Combat in the dark……

Recently I have been playing a lot of paintball and airsoft. Fun and great exercise. I participated in my first night airsoft game and it was an eye opening experience. I have no military training which I consider a major drawback in the skills department. I have no expertise in night combat either – kinda the point of this post. Anyways, this night game was played in absolute darkness outside with only a bit of moonlight to run and walk by.

The game took place in a large field with random bushes and trees scattered around and also a wooded area. Two teams started in opposite areas and the goals was to grab a cylume lightstick hanging in a tree. Each person had a weapons mounted light on their rifle. Running around in the dark presented challenges as I was fearful a large branch would wack me in the forehead.

I have always had good night vision. With just the moonlight I could barely make out a couple of light colored shirts traversing through the field and behind trees and bushes. I took two extra flashlights in the field with me. At certain times I would turn on a flashlight and leave it i=on the grass or on a well house roof. The appearance of this light would immediately draw fire and I would move to an alternate position. I used the light on my M4 only once and it was when I saw my opponent within range and  wanted to make certain I had a “kill”.

This experience has gotten me thinking about night combat or at least surveillance.  I need night vision equipment in order to properly prepare for any nighttime “experience”.

 I have two pairs of cheap, inexpensive kids night vision goggles. They actually work pretty good out to 50-75 feet.  They are similar to THIS. For viewing a limited area they are useful.

I have a lot to learn…..


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  1. Rourke,
    Don’t fool your self. I have the previous model of those and they work great. Although mine are a one side wide a mirror to provide a “Binocular” feel. They are a great, cheap addition to your gear.

  2. We have several Night Arrow 4 CGT (4th Generation) weapons mounted scopes, 3 Firefield Nightfall 4×50 Monoculars, and an Armasight Spark CORE Monocular (all great for pig hunting). The kids love them, I’m a bit more ambivalent about overly relying on technology. Of course, I still use a USGS Quad sheet map and 5 year old RAZR flip phone which I refuse to return texts with and they all have GPS, iPads, iPhones, Wii, XBox, etc, etc.

    One cautionary note: The IR illuminators can be seen by an opposing unit 2 or 3 times further than the unit will process for the user’s vision. So, if you’re faced with a technologically similar force be extremely careful who or what you light up. Since the IR emmission generally lines up with your head it behooves you not to give them a bright shiney welcome sign to shoot at it.

    If you use a weapons mounted flash light against an armed and reasonably well trained opponent they will tend to return fire down the light beam. Try not to line it up with any part of your anatomy where one or two bullets holes would be a life threatening issue.

    Parachute flares are always a good fall back way to illuminate the bad guys. If they’re smart and well equipped the flares screw up their NV which puts the advantage back into the defender’s (that’s you) corner. If they’re simple hooligans 90% of them will look up to watch the pretty flare float to the ground. Try not to laugh too hard at their discomfort whilst you practice your rifle’s grouping on soft targets.

  3. from that picture i’m assuming those are digital nvg’s and as such have an ir light source to illuminate the area. those are great if your opposition doesn’t have nvd’s, but if they do have them you might as well put a flashlight on your head. they will be able to see the ir source very well. those devices are really just security cameras adapted to use as goggles. i’m installing several on my home to get 360 degree view, day or night. sometimes i put on my pvs-5 goggles and look around the hood, from my property of course. i’m amazed at all the security cameras i can see. i’m not saying those goggles don’t have a useful purpose, far from it. i plan to pick a couple sets up to augment my nvd’s until i run into an nvd equipped zombie. if i live i’ll switch to the pvs5 🙂

  4. That sounds like a lot of fun and some pretty great training to boot! You’re not alone in having no Military training but it sounds like you are working hard to beef up those skill sets.

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