Optic of the week – GRSC 1-10x Full Spectrum Optic

I just realized as I wrote this title that everything I have ever seen that was named Full Spectrum something or another has been kind of a let down.

Long ago I told Shawn that my holy grail optic would be a 1-10x. But I knew that as soon as I bought one a cheaper, better 1-20x would come out. So if a 1-20x comes out next week, you can thank me for that.

Story I read some years ago said that Fred of GRSC came up with the idea of a horse shoe (or in the past called a flat tire) reticle. That he went to a bunch of different scope companies to sell his reticle to them and they all turned him down. Shortly after, the various scope companies started making their own horse shoe reticles. So Fred went and ordered scopes with his reticle in it to sell.

The 1-10x is the newest optic of his. He specced out his custom reticle to be put in the Atibal 1-10X scope. It comes in the box with a spare battery, flip up covers, a sun shade and a kill flash. At 10 inches long and 21 oz, it is a nice size and not overly heavy.

The oversized power adjustment is awesome. It makes changing the magnification easy. It is my favorite part of this scope.

The turrets are capped. The clicks were easy to tell apart.

The turrets are nice. I’m not sure if I would want to run them uncovered, but they would probably be find if you did. When I zeroed the scope, the windage adjusted just as I expected, I had a great deal more elevation movement than I expected. I’m not sure if I dialed in the wrong adjustment, or if the scope wasn’t performing at expected. If I keep this scope, I’ll do a box test later.

I first used it on a 5.56 upper. When I started trying to zero at 25 yards, I found it rather hard. It seemed like I could either have the target in focus, or the reticle, but not both. Under 4x, I couldn’t make out the reticle, over 7x I the target was too blurry to see. Finally I settled for a blurry target and sighted in quickly. I then slapped it on a 5.45 and fired a couple hundred rounds at 15 yards trying it for speed.

Let us take a look at the reticle:

10X Note the thick horseshoe and the bullet drop reticle set up for M855.
10X illuminated
1X
1X illuminated

The illumination is said to be daylight bright. In shade it showed up well, but once I was out in the Florida sunshine it was not bright enough.

Parallax is suppose to be set at 100 yards. I really struggled with the ocular focus on this scope. I kept fiddling with it as I felt the reticle was a little fuzzy. In the end I think it is the reticle it self that is less than crisp. (Edit – as I was writing this article I played with the ocular focus more. I got it better.) The eye relief seemed fine, but the eye box is small. It was very unforgiving on head placement. If I wasn’t lined up right, the reticle would get fuzzy or have a shadow.

I like the horse shoe reticle, but I feel like this execution could have been done better. The horseshoe is very thick, and obscures part of your target at 10X. At 1X it is very tiny, and I relied more on the large circle than the center horseshoe. The view is pretty good. A little bit of a bubble effect at 1X, but certainly acceptable. (Edit – when I adjusted the ocular focus almost all the way out to get the cross hair crisper, it make the 1X setting appear to be more magnification, the picture was not as flat as before)

I did a bunch of rapid fire with this optic at 15 yards. At first I used the brightest illumination and shooting at a red dot on white paper, the dim red reticle washed out. Turning the illumination off worked better.

I didn’t feel particularly fast when I was using this scope. But I think speed would come with more practice. From 15 yards I shot using 1X, 4X, and 10X. I was shooting a much smaller group with 10x than the other two. I think this might have been due to the reticle being clearer at that magnification. Unfortunatly I didn’t think to bring a timer, so I may have been shooting slower at the higher magnifications and didn’t notice it. I choose to intentionally speed up with the 4X and 10X shooting and that opened up groups.

I wouldn’t call this a proper review. We still don’t know how reliable or durable this scope is. How accurate its bullet drop chart reticle is. Those are very important questions. If I were looking for an optic for a fighting weapon, I spend more would go with a proven product.

If I had to rate this, at the moment I would give it a C-. It is ok, but I wouldn’t call it great. But it is great to see more lower cost 1-X power scopes.

Review: Tasco Riflescope Rings

I am going to be trying out this GRSC 1-10x and I didn’t have any 35mm rings for it. I didn’t feel like buying expensive (read good) rings for a scope I probably won’t keep. I bought some Tasco High Rings for $10.89. Part number TS00725.

I bought those because I needed (read wanted) some other items and I could buy the Tasco rings from the same place selling the other items.

I put the first ring on the rail and tighten it with a torque wrench. I think, “These are pretty nice for ten bucks.” I put the second ring on, and tighten with a torque wrench. It strips out.

I guess I got what I paid for.

I’m going to call this an optic of the week post and rate these a hard fail.

Teaser: GRSC 1-10X

The day before I got this in, I realized I don’t own any 35mm rings.

Expect a review in a couple of weeks, the rings I ordered were sent the extra slow way.


This scope comes in a nice box with a few accessories.

It comes with a sun shade, a honeycomb kill flash, a lens cleaning cloth and an additional CR2032 battery. Sony brand battery, not some unknown brand. The scope also comes with lens caps. Nice little additions.

It comes with a generic manual that appears to be translated from Chinese. Here are a few lines from it:

  • Do not attempt any work until the bun has been cleared and determined to be safe.
  • … and a round is mot in the chamber.
  • Maintain the meatal surface. . .

Over all the generic instructions are not too bad. Shawn and I are going to offer who ever wrote them a position as LooseRounds.com editor as they clearly can write better than us.

The main draw to this scope it its reticle and unfortunately the instruction do not cover that at all. Fred from GRSC recommends you to look at his website for further instruction.

Field Accuracy Of The MK12 (Part 1)

The MK12 Special Purpose Rifle has been around 20 plus years now give or take and has achieved an excellent reputation for accuracy and effectiveness. I won’t go over it’s history and development here except to say it was developed as a light weight sniper rifle for special operations forces. It’s use in the GWOT went on to prove it as an excellent variant of the infinitely adaptable AR15.

Since then civilian buyers have “build” copies and nearly perfect clones of the rifle. It’s been used arguably more in the civilian world than the military world at this point since it is now no longer officially used by the military. It’s proven to be an excellent precision AR15 in every way even if it is “dated” compared to the never ending marketing to selling us lighter and lighter and more and more Gucci new models and variants with debatable improvements.

One thing I have noticed about the MK12 when it comes up in discussion is the same old subject about its effective range when it comes to accuracy. A lot of people seem to think its a 600 yard gun. Of course other people who know better will shoot them further but that doesn’t seem to make much of a dent in the never ending opinions of online commenters. So once again I decided to demonstrate what it can do and push it to its extreme limits. This will be ongoing for the next few months. So let’s get started.

My first thought was to start this off with all the usual sand bags and rests and all the stuff to replicate shooting from a bench on a range to milk accuracy. Then I decided maybe it would be better if I shot the gun at long range just like it would have been used in the field, bipods and laying prone or across a pack. If I couldn’t get results from there for whatever reason I would use a bench , rest and bags.

Shooting from prone using the ATLAS bipod and no rear sand bag, I shot the rifle out to 900 yards. Target used was the official 1,000 BR target with scoring rings. I used this instead of a steel target so we would have something to actually measure by and to show results. Ammo used was the ammo developed for the SPR. The Black hills 5.56MM MK 262 ammo with 77gr. Sierra match king bullet. I cheated a bit with the optic by not using the optic issued with MK12s. In this case to better see the target and make as precise of shots as possible, I used a NightForce 5.5x-22x. This insured enough elevation as well as magnification for long range. I will be using this optic for the further testing or this series. In this first test we are looking at the MOD 1 version of the MK12. Using the KAC fore arm, a douglas barrel in 1/7 twist and the usual ops inc muzzle break. Lower is Colt with SSA trigger. Upper is Colt and Colt BCG with all the correct parts etc. Future articles will hopefully include the MOD 0.

I caught a perfect morning to do this initial testing. It was 65 degrees with no humidity and a 6 o’clock wind that wasn’t even 5mph. After fine tuning the zero, I fired 20 rounds for “record” on a fresh target.

Target above is for final record group. It wasn’t the first attempt as I needed some time to fine tune the zero and settle in after a little practice. Since I am trying to show what it can do at it’s best, I am not bothering to show you my warm up targets since they were not shot with final zero and MK262. It’s expensive so handloads stood in till I was ready.

The group probably looks as crappy to you as it did to me when i first drove down to inspect it. So to put it into perspective I put up a human like target against it since that is what the gun was meant to be used on.

Yep, I had a couple of flyers that I can’t explain. No excuse. I’m not as good as I was a couple years ago. It happens. I’m pretty happy with this. Had my spotter been my preferred partner and I shot from some sandbags I believe I may have been able to tighten this up a bit. Hand loads or the new Federal 73grain Berger gold medal load may have tightened it further. Those will be next time perhaps. I think the Q target demonstrates the ability of the MK12 with its issue ammo in knocking down human bag guys pretty well though.

In part 2 I will take the target out to the full 1,000 yards. This was my intention for part one but I anticipated terrible mirage from heat and wind and set the target up a little short. The temp and wind never did rise to the level I thought it would though and I was trying to shoot in those perfect conditions while I had the chance instead of wasting it driving back to re set the target. Next Time… 1,000 yards and maybe beyond.

Aimpoint H1 Micro, after 5 Years of use

I have always been a strong proponent of Aimpoint sights. Really, we all have been at looserounds. You cannot go wrong choosing any of the Aimpoint models that are currently available or have been previously available. When I worked for my hometown police department, I was the only officer with an Aimpoint, I carried an ML2 (purchased 2003). I never had an issue with my ML2, it just kept going strong year after year. I wrote an article for looserounds several years ago about that Aimpoint ML2 after running it on rifles for ten (10) years. (http://looserounds.com/2013/04/23/my-aimpoint-ml2-a-decade-in-use/). Since then I have used several other Aimpoints Red Dot Sight (RDS) optics.

There are a lot of micro RDS optics on the market and numerous are less expensive than Aimpoint. So, I want to put this article in perspective for you.  Just like my previous article on the Aimpoint ML2, I am talking about a serious personal defense, military or law enforcement / duty use, micro RDS optic. Something you can trust your life or others lives on. While other RDS optics might serve you just as well, Aimpoint is known for its quality. Aimpoint has the quality and quantity that has served in military and law enforcement units in extreme environments for decades.

PSA 10.5 Pistol w/Aimpoint H1. ADM Mount

In October 2013 and January 2014, I purchased two Aimpoint H1 RDS optics. These Ampoint H1’s have a 4MOA dot and are currently out of production. Aimpoint still makes the H1 micro but it is only offered in a 2MOA dot. When you are testing a RDS sight over several years, it may go out of production, but there are a lot of that sight still out there. Also it gives you an idea of how current models will perform.

I put brand new batteries in the H1’s when I purchased them and set them on setting eight (8). Aimpoint states that on setting eight (8) the micro’s should run for 50,000 hours or five (5) years on the same battery. I would say this is very accurate as I have had both my Aimpoints on over the five (5) years.   

Aimpoint H1/Larue Mount/Colt 6720
Aimpoint H1/Scalarworks Mount

Now you may be thinking, I didn’t continually leave the H1’s on and I never used them in any hard use. The H1 micro’s have seen more rounds on rifles than I even know. They have been through countless training classes, schools and testing at looserounds. I have also tested the H1’s on several different mounts over the years. I have used American Defense Manufacturing (ADM) mounts, Daniel Defense mounts, LaRue Tactical Mounts and Scalarworks Mounts.  You will see these mounts throughout the pictures in the article.  Since the batteries have been on for 5-1/2 years they probably have over 55,000 hours run time on them.

H1’s on 6920 & 6720 / Larue & Scalarworks

For the past five (5) years my pair of Aimpoint H1 mico’s have been my home defense optics, on various rifles, Colt (LE6920s, AR6720s and currently LE6960). I have also run them on a few S&W M&P15-22s and currently on a Palmetto State Armory (PSA) 10.5″ AR15 Pistol.  While I have kept both H1’s on setting eight (8) the entire time I have had them, I have bumped the setting up and down during use, depending on lighting conditions.  During bright days on the range I have had to bump the setting up to eleven (11), or one louder it you know what I mean. I have also run the H1’s on lower settings to sight the optics in on other rifles.  I find that dialing down the sight while sighting in RDS optics, gives you a more accurate Point of Impact (POI) on the sight. After shooting or sighting in, I default the sights back to setting eight (8). I find that setting eight (8) is the best all around setting for most lighting situations.

S&W M&P15-22 / Aimpoint H1 ADM Mount

 

Conclusions:

According to Aimpoint, the Aimpoint H1’s have a 50,000 hour battery life, (roughly Five years). Over the last 5-1/2 years the Aimpoint H1’s have stood up to every day work/use, countless range days, carbine course schools (on several different rifles), and looserounds firearms testing for articles, on the original batteries. Now that I have run them this long on the original batteries, I will change them out. I would suggest that you change out the battery every year just to be safe. I have said this before and it is always confirmed, Aimpoint is the only red dot optic I will ever use for professional or serious personal defense use. If you purchase one of the newer Aimpoint models, (i.e. PRO, M4, M4S, H1 – H2 or T1 – T2), with battery lives of 30,000 to 80,000 hours, these will last you a lifetime. There is no other optic that you can bet your life on and gives you that comfort that it will work every time you need it.       

Duncan.