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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I posted this in another thread, but that thread likely isn't active any longer so I thought I'd post it here, for those who may be interested.

Like many posters here, I did a lot of research into the best glass to mount to my SCAR-H. And in the end, I made an unconventional choice -- but one that I think many people here might find intriguing.

The scope is a GRSC 1-6x24 FFP scope, illuminated, with a patented reticle. In my opinion it is a great all-purpose scope for a battle rifle -- and designed to be just that -- inasmuch as it works very well through the effective range of the weapon itself (for CQB it acts like a "red dot"; for longer ranges it uses a very intuitive ranging system based on 10"/20", or head/torso, the details of which are explained in a video, below), and, at least up to 530 yards, the BDC, though calculated specifically for 5.56, works just as well with 7.62 (at 147gr, tested with an FN FAL).

The scope is designed first and foremost for quick target acquisition in CQB, and under such conditions is meant to be used with both eyes open. It is a true 1x scope. Illuminated for low light, the horse shoe acts as a red dot at 1 or 1.5x; in bright light and with no illumination, the black horse shoe reticle is very easy to pick up. If you like (or are only used to) a full-time illuminated dot, you may or may not immediately like the reticle site picture in direct sunlight: me, I like the high contrast that the non-illuminated "black dot" provides in such conditions, where the illuminated red can get a bit washed out on an FFP scope. And the time to target acquisition with this scope is just as fast or faster for me as it is with the RMR I have on my FNP-45 Tac.

Manufactured by Light Optics in Japan and using a proprietary / patented reticle from Ed Verdugo, former Special Forces, who also designed many of the sling attachments in use today, it has excellent glass with no distortion that I can find up at 6x. At the $1025 price point (less for military / LE), it is a fantastic, do-it-all optic for a combat rifle like the SCAR. Unlike some of its competitors, it uses low profile capped turrets, which makes them worry free (also, under the turret caps you can store spare CR2032 batteries, which provides the illumination).

You can find some outside reviews linked on the site that sells these, Norden Performance.

Full disclosure: I have no connection to Ed Verdugo or the companies involved in the design or production of the scope, outside of a few conversations I had with him to get some questions answered. I'm just a guy who did a lot of research on this and feels like he hit on a great solution for the SCAR. I'm particularly fond of the reticle for a battle rifle set up. In terms of build, it's very solid, without a lot of frills.

It's important to note, just so I'm clear, that this isn't a sniper scope, nor is it intended to be. It's a one-scope solution for a battle rifle and its regular applications. The scope weighs in at about the same weight as many 1-4x24 scopes, doesn't require a separate magnifier to turn a red dot into a useful distance scope, is night vision compatible, and works very well at all its ranges. For those who like mil-dots, this has those available for use, as well, but with the primary ranging system employed here you can put down the calculators and slide rules and hit your target consistently at and beyond the effective range (300yds for head shots; 500 yard for torso) of the rifle.

Honestly, I couldn't be more happy with the thing. The next step up is likely to be 1-8x options, some of which will use both front and rear focal planes (to "solve" the illumination "problem"). But those are going to double or triple the price, I figure.

Other scopes I very seriously considered were the Vortex Viper, the SWFA 1-4/6, the Trijicon TR24G, an ACOG, and the Leupold VX-6 1-6x with Firedot SPR

Below I'll include some vids made by Ed Verdugo to show the reticle and the ranging system, along with the obligatory picture of my rig wit the scope mounted. I used a Bobro extended mount and haven't had any problems with the charging handle giving me knuckle rash. I'll still probably pick up one of Stryker's EACH, but that's just because I like the heft of the thing, not because the scope mount gets in the way.

[Edit: I should note that I briefly considered an Elcan, too -- and all reports are that they are great scopes -- but my price range was constrained by the purchase of the rifle itself. I have a wife, you see, and I like being married... Also, a guy who goes by BigJimFish has done a great job of reviewing variable low power scopes, including impressions from 2012 SHOT Show, the compilation of which can be seen here.]

IMG_0640.jpg




 

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I actually found it quite interesting. Don't worry about the lack of involvement so far. It was almost Monday when you posted.....

This scope does seem to offer what would be ideal in a combat optic. I for one will be doing some research into this as I could be looking for something of the like to fit a new venture I may take on soon. The reticle does look very promising.
 
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks.

I should add that if there's a drawback (other than the illumination problem, which I happen to think is overstated, frankly), it's that this scope has a smaller FOV than some of its most direct competitors. However up close, the flat 1x in CQB tests suggest, perhaps counter-intuitively, that a slightly smaller FOV is less important than a lack of distortion at the low end (the primary reason I selected the GRSC over the Leupold VX-6). The test group put together by the reviewer ranked the GRSC 1-6 first overall in CQB target acquisition speed, while the reviewer himself ranked it second, just behind the Elcan.

This is telling, I think, because the scope was designed with CQB as its top priority, and it delivers on that design objective -- as well as operates very well out to distance, with easy sighting and ranging.

Another note: at close range you can see a bit of the illumination bleed out of the optic. But you can't see at any kind of significant distance (of the kind where you'd worry about giving away a position). Which is to say, when you're close enough to be seen by a (potential) hostile, a faint glow from your sight may also be seen by that (potential) hostile. Who probably should be worried less about the bleed from your illuminated reticle at that point than the muzzle you're pointing his way. But be that as it may.

Not sure if there's a mass market ARD available for a 30 mm lens, but I suspect that with the proliferation of illuminated low variable lenses, something will show up shortly, should you feel you need one.

At any rate, the designer of the scope notes this in his explanatory material, so I thought I'd mention it here.

Also, because I've now been through the process: The eyepiece takes a Butler Creek 02A lid; the rear objective a BC 18. And if you are interested in a cattail lever, the 1 x Mueller APT Switchview Lever (SVMAPT) is the proper fit.
 
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One would think by that point, he does already know you're there and as stated probably isn't that worried by that point. Overall, this seems like a sound optic. Since you've posted this, I've been looking into it more and the overtop horseshoe reticle brings a better target perspective than the average red dot or holo. Maybe they will bring out a true red dot 1x only using this reticle. I like it as is, but there are some folks that wont buy simply on the premise that it isn't available in the small red dot package that they are used to.

Regardless, a very promising scope that has my eye on it. Thanks for enlighting.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
I looked into the SWFA 1-6 at one point, as well. SWFA makes great stuff and a lot of folks swear by their 1-4, which I have never tried. Nice price point on the 1-6, too -- right in line with the GRSC. What sold me on the CRS was the reticle and the ranging system -- along with the testing done to show reliability out past 530 yards with 147gr 308, even with a built-in BDC calibrated for 223. The fact that it was being manufactured by Light Optics told me the quality would be on par with a lot of more expensive scopes from more established names. Also, it was available.

So I figured why wait when what I was looking for was already being made?
 

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A lot of good information. I'm still processing.
 

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I'm trying to wrap my head around the mount orientation / position in the photo in the first post.

As far as the glass, I have no experience with it and tend to stick with the brands that have proven themselves over time (to me).

-SS
 

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If you want to orientate the Bobro mount the way it was designed to be used without banging your knuckles here's how.

The Bobro mount base can be turned to the right side eliminating the knuckle rash. To do this, turn over the scope mount so you are looking under the base. There are two 5/16 nuts. Remove the nuts (DON'T LOSE THE LOCKING WASHERS), carefully pry the base off, turn it around and press it back on. It can be a tight fit because of the roll pin. Replace the nuts and tighten.

One issue I ran into was that NONE of my 5/16 sockets would fit into the space for the nuts. So, I locked one of my 1/4 drive 5/16" sockets into a pair of vise grips. And then I ground down the sides of the socket with my bench grinder until the socket fit. Took about 2 minutes to prepare the socket, but it makes the socket unsuitable for later high torque use .
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I use a Bobro extended mount and there's plenty of clearance between the mount, the scope, and the charging handle. I've toyed with the idea of putting on a Stryker angled handle, but that's really more for the size and sturdiness than because I've run into knuckle rash problems.

As to some other comments: having now had the opportunity to play with the SCAR 17 and this scope more regularly, I can say without qualification that, for the money, this is one of the best bargains out there. The glass is very clear, the eye relief is great, and the reticle design is absolutely superb.

For those who like traditional red dot sites for CQB -- even really good ones with a sharp dot that doesn't get teased apart at significant magnification -- I'd say that if you're at a gun show where somebody happens to have one of these (and I believe Ed Verdugo, the designer, sometimes takes them to shows), try this out at 1x or 1x5. The horseshoe reticle at those settings, because it is an etched FFP reticle, "shrinks" to a red dot site that sort of reminds me of the triangular dots in some of the Trijicons. If I could manage it I'd take a picture through my scope, but I'm afraid I don't have the equipment to do it justice. Instead, here's one Norden Performance has on its site:
reticle2.jpg

At 3+ yards, with the reticle illuminated, you can see that it acts almost like a triangular "red dot". And something about the design makes it very easy to pick up quickly. Also -- and this is my opinion, yours may vary -- in bright light conditions, the same "red dot" with illumination turned off becomes a "black dot" that is itself very easy to pick up against the white background. The illumination system is set up with 11 levels; between those levels are 11 "off" levels that turn the illumination off. So for instance, if you need illumination to hit the target, you take your shot and then immediately click the knob one position forward or backward and the illumination is turned off, with no light now bleeding from the front of the optic.

Some here have noted, reasonably, that all things considered they'll stick with a name they know. And that's fine, and perhaps sensible. My response to that would be simply to say that this scope is manufactured by Light Optics, who does the manufacturing on scopes for which you'll pay a bit more for the name alone. The quality is on par with all those scopes built by Light Optics.

The selling point here is not a name; it's the reticle and the ranging system. That horseshoe reticle isn't for everyone. But for a battle rifle, inasmuch as it is designed out to 300 yards to allow for consistent head shots (using the idea that the average head is about 10" across), that horseshoe "framing" system is perfect. And the ranging system, for those who don't want to have to worry about mil dot calculations, is easy and intuitive.

As for the name, Verdugo's designs are pretty well known. Many of the swivel clips you see on slings were his design. He shopped this scope design around for a while, but at the time, nobody was interested in the 1x6 idea. Now it seems to be that nice sweet spot for a one scope solution.

My range carries the Elcan 1.5-6. I haven't personally compared the two side-by-side, but I did take the scope out with some seasoned shooters, including a special ops buddy, and they loved it. Up close you don't lose anything over, say, an Eotech. And out at distance the ranging and aiming system really allows you to take advantage of the full operations parameters of the SCAR.

I don't know if the SWFA 1-6 is out yet; I haven't been following the board closely recently (been doing more shooting than reading). But I'll look around for reviews if it is, and see what I can glean from them to make a (theoretical) comparison. At least, until I can try one out. My understanding was the SWFA was not going to use low profile turrets, but that they supposedly upped the illumination.

I haven't had a single problem with illumination on the GRSC; and in fact, when the illumination seems to be washing out in brighter situations, I use that info to make the switch to black, which because of the contrast really has the same effect.

So I'll add the SWFA to the Elcan as a comparison scope. The initial price point of the SWFA as advertised is in line with the GRSC. The Elcan is something like 150% more. Which, I'd take one, even at that price, if I felt I needed to. So I'll report back once I've tested the others.
 

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Thanks

Good write up on the GCRS 1-6...thanks. I've been looking at this scope as well. I wish it had a lifetime warranty, but, totally understand the cost associated with that. I have always been a "quality" purchaser over quantity. Has anyone handled this scope who has also handled a scope like the Leupy CQBSS? Obviously the Leupold is something we'd all own if we could justify the cost. How does the GCRS "feel" as far as durability and quality. Is it worth spending more and buying the new Leupold Mark 6 1-6x? Also, been considering the Elcan 1-4X. My other option I am considering is a TA11 with a red dot off to the side. But, by the time you get that set up, might as well have got the Elcan.
Lastly, and I should direct this question to Ed...but, I may also be using this optic on a .375 H&H if which ever optic I chose can handle it.
Ed is definitely a great guy to talk to and extremely generous with his time. He's clearly experienced in real life operations that I'll never be part of, considering he's ex-special forces.
Love to hear experiences some of you have with Elcan 1-4....this scope, Leupold's new Mark 6.
 

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So, what have been your experiences shooting the SCAR17 & CRS? I see most, if not all of your posts relate to stuff available on the CRS website (I've looked into this sight extensively as well).

I run an IOR 1.5-8x, with a similar reticle (although the ranging is for the shoulders which keeps the range estimator marks in the center of the scope, which I prefer). I have it on my 17 but honestly have not run it out past 100m due to range limitations, so I can't directly speak for their accuracy in 7.62, but they should be close. The current IORs in this model have uncapped turrets, not really what I like on a scope like this.

I would like to get a 1-4 or 1-6 on my 16 eventually, but time will tell what goes on it.

Rhino
 

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Reads like an advertisement to me.

2 year warranty = not for me. I like a bit more than that from a domestic glass company, like... Leupold.

.02

...back to work...

-SS
 

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Reads like an advertisement to me.
That's my impression as well. When people buy things, it's nice to hear their person perspective on the item, be it firearm, optic, mount, ammunition, etc. I try to do that when I post about things I have hands on experience using, have bought, etc.

I can find company websites and stuff on my own quite easily...

So, Sgt, how are the S.E.A.L. lowers coming along... I have money burning a hole in my pocket and PMAG 20LRs that need using... ;)

Rhino
 
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