Collimator sights: Operating principle

For the first time about the collimator sights I (author, solikama – Ed.), in 1995. learned from the magazine Soldier of Fortune. It was a sight Holodot from the company BoNaSo Trading Ltd. It was terribly curious and really wanted to try. But everyone who asked about him only shrugged his shoulders.

Photos from the magazine Soldier of Fortunesolikama – Ed.), in 1995. learned from the magazine Soldier of Fortune. It was a sight Holodot from the company BoNaSo Trading Ltd. It was terribly curious and really wanted to try. But everyone who asked about him only shrugged his shoulders.

Photos from the magazine Soldier of Fortune

Later, while studying at the special faculty, we were shown collimator sight in symbiosis with PP-90 – something similar to what is shown in the photo below)

Photos from the magazine Soldier of FortunePhotos from the magazine Soldier of Fortune

I don’t remember what it was called, maybe it was PSK-8 or SWEAT

PSK-8 (Sight stereoscopic collimator)PSK-8 (Sight stereoscopic collimator)

POT (Spot optical sight)POT (Spot optical sight)

So what is a collimator?

That's probably the first Soviet collimator for small arms & quot; Firefly & quot;That’s probably the first Soviet collimator for small arms “Firefly”

Collimator (from collimo, the distortion of the correct lat. collineo – direct in a straight line) – a device for receiving parallel beams of light rays or particles.

Collimator sighting systems – these are systems using collimator to build an image of an aiming mark projected to infinity. In reality, in the sight, the rays of light from the source are reflected collimator lens in the eye of the arrow parallel flow. As a result, the eye of the arrow does not have to be on the optical axis of the sight, as long as it is within the projection of the sight lens along this axis. With transverse movements of the eye, the sighting mark, from the point of view of the observer, moves along the lens of the sight, remaining on the aiming point regardless of the position of the eye of the observer relative to the sight.

Collimator sight allows you to fire, keeping both eyes open, while the field of view is not reduced and the shooter has the opportunity to respond to changes in the environment.

Here it is with a different sight, for the military Here it is with another sight, for the military “Blizzard-45-2”

Collimator sight provides a higher sighting speed than traditional sights (front sight / rear sight) because when aiming, it is necessary to combine only the red luminous mark visible in the eyepiece and the target itself, while the eye accommodates at a distance from the target (in mechanical sights – usually at the front sight, the rear sight and the target are not in focus).

Collimator sights are open and closed. There is / there was a vague terminology to this effect. Initially closed sights were called sights, which did not have a transparent lens, but only projected a target mark into the eye of the shooter. The objective was not displayed in the eyepiece, the aiming was carried out binocularly when one sighting was observed by one eye, and the other by the target, in the brain of the arrow a combination of images from both eyes, characteristic of binocular vision, occurred.

It looked like this.

Currently, such sights are almost out of use.

Modern collimator sights have an optical scheme through which the shooter observes the target, and at the same time it also reflects the image of the aiming mark in his eye, according to the old classification, all such sights were called open.

Now closed collimator sight referred to as the sight, whose light source that forms the mark is in a closed (usually cylindrical, airtight) housing, while, in addition to the front collimator lenses, there is a lens closing eyepiece housing.

Closed collimator sightClosed collimator sight

Open collimator sight It has only a front lens in the frame, the light source is open on the base of the sight.

Open collimator sightOpen collimator sight

The history of the development of collimator sights

Howard Grubb was the head of a family firm Grubb Telescope Company, founded by his father, who made large telescopes, telescope controls and other optical instruments. He is also known for his work on improving periscopes and the invention collimator sight.

Howard Grubb (July 28, 1844 - September 16, 1931), Dublin, Ireland, designer of optical devices.Howard Grubb (July 28, 1844 – September 16, 1931), Dublin, Ireland, designer of optical devices.

In 1900 Grubb invented collimator sight. In the future, this type of sights began to be used on all types of weapons from small arms, to fighters and artillery.

In 1901 Howard Grubb created a compact version collimator sight, Suitable for handguns and small devices. The sight was modernized, the lighting of the aiming mark was improved by placing the illuminator on its front side from above, as a result the incident light was reflected from the transmitting mirror and then from the concave glass into the eye of the observer.

Collimator sight Grubba began to be used on hunting weapons and gained popularity. also in 1901

Types of collimator sights

The scheme of three types of collimator sights. The top one uses a collimator lens (CL) and a ray splitter (B) to create a virtual image at infinity (V) from the aiming mark (R). The lower two use translucent curved mirrors (CM) as collimating optics.The scheme of three types of collimator sights. The top one uses a collimator lens (CL) and a ray splitter (B) to create a virtual image at infinity (V) from the aiming mark (R). The lower two use translucent curved mirrors (CM) as collimating optics.

Initially collimator sights began to use in aviation, applying them to fighters.

For the first time they were used in 1918 in fighters Albatros D.V and Fokker Dr.1. Sights were manufactured by the company Optische Anstalt Oigee, made according to the Grabby patent, electric light was used as a backlight of the aiming grid.

A similar sight was made by the English company VickersA similar sight was made by the English company Vickers

In subsequent years, aviation collimator sights perfected, their principle remains the same.

Aviation sights use the same principle of action as conventional collimatorsAviation sights use the same principle of action as conventional collimators

An example of the action of aviation collimator sight.

An example of the action of aviation collimator sight.

Collimator sights widely used in aviation, anti-aircraft installations, anti-tank artillery, mortars.

Anti-aircraft collimator sightAnti-aircraft collimator sight

Anti-aircraft collimator sightAnti-aircraft collimator sight

Shortly after World War II collimator sights for rifles and shotguns, Nydar shotgun sight (1945), which uses a curved translucent mirror to reflect light to illuminate the aiming mark, and Giese electric gunsight (1947), which was equipped with a battery-powered lighting brand.

Collimator sight Nydar shotgun sight with cover

Collimator sight Nydar shotgun sight with cover

Nydar sight sight shotgun sight shotgunNydar sight sight shotgun sight shotgun

Nydar shotgun sight collimator sight - view of the aiming markNydar shotgun sight collimator sight – view of the aiming mark

Sights appeared later Weaver qwik-point (1970) and Thompson Insta-Sight. Both sights used ambient light to illuminate the aiming mark using a beam-dividing device — the green cross at Insta-Sight, and the red plastic light guide, which created the red aiming point of the reticle in Qwik-Point.

Weaver Qwik-Point Collimator

Weaver Qwik-Point collimator on a weapon

Thompson Insta-Sight

Thompson Insta-Sight

Thompson Insta-Sight

There were another type collimator sight, the so-called “blind” or closed type, which (depending on the aiming mark used) is called RED DOT, it came from artillery.

M4 M4 mortar sightM4 M4 mortar sight

M4 M4 mortar sightM4 M4 mortar sight

An electric bulb or light guides were used to illuminate the aiming mark.

As an example of sights using optical fibers for illumination, SinglPoint and Armson OEG can be given.
Both the red dot was used as the aiming mark, the source of light was ambient light. But, at Armson OEG, tritium was used for illumination at night – radioactive matter, which expanded its use.

Reflex Sight Armson OEGReflex Sight Armson OEG

SinglpointSinglpoint

SinglpointSinglpoint

Sight SinglPoint used & quot; Green Berets & quot; in the raid on Son Tai in operation Ivory Coast 11/20/1970Sight SinglPoint used “Green Berets” in the raid on Son Tai in Operation Ivory Coast 11/20/1970

The main disadvantage of this system is that the brain is poorly adapted to combine dissimilar images from each eye, with the result that the aiming mark shifts with respect to the image of the target. Because of this bias and the large size of the point (8 or 16 MOA), the effectiveness of the sights was significantly limited. US military ceased development collimator sights for small arms

The company has taken the next step forward in red dot technology. Aimpoint, in the sights of which a light emitting diode was used (LED) to project the red dot on the target image, this happened in 1974. However, in spite of the advantages, collimators special success among hunters and athletes did not have.

Reflex Sight Aimpoint ElectronicReflex Sight Aimpoint Electronic

That all changed in 1975 thanks to the US Army Reserve Sergeant Joe Pascarelli. Having received first place at the National Pistol Shooting Championship at Camp Perry, His photo graced the cover of the magazine of the American Rifle Association. The picture was Paskarelli. In his hand he held a pistol on which a sight was set Aimpoint electronic.

House Committee USA on matters of the armed forces noted back in 1975 about the suitability of the use collimator sights for the M16, however, it was still quite a while beforeAll-sight sights began to be used on weapons.

Aimpoint sights have been limited during the Desert Storm operation.Aimpoint sights have been limited during the Desert Storm operation.

But only in 2000 there was a breakthrough. Aimpoint contracted to supply US Army 565783 sights M68 Close Combat Optic Rifle Sights (Aimpoint comp2).

Over the following years, popularity collimator sights has grown significantly, a variety of different models have appeared, but they all owe their appearance to Howard Grubb.

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