It’s Friday night and you know what that means. We are sponsored by ATN Corp, manufacturers of night vision and thermal optics like the THOR LT. As with all of our sponsored series, Friday Night Lights will continue to bring you unbiased news and reviews from a variety of companies. Today have a blast from the past. The WILCOX MAD AN/PEQ-7 is an all-in-one Multi-Function Aiming Laser. It predates the RAPTAR and certainly the RAID-X which both find their roots in the PEQ-7.
WILCOX @ TFB:
- Review: Wilcox RAPTAR Lite ES – Weapon Light/Laser
- Hands-On with Wilcox Raptar and Applied Ballistics Prototype Raptar-M
- Friday Night Lights: Full Power Laser Showdown – MAWL-DA vs NGAL vs RAIDX vs LA5 UHP
WILCOX MAD PEQ-7
The WILCOX MAD PEQ-7 was the laser that never was. MAD stands for Multi-Aiming Device. It came out during the Global War on Terrorism and was supposed to be a replacement for the Insight AN/PEQ-2. As far as I could tell, and with the help of some gear nerd friends of mine, the PEQ-7 was submitted for procurement but didn’t pass. This is mostly due to the fact that it was not different enough from the AN/PEQ-2 and Insight/L3 came up with the AN/PEQ-15 instead which was smaller and lighter.
Like all WILCOX laser systems, the PEQ-7 is feature-rich. Unlike the AN/PEQ-2, the PEQ-7 is both VIS and IR. It has a VIS red laser as well as an infrared aiming laser and infrared illuminator. The PEQ-7 is a modular system when combined with the WILCOX MAD GRIP which has a detachable SureFire collaboration weapon light that is sort of integrated into the MAD Grip. The MAD Grip is a control system for the PEQ-7 and SureFire light. It has an integrated folding vertical grip with integrated activation switches in the grip itself.
The business end of the PEQ-7 has a cover to protect the apertures.
The cover can hinge open so you can clean the laser apertures.
The cover also has integrated diffusers. You can close the cover completely but they only cover the IR aiming laser and IR illuminator.
One of the more interesting features the PEQ-7 has is the trajectory switch. It is the switch with the yellow arrow pointed at OTB. OTB stands for Over The Breach. Rotate it down to CQB for close range offset. OTB is set for convergence at 150 meters while CQB is set for a 7 meter zero. In the center of the trajectory switch is the windage adjustment for the Aiming Lasers.
Just above the LCD display is the ON/OFF switch. Here you can select low output or high output for the lasers.
At the way to the back of the laser module is the selector switch for the different modes. The PEQ-7 is powered by a single CR123.
The mode selector shows 10 modes however only 1-6 are used. 7-10 are locked out and according to the instruction manual these are reserved for future updates. As far as I can tell, they never developed the PEQ-7 any further. The 6 modes are:
- IR laser
- IR illuminator
- IR laser & IR illuminator
- VIS laser
- VIS Laser & Flashlight
When you change modes, the LCD display tells you what mode you are in as well as output of the laser and battery life. When you are in the VIS modes the LCD screen is side lit with an amber LED.
When you are in Infrared modes, the LCD display is illuminated with a red LED.
Just below the LCD display are the Select and Input buttons. These allow you to go into the programming mode of the PEQ-7. My PEQ-7 input button does not seem to work but here are all the things you can adjust using the input button.
- VFG FIRE Button. This decides which FIRE button to use Left or Right
- Display Position. LCD Display orientation. Right Side Up or Upside Down
- Display Time (how long the display stays on)
- Light brightness for LCD
- Display Contrast
- Laser Blink (there are 8 different strobe settings)
- Flashlight Brightness
- DIM Laser
The laser module also has a big red activation button in case you do not use the grip module and just below it is the IR illuminator adjustment dial to widen or narrow the beam pattern.
The PEQ-7 Power Grip consists of the Laser Module, Grip Module, and Flashlight Module. The Grip Module is what the light and laser attach to and you attach the Grip Module to a side rail.
The laser module has a single 1/4×20 screw that screws into the threaded hole in the side of the grip module.
The rear of the Laser Module has a remote activation port. You attach the plug from the Grip Module to the back of the Laser body.
Once connected you can activate the laser with the buttons on the grip.
The grip has a FIRE button on either side and a flashlight activation button on the front. The flashlight button is a VIS override so no matter what mode you are in, it will activate the flashlight.
Above the grip is a knurled ring. Loosen this and you can fold the grip.
The PEQ-7 VIS light is detachable from the Grip Module. It is a collaboration with WILCOX and SureFire. While the light body is unique, it can use any C or P series SureFire light head. It comes with a black hard anodized M2-style head. The M2 bezel has shock isolation found on old SureFire weapon lights. This reduces recoil damage to the incandescent bulb inside.
At the back of the SureFire weapon light are the controls. You can use a remote tape switch with it or use the momentary push button, or use the selector switch to have constant on.
The PEQ-7 SureFire light has a dovetail base that allows it to dock into the MAD grip.
You can see the dovetail mount has two contact points.
The dovetail contact points line up with the contacts on the SureFire light.
Underneath the Dovetail mount, the contact points protrude downward.
When the PEQ-7 Laser Module is attached to the Grip Module, the two contact points on the flashlight mount touch the two points on the laser body. You can see the two metal contacts in the photo below. This is what controls the light remotely, through the Grip Module. To the right of the light contact points is the remote Grip Module contact.
Since the SureFire light was a collaboration with WILCOX, they designed the attachment method to the MAD Grip based on their dovetail system. In the WILCOX instruction manual, it shows that you can attach the light to your WILCOX L2 combat helmet mount. AKA G24 mount.
I am very curious what WILCOX was thinking that this would be necessary. You need a night vision dovetail mount in order for this to work. That means you have to remove your night vision goggles just to use the SureFire light as a headlamp.
I have my doubts this is peak performance, there are better ways to do this.
Since the SureFire light uses a P60 incandescent bulb, it comes with an infrared filter.
Weapon Mounting The PEQ-7
Just like the WILCOX Raptar, the PEQ-7 Laser Module can mount directly to KAC rails.
In order to mount the full Power Grip, you cannot have a bottom rail. The Power Grip was designed for M4 carbines. Just remove the bottom rail panel from a standard M4 quad rail and attach the grip module to the side rail. The bottom rail interferes with the Power Grip.
Final Thoughts On The PEQ-7
The PEQ-7 is neat but very obsolete. It is hefty at 2.25 lbs for the entire power grip. Power-wise the IR aiming laser is only 24mW and the red VIS laser is a whopping 8mW on high power. Not exactly blinding and not really a light saber at night. The grip activation is a bit slow however that seems to be a common trait with WILCOX lasers. When you press the FIRE button, it does not activate right away.
WILCOX programs a lot of user adjustability into their lasers but it is slow to navigate the menu and change settings. While it is neat that you can adjust laser brightness as well as the flashlight, it is not really necessary. The laser is not that bright and the light uses 60 lumen incandescent bulbs. I don’t really see the need to dim 60 lumens.
According to one website, the PEQ-7 laser module alone is over $2,000. Not sure how much the grip module or the light cost. I got this one from a friend of mine who is a fellow collector of night vision and flashlights. Hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane.
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