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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This isn't really a review as much as it is an overview based on my 1st impressions. I have not yet taken this scope to the range and "rung it out" but I have played with it around the house and I can compare it to some very good optics I have either personally owned or used.

First let me say the glass is very high quality glass. Nice and bright and with good clarity edge to edge. Having played with some high end optics I am big on optical performance. The quality of glass, multi-coatings for glare/light transmission, size of aperture all contribute to optical performance. I believe the ELCAN uses German Leica glass which is excellent and their multi coated lenses pass through more light than low cost scopes of the same aperture. The view is very crisp and bright for such a short military scope, almost as good as much larger aperture premium tactical/target scopes.

There is a red dot in the center of the reticle that is adjustable for brightness and the reticle itself can be lit independently for night work. The reticle designs is one of the best I have seen and incorporates many features desired for tactical, military applications. Ranging, holdover, red dot etc. This scope basically works like an Aimpoint with the addition of a range finding reticle and 4X ability. Think Aimpoint with a magnifier. Also if you are familiar with a Schmidt & Bender short dot 4X tactical, very similar to that excellent scope.

What really makes this scope unique is the ability to change between 1.1X and 4X with the flip of a lever mounted on the left side of the optic base. The apparent dot size changes to 1.5MOA at 4X verses 6X at 1X. This makes the DR perfect as both a close quarter and long range optic. The lever movement is much quicker than traditional scope ring X adjustment and it is glass smooth.

Mounted on my FS2000, I snapped the gun mounted optic up, 1X, red dot set at medium brightness. With both eyes open the ELCAN works just like a Aimpoint or Eotech for CQC. Then a quick flip of the lever and I instantly have 4X magnification for long range. Perfect! The scope mounts to any mil-spec rail via the built in mounting system which employs A.R.M.S levers. The mount worked fine on my FS2000 rail, a little tight as I think the designers figured the scope would be mounted on some pretty worn rails and they wanted to start out snug.

Adjustment for elevation/windage is also integrated into the mount and seems very robust. The adjustments are simple to use with no specialized tools. Just a coin and bullet tip. The elevation wheel is at the back side of the base and has a small lock tab that needs to be depress to roll the thumb wheel. This prevents accidental movement in elevation. The windage adjuster is recessed on the left front of the base and can be moved with a coin. Both adjustments are designed for easy use at the range (or battlefield).

Now a couple issues that might be of interests to potential buyers of this scope. First off, its heavy. It's built like a tank but weighs over a pound so it your weight conscious about your rig then that is something to consider.

Second, the eye relief is adequate at 2.75 inches but there is only a narrow range to position the eye compared to other scopes. For instance a Leupold Mark 4 1X4 tactical or ACOG 4X have a little more room to position your eye to to get proper eye relief compared to the ELCAN. I don't know if this is just the nature of this scope but proper placement is more critical. The picture shows the scope mounted almost all the way back on the FS rail. There is probably 1/2in. more to move back which would position the scope perfect for my head/eye position. I'm only 5'8" so my arms are shorter proportionally. Someone with longer arms could get their eye closer to the eyepiece and the scope could be moved fwd a little. As positioned the breech inspection cover can still be opened all the way. It did necessitate relocating the BUIS rear site fwd of the optic. It still works but the site radius will be greatly reduced. I may just remove the BUIS because the ELCAN does have primitive backup irons mounted on top and also the reticle still works fine if the battery goes Tango-Uniform.

Lastly this is a relatively expensive piece of glass. You are getting up into the price range of premium optics like Schmidt & Bender, Swarovski, Nightforce etc. and your going to pay. Good optics = $$$. Generally you get what you pay for but there are some pretty good scopes out there for a halfway decent prices. Figure $800 and up for a decent tactical 4X scope. The retail price for the ELCAN Specter DR is $1850 and that is just about what they cost when you can find one. Occasionally a used one pops up for $1400-1600 range but they generally don't last long. As of 1-4-09 there is one on ebay for $1600, just makes sure it has the newest military style reticle before buying any used scope. Keep in mind that the price includes the complete mounting system which can easily add several hundred $/s to the cost of an optic. Also if you have both a close quarter red dot and a long range tactical scope then the ELCAN can replace both those optics which further offsets the purchase cost.

Why so much? Well this is a very good, integrated optics system. Right now ELCAN sells every one they make and also have a couple military contracts for SOCOM. That helps to make the scope rare on the civilian market and keeps prices high. For instance, the new US Special Forces FN SCAR/s will be equipped with Specter DRs. I figure if its good enough for SOCOM, its good enough for me.









 

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I like that optic. If only I could afford one and had a rifle to put it on...

(and breaking the paragraph up into smaller sections would help) :?
 

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OMG!! That optic is sexy as hell! Where can I get one so I can ditch my aimpoint?! :shock:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
"That would be much easier to read if you broke it into paragraphs"

O'Neil, Dan.
I agree. It's called laziness but I'll go back and fix it. I banged out this review in a hurry and things like indenting paragraphs went by the wayside.

TqTran, IceMan.
I had to sell a few things things to swing this optic but so far I am happy in doing so. I have used Aimpoints, Eotechs, Nightforce and Leupolds and this is one of the better aiming devices I have come across. If you can try one out at a show or gun shop to see it you like it and it fits your needs. I see this as a "do all" scope to be used on various black guns present and future, so I am looking at using it for a very long time.
Besides the one for sale on ebay, the only place I know that had one in stock for sure was: nightvisionweb.com. Another place that I think had them before Christmas was: dynamicarmament.com.
They are out there but rare and despite the stiff price still sell quickly. It's been that way ever since they came out in 06.
 

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You can get the standard 4x for $1499 from Opticplanet. 1-4x is still in the $1700 range new.

Great review. I was leaning towards this and weight is an issue with me on some of my rifles and opted for the MARS reflex which is another hard to find red dot/laser optic and they cost almost as much as the 4x ELCAN.
Its hard to beat the Trijicon Acog for medium range shooting though. Maybe one day I will head up your way to check it out. :shock:

I also heard of other issues...

"Be aware - they still suffer from zero shift issues going from 1-4 -- not intially but the parts seem to wear in.
The mount is still the wear part - and will not suffer hard abuse for long.

The glass is awesome - but considering you need to use the Dr. Optic on the top for your 1x use -- your likley better with the TA31DOC from ACOG - as while the glass is not as good - the mount is solid, you can use a Larue mount as well, and the you dont have all the wonky ELCRAP mount problems..."
 
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