While it’s certainly no secret that optical battlesights are taking the tactical rifle-shooting world by storm, many shooters want more than what most sights can provide. Specifically, their needs are more extreme, requiring more mission flexibility, ruggedness and optical clarity than the majority of optical battlesights can deliver.
There is no question that the concept of the optical battlesight is an idea whose time has come. Indeed, nearly everyone is using them these days: the military, police and a large percentage of civilians as well. However, most such sights, though compact and light, possess optical qualities that are marginal at best. They don’t gather light especially well, nor are they especially clear and sharp.
Magnification too, is an issue. None of the standard optical battlesights have the capacity for variable magnification. Windage and elevation click adjustments aren’t always as precise and finite as many shooters prefer, either. In short, there are shooters whose needs exceed the capabilities of the typical optical sight and while price isn’t the primary issue, they simply want their optical sight to have more capability than most units possess.
Well, you’re in luck my friends. The U.S. Optics SN-4S is exactly what you’re looking for. Though more costly than many (but by no means all) of the standard optical battlesights, the SN-4S offers capabilities far beyond those sights.
First of all, it’s more than just an optical battlesight. With its superb lens system, variable magnification (1-4x), it’s actually also a darned good sharpshooter’s scope as well. U.S. Optics has long been famous for its exceptional quality of both materials and workmanship, and the SN-4S reflects this commitment.
From an optical standpoint, the SN-4S is sharp, I mean really sharp, and clear, regardless of what magnification is selected. Its windage and elevation click adjustments are positive, precise (5/8-MOA), clearly marked and absolutely user-friendly. There is no darkness or fuzziness around the edge of the field of view and the ocular lens is instantly adjustment to the operator’s eyesight via a quick-focus ring.
Of 6061-T6 aircraft aluminum construction and mounted on a superbly rugged mount, the SN-4S is thus a dual-purpose sight. Set at 1x or 2x, it’s a fast-as-lightning optical battlesight, while if set at 3x or 4x, it also performs very well as a standard telescopic sight. This capability makes it exceptional and indeed unique in the world of optical sighting systems.
The SN-4S’s “Posi-Lock” mount is also quickly and easily operated for fast mounting and removal with minimal zero loss. Its 6061-T6 aluminum scope rings make the whole unit all but indestructible, which is perhaps, along with its multi-mission capability and fine optical qualities, the reason a great many US SPECOPs operators prefer it.
Another feature I admire about the SN-4S is that it comes with your choice of three reticles. One is a ring and dot, if you’re more interested in standard optical battlesight missions and less about more precise shooting. The other, a ring with vertical chevron, horizontal stadia and ranging scale, allows both, without loss of speed or precision at ranges of from point-blank to past 500 meters, and is thus my preference. The third is the D.O.E. MKII recticle.
For low-light use, there are multiple-intensity reticle illumination settings via a knob on the left side of the scope and the unit itself requires so little power that the small watch battery (in a waterproof housing) will last for a long, long time before replacement is needed.
As if all this isn’t enough, the SN-4S also allows the use of standard Butler Creek flip-up objective and ocular lens caps, which is by no means the case with many of the other optical battlesights.
Visual impressions of the SN-4S are indicative of US Optics’ total commitment to high quality and performance, with efficiency and user-performance being their unquestioned goal. While in this age of exaggerated manufacturer’s claims, it sounds more like an advertising slogan than a statement of fact, US Optics does, in fact, have a long reputation for just that, and that’s user performance.
As such, if you’re in the market for what is perhaps the quintessential max-performance optical battlesight, the SN-4S is without a doubt for you. On the other hand, there is always the question of, “How much is your life worth?” and when viewed from this standpoint, the capabilities of the SN-4S make it worth every cent. Check it out. I think you’ll agree.
While it’s certainly no secret that optical battlesights are taking the tactical rifle-shooting world…
by Leroy Thompson / Feb 21, 2009