Friday Night Lights: GRD Machine Gun Optic DCL110AD-3X

    Just before last SHOT Show, fellow TFB writer Austin mentioned that he was going to bring a post sample M16 for us to play with. Check out Luke’s article about that. Well, I talked to Austin and he agreed to make a second post sample lower so we could use it with the Franklin Armory CSW Kit. Cool, a spade grip machine gun. But what optic do we put on such a weapon? A machine gun optic of course! So I bought a DCL110AD-3X just to put on that weapon. But the machine gun optic is not just for machine guns, you can use it on other guns as well.

    Machine Gun Optic

    This Machine Gun Optic is made in South Korea by DI Optical. They have a US company that has changed its name to Global Response Defense (GRD). I acquired this one from Weapon Outfitters. They asked me if I wanted the plain optic or one with the magnifier built it. The DCL110AD-3X is a giant reflex red dot with a built-in 3X magnifier. I figured having a 3X magnifier might come in handy later and I am glad I got it.


    The DCL110AD-3X resembles similar machine gun optics like the Trijicon MGRS. It is a reflex sight with a built-in 3x magnifier.

    profile shot of the machine gun optic

    3X magnifier in the up position.

    3x magnifier folded down and out of the way.

    The DCL110AD-3X is designed for 7.62×51 and 12.7 belt-fed machine guns.

    The interesting thing about the 3x magnifier is that it does not sit in the middle of the optic. It only flips up on the right hand side. Think of the machine gun optic window like the windshield of your car. There is a driver side and passenger side.

    With the 3X magnifier in the upright position, you can still look through the “driver side” of the optic for 1x view. You can either shift your head so your right eye looks through the left side of the window or you can use your left eye to look out the left side of the window while your right eye looks through the magnifier.

    There is a locking detent for the 3x magnifier. It is a rod that is pushed up by a spring and locks the magnifier in either the deployed or stowed positions. The detent rod has a flap that you need to press down to unlock the magnifier. The flap swings out so you can press it but you rotate it forward to keep it out of the way.

    At the back of the machine gun optic are the controls and battery compartment. It is powered by a single CR123. On the left is the power knob. It has a night vision mode and day mode. Each with 11 brightness settings. To the right of the battery compartment is the auto/manual gain knob. Leaving it on A uses the light sensor just above the power knob and adjusts the brightness of the reticle. However, you can turn the knob and control the brightness manually.

    Light sensor for the automatic brightness control

    You can see the light sensor better in the photo above. Just to the right of that is the elevation adjustment screw.

    Windage adjustment screw

    On the left side of the machine gun optic is a ballistic drop adjustment knob. It is set in meters and goes up to 1500 meters even though the knob has markings up to 2000 meters.

    Towards the front of the machine gun optic is a sacrificial lens that is screwed into the housing.

    I like to leave the sacrificial window in place because it hides the shoddy looking sealant used on the actual objective lens.

    Shooting The Machine Gun Optic

    Even though the DCL110AD-3X was designed for use on a belt-fed machine gun there is no reason why it could not be used on regular semi-automatic firearms. It is just a giant reflex sight.

    The reticle of the DCL110AD-3X is actually not that large. It is a circle dot design.

    Even looking through the 3X magnifier, the circle dot is still relatively small.

    Here you can see circle dot reticle of the DCL110AD-3X compared to an Eotech HWS. World of difference. Even though the reticle is smaller on the machine gun optic, it makes up for it with the field of view (FOV). The Eotech reminds me of those 36″ CRT TVs my parents used to have in the 90s. While the machine gun optic FOV is more like a 60″ widescreen TV.

    One major downside with the machine gun optic is the fact it is an open emitter reflex design. So in the right lighting, you will get reflections off the objective window.

    When I first shot the DCL110AD-3X I mounted it onto my LaRue 6.5 Grendel upper receiver. I shot out to 400 yards on steel with it.

    Later I mounted the machine gun optic on my SCAR17S. I figured we will try out what the optic was designed for. My friend Kythe, pictured below, brought some M80 ball ammo and we tested the ballistic compensation knob, however, I forgot that it is supposed to be meters. I made hits on steel from 200, 400, 600 and 800 yards. I tried 1,000 yards but had to hold up to 1025 just to hit the 1000 yard steel. I never made contact with the 1,000-yard steel. To make matters worse, the SCAR17S was only sitting on the Hog Saddle seen in the photo below. Not the most stable shooting position for shooting 1,000 yards. I had two rounds left and let Kythe try it. He hit the 1,000-yard steel target on the last round.

    While the DCL110AD-3X looks ridiculous on a small pistol caliber AR, it seems well suited on the CROM USA CR-7 .500 blackout below.

    As I mentioned earlier, the DCL110AD-3X has a night vision setting. Here is a little video clip of what it looks like when looking through night vision.

    Final Thoughts On The Machine Gun Optic

    The DCL110AD-3X is cool but ridiculously heavy. It weighs 4 lbs 0.6oz. For use in the daylight, you have to watch out for sunlight causing reflections in the rear of the objective lens. I was rather impressed out how well the 3X magnifier worked but the eye relief is extremely short so your eye needs to be really close to use it. It would not be useful on a spade grip machine gun unless you lean forward and shove your eyeball close to the magnifier. The BDC knob worked as advertised, as long as you remember it is in meters and not yards. I got this one from Weapon Outfitters who has the non-magnified version as well. Their price is a lot lower than what they are sold for normally.

    Nicholas C

    Steadicam Gun Operator
    Night Vision & Thermal Aficionado
    Flashlight/Laser Enthusiast
    USPSA competitor

    Any questions please email him at [email protected]