Thread: Night Vision
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Old April 19, 1999, 07:51 PM   #1
David Schmidbauer
Retired Screen Name
Join Date: November 17, 2000
Posts: 396
No... Not Electronics, Night Sight.. NO! not Tritium things. Human Night Sight... ya know - like rods & cones.

While reading “Time to Hunt” by Steven Hunter** the main character, Bob (the Nailer), makes a field expedient flash suppressor so that he can engage targets (VC) at night.

Well well… so someone thinks like I do. Some years ago I decided to set up my AR for low light/night engagements. Being of limited funds I couldn’t drop mega $$ into the project. I thought it through… needed an aiming device and somehow I had to eliminate the flash signature. OK where does the $$ go. I decided to spend the bulk of my funds on the Flash Eliminator (better know as a Suppressor, aka silencer) and just get Tritium sights (front & Back) instead of a NV Scope.

Now, we all know that muzzle flash does two things during a night shoot. First it screws your night vision. Second it marks your location. Both of what can have their down side. Short of putting a flash eliminator on every firearm the only way we can control flash is to buy some of the reduced flash loads available out there. But there will still be a flash of some sort marking our spot and...

With any sort of flash our night vision is degraded to some extent. Yep… we can carry a flashlight (as I do) but there are times when you wouldn’t want to use one to illuminate your target (or, as probably will happen, the batteries are dead). I did a very unscientific test of this one night when some friends came down to shoot. It was an overcast night so there wasn’t much ambient light. We put up subdued targets and then engaged them from approx 15 – 20 yards (which was the farthest we could make them out with our eyes adjusted to full night vision).

We then engaged the target using our shotfuns. We figured shotfuns as they had the most flash. Both were set-up with sights and both have minimum legal bbl length (i.e. lots of flash). We found that it took from 3 – 5 seconds after a shot for us to see the targets again. Ok… with a miss or a bad hit 3 – 5 seconds before a follow up shot could be a lifetime (pun intended). Of course after the shot you have to move so now you are not oriented on the target the same. Additionally… what if you target moves also? It takes you 3 – 5 seconds to reacquire your night vision your target may now be 10 yards or so from where it last was.

One technique we found that worked was to close our eyes. NO NO not all the time… but at that exact nano-second that we are committed to shot, our sights are on target and they are lined up, and we press the trigger… we closed our eyes. First thing to check was was the shot on target… they all were. Then how long did it take to reacquire the target. We were able to reacquire the target as soon as the shotfun was brought down out of recoil back on target… might as well say immediately.

Without closing our eyes it took approx 6 or more seconds to engage 3 targets. With closing our eyes we were able to engage all three targets in a mormal time frame (just a little slower then during dusk)

OK now I know some of you are going to scream “Close your eyes? What are you Friggen Crazy?”. Lets go with the assumption you have no flashlight, you have identified your target (s) and you must engage. Can anyone think of another way to cut the follow-up shot time due to loss of night vision?

Anyone? Anyone?

** Very good book… but it is third in the “Bob the Nailer” series. The Series needs to be read in this order… “Point of Impact” “Black Light” “Time to Hunt”.

Schmit, GySgt, USMC(Ret)
NRA Life, Lodge 1201-UOSSS
"Si vis Pacem Para Bellum"

[This message has been edited by David Schmidbauer (edited April 19, 1999).]

[This message has been edited by David Schmidbauer (edited April 19, 1999).]
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