Infantry: The Quick Switch


April 19, 2010:  In Afghanistan, one new rifle sight, the ELCAN SpecterDR optic, has become particularly popular. That's because this 1.5 pound (660 gram) scope has a convenient lever that instantly switches between the lower and higher magnification. The 1x/4x version goes for $1,900, while the 1.5x/6x version costs $2,400.

This feature is particularly useful in Afghanistan, where longer range fire is more common. Often you have some targets nearby, and others that are more distant. More commonly, you start shooting at a distant enemy, as the Taliban like to ambush from a distance, to avoid accurate fire from 5.56mm weapons. But American troops will close in, and at a certain point, the 1x or 1.5x scope image is preferable.

The scope is waterproof, and the battery will last from 600 to 3,000 hours (depending on how much the LED illuminator is used.) The reticles are still visible if the battery is dead. There is also a user selectable red-dot and area fire circles. The red dot reflex sight is similar to the point-and-shoot viewfinder found in cameras for many years. The red dot sight proved more accurate than iron sights, could be used with both eyes open and was generally more effective at typical combat ranges (under a hundred meters). The sight was particularly effective at night. The SpecterDR scope is 153mm (six inches) long, 74mm (2.9 inches) wide and 78mm (3 inches) high.



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