[ Written By Timothy Yan ]
This is the part 1 of multipart preview on interesting optics that I saw at SHOT Show 2012. Noted that the featuring optic is a prototype and the final product could be different. My through the lens images should only be use for checking out the reticle and perhaps the field of view.
At the 2012 SHOT Show, Hi-Lux Optic presented the upgraded CMR4 version of their popular CMR 1-4×24 scope. While the current CMR (Close-Medium Range) model is more of a multipurpose 1-4x scope, the new CMR4 is designed for the tactical role. It had addressed some of the concerns that I had found on my review of the Hi-Lux Leatherwood CMR.
The new Hi-Lux Leatherwood CMR4 features the following improvements over the CMR:
1) Improved Reticle
The CMR4’s reticle is still based on the one found on the CMR. The main difference is that it has a ticker outer open-circle for faster target acquisition. The inner open-circle is now thinner and smaller for assisting precision shooting. Both the vertical and horizontal stadia lines are now extended all the way to the edges. I personally still prefer the half-length stadia lines of the original CMR. There are two BDC marks for 500m and 800m ranges.
2) Capped Turrets
The adjustment turrets on the CMR4 are slightly smaller than those found on the CMR but it still retained the patented Zero-Lock return to zero system. While simple stamped caps were used on the prototype at SHOT, the production version of the CMR4 will be using machined billet aluminum caps.
3) Mils/Mils adjustment
The CMR4’s turret adjustment will be in Mils instead of the ½ MOA adjustment as on the CMR. The original CMR’s reticle is already using Mil hashmarks on the horizontal stadia lines and the new CMR4 reticle added that on the vertical stadia line as well. A Mil or milliradian is equal to 3.438 MOA. Each click on CMR’s turrets represents 0.1 Mil.
4) New illumination system
While it’s still not daylight visible, the new illumination system is now includes 3 levels of night-vision settings and has up to 400-500 hours battery life at max brightness with a good quality (not the cheap 25 cents ones from the auction site) CR2032 lithium battery. The CMR4’s illumination for both red and green colors seems to be brighter than that on the CMR. The CMR4’s reticle illumination lights up both of the open-circles, the center dot and a short top section of the vertical stadia line. As with the CMR, there will be separate CMR4 models for each of the color illuminations.
The illumination control had also been upgraded with a machined control ring that has serrations with a small bump for both improving finger grip and for easier operation when wearing a glove. Turning the control ring to the left will turn on the maximum reticle illumination brightness and goes down from there. Turning the control ring to the right will go into the night-vision settings then cycles the reticle illumination from low to high. When the small bump is facing the user, the illumination is in the off position.
5) Shorter length Tube
The CMR4 prototype is roughly half inch shorter than the CMR. Which make it about 9.5 inches long. Hi-Lux’s Alex Sergeev shown me that the CMR4 prototypes are using a custom-made 3-piece tube but he informed me that the production version would use a lighter 1-piece tube design. It’s unknown how much weight saving the shorter tube can offer at this time.
During my SHOT Show meeting with Hi-Lux’s president, John Wu, he said the new CMR4 would not be replacing the CMR. Instead, it will be marketed as a higher end model with a MSRP of $450. The street price should be a little less than that. The CMR4 will be available by the summer 2012. John also found it interesting that a number of engineers from other American optic makers had spent considerable amount of time at his booth to checking out mainly both CMR models. I told John that those guys are probably wanted to figure out how to build a 1-4x scope that could compete with his CMRs without costing 2-3 times the price.
John Wu also said that Hi-Lux is working on a DMR (Designated Marksman Rifle) scope to complement the CMR series. Here a little preview of the Hi-Lux DMR scope: it will have a 5-fold magnification with a wide field of view. Many of the new features found on the CMR4 will be also use on the DMR scope. Alex Sergeev, who designed the reticles for both the CMR models, is working on a new reticle for the DMR.