Tactical Scopes, Military Optics & Sights

Find Tactical Scope manufacturers and suppliers of military optics and weapons sights, including telescopic sights and smart scopes
Overview Tactical Scopes, Military Optics & Sights
By Defense Advancement Last updated: July 12th, 2023

Military optics, including tactical scopes and sights, are used to provide enhanced aiming, either with or without magnification, for handguns, rifles, machine guns and other weapons systems used by infantry soldiers, special forces and other military personnel.

Iron sights use physical markers, usually mounted towards the front and rear of the weapon, which must be aligned to achieve accurate aiming. The two main types are open sights, which use a notch on the rear sight as a marker, and aperture sights, which use a circular hole.

Telescopic sights, also known as scopes, provide a magnification capability in addition to aiming. They may use lenses or prisms to focus and magnify the image, and may have fixed or variable levels of magnification. Tactical scopes typically have reticles etched into the prism or lens, which allow the user to adjust according to range for effects such as bullet drop due to gravity, and sideways motion due to wind.

Military rifle and weapons scopes may have a variety of advanced features built in, such as laser rangefinders, illumination for low light levels, and optoelectronics for night vision and thermal capabilities. Smart rifle scopes may also use ballistic computers that take into account factors such as range, wind, and humidity and calculate the most optimal aim.

Reflector or reflex sights are optics solutions that project a parallax-free virtual image of the target onto the field of view. This category of sight includes red-dot sights, which are non-magnifying and use a red LED to produce an aiming point that remains in line with the weapon.

Holographic weapons sights are similar to reflector sights but use an image recorded on holographic film instead of lenses and mirrors. They may transmit light better than reflector sights but are generally bulkier, and consume more power than LEDs.

Military optics may need to be ruggedized to protect against moisture and dust ingress, shock and vibration, and impact from dropping or collision. Lenses may have special scratch-resistant and anti-reflection coatings.

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