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The concept is now reality. After decades of testing and evaluation (T&E) of existing rifle scopes and research and development (R&D) of tactical sighting systems, the “do it all” Combat Rifle Scope (CRS) is here.
Drawing on lessons learned while as a Special Forces soldier and an avid shooter, Ed Verdugo (GRSC, Inc.) searched in vain for what he envisioned as the perfect combat rifle scope. Ed truly believed that, if such a scope could be made, it would enhance the lethality of our war fighters and ultimately, help save their lives. Upon learning that one did not exist, the quest was born …
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The concept called for a variable power scope with a general purpose combat (GPC) reticle. This scope/sighting system was intended to cover the full spectrum of combat from CQB (close quarters battle) engagements to the maximum effective range of today’s modern assault and battle rifles.
The primary objective of this concept was speed at CQB distances.
Also, the reticle was to be illuminated for low light environments and, when combined with modern night vision equipment, the scope would provide day/night capability.
After many years of T&E, Ed designed the horseshoe (HS) reticle and the “rule of 10” ranging system, both of which would eventually be used in the CRS. Ed already has been awarded two patents on the reticle design, with others still pending. Finally, with the scope and reticle specs set, the next challenge was to get it produced. GRSC had no capability to manufacture scopes. So, the design concept was introduced to many of the top quality scope manufacturers – only to be rejected.
In 2002, Ed met Val Leatu (President of IOR Valdada) at TREXPO in Ontario, California. IOR Valdada was interested in the design concept. In fact, it successfully incorporated into some of its scopes portions of Ed’s GPC reticle design. However, IOR Valdada was unwilling to embrace the design concept in its entirety.
As a result, GRSC, in its pursuit to bring the concept to reality, continued to approach other manufacturers. In 2003, GRSC began working with Millett Sights on the project. Millett Sights had a small quantity of Combat Rifle Scopes manufactured in China and imported them for GRSC. This joint effort with Millett Sights was short-lived, due to quality control problems, and was terminated in 2005. Then, GRSC approached US Optics to make a 1-6 CRS prototype. [Early on, it was decided that the CRS should be a 1-6 scope with an illuminated GPC reticle positioned on the FFP (front focal plane).]
Up until that time, no one had ever produced a 1-6 scope. Moreover, none of the scope manufacturers Ed contacted were even interested in working with GRSC to try to produce a 1-6.
The first five 1.5-6 illuminated SN4 scopes that US Optics made, were made for GRSC with the GPC 343 non-caliber-specific horseshoe reticle. These five were the first GRSC combat rifle scopes produced. Two of those scopes were sent to US soldiers in combat in Iraq, and one went to the Philippines Special Ops forces. Feedback on the HS reticle and 10” ranging system (based on the size of the human head) was very positive. Based on user feedback from the field, requests were made for:
Once more, GRSC approached some of the best manufacturers to try to have the CRS built – only to be turned down again! In September 2005, Ed (GRSC), with John Pride (PFI) and Jean-Pierre Stassin (Belgian Air Force Para-Commandos), presented the GRSC 1.5-6 CRS (manufactured by US Optics) at the War Fighter Seminar at Fort Benning, Georgia. After the seminar, live fire demos were conducted for the AMU (US Army Advanced Marksmanship Unit) and DM-R (Designated Marksman Rifle) at Fort Benning.
In February 2006, Ed, with John Pride and Mickey Fowler of PFI, exhibited the GRSC 1.5-6 CRS for the US Marines at Marine West, Camp Pendleton, California. Shortly afterwards, John Pride arranged a live fire demo for the Marines at Camp Pendleton. Based on feedback from those demos and field usage, GRSC set out – determined – to proceed with the CRS project.
In 2008, GRSC assembled a small team of personnel to try again to get the next version of the CRS built. This was the genesis of Norden Performance. GRSC’s new team was able to get the current 1-4 CRS manufactured in Korea.
In 2009, the GRSC team started discussions with a top Japanese scope manufacturer on the current 1-6 CRS.
Since GRSC is a very small company and, as Dirty Harry (“Magnum Force”) said, “… A good man always knows his limitations …,” GRSC decided this year to turn over the 1-6 CRS project to the newly-formed company, Norden Performance.
Norden Performance consists of the original team members (three of whom are veterans) who successfully brought the Korean 1-4 CRS and now, the Japanese 1-6 CRS, into production.