The French Army used a single pattern of rifle scope from 1949 all the way until 1995 – the APX L806, which was essentially a German ZF-4. It was finally replaced officially in 1995, with the adoption of the Scrome J8 F1 for use on their FR-F2 sniper rifles.
The French Army wanted a scope made domestically, and the only suitable manufacturer to make it was Scrome. Formed in 1987, this was a company that specialized in electro-mechanical systems more complex than simple rifle scopes. They built things like mortar and artillery sights, and today do a lot of work with lasers, cameras, and aerospace systems. So when the government presented them the specifications for a simple, robust, 8x40mm fixed-power telescope they had no trouble making it.
The J8 was designed with a reticle that had range finding capability and etched BDC holdovers out to 800m, the maximum effective range of the FR-F2. This allowed the user to focus on targets as much as possible, and not think about external adjustments while shooting.
From the collector perspective, the J8 has been extremely difficult to find. This was a small side project for Scrome, and they essentially only built the scopes to order, not keeping them in stock for commercial sale. In addition, legal quirks theoretically made civilian sale of scopes with military range finding reticles illegal in France until 2012. A few commercial models were made with mil-dot reticles, but even these have always been very rare.
Happily, Scrome is now making a run of military-pattern J8 scopes to take advantage of the batch of surplussed FR-F2 rifles. These should be available in the fall of 2022. Follow them on Instagram to stay informed: https://www.instagram.com/scrome_optics/
That is the first time I’ve seen spin drift accounted for in a scope reticle – I’m sure it must occur elsewhere it was just new-to-me.
From Ian’s narrative – “Bang and clang”. Love it – that’d go great on a T-shirt
480p in 2022?
Guessing this on has been the hopper for quite a bit
Maybe I missed it, but Ian did not mention magnification or objective lens diameter?
Makes me wonder if the J8 scope withstands the peculiar recoil impulses that the FN SCAR-H rifles are infamous for, because they can destroy optics.
The french wikipedia entry for the FR-F2 has a drawing of the stadiametric reticle of the J8 scope: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/FR-F2
A bit OT, but there seems to have been a civilian version of the FR-F2 chambered in 7mm-08. I guess because 7,62 OTAN was verboten as a military cartridge for civilians in France for a long time. Which has been dropped today AFAIK. Certainly 7 mm is a variant for the discerning handloader shooting long range. Does SCROME make custom reticles?
If interested, mine is on sale on a french site. (Naturabuy)
Completly new. Never used. Rare Mildot reticle. Rare picatiny interface.
Can also be directly mounted on the FRF1/ FRF2 stanag mount system.
If interested, you can directly trade with Naturabuy.
Or directly with me. (I do prefer.)