During SHOT Show this year I was only able to briefly visit the [easyazon_link identifier=”B00SBXBFC0″ locale=”US” tag=”bluesheecom-20″]Leupold[/easyazon_link] booth, and in my casual look around I totally missed this gem. Leupold has released their [easyazon_link identifier=”B00SBXBFC0″ locale=”US” tag=”bluesheecom-20″]D-EVO[/easyazon_link] (Dual Enhanced View Optic), which is an incredible advancement in AR-15 patrol rifle optics for police officers. Obviously, the D-EVO optic has a much broader reach to competition, sport, and hunting shooters as well, but the potential benefits to police officers is significant.
Leupold is already recognized as one of the world leaders in rifle optics, and their scopes can be found on a long list of military and law enforcement rifles. Still, this [easyazon_link identifier=”B00SBXBFC0″ locale=”US” tag=”bluesheecom-20″]D-EVO[/easyazon_link] dual optic has the potential to change the way agencies and individual officers examine the patrol rifle in the future.
Until now a shooter most often had to decide between a red dot reflex sight or a magnified scope. Combining the two options meant mounting a scope with a reflex sight mounted to an off-set bracket. The other way was to add a flip-up magnifier that could be aligned with the reflex optic.
Each optic type has their benefits, but each optic will be better than the other for the particular situations that they were designed. Using an off-set reflex, or a flip-up magnifier can work with practice, but each option slows the shooter down while transitioning shooting positions or locking in the magnifier.
When evaluating the shortcomings of the separate optic set-up, the designers at Leupold realized that combining the two functions opened a whole new option in optic selection. Leupold’s responded to that challenge and the D-EVO was born.
Designed to be used with the Leupold® Carbine Optic™ (LCO™), the D-EVO can be used with other red dot, holographic or reflex sights. The D-EVO delivers 6X magnification without the need for the operator to move his or her head or change cheek weld. In essence, the D-EVO is a 2-in-1 optic.
When the shooter takes a proper shooting position on the rifle they are able to clearly look through the reflex optic. Then by simply looking down a few inches the shooter is provided a clear, 6X magnification sight picture featuring one of Leupold’s most versatile reticles. Instead of completely changing the rifle’s position, the shooter’s grip, and their cheek weld, the shooter simply needs to move their eyes to transition from reflex to magnified optic.
The [easyazon_link identifier=”B00SBXBFC0″ locale=”US” tag=”bluesheecom-20″]Leupold D-EVO[/easyazon_link] has a “Z-shaped” design, and provides a 6 x 20 mm optics package designed to allow operators to “look around” the CQB (reflex) sight for a better overall view of the area. The eyepiece for the 6x magnifier is located just a few inches below the reflex window. Leupold chose their CMR-W™ reticle on the magnification side to provide the D-EVO mid-range accuracy, including wind holds, that go well beyond what a reflex sight alone can provide.
Unfortunately, the D-EVO does not currently have an illuminated reticle, meaning that magnified targeting at night will require external lighting to see the crosshairs. That is a significant omission by Leupold in my opinion, but not an absolute game-ender.
I say that because this option is designed for a patrol rifle, and not a sniper rifle, where concealment is a significant part of the equation. A patrol rifle should be equipped with a weapon-mounted light, and for the purposes most likely to be faced with a patrol rifle, the operator can illuminate the target for positive identification, and then used the D-EVO magnification with ease.
The D-EVO is a first focal plane reticle meaning that the size of the crosshairs will change depending on the level of magnification. Though the crosshair gets bigger with higher magnification, the zero point is consistent at all magnifications, as opposed to being figured for a particular magnification as in a second focal plane scope.
Here’s a Vortex video explaining the differences between First Focal Plane and Second Focal Plane scopes.
Leupold D-EVO Specifications
- Material – 6061-T6 Aircraft grade aluminum
- Length – 4.6″
- Rail space – 3.2″
- Height – 2.0″
- Width – 3.3″
- Weight – 13.8 oz.
- Objective Aperture – 20 mm
- Eye Relief – 3.4″
- Magnification – 6x
- Reticle – [easyazon_link identifier=”B00SBXBFC0″ locale=”US” tag=”bluesheecom-20″]Leupold CMR-W[/easyazon_link], bullet drop compensator (BDC)
- Adjustment Range – 50 MOA (14.5 mil) for both elevation and windage
- Turret Adjustments – 0.1 mil
- Shockproof and fog proof
- Waterproof – 66 feet
- Warranty -Leupold Gold Ring™ Full Lifetime Guarantee
- Accessories – [easyazon_link identifier=”B001HN5H4S” locale=”US” tag=”bluesheecom-20″]Micro fiber LensPen[/easyazon_link], [easyazon_link identifier=”B001HN5H5C” locale=”US” tag=”bluesheecom-20″]Mark 4 ring torque wrench[/easyazon_link]
- MSRP – $1875
- Leupold Carbine Optic (LPO) – $1249.
The prices are steep, but a good optic from Leupold will never be cheap. Amazon.com has the [easyazon_link identifier=”B00SBXBFC0″ locale=”US” tag=”bluesheecom-20″]Leupold D-EVO[/easyazon_link] for around $1500, and the [easyazon_link identifier=”B00SBXB2C8″ locale=”US” tag=”bluesheecom-20″]Leupold Carbine Optic[/easyazon_link] (LCO) for around $1000. A combined price of $2500 is still steep, but at least its $600 less than MSRP.
The Benefits of Reflex Sights
Reflex, or “red dot” [easyazon_link identifier=”B004TDPQ26″ locale=”US” tag=”bluesheecom-20″]holographic sights[/easyazon_link], are designed to give a shooter a fast reference point for accurate fire on a target. Instead of aligning a front and rear sights, the reflex sight is designed to put the “dot” on target and fire. For that reason, reflex sights are absolutely the fastest method for coming onto target and delivering accurate fire. The design of reflex sights literally enhances the “point and shoot” method for close encounter engagements, by providing a quick reference point to ensure accuracy, much like a laser.
Reflex sights allow for shooting with both eyes open, which many instructors advocate for a broader field of view to identify additional threats or orient yourself to your surroundings.
The Benefits of Magnified Scopes
In law enforcement we rarely get to dictate the circumstances of a deadly force encounter in our favor. Even on warrant services, where “surprise” is supposed to be our trump card, the interior of the location is rarely known, and the suspect always has a vote in how things end up.
In addition, the entire reason for selecting a patrol rifle over a shotgun, is to more accurately address situations that are at ranges longer than a shotgun’s range (even with slugs). Though a patrol rifle can be used in close range situations, it is the longer range situations where the patrol rifle shines.
At those times, having a magnified scope only enhances the officer’s ability to deliver accurate fire. At a time when litigation is a major consideration for any police action, the decision on having a more accurate lethal force delivery system seems elementary.