By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com
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July 30, 2012
Last updated on 7/31/12.
<a href="http://www.leupold.com/ target=right>Leupold</a> recently showed <a data-cke-saved-href=" http:="" www.defensereview.com="" "="" target="right">DefenseReview (DR) the Leupold Mark 6 3-18x44mm (34mm) Riflescope first-focal-plane tactical scope with a 34mm main tube and Horus H58 illuminated reticle (gridded reticle) with wind dots (or Horus TReMoR2 or CMR-W reticles) at NDIA Joint Armaments Conference 2012.
While we were at the booth, a U.S. Military Special Operations Forces (SOF) assaulter/operator/sniper graciously explained it's combat attributes and described the new scope as a "game changer" in terms of the combat capabilities that it provides for the end-user. We won't disclose which unit the SOF assaulter/operator is from, other than to say that he's one of the guys T&E'ing cutting-edge combat hardware/technologies for the rest of U.S. Military SOF.
The following is a portion of the transcript from Defense Review's interview with him and a Leupold rep on the Leupold Mark 6 3-18x44mm Riflescope tactical scope with Horus H58 gridded reticle (slightly modified for accuracy and readability):
SOF Assaulter/Operator/Sniper: From a combat point of view, part of it is the fact that it's a first-focal-plane scope [Leupold 3-18x44mm (34mm) Riflescope tactical scope], which means when you mil it, it's actually accurate, as opposed to a second-focal-plane scope where if it's on full power, you're good, [but] anything other than that, you’re guessin’. The second is the fact that they’re usin’ a [Horus H58 reticle] with wind dots in it, which is a very, very accurate reticle, and it's a gridded reticle. It's not a ballistic reticle, so what you actually shoot is hold-overs with this. It's very fast, it's very accurate, and it gives you the ability to call wind without actually having to use a spotter. It's a very ruggedized scope. One of the other nice things is that it is 3-18 power (3-18x) in a very small package. I want to say this is only a 9-inch scope…
Leupold Rep: It's under 12 inches.
David Crane: So what's the range envolope [with] this, in terms of combat?
Leupold Rep: How far you can shoot out?
Crane: How far…how close, how far…
SOF Assaulter: It comes down to what you're shooting. The nice thing about this is it's not…this scope doesn't have to stay on a 5.56 platform, 7.62 platform, .300 Win Mag, .338. You can shoot it as far up as you want. Because of the reticle in this, all you have to do is change out your ballistic program in your ATRAC computer, and it gives you the exact hold that you need to shoot what you want to shoot.
Crane: Right, but ideally, what combat application is this scope designed for?
Leupold Rep: So, really it transcends many weapons platforms versus many of the other scopes that are made specifically for one weapon…
Crane: Right, but you wouldn't want to use this for, let's say, CQB [Close Quarters Battle], would you?
Leupold Rep: Well, with the addition of a, say a mini-red dot, you absolutely could. And 3-power, you can back it down. You can use your complete suite of night vision, thermal sights, clip ons. And at 18 power you've got positive [identification]…even if you can’t shoot beyond 18-power, do you need 18 power to shoot a 5.56 gun? No, but you [can] get positive ID on a target out to well beyond 1,000 meters, so you can identify the threat well before you see them.
Crane: Right, or you can stick this on a M110 carbine, or whatever.
Crane: 7.62x51mm as well…
Leupold Rep: Absolutely, and because of the length…and you can use it on multiple weapons platforms. On those platforms, you can still use your night vision and thermal 'cause you still have plenty of rail space. And then it has…it has other features that end-users want: auto-locking turrets, zero-stop, uh…
Crane: What' the importance of the zero stop?
Leupold Rep: So when you set your zero, if you get lost in your turns, you can always dial back to zero and star again. It's got positive clicks, or clunks, every 10th mil, and then every 5 mils, it's got a positive clunk. So, at night, you can do it quick. 5, 10, you don't have to count "1, 2, 3, 4 5". You can do it a lot faster.
Crane: Very cool.
Crane: You were just saying…you think this thing is a game changer? Why is it a game changer?
SOF Assaulter: Absolutely. The reason this scope is a game changer, is because for far too long, people have been using simply a mildot reticle. With the increases in technology over the last five years, sniping is a completey different game than it used to be. And, with utilizing a gridded reticle, people now have the ability to do sniper-sniper operations with increased magnification on their scope and increased hit probability. This is due to the fact that they can call their own winds, they can do their own math and their own data simply using this scope and a computer program.
Crane: And part of that equation is the Horus reticle?
SOF Assaulter: Exactly.
Crane: And what's that reticle called? Is there a name for that reticle? Gridded reticle? Or…
SOF Assaulter: Yes, it's known as a gridded reticle system. The one in the Leupold Mark 6 is the [Horus H58]. They also make the Tremor-2, the Tremor-1 and the [H-59], as well.
Crane: What's the one that you like?
SOF Assaulter: Pretty much all of them. I've shot the 58 all the way through the 59 and the Tremor-2, and, honestly, they all work very, very well.
Crane: But this one's the [H58]?
SOF Assaulter: That's the [H58], and it is very fast, it's very accurate, and it's a very intuitive scope, as well, which means, as a novice shooter, somebody can pick it up, do a little work with it get a couple classes and be very, very accurate with this weapon, with this optic.
Crane: And what's this scope runnin', right now?
Leupold Rep: Retail's gonna' be $2500, roughly.
Crane: So, nothin' crazy.
Leupold Rep: Nah, it's not crazy. And the reason it's not crazy is because you can put it on so many different weapons platforms, it's not just a sniper application.
Crane: Right, you can put it on a 5.56, on a 7.62, a little 7.62/.308 carbine, or an M4A1, or whatever…or a sniper rifle. You can stick this on a full-length rifle and go to town.
Leupold Rep: Absulutely, 'cause it's light. I mean it only weighs 23 ounces (23 oz).
The following is the transcript from the third/last video clip, below:
Crane: So, we're just talking about actually using the gridded reticle, and you were saying, just in terms of how it works and what you would do in terms of, let's say, a tactical application based on distance change, or whatever. So, let's talk about that very quickly.
SOF Assaulter: One of the nice things about the gridded reticle is that it can be used between multiple shooters. And, one of the cool things about this is, let's say you've never shot this rifle before, I get hit, you have to pick up my rifle and take a shot. Now, instead of spending the time to do a hundred (100)-meter zero with this thing, all you have to do is pick it up, take a blank wall at a relatively known distance, take a shot and watch where that shot falls. Now, wherever the shot falls within that gridded reticle, that's your point of aim. So, it's that quick.
Crane: And then you're using the grid to figure out where to put every other shot.
SOF Assaulter: Exactly. So, as, ya' know, just one of the small things that this scope does that is amazing, ya' know, after two hits…
Crane: So, in other words, you can gauge it…even if it's not hitting point of aim in the reticle, you can gauge it by the grid.
SOF Assaulter: Yes. You know exactly where it's hitting, because this gridded reticle is cut into tenths (10ths) of a mil. So, instead of one dot being one mil, it is hash marks showing, actually, two-tenths (2/10ths) of a mil, four tenths (4/10ths), six (6), all the way up to ten (10). So it makes it very, very, very easy to use, and it makes it very accurate. So, instead of saying "I want you to hold two mils left", I can say "I want you to hold 2.2 mils left". So, it cuts down on your sniper dialog…
Crane: So you can really dial it in.
SOF Assaulter: Exactly.
Crane: Very cool. Alright, thank you.
SOF Assaulter: It's very user friendly.
Leupold Mark 6 3-18x44mm (34mm) Riflescope info, features and specs (directly from the Leupold website):
“The Mark 6 3-18x44mm sets a new standard for high performance in a small, lightweight package. with a length of just 12 inches and weighing in at 23.6oz, this optic sets the standard for high-end riflescopes and is 20% shorter and 20% lighter. In addition, the Mark 6 series offers state-of-the-art tactical features that are common throughout Leupold’s Tactical product line. Hands down, the most commonly used phrase we hear from tactical end users is, “smaller, lighter, faster” when describing the perfect optic. Leupold Tactical Optics; we listened. And delivered.
Xtended Twilight Lens System
Now your hunt can reach further into the twilight than ever before possible, with our exclusive new Xtended Twilight Lens System™. It goes a step further than even the Index Matched Lens System®, using Leupold’s® index matched glass with wavelength specific lens coatings designed to optimize the transmission of low-light wavelengths. When most scope manufacturers quote percentage of light transmission, they usually mean at 550 nm, the green wavelength where the human eye is most sensitive. The challenge is that in twilight conditions, green light disappears and blue/violet light takes over. Your eye is already handicapped when it comes to seeing the blue/violet spectrum, and if your scope is cutting too much of it out, soon you won’t be seeing anything. The Xtended Twilight Lens System places extra emphasis on matching coatings to glass indices to achieve the best possible transmission of the blue/violet spectrum, without sacrificing the color balanced light transmission across the visual spectrum of the Index Matched Lens System. When we combine that with superior computer-generated optical design, lead-free lenses of unsurpassed clarity and quality, and 100 years of manufacturing excellence, you have a scope that gives you the details of low-light scenes in greater definition and luminance than any other scope in the world.
Exterior lens surfaces are treated with DiamondCoat 2™, an ion-assist lens coating, for higher light transmission and the greatest level of abrasion resistance we’ve ever offered. DiamondCoat already exceeds military standards for hardness and durability. DiamondCoat 2 offers unsurpassed durability and will prove its worth in the wildest places on earth. DiamondCoat 2 has the additional advantage of assisting in light transmission, for greater brightness, clarity and contrast.
Front Focal Plane (FFP)
The reticle magnifies along with the image, so you can estimate range at all magnification settings. These reticles are ideal in tactical situations, yet also provide greater accuracy of range estimation for hunters and target shooters.
Actual Magnification 3.0 x 18.0 x
Linear Field of View (ft/100 yd) 36.8 ft 6.3 ft
Linear Field of View (m/100 m) 12.3m 2.1 m
Eye Relief (in) 3.8 in 3.9 in
Eye Relief (mm) 96.0 mm 98.0 mm
Weight (oz): 23.6 oz
Weight (g): 669.0 g
Objective Clear Aperture (in): 1.7 in
Objective Clear Aperture (mm): 44.0 mm
Elevation Adjustment Range: 100.0 moa
Windage Adjustment Range: 50.0 moa
A. Length: 11.9 in
B. Tube Length: 5.3 in
C. Illustration: 1.8 in
D. Illustration: 2.5 in
E. Eyepiece Length: 3.2 in
F. Objective Length: 2.7 in
G. Objective Diameter: 2.1 in
H. Eyepiece Diameter: 1.7 in
K. Tube Diameter: 34.0 mm
Company Contact Info:
LEUPOLD & STEVENS
14400 NW Greenbrier Parkway
Beaverton, OR 97006-5790
Phone: 800-538-7653 (LEUPOLD)
Email Sales (Contact Form): http://www.leupold.com/contact/sales/
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