Not long ago, when GPO made a debut, we were all excited to check out their products. When I tested their optics at Shot Show last year, I was surprised – firstly, the products were nicely designed; secondly, the optical performance exceeded my expectations, especially when I learned about the prices. It is no secret that GPO is run by professionals who previously worked at other renowned optics manufacturing companies, so it is obvious that they know what they are doing. They clearly found a way to stick out of the crowd. Another thing that separates them from others is their generous accessory pack provided with each purchased device.
With binoculars, riflescopes and rangefinders already presented, we expected GPO to go for a red dot sight next. Spectra is a dot of the small tube type, featuring a form factor similar to the famous Aimpoint Micro. The competition in this field is harsh, with many manufacturers offering their own versions. Is Spectra a worthy competitor? Let’s check it out.
Spectra comes in a nice-looking box. Inside it, the dot and all the corresponding accessories are well-protected with foam. The small tube sight comes with a rubber bikini cover for the protection of lenses, a Torx key, a lens cloth, a battery, and an instruction manual. In size, the device is similar to other small tube sights on the market. It is made of aluminium.
The battery compartment is on the right side of the device. To install the CR2032 battery, one must remove the round-shaped cover. There are 11 illumination intensity settings – the lowest 5 are NVD compatible, whereas the highest setting is suitable for strong daytime brightness. The knob is solid and robust, producing tactile clicks upon turning. What we like is that the night vision compatible levels are marked with ‘N’ and the daytime-compatible levels with ‘D’, making it easier for the user to promptly choose the correct level. GPO promises up to 50.000 hours of battery life.
The windage and elevation knobs are capped but not shrouded. The rotations can be made with the caps themselves because of the protruding line on the top of each cap. Each click equals 0.5 MOA, which means that it moves the POI for approx. 0.7 cm at 50 m. The device is waterproof and shockproof to all the calibers.
A fixed, low Picatinny mount is supplied with Spectra. The high mount is not included, meaning that GPO didn’t plan for these to be used on an AR platform. If you unscrew the four M3x5 screws and remove the mount, a footprint reminiscent of the one found on Aimpoint Micro devices is found underneath. Even though it looks similar, it is not the same! The footprint is unique – adapters suitable for the Aimpoint Micro mounting platform will not fit GPO Spectra.
The front lens measures 20 mm in diameter, but the view is somewhat obstructed at the bottom where the LED-diode is positioned. The housing around the optical tube is quite thick, obstructing some of the field of view during use. The magnification, though, is a true 1x – you can comfortably look through with both eyes open. The image is without tint, and the objects seen through are of their natural colour. Both the objective lens and the glass at the back of the device are quite exposed.
GPO has entered the red dot sight market with an interesting small tube sight, which is expected to compete against other similar sights at the 300-€ price point where the competition is quite harsh. Its strong points are clear optics and 5 NVD-compatible illumination intensity levels. Spectra is already available, it hit the market in January 2020.