ASK THE EXPERTS: Special Forces and SEAL Scopes

Internationally recognized as an authority on weapons and tactics, and the author of 49 books, Leroy Thompson has trained military and law enforcement personnel from around the globe in hostage rescue tactics, close protection and counterinsurgency. Look for his review of the Bushmaster ACR elsewhere in this issue. Check out his answer to a reader’s question on Special Forces:


A US Navy SEAL armed with an M4 mounting a Trijicon ACOG

A US Navy SEAL armed with an M4 mounting a Trijicon ACOG (Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight). (US Navy photo)



Question: What scopes do the Special Forces and SEALs use on their M4 Carbines? (Walter D., Dallas, Texas)


Leroy’s Answer:

Members of the Special Operations Command have an array of optical sights available through the SOPMOD I and SOPMOD II Kits. SOPMOD (Special Operations Peculiar Modification) refers to kits to upgrade an M4 with various accessories including items such as Knights Armament or Daniel Defense rails, suppressors, and optical sights.


Among the optical sights available in the SOPMOD I kit are Trijicon’s ACOG, the ECOS-N (Aimpoint Comp M2), and Trijicon Reflex sight. The SOPMOD II kit added the Elcan Spector DR 1-4X Optical Sight, EOTech 553 Holographic Sight, M68 CCO (Aimpoint CompM4) optical sight, Leupold HAMR 4X Optical sight, Kruger DTS 1-8X Optical sight, and Trijicon TA31F 4x Day Optical Sight. Additionally, spec ops unit can acquire other optics to fit specific needs. These have included some mini red dot sights.  Night vision optics are also available.


Many of these sights are very advanced.  For example, the Spector DR allows the operator to switch from 1X to 4X by throwing a lever. As a result, he can go from CQC mode to countersniper mode virtually instantaneously. The Kruger Optical DTS is even more versatile. It incorporates a 1X red dot for CQC but can be flipped to 2-8Xx40mm Tactical Sniper Scope. Many Tier One operators will have multiple long arms, possibly with multiple optics mounted to suit specific missions.


I have fired weapons using all of the optics mentioned except the Kruger DTS and have found them all very effective. Testing the DTS is high on my list of to dos.



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