As the name suggests, these riflescopes are incredibly compact, measuring up to 33 centimeters in length. They weigh below 1000 grams and have a lens diameter of somewhere between 32 and 50 mm.
As these fall into this category, they are equipped with tactical turrets and an FFP reticle (there are some exceptions). Commonly, they feature a MIL/MIL configuration. Even though these riflescopes are small and light, they are packed with tactical capabilities.
It is important to keep the weight at a minimum, which is why these rifles are compact and light. With such rifles, one can expect to shoot at a medium range. Shooting beyond 1000 meters is rare.
Even though riflescopes designed for these rifles fall into the same category, they are not all the same. There are two major groups that we will discuss below.
Certain optical devices in this category are designed with the DMR field of use in mind. DMR stands for Designated Marksman Rifle. Unlike sniper rifles, DMRs are almost always semi-automatic rifles with a high rate of fire. A designated marksman (DM) usually covers a distance of 50–800 m. Several riflescopes in this category are designed with the DM's objectives in mind. A wide field of view is important since engaging targets at a close range is common. Since this type of shooting takes place during the day, having a daytime bright illumination is a must. Some are partially designed for the tactical concept called CQB (Close-Quarters Battle) – the lowest magnification of such riflescopes is often 2x or even lower. Some devices feature an adjustable parallax, others do not. It is not uncommon for a shooter to use a compact-tactical riflescope both on a semi-auto rifle chambered in .308 Win. and on an AR-type rifle chambered in .223. Even though not a rule, a MIL/MIL configuration is popular. FFP reticles are much more common than SFP ones.
Some optics in this category are designed for certain light bolt-action rifles, predominantly chambered in .308 Win. or 6.5 Creedmoor and packed with tactical features (Remington 700 Police is a great example of such a rifle). The size is the most important factor – only a compact rifle does justice to a compact riflescope. These devices are heavier than the ones for semi-auto rifles but don't exceed the 1 kg mark. With a magnification up to 20x and a lens diameter no bigger than 50 mm, once can pull off a shot up to 1000 m of distance. These rifles can also be paired with full-size tactical riflescopes, but the priority of owning a light tactical rifle is keeping the weight of its accessories at a minimum. Having an illuminated reticle is important, but a weak illumination will do just fine. As the maximum magnification is 12x or higher, one can expect to have an adjustable parallax on such a device. Having lots of elevation range at disposal is crucial, so the riflescope's tube measures at least 30 mm in diameter. The majority of these optics are of the MIL/MIL configuration.
Weight is an especially important factor for a semi-auto rifle – it has to be as light as possible. Riflescopes for bolt-action rifles can weigh as much as 1 kg. It is important to note that a compact size does not necessarily imply a low weight.