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# 1. The Leupold 3-9x36mm M/RT, shown here on a Mk12 SPR, is sized for the M4/M16 platform.
Type III- the SPR scope. This type of optic has the capability to take the 5.56 cartridge to its ballistic limit and to engage small targets at extended distances. The 18-inch Mk12 Mod 1 SPR uses the Leupold 3-9x36mm M/RT, which was the first scope specifically designed for this role on the M4/M16 platform. The 5.56 cartridge is ballistically limited to 600 - 800 yards at sea level, so the Type III optic needs to be able to engage small targets at this distance. 5.56 has very little energy at this distance, however, 77-grain Mk262 has been used to make kills a over 600 yards. Besides long-range, the Type III optic has the ability to engage very small targets at intermediate ranges, which is a downfall of the Type II optic. When shooting at adversaries who are partially behind cover or wearing armor, being able to place a head-shot several hundred yards away can be key.

The Type III optic is most often a variable-power (approx. 3-9x) with external target turrets and reticle features which can be used for holdover in a hurry. The original M/RT is the canonical Type III optic for the M4/M16 platform. It was designed in a small form factor and with less eye relief to better fit the geometry of the carbine. Leupold has a couple other M/RT scopes now, including the 2.5-8x36mm. If you can deal with a large optical package, you can step into more conventional sniper scopes, such as the Leupold 3.5-10x40mm Mark 4 or the most excellent Schmidt and Bender 3-12x50mm PMII.

In conclusion- think carefully about your mission and likely engagement requirements, and then pick the type of optic that solves those problems best. The Type I one-power red dot sight is the right choice for the vast majority of fighting with a carbine. The Type II is more specialized yet brings some useful capabilities to the table, whereas the Type III is really a very specialized application. Whatever you choose for your mission- get one of the solid battle-proven optics mentioned here. There's a lot of junk out there that will let you down sooner or later.

# 2. The EOTech is a fast heads-up Type I optic.

# 3. The S&B Short Dot's first-focal-plane (FFP) mil-dot reticle is used here to engage targets out to 425 yards.

# 4. If you're willing to step up in size and weight, a serious long-range scope can be used for the Type III optic, like this US Optics SN-3.