If you've got the cash, I wouldn't hesitate. Like gw3971 said, TNVC is a good resource. EuroOptic is a damn good place to get lights and lasers at "add to cart to see price" prices.
Dual tubes are arguably the best thing to get, but the price is nuts. PVS14s are still very capable and relevant. I'd recommend pitching in the extra $800(ish) for white phosphorous though. I have a green PVS14, and I don't feel the least bit incapable. It comes down to putting in the time and effort training with the stuff; there's probably plenty of guys out there with dual tubes and the best lasers, illuminators, and optics that you could outperform with a PVS14, with enough practice.
I got a Larue 5/8" QD riser, for use with my borrowed EOtech. This gets the EOtech up nice and high, as it's a model with the throw lever and side buttons to boot. The biggest problem is the lack of a good stock connection to my shoulder; obviously a cheek weld is not happening, but the lack of a good support on my shoulder makes things that much trickier. I am using a CAR stock, which is part of my problem with this effort. It sucks, because I otherwise like CAR stocks, and have them on almost all my ARs; this setup will require something a bit taller though.
I intend to equip the riser with a magnifier base; although it likely won't get used, it seems like a good contingency to have. So, between this setup on the QD riser, and the Elcan Specter, I have dedicated day and night optical setups, both in QD mounts that will return to zero. Totally different day and night guns is viable if you have a home base that you return to regularly between brief activities, but a packable alternative optical setup in a repeatable mount is far more practical for extended excursions. I am psyched on it so far. I intend to do some shooting with the new setup sometime in the next few days, and will report any findings.
Shot last night. It was awesome. I guess it's not news, to the NVG "community", but I know there's others like me who are/were on the fence, when it comes to passive aiming. Don't hesitate; leap over that fence. I was faster and more accurate aiming through the EOtech, than I ever was with my laser. That's not to say that it's impossible to be extremely fast and accurate with a laser; it's just that much easier with an optic. Not to mention the obvious primary perk of not emitting any sort of IR signature! Also, I think it may be worth a reminder that I am using a PVS14 monocular. I was previously under the false impression that dual tubes were a pre-requisite for passive aiming; wrong. The extra high mount and taller stock are certainly essential. I switched my CAR for a VLTOR stock, and it was much better.
Bottom line is aiming with NVG through a compatible optic is pretty damn slick. I intend to make it my primary method, with the laser as a backup and asset in unique circumstances where it is more advantageous. Every time I get out and practice with NVG I am reminded how much of a real enhancement it is. It provides such an advantage, it's laughable to think I ever fancied myself capable before I had it.
Legal discrepancies across the country has been a topic in another recent thread, when it comes to what might be someone's most practical primary carbine. Some states don't permit something like the AR15. As far as I know, no states have any kind of restrictions when it comes to night vision and associated optics, lasers, and illuminators. Night vision is a huge advantage that isn't hindered by any current laws. I recommend that folks take advantage of it.
I got to tinker with a proper "restricted" PEQ15 recently, and noticed something interesting. The low power setting is seemingly lower than a civilian IR laser, while the high setting is obviously quite powerful. I think this is neat because friends and I have both agreed that our Steiner civilian lasers have quite a bit of bloom under a lot of circumstances; this prompts us to activate illuminators at the same time, to cut the bloom, reduce the associated wash-out of the target, and provide a more precise aiming point. The civilian units seem to be as powerful as they can be, while remaining within the legal parameters; this is understandable, but not ideal some of the time. The proper laser gives you the best of both worlds. Most people have a hard-on for the restricted lasers for their illuminators, which is understandable, but this is another positive characteristic. The illuminators are kind of hit-and-miss too; the one I recently interacted with had a pretty "dirty" illuminator. The SF Vampire lights are very clean, but their range is limited. The MAWL seems to be universally praised; I have only handled one though, and haven't been able to use one yet.
Use the camera. I can see an IR filtered UH60 searchlight on a cell phone camera.
|hello darkness |
my old friend
I did and my Iphone shows no IR. I did find a thread saying Android cameras include an ir filter that improves photos form its users. I phones did not have this feature. It was an older thread and older phones so maybe my Iphone 11 still doesn't have that feature.
I haven't done it in a while. I'll look into it when we get power back on this bird we have in work. I don't have any other IR sources to play with. It seems like you don't see the light itself, but evidence of the source. If that makes any sense.
If it's an LED IR illuminator, it will have a small visible signature.
You said "filtered". As I understand it, and LED doesn't perform well with a filter. You saw filters on incandescent lights. I'd be surprised if a modern Blackhawk has a filtered incandescent. I reckon it may though. If it does, you may be seeing spill from the edges of the filter.
My iPhone sees IR just fine. My illuminators actually will set the phone to daylight mode if you shine it directly at the lens.
I used to use an old phone as a screen to watch the rat killing action when I used IR scopes.
It's why I went to thermal, some things can feel the flashlight.
Eeewwww, don't touch it!
Here, poke at it with this stick.
Spent some time in the woods with two friends last night. Totally overcast; extremely dark. The darkest conditions I have used NVGs in, that I can remember. We placed some targets through a portion of woods, moved away from them, turned around, and then moved back toward them. One of my friends almost ran into one, before he saw it. These were life-size, torso-shaped green silhouettes, cut out from LE qual targets. They may as well have been invisible. Definitely an eye-opener; in those lighting conditions, an enemy or game animal would have to be moving downright recklessly, in order for you to be able to spot it from a distance that would afford you any sort of advantage. Night vision can't be beat, in terms of moving yourself through the environment, and maintaining visual contact with teammates; thermal is what will give you the edge in detecting creatures though. If I had to pick only one device, for my use-case, it would be NVGs, without a doubt, but thermal is a definite enhancer.
Another thing noted last night was the complete irrelevance of passive aiming, in those lighting conditions. If I can't see a target 20m from me, I sure as shit can't engage anything using my optic. We wanted to keep illuminator use to a minimum, in keeping with the "near-peer" mindset, but you wouldn't be able to ID a traget without illuminating it, in those conditions. Passive aiming is all well and good on the square range or LE and CQB arena, but it isn't worth a damn when there's no ambient light.
One more thing noted was camouflage. That black gun is even more of a giveaway in the IR spectrum. Camo is hugely important, and you'd likely be ahead to go a bit lighter in shade than you might think would be best.
My brother and I tag teamed rats at the chicken farm last night.
It was partially overcast with a waxing crescent moon dropping to the horizon so it got extremely dark.
We tore them up. There was so many bodies littering the ground, you had to wait for movement to shoot or else you were just re-killing already dead rats. Hit them just right and stingers will just blow them apart.
Eeewwww, don't touch it!
Here, poke at it with this stick.
I was out with a guy a week ago, night hunting for coyotes. We didn’t get any, since he’s moving I wanted to check out his technique before her left.
Basically it was setting up with the remote controlled call, scan with a thermal imager, then switch to the night scoped rifle if a shot was likely.
These spots were hunted, called, then shots fired previously. The only 2 coyotes we saw were 4-600 yards, not interested in coming closer. I did see one possum very close, left him be.
Anyway, the thermal imager is a handy tool, hard to hide at night. Mine is ok, the guy I was with has a version of a Phenom model, about $3200 in price.
I experimented a bit with a small Leupold thermal monocular yesterday, on a pre-dawn walk through the woods. It'd take some tinkering, in a patrol context, to maximize the effectiveness. The biggest drawbacks of a unit of the type I have access to is the very bright light source the screen creates, and the toll that light source takes on your natural "night vision". I was using my PVS14 for passive observation and movement ability, as I normally would. I'd occasionally turn on the thermal, to scan ahead, or investigate a point of interest. It seemed natural to me to hold the thermal viewer a little ways away from my face, ahead of my non-PVS eye; this compromised my vision in that eye, which is normally handy to have adapted to the darker conditions. I had to be careful that I didn't hold it so far away that my PVS took in that light; I eventually just powered-off the PVS, when using the thermal, to mitigate that risk. The light source of the screen, and my face illuminated by it are both big drawbacks. An eye cup is the obvious first thought, and this is what the military implements. However, the way it seemed natural to hold this particular device so far from my eye makes me think an eye cup wouldn't suit it. I need to dig into whatever menu it may have, and see if there's a brightness adjustment; it may seem more appropriate, closer to my face, if it isn't so bright. The Leupold LTO is a handy little thing, for what it costs, but it seems as though it's not without it's compromises.
I think I got my passive NVG and gas mask setup to where it'll stay. An Eotech with lever base sits atop a Unity riser, which sits on a Larue 5/8" QD riser. I can take the whole setup off the gun, if I want to us it as a packable alternate optical setup for my primary carbine. The centerline of the optic is quite high; I haven't measured it, but I wouldn't be scared to say it's 4" over the bore. Not typically ideal, but necessary, IMO, for passive NVG and gas mask use. I think it has potential in a CQB context too. There is a QD magnifier base attached to the Larue riser, behind the Unity riser, but I still need to work out a spacer for it, to get the magnifier up high enough; the magnifier will not live on the gun, but I want to have the option to attach one.
|Like a party |
in your pants
I just received this months publication from the Gun Club I belong to.
They announced that this summer they will offer on weekends, night shooting (till 11pm) ( no range lights) for IR, Thermo, or flashlight tactical training. You can wear all the tactical stuff you want. Everyone on the range must wear chemical lights. A shoot house is also expected to be constructed.IR and Thermo equipment will be available for members to try.
In order to get the night shooting approved from the county, the county requested that local LE be able to use the facility ( they already are allowed to shoot and train on club property and the club buys the AR's for the local LE agency's).
At first the county would only approve the night shooting for LE. The Club president said that he could not allow LE to use a facility that paying club members could not.The county agreed, and allowed club members to get the same privilege.
My Israeli buddy said he would have had a much easier time if he had this in the IDF.
Eeewwww, don't touch it!
Here, poke at it with this stick.
That's awesome. I hope you attend, and let us know what it's like.
For anyone who cares about the passive aiming approach, I think it bears mentioning that the Eotech really is the undisputed king. There is little to no light lost through the screen; the Aimpoint micro suffers from some light transmission limitations, in NVG conditions. In the interest of full disclosure, I have not done a side-by-side comparison with the T2; if the the T2 has different coatings or something, than the H2, the image viewed through the optic may be brighter. Light transmission aside, the other advantage of the Eotech is the NV button; switching between your pre-established NV and regular reticle illuminations is only a button press away. This is extremely relevant in an urban environment, or when switching between NVG/IR and white light. On the Aimpoint, you have to crank the knob through all the settings; the Eotech offers a quicker and repeatable back-and-forth ability.
I am not a fanboy of either brand, and have actually historically preferred the Aimpoints. When I set out to assemble what I considered a truly practical optical setup for NVG use, some sacrifices were made. The setup is arguably heavy, certainly bulky, and not at all low-profile or sleek; it works though. You could have a sleek T2 in a typical lower 1/3 mount, and you would have passive ability, but it would be far from ideal, IMO.
Mars_Attacks, I completely agree that thermals offer a huge advantage, in any use-case; I have recently experimented with their application in mine, and they're undoubtedly king in yours. When it comes to maneuvering in the dark, having your vision enhancer attached to your weapon is little help. It's all about weighing pros and cons, as usual. Your IDF friend may be enamored with the thermals in the more casual setting your activities present, and they'd also be a boon in an established position, in a tactical setting. However, if moving through the environment, it being urban or overland, any soldier will have his vision enhancer mounted on his noggin. He may have a thermal optic on his rifle, if he so chooses, but he'll likely still have an IR laser device on there too, as the thermal is not suited for snap shooting. He acknowledges, as I have, that the thermal sure does offer a huge advantage; it is not a substitute though, for analogue image intensifiers and IR illumination and aiming tools. The most capable night setup is arguably NVGs on your head, IR laser and illumination on your handguard, and a thermal optic on the top of your gun. It would take some learning, and likely a high optic mount, to accommodate mounting the thermal without needing to flip your NVG out of the way. The total package is perhaps a bit too cumbersome to be realistic, for someone in a soldier role.
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