Elcan SpecterDR 5.56 Review

The Numbers
1-4x Magnification
2.75" eye relief
6-24 deg field of view
0.5 MOA/click adjustments
300+hours DL1/3n
1lb, 7oz total weight

Elcan SpecterDR 1-4x. Note the throw lever in the 4x position


The SpecterDR is a quality, well thought out, military geared optic. The unique throw lever cleverly gives right handed shooters a very rapid switch from 1x to 4x. 2 options of illuminated reticle allows for rapid, accurate shooting from up close in the day, to as far out as you can reasonably see at night. It has a Bullet/Ballistic Drop Compensator (BDC) for 62gr M855 out to 1000m.

SpecterDR reticle

The clarity of the glass is good, even in low light and reticle is very functional without being cluttered.  It is a rugged scope build to hold up on a rifle that spends more time in your hands than in a safe. The only significant cons to the scope are price and weight. To compare it to the ACOG 4x32, it has almost twice the function, but it is also over twice the weight.  

Review details

16" test rifle (JP Rifles) with Elcan SpecterDR

I purchased the scope a year ago and ran it on both a 16" and 14.5" AR-15 for a little over 3 months. I used it for live and dry fire contact/break contact drills, CQB training and well over 20,000 rounds of shooting. It rode without a case in the trunk of a car and got hit with simunition and UTM rounds (no direct hits to the objective lens, only the body). In short? - it got used and abused the way it was meant to be used and abused.  

For accuracy testing, I shot it out to 400m and in as close as 5m. I used it for every drill thought up by VTAC and almost every DoD or Federal agency rifle qualification. 

SpecterDR reticle with center illuminated


The Specter did great on all tests. It is tough and practical scope. I loved the 1-4 throw lever, it is a lot easier and faster to switch magnification than a typical 1-4 scope. As I personally don't use the intermediate magnifications on a 1-4x scope (I won't dial it to 2x for instance), the lever provides all pro and no con for me. 

My main negatives (other than price) that I have with the scope are weight and the reticle width. I am used to heavy attachments and I don't mind a little extra weight, but after a full day shooting, I noticed the difference between the Specter and an ACOG. I also found the 1.5MOA center reticle dot way too large. Compared to the triangle of the ACOG, or a regular crosshair, it was obtrusive. While the theory is that up close it lets you aim fast, and at distance you can use the BDC, the BDC lines are still 1.5 MOA thick until it switches to an area target circle at 700m.  Even at 400m I found myself having to line up with the target off center, and then traverse onto it because the reticle was blocking too much of it. While it works for what it is meant to do, for me personally, a thinner reticle would be preferable.

Having said that, my guess is that from an engineering standpoint, any thinner and there would not be enough to illuminate effectively during daylight. 


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