Night Op’s and HEAT 1 Observations

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    • #132818
      First Sergeant

        Night Op’s:

        Switchology- Learning where your switches are located by feel in the dark is extremely important. Several students had issues with where their pressure pads were located. You need to have them placed so that you can easily turn lights or lasers on without having to do hand gymnastics to make it work. The only way to do that is to practice in the dark. You don’t need live fire to figure out the right location. Go in the basement and turn the lights out and practice turning lights, lasers and NOD’s on and off.

        Spares- You need to ensure that you have backup pressure switches. One student had his go down and someone had a spare. To go with that, how is your switch secured? Is it going to take a white light and tools to replace it? Things to consider.

        Batteries-Ensure that you have spares. And then spares for the spares. Most of the batteries we are talking about are small and weigh nothing. Batteries can do weird things especially in cold weather. Make sure you can replace batteries in all of your gear in the dark. You may not have the luxury of turning a light on to see what you are doing.

        To go along with that, if you have lasers, lights(IR or white) or NOD’s that run off of AA or AAA batteries, do not store them with the batteries in that piece of equipment. Especially with alkaline batteries. If it is something that is not used regularly the batteries will swell and then eventually leak. One student had that issue and it took a little bit to get the battery out. I have never seen this issue with CR-123 batteries.

        White Light-You do have that capability on your rifle, right?

        Ammo-Make sure the ammo you are using doesn’t light up like a spotlight when shot at night. Ammo that is loaded hot can cause that. It produces a huge signature.

        HEAT1 Class

        Biggest issue during this class was gas issues with rifles. One student had the gas key come loose. I could move it. It looked like it had been staked but it wasn’t done very well. It was Bushmaster.

        Another student had gas rings go bad that had about 1500 rounds through them. The book answer is 5000 rounds but you need to check them. I do it after every range trip. This was a PSA “Premium” bolt.

        Slings-Make sure your sling has adjustment in it so you can tighten or loosen on the go. It will make things lot easier. Stay away from single point slings.

        Muzzle Devices-If you aren’t running a suppressor all the time, get rid of the pronged muzzle devices. We call them tuning forks and loudners for a reason. A standard A2 birdcage is all you need.

        Mag Pouches-You want mag pouches that you can insert and extract a magazine easily one handed. Several students had pouches with the shock cord retainers. They found out how much of a pain it can be to get a magazine back in the pouch one handed

        Signal Out, Can You Identify
        Je ne regrette rien
        In Orbe Terrum Non Visi

      • #132819
        Joe (G.W.N.S.)

          Great stuff First Sergeant!

          Batteries can do weird things especially in cold weather.

          I recommend Lithium batteries for cold weather, the lithium chemistry is more resilient in cold temperatures providing longer useful life compared to alkaline in same conditions.

        • #132854

            Thank you for the post and feedback.
            I had a switch activation/location issue during the Night Ops class, currently working on resolving the issue.

            Team Rekkr

          • #132862
            Mike Q

              Thank you 1st Sergeant. It was an illuminating class.

            • #132865

                Re: Switches on DBAL – I’d caution against direct pressure.

                My 1st class with Max, I kept having trouble illuminating with the IR. I was NOT using a pressure switch. My gloved thumb was too big to activate the switch on the device. I switched (see what I did there?) over to a remote pressure switch and have not had problems since.

                As always, good information!

              • #132908

                  Thanks for these class observations. I don’t have much to add to the conversations, but I listen and apply other’s lessons.

                • #132929

                    My gun was the one that had the bad rings SMH. And that was the backup gun, my primary weapon totally crapped out for still un-diagnosed reasons. With the rings replaced she jammed three times at the alumni weekend with frangible ammo. I have some new parts for the main gun and hope to take both to my range this coming week. I’ll be stepping through shooting in a more controlled environment to troubleshoot. Been laid up with the flu since getting back from the VTC. The weapons malfunctions during HEAT exercises were enlightening to say the least and a lesson to be learned. Thanks Scott.

                  • #132974
                    Robert Henry

                      If your running an OTAL-C folks, remember it does NOT have a fire button on the unit, you are totally dependent on the remote pressure switch.

                      Also, for any of the more common IR lasers/illuminators- have an extra battery tail cap. Like above, the unit will not function without it.

                      The output caps on the IR lasers- the little rubber bandy type covers- they will continue to function if these are lost or break. My original DBAL-I2 ran for about 8 years without the caps. When removing them, always use light pressure and try to just move it enough to flip the cover over. Versus pulling it out a bunch and then turning it over.

                      Tethers- You must tether your unit, period. Wilcox makes some gucchi tethers and there are some chinese knockoffs that are cheap.

                      If your helmet has the bungees with the hook- put a small key chain ring on the 14 and clip the bungee hook to that.

                      If nothing else go old school with 550 or a well secured neck cord and wrap AROUND the helmet mount and tie.

                      The flip up shut off feature on ANY PVS14 is the least reliable feature on the device- get into the habit of always turning it off manually before flipping it up to avoid backlighting.

                      Note also that using a non standard J arm will most definitely not allow this feature to work- i.e, a Wilcox J arm.

                      As 1st Sgt noted at the class- have a couple spare J arms. They come from the factory TIGHT in most helmet mounts. You may need to push/pull a few dozen times to “work” it into various helmet mounts right off the bat. There is usually a LITTLE wiggle. So “wiggle it, just a little bit…” :good:

                      Batteries- always, as in never frickin forget, remove the battery from your device after each night. Make it a part of your standard SOP for packing it away. The only real warranty “issues” we see are with people leaving batteries in devices for a long period of time and having the battery go to crap. I don’t think alkaline, lithium, nuclear fusion battery, etc. Take the damn thing out EVERY time your done. You can avoid most of these crazy stories you hear online of people burning in their tubes accidentally leaving them on in their truck at night then it stays on the dashboard facing the sun all day, etc. before Bubba finds it again type of thing by simply REMOVING THE BATTERIES every time.

                      I think a wordpad file with general PVS14 questions/common care type stuff I will post separately if anyone is interested (don’t want to junk up 1st Sgt. thread).


                      Lost my MVT class list- been here a time or two :)
                      Team Coyote. Rifleman Challenge- Vanguard

                    • #132987


                        Quote – I think a wordpad file with general PVS14 questions/common care type stuff I will post separately if anyone is interested.

                        ABSOLUTELY!! PLEASE!

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