Leupold’s Marines CQBSS .50 M2 & 40mm Mk19 Mount

I was very skeptical when I first heard that Leupold was selected to supply the USMC with their Mark 8 1.1-8x24mm CQBSS scope for use on .50 BMG M2 and 40mm Mk19. machine guns. The CQBSS is an impressive scope but was designed for sniper or DM rifles, not heavy machine guns.

As it turns out, the scope is only half the story. They developed a sophisticated mount that holds the CQBSS as well as an EOTech holographic sight side by side, and still allows the use of iron sights. Also, it looks like the entire mount can be adjusted for range by the operator. Genius!

This mount also solves the problem many of your pointed out a few weeks ago when I blogged about Raytheon ELCAN SpecterHR and SpecterDR. Because the SpecterDR is mounted on top of the SpecterHR, the operator needs to put his head up high to use it, putting himself at greater risk of being shot. Mounting the holographic scope and optical scope side by side solves this problem.

[ Many thanks to TenPoundMonkey for photos and info. ]



Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • 18D

    I’m still not sold on the use of the CQBSS on the M2 and MK19. I’m still trying to figure out why a precision scope like this was even considered. There are better options out there.

    The mount is cool, but why have a 0 magnification HWS piggy backed on a scope that already has a 1.1 setting? In other words, why choose a 1.1-8 scope, when you’re aren’t going to use the lower settings. If you are going to use the lower settings as the scope was intended, then why mount the HWS in a costly custom mount? The Leupold CQBSS already costs $8,000. It’s stupid to now spend more money on an Eotech and mount.

    This whole thing is a waste.

    • subase

      Cause it’s faster obviously. Also the Eotech is a much more optimal CQB sight, than a scope with a 1.1x setting. They wanted the best of both worlds instantly available and they got it.

      • Roy Rapoport

        I’m sorry, the Eotech is much more optimal for CQB? I don’t actually disagree with the assertion, but I do dispute the relevance. After all, there may be some … mild … logistical issues in using an M2 or a Mk19 in CQB. You know, things like length. And weight. And recoil. And slight over-penetration 🙂

      • 18D

        Makes no sense Subase. 1.1x is more than sufficient for speed with the M2. You don’t need an Eotech and a $5,000 variable power scope. They should have just bought a cheaper Nightforce in 3.5-15x or something similar.

      • subase

        @Roy Rapoport @18D
        .50 cal mounted on a turret in a urban environment = CQB and the Eotech is the best for that.

        And Nadnerbus below may be right. I’ve read that they are now exploiting the long distance sniping possibilities of the M2 the high quality scope will allow that.

        Maybe the 1.1x setting on the scope was just seen as good value for money. They only needed 8x and wanted the versatility of a CQB setting and for it to serve as a backup to the eotech.

      • 18D

        My point is not that the Eotech is not a good solution, but that the Leupold is far too expensive to have wasted the money on a scope with 1.1x that they will never use. The Leupold is FAR from being good bang for the buck. $5,000 for a second rate scope is ridiculous, especially when you’re not going to use it for what it was designed.

        BTW, the M2 will NEVER be used for CQB! An M2 in an urban environment is not CQB.

    • Nadnerbus

      Perhaps the scope, due to eye relief, need for the eye to be centered on the scope axis, etc, is not very useful for sustained engagement fire, where the Eotech is. I would think the scope would be more for single shot/short burst at longer range targets, with the need to reacquire sight picture after each pull of the trigger.

      I have zero experience on heavy machine guns, or machine guns in general, so take my 2cents for what that is worth.

  • Flounder

    I have to admit this seems a little weird. The whole side by side mount sounds awkward and it seems you would run into problems since neither is directly lined up with the barrel like a normal scope is so you would have to zero it with a small offset to account for this offset.

    I do like the idea of a scope on a 50 BMG after all it has a huge range and adding a scope would make it more effective at much longer ranges. Just my take on it.

    How the heck does this cost $8000 18D?!?!?!?

    • 18D

      Sorry Flounder, that’s supposed to be $5,000.

    • 6677

      “I do like the idea of a scope on a 50 BMG after all it has a huge range”…

      I do hope that I am severely mistaken in interpreting this as meaning the american military does not mount scopes on M2’s. British have had M2’s with scopes for ages.

    • Nater

      I’ve seen the CQBSS going for $4,000 online. It costs this much both because it’s a very high quality optic and because it really has no competition at this time. Schmidt and Bender have been rather tardy in getting their true 1x-8x optic to market. Theirs is supposed to have a SRP of $3,000, I believe. A fair price when compared to their current 1.1x-4x Short Dot.

      • 18D

        Having no competition is no excuse for pricing this high on a less than high quality scope.

      • Nater

        That may be true, but that is exactly why Leupold charges what they do for it.

  • charles222

    I don’t think the point about having to put yourself higher is a very valid one; your head and shoulders are already completely exposed when in firing position in a Humvee/MRAP anyway.

  • Lance

    Saw a video on this in Military times cool set up for use on a Humvee and 2 1/2 ton truck. Too bulky for infantry use in smaller bunkers though.

  • My worry about the whole thing is the field of view and eye relief.

    • 18D

      I’m glad someone finally said it! I wouldn’t want a scope with eye relief, scope shadow, and parallel issues mounted on my M2HB. What was the Corps thinking?

      • I would not be shocked to learn that this was inspired by the story of Gunny Hathcock’s long range kill using a M2 and the optic from his sniper rifle.

      • Zach

        Yep, definitely some Hathcock fanboys, Daniel. I’m one of them actually, but this is a little too far…

  • El Gato

    Imagine all the 50 caliber ammo they could buy to practice close quarters firing with the M2 with this money….

    • 18D

      Amen! What the hell was the Corps thinking! Shame on Leupold too!