The Firearm Blog recently broke a story about Steiner’s entry into the intelligent optics market. The Intelligent combat Sight (ICS) appears to be a pretty solid entry into Category V optics that I wrote about last year. Here is a quick video about the scope.
Interestingly, the optic housing looks suspiciously like something made by ELCAN, even though the companies are unrelated. It even has similar external adjustment mechanisms and backup sight configurations. While ELCAN is owned by Raytheon, Steiner is owned by Beretta. Of note, Beretta also owns Burris Optics, which is known for their Eliminator series that seems to have similar functionality to Steiner’s ICS. With a weight 27 ounces, it’s no lightweight- and the ranging mechanism on the left side certainly adds some bulk.
At $3500+, it is certainly outside of my price range, but still a fraction of what the TrackingPoint M600 system costs at nearly $10K (including the AR-15 pattern rifle). To me, this signals that the steady march of technology continues to bring prices down and improve ruggedness across the market.
Steiner has recently made splashes with the release of its M332 and M536 combat sights, which seem to offer great glass and ruggedness for half the price of an ACOG. If the trend continues, I really do wish them (and others) luck with bringing more options to bear.