One thing that can safely be said about our industry is that there is no shortage of innovation. Admittedly, some it is fluff but others solve real problems and add value. Such is the case with the introduction of D-EVO by Leupold & Stevens at this year’s SHOT SHOW. In fact, I give it my innovation award in optics for 2015. So, what is this D-EVO?
I’ll answer the question by addressing some of the problems it overcomes before I get into the mechanics. Rule number one for shooters in developing marksmanship is trigger control, sight picture and muzzle control. To become highly proficient a shooter brings the weapon up to his or her head, establishes a consistent cheek weld and squeezes off a round. Any breakdown in that process results in a missed shot or inconsistent shot placement. To overcome the cheek weld (read head placement) problem Aimpoint introduced the reflex red dot sight. The M68, as it was designated by the U.S. Army permeated the Armed Services and is used to date along with its T-1 and T-2 variants. However, its 1x magnification left something to be desired and soon after Aimpoint, and others, introduced a 3x magnifier. That technology satisfied the need for magnification but created other problems. Operators had to break cheek weld to rotate the magnifier in place, and once in place they needed to adjust their head and sight picture. So, the task for industry became how to add sufficient magnification, on a limited amount of mounting real estate and preserve the operators head position. From that challenge, Leupold’s D-EVO was born.
D-EVO sits directly behind the operator’s reflex sight but it’s not magnifying the red dot, it is a completely separate weapon sight equipped with its own reticle that must be zeroed individually. So, here’s what that means. As the operator, I can use a 25 meter zero for my reflex sight but zero my D-EVO at 100 meters; ending up with a weapon system that can accurately engage targets at any range within in its effective operating envelope.
The picture above presents the operators view of the system. To employ the system, the operator mounts the weapon as trained to do and establishes his or her cheek weld. To use the reflex sight he shifts his eyes up and to use the magnified sight he shifts his eyes down. The operator never has to change his grip or reposition his or her head. Bling! Bling! The free market economy at its finest.
Now for first impressions. I had the opportunity to shoot it in a laser trainer simulator. The sight is fast and accurate but there is an acclimation period that is well worth the effort. Now for one more piece of good news, it works with any reflex sight so your investment in that T-1 or T-2 is preserved. M.S.R.P. is $1,000 with availability Q1-Q2 2015.