I’ve been blessed with having a lot of “real world” experience using weapon-mounted Night Vision Devices (NVDs), both in combat and training. My first weapon-mounted NVD was an old PVS-2, mounted on a M-16A2 up on the DMZ in Korea, when I was a private back in 1986 (showing my age a little here). I’ve ran just about every generation or model of NVDs that have come along since then, including the latest and greatest thermal and fusion units.
So, which type do I recommend?
First, always buy the best Intensifier tube that you can afford. By that I mean, while the GEN-III may cost a few hundred bones more than the GEN-II version, I would save my pennies for a couple more months and go for the GEN-III.
Second, when asked whether to get a dedicated NVD or a clip-on NVD; I’ll always ask what kind of platform are you planning on shooting it from and what kind of shooting are you wanting to do? If you’re just going to run it on a AR-15 or AR-10 sized platform; go with the dedicated NVD and price in a whole new upper receiver. However, if you are wanting to run it on a larger bolt-gun with a god scope, I would have to recommend a Clip-On. Keep in mind that you’ll need to have enough rail available, in front of your god scope, to mount the clip-on.
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