Of all the items I see on prepping websites, there is one that is almost always missing. Among the piles of guns and truckloads of ammunition, radiation detectors, and gas masks, I never see what should be considered mission-critical equipment. Infrared gear.
I know from the Global War on Terror, as does everyone else that fought in that conflict, what happens if you try and fight people that can see in the dark when you can’t. You die. End of story.
There is no magical tactic or “Johnnie Rambo” way around fighting in the dark. It is one of the few places technology not only makes a difference, it makes a decisive difference.
There are two pieces to this equation, night vision goggles (or devices) and infrared (IR) aiming lasers. Today, we are taking a look at lasers. I teamed up with my buddies over at US NightVision for a closer look at their first civilian-legal laser aiming device: the Triad C1 Class 1 Green-IR Dual Beam Laser, or Triad C1 for short.
First, we must discuss the civilian legal part. Lasers are controlled items, strictly governed by ITAR regulation. There is a maximum output for non-military/law enforcement IR lasers for two reasons. First, higher power lasers can be used by nefarious miscreants to blind people. Second, we have a vested interest in making sure foreign militaries don’t get their hands on our high-power laser technology.
- 0.7mW 830nm IR Illuminator
- 0.5mW 520nm Green Laser
- Anodized Aluminum Housing
- 1/4 MOA Windage / Elevation
- Dial Type Control Switch
- Single Tap Button or Remote Activation
- Two Picatinny Mounts
- Made in the USA
So, does this mean the one you can buy and have delivered to your front door is weak sauce? Heck no!
This Triad C1 will still reach out and do its job. During testing on a moonless night in Idaho, it was easily capable of engaging targets as far as my PVS-14 GEN III googles could see. Which is about 250 meters, give or take.
The difference between this civilian version and the military one only comes into play when you’re running super advanced equipment, like a Universal Night Sight that clips in front of a riflescope. And if you are running a $30,000-night sight, you probably don’t need my opinion on the matter.
The Triad C1 is feature rich, and a very impressive unit for its price point. It is small and runs on a single CR-123 battery. It includes a visible laser, IR aiming laser, and an IR illuminator, hence the name Triad.
All of those are important. The visible laser and IR aiming laser are mounted in a parallel orientation, which means moving one moves the other. This does two things. First, you can zero the IR laser in daylight with the visible laser. You actually don’t even need to fire to zero. Move the laser to the right beside your aiming dot, and you are good to go. Second, you can use the visible aiming laser if you don’t have your night vision goggles on.
The laser technology in this unit is second to none. I have used a lot of them, including several generations of military ones. The Triad C1 features the sharpest beam I have ever seen on an IR laser, which allows for pinpoint shooting. Think of the beam dispersal like a red dot optic. A tighter beam would be more like a 2 MOA dot. And a wider beam would be like a 6 MOA dot. That really starts to matter past 100 yards or so.
The illuminator or floodlight is also clean. The beam is adjustable for dispersion, which makes it useful at more ranges. Like the adjustment on a Maglite, you can make it wide for close range targets, or narrow to really reach far out.
During SHOT Show, but available on the website to the general public as well, the Triad C1 is at a special price. You can pick up it up for $695 when you use discount code GunsAmerica, which makes it the best deal I have ever seen on an IR aiming laser.
Even if you don’t have goggles yet, this is worth picking up. The usual price for this model is $999, and every comparable unit I have seen in closer to $1,500. If I had more money lying around, I would buy two.