Low Power Variable Optics

We will be discussing optics, and what trends there are in the civilian market that may carry over to the military force modernization efforts. One of the biggest trends in the optics market for firearms the past few years has been in Low-Power Variable Optics. For the Definition of this discussion, a low-power variable optic is a scope that is a 1-6 or 1-8 power scope, that has very little parallax.

A Low Power Variable optic, such as the Leupold Mk VI 1-6 gives the Paratrooper the capability of engagements from near to far. For day-to-day use, the optic is left on 1x, and as needed, the Paratrooper can dial up the magnification to be able to reach out and engage targets more efficiently.

Moreover, there has been improvements in reticle technology. We now have reticles available similar to the one presented in the above picture, that allow the Paratrooper to apply a more precise hold for both wind calls and moving targets. A simplified ‘christmas tree,’ like in picture two, makes it possible for consistent shot placement.

When you couple this reticle with a first focal plane scope, it makes the reticle change scale based off the magnification selected. This means that the Paratrooper can utilize the scope as a reflex sight, with the majority of the ‘christmas tree’ of the hold lines not taking up as much space, but when needed, the Paratrooper can increase magnification to increase the visible details of the reticle pattern.

So to Sum up, Low Power Variable Optics allow the Paratrooper to potentially engage targets more efficiently at all ranges. A newer reticle pattern also allows them the capability of applying more precise holds in windy conditions and with moving targets. A first focal plane scope allows for the details of the reticle to be lessened, and the scope to be used as a reflex-style scope. As the magnification is increased, the reticle reveals more detail, allowing the paratrooper refined holds for engaging targets at distance.

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Raymond Miller
82nd Airborne Division Small Arms Master Gunner: primary weapons trainer, force modernization for individual weapons, and range liason for the 82nd.