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Optic of the Week: 1P29 Tulip

1P29 Tulip, AKA UPO-1 is a Soviet era 4x scope based off the Trilux/SUIT scope.


TexasZen has a great write up on them over on his site RussianOptics.net. Here is the 1P29 page.

But who cares about his opinion, here is mine:

I had been wanting to get a scope for my 5.56×45 SLR-106FR AK for a while. Wasn’t sure what I wanted to get, but this was one of the optics I was thinking of. When I went to order the PERST-4 Laser from IvanTactical, I decided to order this as well. It came straight from Russian in 7 days.

The scope came nicely boxed and in a canvas? gear bag.
The scope came wrapped up to protect it (partially unwrapped in these photos). It also came with a manual, adjustment tool, lens cloth and some caps.

The 1P27, sometimes called the UPO-1 for the commercial market slides right on to your rifles side rail and locks on. AK side rail scope mounts tend to be looked down upon by western shooters, but it is a simple system that just works. Although, it can make optics bulky.

My first thought about the scope is that it seemed a good bit larger and bulkier than I expected. But it is older tech. If you are really wanting the best fighting optic for an AK, you should be buying a newer western optic.

An inverted post provides the aiming point in the 1P29. Tritium illuminates the tip during low light conditions. The tritium in mine is rather dim. Some people have figured a way to replace the tritium in these optics. If you buy one of these optics, don’t expect the tritium to be bright enough to be useful. I had forgotten that these were illuminated, so I was surprised when I saw it glow dimly in the dark.

On the right side, there range finding reticle based off a 1.5 meter height. This is kind of odd as most of that style that I know of use a 1.7 meter height. On average, males tend to be between 1.6 and 1.8 meters tall. Hmm, maybe these were calibrated for shooting women? Might be for vehicles, but still an odd choice for height. Some hunting calibrated range finders use a 1 meter height. So many of the classes I took in the Corps tried to teach us to range find the enemy off the height of a Humvee, and I always asked why the enemy had Humvees and the instructors wouldn’t answer me. So I dunno.

The optic is clear, but has some noticeable fish eye effect. This seems pretty common in Russian optics.

The scope sits high enough to easily use the iron sights under it. The eye piece is centered over the rifle, but the objective lens is offset to the left.

There is a cam, with knobs on each side of the optic ranging from 400-1000 meters in 100 meter increments. In the picture above it is set to the 1000m setting. When I took it out of the bag, this adjustment was extremely stiff. After turning it a few times, it can be adjusted stiffly. No concern of it accidentally being turned. The cams are calibrated for 5.45×39 or 7.62x54R.

We tend to take for granted the idea of center of mass being the center of chest. I’ve seen something when you tell someone center of mass, they assume a point closer to the belt line. The Russians like to do something similar. They use a 400m battle sight zero so that an individual can aim at the targets belt line and know that they will hit the torso anywhere from 0-400m. The people I’ve told this too in person seem to find it odd, but it isn’t really that dissimilar to our militaries 300m zero. If I’m not mistaken, the AK74 400m zero puts the impact about 9 inches high at 100m, and 14 inches high at max ordnance.

I am using a 5.56, so my intent is to zero at 100 yards and hold over for other distances. But I started at 25 yards.

Windage is adjusted by a screw on the right side. CCW for Left, CW for Right.

H (CW) for Down, B (CCW) for Up. When I fired my first few shots, the impact was rather high. The dial was set to about 9.5, so I dialed it down to 4 and that brought my impact close to my point of aim.

There are no clicks, and the adjustment seems rather coarse. I don’t know much each adjustment is, and was fortunate that my random guess got my close to where I wanted to be. I’ll fine turn this zero at longer distance next time I use this scope.

Shooting off the bench with this easy. Rapid fire offhand felt slow to me. That may be more from my lack of muscle memory with the AK over the design of the scope.

If you were looking for a scope for serious fighting use, I would recommend getting something newer. But this is a proven functional fighting scope. It will get the job done if you need it too.

3 thoughts on “Optic of the Week: 1P29 Tulip”

  1. The SUIT sights were always interesting. The only good thing to come from the Brit SA80 program was the SUIT’s offspring, the SUSAT. Well ahead of anything else at the time.
    This has convinced me to dredge up my desire to get an optic or two. They’re old and dated but always liked the simplicity of their PSO-1 scopes. And their PKA red dots based on a cutdown PSO scope body just screams of Russkie utility.

    • While I’ve used a SUSAT, I’ve never seen a SUSAT for sale. But I never really did look hard either. I’ve seen plenty of SUIT scopes for sale, some where the seller called it a SUSAT. I thought about getting one some years ago, but it seemed like right when I got interested in them the prices jumped the supply dried up.

      • SUSATs are not common but they’re out there. The problem with them for us is that they’re not picatinny so other than having one for a collector’s piece there isn’t a lot you can do with them. Still, good sights. Worked with our counterparts frequently during my tour over there so got some range and field time behind them. This was mid 90s, ACOGs were around just not common, so having a 4x on a rifle was magical! The L85 on the other hand, is a different story.

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