Words and Pics: Dean
Realism – that’s the hook, the draw that got me in to airsoft a few years back. After twenty three years in the Army, my teenage son persuaded me to go with him to the local store and once I saw the realism of the RIFs (especially the GBBRs) I was more hooked than he was!
I used various types of nods during my Army career, lots of “lightweight and man portable”! But it was only in the latter years of my career we moved to helmet mounted devices. Being a lover of the realism that airsoft has to offer, it was only a matter of time before I managed to obtain a decent PVS14. Naturally – fuelled by Zero Dark Thirty, Seal Team and countless CoDs – to go with your nods you need a laser and preferably an IR laser. And so began another expensive journey that has led me to here!
I have used the various clone PEQ 15s (FMA, Emerson etc.) with reasonable levels of success.
I’ve modded my latest one internally to give me more travel on the laser adjusters, to allow me more freedom when zeroing the laser. It’s not too bad. The IR laser is pretty good and when combined with a decent IR light, it’s a good combo. The downside is it rarely holds zero on a GBBR and when switching between visible and IR lasers you have to re-zero or just aim off. It’s the limitations of the device we just learn to live with.
Last year I became aware of the Invisiblesight products. I contacted them and after a few emails I paid up and began to wait. To be fair, I ordered right at the start of a new RnD phase. So, nine months later, my new PEQ15/LA5 arrived!
So is it worth the wait? The cost? Does it live up to the hype?
First impressions when opening are very impressive. It feels hefty and solid and very different from all the others on the market. The switches and adjusters all have a satisfying click.
As you can see in the pic, it comes with a lifetime warranty, a set of pattern generators and even a battery!
And it only takes one CR123A, just like the real thing – which must say something about its efficiency.
So far, I’ve only been able to test this at home and have not been able to test it in a decent out door environment. With the pics included here, I’ve tried to show as much detail as possible. The pics through my nods were taken using the still camera facility on a Brain Exploder Merch NVG Recording System (another excellent piece of kit, that I’m still getting to grips with).
So, what are the pros and what are the cons?
It zeros very easily with the confidence-inspiring detente clicks, and it co-witnessed perfectly with both visible red and IR lasers. It also has an IR illuminator that is zero-able, so it sits perfectly around your zeroed IR laser.
It has both high power (HP) and low power (LP) settings, for both lasers and the illuminator.
On LP the IR laser is comparable to the FMA IR lasers, on HP it’s like a light sabre reaching out to your target! The combination of variable power, the illuminator and your decent IR light gives you the flexibility for all occasions.
It even comes with the allen screws in the stowed position, so you can block off the HP settings when you’re up against a “live enemy” – so you don’t inadvertently select them. Very useful and very safe!
Indoors in total darkness, the IR settings are very bright, but outdoors, (based on my limited testing) it really comes in to its own.
The warranty is very reassuring. It is sold as waterproof and having been developed on real firearms it should cope with anything the most angry GBBR can throw at it.
Well apart from the expense, the only other complaint I have is that the remote pressure switch provided with it doesn’t work.
Fortunately I had already bought a Surefire dual remote switch…but this didn’t work either. After a bit of fiddling, by pulling the jack plug out slightly, I managed to achieve a good connection and it worked on the Surefire switch, but not on the one provided.
I have contacted Invisiblesight and we’re currently discussing this issue. This article will be updated when resolved.
So, is it worth it?
If you can afford it and you want the convenience and confidence of co-witnessed lasers and the high quality feel of zeroing your device so positively, then yes.
You’re probably already spending a huge amount of cash on nods and IR lights anyway. This is like the cherry on the cake. If you’re happy with the limitations of the FMA/Emerson type devices and can work around – and it works for you – then probably not.
I’m sure there will be lots of safety concerns surrounding these devices, as there are with lasers at many sites. Night games or training events with nods and IR lasers are a very niche market; the use of HP lasers in these will have to be done sensibly and with good control measures in place, in order to ensure the safety of all those involved. I know from the guys I’ve played and trained with, that in these niche events, safety precautions are taken seriously.