WOLF Performance Optics PSU 1x/4x Variable Zoom Optical Gunsight

During the 2014 SHOT Show, WOLF Performance Optics introduced their new PSU 1x/4x Variable Zoom Optical Gunsight. If everything goes as planned this new sight will be available in the later part of 2014. WOLF Performance Optics is the sister company of WPA (WOLF Performance Ammunition). Many TFB readers already know WPA from their affordable imported steel and brass cased ammunition.

WOLF Performance Optics PSU 1x/4x Variable Zoom Optical Gunsight is a small arms optic with switchable zooms. It fits into the same category as the well-known Canadian made ELCAN Specter DR 1x/4x sight. The preproduction sample that TFB received is #0004.



The new sight is make by NPZ, which is the Russian alphabet abbreviation for Novosibirsk Instrument Plant. NPZ is the premier optics producer for the Russian military since before World War I. The original optic factory in Riga was founded by Carl Zeiss in 1905. The plant was relocated multiple times during the following two World Wars and finally settled in the city of Novosibirsk.



Similar to the popular ELCAN Specter DR, the PSU 1x/4x has a switchable zoom between 1x and 4x power. Unlike the many 1-4x conventional scopes on the market, the PSU and the ELCAN are rugged prism sights build for military use and both have no in-between zooms so the shooter can choose 1x or 4x. While both share a similar concept, the PSU sight is very different in design to the ELCAN.  Under the PSU’s tubular body on the left side, there’s a manual slider lever that controls the sights 1x and 4x magnification.



The PSU 1x/4x’s main optic is located in the rear portion of the sight body. It consist of a 4x magnification roof prism with internal windage and elevation adjustment. Whereas, the ELCAN Specter DR also has a 4x proof prism in the same location but it uses a mount-based external adjustment.  Also on the right side of the PSU 1x/4x is the dual adjustable QD mounting levers.



The front part of the PSU 1x/4x houses an internal optical magnifier. The 1x magnification is actually the internal optical magnifier that’s set to cancel the 4x zoom of the roof prism at the rear. The PSU 1x/4x uses moveable conventional optic lenses for its internal optical magnifier. In contrast, the ELCAN Specter DR uses a second rotating prism in the front as its internal optical magnifier.



The PSU 1x/4x offers a true 1x at the low-end. The BDC reticle was developed by WOLF Performance Optics for the US market and is calibrated for 62gr M855 5.56mm with BDC marks to 800m. The horseshoe in the reticle will be thicker on the production model for faster aiming during CQB. On the pre production unit, the reticle illumination is not daylight visible from any of the 7 levels.



At the 4x magnification, the PSU 1x/4x offers an impressive 6.5 degrees field of view with 2.75 inches of eye relief. The large 8mm exit pupil gives a very bright sight image. To the lower left of the reticles center horseshoe cluster, there’s a height and width based stadiametric rangefinder with markings to 800 meters. The lens seems to have a slightly warmer tone to it. Eastern Bloc military optics generally have a warmer lens color compared to the cooler lens tone found on many Western optics. It’s just manufacturer preference.



Although the optic center height is 1.47 inches, a fixed stock AR-15 front sight will show at the middle of the sight picture at 1x, I have found the the bottom of the sight too low for many of my backup iron sights. Only the BCM (made by Diamond Head USA), Troy Industry sights, Magpul MBUS Pro and Midwest Industries SPLP flip-up rear sights would clear it. I would recommend using a rear sight that’s no taller than 0.45 inch in the folded position.

The lower optic height will make it better for the SIG and other rifles with taller receiver sight height. Although the PSU 1x/4x is still a bit tall when used on an AK. On the AK platform, I would suggest using a RS Regulate AK-303 or Arsenal SM-13 mount to keep it as low as possible.

No price information has been released for the WOLF Performance Optic PSU 1x/4x Variable Zoom Optical Gunsight. I would guess it should cost a few hundred dollars less than the ELCAN SpecterDR ($2180).


WPA PSU 1x/4x Specification:
Objective: 32mm
Magnification: 1x, 4x
Field of View: 1x: 26-degree, 4x: 6.5 degree
Exit Pupil: 8mm
Eye Relief: 2.75 inch
Length: 7.1 inch
Sight Height: 1.47 inch
Weight: 24.6 ounces
Power: single CR2032 lithium battery

Writer and gear editor with articles published in major gun publications. A five year combat veteran of the US Marine Corps, Tim is also part of Point & Shoot Media Works, a producer of photography, video and web media for the firearms and shooting sport industry. Tim’s direct contact: Tyan.TFB -at- gmail.com


  • Tyler John Richards

    Who spell checks these articles?

    • Graham2


    • Microsoft Word—:-)

    • Phil Hsueh

      I know. “The new sight is make by NPZ. . .” Make by?

      • n0truscotsman

        add the Russian accent and it makes sense…and ignore the “the” word.

    • dan


  • Marc

    Russian optics are pretty good. Looking foward to checking it out.

  • sianmink

    Woo big and heavy, innit?

  • J.T.

    “If everything goes as planned this new sight will be available in the later part of 2014.”

    They better have their fingers crossed that this ceasefire holds.

  • Sad…

    My dream of putting one of these on an AK-12 is now gone. I still like the optic, though. Inexpensive elcan spectre.

  • Guest

    Looks similar to the old colt 4x scope

  • claymore

    Strange things happening. That is my post about the colt scope that turned out to have “Guest” as username.

    • iksnilol

      Looks similar but I doubt that the Colt scope has the whole prism thing going on. Feel so stupid for not knowing what it is (know what a prism is, don’t know how it works in a scope).

      • Timothy G. Yan

        Here’s the prism and lens design from the Browe BCO. Trijicon ACOG is very similar to it.

        • Fred Johnson

          I don’t know much about the prism thing either. Are prisms used just to shorten the length of the rifle scope?

          • Geodkyt

            Pretty much.

    • Geodkyt

      The similarities are actually pretty slim, other than they both use the same position for the adjustment knobs as 99% of scopes out there, and they both have (relatively) straight tubes.

      The Wolf tube, is going to be larger in diameter by a noticeable amount, however. . . because of teh internals (which are nothing alike).

      • claymore

        Dude I simply said LOOKS SIMILAR not that big of a deal.

  • avconsumer2

    Do want. Throwing money @ screen.

  • Squirreltakular

    If the price is right, want bad.

  • iksnilol

    Want real bad if they make a 300 BLK/7.62×39 version. Also, how much does it weigh? I am confused since there is (obviously) different types of ounces and I don’t know which one you guys use.

    I doubt that this optic will be inexpensive, minimum is probably 1k USD.

    • Fred Johnson

      Russia uses different ounces than America?

      16 oz. per Pound (US) or 35.2 oz. per Kilogram.

      Liquid ounces aren’t used for weight here.

      • iksnilol

        Russia doesn’t use ounces (NEITHER DOES THE REST OF THE WORLD!). Thanks for clearing it up. I was checking conversions and there were two types of ounces. One type was 28 grams and the other was 31 IIRC.

        • Marc

          That’s why the world uses metric. No confusion, a gram is a gram.

          • Fred Johnson

            and a grain is a grain. 😀

        • Fred Johnson

          Metric, yes of course. I wasn’t sure if the question of ounces was from a prankster in the US, or a legitimate question.

      • Geodkyt

        He’s confused by troy versus avoirdupois ounces. To someone who uses grams and kilograms exclusively, it IS confusing.

        Heck, most Americans don’t know the difference. (To my metric friends — avoirdupois is the “standard” US ounce for most purposes, 16 to the pound. Troy is used to measure precious metals, and is 12 ounces to the pound. . . but it’s a lighter pound than the avoirdupois.)

  • Lance

    Rather stay with the trusted ACOG for 5.56mm shooting. BUT if they made a 5.45mm calibrated one I take it in a minute.

  • MrPhantom

    I’d love to see this with 5.45 and 7.62×39 BDCs, but there’s already quite a few quality dedicated AK optics out there

    • Timothy G. Yan

      Not sure about the 7.62×39 caliber, I believe NPZ makes the original version with 54R and 5.45 cal. If it sells enough volume, WOLF will probably consider bring those in too.

  • toms

    I would be surprised if this company is not sanctioned before we get them anyway. Spend the money on optics from US or our allies, there is no good reason to feed the bears. They always bite you in the end.

    • Barry

      Yes, I would imagine the next round of sanctions will further hit Russia’s defense industry. And I can’t shake the idea of Russia sabotaging it’s scopes, rifles, and most of all steel cased ammo going to the U.S. If they know it will be sanctioned soon, they might overload the .223 or 7.62 they ship over here just out of spite haha.

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    I believe we had a pretty comprehensive discussion about this particular PSU sight and its obvious merits during your previous SHOT Show post on TFB. I also posted a couple of links to NPZ distributors ( covering most of the wide range of sights they manufacture ) for anyone who might have been interested at the time.

  • guest

    Damn, if only they started using actual optics-quality glass instead of making it from recycled beer bottles, that’d be nice.

    • Robert Kalani Foxworthy

      you realize silica glass is all silica with other impurities added to color and density, to resist temp change.