The IOR 3x25 QR-TS Quick Response Tactical Sight

6 February 2005
By Scott Powers

In this age of modular weapon systems, small, low power optical devices are all the rage. Quick to employ, they give the user a higher sense of situational awareness and a large field of view. They work as multipurpose weapon sights; equally adept at CQB or short to medium range combat distances. The Aimpoint Comp M2, Eotech 512, and other dot sights suffice for CQB to several hundred yards, but troops needing to engage targets at longer distances often notice the lack of magnification. The ACOG TA01 or TA01NSN has long fit the bill as a low power (4X) scope enabling individuals to better target combatants at ranges over 200 yards.

IOR, a Romanian firm that has produced military optics since the 1930s, has created a scope to compete with the ACOG. Priced several hundreds of dollars lower than the TA01NSN, and fully equipped to mount directly to an M16A3 type flat top upper, the scope lends itself to the modernized concept of the light, small, combat carbine. At only 5.5 inches, the QR-TS is reminiscent of the Leupold CQ/T in design, but it is a fixed 3x scope, in keeping to the ACOG concept of a fixed power combat optic.

The scope is adjustable for focus from -4 to +4 diopters and will work with most eyeglass wearers. The glass is sharp, showing no appreciable degradation at the edge. Image quality is excellent. Eye relief is 3.5 inches, which places is very well in relationship to the eye when mounted correctly on an AR15 flat top carbine. The eye relief is generous in that when moving forward or aft of the correct distance, field of view and shadowing does not become a factor until you move pretty far out of the optimum range. In other words, you have fairly large latitude for mouthing the scope. The only CORRECT way to fire an AR15/M16 is with the tip of your nose just touching the charging handle. Many civilians are unaware of this and often place their heads too far back on the stock. Improper head placement is often the cause of perceived poor performance on optical devices and on wandering zeros. The QR-TS allows a generous amount of room to move, but if you set the scope up properly, so that you are at the optimum eye relief as you nose touches the charging handle, you will find you have plenty of room to move without the image darkening. The scope allows very close focus. I found that even with the reticle focused on my 100 yard target, I was still able to read text at as close as 8 feet and a human target at a CQB distance of 13 feet was sharp.

The scope weighs in at 16 ounces. Not exactly a light-weight, but mounted on the rifle, it doesn't upset balance and with its solid lock-up, it makes for a confidence inspiring system. The body is constructed of a dural alloy and is nitrogen filled. Total length is 5.65 inches. The tube diameter is 30mm and the forward portion of the tube has three, three-slot weaver/picatinny type rails mounted for optional accessories. Like the Leupold CQ/T, one can mount a tactical light or laser to the QR-TS. Mounting is secured via two cross lugs with 12mm hex head bolts. One can use a crescent wrench or a socket to mount the scope to the mounting rail on the weapon system, but the preferable method would be with 65 inch pound socket wrench, as this will allow removal and replacement with minimal lose of zero.

The reticle design is IOR's new CQB reticle. This reticle was designed by a 3-gun competitor over a period of years and the final version has been used successfully in tactically oriented 3-gun competition. It consists of an open-ended donut with outer diameter of 18 inches (18 MOA), roughly the size of human shoulders at 100 yards. The inner diameter is 10 inches (10 MOA) at 100 yards, approximately the size of a human head, seen from any angle. Ranging in the combat environment is very quick. If the target is sideways but fills half the reticle from back to chest, he's 100 yards away. If facing you, and fills half the reticle from shoulder to shoulder, he is 200 yards away. One can range off the head by the same method. If three head widths fit inside the donut, the target is 300 yards distant. Also included in the reticle are mil spacing lines providing 2 mil spacing to 10 mils. Using these lines, one can determine distance on standing targets. Finally, small circles appear on the lower left quadrant of the reticle. These are also 10 MOA. The first is a snap reference for a 10" target at 300 yards and the second at 400 yards. In the center of the donut is a 2 MOA dot which serves as the aim point. While called a CQB reticle because of the speed on can employ the scope at close range, it may better be described as a General Purpose Combat reticle as it can be used from in-your-face ranges to at least 400 yards with good effect.

The QR-TS has an illuminated reticle. The illumination color chose is red, a good choice as this has the least effect on night vision. There are seven levels of illumination, although with this particular scope I could not see much difference between levels. The unit may have had an electrical problem as it tore through batteries quickly, leaving me with a dead battery twice after sitting on the shelf, in the 0 or off position. When on, the center aim point and vertical and horizontal cross wires are lit, leaving the large donut dark. This works very well in low light, as the donut would be a distraction if illuminated. One of the detractions of the illumination system, I felt, was that from the front, one can easily see the glow of the red reticle in the objective. I did not test it down range to see how far forward this phenomenon would be visible. But at 15 feet it was plainly there, a faint red hue surrounding the objective.

Mounting the scope to an AR15/M4A3 carbine, we took the rig to our local range and ran her through a series of tests. Ranging human sized targets to 200 yards was a piece of cake. With a 100 yard zero, very little hold was necessary to hit at 200. The turrets are properly marked for MOA click increments, and can be used just like target turrets on a tactical scope, although most users will just zero and then use holds for snap shots. Elevation has 10 MOA on the scale, allowing quick adjustment from a 100 yard zero to just under 500 yards with a .225 Remington caliber or 5.56 NATO cartridge. The windage turrets are graduated for plus or minus 5 MOA, allowing you to counter a 15 mph wind out to 300 yards, or a seven mph wind to 500 yards. The clicks are solid and precise. Turret adjustment is typical European and done via Allan screws instead of the old style flat head screw. Shoot the rifle and zero the scope. Then loosen the hex screws a turn or two and rotate the sleeve of the turret with the markings to the zero setting, while keeping the turret itself stationary. Retighten the screws and you are done.

In rapid fire on a 14 inch steel plate at 200 yards, I was able to register a series of hits while transitioning quickly back to 100 yards, offhand. Ding, 100, ding 200, ding 100, 200, 200, and so forth. The scope obviously succeeds at quick scenario shooting like 3-gun. I would expect it to perform similarly in combat. Using both eyes open, the 3x magnification was not so high as to make CQB engagement a problem. I would however advise that the reticle be illuminated for CQB, day or night. The small center point and donut can be lost on a dark particle of clothing under indoor lighting conditions. While 3x is a little high for real CQB, it will do double duty as necessary and this scope's real forte, like the ACOG, is at general-purpose use. Unlike zero-magnification dot sights, the QR-TS will allow shooting at combat ranges over 200 yards and is adjustable like a target scope if time allows.

I have to admit, the battery consumption issue aside, I really enjoyed working with the scope. It is built to the proper height so that when mounted directly to an M4A3, one has a near perfect cheek weld and no other mounting systems are needed to raise it to eye level. The glass was bright and clear and the image sharp, even at close ranges when focused for longer distances. I would have some concern over the illumination showing to the front, as I would with any illuminated scope. But for civilian competition this is a non-issue. For combat, it depends on how sophisticated your opponent is. I will miss the scope as I've come to enjoy using it on the carbine for longer range plinking.

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Magnification :
Objective diameter :
Field of view at 100 yards :
31 feet
Exit pupil diameter :
Eye relief :
3.5 inches
Diopter adjustment :
-4 to +4 DPT
Reticle adjustment range :
20 MOA
Click adjustment :
1/4 MOA
Tube diameter :
Length :
5.65 inches
Weight :
16 oz.

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