PO 3.5x21P is a modern
optic produced by BelOMO -- Belorusskoe
Optiko-Mechanichesckoye Obyedinenie (Belarus Optical
& Mechanical Enterprise) in Minsk, Belarus which has been recently adopted
by the Venezuelan Army for the AK103. It is
designed to be similar to the ACOG but with a
breath-takingly wide wide field of view that so
far no other Russian optic has matched.
Optical clarity is extremely high and in my opinion is one of the brightest and clearest optics I've used...the image quality is very impressive. It is also one of the easiest scopes to zero due to the reticule design. Like many Russian scopes, the PO 3.5 has a 1.5m range finder for estimating distance to a standard height target but uncommonly it also has a 0.5m scale for prone targets as well. While the PO 3.5 has not been adopted by the Russian or Belarus armed forces it is a mil-spec optic and has recently been adopted by the Venezuelan Army for their AK103 rifles. While this is probably the heaviest optic I've used at 2.2lbs (outside of the NSPU of course, 5lbs), the weight penalty is somewhat offset by the amazing field of view and the high glass quality.
The PO comes in a few versions - illuminated and non illuminated models as well as a variety of caliber specific types. Like many of the modern Russian and BelOMO designed optics PO 3.5 has no turrets to adjust for elevation or windage, the intent is to zero the weapon based on the 400m concept and then use the additional range chevrons for longer distances if necessary. There is no need to adjust anything when shooting, the rifleman only has to aim COM out to 400m and will have a reasonable chance to hit.
While not officially issued a GRAU number for Russian military service the PO 3.5 original has seen action in Chechnya and is in use with various units who have purchased them individually. The Venezuelan Army adopted the AK103 a few years ago and has also recently adopted PO 3.5x21P and PK-A for their rifles. The few PO and PKA that ended up here are overruns from a BelOMO military contract, I'm told that in the future BelOMO will not be releasing these versions to anyone except Venezuela.
PO3.5x21P Venezuela, PO 3.5x21P and PO 3.5x21P2
The PO 3.5 is zeroed on the 400m
concept and is probably the easiest of all the 5.45
scopes because of the design of the reticule. Instead
of having to adjust point of impact to be
approximately 22cm higher than point of aim, the PO
has this distance built in to the reticule itself. All
the shooter needs to do is align POI with POA by using
the boresight cross at the top of the reticule. After
confirming that the boresight cross is indeed where
the rounds are landing at 100m, the shooter then uses
the large chevron for center of mass aiming out to
400m. There are additional range lines for 700, 800,
900 and 1000m for the AK74 version.
PO 3.5x21P is battery illuminated like many of the older PSO style illuminated optics. (CR123 type)
Non military reticule (courtesy
3.5x21P Venezuelan. AK103 / 7.62x39
Almost identical to the original but with a hammer grey finish instead of black, similar to older PSO optics.
1x CR123 battery
For 7.62x39 if point of impact
is 23cm higher than point of aim at 100m the
trajectory will coincide at 300m. This is the same
height of the boresight cross over the chevron at
100m, so if POA = POI with the boresight cross, using
the chevron will adjust for the proper 300m zero.
AKMC reticule, Venezuelan is the same except not marked AKMC
PO 3.5x21P in Venezuelan
service, the first country to officially
adopt the scope, shown here on the AK103
(Also shown is the PK-A/PK-AA
red dot, the smaller optic on 3 of the 103's)
PO 3.5x21P2 AK74 / 5.45x39
42.8 ounces with NPZ mount, 34.4 without
2x AA batteries (Not CR123 like regular PO 3.5)
Elevation (arrows are reversed from PSO type optics):
ВВЕРХ = Counter clockwise = Trajectory Up
ВНИЗ = Clockwise = Trajectory Down
Interestingly PO 3.5 will cowitness with a T-1 style red dot when mounted to the Stormwerkz topcover on an AKSU rifle. This was not intended by any of the designers but it does work.