MicroSight Technology Improves Focus For Shooting

Aiming a weapon is harder than it looks. Shooters need clear views of a distant object (the target) and a near one (the iron sight at the end of the rifle barrel) at the same time. But the eye can’t quite pull this off, as a simple experiment shows: Point at a faraway house or storefront, then try to bring both your finger and the building into focus. One or the other will be blurry.

Enter the MicroSight…. It allows the shooter to focus on both the target and the front sight.

Full Story – HERE

Or watch this video if you are too lazy to read:


If you ask me, David Crandall (the Engineer who developed this technology) should have quit his job, got his own funding, and started his own company. He basically just threw billions of dollars in the garbage by letting his employer (the Idaho National Laboratory) have the technology.



El Duderino May 29, 2010 at 04:41 pm

This is either the next big thing in optics, or nothing special. If it only makes iron sights better, it would be fantastic for pistols and shotguns, but won’t be much help for scoped rifles (unless I’m missing something of course).

The article doesn’t make this clear, but red dot and telescopic sights could be made tiny — but they need to give a decent field of view. Until someone can solve that, they won’t get any smaller (but lighter as materials get better). Scopes are actually thicker/wider than ever — check out an old WWII-spec Springfield, Mosin, or Mauser with a sniper scope and you’ll see what I mean. There’s no substitute for a very wide objective lens and fat tube.


Josh G May 29, 2010 at 08:09 pm

I like my blurry front sight.

I know where my pistol shoots, and how to shoot it. I can see the benefit in high-power and long range target shooting though.


NIGHTMARE MODE? OH YEAH June 4, 2010 at 02:11 am

uhhh… aren’t you supposed to be focusing on the front sight there, buddy?


Adam May 29, 2010 at 08:27 pm

I think it would be fantastic for long range shooters. I’ve been eyeballing the Barrett M82A1 for months now and would love to try a telescopic scope with this tech on it in the future. Sounds very promising. I hope they don’t fiddle-foot around to much with it and get it out to the military and consumers.


Linoge May 29, 2010 at 09:59 pm

For the sake of clarity, the vast majority of companies where R&D is common (at least that I am aware of / have researched) have employees sign an agreement that dictates that if the employee in question discovers or develops anything while using a single piece of equipment, hardware, software, or whatever the hell else the company owns, said discovery or development becomes the property of the company, in perpetuity, exclusively, yadda yadda.

So, basically, if David Crandall did any of his research or development on any of INL’s equipment/hardware (not a bad assumption to make), and if he signed a similar agreement (MS even has them like that), then he is kind of stuck.

Sill, not a bad requirement. It is, after all, the company’s equipment…


Admin (Mike) May 30, 2010 at 03:26 am

I’m aware of how the whole intellectual property works… just because he employed at a company as an engineer, it doesn’t mean any idea he ever has is going to be their property. Idaho national labs isn’t an optics only facility.

This is key, in the 5th paragraph:

Crandall is not an optics specialist. Most of his past work tended toward infrastructure engineering, like nuclear projects with INL’s Advanced Test Reactor. But Crandall is a highly accomplished target shooter — he’s a member of the U.S. national long-range rifle team — and he’s come up with several other shooting-related inventions.

So in other words he likely came up with this idea on his own, and then talked to Idaho national labs about helping him develop it. I stand by what I said, I hope to god he worked out some sort of profit sharing agreement with them if since he felt the need to keep them in the loop.


El Duderino May 30, 2010 at 12:14 am

Linoge is right, my father worked for Boeing as an engineer. All of his patents are in Boeing’s name. If you’re going to be an inventor, don’t work for any company that does research of any kind…


Admin (Mike) May 30, 2010 at 03:30 am

So if your dad came up with the idea for a revolutionary new shoe design, or a fart app for the ipad while being employed at boeing it would be their property? UHhhhhh no. (see my response to Linoge above)


Josh May 30, 2010 at 01:54 am

“If you ask me, David Crandall (the Engineer who developed this technology) should have quit his job, got his own funding, and started his own company. He basically just threw billions of dollars in the garbage by letting his employer (the Idaho National Laboratory) have the technology.”

I’d say it’s a good thing he didn’t ask you (or didn’t ask, and then take, your advice).

I can’t imagine much would ever get invented if that were, legally, allowed to happen. What kind of company/research facility/university is going to pay people to do research (much of it that doesn’t amount to anything) if they were allowed to jump ship with their findings as soon as they were on the verge of a breakthrough???


Admin (Mike) May 30, 2010 at 03:36 am

I’d say it’s a good thing he didn’t ask you (or didn’t ask, and then take, your advice).

Did you even read the article Josh? Normally i’d expect you to pick up on something like this.

Being an infrastructure engineer and inventing something to do with optics, would be like working at Mcdonalds as a burger flipper and curing cancer. Just cause you are employed somewhere doesn’t mean the company could take the credit for it in a million years. Yea they might try, but this has nothing to do with his job, and everything to do with his hobby (like it says in that same paragraph I quoted in my response to Linoge).

Also, as it says later on in the article.. he chose to include Idaho National Labs in it:

Crandall took his idea to INL’s technology transfer division, which also saw the promise and agreed to fund his research.


Josh May 30, 2010 at 09:17 am

I apologize; I didn’t read the article first (I was too lazy), I was just building on what had been said previously. I erroneously assumed that the idea was developed first as part of something he had been working on at INL (and your statement sort of made it sound that way).

After reading the article though, I guess I don’t see how he might be doing so bad by getting his funding through INL. I would hope they had a deal structured so that he retains most of the credit, and INL makes some profit from the thing, and he would have had to do the same thing at another company or with investors as far as selling the idea. And I certainly don’t know how restrictive some companies contracts are; he may have run into a problem just by, like you said, quitting his job and going elsewhere. That would certainly make it look like (the same as I had assumed) he came up with the idea through something he did at work, and then quit to attempt to avoid letting his employer have any credit. And I suppose there may very well be something in his contract that states that ANY ideas he comes up with (like a shoe design or a fart app for the iPhone) are the property of INL. I don’t know; it might be tough to prove that it wasn’t derived from something he did at work.

Then again, maybe he just went to INL because a) he thought it would be easier to get the research funding from them, and b) as an avid shooter, he really wants to make sure this thing gets produced to improve people’s shooting.


Chase May 30, 2010 at 02:58 am

Crap, this is pretty cool.


DocScience May 30, 2010 at 01:48 pm

Hope this works for presbyopia… it would be nice to take the red-dots and holographic sights off.


Admin (Mike) June 1, 2010 at 09:04 pm

Yea that would be neat.

Doc you need to get an RSS feed for your site! I saw that awesome new comic of yours for memorial day posted on another site, and had to kick myself for not seeing it for the memorial day post I did.


Dom May 30, 2010 at 02:10 pm

The thing I like about this little thing is that it is durable, light and tiny, and requires no power. Basically a lens and nothing else. I think they could easily develop a kit that comes with a tap so you can thread it into any size peep sight. I look at this as a scope eliminator; most of the reason I have scopes on my hunting guns is to be < 3 MOA accurate at 100 yards. I think I could easily do that with something like this.

Now that I think of it, if this catches on it may make sense to put microprinting on front sights, so you can have a reasonably accurate BDC system in iron sights. That's gotta appeal to Uncle Sam.


Admin (Mike) June 1, 2010 at 09:05 pm

I agree its nice to bring some of the technology back out of gun sights, to the more reliable mechanical way. Like you said that would be pretty crazy if they could incorporate a BDC into it.


Jack Dupp May 30, 2010 at 07:44 pm

The sad part is that that little speck of a lens will probably cost $500+ :(


Admin (Mike) June 1, 2010 at 09:06 pm

Ugh :( I hope not. But that really wouldn’t surprise me.


Norm January 15, 2011 at 07:57 pm

It’s being delivered right now.



$139 for one that screws into an AR-15 rear sight. It’s not a lens, it’s a “phase plate”. Invented by the mathematician Fresnel, of fresnel lens fame. Dave Crandall took it a step or two farther.




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