ELCAN Specter TR 1-3-9x – SHOT Show Optic Preview

Timothy G. Yan
by Timothy G. Yan

Armament Technology Inc., the distributor of the ELCAN optics, unveiled the switchable ELCAN SpecterTR 1-3-9x gunsight at SHOT Show 2014. With a MSRP of $3100, the new ELCAN SpecterTR competes against the new high-end 1-8x scopes with the traditional scope design.

Like their popular DR 1X/4X model, the new ELCAN SpecterTR is also utilized a prism based optical design. The new TR model features a switchable 1x-3x-9x magnification. Similar to the DR model, there’s no in-between in each of those three magnification settings.

ELCAN only uses the best German glass in their sights. While the new TR model retains the ELCAN signature external adjustment base, it have been upgraded to use the MIL system. Each click is now 0.1 MIL of adjustment. The ELCAN SpecterTR offers a true 1x magnification.

The new SpecterTR uses the standard CR2032 lithium battery instead of the lesser common DL-1/3N battery. The reticle is illuminated in all three magnification setting. At the 1x, the reticle is a daylight visible red color dot. At the 3x and 9x magnifications, the whole reticle is illuminated. The ELCAN SpecterTR will be offer with two different reticles for the 5.56mm caliber w/ BDC to 800 meters, and the 7.62x51mm NATO version w/ BDC to 1000 meters.

Instead of the lever on the DR model, the new TR uses a large dial on the left for changing the magnifications. The same dial also switch the reticle illumination type between the each magnification settings. There’s also the possibility of having a different QD mounts on the production model. For the new TR, Armament Technology and ELCAN are no longer restricted to use the unpopular ARMS QD lever, which is an US military requirement on the previous ELCAN sights.

The ELCAN SpecterTR is significantly longer and heavier than the 1x/4x model. The TR is 10.4 inch in length and weights in at 30.4 ounces with the integral external mount base. However, the ELCAN SpecterTR is slightly shorter than other 1-8x scopes and the weight is comparable when a heavy duty SPR rings is added to those.

ELCAN Products from Armament Technology

Timothy G. Yan
Timothy G. Yan

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

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  • Avconsumer2 Avconsumer2 on Jan 20, 2014

    Yeesh. Looks to have the eye relief of a drinking straw. I'll not be taking out a 2nd mortgage for this one.

  • Ein Ein on Feb 02, 2014

    I have done a few thousand rounds of testing on this unit last year.

    Going from 1-3-9 is very quick. The old version used a single-arrow switch, the newer 4-point knob is superior. While switching magnification was very quick, if you weren't careful it could get caught 'between' the two magnification levels.

    Illumination: When you switch from 1x to 3x with the red dot on, it automatically switches to reticle illumination. Handy. Brightness was good, but I was told "a few thousand hours" of battery life, which I am skeptical of. Dot was sizeable, at least 4MOA.

    Eyebox: Was somewhat poor (Compared to S&B Short Dot, Leupold CQBSS, Premier Reticle/Heritage's old V8 that never saw production, etc). While usable, a single cheekweld was not ideal for all three magnification levels.

    Zero: You are 'supposed' to zero on 3x. I had inquired if the tumbled mechanism in the TR eliminates the zero-shift issues the SpecterDR experienced between 1x/4x, to which I was told the issue didn't exist in the SpecterDR...

    Mount: The units I used had the ARMS mounts, which I don't trust. While the wing-nuts in the newer models are certain to be more secure, I have not seen what they will actually use as their QD solution.

    Reticle: 'Christmas tree' styled; Like a less effective Horus H27/H58. Subtensions fairly thick, OK @ 3x, but problematic at 9x. Not to mention blurry. I was assured this was not the final reticle. I hope not.

    Glass: Less than the stellar I am used to on the C79/M145 and SpecterDR/SU-230. Again, prototype.

    It might turn into a fantastic optic, but other than the faster switching it loses to the CQBSS in virtually every other department.

    • Timothy G. Yan Timothy G. Yan on Feb 06, 2014

      @Ein Thanks for all the info. I told them some of us prefer the dot reticle at 3x.