I often pass time scrolling through Ebay and Gun Broker looking for unusual military firearm items related to AR-15/M-16/M4. After 32 years in the Army and being interested in military firearms my entire adult life, there isn’t much that I’m not familiar with. However, when I saw the Patriot Technology P203QLAM2 on Ebay I was mystified. It is an M203 accessory that I had never seen before. When I first looked at the auction listing photos, I wasn’t convinced that the P203QLAM2 was a legitimate piece of military equipment. I immediately turned to the internet to see what I could learn.
The only information that I could find on the Patriot Technology P203QLAM2 was an article posted by the 307th Bomb Wing of the United States Air Force and the contract award data that was miraculously saved on ‘The 5.56 x 45mm Timeline’ that is hosted here on www.looserounds.com and managed by Mr. Daniel Watters. These two sources of information validated that the P203QLAM2 really was a piece of military equipment so I clicked the ‘Buy It Now’ option for $110.00.
The military history of the P203QLAM2 began in March 2007 with the contract award by the United States Air Force Combat Command to Patriot Technology for an unknown number of sights. Here is the contract verbage as posted on the ‘5.56 x 45mm Timeline’.
“March 2007- USAF Air Combat Command, Mountain Home AFB – 366 CONS awards a $11,850 contract to Patriot Technology for M203 IR Quadrant sights.”
There probably wasn’t many sights procured. If the government was charged around $300 per sight unit, this would have equated to roughly 39 or 40 sight units received. $200 per sight unit would have equated to 59 or 60 sight units. I would be surprised if they were priced much lower than that.
Per the introduction on the single page (double-sided) ‘Field Manual P-FM1-04.1 (images provided later in this post),”The P203QLAM2 was created to add night targeting capability to the M203 grenade launcher quadrant sight and to adapt the assembly to allow mounting on the receiver top rail forward of the CCO(M68). The addition of the invisible laser allows the shooter to engage targets at night using night vision goggles.”
As mentioned previously, the only other information that I could find on the grenade launcher sight was and article published by the 307th Bomb Wing of the United States Air Force. The article documented the 917th Security Forces Squadron qualifying with the M203 grenade launcher on November 4th, 2010 at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana just prior to deployment. The P203QLAM2 can be seen mounted on their weapons. I added the red box to the images so that you could easily locate the P203QLAM2.
Link to original article: https://www.307bw.afrc.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/183241/917th-sfs-train-with-the-m203/
The P203QLAM2 came in a simple heavy duty cardboard box. There are no significant markings on the box except for a ‘Made In USA’ label and a nomenclature label on one end of the box.
Inside the box, the sight was wrapped in simple brown kraft paper. I do not know if this is how these units actually shipped or if this is just how this thing has traveled since leaving the military inventory.
The ‘Field Manual P-FM1-04.1’ is a single page, double-sided document that provides all needed information on the sight unit.
The P203QLAM2 consists of 3 assembly groups. 1) The mounting adapter 2) the quadrant sight 3) the laser.
The mounting adapter is a simple affair that consists of a steel plate that is 3-5/8″ long and 1-1/8″ of an inch wide. The steel plate connects to the normal spacer that is used with the military specification quadrant sight. The mounting adapter has a simple thumb screw assembly that enables the P203QLAM2 to be mounted to the 1913 rail.
The quadrant sight is no different from the standard issue NSN: 1010-01-442-2313 quadrant sight for use on carry handles except that it uses the previously discussed mounting adapter. The quadrant sight is adjustable from 50 meters to 400 meters in 25 meter increments.
The P203QLAM2 is rated at 780nm (nanometers). To give this some context for people who are not familiar with laser light, visible light is produced in the 380nm to about 700nm spectrum. 700nm to 1mm produces Infra-Red (IR) light which is invisible to the human eye.
The laser is housed in an aluminum tube type assembly that sits atop an offset steel mount. The offset steel mount is secured to the top of the M203 quadrant sight arm. The laser body moves up and down with the quadrant sight arm as the M203 gunner makes range adjustments.
The laser is adjustable for elevation and windage. There is a ‘lock’ screw that is used to secure the elevation and windage screws after adjustments have been made. The control cable that extends from the rear of the laser body is 15 inches in length as measured from the back of the laser body to the end of the pressure switch.
The ‘Field Manual’ that comes with the P203QLAM2 does not say anything about what type of battery is supposed to be used with the sight unit. With a little bit of mechanical reasoning, I figured out how to get into the battery compartment. You access the battery compartment by rotating the knurled backplate on the sight body counter-clockwise to remove the battery cover. Removing the battery cover revealed a single CR123A (Lithium) battery. You insert the battery cover into the battery compartment and turn it clockwise to reinstall it.
Overall, the P203QLAM2 is a pretty unique piece of equipment. The device is pretty simplified. Although construction seems to be sturdy, this item does not strike me as being durable long-term and perhaps that is why it only earned a blip in the history of military small arms.
The images below are of a ‘clone’ of the Air Force weapon shown in the photos above that I put together from items in my collection. The base rifle is the Colt LE6920SOCOM (2018 model) with a Colt M203 grenade launcher. My Colt M203 has a 9″ barrel whereas the M203 shown in the Air Force photographs has a standard 12″ barrel. I used an Aimpoint M2 red dot sight along with the Knights Armament M203 leaf sight as seen in the photos. Lastly, you see the P203QLAM2 installed. I did not ‘install’ the switch cord in any way. It is simply laying along the hand guard of the carbine.