An Insight Into Tactical Flashlights, Laser Sights and Aiming Modules: The High Speed Products of Insight Tech Gear
The Laser Aiming Module (LAM)
After all U.S. special operations units were brought under one umbrella, one of their first programs in August of 1991 was the OHWS (Offensive Handgun Weapon System). Due to the numerous sidearms utilized by the operators, it was conceived as an offensive weapon system including a pistol, laser aiming module and a suppressor. The pistol part of the competition would come down to Colt and Heckler & Koch with H&K being the winner. The new pistol was designated the MK23 Mod 0.
Insight would be selected as the winner for the LAM (Laser Aiming Module). The LAM would have a focusable visible illuminator, an infrared aiming laser, visible aiming laser, infrared laser illuminator and would be powered by two 123 6-volt batteries. The visible laser is a <5 mW power with a wavelength of 640±40nm and the infrared laser is .05-.10 mW power and has a wavelength of 830±50nm. The Infrared Illuminating Laser has a .15 – .65 mW power and has a wavelength of 830±50nm. Infrared lasers and illumination lasers are used in conjunction with night vision devices. The benefit of this is that nobody other than those wearing the night vision devices will be able to see the laser pointer or the illumination. This is useful for a commander to point out a target to his team or to take out targets quickly and accurately in low level to complete darkness. The visible white light illuminator has a brightness of >60 Lumens.
The LAM weighs 5.0 ounces and has a dial on the left side of the unit to permit the user to select the mode that he wants to use. These modes are IR with IR Illuminator, IR laser pointer only, OFF, VIS laser and VIS laser with Illuminator. There is a toggle switch beneath the unit that with a slight push to the side will get momentary on and all the way to either side will get continuous on. The lasers are adjusted individually by an Allen head wrench. However, the unit comes with an integral adjuster tool which is stowed in the face of the unit above the white light source. At the time of the introduction of the Mk23 Mod 0, there was no standardized rail. H&K developed their own rail and the LAM would mount to the rail and held in place by a thumb screw.
Insight Tactical Laser Aimers/Pointers
Although first applied to handguns, these universal units were fitted to long arms as well. Lasers have proven themselves in both the law enforcement as well as military area of operations. Lasers have many applications. As an aiming device, it enables the user to hit targets from any position without having to use the sights. If a SWAT officer is standing behind a shield, he will be able to reach his firearm around the side of the shield and use the laser to aim. For target identification, commanders are able to mark targets for the team so everyone is after the same guy. Lasers can also be used as intimidation in order to diffuse a situation before deadly force is deployed. Sometimes just the appearance of that dot on the target will be enough for the target to surrender. Another important, but often overlooked application to lasers, is in training. The laser can help a firearms instructor to see what problems the student is having. The laser will not be zeroed to point of aim. The magazine will have dummy rounds randomly placed unknown to the shooter. When the dummy is attempted to fire, the laser will show the instructor if the student is jerking or pulling and to what side. This will assist in corrective action. Many modules combine the laser pointer with the white light source.
Insight initially designed the LAM that grew into several generations of laser and illuminators. The M6 and M6X laser illuminators consist of both a laser and a white light. The white light is a 90+ and 125+ Lumen output light respectively with a 640±40nm laser pointer. They can be used simultaneously or separately. The visible illumination can be focused by rotating the bezel and the laser is adjusted by an Allen key. The back plate is determined by whether the unit will be mounted on a pistol or a long arm. If the unit is to be mounted on a pistol, a back plate with a toggle will be used. Lightly pressing activates the momentary power and all the way continuous is activated. To mount on a long arm, the long arm back plate is utilized. This contains a switch with three positions (off, mom and on). The laser has another switch behind it with settings for off, visible laser, illumination only and visible laser and illumination simultaneously. A pressure pad is plugged into the rear of the back plate. The pressure pad is the attached to the vertical pistol grip of handguard. The sights can be attached either by a Mil-Std 1913 mount, a universal mount or a Rail-Grabber. Options also include Bikini filters in IR, red and opaque.
The X2 Laser tactical light and laser combination is designed to be installed on rails of sub compact pistols. The activation switch is a toggle style and is powered by a single CR2 3-volt battery. The peak output is 40+ Lumens. The laser is again activated with a toggle switch. The visible laser is a <5 mW power with a wavelength of 640±40nm. The laser point of impact is adjusted with an Allen key.
The LBS (Laser Borelight System)
This is one of those products that should be in any armory whether it is LE, military or gun shop. The sample provided for this article was put to use immediately and saves many rounds and a lot of time (especially on a freezing New York February day).
The LBS is a laser boresighting system that is used to boresight optics, lasers, as well as iron sights for 5.56mm, 7.62mm and .50 caliber firearms. This 4.5 ounce device is attached to a mandrel of the appropriate caliber bore and placed in the muzzle of the firearm. The activation dial has four settings (off, goggle, low and pulse). The goggle setting has the Borelight beam operate in a low power mode that is useful with night vision devices for night time zeroing. The low mode has the Borelight operate in a low power mode that is useful in low light conditions. The pulse setting allows the Borelight beam to turn on momentarily when the weapon is dry fired. The laser has a wavelength of 650±30 nm with a peak power of 0.9mW.
The provided test and evaluation M6X was boresighted with the LBS. The sight was placed on a SIR rail system on a Colt M4 carbine. The LBS was placed in the muzzle and the laser sight was adjusted to the boresight. At the range at 25 meters, the projectiles landed less than 1 inch to the left of the point of aim A couple of corrective clicks and done. The provided test and evaluation ISM-V (Integrated Sighting Module-Visible) was mounted on a LWRC M6A1 rifle and the LBS was used to boresight that unit as well. Both the laser and red dot on the ISM-V impacted a little more than an inch to the left at 25 meters. Another quick adjustment and done.
The Integrated Sighting Module
Red dot-type reflex sights have gained overwhelming popularity with military and law enforcement users. Currently, the most popular reflex sights are the AimPoint Comp2 and the new Comp 4 and the Trijicon ACOG reflex sight. The first uses batteries and the other is powered by a tritium lamp. Insight took an approach that uses both an optical reflex sight as well as a laser. Why not put both in one?
The ISM (Integrated Sighting Module) is just that, a combination of both a red dot (<2 MOA) reflex sight as well as a laser. The module fits onto any Mil-Std 1913 rail. Powered by a DL123 battery, the reflex sight features a red dot similar to that of the AimPoint Comp-series military reflex sights. The red dot can be made brighter or dimmer by adjusting the + and – buttons on top of the sight. There are a total of 18 brightness settings. The red dot is adjusted by elevation and windage adjustment screws. The battery life is approximately 1,500 hours for the red dot sight.
Also integrated into the unit is a laser sight. This red laser sight is simultaneously zeroed in when the red dot sight is so there is no need to zero them both. The laser can be activated with a button on the left side of the module or a remote switch can be plugged into the face of the unit. There are two models and the laser is the factor that differentiates between the two. The model provided for test and evaluation was the ISM-V, which the V stands for visible laser. The other model is the ISM-IR, which the IR stands for InfraRed. This model has both visible and IR lasers that are activated in the same manner. The ISM-IR has a switch on the rear of the unit that enables you to select either visible or IR mode. On the standard V model the selector has four settings (off, program, red dot and visible aim). The red dot is activated by pressing and releasing both the + and – buttons. To deactivate unit, press both buttons again. Your last brightness setting will be saved.
The test and evaluation unit was placed on a LWRC M6A1 5.56mm rifle: a piston operated variation of the M4 carbine. The unit was boresighted in at 25 yards with the LBS. When taken out for live fire at 25 yards the point of aim was 1 inch to the left. With a quick rotate of the windage, the weapon was zeroed in perfectly. After the red dot reflex sight was tested, the laser was then tested. As advertised, the laser was shooting to the exact point of aim as the redo dot. More than 500 rounds were fired in testing from several different positions in both semi and fully automatic fire. The sight remained point of aim throughout the shooting session. Off of a bench at 100 yards using Black Hills Mk262 Mod 1 ammunition, the rifle performed consistent 1-3/4 inch groups. The intensity of the red dot was decreased significantly to get a good aim point for accurate firing.
Tactical light, lasers as well as reflex sights have found their way into law enforcement, military as well as commercial weapons. Many companies are branching out to get into the market. Insight Technology has offered competitively priced top of the line products to serve all venues. They have several U.S. military contracts and their equipment is commonly used in the Global War on Terrorism. That is a tribute to the quality and confidence the end users have in their equipment.
Insight Tech Gear
23 Industrial Drive
Londonderry, NH 03053
Phone: (877) 744-4802
Fax: (603) 668-1084