Lowa Zephyr Mk2 GTX

CANSEC 18 – Raytheon ELCAN Specter 1x MRDS and 1XL CQS

Although Raytheon launched the ELCAN Specter 1x Mini Red Dot Sight and 1XL Close Quarter Sights at last week’s SOFIC, CANSEC is the first time they’ve been seen in Canada.

1x Mini Red Dot Sight

Featuring the large window ELCAN is well known for, this MRDS can be stand alone or piggyback on another sight like the Specter OS or DR series.





1XL Close Quarter Sight

This sight uses an LED to provide a crisp reticle, even when used in conjunction with a magnifier. Additionally, by pressing the two buttons on the left side simultaneously, the user can swap between dot, circle, or a combination of both.



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18 Responses to “CANSEC 18 – Raytheon ELCAN Specter 1x MRDS and 1XL CQS”

  1. Stephen Hubert says:

    This MRDS has been out for like a decade in Canada, which is where all the Elcan stuff comes from, I believe (which is why RMA’ing anything through Elcan from the USA is a nightmare). I don’t think the MRDS was ever exported to the USA, however – this is why it always looks new whenever it pops-up every few years.

    • Ryan Snow says:

      What about the 1XL CQS? Is it a new sight or has it been around for decades too. I recall a few years ago Elcan introduced a holographic sight similar to an eotech XPS, but it never hit the market

      • BS says:

        Yeah, there was Specter HCO (Holographic Combat Optic), but it never went to production.

        • SVGC says:

          If I remember correctly there was something very weird about how that came to be and then never came about.

          • Ryan Snow says:

            @SVGC please tell me because I stopped by the Elcan booth in two separate exhibitions, and they just act as if the HCO was an April fools joke

            • Steve says:

              IIRC, I think the HCO was ‘special’ in that the zero was accomplished with the base actually moving the spring loaded optic. The dual-role optics already did this as well as… you know… every scope made in the first half of the 20th century.

            • SVGC says:

              IIRC I was on the phone with one of their consultants and when I asked about it, he said it wasn’t them that actually made those ones that everyone saw and it sounded like a debacle. This was a few years ago and I could be remembering it incorrectly as I wasn’t really discussing that specific optic in much more detail other than, “What the hell is this thing?”.

              • Steve says:

                I was at SHOT 2016 and it was sitting right there next to the other Elcan stuff. Maybe the prototype was just subcontracted for a quick proof of concept to gauge interest during the whole L3 debacle.

      • Steve says:

        I’m a little confused about the 1XL CQS… is it literally just a 2 lb. reticle?

        • Steve says:

          Actually, now that I see the objective, I’m guessing it’s a fixed 6x despite the confusing name. Still- given the weight of these sights, taking the dual-role capability out of the scope makes little sense to me.

  2. Kango says:

    They do know the M stands for mini right?

  3. D says:

    I have a question, that has bothered me for a while. 10 years ago, the go to optic for a battle rifle was the ACOG 4x, great sight and I remember it being cool to have one at the time too. Then people obviously figured out that fixed 4x not so great for CQB, so enter the red dot sight on top to fix that, great idea!

    Then 5 years ago, ACOG now not cool anymore because everyone has one, and its now all about AIMPOINTs and EOTECHs with a magnifier. Hmm great for CQB, kinda average everywhere else, workable, but certainly not great. Then the whole EOTECH debacle blah blah (I still run an EOTECH w/ no mag on my shorty, I know… uncool, should totally be a micro)

    So enter the Specter DR 1x/4x, great solution, I thought it was cool as shit when I first saw one in the flesh in 2009, heavy though, still is. Now, Specter says on their own website that the 1x mode is for use in CQB, so now here is my question, why are people putting optics like this massive ‘mini’ red dot sight on top of a 1x/4x like the Spectre DR?

    Follow up question relevant to the optics in this article, why would you then choose a sight that is straight 4x or 6x, removing the 1x lever but still retaining the size and bulk of the DR, but then put a massive ‘mini’ red dot sight on top of that to get back the 1x you just removed?

    My personal transition was ACOG (no mini red dot), to EOTECH w/3x Mag, to Specter DR 1x/4x, which is where I am now. I utilise the 1x for CQB and it works as intended, 4x is crisp and I like the reticle style w/red dot option for range.

    Genuine question, why stack a mini red dot on top of any Specter?

    • SVGC says:

      There were various reasons, one line of thought is it’s the same as having backup irons, but instead a backup dot. Another is you could leave your Elcan on 4x for plain ol’ observation/visual recce of an area while still having a quick 1x option. Another was it gave you a CBRN compatible optic. The elcan was too low and had too close of an eye relief to pickup easily under a mask, a dr. Optic and then later the MRDS helped greatly to alleviate that issue. Really though I think a lot of it came down to the fact that the optic had the ability to have a secondary and the funds were available.

      • D says:

        I’m picking up what you are putting down with regards to the elevation required for a CBRN compatible option. I certainly think that that is a justified reason for having it up there. I also certainly see some viability in it for a CQB sight on different optics combinations, such as ACOGs, Accupoints etc where the primary purpose of the optic is for more magnification and there is a requirement for a 1x option. I just feel like, CBRN aside, due to the inherent bulk of the spectre family of sights, an offset pop iron sight package would be better suited as backups, and leave the Specter as is, especially the DR version

  4. Stash says:

    I have a spectre DR as well, not to speak on behalf of any unit or organization that mounts mini red dots on top of them, but here’s how I see it:

    Using 1x, you still have to have nearly the exact cheek weld and eye relief as when it is on 4x. It works for sea que bee, but not as well as a holographic or red dot sight obviously. Same reason as why people mount red dots on top of more traditional variable power optics that go down to 1x or 1.1x. And there is always the additional step of lever-flipping on the spectre. If I had the money I’d swap it for a D-EVO and pair it with a micro.

    I see your point, it is extra weight on an already heavy optic for somewhat of a redundant capability, but a 1x will never work quite as well as a holo or red dot for that role.

    • Stash says:

      Meant to reply to D.

    • D says:

      I guess I have the luxury of two uppers for specific tasks with appropriate optics, and I certainly see a reason for compromise if you only have one rifle to do outside range and CQB range. I feel that in a rapid engagement at close range you are almost always going to automatically look through your primary optic regardless, having the double height choice would require an incredible amount of practice to default to, but I honestly think in the end I’d still automatically look through my main sight, because I have done it a million times already, and that is my ‘under the pump’ response.

      I’m digging what the D-EVO gives you in terms of sight picture, but I couldn’t live with that much lateral bulk on a battle rifle