SCOPE-EYE CHRON­I­CLES

Gun World - - Contents -

From the land of Dae­woo ma­chine guns, Hyundai tanks and kimchi, we wel­come DI Op­ti­cal to our shores. This com­pany has been mak­ing mil­i­tary­only ma­chine gun sights in South Korea since 1990 and sup­plies them to world­wide en­ti­ties. Two of these sights have NSNs (NATO stock num­bers) and are rec­og­nized by all NATO coun­tries. They are also rec­og­nized by the U. S. De­part­ment of De­fense (DOD).

One of DI Op­ti­cal’s sights is the only ma­chine gun-spe­cific sight in the world that has passed the FCT (For­eign Com­par­a­tive Test­ing) pro­gram of the DOD. Pass­ing this rat­ing test means that the United States trusts the par­tic­u­lar prod­uct to sat­isfy U.S. mil­i­tary re­quire­ments; and, in many cases, it elim­i­nates un­nec­es­sary du­pli­ca­tion of re­search and devel­op­ment. This can greatly re­duce spend­ing. It also pro­motes com­pe­ti­tion by qualifying al­ter­nate sources to U.S.-made prod­ucts.

DI Op­ti­cal has started of­fer­ing a line of civil­ian smal­l­arms sight­ing so­lu­tions for your mod­ern sport­ing ri­fle. The com­pany of­fers re­flex and prism red-dot sights and a 3x mag­ni­fier to mate with them, along with a mini red-dot sight for your pis­tol. Devel­op­ment of these sight­ing so­lu­tions be­gan about four years ago, and af­ter some im­prove­ments, they slowly be­came avail­able a cou­ple of years later. They’re still rel­a­tively un­known.

THE RAVEN 1

This is the is­sued sight to South Korea’s spe­cial forces. In civil­ian speak, it’s called the DI Op­ti­cal Raven 1 (RV1) re­flex sight. This sight has passed the strin­gent MIL-STD-810 stan­dard trial, which tries to wreck stuff by ex­pos­ing things to a con­cen­trated life cy­cle of en­vi­ron­men­tal stresses. (In other words, the mil­i­tary tries to beat it to death and de­ter­mine any de­fi­cien­cies.)

At first heft, you are cer­tain this is not just an­other off­shore poseur. It has heft and feels built as if you could whack it with a bat. It is very solid and pretty good look­ing; it looks a lot like an Aim­point Comp M4 but more util­i­tar­ian.

The mount is very sturdy and has the same hole pat­tern as an A.R.M.S. #17 sin­gle-throw lever mount if you feel the need to change it from the per­fectly ad­e­quate knurled and slot­ted knob it comes with. The in­cluded mount is ex­cel­lent qual­ity, and the

re­coil lug un­der the mount mea­sures .1945 inch, so it’s a good fit to the rail on your MIL-SPEC AR upper. Min­i­mal slop.

The oc­u­lar lens mea­sured just un­der 30mm, and the eye­piece was no­tice­ably smaller, although it didn’t seem to make any dif­fer­ence in my field of view. The op­ti­cal cen­ter is about 1.5 inches high and puts the 1.5 MOA dot just on the front sight on my Colt Comp II H-Bar.

It uses a ro­tary in­ten­sity dial with four night vi­sion set­tings and seven day­time set­tings. The dot is re­mark­ably tight and uni­form, and the red coat­ing on the oc­u­lar lens re­duced glare no­tice­ably, as did the fully mul­ti­coated lenses.

The new sheet from the en­gi­neers at DI Op­ti­cal stated that the run time with the sin­gle AA bat­tery is 20,000 hours on in­ten­sity level 9 out of 11. That’s about 833 days. The man­ual states dif­fer­ently, but the man­u­als need to be re­vised in sev­eral ar­eas and are holdovers from the first gen­er­a­tion of prod­ucts that were de­liv­ered about two years ago. DI Op­ti­cal said it is work­ing on its web­site up­date, as well.

The dot in­ten­sity is ex­cel­lent on “low”—very use­ful when your eyes are ac­cli­mated to the dark. The max level is bright enough to see in sunlight. There was re­mark­ably lit­tle bloom, or bleed­ing, of the dot at the high­est set­ting. The silent ro­tary dial is out of the way but con­ve­nient to ma­nip­u­late. How­ever, I wish it had an “off” set­ting next to “high bright.”

Each click is a full inch at 100 yards, which is not un­com­mon and shouldn’t be much of an is­sue for most. I counted more than 150 el­e­va­tion clicks to­tal. In test­ing, the adjustments were fairly crisp and moved the dot ap­pro­pri­ately dur­ing a test, for which I ad­justed 20 clicks to each cor­ner of a box tar­get and back to the orig­i­nal aim­ing point.

Re­coil from my .223 had zero ef­fect. The tur­ret strap con­nected to the windage and el­e­va­tion caps worked bet­ter than most other op­tics keep­ers I’ve used, be­cause the coated ca­ble or rub­ber strap hold­ing the tur­ret cov­ers often binds and pre­vents them from turn­ing eas­ily. Not in this case. And not a big deal, but nice.

The Raven had just about the most unique flip-up cov­ers I’ve seen on a sight. They’re a hard rub­ber/plas­tic com­po­si­tion that hugs the oc­u­lar and ob­jec­tive and fea­ture caps that eas­ily press-fit into the scope. They ap­pear to be wa­ter­proof, but my sub­mer­sion test proved oth­er­wise. What’s unique is that the hinge has no mov­ing parts and gives con­stant pres­sure up­ward like a spring. There is a tab on the top of the sur­round­ing band that pre­vents the top from clos­ing un­til you man­u­ally pull it closed.

When test­ing with my third-gen PVS-14 night vi­sion monoc­u­lar and a stan­dard mount, the oc­u­lar cap worked well. How­ever, when us­ing DI Op­ti­cal’s 3XP mag­ni­fier with the A.R.M.S. #78 T.I.T.S. (tan­gent in­te­grated tilt sight) mount, the caps in­ter­fered, so I re­moved them.

My third-gen PVS-14 did, in­deed, show four em­i­nently use­able night vi­sion set­tings, and both the NV and var­i­ous 3x mag­ni­fiers mated well to the height of the Raven. The aim­ing dot is no­tice­able from the front.

COM­PAR­I­SON

I men­tioned the heft. It’s not a light­weight, with its beefy, 6061 air­craft alu­minum body com­ing in at just un­der 15 ounces. As a com­par­i­son, the su­perb Aim­point Comp M4 weighs in at 9.3 ounces and an Aim­point Pro at 11.6 ounces. That’s a fairly sub­stan­tial dif­fer­ence.

An­other dis­par­ity is the run time, which is listed for the Aim­points at an in­cred­i­ble 80,000 hours for the Comp M4 and at 30,000 hours for the Pro—ver­sus 20,000 for the RV1. But the most sig­nif­i­cant dis­tinc­tion for the Raven is the MSRP of $255. It’s un­fair to com­pare the Raven to a cou­ple of the finest elec­tronic sights in ex­is­tence, but you can buy around three and a half Ravens for the cost of one Comp M4 or two Ravens for the price of a Pro. For most shoot­ers, ei­ther recre­ation­ally or for duty, the Raven will do any­thing you ask of it and free up sub­stan­tial dol­lars you can spend on ammo, an­other gun ... or a gift for your sig­nif­i­cant other for be­ing so un­der­stand­ing about your hobby. GW

The sturdy mount’s re­coil

lug mea­sured .1945 inch. It fits MIL-SPEC rail grooves well, with

min­i­mal slop.

The four night vi­sion set­tings on the Raven worked well in front of this gen-3 PVS-14 night vi­sion monoc­u­lar. The 1.5-inch op­ti­cal cen­ter of the Raven lines up well with most mag­ni­fiers and night vi­sion units.

The A.R.M.S. #78 T.I.T.S. mount is solid and clever. Pull back on the mag­ni­fier body, and swing to the side.

This is a no-frills sturdy pair­ing and a great, rugged

value.

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