How to Set Up a Rifle for NV Use


There are two principles we follow when setting up a rifle for use with night vision. First, we MUST be able to access both an IR laser/ illuminator AND a white light - intermittently and on demand.  This allows us to A) assess and accurately engage threats and B) respond to situations where light conditions are not in our favor (subjects with flashlights or backlighting). In the domestic US, or in other developed urban areas, we absolutely have to account for the fact that light conditions can change. Second, we need to minimize changes or variations between our 'day rifle' and our 'night rifle'. This applies to grip AND sight picture. To the greatest extent possible, we want to build on the training and experience we've gained shooting during the day. We do not want to have to train past the equivalent of training scars. This is especially relevant to the position of the laser on our rifle. 


The equipment list for NV rifle use is pretty simple- and pretty universal.  You'll need an IR Laser with a built-in illuminator,


ATPIAL-C - we recommend this laser for most applications. It's the eye-safe version of the military's AN/PEQ-15 aiming laser. It has a slight advantage over the DBAL-D2 in terms of reliability.

DBAL-D2 - The D2 has a better IR illuminator than the ATPIAL-C. The illuminator uses LED rather than a laser, which means that it isn't limited by FDA power restrictions. If you're going to be doing a lot of hunting or other longer-range outdoor work, we recommend the D2.

AN/PEQ-15 ATPIAL (Full powered) - This laser is restricted to government users, and it requires a bit of paperwork from the agency/ department. 


Surefire is the only answer when it comes to weapon lights. No one else meets our reliability standards right now. When using NVGs, we like an M600U Scout Light, Tail Cap, and Dual Plug Tape Switch.  This allows you to use either IR laser/ illuminator OR white light on demand, which is critical when you're working in areas where light conditions are varied or unpredictable.