The ATPIAL-C is the most reliable, functional IR laser that we've seen for domestic LE or civilian use. It has an IR laser pointer, an IR illuminator, and visible laser. All are locked on low power, which makes the laser more accessible and generally more safe.
The ATPIAL-C (Advanced Target Pointer/Illuminator Aiming Laser – Commercial) is a multi-function Class1 & Class 3R Infrared/Visible laser from L-3/Insight Technology. It features an Infrared Laser Pointer, Visible Laser Pointer (Red), and Infrared Laser Illuminator. Based on the standard issue AN/PEQ-15 (Class IIIb) for the U.S. Warfighter, the ATPIAL-C’s Class1/3R power makes it completely eye-safe and available to the general public.
Class1 Infrared Lasers feature a 0.7mW rating which is not restricted by the FDA. Class1 Infrared Laser Pointers will easily reach out to 450 yards, encompassing most target engagement ranges when paired with a night vision goggle for the civilian and law enforcement professional. Considering that Gen3 Night Vision Goggles have a maximum target identification range of 100-115 yards, the 450 yard range of the ATPIAL-C is perfect.
The ATPIAL-C is a MILSPEC laser system, taken off the same production line as its full power counterpart, the ATPIAL. The only difference is the ATPIAL-C is fitted with a Class1 infrared laser pointer diode and Class 3R infrared laser illuminator (fixed focus – non rotating and epoxied in place) diode, instead of the full power (restricted) Class IIIb diodes. All other parts, components, and accessories are exactly the same as the standard issue AN/PEQ-15. The Red Visible and Infrared Laser Pointers are slaved so that zeroing one will zero the other in tandem. The Infrared Laser Illuminator is a true laser illuminator system, producing no bright downrange visible signature as seen in infrared LED’s. In order to stay within civilian legal guidelines, the Illuminator is lower power, able to reach 150 yards and is non-adjustable. This is perfect for short to medium range engagements. Like the full power ATPIAL, the ATPIAL-C’s Infrared Illuminator can be used to wash out the bloom of the Infrared Laser Pointer at engagement distances.
The way the ATPIAL-C works and is then FDA rated is simple and genius. Class1 lasers are eye safe since they are under 1mW at the point of measure. In a focused laser, you get about 450 yards range. But a Class1 illuminator will have significantly shorter range since it must be wider to be used as an illuminator. In fact, it would be useless as a weapon-mounted illuminator. Insight got around this by upping the power of the illuminator to 3mW (which is FDA class IIIR). If it were a visible laser, this would be no issue. But, IR lasers cannot be over 1mW in measured output. So, Insight made the illuminator “fixed” so that it cannot be rotated and adjusted. By doing this, they set it at a point where any measureable spot of the wide beam will register under 1mW, making it eye safe. This gives the illuminator enough power to reach 125-150 yards while keeping it civilian legal.
The ATPIAL-C is a low profile laser system that mounts to any standard M1913 Picatinny Rail. It’s design allows it to sit lower on the rail than most other lasers, creating a “saddle bag” affect, so as not to impede the shooter’s sight picture when mounted at the 12 o’clock position. Its glass-reinforced high-strength polymer body housing is very robust and impact resistant. The unit features a simple dial selector for changing the output settings on top of the housing. Activation is achieved via the included remote pressure pad or on-board “fire” button. A rear-facing battery compartment makes changing batteries simple and convenient, even when the unit is pushed all the way forward against a standard AR Front Sight Base (by the way: you should never store your expensive night vision and lasers with the batteries installed). Windage and elevation adjustments require a small flat head screw driver and produce positive clicks.