My experiences and reviews of the optics I've acquired
I finally got one! :) It is heavy. It was designed for both the SVD and the PKM machine gun. I have the "military" grade 4-12, not the "commercial" grade 3-9. That means I can range out to 1200 meters vs. 900.
It actually fits the PSL quite well:
The description on dragunov.net is completely wrong. It functions not as a "set" variable power, but more like an infinite zoom. The rangefinder adjusts the focus to that of the range. Just like the handheld hiking/trekking rangefinders. You dial the range in by focusing the piper marks on a man-sized (1.7m) target. When the target is aligned inside the two pipers, your range is set. You read the range by looking at the number dial around the circumference of the view. The number at the 12:00 o'clock position is the range in meters (4 = 400, etc). Simple!
There is a 2nd piper mark for a prone (.5 meter tall) target in case your target just doesn't want to stand still for you :)
There is a bullet drop compensator with three chevrons. I need to find at exactly what distance they are set. I think they are 0-1000, 1200, 1300, if they are like the "commercial" model.
Note that the optic is offset to the left of the rifle. This is actually quite comfortable since you don't need to fit your body to the scope... you just bring up the rifle and you're there! It is also very handy for left-eye dominant shooting, because you can actually use it with your left eye. That is probably the main reason it was designed that way, but I digress.
It takes 2 batteries... yet another battery to keep in my inventory! :(
PO 3.5x21P Scope
This scope is described as the "Russian Elcan" scope in that it is a wide-angle lower magnification scope. The intention is to overcome the "keyhole" aiming of high-power scopes by creating a reasonable amount of magnification with a wide field of view. The advantage is that it provides for better acquisition of swift-moving targets or targets in cluttered environments (vs. targets on an open target range).
I spent just over $400 for it in 2006. The kit comes with a cleaning brush, screwdriver, 3-sided file (for rail maintenance, I suppose), bullet-drop chart, manual, purse-style carry bag (strap only, no belt loops), and cleaning cloth. The rubber eyeguard is fastened to the scope body with rubber cement (I think). It comes right off.
Close-up of the optics chart:
The actual optic image is that on the LH side. Not sure what the RH side image refers to... it may be one chart for different scopes. A translation would be nice!
On my .223 Saiga AK-101 clone:
Note the location of the mounting axis vs. a PSOP scope. It seems to be that it needs a closer eye relief:
The bottom of the scope actually has a few mounting lugs, and it looks like I could mount it farther back by about 1.5 inches. I will have to investigate a little further, but it is nice to know I can vary the mounting location. Honestly, the wide-angle nature of the scope lets you raise the rifle and acquire targets rather quickly without having to lean into the scope eyepiece.
At the range, I was able to keep them in the black, with about 2-3" groups on average. Note that this rifle is set for the AK-101 configuration, and I did not test grouping with the muzzle brake removed, only with it in place. I didn't have a good shooting rest and so I feel better groups could be achieved with a better shooting rest. The ammo was 55 grain Wolf. Temp was mid-60's with average humidity and slight breeze.
NPSU / 1PN34 Night Vision Scope
Finally! Obtained an authentic Soviet-era military NV scope. Finnish manufacture with all the accessories. Manual is incredibly detailed and even goes into circuit repair! Unfortunately I don't have an English interpretation - yet. I hear they are out there somewhere and I will post when they are available.
This thing is huge! Also heavy, I would not try to shoot it offhand and only shoot it from a supported position.
It comes with all the range cams except for 5.45x39 cams. The FDF does not use 5.45x39, therefore only the x54R, 7.62x39, RPG, etc. cams are shipped with the scope. I don't know if 5.45 cams are available for this scope.
Detailed ranging estimation is available similar to mil-dot ranging:
The scope must be used in daylight with the day cover, otherwise the tube will burn out due to over-saturation.
On mine, the scope knob is really tight. I don't think this was ever used at all. The accessories in the box all have what appears to be original wrapping, and the pouch doesn't even appear to be used.
Apparently the reticles were not "clean" from the factory, and many have grainy or sometimes partially obscured optics:
The solution is actually quite simple. Remove the reticule, give it a good cleaning with a cotton swab and water, and reassemble!
Access to the reticule is via the four screws that hold the bulb housing in place. These screws are small blade-tip screws. Mine had a lock washer on only one and the housing was different - be sure to note the same on yours if so equipped. Once they are removed, the bulb housing comes off and exposes the reticule and reticule lock plate. The lock plate can be removed by two smaller screws.
If you remove your reticule, you MUST remember to mark the location of the original reticule so that it will remain vertically aligned and not be canted. It is adjustable so you must be sure to check it before removing the lock plate!
Reinstall the screws being sure to CAREFULLY screw them back in. Screw them in snug but not too tight to avoid stripping the threads!
BLITS optics mount
Experimental heavy-duty AR mount for STANAG optics that reportedly saw limited use in Desert Storm. They appear on auction sites from time to time for a hefty sum:
Fix for Romanian PSL scope with depleted tritium insert:
1P29 / UPO-2
UPO-2 / YNO-2 is the "export" version. The two scopes seem identical; I believe the export laws over there require this distinction as original military equipment has export restrictions placed upon it.
This is an exact copy of my British SUIT scope. 3x, post reticle with post at 12:00 position. It seems counter-intuitive to put it there, as opposed to the "fence post" being at the 6:00 position. The reason why is because testing found the recoil caused the reticle to cover the target, resulting in slower re-acquisition of the target. At the 12:00 posiition, the reticle doesn't cover the target upon recoil, resulting in much faster re-acquisition of the target window.
I found this at the gun show. This has a Euro-style 13mm (1/2") dovetail mount with a quick-release tab. I haven't found a suitable mount for the dovetail, as here in the US all 1/2" mounts are reserved for air rifles and BB guns. There are 1/2"-to-Picatinny dovetail adapters available. Overall a very robust optic and mount!
The tritium insert is HUGE - almost 9mm diameter! I can't find any replacements like it. I have read the original used a blue tritium, however the one I have is regular green. I am still shopping for a suitable tritium insert.