<ACM Elcan SpecterDR 1-4x Scope> review by <Lon3Wo1f>
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Table of Contents:
Basic Gun Information
When the mention of a clone of the futuristic SpecterDR was announced, the airsoft world was taken by storm. The early models priced well above $170, were restricted to 4x, and were extremely rare. The variable zoom model initially started with a price of 250+, and had various problems such as poor eye relief and failure to zero correctly. Today, I will be reviewing one of the least expensive models to date, coming in at a low $130.
I ordered this scope from EBairsoft for $130, available here. Shipping was included in the price, but it took nearly a month and a half to arrive from Hong Kong. Customers have reported both longer and shorter shipment times, and based on past experience, I agree with their assessment.
In 2003 the US SOCOM started to upgrade its fire control accessories for the M4 Carbine. The key technological objective for the day optic was – “to provide not only a long-range deliberate aiming capability, but also a short range, positive, rapid aiming capability for Close Quarters Battle…in a single sight” – a critical issue in urban combat. Raytheon ELCAN Optical Technologies met this need by proposing and demonstrating the SpecterDR™ dual role rifle sight, a high performance switchable 1x- 4x dual-field-of-view (DFOV) combat optic. SpecterDR™ is given the designation SU-230/PVS in the SOPMOD Block 2 kit.
Copied from elcan.com
Product Description/First Impressions:
<First thoughts regarding product features, finish, and packaging>
The SpecterDR arrived in very minimal packaging, but unharmed nonetheless. The outside container was devoid of any brand naming, with the exception of a sticker bearing the marking "1x-4x Elcan". Included with the scope is a cleaning cloth, two 2032 button batteries, and and 3 interchangeable backup iron sights.
From a quick glance, the coating appeared to be highly matte and lettering was nice and crisp. I was initially confused about the lack of rear iron sights, until my mind put two and two together and realized that we were given a choice of sights to use.
The lens are amazingly clear and the zoom is focused at each magnification.
The central dot is illuminated, which is a nice touch. While it could be brighter, it is functional.
The levers and mounts hold firmly in place, so it seems more than usable.
The SpecterDR takes CR2032 batteries, stored within the illumination knob. My knob cap was screwed in off center, and required a pair of pliers to unscrew it. Once that was remedied, I was able to unscrew and reattach it with just hand power.
The dot is rather dim, and can easily be lost in bright light. However, the center of the crosshairs are remain visible because they are black.
The main selling point of the scope, the zoom, is more or less crippled because of its inability to hold the zero between the two zoom levels. When shifting between the two magnifications, the center shifts up and to the left from 1x-4x and vice versa from 4x-1x.
Eye relief is simply amazing and the large objective lens gathers plenty of light. I measured the relief to be close to be almost 3.5-4 inches, which is excellent for those with bulky masks.
The SpecterDR contains two screw points on top, which can be used to attach Doctor sights.
By zeroing the scope at 4x, I had no problem in use for field games. While the scope is very heavy in comparison to an EoTech, with enough use I stopped paying attention to its bulk.
The base cost of these optics ensured that very few were out on the field with me, and I received my share of envious stares.
Attached to my DMRs, the 4x function suitable for the role, while my standard rifles were fine with being re-zeroed at 1x. While I would like the ability to switch between the two zooms, situations never really did come up where I absolutely needed both magnifications.
While the SpecterDR did not perform at the expected level, I would still recommend it as opposed to an ACOG simply because of the far superior eye relief. I have found ACOG clones to be barely functional due to their poor eye relief, whereas the SpecterDR simply excels in that aspect. Considering the two are at relatively similar price points, the fact that the SpecterDR can switch between the two zoom levels seals the deal in my opinion.
The optic is weighty and will be instantly noticed on any replica, but over time the user will barely notice the additional bulk. For any airsofters looking to replicate the SOPMOD Block II kit, the $130 ACM SpecterDR will be a welcomed purchase compared to the $1500 price tag of the RS version.
For those looking to order from EBairsoft, be patient with their shipment times. While they rank among the slowest shippers in my experience, they have never not gotten me my order.
Written by Lon3Wo1f, 11/25/11