6X....
jayjay1
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Posted: 6/12/2012 3:00:29 PM
Just to bring in a scope which hasn´t been on the list yet:

http://www.ddoptics.de/v6-1-6x24-hdx

A good deal in my opinion, depending on how much you want to spent for a scope, after searching for over half of the year for "the" scope.

Have ordered one and hope to get it at the end of June.
Didn´t find any bad review of this stuff and I´m really curious about that.
AustinWolv
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Posted: 6/13/2012 12:37:30 PM
[Last Edit: 6/13/2012 12:38:14 PM by AustinWolv]
Check this: http://www.brianenos.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=148986&view=findpost&p=1723334

Although I'm more interested in the FFP BTR-2.....


Originally Posted By JOHNNY223:
Has anyone pulled the trigger on getting the Bushnell Tactical 1-6.5 yet ? I'm seriously considering this or the soon the be released Vortex HD 1-6X....


BigJimFish
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Posted: 6/13/2012 11:07:29 PM
[Last Edit: 6/13/2012 11:09:55 PM by BigJimFish]
Just to bring in a scope which hasn´t been on the list yet:

http://www.ddoptics.de/v6-1-6x24-hdx

A good deal in my opinion, depending on how much you want to spent for a scope, after searching for over half of the year for "the" scope.

Have ordered one and hope to get it at the end of June.
Didn´t find any bad review of this stuff and I´m really curious about that.


I believe that I saw this optic at Shot Show this year. It was not at a manufacturers booth but rather sitting atop one of the new Anschutz .22lr Scar clones. I could be mistaken and the one I saw might not be the DD but given that I remember it was being sold by a German company with an odd name that I hadn't heard of I very much doubt it. Also, it appears identical to the one I remember.



In any case, the scope itself appeared to be an unaltered Light Optics of Japan 1-6x package. It is therefore comparable optically and mechanically to the GRSC 1-6x, Bushnell 1-6.5x, and, I suspect though I have not confirmed, SS 1-6x and Vortex Razor HD 1-6x. I do not remember being impressed with the DD's reticle and I can't imagine the warranty service is quite as easy as it is with some of the above brands so I would lean towards one of the other brands offering that optical package. My opinion of this Light Optics made package is very good as you can see from my reviews of the other brands offering it.

Also, I liked the Anschutz .22lr Scar clones but I really like about anything Anschutz so take that for what you will. I may sell my spikes AR-22 to buy it.

jayjay1
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Posted: 6/17/2012 9:47:50 AM
[Last Edit: 6/17/2012 9:49:26 AM by jayjay1]
Originally Posted By BigJimFish:
In any case, the scope itself appeared to be an unaltered Light Optics of Japan 1-6x package. It is therefore comparable optically and mechanically to the GRSC 1-6x, Bushnell 1-6.5x, and, I suspect though I have not confirmed, SS 1-6x and Vortex Razor HD 1-6x. I do not remember being impressed with the DD's reticle and I can't imagine the warranty service is quite as easy as it is with some of the above brands so I would lean towards one of the other brands offering that optical package. My opinion of this Light Optics made package is very good as you can see from my reviews of the other brands offering it.



Siryessir,
what I know, you are right, it seems to be made by Optic Lights / Japan.

What you get from there is what you are willing to pay for.
They are able to do very reliable and high quality scopes, depending on what is ordered.

But by the way, in the European gun forums, the DDOptics are higher rated than for example the Meopta.
I can´t judge this, never having had a hand on one.

A dealer, "doubleaction" from Vienna / Austria said, that he had Meopta and Leupold in his store.
But since he has the DDOptics, the customers are leaving the others back after having watched through all of them.

DDOptics is a small "producer" which has only small charges every time, but the request is growing over here.

That´s why I have to wait for mine a while.

Warranty is 30 years, but DDOptics exists just a couple of years and you never know what happens.
I just want to say, that a 30 years warranty from Leupold - for example - is a little bit more reliable to me.

Unfortunately I can´t compare the GRSC (don´t deliver outta the States), Bushnell, SWFA and so on.
But what is said over here, is that the DDOptics is close to the Swarovsky Zi6, not the same, but closer than others.

The only con in my opinion is, like you true said, the reticule.
It has only Duplex or MilDot.


Jayjay out.
jayjay1
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Posted: 6/17/2012 11:27:40 AM
[Last Edit: 6/17/2012 11:28:09 AM by jayjay1]
- GRSC 1-6x
- Bushnell 1-6.5x
- SS 1-6x
- Vortex Razor HD 1-6x
- Leupold VX6 1-6x24


Sir,
what I would be really interrested in, adding the Leupold to your list, is which of these scopes you would prefer and why.

The reason is, that they are all in the same (my ) price range.

BigJimFish
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Posted: 6/17/2012 9:54:46 PM
- GRSC 1-6x
- Bushnell 1-6.5x
- SS 1-6x
- Vortex Razor HD 1-6x
- Leupold VX6 1-6x24


Sir,
what I would be really interested in, adding the Leupold to your list, is which of these scopes you would prefer and why.

The reason is, that they are all in the same (my ) price range.


I believe the GRSC, Bushnell, SS, and Razor are probably all based on the same optical chassis. I prefer this design to the one Leupold uses because, at 1x there is less barrel distortion and this allows it to be much faster. In my opinion, Leupold's better illumination scheme and wider field of view does not make up for this. As for the Light Optics products, I believe that the GRSC has the best reticle and the SWFA has an excellent warranty and an attractive price during their current promotion. Those are my two favorites at this time but that is subject to change given that I am making assumptions on the SS and Vortex products. I have not seen them in person and they may be different than I expect them to be. It would not be the first time I have been surprised.
bp7178
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Posted: 6/17/2012 10:45:03 PM
If you slightly bump up the magnification on the VX6 does the barrel distortion go away?

Its worth noting not all of those scopes are on equal grounds when it comes to price.
jayjay1
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Posted: 6/18/2012 12:04:01 PM
[Last Edit: 6/18/2012 12:04:20 PM by jayjay1]
Originally Posted By BigJimFish:
...
It would not be the first time I have been surprised.



Thank you for answering my question!

If I could I would handle you a beer.
TheOregonian
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Posted: 6/18/2012 1:19:12 PM
Jim - Talking to the custom shop at Leupold...running into the same thing someone else brought up. Other than the multi-gun, doesn't look like (they think) they can do a special order on the VX-6 1x6 or 2x12.

Couple of questions...do you know if they can do the SPR on the 2x12?

Do you have any info on who to talk to that knows more about the 1x6 and the SPR?

Thx
BigJimFish
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Posted: 6/19/2012 5:29:46 PM
If you slightly bump up the magnification on the VX6 does the barrel distortion go away?

Its worth noting not all of those scopes are on equal grounds when it comes to price.


I tried fiddling with the magnification ring as well as the diopter to yield a better two eyes open experience. I was unable to get as good a merging of the images as many of the other scopes in my testing provided. I do not remember if bumping the mag yielded a flatter field of view specifically having magnification in one eye but not the other causes enough problems on its own that flattening things out would not solve anything if that is how it must be done.

Jim - Talking to the custom shop at Leupold...running into the same thing someone else brought up. Other than the multi-gun, doesn't look like (they think) they can do a special order on the VX-6 1x6 or 2x12.

Couple of questions...do you know if they can do the SPR on the 2x12?

Do you have any info on who to talk to that knows more about the 1x6 and the SPR?

Thx


I wrote the Leupold rep concerning these questions. Here is the response:

Right now the custom shop is not doing any special orders on the VX-6’s. Generally speaking there is a 1-2 year wait time on newly introduced products before we are able to offer major customizations due to production demand. The custom shop can currently do external modifications such as engravings and CDS dials, but will not be offering “special builds” until later in the year / early 2013.


The second part of the question: when the Custom Shop does start offering custom builds and modifications on the VX-6 series they should be able to install the FireDot SPR from the 1-6 in the 2-12, but the subtensions will not be correct due to the difference in magnification. Also, due to the design differences between the 6x system of the VX-6 and all other current production scopes, when the Custom Shop is able to do reticle swaps they will only be able to update with the reticles currently available in VX-6’s, or built specifically for VX-6’s. Another question we get is “Can you install Mark 6 reticles in the VX-6?” and the answer is no, because the erector systems are built differently and the Mark 6’s are FFP and the VX-6 is SFP.
jayjay1
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Posted: 6/23/2012 7:02:55 AM
Can´t wait that long.

Don´t understand why they offer no BDC, ordered another scope.
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