New Sighting Systems: Improving Rifle Accuracy

New Sighting Systems: Improving Rifle Accuracy
Excelitas Qioptiq’s latest addition to the Merlin family of riflescopes is the LR2, which features a catadioptric (mirror-lens) lens


In past global conflicts, the percentage of wounded and killed from a small arms weapons was relatively high, but in modern scenarios the methods of its application have changed significantly. While militants of various kinds and soldiers of militarily underdeveloped countries currently use small arms mainly as a means of suppression, accuracy for the troops of the Western regular armies has become an urgent necessity in order to avoid collateral losses. Fire is allowed to be opened only after positive identification of the target and preferably in a single mode. Hence the increasing role of optoelectronic sights and the fading into the background of mechanical sights, which nevertheless remain as a duplicating element. Aiming systems range from optical instruments used in the daytime, and sights with enhanced image brightness, which can be used only at night, to thermal imaging sights operating in different ranges, which can also improve image quality when the visibility deteriorates in the daytime, not to mention about typical fire control systems that increase the effectiveness of a soldier or compensate for his lack of experience. The article provides an overview of some products recently introduced by companies, while the predominance of new thermal imaging systems demonstrates the growing importance of these high-tech solutions on the battlefield.


A few days before Milipol 2019, Aimpoint announced its new CompactMP5b collimator scope for 5,56 and 7,62mm NATO standard weapons

Optical sights


In daytime operations in clear weather, optical sights remain the preferred choice because they guarantee maximum resolution and allow you to see more details that even the most advanced digital system of comparable weight and size can not see, at least for today.

At the Milipol 2019 exhibition, the Swedish company Aimpoint presented its new closed-type CompM5b collimator sight, which has interchangeable corrections flywheels for NATO cartridges of 5,56 and 7,62 mm calibres with six intervals of 100 meters, from 100 to 600 meters. A collimator sight with an aiming point of 2 MOA (angular minutes) is designed to work with both eyes open. In the standard configuration, it weighs 254 grams, of which 180 grams falls on the sight itself. Together with Aimpoint CompM5b, the position of the active mark can be instantly adjusted to compensate for the bullet falling depending on the distance to the target. The sight has a built-in mechanism for adjusting for wind and slope. CompM5b is waterproof to 45 meters and is compatible with all known night vision devices, as well as magnifying nozzles. The red mark illumination can be removed, 10 different brightness settings are available, four of them are designed to work with night devices. The device is powered by an AAA format power supply, which provides 5 years of continuous operation in high brightness modes and more than 10 years in low / night modes. Aimpoint is counting on the first customer soon, the CompM5b will be available on the market in spring 2020.


To meet the needs of the U.S. military, Trijicon has developed the VCOG 1-8x2, which is the third system in the VCOG family.

Trijicon, another leader in the industry, unveiled its new VCOG 1-8x28 (Variable Combat Optical Gunsight) sight last spring, developed at the request of the U.S. military, who needs a sturdy scope with a larger magnification and aperture than the current VCOG 1- 6x24. The field of view of the new device varies from 20 ° to 2.5 (compared with 18 ° -3 ° in the model 1-6x24). The sight, made of 7075-T6 aviation-grade aluminum alloy, can withstand immersion to a depth of 20 meters and has an integrated adapter. The VCOG 1-8x28 sight, measuring 274,3x71,1x71,1 mm, weighs 893 grams without a holder and battery. The first crosshair in the focal plane allows you to quickly estimate the distance to the target, while the illuminated circular segmented sighting grid, available in angular minutes or milliradians, can be adjusted within 120 angular minutes, adjusted for wind and elevation - one division of the flywheel rotation the introduction of amendments corresponds to 0,25 arc minutes or 0,1 milliradian. The brightness of the red circle can be selected from 11 different levels - two for night vision and nine for daytime, while one of them is super-bright for working in strong light. Power is supplied from one AA battery, which guarantees more than 630 hours (more than 26 days) of operation in mode No. 6. The new sight is currently offered on the market without restrictions.

Meopta recently introduced its MeoForce DF 4x30 riflescope, adding it to two other members of the family, the DF 5x40 and DF 3x20. The first is intended for use with long-barreled weapons, for example, sniper rifles and light machine guns, while the second is intended for installation on assault rifles. These sights have the same body, the difference is in lenses, fields of view, respectively 4 ° and 7 °; weight with battery, mount, covers and sunshade is 475 and 350 grams. The AA-type battery guarantees 300 hours of work with the crosshairs backlit with medium brightness, while 12 different brightness levels are available. The new DF 4x30 scope is packaged in the same housing, but has a field of view of 5.3 ° and weighs 385 grams. According to the Czech company, it was created taking into account the needs of some potential customers who need an average sight between the two existing models.


Meopta introduced the latest addition to the MeoForce family - the MeoForce DF 4x30 sight, designed to meet the needs of some customers

Meprolight, part of the SK Group (Israel Weapons Industries is among other companies), has a wide variety of weapon sights in its portfolio, optical, with enhanced image brightness and thermal imaging. Some of them have specific characteristics that you will not find in similar products currently available on the market. One of them is the Mepro Foresight optical sight weighing 280 grams, developed on the basis of the Mepro M5 optical-electronic collimator sight. The optical system has been replaced by a transparent display, which allows you to add various information to the screen, thereby increasing functional flexibility. The idea of ​​Meprolight was to solve all possible problems and at the same time add some elements. Thus, Mepro Foresight is an open system that can easily be updated using the application in the smartphone, which connects to the sight via Bluetooth. A single crosshair profile can contain up to five different target threads, selectable and an extensive base, all with the same zero settings. The application can store up to 10 profiles, each of them is designed for a specific weapon; when switching from one weapon to another, the operator loads the appropriate profile and the scope is reset. If different ammunition can be used in one weapon, then in the same profile it is possible to use the built-in function to adjust the zeroing of the crosshair for different cartridges.


According to Meprolight, its Mergo Foresight scope is best for police using non-lethal grenade launchers. For various weapon systems and ammunition, a functionally very flexible sight is required

Meprolight added a digital compass and a quadrant to the sight; other indicators, for example, Bluetooth status, battery charge, etc. can be seen in the sight, although the operator can configure them, leaving only the necessary information. The Mergo Foresight sight can be installed on a variety of types of weapons, including non-lethal police grenade launchers that require accuracy along with functional flexibility, while taking into account the widest selection of models and types of ammunition for them. In this regard, Meprolight also added a grid that allows you to estimate the distance using the width of the shoulders, since non-lethal effectors are used at relatively short distances of up to 30 meters. In addition, she is currently developing a software update that will add a shot counter to the scope. Mergo Foresight is powered by a non-removable battery that is charged via a USB-C cable; it guarantees a fully functional mode of 50 hours of continuous operation, which can turn into several hundred hours when using only the crosshair. Also for military use, an option was developed with AA batteries, but today there is no customer for this solution.


Meprolight has developed the Merro Foresight sight, which can be updated from a smartphone in order to adapt it to weapons of various types

Image brightness enhancement


The technology for enhancing image brightness maintains a strong position in the field of night sights. One of the latest innovations released in Europe is the new Photonis 4G + Electron-Optical Converter (EOC). Already being mass-produced, it is a refinement of the 4G image intensifier tube released several years ago. The minimum figure of merit, (figure of merit is the product of the signal-to-noise ratio and the maximum resolution (pair of lines / mm)), was increased by more than 20% to 2200, while the typical figure of merit increased by 5% and amounted to 2300. B the handset uses the same technology as in the previous 4G version, power consumption has remained constant, while the cost has increased slightly. 4G + is manufactured with phosphor P43 (green) or P45 (white). The production of the new tube began in the spring of 2019, and is installed in the QuadEye panoramic Night Vision Lasers Spain (NVLS). Later, they will also begin to install it in weapons sights, since the best quality factor allowed to increase the detection / recognition / identification ranges.

Excelitas Qioptiq recently introduced the Merlin-LR 2 detachable gun sight, designed to be mounted on assault and sniper rifles of caliber up to 12,7 mm. It is equipped with a high-quality specular-lens lens and features wide-aperture collimator optics. The device is compatible with various day magnifying nozzles for shooting at medium and long ranges. The sight is available with an image intensifier with a green or white phosphor. The company does not disclose the detailed specifications of its device. The Merlin-LR 2 sight has passed factory tests and is ready for mass production, which should begin in March 2020, then detailed information about it will become known.


Steiner eOptics Close Quarter Thermal Prototype (CQT); this model with collimator and thermal imaging channels is at the final stage of development


Photonis' latest product, the 4G + Optical Transducer, is an evolutionary development of the previous 4G with some added features.

Long wave thermal imaging


Let's move on to thermal imaging. When weight and cost are key parameters, microbolometers operating in the long-wave (near) infrared region of the spectrum come into play, that is, in the range of 8-12 microns. These systems, usually available as sights or removable devices, are used at shorter ranges. Steiner eOptics (part of Beretta) showed at DSEI the latest addition to its portfolio - the CQT Close Quarter Thermal scope. The CQT scope combines the benefits of collimator optics with the advantages of thermal imaging devices. The thermal second channel is based on one of the latest FLIR sensors - a 320x256 matrix with a step of 12 microns and a refresh time of 60 Hz. The sight can operate in three different thermal modes: a contour representation, with noise suppression and fully thermal noise. In thermal imaging mode, the field of view is 16 ° x 12 °, the window dimensions are 31x22,5 mm. The sight can be used in conjunction with night vision devices; to work at long distances, it can be equipped with a magnifier x3. The sight has a length of 133 mm and a width of 77 mm, the height from the guide to the center of the window is 53 mm, the weight with batteries is 390 grams. The sight is powered by two CR123 batteries, which provide at maximum brightness 4 hours of operation in thermal imaging mode and 160 hours in collimator mode.






The Phoenix-S, recently introduced by Excelitas Qioptiq, is paired with Phoenix-H targeting binoculars (bottom photo), which is capable of transmitting target data to a sniper wirelessly

Numerous potential buyers are showing increased interest in the CQT. However, this configuration is not yet final, that is, the aforementioned data refer to the latest pre-production sample shown at the London exhibition.

The newest addition to the Excelitas Qioptiq portfolio of uncooled devices is the Dragon-S 12 detachable scope. Compared to the Dragon-S model, it has a 640x480 matrix with 12 micron pitch (provides a much higher resolution compared to 320x240 matrix and 25 micron pitch for Dragon-S ) The image is displayed on a 1280x1024 full-color OLED display with a horizontal field of view of 5.3 °. The detection range of a target the size of a person exceeds 2,5 km, recognition - about 1 km, and identification - 500 meters. The dimensions of the Dragon-S 12 sight are 191x88x103 mm, without the lens cap, case and batteries, it weighs 850 grams, that is, less than its predecessor. Power is supplied from three AA batteries, providing over 7 hours of continuous operation. Dragon-S 12 is designed for low-level shooters who work 400-500 meters from their targets. The Dragon-S 12, released in early 2019, is mass-produced and has already been ordered by several unnamed customers.

To be continued ...
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  1. Same lech 28 January 2020 06: 23 New
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    Well, all these super awnings, body kits, sights are good ... no words what ... flopped while running into our mud and snow and clean it all later ... of course, sitting on the defensive in a sheltered shelter such things are good.
    1. max702 28 January 2020 13: 02 New
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      Quote: The same Lech
      Well, all these super awnings, body kits, sights are good ... no words

      Sights and stuff is not a panacea or a child prodigy, but just the likelihood of increased combat efficiency by a certain percentage .. Agree with binoculars better than without it, and with a thermal imager, and a range finder, and means of communication that will bring this info to the user .. And then that it’s precisely these stray people that make it possible to avoid getting into such a situation to the mud of muds .. I think we need to take care of this segment and not dream of aircraft carriers, the infantry Vanya is constantly fighting sights and he needs walkie-talkies than industrialists and admiral m another feeding trough \ toy ..
      1. Zaurbek 31 January 2020 08: 52 New
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        Well, for example, with installation on a grenade launcher, it will bring its indicators to the nearest ATGMs
  2. Vladimir_2U 28 January 2020 06: 28 New
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    High-tech electronic optics are not much simpler than aviation.
    The device is powered by an AAA format power supply, which provides 5 years of continuous operation at high brightness modes and more than 10 years at low / night modes
    Probably a mistake, maybe the light source has such a resource, and not a power source.
    1. Lexus 28 January 2020 17: 34 New
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      No, that's right.
      The battery life for the CompM5b ™ is over 5 years of continuous use while at the pos. 7, more than 1 year of use at pos. 8, and more than 10 years at NVD settings (pos. 1 to 4).

      Information taken from the office. site
      https://www.aimpoint.com/product/aimpoint-compm5b/

      In principle, the energy consumption in collimators is meager, almost comparable to self-discharge. So the period of continuous operation in cloudy weather is limited, in fact, in fact, by the life of the battery. hi
      1. Vladimir_2U 29 January 2020 03: 22 New
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        Not so bad. In English, the battery life is clearly indicated, do not interpret in any other way.
        1. Lexus 29 January 2020 03: 40 New
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          Yes, they have it strictly. They will condemn the manufacturer; Battery life is precisely the operating time at certain discharge currents. 1 year - in strong sunlight, when the brightness of the source is set to maximum (pos. 8). In the dark, when a faint glow is clearly visible (pos. 1-4) - MORE THAN 10 YEARS!
          Even on batteries, there is often the inscription Super Duty - such batteries, if they are not Chinese, should remain operational at high discharge currents much longer than ordinary ones.
          The batteries must indicate the number of Charge charging cycles.
          I don’t understand why they slammed the minus for you. They are strange, secret detractors.
          1. Vladimir_2U 29 January 2020 03: 46 New
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            Quote: lexus
            I don’t understand why you got a minus
            Envious people! )))
            1. Lexus 29 January 2020 03: 54 New
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              At most there is no end to such "fans." Quiet meanness - this is definitely not masculine, I think.
  3. Ka-52 28 January 2020 06: 34 New
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    then for the troops of the Western regular armies, accuracy has become an urgent necessity in order to avoid collateral losses. Fire is allowed to be opened only after positive identification of the target and preferably in a single mode.

    Author, return to reality. The situation with targeted shooting is especially noticeable on the basis of filming clashes between American soldiers in Afghanistan - they are beating into the light of God like a penny. Yes, it is understandable - to make out without proper target designation of the enemy at a distance of 300+ amidst greenery, under stress under fire, is a very difficult task. Heal the spirit - is fraught with getting a bullet in the forehead (they also have snipers).
    1. Same lech 28 January 2020 07: 01 New
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      Heal the spirit - is fraught with getting a bullet in the forehead (they also have snipers).

      Yeah, at 56 seconds ... here the bullet flew in and yeah ... lucky.

      1. Maki Avellevich 28 January 2020 07: 42 New
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        Quote: The same Lech
        Yeah, at 56 seconds ... here the bullet flew in and yeah ... lucky.

        and the sniper then aimed at the foolish crawler climbed into the front and left the shadow. horrible back.
        Yes, for a bullet in the head without consequences it is necessary to expose a serious clearing.
        1. Azazelo 31 January 2020 12: 01 New
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          No one would have seen this video. Dude is really lucky ...
    2. V.I.P. 28 January 2020 14: 06 New
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      Well, in the United States, there is now a transition to a new caliber for assault rifles. Demand-defeat of the enemy at 600 m (in bulletproof vests) with appropriate sighting devices. For MTR choose a machine gun in a new caliber from the Zig-Sauer with a range of 2500 km! By the way, they have an equipment program so that every fighter (and not just from the MTR) has devices for conducting a night battle !!!
      1. psiho117 28 January 2020 15: 39 New
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        Quote: V.I.P.
        machine gun in a new caliber ... with a range of 2500 km !!

        It seems to me that you (and the Americans too) are confusing the potential with tactical necessity.
        So, there is no need for a machine gunner to fire 2,5 km, and it cannot be.
        Moreover, it’s precisely a hypothetical adversary who in most cases dictates a distance - because their weapons fire on where less range, and they will organize the battle based on the characteristics his weapons.
        Mujahideen will not fire from a range of 2,5 km - this is stupid.
        As a result - as there were shootings at a range of 300-400m maximum - it will be so.

        This is not to mention the physical ability to detect and identify the target at such a range.
  4. rocket757 28 January 2020 07: 14 New
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    There are not many linear-type combat operations at this time. Intense, massive fighting.
    But the use of forces and means of special operations, positional confrontation, a lot. Of course, the best equipment for small arms plays a prominent role in such a situation.
    We must do our own, the best quality and performance characteristics.
  5. The leader of the Redskins 28 January 2020 07: 58 New
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    Thanks to the author. Not a bad review of modern optical gadgets ...
  6. Undecim 28 January 2020 08: 23 New
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    The sight has a built-in mechanism for adjusting for wind and slope.
    Once again, another blunder. The “bias” corrections do not exist in nature.
    Author, lead compensation is a preemption.
    1. God save the king 28 January 2020 12: 06 New
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      Probably, it meant the so-called “rifle overload,” a very common problem in poorly trained shooters.
      1. Undecim 28 January 2020 12: 20 New
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        Anticipation is anticipation, nothing is meant here.
        How do you imagine a “rifle flush correction”? You know in advance in which direction and at what angle "fill up". Did you hold the rifle in your hands?
        1. God save the king 28 January 2020 14: 33 New
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          And here in general preemption? In these sights there is no mechanism for recognizing and capturing a target (there are such sights, but they are too expensive for mass use in a shooter).
          How do you imagine a “rifle flush correction”?
          Easy and simple, thanks to the built-in accelerometer and gyroscope, followed by automatic changes based on the position of the weapon in space. In aviation, such collimators have been used since 2MB.
          Did you hold the rifle in your hands?
          And then how. Are you out of idle curiosity interested, or does it somehow relate to the topic?)
          1. Undecim 28 January 2020 16: 27 New
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            Out of curiosity. Interestingly, sofa specialists are arming themselves or not.
    2. psiho117 28 January 2020 15: 45 New
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      Quote: Undecim
      The “bias” corrections do not exist in nature.

      I suspect that this meant shooting at an angle up or down - it is no secret that with a DB in mountainous terrain, the standard marking of the sight will often differ greatly from the actual trajectory of the bullet.
      And yes, a banal gyroscope ...
      1. Undecim 28 January 2020 16: 26 New
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        There is no need to suspect anything. In the original, from which the author copied and translated using the google translator, lead compensation is written in black and white. Translated from English - preemption.
        A correction when shooting at an angle up or down is called a correction in elevation.
        1. dokusib 30 January 2020 03: 23 New
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          What could be a lead in the collimator? How do you imagine that?
          1. Undecim 30 January 2020 08: 21 New
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            Stupid question asked with aplomb. Type in a search engine "the mechanism for entering corrections collimator sight".
            1. dokusib 30 January 2020 10: 20 New
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              I know how to make corrections in the collimator, I have two of them. I asked how do you imagine the introduction of proactive amendments? Amendments used when shooting at a moving target and requiring instant and instinctive introduction?
              1. Undecim 30 January 2020 12: 07 New
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                I asked how do you imagine the introduction of proactive amendments?
                I imagine them in the same way as any "Manual ...". those. using the side correction mechanism.
                If the firing conditions do not allow you to take the lead with the side handwheel (set the side handwheel to the desired division), then the lead is taken using the scale of the side corrections of the sight grid or the removal of the aiming point in the target figures.
                This is from the “Manual ...” to the SVD, p. 152.
                Similar recommendations are contained in the "Manual .." to the sniper version of the Mosin rifle.
                Obviously, the M5B scope manufacturers understand this the same way when they write It also offers wind or lead compensation adjustment, and adjustment caps can be tailormade to meet requirements.
  7. Per se. 28 January 2020 12: 08 New
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    Excelitas Qioptiq’s latest addition to the Merlin family of riflescopes is the LR2, which is different catadioptric (mirror lens) the lens
    It’s strong, a camouflage suit like “Goblin”, and then the eccentric “shines” with a mirror, asks for a bullet in the face ... In general, it’s a pity that behind the scenes is how all these sophisticated sights hold the recoil of the rifle (different rifles) . For example, even such a simple and reliable sight as the PSO-1 on the Mosin rifle breaks over time, only the native PU lives better. In the continuation of the sights, I would like to discover the topic of the recoil momentum and the reliability of the mount.
  8. Izotovp 28 January 2020 13: 10 New
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    It’s interesting when they can stuff it all into one case: optical, heat, and infra .. and even with a built-in automatic range finder, anemometer, barometer, psychrometer, thermometer, clinometer and light sensor to automatically switch between sight channels?))
  9. Operator 28 January 2020 15: 17 New
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    Glass lenses - yesterday, in the long run "lenses" from metamaterials, for example, from titanium oxide

    https://nplus1.ru/news/2016/06/03/meta-lens-high-NA
    1. agond 28 January 2020 20: 55 New
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      It would be logical to develop electronic devices, sights for shorter wavelengths of the optical range, that is, blue,, violet and near ultraviolet, this will sharply increase their resolution, and expanding the frequency range at short wavelengths will make the picture much more informative, evolution has created for reference the eyes of birds are just for the blue and above the light range, and they can hardly distinguish red, because their small lens, due to its refractive index, cannot focus the long red wave on the little thing as it should. By virtue of the laws of optics, an ultraviolet device will be an order of magnitude smaller than an infrared one, by the way the night sky provides sufficient illumination in the ultraviolet spectrum and much can be considered.
  10. Azazelo 31 January 2020 11: 58 New
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    Well, I can still understand NVD glasses and thermal imaging sights, but in most cases all this jewelry is fucking unnecessary. At one time, for every gram of AK relief, there was a war (not to the detriment of the technical characteristics), and then a piece of iron hanged out of the box, which you would want to throw out after 5-10 km of march ...
  11. Xomaik 15 February 2020 10: 22 New
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    Well, whats not a bad thing sights