SoldierMod.Com :: Soldier Modernisation
  SoldierMod Volume 14 - December 2014
Volume 14 Articles

Raytheon ELCAN Optical Technologies logoShooters Review the Elcan SpecterDR™

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In the past several issues of Soldier Modernisation we have covered Raytheon ELCAN’s Specter™ sighting systems, tracking the use, upgrades and new offerings of this award winning platform.

SpecterDRTM 1-4x Dual Role Weapon Sight
SpecterDRTM 1-4x Dual Role Weapon Sight

US Special Forces have been using the SpecterDR™ dual role rifle sight, a high performance switchable 1x- 4x dual-field-of-view (DFOV) combat optic, since it met 100% of the SOPMOD production requirements in 2003.

In 2011, the SpecterDR™ was named “Optic of the Year” by the National Rifle Association. Today, the SpecterDR™ Dual Field of View family of sights are fielded worldwide and have proven their capacity to maximize warfighter efficiency and lethality.

But just how good is the DR? This time out, we decided to have someone who has had first-hand experience answer that question. “MAC” a former MCSF Marine, and weapons aficionado who runs the Military Arms Channel and Blog offers this review of the Elcan SpecterDR™

SpecterOZ™ 5x-20x Optical Zoom sighting system with top-mounted, 2MOA, CQB, Mini red-dot sight
SpecterOZ™ 5x-20x Optical Zoom sighting system with top-mounted, 2MOA, CQB, Mini red-dot sight

“As I had hoped, the sight proved to be an exceptional performer. I found that weight-wise it wasn’t as bothersome as I once feared. I also brought along a CMR with a LaRue SPR 1.5 mount for comparison and the SpecterDRTM definitely balances better on the rifle as it’s much shorter in overall length and keeps the weight behind the pistol grip. The CMR and similar sights put the weight forward making the rifle noticeably more awkward to handle and carry.”
As far as the dual role of the site, MAC was impressed with the ease and accuracy when switching the field of view. “With a simple throw lever, you can change the magnification of the DR, it’s one of the most unique features of the sight. I had no issues with wandering zero even when I flipped back and forth between 1x and 4x magnification. I was able to get a couple of 5 shot 1.2″ groups out of the Tavor with the SpecterDRTM which are the best groups I’ve fired so far with the rifles.”

Some shooters have looked at the SpecterDRTM and can be intimidated by its size, but in the hands of an experienced marksman, the size, and the perceived weight of the optic are no problem. “While the ELCAN SpecterDRTM looks big, and at one pound nine ounces, it sounds heavy, it’s really not much heavier than a sight like a Hi-Lux CMR with a LaRue mount. The ELCAN is actually quite a bit shorter than a conventional optic like the CMR. The ELCAN has a much wider field of view and a significantly brighter sight picture.”

SpecterTR™ 1x3x9 Triple Field of View (TriFOV) Sighting System
SpecterTR™ 1x3x9 Triple Field of View (TriFOV) Sighting System

You can watch a video of MAC’s complete field review of the SpecterDRTM along with his tests and reviews of other military small arms and accessories at The Military Arms Channel Blog.

Others who have used the sight in actual combat share MAC’s enthusiasm. “SGT R” an operator with MARSOC, says, “I have absolutely fallen in love with this optic. Nothing so far has come close to the reliability and precision of this scope. I’ve been in more fire fights than I care to remember and it has never let me down.”

This incident, involving two days of heavy fighting in Afghanistan by “SGT S” also from MARSOC, was described to the manufacturers. On day one, the sight took a hit from an AK-47. Despite the sight’s mangled appearance and a shattered front objective lens, SGT S was still able to engage targets effectively with what he could still see of the ballistic reticle. On day two, a close impact from an RPG sent SGT S’s rifle flying out of his hands. It landed on the already battle damaged sight. To SGT S’s surprise, the sight still held its zero and he was still able to engage targets effectively. He credits the durability of the SpecterDRTM with saving his life

Raytheon ELCAN Optical Technologies specializes in the design and manufacture of technologically sophisticated and superior quality opto-mechatronic systems and subassemblies that meet strict military and commercial specifications. Raytheon ELCAN offers superior design and engineering capabilities, proprietary production technologies and fully integrated manufacturing capabilities to provide custom, turn-key solutions.


ELCAN continues to innovate with the latest in the Spectertm family of combat sights, the The SpecterTR™ 1-3-9x and the The SpecterOZ™ 5x-20x. Revealed at the SHOT show in 2014, The SpecterTR™ 1-3-9x Tri-FOV Military Combat Weapon Sight is the world’s first three field-of-view optical weapon sight; available in both 5.56 and 7.62 configurations. The unique three field-of-view design maximizes combat effectiveness by providing precision close quarter, mid-range, and long range engagement capability. The SpecterTR™ rifle sight’s durability, versatility, and extra-long eye relief provides the user with an unmatched advantage on the battlefield.

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