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:
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