Night vision devices are very tough, they are also very fragile.
This is a picture of damage to a night vision tube, where someone swapped out the weapon rated tube in a night vision scope with one that isn’t weapon rated. After firing a few shots, this is the permanent damage to this tube.
I’m not familiar with how night vision works, but most of these designs there are components that are right next to each other that will fail if they touch each other. Damage due to firearm recoil tends to be at the center of the field of view right where these layers can flex the most.
It is a real shame, as this was a really nice tube. Most of the newest night vision devices are not very durable regarding recoil. Something like a AN/PVS-14 should be able to handle a 5.56×45, but larger calibers (or even ones like .300BO) can damage it. Air rifles recoil differently than firearms and can cause night vision to fail.
If you are planning to weapon mount a night vision device, make sure the one you have is designed to handle it.
We have seen a few really nifty M1 carbines out of Inland the last few years. It was just a matter of time before they offered us the version the least known or seen. The M3 was the variant done up to mount a huge active IR night vision “sniper” scope and a huge battery to run it. It didn’t really pan out at the time but it’s existence did mean the carbine Colt version of the M16 would forever be known as the M4.
Now, if you add some normal day time optic to the handy little carbine that is another story. Above you can see the base/ring mounting system Inland has developed for the mounting of optics. Simply put, the base uses the redfield/leupold turn in front ring and dual windage screw rear ring system. any rings you want to buy that work in this manner will fit and work. And it works really well. I chose to put a vintage Weaver K4 on the gun as it is more evocative of the time period this gun had its short heyday.
The machine work Inland put in on this is kinda of amazing. My friend and partner in crime when it comes to our more insane long range shooting ideas is an experienced machinist and when I showed it to him, we both at first thought the base was part of the receiver and machined into shape. It took a surefire light and a closer look to see that it was indeed not part of the gun. It really is a beautiful job.
One of the things that sticks out on the M3 was the cone flash suppressor. Inland did not forget this iconic attachment. And it is attachable. As you can see above it is a simple system. You can chose to put it on or leave it off. I found it did not really impact accuracy any amount I could determine while on and shooting at ranges the 30 carbine round was meant for. There was slight changes when shooting with our without though and depending on the mood or whichever gun you may have, the amount of re-zeroing could vary. I did not bother to re adjust the optic as it was less than 3/4 inch impact change and I was shooting for groups and location on the target did not matter to me.
As expected, being able to use some magnification helped with group size at longer ranges. The Inland M1s have been accurate for me over years since starting to test them.
Group above was shot off bags from bench at 100 yards. The group is a 10 round group and the one flyer I offer no excuse for other than I just touched it off without being ready. The group below was fired at the head at 150 yards.
All groups were fired using federal soft point LEO ammo. I have no idea where I ever got this ammo from but it is pretty accurate. Unfortunately I used all I had left for this test. Target below was fired at center body of target from 300 yards. With the optic it was pretty easy. It is still a carbine meant for combat but I can’t imagine anyone with any sense really having much to complain about its performance at this range. But I am sure some one will in the comments.
Hey, what more could you ask for considering the limitations of the round? Pair the optic with a Korean era 30 round magazine and you got one heck of a neat little carbine for something. Walking around the farm shooting ground hogs or maybe short range coyote gun. With proper bullet selection maybe even white tail at shorter ranges. I don’t know, your imagination is the limit. It doesn’t need justification if you want it. if you think it’s neat then buy one. The quality won’t let you down, nor it’s looks.
I apologize for not having a full glamour shot of the gun with optic for this review. Something went badly wrong with my camera during the uploading process. The camera decided to die after 9 years and it took the remaining pictures with it. This includes the rest of the groups shots and the glamour shots of the gun posed with period militaria collectibles and all that crap you are used to seeing when I do these. That is also why this review seems shorter than normal. It’s not just your imagination or my laziness. I have been trying to recover those photos and if so I will update this review ASAP. To add to that this was the first time I didn’t bother to back up every picture by taking the same pictures with my Iphone just in case.
Saw a case recently where someone saw an ATN night vision scope on a website for sale for $40 instead of the usual $700-800. They asked online if it was a scam, many people told them it was. They ordered it anyways. After a while the site went down. They did receive a toy lightsaber from the company, so I suppose it wasn’t a total loss.
Another person ordered a Surefire light from Amazon. They received a Surefire knockoff from Amazon. Not sure if the seller was selling knockoffs as real, or if someone bought a real one, returned a knockoff, and it got resent to this person.
I’m starting to get a little worried because I bought something on Gunbroker and the seller wanted a certified check. After they received it they have stopped contact and have not shipped it yet.
Today we have another re-post from our departed friend. Kevin O’Brien, AKA “Hognose” owner and writer of weaponsman.com.
There’s a bunch of little news bits going around the Army about
maintenance issues and problems. We’ll cover them from most to least
Item: Somebody Blew It
File photo of failed M9 slide. Not the mishap firearm.
In late 2015, a very high (but unknown) round count M9 pistol had a
catastrophic failure of the slide. With the Army scrimping on O&M
money, especially on the ripe-for-replacement Beretta handgun, failures
are not unusual and usually turn out to be fatigue failures from parts
that have been carelessly used long past their service life. So was this
one. The pistol was older than the soldier shooting it, and, as it
turned out, someone, somewhere had pencil-whipped the maintenance
Slides fail every week, somewhere in an Army with hundreds of
thousands of pistols that were almost all bought 30 years ago. But what
happened next wasn’t supposed to happen. When the pistol slide
failed at the slide’s weakest point, the locking-block cuts, the rear
half of the slide kept on motoring, striking the GI in the cheek and
upper jaw area and causing non-life-threatening injuries.
The investigation determined that a mandatory maintenance work order, MWO 9-1005-317–30-10-1, issued twenty-seven years ago in
March, 1989, had never been complied with. They couldn’t track where
the pistol was at the time it was not repaired; Army units and
activities with M9s had until June, 1993 to comply.
Somebody reported that his M9s were in compliance, when they
weren’t. This is what you get when a zero-defects, up-or-out culture
undermines integrity while at the same time penny-pinching undermines maintenance. The soldier who drew that defective M9, and every soldier that’s been drawing and shooting it since 1989, is
damned lucky to be alive. (Fortunately, when a slide fails on most
pistols (or a bolt on a Mauser C96, etc.), gravity usually ensures that
the part hits below the eye, on cheek, jaw, chest or shoulder).
Meanwhile, the Army sent an urgent Safety-of-Use message mandating an
Army-wide inspection of all M9s for completion of the MWO. Since the
resources for completing the MWO no longer exist, the remedial action is
to immediately deadline and turn in the offending M9 and draw a
How many units pencil-whipped their response to that ALARACT message?
Item: Safety? Sometimes it’s Evolution in Action
Word is, some genius removed himself from the breeding population of Homo sapiens in
2014 by “improvising” M203 ammo (may have been 320) by cutting the
links off of (higher-pressure) Mk19 belted ammo. The links were actually
designed so they couldn’t snap off by hand, to prevent that.
Can we get a “FOOM!” from the assembled multitudes?
And oh, yeah, trying to belt up 203 ammo and fire it in an Mk 19
leads to FOOM also, of a different variety — out of battery ignition.
Another opportunity for poka-yoke missed.
Item: Ambi Selectors Reaching Troops.. slowly
The Army has finally woken up to two facts:
About 10% of the troops are left-handed, and
There are lots of good ambi selectors available.
So the Army chose one and put it into the pipeline. So far so good,
right? Not entirely. The selectors are only being replaced when the
weapons are overhauled. And they don’t fit in the M12 racks many units
still have. Work around is to cut a notch in the rack with a torch, or
with a file and plenty of time, or to bend the part of the rack that
hits the right-side selector out of shape so that the selector clears
Also, the slow migration of the ambi selectors means not all M4/M16
weapons in any given unit have them. Why don’t they just push the parts
down to the unit armorers? Three reasons:
The big one: they’re afraid of armorers stealing parts if they take rifles apart
It doesn’t fit the concept of echeloned maintenance, even though that’s being streamlined;
They don’t trust the armorers let alone the Joes, not to botch the installation.
On top of that, of course, it’s not penny wise and pound foolish in the great Army tradition.
Item: New Stuff Coming in, Old Stuff Going Out
A number of new arms are reaching the troops, and old arms are going
away. We’ll have more about that in the future, especially the M2A1 and
the coming “rationalization” of an explosion of shotguns and sniper
rifles. We just broke it out of this post to keep the length manageable.
biggest single problem the Army has with the current pair of machine
guns (M240 and M249) is burned out barrels. That’s caused by not
changing barrels, either in combat, or especially on the range. Often,
units go out without the spare barrel so it’s not like they gave
themselves any option. (The M2 version of this is going out with only
one set of gages for the M2s. The gages are not required for the M2A1).
The Army is falling back into the peacetime mindset of “leave it in the
arms room and we can’t lose it.” True enough, we’ll just destroy the one
we take out instead.
The fact is, and it’s a fact widely unknown to GIs, MGs have
rate-of-sustained-fire limitations that are lower than they think.
(Remember the MGs that failed at Wanat? They were being operated well
outside their designed, tested envelope).
The M249 should never be fired more than 200 rounds rapid fire from a cold barrel.
Then, change to a cold barrel, repeat. The Army being the Army, there
are geniuses who think that they can burn a couple belts in a few
seconds, change barrels, burn a couple belts in a couple more seconds,
then put the original honkin’ hot barrel back in and burn — you get the
idea. If you have a situation where you’re going to fire a lot of rounds
from a single position, like a predeployment MG familiarization for
support troops or a defensive position, you might want to lay in some
extra barrels (and yes, Army supply makes that all but impossible, so
you have to cannibalize your other MGs).
The M240 is a little more tolerant but should still be changed every 2
to 10 minutes of firing, and even more frequently if the firing tends
towards real sustained fire. (The deets are in the FM, which is mostly
only available on .pdf these days).
One last thought, your defensive MG positions need to have
alternate, displace positions, and you need to displace after sustained
fire from one position — unless you want to share your hole with an
exploding RPG, ATGM or mortar round. “Where’s your secondary position?”
or “-fallback position?” should not produce the Polish Salute.
As ordnance experts have observed ever since World War II, a barrel
can be burnt out due to overheat and still mic and even air-gauge good.
You only know it’s hosed when it can’t shoot straight.
Well-maintained MGs are more accurate than people seem to give them
credit for. Some SOF elements have selective fire M240s and really,
really like them. (The standard M240 has no semi setting). They’re
capable of surprising accuracy from the tripod.
ITEM: For Want of a Cord, a Career was Lost
GIs frequently lose or throw away the idiot cord on the PVS-14 night
vision monocular. If these sights were being properly inspected, which
they usually aren’t until a team comes in just before deployment, they’d
be tagged NMC (non mission capable) for missing that stupid cord. You
don’t want to be in the bursting radius of a unit CO who’s just been
told 85% of his night vision is NMC… especially when that news is
delivered in earshot of his rater and senior rater. It’s a bull$#!+
requirement but it’s in the book, and if the Army ever has to choose
between following the book or winning the war, the book comes up trumps
You’re not going to stop GIs from losing cords, but replacement cords are in the supply catalog
I am a big fan of Keeping It Simple, Stupid (K.I.S.S.). But I hate when the idea is used wrongly. K.I.S.S. should be used to help prevent failure both in equipment and operator, not as an excuse to save money or reduce capability.
With regarding firearms, I often see the argument for K.I.S.S. used when a fighting long arm is set up with only iron sights, and no accessories. Now if your gun is only a toy, set it up however you have the most fun with it. But if you intend to fight with a firearm, wouldn’t it be foolish to not give your self every advantage you can get when your life is on the line?
A basic iron sighted AR is often shown when the term K.I.S.S. starts getting thrown around.
We know guns are expensive. It can hurt to have to open the checkbook again to cover the cost of an optic. But are iron sights really a better choice for a fighting weapon? I’ve seen people say that iron sights never fail. I don’t know about you guys but I’ve bent several front sight posts. To get to my main argument on sights, I think it is clear that optics are far simpler to use than iron sights.
When you put a gun into the hands of a complete novice, you will see that they are much quicker and more confident with an optic. Especially something simple like a red dot or duplex reticle. Many of us may say that it is better to start training someone with iron sights, but the benefit of any optic becomes extraordinarily clear when you put a firearm in the hands of a novice. Those advantages don’t disappear when you put that same firearm in the hands of an experienced shooter. Optics provide greater speed, target identification, and just general ease of use over iron sights. Really, trying to argue otherwise is foolhardy.
Once I had someone tell me that scopes were only for people too lazy to shoot with iron sights. I asked him if our U.S. Military Snipers were too lazy to use iron sights and he sorta hemmed and hawed with out giving me any sort of real response to that question.
It would be foolish to say that it is quicker and easier to “center a front sight in a rear sight while focusing on the front sight not the target or the rear sight” instead of just putting an optic’s reticle on a target.
Some extremely useful tools are very complicated. For example would be pairing night vision with an IR aiming laser. This is not only complicated but very expensive. It has many potential points of failure. It would be easy to point out that both a Night Vision Device (NVD) and an IR laser each would need their own batteries. Each have their own controls. An IR laser would need to be zeroed. A NVD would need to be focused. It takes a great deal of work to run a setup like that, but it is what makes the difference between stumbling around blind in the dark or being an apex predator that owns the night.
A bicycle would be the K.I.S.S. alternative to an automobile. I think most of us would gladly pay the additional cost and risk the additional points of failure just so we could have the much greater capability of the automobile.
Think about weapons the same way. Sure there are plenty of stuff we don’t need, but some are massive force multipliers should we need that capability. Not ever gun needs a scope, bipod, light, or laser but there are some guns where you would be massively improving their capabilities and ease of use by adding some of these things.
Don’t try and set up the simplest/cheapest firearm, but make the firearm that excels at the job it needs to do.