PSO-1 Replica Scope
Having recently bought himself a gas blowback Dragunov SVD, Bill Thomas went in search of the perfect optic and discovered the ‘PSO-1’ replica from ASG…
I have to admit that I’ve never really been into the whole ‘airsoft sniper’ thing, as although you can have a superb and more highly powered bolt action rifle, such as one tuned by Airsoft Sniper Parts UK (ASPUK), it takes a huge amount of skill and dedication to really pull it off.
A good airsoft sniper can really be a ‘force multiplier’ on the game field, but the player concerned will have only achieve this after much training and effort.
At a recent game with Combat Airsoft Group (CAG) though, I found myself hankering for just a little more range than I was getting from my AKM; CAG play all their scenarios on strictly limited ammunition levels, so for most of the time you’re going to be on semi-auto only. With this in mind, I started to search for the perfect tool and ended up parting with some pennies for a classic, wood furniture Dragunov; you’ll be seeing that reviewed in a future issue of Gun Mart! Having bought the rifle, a semi-auto set dead on 1.71 Joule/430fps to comply with most sites rules I ended up not with a true ‘sniper’ but more a ‘Dedicated Marksman Rifle’ or DMR. With the increased power level and the long barrel the Dragunov can really “reach out and touch people”, but to complete the package I needed the right sight to sit atop it.
Now, the PSO-1 (Pritsel Snaipersky Optichesky, or Optical Sniper Sight) is a telescopic sight manufactured in Russia by the Novosibirsk instrument-making factory and issued with the military Dragunov rifle. The PSO-1 was, at the time of its introduction around 1964 the most technically advanced telescopic sight ever designed for massproduction for the designated marksman or sniper. The current version of the sight is the PSO-1M2. This telescopic sight is different from the original PSO-1 only in that it lacks the now obsolete infrared detector. The metal body of the PSO-1 is made from a magnesium alloy and it features a red illuminated reticle with light provided by a simple diode bulb. It features professionally ground, fully multicoated optical elements, a baked enamel finish for scratch protection, and an attached, quickdeployable, extendable sunshade. The scope body is sealed and filled with nitrogen, which prevents fogging of optics and was designed to function within a -50 °C to 50 °C temperature range. For zeroing the telescopic sight the reticle can be adjusted by manipulating the elevation and windage turrets in five-cm at 100-metres (0.5 mil or 1.72 MOA) increments.
The reticle itself has ‘floating’ elements designed for use in range estimation and bullet drop and drift compensation; the top centre ‘chevron’ is used as the main aiming mark. The horizontal hash marks are for windage and lead corrections and can be used for ranging purposes as well. To the left of this is a rangefinder that can be used to determine the distance from a 1.7-metres tall object/person from 200-metres to 1000-metres. For this, the lowest part of the target is lined up on the bottom horizontal line. Where the top of the target touches the top curved line the distance can be determined. This reticle layout is also used in several other telescopic sights produced and used by other former Warsaw Pact member states.
As real as it gets
With all this wonderful information to hand I set about hunting down a reasonably priced PSO-1 but I found that even though the real deal was available I’d still be looking at a good chunk of cash to acquire one; a quick online search revealed that if I had £300 - 400 I could get one from the Russian Federation, but I really wasn’t prepared to pay that to sit it on top of an airsoft replica!
What I did find, however, was an absolutely splendid replica PSO-1 from Action Sport Games (ASG) in Denmark; ASG actually have a licence with Arsenal Inc., who are the exclusive US manufacturer of the finest and most authentic examples of the time proven AK design. Arsenal manufactures over 20 different rifle versions and also a wide range of accessories and components. As ASG have had an SVD-S in their line for some time I was very pleased to see that they had a great looking ‘PSO-1’ to go with it! This 4x26 illuminated optic from ASG completes any airsoft Dragunov sniper rifle, and it solves the aiming over distance issue with a crystal clear 4x26 lens, brightly illuminated traditional SVD reticle and a rubber scope cap for sighting in under low-light situations.
It comes with an integrated and easyto- install mount, allowing you to set it firmly onto most SVD style airsoft rifles. The mount also features a quick detach latch, making it easy to take off and store while it’s not in use. While the illuminated cross-hairs are perfect for games after dark and low-light environments, ASG also include the sunshade which extends forward of the objective lens. This ensures that the objective lens doesn’t reflect ambient light, which is a tell-tale giveaway of a shooter’s location.
Quite the sight
Another great feature of this durable SVD scope is the easy-to-adjust elevation and windage controls, which makes it easy to sight-in your scope. Built entirely from highgrade anodised aluminium, the ASG SVD Scope is not only incredibly durable but also lightweight. This is a ‘real steel’ grade scope with a very tight fit; you may find you need to install it slowly with a few gentle taps from a rubber hammer to avoid breaking or damaging your SVD, and this is definitely a fitting process where patience is a virtue!
Although not the price of the ‘real deal’, the ASG sight will still set you back around £130, so it’s by no means a cheap addition to your setup; that said, if you shop around there are some deals to be had in the ether! Thus far I’ve really enjoyed having the SVD on the range, and the replica ‘PSO-1’ sight is the perfect companion; soon though the Dragunov will be heading to its first MilSim and I can’t wait to get it into action!
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates