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OT - Night Vision

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by eric, Nov 24, 2009.

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  1. eric

    eric TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Off topic but there is a wealth of knowledge here. I have a flattop AR with fold down sights, full rail and am putting on a Aimpoint CompM4 sight. I am looking at night vision capability but will have to stick with Gen 2 or 2+ due to the cost.

    Question - should I find a weapons mount scope or something along the lines of a head mount with IR capabilities that will hopefully be more versitile or something else entirely??

    And which brand??

    Eric
     
  2. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    If you use goggle type night vision, your sight must be night vision capable. And you will likely not get a good cheekweld, so a sight that is forgiving of head position is a plus. And, the sight must be capable of being placed far enough forward on the gun to clear the night vision. Most EOTech models meet this criteria, like the EOTech Model 552. It can start in night vision mode, which is so dim you cannot see it with the naked eye, yet it won't "bloom" the night vision from being too bright. You have a fair amount of play for night vision lens placement, because the EOTech does not require your eye to be centered. And the EOtech has unlimited eye relief.

    The advantage of head mounted night vision is that you can easily walk and scan with them. The disadvantage is they are awkward when using a gun.

    Weapon mounted night vision is something I have not played with for a long, long time. It's actually a better setup for shooting than goggles, but, you lose the ability to scan, unless you're using the gun to do that, which is not a wise ideal. Many using weapon mounted NV have a spotter using goggles.

    One issue with NV that employs an infrared lamp for illumination is that it tends to make your gun so bright that it is a distraction. Your gun (and arm) is lit up to the point where the NV will auto-dim, and the background will be darker. This is one plus for a weapon mounted NV, because the illuminating source can often be positioned where this is not an issue. I do not like to use the built in IR source with goggles, so a good feature is to make sure the IR source can be turned off, allowing you to use an IR flashlight or weapon mounted light. And even later NV might still need an IR floodlight for a "booster" in some dark lighting.

    Keep in mind any time you use an IR light source that you are lighting yourself up like a Christmas Tree to anyone else who is using NV. Even tritium night sights will illuminate you, especially your face, with late model NV.

    And speaking of tritium sights, they work very well with NV goggles, notwithstanding the drawback of built in IR lamps. But goggles, a tritium sighted handgun, and an IR flashlight work quite well.

    BTW, almost all goggles have only one lens, with two eyepieces. This kills 3D vision, and it takes a lot of practice to walk properly with them. The lenses are usually set to try to replicate your eye, but almost all are quite limited for FOV (Field Of View). NV is really not something to be running around with, but works best when used in a fixed position, or in a well known environment, like inside a home. Using NV in the woods is not very easy, and it is quite difficult to move noiselessly with them.

    The best of both worlds would be a weapon mounted NV scope, and use goggles for scanning and spotting, and movement. But that tears an even bigger hole in a wallet.
     
  3. eric

    eric TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Brian - thanks for all the insight. Looks like my best start is the goggles and (hopefully) later, the weapons mounted scope.

    In your experience, which brand to buy?

    Eric
     
  4. eric

    eric TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Top
     
  5. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I have not kept up on brands. Sorry. We can't hunt with night vision here, so I lost interest in it.
     
  6. Auctioneer

    Auctioneer Well-Known Member

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    ITT is the best maker as far as I know. Stay away from the Russian stuff. Junk. Third or forth Gen scope is what you want. 2 gen is not to good.

    I will do some research on the EOTECH scopes.
     
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