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U.S. Optics SR-8S With Plumb Reticle

It started with a failed ambush, and the successful firefight that followed. When Frank Plumb was in the 3rd Special Forces Group, his team was engaged by numerous fighters in an L-shaped ambush. The enemy used AKs, PKMs, RPGs, and RPKs at distances ranging from 75 meters to hundreds. In the chaos, Plumb tells us, most of the individual fire was purely suppressive as ranges had to be estimated on the fly and often on only partially exposed fighters. They made it through the harrowing fight with zero casualties on their team. But it got Plumb thinking about how he could have ended it sooner.

Upping training was one obvious solution but hardware, specifically a reticle, would be another of Plumb’s fixes. Enter the Plumb Reticle.

We’ve seen a lot of new reticles produced over the last decade — some categorically for warfighting, others for gaming, and still more combination “do all” designs. Though it could probably be used for the purpose under the right circumstances, the Plumb Reticle wasn’t designed for Precision Rifle Series (PRS), multi-gun, or any other gun sports. From the ground up, the Plumb reticle was designed for one thing: shooting bad guys quickly at unknown ranges.


The Plumb Reticle is like the original Dragunov reticle — but done right. Your standard PSO-1 optic has a ranging scale built-in based on the height of a man. This allows the shooter to determine an approximate distance to the target without using mathematics or range triangulation. It’s limited in application, in part because of the accuracy of the rifle, (lack of) optical quality, and the design of the reticle itself. Though the Soviet sniper reticle has a ranging scale, it’s calibrated only for a rather short man standing completely upright. Further complicating matters, targets have to be ranged and engaged in separate portions of the optical window, and you either have to know your holds or dial them in.


With the Plumb Reticle, ranging and engagement happens at the same time. There are two funnels inside the reticle — the larger fits an average torso width, and the smaller funnel head width. Simply line up your target in the reticle, and when either shoulders or head just fit between the sides of the funnel, pull. The head-sized funnel also works for shoulder/chest-sized targets presented “on end.” In the case of a partial or obscured target, it’s not difficult to fit them inside the funnel. Of course, you still have to do your own windage. For more precise ranging, there are 1/10th mil scales on either side in both horizontal and vertical orientations.

As with any other bullet drop compensator (BDC), the Plumb Reticle is weapon and ammunition specific — remember how we said this wasn’t for gaming? The Plumb is for 175-grain 7.62N fired from a 1/10 twist barrel, not coincidentally the same used by many U.S. Military designated marksmen.

Of course, we have to talk a bit about the scope in which the reticle resides. In this case, an illuminated U.S. Optics SR-8S 1-8x front focal plane (FFP) scope. Since it’s an FFP scope, the reticle changes size in conjunction with the magnification of the scope. Due to the nature of how FFP low-power variable optics work, at least right now, the illuminated center portion of the reticle unfortunately isn’t yet what we’d consider daytime bright. Your current best bet would be to pair the Plumb with some offset irons or a red-dot of some type for close-in work.


Plumb Reticle / U.S. Optics

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