I have been a passenger in a vehicle operated by someone wearing NVGs a few times, but never drove myself. I suppose it is something I ought to do; I actually have the opportunity tonight, as a friend and I are going to get a little night shooting practice in. I'll take the UTV for a little spin.
hrcjon, it seems you are well-versed in NVG stuff. Any recommendations of things to tinker with, based on unique or eye-opening experiences you've had with NVGs?
from the abyss
The NVGs we used when I was in back in the 80s were very difficult to drive with. There was no depth perception, so while you could drive and stay on a straight stretch just fine, taking curves or turning corners was really difficult often resulting in turning too early or too late.
I would assume newer generations have corrected this issue.
"Great danger lies in the notion that we can reason with evil." Doug Patton.
The newer ones only obscure one eye, or have an aperture for each eye, as opposed to only one aperture in the center. Depth perception is improved, but it's still aggravating sometimes.
I did some NVG stuff last night.
Drove a UTV; it was pretty simple, but it was over familiar terrain, and not terribly far. For someone comfortable with NV in other applications, the driving doesn't really present any new challenges. That changes if you need to be able to monitor instruments inside the vehicle though.
Tried shooting through the red dot with my non-NVG eye, with the dot superimposed in my NVG FOV. Didn't work super well. Not easy to pick up the dot because of the unconventional stock weld. All shots hit four to six inches low and left of the POI at seven yards; maybe due to a parallax issue of some sort, compounded by each eye looking through various lenses perhaps.
A big take-away from this outing was the advantage of an illuminator that can be fired at the same time as the laser. I have a Unity Tactical Sync switch on one rifle, and this was my first time messing with it. At close ranges, it cleans up the laser dot a lot, and allows for more precise aiming. The laser by itself blooms quite a bit, and the surrounding IR illumination serves to eliminate that bloom. I know more sophisticated laser units have this option built-in; with my OTAL and Surefire Vampire, the Unity switch is the way to get it done, and it works quite well indeed. The only downside to the Unity switch is the real-estate it requires. You can pretty much forget about putting it on the top rail of a short gun.
Another thing I wanted to assess was the potential of a gas cloud obscuring the target, when using a piston gun. A friend had previously mentioned experiencing this with his Sig 516: the vented gasses, when illuminated by the laser or illuminator, sometimes obscured his view of the target. I used a gun with a Superlative Arms piston kit; I did not experience this phenomenon.
Another takeaway is white phosphorous NV is badass. I have a gen3 ITT green PVS14. A friend recently got a white phos PVS14 from, I believe, Night Ops Tactical. It is the shit. If anyone is seriously in the market for a PVS14, I recommend ponying up the extra cash for the white phos. I have only experienced it one other time, and that was a brief view through a PVS31. It is awesome. Is it awesome enough that I am itching to offload my green to partially fund a white? No. I am accustomed to the green, and I have it already. If someone is in the market for their first PVS14 though, you'd do well to give it a serious look; it's worth the extra money.
Also shot a bit with white light last night. This is something I don't do enough. In that home defense scenario, you ain't putting on the helmet with the NV. It's damned important to practice with white light and, I think, people who own night vision are maybe less likely to do so, due to prioritizing the use of their investments.
Another thing I noted, that I need to prioritize, is some practice in environments with light pollution. A security light is always on by an outbuilding where I live, and creates some interesting conditions. I know this is a huge factor in urban scenarios, and good illuminators come into play in a big way, when you need to cut into shadows.
One more thing, not necessarily night vision related, is wearing gear can really suck. If a plate carrier or load-bearing vest is in anyone's equipment intended for use during the "real deal", be sure to use it every now and then, on a range trip. I opted to wear a slick, low-pro plate carrier under my minimalist chest rig last night, and my friggen back hurt. Just a side note. And yes, I would like some cheese with my whine.
|hello darkness |
my old friend
I have never has an issue with this gas cloud issue in all of my NV shooting.
I just get barrel signature on my thermal as it heats up from all the killing.
Eeewwww, don't touch it!
Here, poke at it with this stick.
A hot barrel or silencer will actually have an IR signature as well as a thermal signature.
Trex Arms, on youtube, recently posted a cool first-person NVG video. Worth checking out.
Anyone have experience using optics without "night vision settings" passively. I experimented with my H2 this morning, in the dark basement, and the first setting seems appropriate, in front of a Gen3 PVS14. I am wanting a T2, but don't have the money just yet. Considering the dot isn't planted in one spot, I think the risk of burn-in is almost non-existent. Anyone have any feedback from real-world experiences? I am aware of what manufacturers recommend, and that there are reasons night vision settings exist. That first setting does not seem even the least-bit too bright, in what I have tinkered with so far, and I am going to mess with it a bit more this evening. I'll report back my findings, but am curious what others have to say too.
I looked through the H2 again tonight, and tried the proper NV settings in a friend's Eotech. The H2 looked just fine again, and the NV settings in the Eotech actually aren't bright enough, if there is light pollution present. Also, the use of an objective lens aperture reduction cap of some kind will likely be useful, in getting better with passive aiming, as it will allow a bit more visibility of the optic housing, to use as a reference in acquiring the dot.
Long-story-short: it seems like a quality optic with a wide adjustment range will likely be usable with NV on it's lowest settings. The proper NV settings are slick for truly dark circumstances, and will guarantee no harm comes to your tube(s). I am still wanting to get a T2 or Eotech with NV settings, but am comfortable using the H2 for any practice in the meantime.
EuroOptic has a good deal on mountless T2.
I appreciate the tip, but my LGS has the same unit for only $25 more. So I'll keep it local, when the time comes.
EuroOptic is friggen awesome though. Great resource for NV-related stuff. Their price on the Steiner OTAL can't be beat, and they had a sweet SF Vampire package deal with offset mount and dual pressure switch.
Another thing I have noticed, in tinkering with passive aiming, is the prospect of needing two guns, or two optics setups with repeatable mounts; a night setup and a day setup. If you're going to aim passively, you need to use a high and forward-mounted red dot or holographic. If you're not down with a dot, with or without a magnifier, for the rest of your time behind the gun, you'll need another gun, or another optical setup that can be switched relatively easily. I like an Elcan Specter, but it is nearly unusable as a passive night vision aiming optic, as are any other LVPOs.
I went into the woods last night, and tried some shooting for the first time, using the passive approach. The H2 definitely doesn't get dim enough, in true darkness, and that dot brightness exacerbates any light transmission issues present. I am going to try the Eotech sometime in the next couple days, in order to compare light transmission between the two; in my readings online, the Eotech seems to be the king of the passive application. This has definitely been a neat experience; I encourage anyone who uses NV to try it, if they haven't already. The mindset of using passive aiming as a primary means, and laser as a backup is appealing, considering the proliferation of NV and IR-sensitive cameras.
|hello darkness |
my old friend
I am a big IR laser fan in night vision shooting. My rifle is a Rock River AR with an Eotech mounted without a riser. I can shoot the rifle with night vision but it is awkward and uncomfortable. Yeah a riser would help but I prefer the laser with my night vision focused more for movement. I'm not to worried about IR sensitive cameras as I don't they are are that common.
A previous post in this thread, from another member, addresses the IR sensitivity in something as basic as a cell phone camera. I initially dismissed it. However, that combined with adversaries potentially having their own NVGs prompted me to look at passive aiming a bit closer. I wasn't keen on it at first, because I was invested in lasers, and I assumed it was a pain in the butt. Since I've been playing with it though, it's very doable.
When it comes to NVG focus, I also have mine focused for movement and observation at extended ranges. The aperture modification I mentioned would be for training purposes only, while getting used to the passive technique. Being able to see your optic's housing a bit better gives you a reference point if your dot doesn't come right into view. Once you've played with it a bit, it won't be necessary.This message has been edited. Last edited by: KSGM,
Most of my NV Thermal experience is from the military and all that stuff is probably old tech now I'm guessing. We had 14s but still had 7s 4s and 5s boxed up and even took them to Iraq with us. We did NOD driving but ended up driving white light for the most part. I don't believe cell phones were advanced enough for me to think the bad guys had much use for them in that capacity. I can see that being a thing with the newer phones.
I have the scratch for a good setup but I'm leery of buying the wrong thing or investing and then some new hotness comes out. Kind of like computers. Is that a real thing or are most people running their initial setup? Any good vendors to check out? Someone with an LE/Mil program would be even better.
|hello darkness |
my old friend
I played with the cell phone thing. I was unable to detect anything with a cell phone. I remember that comment being made but have no idea how a phone could detect an IR laser.
|hello darkness |
my old friend
I would TNVC. They can answer your questions and have good product.
That's good to know. I have not messed with it myself. I took that poster at his word, considering he was so passionate about it. I'll have to see for myself at some point too.
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