Question about Night Vision....

Question about Night Vision....

This is a discussion on Question about Night Vision.... within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; So I had some pre-deployment training earlier this week (for a deployment I won't be going on.... ) and it got me thinking. During training ...

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Thread: Question about Night Vision....

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array A1C Lickey's Avatar
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    Question about Night Vision....

    So I had some pre-deployment training earlier this week (for a deployment I won't be going on.... ) and it got me thinking.

    During training I've always used a AN/PEQ-2 with PVS-7b's. (I've used a PVS-14 once for familiarization, but not while firing.) We were taught to shoulder the rifle (for stability), activate the PEQ-2, place the dot on our target and fire. It's easy and it works.

    I know that several red dot sights are night vision compatible. What I don't know, is how to use them with NVG's. I have an older ATN Viper (Gen 1+ monocle) that I have mounted to a PASGT helmet, and an Eotech 552 mounted on my M-4forgery. I'm pretty sure it's possible, as I've seen pictures of it being done and it's even explained as being possible on the Eotech website (Night Vision Compatibility | L-3 EOTech - Holographic Weapons Systems). And yes, I realize they are using a PVS-14.

    But this is where I run into issues. No matter what, I just can't get the two to line up. Am I missing something basic here? I do realize that it won't be a perfect cheek weld and that the rifle most likely won't be seated perfectly in my shoulder. I realize for this to work a bi-ocular set up like the PVS-7b wouldn't work, but I'm using a monocle. Am I missing something obvious here?

    Now I also realize that the way my spine is fused does limit my range of motion and that this may be the problem. When we get back to The States I do plan on having my wife and a few of my buddies try my set up to see if it works for them. If it does...

    Thanks everyone.

    Oh yeah, and if anyone was curious, I am now qualified to operate and perform user-level maintenance on PVS-7b's, PVS-14's and PVS-15's. Wohoo!
    TSgt. Lickey

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    and a high school education to fix'em!


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    You have a few options. Run the single tube over the left eye and shoulder your rifle normally, or do your best to get behind the optic with a right side tube, in which case you'll have to bend your neck to get behind it. This is one of the main reasons for KACs newer high T1 mount.

    I'll edit this tomorrow with more info. Personally, I'd run the tube over my left eye and work the rifle as normal. With some practice, everything will line up perfectly and will be considerably quicker than trying to run the tube over your right eye and getting behind the optic.
    sparkykb likes this.
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

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    I am always interested in reading about the latest in combat night vision. I was in Nam in 70-71 in the mobile artillery. You can well imagine the fireballs that came out of 175mm guns at night. When we were attacked, it was always at night. All we had was one spotter with night vision goggles which were rare and expensive back there. Being a big city boy I never knew what pitch black was until I got to Nam. You could see meteorites every evening in the night sky and not see the VC 25 yards away.

    When we fought at night we lowered our big artillery guns and shot beehive rounds which are just the giant version of shotgun shells with thousands of pellets in them. They would level a tree line. If fighting broke out flares would go up and between the dark, light of the flares and muzzle blast of the artillery pieces, plus our own M16 muzzle blasts, we basically shot in the dark,. We would each be assigned to a section of area to spray and pray during an attack and then just shoot full automatic. Everyone's assigned section would overlap the next guy's section. So we basically were firing blindly. Sometimes we would be overrun and not even know it because you really could not see a thing. So many of our men were killed by friendly fire because of this. It must be so different now with night goggles and IR, and thermal technology. I guess it beats a shot in the dark.
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    The worst thing about growing old is that other men no longer see you as dangerous.

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    Senior Member Array A1C Lickey's Avatar
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    Thanks Jonconsiglio, any extra info or tips you could give me would be great. Let me get this straight, you're saying use a tube on your left eye and shoulder the rifle normally on your right hand side. And that a higher mount would work better. (So my low profile mounted Eotech isn't eactly optimal.....)

    I'll keep this in mind, unfortunately it'll be a few months before I'm back in the States and get to try this out.

    Thanks again.

    And Old_Dog, it's funny, I love hearing about how things were fought. I'm always so amazed what people were able to accomplish with what they had.
    TSgt. Lickey

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    and a high school education to fix'em!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array Daddy Warcrimes's Avatar
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    The best way to get a reflex sight to work with a NVD is to mount the NVD on the weapon. Our PVS-14s would come with a rail grabber and line up quite nicely with the Aimpoint. If you had 2 monoculars you could conceivably mount one on the weapon and one over the non-firing eye, but that would be quite an investment.
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  6. #6
    Member Array sparkykb's Avatar
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    jonconsiglio beat me to it.

    Wear the monocular over your non dominant eye and shoulder the rifle like normal. I wore my PVS-14's over my left eye and looked through my Aimpoint with my right if I wanted to use the red dot instead of my PEQ-2 (or PAQ-4 or PEQ-15) for some reason. The left eye will see the night vision image, right eye will see the red dot, and both the images will magically combine in your brain somewhere to make them both work together.

    It basically works for the same reason you can use an Aimpoint with the front cover closed as long as both eyes are open. While using an Aimpoint with front cover closed, if you close your non firing eye and only keep your firing eye open all you'll see is black with a red dot. Close your firing eye and keep your non firing eye open and all you'll see is your target. Keep both open and you'll see your target with the dot superimposed on it even though your firing eye can't actually see the target through the Aimpoint tube.

    Same thing with night vision except instead of your non firing eye seeing daylight, it's seeing the night vision image. The firing eye is just seeing darkness with a red dot. With both eyes open the images combine and you see the red dot superimposed into the night vision image.

    I'm sure there is a longer and better scientific explanation for how it works but I prefer to keep it simple and just call it magic.


    Daddy Warcrimes,

    I'm gonna have to completely disagree with your advice that rifle mounting the PVS-14 tube behind the red dot sight is the best option. Except in certain circumstances, it's damn near useless....especially for a soldier. By mounting it to the rifle you have to swing your whole rifle around to scan. Situational awareness goes out the window. Movement in the dark is going to be nearly impossible, at least in a tactical manner. Watching someone try to move around in darkness over rough terrain with a rifle mounted 14 would certainly be funny to watch though.

    I used that rail grabber exactly once just to try it out for fun. Mounted it, saw it was worthless, and it went right back into the bag with the rest of the BII that never gets used.

    I'm curious as to why you believe rifle mounting is the best way. What are you basing your opinion on? How much operational time have you spent working in darkness using that night vision setup? What type of missions were you guys using your rifle mounted PVS-14s on that lead you to believe it was the best option?
    Last edited by sparkykb; September 10th, 2013 at 06:07 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array Daddy Warcrimes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkykb View Post
    jonconsiglio beat me to it.
    I'm gonna have to completely disagree with your advice that rifle mounting the NODs behind the red dot is the best option.
    I concede "best" is not the proper choice of adjective and subjective. A1C Lickey asked about employing the night vision capabilities of the sight and the difficulties of aligning the NVD with it. The non-firing eye method does not take advantage of the IR capabilities of the optic.

    Except in certain circumstances, it's damn near useless....especially for a soldier.
    It is useful when firing the weapon and identifying targets. It's not significantly different from when we employed the PVS-4.

    By mounting it to the rifle you have to swing your whole rifle around to scan.
    Or employ normal night adapted vision.

    Watching someone try to move around in darkness over rough terrain with a rifle mounted 14 would certainly be funny to watch though.
    Weapon mounted NVDs are not intended for navigation, just aiming. Soldiers managed to get around at night for many years prior to mass adoption of the technology. 7-8 used to specifically recommend about half go without.

    I'm curious as to why you believe rifle mounting is the best option.
    I consider it a a better option for marksmanship. The PVS-14 does not recreate a completely faithful representation of the lane. It offsets the user's view by about 3 inches (5 for the ATN Viper) potentially at an angle line of the bore. I don't doubt the effectiveness of the non-firing eye method, but I suspect if you compare, weapon mounting will improve accuracy.

    I prefer it over weapon mounted NVD and PAQ-4/PEQ-2 (a popular method back in my day) since it sets up fast and minimizes additional equipment and maintenance.

    What are you basing your opinion on?
    Superseded FMs, obsolete training, and poorly maintained equipment.

    How much operational time have you spent working in darkness using that night vision setup?
    A few hours. More with PVS-4s on SAWs.

    What type of missions were you guys using your rifle mounted PVS-14s on?
    Rifle qualification with the 14s. Core battle drills with the 4s.
    "and suddenly I can not hold back my sword hand's anger"

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  8. #8
    Member Array OpticsPlanet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkykb View Post

    I'm gonna have to completely disagree with your advice that rifle mounting the PVS-14 tube behind the red dot sight is the best option. Except in certain circumstances, it's damn near useless....especially for a soldier. By mounting it to the rifle you have to swing your whole rifle around to scan. Situational awareness goes out the window. Movement in the dark is going to be nearly impossible, at least in a tactical manner. Watching someone try to move around in darkness over rough terrain with a rifle mounted 14 would certainly be funny to watch though.
    Exactly!

    The only situations I can think of in which you would run a weapon mounted PVS-14 is when the bad guys might have night vision, when you are in a fixed position, or while you are hunting.

    If the bad guys have night vision and you are running an IR laser, the second you turn that puppy on you have given away your position in a bad way. In all other circumstances, IR laser and head mounted monocular all the way!

    Chase B.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array A1C Lickey's Avatar
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    Thanks sparkykb, I appreciate the help. I think I understand what you guys are saying, to me it sounds like the same principal behind keeping both eyes open while using a RDS, your mind will merge the images into one. Do you use the night vision settings on the RDS or just use the lowest regular setting?

    And you're right, magic seems like the best explanation to me.
    TSgt. Lickey

    It takes a college degree to break'em;
    and a high school education to fix'em!

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    Regular setting since you're not viewing the dot through PVS-14. For me, the primary use of night vision is to see. I may be moving for a good distance before I might need my weapon, if at all.

    The tube will never be behind the optic, so accuracy will not be affected in any way. I've been out quite a bit with zero ligh and even with night adapted vision, there was no way I was seeing much, let alone identifying. Mountie helmet mount, I can see and identify at many times the distance. Activating the illuminate, even farther.

    Another advantage of helmet mounting is that I can transition to my secondary, I can get blasted by light and not lose my dot or reticle, etc.

    I can't see any benefit to weapon mounting, and I've tried it. Only on a precision rig with a PVS 22 and magnified optic would I weapon mount it. I can't think of anyone using it weapon mounted only on an M4. I've done a number of low light/no light shoot houses and have never seen it there or during movement to the house.

    If I was in a hunting blind and watching one area, maybe.
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    On a side note, Daddy Warcrimes can sing!!
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

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    Senior Member Array A1C Lickey's Avatar
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    Thanks again everyone. I kind of figured that jonconsiglio, just wanted to make sure. So how would you transition to your secondary? Use the two eyes open technique? Or is there something else? Because I'm probably not going to have a AN/PEQ-6 on my pistol.

    And unfortunately like I said, it's going to be a while before I get to try this out for myself. That being said, as soon as I do, I'll let you know my results.

    Thanks again everyone.

    Actually I just found this: LDI LAS/TAC 2 Class 1 IR Pistol Laser and that would probably work pretty well.
    Last edited by A1C Lickey; September 19th, 2013 at 05:57 PM. Reason: New Info...
    TSgt. Lickey

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  13. #13
    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    Question about Night Vision....

    Quote Originally Posted by A1C Lickey View Post
    Thanks again everyone. I kind of figured that jonconsiglio, just wanted to make sure. So how would you transition to your secondary? Use the two eyes open technique? Or is there something else? Because I'm probably not going to have a AN/PEQ-6 on my pistol.

    And unfortunately like I said, it's going to be a while before I get to try this out for myself. That being said, as soon as I do, I'll let you know my results.

    Thanks again everyone.

    Actually I just found this: LDI LAS/TAC 2 Class 1 IR Pistol Laser and that would probably work pretty well.
    With the PVS-14 over your left eye, you'll transition to your secondary as usual. There's a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be fine. A tritium front sight will certainly help in this situation.

    An IR pointer for your secondary is definitely the best option, at least in my opinion. It's too expensive, but if there was any possibility I'd be fighting in this type of kit, without any question, I'd buy the Surefire X400 IR. For now, I just stick to the X300 (have an ultra on the way).

    Oh, another good option I had forgotten about would be the Crimson Trace IR laser.
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

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