New Zoom Technology For Scopes

Sandia Labs worked with the military to develop a different method to change focal length of a scope. They used the human eye for inspiration.

They call it Rapid Adaptive Zoom for Assault Rifles. According to Popular Science:

RAZAR does this using minimal energy, with 10,000 focus changes burning through only two AA batteries. After the batteries are dead, the lens can’t adjust until new ones are put in. But unlike systems that use electronic cameras for zooming, the lens still works without power.


It shall be interesting to see this technology used for commercial applications. In the meantime, I will just keep using my switchview lever to rapidly adjust my zoom levels. I could also simply leave my scope at a given mangification and put an angled sight on my weapon and zero it for close range targets. So rather than having to adjust my zoom and take my hands off the weapon, like the video above mentions, I just rotate my weapon to my secondary sight system and engage targets. Smooth, requires no batteries and is a lot cheaper.

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

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  • Dan

    What shall be really interesting are the comments to come both wow that’s awesome to pffft! Dumbest thing ever! And of course the obligatory operator this highspeed low drag that trolling

    • Ethan

      Im a super delta force seal operator and we would NEVER put junk like that on our guns! Too much drag when you have to spin kick a Taliban in the face while sining the Star Spangled Banner! What a POS!


      Honestly though, while this particular version may not be the most practical, the technology has some really cool potential. Hopefully this is just the beginning – imagine this built into an Eotech sized red dot eventually. No more flip over magnifiers or 2lb 1-4x scopes… that’ll be the day.

  • mechamaster

    Well, nice concept, and I think it’s more useful in robotic application like SWORDS TALON optical system and CornerShot or similar system.

  • Phreekedelic

    Good old scope mangification 😉
    Typo to be corrected there.

  • I’m noticing a distinct lack of numbers here when it comes to magnification here. I understand that it’s a clip on system, so you can’t say with certainty what your user’s optic might be.

    BUT: with a 4x ACOG (or the HAMR from the video) are we adjusting up to 10x? 20x? 25x? The idea of rapid zoom is cool and all, but what difference would I actually see through the optic?

    • TFB Reader

      One of the guys, at about the middle of the video, said something to the effect of “improving 5-10 times,” which I took to mean 1-5x or 1-10x.

  • andrey kireev

    Very interesting system ! I think the price would be pretty restrictive though.

  • Gunhead

    Now what’d be really slick is if it incorporated laser eye tracking to tell where YOU are focusing…

  • so cool to think the reinvented the lens of your eye for a firearm…..too cool

  • Mark N.

    From the film, the zoom appears stepped, not continuously variable such as a camera zoom. And am I wrong in interpreting the pictures as showing that the zoom function is independent of and mounted in front of the actual optic? Shouldn’t they be integrated?