Wilcox is synonymous with night vision. They are one of the leaders of night vision accessories and have been making weapon lights and lasers for decades. Their Wilcox RAPTAR came out a few years ago as a laser pointer and laser rangefinder. However, the RAPTAR is rather expensive. So Wilcox decided to make an entry-level version without the laser range finder and replaced it with a visible white light. The RAPTAR LITE ES was born.
All For One, One For All Weapon Light/Laser
The RAPTAR is actually the smashing of RAPid TARgeting module together to form one word. It merged an infrared and visible laser pointer as well as an infrared illuminator all on the right-hand side.
The left hand side (when mounted on your rifle) houses the laser range finder. The rear of the RAPTAR and the LITE ES have a 4 digit LCD display that tells you what mode you are in and in the case of the range finder it displays the distance measured.
The RAPTAR LITE ES replaces the range finder with a Surefire Scoutlight head. So now you have IR illuminator/laser and VIS illuminator/laser all in one unit.
The RAPTAR has a short remote tape switch that clones the activation buttons on the RAPTAR housing.
In any mode, other than Function and Off, the SELECT button activates the VIS flashlight. So you can be in IR mode, use the IR laser and/or IR flood and if you need VIS light you just press the SELECT button. On the fly, you can adjust the brightness of the flashlight with a few presses of the buttons.
The SELECT button has two hemispherical bumps so you can tell which button you are using in the dark. The INPUT button activates your current mode. So it turns on the lasers and IR flood when you are on the appropriate mode. The button in between SELECT and INPUT is used for changing settings under FUNCTION.
The SureFire head that comes with the RAPTAR LITE ES is the similar to early versions of the Scoutlight back when SureFire switched from incandescent bulbs to LED. On the Scoutlight these were called KL4 heads. The one on the RAPTAR LITE ES is similar and is rated at 80 lumens. There are some that are 120 lumens.
The RAPTAR LITE ES is powered by a single CR123 which makes the entire unit a 3v system. So while the LITE ES can use SureFire Scoutlight and Executive Series compatible heads, only single cell 3V powered heads will work. So lights like the EB1, E1B, E1, and M300 Scoutlight heads will work. I have had some compatibility issues with my Vampire heads.
However if you have a 1xCR123 cell extender you can then use 6V Scoutlight heads. The LITE ES acts as one 3V cell and the cell extender provides the other 3V.
Here is a comparison of the different flashlight heads.
The IR illuminator is actually an infrared laser that is diffused into a flashlight like beam. On top, near the back of the LITE ES, is a dial that allows you to adjust the illuminator beam width. you can make it very wide or constrict it down to a laser point.
Here are some video clips of me shooting with the RAPTAR LITE ES thanks to Richard L. and Miles.
Menus And Options
The RAPTAR has a whole host of options in the Functions mode. You can adjust display brightness as well as switch between low power or high power modes for the laser. You can also independently. adjust brightness for the LCD screen in both daytime modes and night time use as well as how long the display stays on. The laser has options for high power time out as well as six different blink patterns. This allows up to 6 members of a team to have unique blink patterns to differentiate between each other.
In order to mount the RAPTAR it comes with a picatinny adapter.
The RAPTAR bolts onto that threaded hole you see above. There are some handguards that have threaded holes already machined in to them like the Griffin Armament LowPro Rigid MLOK rail. The threaded holes match the bolt in the RAPTAR.
The RAPTAR LITE ES is rather pricey at $2,600 on TNVC. However Potomac River Group, one of the early investors of the RAPTAR, are clearing them out for just $600.
While the RAPTAR is rather boxy and large compared to the competitors, it houses all the essential laser modules with the added bonus of having integrated white light. The original cost of the RAPTAR LITE ES made the unit more expensive but at the reduced price of $600 it is hard not to get one just to have if you are just getting into night vision. For more information about PRG Defense go to their website. Or if you are interested in more information on the RAPTAR go to Wilcox’ website.