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The night vision and thermal thread Login/Join 
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I have recently made some cool discoveries concerning muzzle flash, as observed through NVGs. There's a thread in the suppressed weapons forum, dedicated to it. As anyone who's done some NVG shooting with a can likely knows, things like a hot silencer will be visibly glowing in your NVGs, long before they can be seen with the naked eye. That being the case, trying to mitigate flash is a daunting task. Flash performance is almost always measured in the visible light spectrum. In a military context, that's really not good enough, considering the proliferation of night vision equipment.
 
Posts: 1248 | Location: Northeast GA | Registered: February 15, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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“The times they are a’changin’.”
The availability of night vision and thermal is something I’ve been thinking about and what it will mean for civilian law enforcement. There aren’t many incidents in which nighttime concealment is important for LE snipers, but I wouldn’t want to try to sneak up on a Texas hog hunter in the dark without being aware of that.




7/93
“Cet animal est très méchant, quand on l’attaque il se défend.”
 
Posts: 46404 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think night vision is potentially very relevant, for certain LE departments. Where I live: perhaps not, considering the sophistication of your average redneck crook. In areas where gang threats are more prevalent, I think LE would be doing themselves a disservice, in not utilizing NV and thermal. This is a guess, of course, but, considering the supposed sophistication of contemporary organized crime, I think they likely have NV and thermal equipment, or, at the very least, utilize camcorders or cell phones, as MarsAttacks mentioned. Night vision is very much one of those things that you don't realize what you're missing until you have the opportunity to use it. Once you realize the advantage it affords, you will likely feel woefully ill-equipped, in not having it. It has evolved from something the military used to give us a distinct advantage over out MidEast foes, into almost standard equipment, in a contemporary combat equipment context. We often accept no substitutes, when it comes to having the best "military-grade" equipment, in our citizen gun safes, and it's to the point, in my opinion, that someone who doesn't blink at the thought of 3k worth of stuff bolted to gun (optic, silencer, flashlight, etc) ought to pay attention to NV with as much willingness.
 
Posts: 1248 | Location: Northeast GA | Registered: February 15, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Raptorman
Picture of Mars_Attacks
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NV is a huge advantage.

Have at least one weapon with some sort of NV on it. Helmet mounted is great if you have the full element of surprise and you can Buffalo Bill your way. The FOV is myopic at close range. You can trip over objects that weren't picked up, especially with thermal that does not detect tepid objects. I wound up shooting into equipment I failed to account for in a chicken coop one night and sent a splattered bullet and panicked chickens everywhere. However, if something had body heat, it didn't for long.

Digital with an illuminator is relatively cheap, put it on a flat top rifle. Rifle AND NVS with a simple lamp can be had for a total under $1000 these days.

Minimum on a weapon mounted thermal is going to be around $1000 for a 160x240 pixel sensor. Will be more than acceptable under 100 yards.

Thermal only has a few drawbacks (reflective material will keep the heat radiation from penetrating and leaving a signature, windows, thermal blanket mylar), standard NV has its own, digital is a different animal all together and requires either an 850nm or 940nm lamp. 940 is less detectable by what you are pointing it at (yes, you can feel a powerful beam, but less effective at the sensor detecting it.

I've been through them all when I settled on my thermal. I know thermal seems financially inefficient when the other options are more economical (with the exception of a Gen2 or 3 helmet mount), but I can see way past what NVG can detect with proper cover.

For inside a home, I chose a pump 12 gauge with the brightest, most spread WML I can find. The murder end is blinding and has the advantage at close range.

Now, you COULD set up 850/940nm floodlights around your perimeter that can be motion activated and light it up without the need of an illuminator on the weapon or NVG. 100% element of surprise. The chances of them having any sort of NV is nil.


Around here, door handle jigglers, window busters, cat thieves and home invasion are the preferred method of residential crime.

If you have large property, thermal is king for distance. It's myopic up close, but effective if you are in a fixed position.


____________________________

Eeewwww, don't touch it!
Here, poke at it with this stick.
 
Posts: 33403 | Location: North, GA | Registered: October 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have added a very NVG-relevant post to the visible signature thread, in the suppressed weapons forum. I considered double-posting, but thought it may be frowned-upon.
 
Posts: 1248 | Location: Northeast GA | Registered: February 15, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Frangas non Flectes
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Well, I finally got moved in somewhere, so all my stuff is out of storage. The culling and condensing begins. I’m gonna order something soon, white phosphor for sure.

How critical is having an IR laser? I get having an illuminator, but is it basically a given that you’re going to have to put something like a PEQ or a MAWL on a rifle if you’re going to use night vision? Is there an argument for just getting the best night vision unit you can reasonably afford and then add that stuff after? Or is that akin to spending several grand on a whiz-bang rifle and slapping some Magpul flip sights on it? Honestly, I think I’m leaning towards getting just an Eotech and an IR light of some type. Is this a fool’s errand?


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I believe in the 25th amendment.
 
Posts: 15445 | Location: Gilbert, AZ | Registered: February 10, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This is a good thread, discussing almost exactly what you're asking:
https://www.ar15.com/forums/ar...ve-aiming/18-509364/
If you could only have one, the laser would be preferred, over a NV-capable optic. Oddly, in my application of NV, I don't use the illuminator all that much, and, when I do, I don't find a Surefire Vampire to be lacking. I guess I haven't been in the right situation, to realize the high-power illuminator necessity a lot of folks talk about. If you're in a military context, up against a peer threat, you'd be very wary of beaming your searchlight out there. In a hunting context, the badass illuminators are a must. Like with anything else, it all depends.
 
Posts: 1248 | Location: Northeast GA | Registered: February 15, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My perspective, deprived of course from my use on my property. I don't give a hoot about rifle mounted IR illumination (I have it since I use the surefire heads, but its really not needed). I don't use the rifle for that use. But to make decent hits at distance you want an IR laser.


“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”
 
Posts: 10375 | Registered: October 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Frangas non Flectes
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Thanks, guys. Makes sense. I’ll get whatever I can for night vision first and I guess grab an OTAL or ATPIAL-C soon after. The arguments I’m reading for the laser make a lot of sense. So, too, the suggestions to get the best everything I can as I go instead of trying to go budget and work my way up to things. Better to piecemeal it and get used to what I want to use right from the start. I keep seeing that over and over.


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I believe in the 25th amendment.
 
Posts: 15445 | Location: Gilbert, AZ | Registered: February 10, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Based on my experiences, as previously mentioned, I'd be wary of Steiner stuff; especially the OTAL-C. USNV makes something called the DesignateIR, which may be worth a look. I don't have any experience with it though, and there aren't many reports on the web either. You read more about folks having a bone to pick with the company, than anything else, so maybe approach it with caution too.
 
Posts: 1248 | Location: Northeast GA | Registered: February 15, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Did some shooting last night. Another strike for Steiner, as a friends remote switch port malfunctioned with two different switches. My primary take-away was a note on lighting: The conditions at my shooting area had recently changed, allowing more light from an outdoor security light to pass through the woods. This caused occasional bright reflections off the backside of my Eotech's housing, which served to somewhat wash out the image observed through the window. I still managed to avoid laser use, and had better hits than my two friends.
 
Posts: 1248 | Location: Northeast GA | Registered: February 15, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bolt Thrower
Picture of Voshterkoff
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I have read of so many poor experiences with Steiner. I think my next laser unit will be a Phantom Hill. For now I have two Persts, but I don’t know if you can still get them.
 
Posts: 9661 | Location: Woodinville, WA | Registered: March 30, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Frangas non Flectes
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With the whole Ukraine thing, they're not shipping them over, of course, and the prices on them have gone stupid. It may be a Phantom Hill CTF-2 when I'm ready for that... if they're in stock. There was another similar unit in the same price range from someone else being discussed on r/nightvision, but I'll have to dig it up.

The SomoGear NGAL, with their potted upgrade, has quickly become the "you gotta have this if you're on a budget" option. It's like $250 and while the illuminator sucks, the laser is like a full powered PEQ, and it stays zeroed. Apparently BrassFacts did a video on them and they sold out instantly, and now they're not restocking because Guangzhau is under lockdown. For Covid. Again. In late 2022.

I'm still angling my way towards NODs. I sold some stuff recently, and it whet my appetite for the slimming and condensing. The great purge is underway. We'll see how much I can put together, but I'm trying to stretch all the way to a set of single gain BNVD's from JRH. I'm really wanting to skip straight to duals and hoping to free up enough for a set of 4g's, but if I'm down to Echo budget, I may end up going for a higher quality PVS14.


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Posts: 15445 | Location: Gilbert, AZ | Registered: February 10, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The Phantom Hill units seem cool. Eotech is coming out with the OGL (on-gun laser) as well.
 
Posts: 1248 | Location: Northeast GA | Registered: February 15, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Veteran of the
Psychic Wars
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I am late to the show on this discussion, but I had always wanted some NODs. My first experience with NV was in the early 80's, in the infantry. Back then, NVG's were only issued to leaders and crew-served weapon gunners. My very first peek through an AN/PVS-5 (gen II) was awe inspiring.

Over the decades, I wanted NODs, but cost and priorities of life stood in the way. I was able to get a Gen III AN/PVS14 monocular. The first thing that struck me was the difference between Gen II and Gen III NODs; and this is with the 'old' gated film tech. I can only imagine what it is like with the white phosphor gear.

If you can afford NODs get the best you can, the difference is really remarkable.

If you cant afford to buy Gen III right now, save your pennies and wait. The wait is well worth it.


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Posts: 1274 | Location: The end of the Earth... | Registered: March 02, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Frangas non Flectes
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https://www.customnightvision....goggle-black-friday/

Oh wow. L3 UF duals in a Katana housing for $7,950. They just announced the sale an hour ago, so this list isn't all picked over yet.


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I believe in the 25th amendment.
 
Posts: 15445 | Location: Gilbert, AZ | Registered: February 10, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My back-ordered Crye nightcap arrived a few days ago. I have yet to wear it for an extended period, or shoot with it, so I only have initial impressions to offer. So far, I think it's pretty darn slick. I got the counterweight pouch at the same time, and I already had a shroud for the front. Total cost, as mine is configured, if you didn't already have the same shroud, is about $240; the cap and pouch combined cost less than the shroud. $240 for a ready-to-go headpiece is not too bad. As with my helmet counterweight, I use thirty rounds of 5.56 ammo as the ballast; heavier than batteries, and far more useful (in an emergency) than dead weight. So far, it seems the nightcap will be an excellent solution for situations that don't necessitate a helmet. One of it's biggest advantages is it's packability; you could stuff it in a cargo pocket. Helmets are a PITA to pack away: ballistic or bump. I have noticed a couple things that may be annoying, due to the chin strap placement. These factors are likely going to be different for folks with different head shapes/sizes. On me, the front straps ride relatively close to the outside edges of my eyes, and the back straps touch the undersides of my ears. Whether these contact points are going to chafe will be discovered with extended wear. With a helmet, you have the pads to give the straps standoff from your face; not the case here. Right now I am optimistic. I'll add more after extended use.
 
Posts: 1248 | Location: Northeast GA | Registered: February 15, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Frangas non Flectes
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Friend of mine picked one of those up several weeks ago to use for getting to his tree stand before shooting hours. Says it works excellent for that. When he’s up there and ready, he breaks it all down and the PVS14 goes in a belt pouch and the Nightcap goes in a pocket.


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I believe in the 25th amendment.
 
Posts: 15445 | Location: Gilbert, AZ | Registered: February 10, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wore the Nightcap for about thirty minutes worth of shooting last night. So far, so good. No functionality issues, and very comfortable. The true comfort test will have to come in the form of a couple hours of wearing it; not sure when I'll get around to that.
 
Posts: 1248 | Location: Northeast GA | Registered: February 15, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I bought a ATN X Sight Gen 1 3x12x56 Digital Night Vision Scope about 10 years ago, used it once to help a friend eliminate a coyote problem, first thing I noticed was that it needed a larger/stronger IR, the one it came with was okay out to 30-40 yards or maybe it was just my inexperience. I also hoped the digital scope with camera & recording, I’d only tried that out to 75-100 yards which wasn’t too impressive.
What I did learn is that unless you spend at least $3k, don’t expect a lot, and that I really don’t have a use for an IR scope.


If you really want something you'll find a way ...
... if you don't you'll find an excuse.

I'm really not a "kid" anymore ... but I haven't grown up yet either Wink
 
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