Samurai Elcan Review


Samurai Elcan Scope
By Arnie

Stock
Specifications
Features 2.5x magnification
20mm weaver rail fitment
Rubberised/rugged finish
Full metal construction
Weight 765g
RRP 220USD

Click here to visit AirsoftSupplier

Introduction Well it’s here, arriving early this morning via ParcelForce was a well packaged parcel containing the first of the new Samurai Elcan replicas to hit the UK sent over by Armed Forces Co. (aka AirsoftSupplier previously known as CombatClub on the ‘net).

A big thanks go out to the guys at AirsoftSupplier for sending over this unit for review.

These new scopes are being built in batches of about 50 a month. They’re so popular that the first batch sold out almost instantly when it was announced, so if you’re interested you’ll have to pester the guys at AirsoftSupplier to make more of them faster. :)

First impressions: When you order gear from Hong Kong and overseas it’s hard to guess how well built something will be, simply because you can’t see it yourself. A simple example is the Marui copy of the AimPoint, which although looking like an AimPoint initially severely disappoints in the flesh.

With the Samurai scope my honest worry was that it too might be of a lighter build than I’d expect, but these worries were quickly dispelled when I picked the box up. This is one well built scope – weighing in at a hefty 765g.

The box is foam lined in such a way that in order to test the rugged nature of this well built scope you’d most likely have to drive over the box in a truck; something I’m glad ParcelForce didn’t try out this time – I’m sure the scope would survive, it’s just that crushed cardboard isn’t that photogenic.

Elcan? The scope itself is basically a copy of called the “Elcan Optical Sight” made by Elcan noteably found on Diemaco C7 and C8 rifles made in Canada.

The ELCAN® Optical Sight is a rugged, lightweight instrument which comprises an optical telescope and mount assembly. Developed in close cooperation with the Canadian Armed Forces, the ELCAN® 3.4 power Optical Sight exhibits superior performance for daylight target acquisition, identification and hit accuracy. This performance has been extended by the use of an extra large exit pupil of 8.5mm diameter, which provides optimum performance during low-light dawn and dusk conditions. Even on the darkest nights, flares or the moon will provide enough illumination to maintain the effectiveness of the ELCAN®. (Source: Elcan)

The real sight is a 3.4x magnification with illuminated reticule, this replica is non illuminated and 2.5x magnification. Personally I find 2.5x more than adequate for Airsoft purposes, anything much above that and the scope simply becomes a spotter scope allowing you to see stuff miles away that you don’t have a hope of hitting even with ‘Kentucky windage’.

Model features: So aside from being a well built beast, how does this scope function? Well basically the scope is a 2.5x optics scope with an interrupted horizontal bar across the mid range and a vertical pin at the centre. To give you some idea, here’s some shots of view through the scope.

These shots are all real, and the LHS image has only been doctored to show the magnification in real terms. In the centre image you can see the normal view through the scope, and on the right with a simple white background for clarity.

As you can see the LHS image has been split down the centre. The left half of the shot is the view through the scope, and the right shows the view with the scope removed. The camera was not moved for the two shots, so this gives you a highly accurate real-world idea of the image magnification. Not that I don’t trust the manufacturers, but I have verified through comparison between the two shots for you that the magnification factor is dead on 2.5x (click on the image for more details).

Unlike most scopes, the Elcan is not adjusted with dials on either side, instead there is a rotary dial at the front for elevation, and a dial on the right at the front for windage.

To adjust the height you can just rotate the rear notched wheel by hand. It’s tight at first, but turns with a reassuringly stepped movement. To adjust the windage you’ll need a small coin or otherwise to rotate the adjustment dial, not the easiest thing to do in the field, although with the horizontal bar in the sight view itself you can at least lead to adjust if needed.

Fitment: Mounting the scope really couldn’t be easier. The scope is designed to fit standard rails, in the very top shot it has been clamped to a TM HK claw mount. Installation literally takes seconds, undo the two small butterfly style nuts on the side, expand the plate on the two bolts, then cant the scope with the fixed edge hooked first onto the rail, lean it over then tighten up the bolts by hand.

Along the top of the scope you’ll find manual sights, which can be handy should your view through the optics be obscured or otherwise unavailable.

Construction: As far as I can tell without stripping the whole lot to bits the scope is full metal, with a rubberised outer cover.The mouting frame that the scope is on is made from cast metal (most likely zinc metal alloy). As with most casted pieces there’s a few imperfections from the moulding process, but nothing that detracts from the product. Despite being alloy the metal is of good quality with none of the soft nature found in some of the old products I’ve seen.

Grabbing the scope firmly and giving it a good twist and pull away from the mount, there’s a small amount of movement (1-2mm), but nothing huge. This is play on the scope adjustment springs, rather than in the mounting.. The scope doesn’t rattle or move unduely freely on the mount when it’s adjusted, so you don’t have to worry about the sight loosing its zero.

The cover has a good tactile feel to it, which not only helps protect the sight itself from damage and the off bump but looks great. The lenses are glass either end, so unlikely to suffer from premature breakage due to direct BB fire.

The rubberised outer shell has a mould seem along the top and bottom (where the two moulds have joined) which shouldn’t detract in any way from the looks. I don’t have a real Elcan to hand at the moment or I’d stick up some comparison shots for you, although I strongly suspect that the real thing has the same mould lines on it.

Needs a clean: Only a minor nag, but when you pull the scope out of the box for the first time you’ll find that there’s a few metal dust particles in there which need a dust off. I’d recommend dusting them off with a duster can or similar, then cleaning the lens itself with the cleaning cloth provided. The dust is just metal swarf from the manufacturing process, no doubt from a slightly messy construction area. Like I said, it’s only a minor niggle, but to be fair I’ve got to ramble on about the good and bad points in the review.

The “Carter special”: Quite randomly you may well have seen the Elcan scope in Stargate SG1 on the “Carter Special”(specifically episode9 and the episode 17-18 of series 7). According to Amanda Tapping, who plays Dr. Samantha Carter:

“I don’t know exactly what it is,” she says. “It’s an M16 with something else on the front and something else on the back. We’re calling it the ‘Carter Special.’ It’s a honking huge weapon. When I shoot it, flames come out. It’s just craziness.” (source)


(images courtesy Beneath the Surface and SciFi.com)

..yeah yeah, bad excuse to include SG1 shots I know, but I thought it was a valid reason. ;)

Conclusion It’s well built, robust and a decent copy of the real thing, good for the price and honestly the best replica of a real-steel scope I’ve had in my hands yet. Top points go out to Airsoft Supplier for the product.

It’s worth noting that there are some difficulties over the shipping of military scopes around the world, normally down to the radioisotopes used in their manufacture which have specific shipping restrictions placed on them.

The cost (~700USD) and relatively limited availability of the real version in some places, makes this already impressive replica version even more appealing.

Q&A: Answers to questions about the scope that have been asked.

How big is the scope? The main body of the scope is 55mm in diameter, and roughly 155mm in length.
The metal mount that the body is fitted to is 30x30x130 in
size, sat offset to the base by 45mm this gives an overall length, height and width of ~175x85x55mm.

External links:
Elcan – makers of the real Elcan itself.
Airsoft Supplier – the suppliers/manufacturers of this scope.

SG1 links:
Beneath the Surface – a handy collection of SG1 vidcaps.
SciFi.com’s Stargate SG1 pages – SciFi.com’s SG1 reference pages.

Written by Arnie

Comment
on this review in the forums


Last
modified:
Friday, October 1, 2004 6:15 AM
Copyright 2004 ArniesAirsoft

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