Good thing I'm not playing soldier.
I'm way too old to be sneaking around the woods at night trying to Buffalo Bill my way into something with other sensors out there that can see the illuminators and lasers.
It takes very little effort to trick either system. I naturally assume the "enemy" already know this and is just as equipped as I am.
Eeewwww, don't touch it!
Here, poke at it with this stick.
It's not so much about sneaking as it is about being able to perform basic tasks in low light. The mere movement through the environment, that I continue to reference, is a perfect example of an advantage offered by something like a PVS14. There is no argument that there's little one can do to hide from thermals, and the fact that one's enemy is equipped with identical equipment is a reason to have every option in your arsenal as well. I feel the same way about IR emissions, which is why I advocate the passive aiming technique and am doing my best to utilize the thermals I have access to.
During a recent outing, another advantage of the passive aiming technique was revealed. Now that the foliage is in full effect, an aiming laser is quite hindered in the forest. You may have a clear line of sight to a target, and your bullet can arrive successfully too, but when you bring your weapon to bear, and activate your laser, some bit of foliage between you and the target defeats it, and even, if near enough, potentially serves to wash out your NVG. Your laser is projected on a plane that begins at a lower point than your line of sight, so something that isn't obscuring your vision may very well obscure the laser. Even if your laser was projected on the same plane as your line of sight, our eyes/brain have a tendency to look past or "through" obstacles between us and our focal point; the laser can't make it though. The bottom line is the a laser is an ineffective aiming tool through, what I'll call, translucent concealment.
The passive technique serves to mitigate these negative effects of translucent concealment, while reducing IR signature, and permitting a more natural shooting experience.
A weapon-mounted thermal sight would also be hugely advantageous, but only, in my application, when combined with a head-mounted NVG. A thermal device cannot serve as a substitute for an image intensifier, in my opinion, in a tactical context that has you maneuvering through the environment.
Shot for a couple hours on Monday night, with three friends. New moon and cloud cover; just about the least visibility you can get. I didn't fire even one shot with a laser. I was very pleased with the performance of my passive optic setup, and my progress in learning the technique. The culminating event of the evening was a movement down a trail in the woods; three cones on the trail marked shooting positions; at each cone, the shooter would attempt to put one round on each of three targets. The shooter got slightly closer to the targets, as he traversed the trail; engagement distances ranged from between 50 and 30 meters. In following the other shooters, I was able to see the negative effects of their lasers, on the intervening foliage and branches. They were often forced to re-engage, after initially spotting the target, bringing their weapon to bear, and then promptly losing the target in the bright wash of their laser hitting the environment between them and the target. I admittedly had to re-engage a couple times as well, because of the light lost through the Eotech, when bringing my weapon up onto target. I didn't have to do it nearly as much as them, and didn't give away my position in doing it either. The Eotech is as good as it gets, in terms of light transmission in a sealed optic, that I know of, so that just is what it is; and this extremely dark night was the worst I can reasonably expect. Regardless of that slight hang-up, I was the only one to run the lane with 100% hit accountability, and I did it much faster than any of them. Passive is without a doubt the way to go, IMO. It, of course, doesn't make lasers useless; however, I would encourage anyone investing in the application of night vision to take a hard look at a NV-capable Eotech in a high mount, before they go shopping for something like a MAWL.
This experience also reinforced the reality of engagements in a wooded setting. I had previously discussed the same phenomenon in a daylight circumstance, and it applies even more so at night: distances that most would consider "CQB" feel much further. Our typical flat, square, and unobstructed range settings set us up for failure, if our job ends up taking us into the woods; target identification and engagement at anything more than 25 meters can become a chore. The folks out there that live in rural areas, and employ a "practical/tactical" attitude in their shooting, would do well to make an effort to take their training into the woods, if they are typically on a more conventional range.
This is a very relevant and objective video I came across. It touches on the silencer flash signatures I mentioned in the suppressed weapons forum as well. The video also has some great footage taken from the business end, which you seldom see. One thing I noticed in this, and another video, is that these guys, being in the desert, aren't contending with vegetation obstructions I have experienced. Passive shooting is considerably enhanced by the right setup, and by practice. If you don't have the right setup (Eotech on a riser), you're not even going to care to practice, because it's just not going to seem reasonably viable. The youtuber's comments on signature are certainly valid; so long as a laser isn't used inappropriately, it's not likely to compromise you any more than your muzzle flash.
I said it in my other thread. Whatever is being shot there with a suppressor on the rifle is substantially worse than my experience running a surefire can on a 5.56 rifle. In this case the pictures are literally a behind the rifles view (not your side view) so its is what I have experienced. In fact I would say looking at these the flash out of that can is perhaps worse than the flash from a basic surefire FH.
“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”
SF has a decent video about silencer flash suppression. The video certainly depicts extremely minimal flash, emitted from their silencer. They chose what is apparently a very flashy can (OSS HX without flash hider cap) to compare it to, which lends a shock and awe factor, to how not flashy their can is. I think that aspect of their marketing is dumb, but you can't deny the almost non-existent signature of the RC. I imagine some of the flash factor is ammo-dependant as well. I do believe that the flash needs to be observed laterally or from downrange, to be fully realized. On the night I recently discussed, I was shooting the flashiest can (TurboK), but it wasn't noticable to me, as the shooter; I only noted the deficiency when someone else was shooting the rifle, and I was observing.
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