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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
|Frangas non Flectes|
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?
I believe in the 25th amendment.
This is a good thread, discussing almost exactly what you're asking:
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.
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.”
|Frangas non Flectes|
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.
I believe in the 25th amendment.
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.
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