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Wolf—the same purveyors of ammunition once considered so questionable that using it voids the warranty on some firearms—has announced that they’re stepping into the world of optics and night vision devices. And while the brand is somewhat questionable, the specs look really good. MAC has the exclusive scoop on Wolf’s new lineup of optics, and he’s given me permission to share some of them with you . . .

The fact that caught my eye is that the night vision scopes aren’t the Gen 1 intensifier crap we’ve seen from other vendors—they’re Gen 2+ or Gen 3 tubes. AKA “the good stuff.” Which is what has my hopes up that these will actually turn out to be solid products at a good price. Here’s what Tim has to say about them:

The PN21K is similar in size and function to the U.S. military PVS-14. The PN21K is smaller in size than the PVS-14 and is available with either a Gen 2+ or Gen 3 image intensifier. The PN21K is auto-gated to prevent damage to the intensifier should it be exposed to bright light. Like the PVS-14, the PN21K can be used handheld, head mounted, mounted to a firearm and even paired with a second unit to create night vision binoculars.  Another unique feature is the ability to mount either a 3x or 5x magnifier to the PN21K as accessories which are sold separately. The unit weighs 10oz and is powered by a single 1.5v AA battery.

The PN22K is the optic that has caught my attention. What makes this optic unique is the ability to quickly switch between daylight and night time use by turning a large knob. The sight uses two parallel channels to accomplish this feat and is housed in a aluminum body that is capable of handling recoil of a 30-06 rifle. Both Gen 2+ and Gen 3 intensifiers are available for the PN22k and it is powered by a single 1.5v AA battery. Making this system even more appealing is the inclusion of an integrated IR illuminator for use in extremely dark conditions. The PN22K offers 3x magnification in both the daylight and night vision channels. With the Gen 3 intensifier the PN22K has a recognition range of 450 meters. It weighs 45.8oz and is 12.6″ in length. It’s designed to attach to a 1913 rail system.

The PSU is similar in concept to the ELCAN SpecterDR. It incorporates the ability to quickly switch from 1x to 4x magnification with the flip of a lever. The PSU features an illuminated reticle with (7) intensity settings and is powered by a commonly available CR2032 3v battery. The tube is made from solid aluminum and is shock proof and water tight. Multi-coated lenses assure a sharp image with excellent color and resolution. When in 1x mode, the PSU can be used with both eyes open much like you would use a red dot sight. If you need to reach out to extended ranges, simply flip a lever to enable 4x magnification and using the BDC reticle you can engage targets out to 800 meters. The unit is 7.4″ in length and weighs 24oz. The sight mounts to a 1913 rail via two quick detach levers.

Needless to say, we’ll have more details when we get to Vegas, but if the quality is there, these have the chance to give ATN and OpticsPlanet a run for their money.

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  1. I’ll keep an eye on it, but I reserve judgment until you’ve put one of these through the proverbial wringer. I’m not throwing good money at a product that isn’t worth it.

  2. “Wolf — the same people who make ammunition so questionable that using it voids the warranty on many a firearm ”
    (Citation needed) I’ve shot Tula, silver bear, golden tiger, and am about to purchase some wolf gold. Care to elaborate?

    MAC may disagree with you on that statement.

    That being said, interested to hear how these perform. I’m in the market for NV soon

      • Note that DPMS’ warranty is also voided when using ANY steel-cased ammunition. This would include training ammunition like Hornady 974EL … or match-grade ammo like Horandy 80261 or 80274. This is not “cheap”, “questionable” or “low-quality” ammunition.

        Maybe the ammo isn’t the problem, if your rifles are such special little hot-house flowers?

      • this warning is more about the rust-prevention coating of lacquered ammo. pretty much all steel-case ammo manufacturers have switched to a polymer coating at this point – I think only Vympel is still lacquering its cases, but they may have switched too.

        FWIW, the US Army did their own field tests on steel-cased ammo with the M16A1 and found it to meet all of their requirements

    • I concur for a different reason. Wolf makes some top of the line primers and some very good 22LR ammo. I have a CZ452 that just loves that stuff for IR 50/50 targets. There are fellow competitors who use Wolf Target 22LR for their firearms.

      I don’t and probably won’t use steel cased Wolf centerfire ammo due to quality issues along with the fact I want to reload the brass.

      • I was just going to comment on the same. I believe the Wolf Match Target 22lr is the same ammo as SK Standard Plus made by Lapua. Shoots great in my CZ452.

      • Most importantly, Wolf doesn’t make ammo. It’s a sales brand, not a manufacturing brand. Even as far as ammo goes, stuff that’s sold as Wolf comes from many different places – steel cased from Tula, Ulyanovsk or Barnaul is what most people think about when they think “Wolf”, but there is also brass-cased Prvi, and, more recently, that Taiwan-manufactured .223 Wolf Gold that is getting raving reviews everywhere.

    • A lot of owners manuals will state to only use brass-cased, new-production (as opposed to reloads) ammo. It’s rare to see Wolf or another brand called out by name before, but I’ve certainly seen the previous statement as well as specific “do not use steel-cased ammo” statements.

      I’ve shot multiple thousands of rounds of both Wolf and Brown/Silver Bear and the only problem I’ve ever come across was dud primers. I expect a couple in every case (of 1k). Otherwise, I have never had a squib load or overcharge that I was aware of. There are some guns that don’t like to cycle the steel cases, of course, but it isn’t a safety issue or a damage-to-the-gun issue. The annealed steel cases are much softer than the steel of your barrel and other parts so they do not scratch or wear.

      My current personal opinion is that empty brass has enough value to make up for the cost difference between steel- and brass-cased ammo. Save your empty brass. Sell it later if you don’t reload. If you don’t want to deal with that and prefer to leave it on the ground, then I’d shoot steel till the cows come home. …with only rare exceptions for guns that don’t cycle well with it…

  3. Have several optics made at the NPZ plant – PSOP 4x and Pilad 4x. They are seriously great optics for the price and intended use.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what the NPZ offerings price at. The PSU looks especially attractive, as I’ve been looking at the 1-4x optics recently for my .223 AKs.

    As for Wolf ammunition, it seems like maybe Nick doesn’t know how this works. Wolf is the importer. The ammunition is produced at various Russian plants, primarily Barnaul and Ulyanovsk, and so on. Both of those plants have also imported/sold ammo under their own name at alternating periods.

    Wolf doesn’t make anything, they simply import it.

    • I also like the PSO and POSP (especially the reticle) wish they would make something in the 2,5-10x range or the 2-8x range (2-8 with 30mm tube and 50mm objective is pretty much my dream optic).

  4. What Does The Box Say?

    Herters sells Tula in a Herters box
    Wolf sells NV in a Wolf box
    TTAG sells dubious content to advertisers
    Loyal readers are left w/what exactly?

  5. One minor correction: “Wolf” does not “make” any ammo. Never has. Like Ted Nugent, Wolf puts its name on ammo made by other folks. The steel-cased Wolf brand ammunition is mostly manufactured by Tulskiy Patronniy Zavod (Tula Cartridge Plant). Their .22-caliber rimfire ammunition is made by SK Jagh und Sportmunitions GmbH., which is owned by Lapua. Wolf Gold is actually made mostly by Prvi Partizan in Serbia, but some or all of the .223 is apparently coming in from Taiwan as well.

    • Wolf stopped importing for Tula, which is why you now have Tulammo and Herter’s.

      I actually think this is more on Wolf, as they had a ton of problems with Tula and were tired of getting a bad name on the US market.

      I’ve had great results with Wolf from Barnaul plant in all calibers. Ulyanovsk has been hit or miss (esp. .223) but not as bad as Tula.

      I still recall the order of WPA 1K-rd bulk .223 from Tula plant that I bought several years back. No polymer coating and all the cases were rusted.

      • Tula is trying to separate themselves from the wolf brand.They claim wolf is junk and they’re better. Both are imported through Sporting Supplies International.

      • Ok, Jeff, I didn’t know that. Thanks for the update. I used to say that “friends don’t let friends shoot Wolf,” because of the low quality / accuracy of the steel cased 7.62 x 39. One the other hand, I am a die-hard fan of Wolf Extra Match .22LR.

        • .223 Wolf Gold (made in Taiwan) is really great by all accounts – but very hot, too (muzzle velocities in 5.56 range in real world testing in 16″ and 20″ barrels).

  6. Wolf — the same people who make ammunition so questionable that using it voids the warranty on many a firearm ”

    ~~ Worst editorial statement ever. Yes, I am aware that some questionable manufacturers of guns having questionable quality would like to blame anyone but themselves for problems. Having shot 10s of thousands of Wolf through well-made guns without issue, I think the problem lies elsewhere.

  7. “Wolf — the same people who make ammunition so questionable that using it voids the warranty on many a firearm ”

    So stop buying panzy firearms and use an AK47. Real men use real steel.

  8. Where sure their not just acting as an importer? That’s daily common, when a European company starts selling something completely unrelated to their previouse product line.

  9. I dont doubt that these will be good, while not famous for it the Russians do make good optics.

    I am especially interested in the PN21K, I hope it doesn’t have IR: Is it possible to order one without the IR illuminator? I am asking this because artificial light for hunting is illegal in Norway, NV without an illuminator is okay since it doesn’t generate any light.

  10. My ar shoots any damn thing I put in there and IMHO it damn well should, Im not the fancy fussy rifle sorta dude. However with that being said, Federal XM855 does not shoot the same as Herters, good ammo goes a LONG way (also a NB bolt carrier) but I shot cheapy steel all summer as training ammo and it was about the only way to do it.

    I also have a thing about cleaning things the same day,
    especially after shooting that dirty eastern bloc ammo.

    Affordable Gen 2 optics could be fun 🙂

  11. Wolf, Brown Bear, Silver Bear and other craptastic cheap Russian and who knows where ammo is all I run thru my commie guns. And corrosive surplus. SKS, Mosins and Makarov. They run fine on all of it and I’ve never encountered any real issues with any of it.

    Then, I’m not a 3 gun champion, an olympic contender and god forbid I ever drink the tacticool kewlaid. If it goes bang, lands near the target and doesn’t leave shrapnel in my face I’m happy with it.

  12. While I do respect Nick Leghorn for his prior experience and expertise, I have to take issue with his statements in this article. As others have correctly pointed out, Wolf are only importers / distributors ( and not manufacturers ) of the various products that bear their name, with all this implies. And as these same other contributors have also rightly indicated, steel-cased ammunition generally works very consistently and reliably in most firearms with the exception of that small handful that are built to such overly-tight or incompatible tolerances that they cannot properly operate with steel-cased ammunition, regardless of quality. It is interesting to note that the same weapons are frequently intolerant of most brass-cased ammunition as well, and are so finicky that they will work properly only with a few select types of brass-cased ammunition. Frankly, I find the likes of such fussy firearms both ridiculous and impractical, especially when one is contemplating military-grade weaponry, which is supposed to be both versatile and able to cycle a wide array of ammunition types.

    As far as Wolf’s branded optical and night-vision sights go, while Nick is correct in being personally semi-skeptical until he sees proof-testing to the contrary, it should be noted that most of the sights in question appear to be similar to offerings from the Russian NPZ factory, which has had a solid long-term reputation in the design and manufacture of rugged, battle-proven top-quality military optics since the Second World War. The fact that Zeiss technology and know-how were incorporated into NPZ products in the post-war years doesn’t hurt, either. Assuming these are manufactured by NPZ, as long as Wolf has not asked NPZ to alter the original specifications and standards on their products for re-branding here in the U.S. market, the sights should work as intended.

  13. I am cautiously excited about these, especially if the warranty is in line with the pricing. (I’m not spending a thousand bucks on an optic with a one year warranty, period.) I’ve got a couple AKs and a Sig 556R that still need optics, and a few of these look like just the ticket.

    That said, I do expect these to be high dollar optics. Gen3 NV is not cheap, and the PSU was supposedly running about a thousand bucks last time I read about it.


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