Arrowhead Overseas: Swampfox in Combat

By Alex Fanning


Named after American Revolutionist, Francis 'Swamp Fox' Marion, we salute those who are willing to sacrifice everything and seek nothing in return. The many men and women who have served, and continue serving, this country in our Armed Forces deserve the upmost respect and gratitude for their sacrifices and resiliency.

This is the brief story of two such men who assisted us beyond any form of repayment.


In January 2020, two U.S. Army 7th Special Forces Group soldiers deployed to Afghanistan. Not only were they entering a dangerous war-plagued country, but the environment of the areas in which they would serve could be incredibly harsh. In Jalalabad, Mazar-i-Sharif, and Kunduz of North and Eastern Afghanistan, temperatures can swing from 36 degrees Fahrenheit at night to over 100 degrees during the day, with snow, rain, and winds up to 145 mph making survival all that tougher.

Such climates are also demanding on equipment. And with the task at hand, these men needed gear they could rely on without question. As a weapons specialist, one soldier noticed there were no 7.62x51 NATO rifles on the weapons list and chose the FN MK 17 despite its notoriety for breaking optics. The other sought optics and attachments with a “zero maintainability” factor, or minimal cleaning and upkeep. Both selected the second focal plane (SFP) Swampfox Arrowhead low power variable optic (LPVO) – the first to see overseas combat.

Both personal optics, the weapons specialist had previously mounted his Arrowhead 1-10x on his 5.56 NATO competition rifle. Already familiar with the Guerrilla Dot Bullet Drop Compensating (BDC) reticle, he was able to easily modify his dope card to land consistent and accurate shots at 800 meters and beyond with his service MK 17. The second mounted his Arrowhead 1-6x on a 14.5” Geissele M4A1 URG-I intended for close quarters missions and security detail.

Throughout their six-month deployment, both men had extensive experiences with their Arrowhead optics. From nonstop days in trucks to traversing terrain at night under NVGs to walking mortar fire onto targets, the LPVOs were repeatedly combat tested. On one occasion, a heavy object fell off a truck landing directly onto the MK 17, shearing the optic throw lever but not affecting zero. Only it and the lens cap were broken during the entirety of the two’s time overseas – a testament to Arrowhead’s robust construction.

Rifle Builds

FN MK17 Mod 0 SCAR-H

Widely known and instantly recognizable, the FN MK 17 Mod 0 SCAR-H (Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle) is a 7.62x51mm carbine brought into service in 2009 and still in use to this day. Operated by a gas-operated short stroke piston, the rifle’s top rail can flex under heavy recoil and create reliability issues for mounted optics. However, as seen in these pictures, the Arrowhead 1-10x is mounted in a Swampfox Independence Cantilever Mount which resulted in no shift or loss of zero with the optic.

Other attachments on the MK 17 include an Insight WMX200 weapon light, with Insight RMT-400-A8 Dual Button Pressure Switch, L3Harris PEQ-15 IR laser, Magpul vertical grip, Harris bipod, and a Surefire 3-prong flash hider.

Geissele M4A1 URGI

The URG-I (Upper Receiver Group-Improved) system was adopted in 2018 to address shortcomings of the M4 platform. U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) and Naval Special Warfare Command (NSW) were running hot ammunition, but the extreme pressure created mechanical issues for the rifles, especially when run suppressed. The URG-I fixed these problems by relocating and adjusting the size of its gas port. The forend interface system was also changed from traditional Picatinny rails to Magpul’s M-LOK to improve accessory compatibility, repeatability, and durability.

This rifle is equipped with an Arrowhead 1-6x mounted on various 30mm cantilever mounts, including Vortex and Knight’s Armament. Other attachments include an RMT-400-A8 Dual Button Pressure Switch (light hidden from view), PEQ15, and 3-prong muzzle device.

De Oppresso Liber

Upon returning stateside, the two men contacted Swampfox to share their story. A commemorative shadow box was later presented to CEO Chris Cox, showcasing one of the first Arrowhead LPVOs used in combat – battleworn scratches, foreign dirt, and all.

The optic is proudly displayed in our office, accompanied by a folded American flag flown over SFOD-A 7116's Camp and Camp Marmal, Marmal District, Balkh Province, Afghanistan during combat operations of Resolute Support Mission XIII.

Swampfox LE/MIL Programs

Swampfox is proud to offer a discount program for active and retired/veteran law enforcement officers and military members. Qualifying customers can complete our online form and verification process to receive 25% off all Swampfox optics, mounting solutions, and accessories.

Optics are also available for free duty testing and evaluation (T&E). Rigorously test up to five optics and mounts for 60 days, ensuring Swampfox products meet your department or unit’s standards. At the end of the program, submit your report and gain access to tiered LE/MIL pricing to outfit every officer or soldier.

To learn more about and take advantage of our LE/MIL discount and T&E programs, visit or email