Sadly, I didn’t remember to take a bunch of photos of this optic, and none that show the scale as compared to anything useful. I was too busy trying to get things done and expedite the actual testing of the optic.
The next optic up is the U.S. Optics SR-4c, 1-4×22. Like the SR-8c, it has a red dot in the second focal plane and the reticle in the first focal plane. They call this illumination “dual focal plane”.
The SR-4c is very similar in character to the SR-8c. They feel very similar. The controls are nearly identical. They are styled in the same manner. The main difference is, as the model designators would indicate, the power range.
The other big differences between the SR-8c and the SR-4c are the size and weight. The SR-8c is 12” long and 25.6 ounces, while the SR-4c is 9.25” long and 19.8 ounces. The SR-4c doesn’t seem like it’s that long, as it has a stout, compact appearance. An additional significant practical difference is that the SR-4c allows for more flexibility in mounting. I was able to use my Nightforce Unimount, which I like because it is significantly lower than a standard height AR mount.
The reticle on the SR-4c, which again is in the front focal plane, is a very simple arrangement. I have found out in my travels that simple is good. I have also found out that cramming things up with features is not always good, which I’m happy to report is not the case with this scope. What I have noticed with these scopes is that at close range and low magnification, what I want to see is the illuminated dot and not much else. Something else that I’ve found to be the case with these lower power scopes is that when using the reticle to hold for elevation or wind at longer ranges, fine graduations in the reticle can be confusing and seem to be unnecessary, which is also not the case with this scope.
Something I noticed when I first received the scopes was that the SR-4c had a more forgiving eyebox. I don’t know of a way I could objectively measure this attribute, but as I initially inspected the scopes I had on hand it seemed to me that the SR-4c might have had the easiest eyebox to acquire. When I mounted the scope to test I did not notice the SR-4c to be different in this attribute from the others. When one has the ability to take a good position, and is trained to establish a consistent cheekweld, eyebox ease is probably not that noticeable. We’ll see if the numbers show a difference in performance.
The illumination on these scopes is, in my opinion, the best I have seen. It’s a clear, bright red dot. There is no “bloom” to the illumination, as I see in the Aimpoint and EOTech sights. The dot is about as bright as with the Aimpoint (I actually found that I could see the SR-8c’s dot in snow where the Aimpoint was washed out). I’ve been told that the U.S. Optics illumination robs the image of brightness, and it is evident that these scopes are both less bright than the other two I tested. As with the SR-8c, the illumination isn’t visible from the objective end.
Two things come to mind with this scope, one of which will apply to the SR-8c as well. I wish the turrets, in addition to being finer in adjustment, would have the customary arrow with the “Up” or “Right”, because evidently some people (namely me) get confused on where I am and what direction I’m going. I turned the knobs the wrong way twice when zeroing this scope, which should have been (and would otherwise have been) a very cut and dried affair.
Secondly, the big advantage of matching turrets was nullified with the maximum of 4 power magnification. I couldn’t see my hits at 100 to read the reticle and adjust the turret without having to walk downrange. This meant that I had to actually go back to doing range math. Not only that, but I had to do it in mils, which adds an extra conversion step for a brain that was trained early on to think in MOA.
I’ll cover the testing process briefly in the next installment, which is coming up shortly. Thanks for reading.