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Hvy's Investigation/Guide to 2x Rifle Combat Optics (Assumptions Debunked)

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TL;DR, see my major conclusions


Before we get started, for those who are not familiar with how to use the 2x fixed-zero Rifle Optics in the first place, see the "Sight Usage" section of Dslyecxi's TTP3, about 40% of the way down under "Basic Infantry; Combat Marksmanship; Basic Marksmanship"




I've referred to TTP3 as the "Arma 3 Bible" in the past, and with good reason. It was published using a 2013 build of Arma 3 (and due to IRL concerns for the author, won't be updated), so some things are super out-of-date, but a lot of it is still as handy as ever. It's the next best thing to in-game training with real people, despite its age.

(If anybody would like me to contribute to a potential community-sourced update of TTP3, hit me up with a forum message. If anybody would be interested in the future should I decide to initiate such a project, forum message)



Now, since the earliest parts of the early access period, Arma 3 has had a series of 2x-and-a-bit magnification optics with fixed 300m zeroes and ballistic drop compensators. There were (and to a certain extent, still are) a lot of assumptions going around about these optics. That some are for certain calibers. That 7.62mm NATO has no corresponding optics. That any optic "in a certain caliber" would match up with any weapon in that caliber. Kind of makes sense, right? That because the RCO (MX) and ARCO (Katiba) were both found on 6.5mm weapons, they were interchangeable and that any 6.5mm weapon would work with them. Same for the MRCO (Mk20), ERCO (SPAR-16), and 5.56mm. And because none of them came with 7.62mm weapons as their "obvious" partner, big bore was -poop- out of luck for 2x optics.


But I've been watching a lot of Rogue-9's videos regarding mechanics investigations in Rainbow Six Siege recently, and every single time he does in with assumptions, they get busted (side note, go sub to him if you have any interest in Siege, his work is very informative). This started getting me thinking about some of the assumptions I had about Arma 3, and the 2x Rifle Optics was one of the biggest ones. So I loaded up Hebontes, and after some trial and error getting the target ranges right, I loaded up my rifles and started plinking.


The results were... well, native English speakers know what they say about assumptions: they make an Ass of U and Umption


For those who just want the results, here's a link to the documents I wrote up about 


General Recommendations and Conclusions



Recommendations per Weapon



Testing Data per Optic



Pictures are not included since most of you should already know darn well what each optic and reticle look like by now


Testing Procedure


-Performed on Hebontes, targets adjusted for ~100m increments, near-as-makes-no-difference. Ranges 100m to 900m


-Target used: BIS Pop-up Target #4, Insurgent Aiming (Marksman DLC)


-Aim at target's shoulders and waist. Attempt to make several hits on each. Consistent hits must be accomplished on shoulders and waist to count as a hit

Note: This is a measure of practical accuracy in combat conditions. The logic here is that you could continue to make hits by simply aiming higher or lower on the target's body. We're not shooting for competition here, good enough is good enough


-If misses occur on one, determine that it is not the other. If misses occur sporadically, adjust slightly more towards the edges of the target


-If misses only occur on one, mark as 50m slow (if missing on waist) or fast (if missing on shoulders). Manually adjust and continue


-Continue until misses continuously occur again with adjustment. Mark as 100m slow or fast, and conclude testing


-Eventually, the 100-300m targets were ignored, for hopefully obvious reasons


-Submachine Guns (PDW2000, Protector, Sting, Vermin) were not tested, as 300m is outside their effective range and the usage case for all three is the same (RCO: top of the vertical line, ARCO & MRCO: black mark above the arrow, ERCO: top of the circle, maybe a bit above, each at 100m). The DMS is a better choice anyhow for SMGs thanks to adjustable zero


-Sniper Rifles (MAR-10, Cyrus, M320, GM6) were not tested, as these are long-range weapons that require adjustable-zero optics, and any attempt to use them with anything other than adjustable-zero optics is a waste of time and resources (though it can be good fun)


-The ADR-97 was not tested. While it could make use of the 2x optics, it is currently somewhat overpowered and balance changes are in the works. I'd rather wait till next patch and give you information that will be valid for longer, than test now and give information that will only be valid for a couple months, if that


-Weapons without optic mounts (AKS, AKM, SDAR) were not tested, because no -poop-, Sherlock


First major conclusion: The only weapons that work flawlessly with any optic are the ones they are paired with.

RCO-MX Carbine

ARCO-Katiba Rifle



Beyond that, any example of consistently acceptable performance was down to ballistic characteristics being sufficiently similar


Second major conclusion: Within 400m, it really does not matter. Within 500m, only for particularly fast or slow weapons will the markers be incorrect. By extension, any of the 200m reflex sights as well as the NVS will be just fine within their limitations


Third Major Conclusion: The only optics that are truly hassle-free are those with adjustable zeroing. If you have the choice, I'd recommend the DMS over any of the 2x fixed optics, as it offers several advantages (4x, idiot-proof rangefinder, adjustable zero 100-1000m, etc) with the only disadvantage being unable to be used with NVGs. Of course, the Nightstalker is also available, but the Nightstalker is more likely than not to be unavailable, and it's kind of a bit too easy in my opinion (so much so the US Army is trying to copy the concept with FWS-I)


Fourth Major Conclusion: While the long-barreled marksman rifles (MXM, Mk-I, CMR-76, SPAR-17) can make use of 2x optics, they are really much better suited for adjustable-zero. I'd recommend either the medium range (DMS, MOS) or medium-long range options (AMS, Kahlia). The other 7.62mm rifles, however, are well set for certain 2x optic combinations should you chose to go that way


Final Major Conclusion: My recommended optic combinations. These combinations require no (optimal) or little (good) adjustment to achieve consistent hits within their effective range. Grenade launcher variants are included with their rifle and carbine counterparts



Optimal: MX Carbine, SPAR-17, CAR-95, CAR-95-1, Navid, Mk20 Rifle, Mk20C, Mk18 ABR, TRG-21


Good: MX SW, SPAR-16, SPAR-16S, TRG-20, LIM-85, Mk14



Optimal: Katiba Rifle, Katiba Carbine, MX SW, Mk-I EMR, CAR-95, Navid, Mk20 Rifle, Mk18 ABR, TRG-21, LIM-85


Good: MX Carbine, MXM, SPAR-17, CAR-95-1, Type 115, Mk14


Acceptable: Mk200



Optimal: CAR-95, TRG-21, Mk14, Katiba Carbine, Mk18 ABR


Good: MX Carbine, SPAR-17, CAR-95-1, MXC, Katiba Rifle



Optimal: SPAR-16S, SPAR-16, TRG-20, Mk20C, MXC, Rahim


Acceptable: AK-12 (50m slow @500m, 100m@600)


Adjustable Zero (DMS, MOS, AMS, etc.)

Recommended: MXM, SPMG, MK-I EMR, SPAR-17, Type 115, Zafir, Navid, Rahim, CMR-76, Mk200, AK-12, Mk14



Special Note: Zafir has varying degrees of front sight blockage with any optic other than RCO, which isn't a good match anyhow. Also, ERCO has some front sight blockage with some weapons, namely the Navid, Mk-I, and SPMG


I hope you found my investigation useful. I certainly have. Thanks for reading, and I'll see you on the battlefield :yay:


For those interested, a link to a similar investigation I did for the AT launchers



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23 minutes ago, Hvymtal said:

I hope you found my investigation useful.


That's a lot of nice info !

Thanks Hvymtal !

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Thanks! :rthumb:


I just tweaked my recommendations a bit, there was a bit of discrepancy between the per weapon document (which I used to build the recommendations), and the stipulation I had in the forum post about "within effective range." Some weapons only saw significant deviation from the range markers at 900m or until deviation in general kicked in and were labeled as "Good" due to a better option; these have been moved from "Good" top "Optimal" since who hits anybody at 900m with an infantry rifle or 800m with a carbine anyways...

Some weapons will remain "good" combos if there is a significantly better option effective range or not (carbines in particular)


Until or unless the data is revised, the recommendations you see now should be final

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