The Specter OS 4x model is a simplified version of the Specter DR 1x/4x (SU-230/PVS) sans the complex cam-driven corrective 1x magnification lens system and the rudimentary integral backup iron sight. The OS 4X stands simply for Optical Sight fixed 4x magnification. Comparing to the DR model, the Specter OS 4x is 5 ounces lighter, has a more streamlined exterior and a substantial $800 lower price tag. The external adjustment mount, lens size, illumination system and the optical formula of the main optic are the same as the Specter DR model.
Optically the ELCAN Specter OS 4x is phenomenal, and it can rival some of the best Euro optics. I found the resolution and clarity remains the same from the center of the lens to the edges with no noticeable lens distortion. There are also no observable tunnel-effect or color artifacts from the sight picture. ELCAN only uses the premium German SCHOTT optical glass to make their lens. During my resolution test, the ELCAN Specter OS 4x can resolve down to Block #6 of my modified Zeiss Test Pattern (ZTP) chart at 20 yards away. A very impressive optical performance.
Similar to the DR model, the ELCAN Specter OS 4x model’s eye relief is a generous 2.75 inches or 70mm with an ample 7.8mm exit pupil. The ELCAN’s robust external adjustment mount features a 120 MOA windage and elevation adjustment with 0.5 MOA per click. There’s sufficient height at the back to clear any flip-up rear sights on the market.
There are two reticles available and both feature BDCs for 62gr 5.56x45mm M855/NATO SS109 round fired from a 16-inch barrel. That was specifically designed so the BDCs will also work for 14.5-inch carbine length and 18- to 20-inch rifle barrel. I prefer the chevron reticle for quick target acquisition but the fine crosshair reticle, which is the British military’s choice, is good for precision shooting. The ELCAN Specter OS 4x was adopted as the ELCAN LDS (Lightweight Day Sight) by the UK armed forces as the replacement optic on their standard L85A2 bullpup rifle.
The reticle illumination is daylight visible on the center chevron or fine crosshair. Turn the large illumination knob forward to light up just the reticle center or backward to illuminate the whole reticle. Battery life is 300-600 hours on daylight visible settings or up to 2000-3000 hours on low settings. I left it on the daylight visible setting continuously and the battery lasted just over a month. For most daylight use the reticle illumination is not needed.
What’s ELCAN stands for?
Ernst Leitz Canada. Its former parent company Ernst Leitz of Germany was named after its founder and has its history traced back to 1869. In the early 1990s, ELCAN became an independent entity and Ernst Leitz Germany adapted the name of its famous camera division: Leica. Some still equates the ELCAN sights to Leica built military optics, although that’s not entirely correct.
ELCAN produces high-resolution optical lens for aural reconnaissance, night vision equipment and other optronics for many NATO militaries. It started in 1954, when ELCAN began supplying aircraft gun sight to the Canadian military. During the Vietnam War, the US Navy had used an ELCAN camera system based on Leica with specially made low-light Noctilux lens. By the 1970s, ELCAN had ventured into small arms optical sight development with a compact roof prism design. That eventually became the ELCAN C79 3.4x28mm that the Canadian Forces issue as the combat optic for their C7 and C8 rifles and C6 and C9 machineguns. In 1999, the US Army adapted a modified battery illumination version of the C79 as the M145 for their M240 and M249 machineguns. In 2003, ELCAN released their new Specter series with the dual-role 1x/4x SpecterDR and it was quickly adopted by the US SOCOM as the SU-230/PVS.
The featured ELCAN OS4x fixed 4x magnification model was released in 2009 and it was selected by the British military as the replacement for the SUSAT sight on their L85A2 bullpup rifle.
ELCAN Specter OS 4x vs. Trijicon ACOGs
The ELCAN is a competitor to the popular Trijicon ACOGs. The rivalry goes far back to the early 1980s in the US Army’s Advanced Combat Rifle (ACR) program. The ELCAN C79 model was used on the Colt’s ACR candidate. While the ACR submission by AAI has the Trijicon ACOG TA01. The latest ELCAN Specter OS 4x model fits between Trijicon’s current ACOG 4x32mm TA31 and 3.5x35mm TA11 models. The ELCAN has the 4-power magnification and the wide field-of-view of the ACOG 4x32mm while also having the longer eye-relief of the ACOG 3.5x35mm. The ELCAN is slightly cheaper than both ACOGs and an integral QD mount is included with the price. The ACOG QD base costs $125-$200 extra. ELCAN’s battery powered digital illumination system allows user control of reticle brightness and even turns it off completely. So it has the advantage of not having to deal with fiber booming in bright sunlight or visibility issues in complex lighting conditions. Unlike most Trijicon ACOG models, the ELCAN has no need for the $400-$600 tritium rebuild after warranty expired.
ELCAN Specter OS 4x Specifications:
|Objective Lens Size:||32mm|
|W&E Adjustment Range:||120 MOA|
|Adjustments per click:||0.5 MOA|
|Ocular Lens Size:||34mm|
|Exit Pupil Size:||7.8mm|
|Eye Relief:||2.75 inch / 70mm|
|Field of View:||6 degrees, 31.5 feet at 100 yards|
|Reticle:||Chevron or Fine Crosshair w/ stadia range finder|
|BDC:||200 to 800m for 5.56mm 62 gr NATO caliber|
|Reticle Illumination:||red color, daytime visible, night vision compatible|
|Power Source:||3 volt Lithium DL 1/3N|
|Battery Life:||300-600 hours on daytime visible, 2000-3000 hours on low light|
|Overall Length:||6 inches|