Welcome back Night Vision enthusiasts. Last week we took a break for the holiday. Before that I wrote about ATAK drones and laser range finders. Well, the week before that was Veterans Day and I travelled to Ohio to visit some friends of mine who were hosting their third East Coast Night Shoot. Yes, the shoot was in Ohio. It was one of the largest gatherings of night aficionados I have seen.
Night Vision @ TFB:
- Friday Night Lights: SAFRAN JIM LR – Cooled Thermal Biocular LRF
- Friday Night Lights: Thales LUCIE – French GIGN LPNVG
- Friday Night Lights: DIY Build Your Own Quadtube – ANVIS10
East Coast Night Shoot, But In Ohio!
My buddies, J.W. and Dan, got some flak for having this event in Ohio. Well, they are from Pittsburgh, PA and a venue that can accommodate 200+ people is hard to come by especially with what they wanted to have available for attendees to use night vision and firearms. They held the East Coast Night Shoot at the Southington Off-Road Park in Garrettsville, Ohio. Which is about an hour and a half northwest of Pittsburgh and an hour east of Cleveland. For those of you complaining it is not “east coast” enough, Alex Ko of Nocorium and I both flew from the west coast. Ohio is far enough.
There were a number of vendors on site that helped sponsor the East Coast Night shoot.
- LowLight Innovations
- Steele Industries
- Cloud Defensive
- NVD (Night Vision Devices)
- Keystone Dynamic Solutions
- Wolfpack Armory
- Overbore Systems (and HRFConcepts representative)
- On Guard Defense
I finally got to meet Neal Brace of Noisefighters in person at the East Coast Night Shoot. He had a prototype of his new Panobridge but he did not allow anyone to take photos. It is a milled version made out of aluminum and titanium. It is very skeletonized and weighs the same as his MJF 3D-printed panobridge.
He did allow me to take photos of his dovetail panobridge. This is for bridging a thermal device like a SKEETIR or RH25 Micro. The problem is the tolerances for the dovetail are very exact and due to the printing process the dovetail shoe can shrink a bit not allowing the dovetail to slide in all the way.
You can see how the dovetails do not see flush. I had the panobridge just sitting on the dovetails to take this photo.
One concern about this bridge is the collimation of the images and pupillary distance (PD). When using analog night vision on a panobridge, you can adjust for PD by raising the arms a bit and adjusting the tilt or height of the mount. Doing so rotates the PVS-14s. This is not an issue since the image is round but in the case of thermal, it will rotate the thermal image which is rectangular. So angling them up will tilt the image.
Duncan was there to represent Steele Industries. They did not have anything new but they did bring their one-of-a-kind purple MAWL-C1+.
Night Vision Devices
NVD brought out their latest bino, the Mini-B. It uses 18mm tubes and is powered by a AA. It weighs less than 440g (15.4 oz). It has digital push buttons rather than a rotary switch for manual gain and power activation.
The objective lenses look like RPO objectives but the eyepieces are unique.
The Mini-B starts at just over $7k. Check out their website for more info.
LLI had their LLUL-21 goggle on display. It is a lightweight 3D-printed housing that is fully articulated. It neutered the onboard power and uses a remote battery pack to help save weight. They claim it weighs 16.2oz with standard PVS-14 optics. It is up for pre-order on their website. Housing will be $1299 while a fully built system will be $5900. They have price breaks for their pre-orders.
East Coast Night Shoot Venue
As mentioned earlier, the East Coast Night Shoot was held at the Southington Off-Road Park. They have onsite camping and RV hookups as well as a firearm range. They used a decent-sized pavilion to host the vendor tables, dinner and raffle giveaway.
Alex Ko and I arrived early and helped my friend Josh set up the two pistol range stages. Josh was one of the volunteer staff members and Range Officer for the East Coast Night Shoot. He is an avid USPSA competitor and helps out with their local night shoots in Pittsburgh as well.
90º to the left of the pistol bays was this large cliff. It was the 100-yard range for attendees to shoot at some steel and the cliff face with rifles. This is also where they held the group photo.
The Southington Off-Road Park also has a long-range rifle range that you can shoot out to 700 yards. The shooting line has platforms and shooting benches inside converted shipping containers. That way you can shoot in the rain and be sheltered.
Night Vision Aficionados Gathering
One reason for me to go to the East Coast Night Shoot was to see old friends and meet online friends in person for the first time.
Ted Colegrove is an accomplished professional photographer and we have chatted about firearms and night vision for a number of years. He showed up with some spare warm clothes and gloves for me to use. (I only brought a spare shirt, spare socks and spare underwear but more about that later LOL). Ohio was rather cold. It was low 40s in the day with some light rain and sleet. When the sun went down it was high 30s.
Ted rocked his spatter camo gear since the majority of attendees were using serious camo like Multicam.
I never met Dan D. before I moved out of Pittsburgh but he is good friends with J.W. Ramp and we have talked about night vision a bit. He has one of my Nocorium wraps for his PVS-27.
J.W. Ramp was the guy who originally had Anvis 10 before I built my set.
Jake of ChevTec Group is someone I was excited to meet. He is my equivalent when it comes to 40mm shenanigans. His YouTube channel is “chalk” full of 40mm goodies. I filmed him in slow motion and night vision. Here is the video he posted using that footage.
He brought out two launchers. His LMT has a red dot quadrant sight so now he can aim in the dark. I will make an article about that in the future. But this combined with his GITD tracer chalk rounds makes for a fun time. You can see the GITD tracer rounds in the video above.
Jake also brought this but I do not think he shot it. He was the one who brought the red flares and he was the one on the right of the thermal group photo that launched one in the air.
Jake also brought out some Cold Streak ammo. They use GITD discs on the back of the projectile rather than burning phosphorous. I filmed it in slow motion with my Chronos night vision camera setup.
Night Vision and Thermal Toys
I was particularly intrigued to check out the EOTech CLIP-IR ELR that J.W. had on loan. The CLIP-IR ELR is allegedly the best LWIR thermal clip-on right now. It rivals the Voodoo-M and UTC XII which both cost more than $20k each. The CLIP-IR ELR retails for just under $16k.
The CLIP-IR ELR is a bit bigger than the UTC XII and Voodoo-M. If you have a Wilcox Raptor S, you will need a riser to clear the large objective.
The objective lens has these large fins that reach back making it easier to reach and adjust focus.
I had a hard time getting a good sight picture. The person who set up this rifle had the cheek rest very high and I did not want to mess with their long-range gun setup. I hope to borrow a CLIP-IR ELR from EOTECH to do a full review.
J.W. had his laser testing rig that he has used for previous East Coast Night Shoots but due to how busy they were, they did not use this until most people had left including myself and Alex.
I spent a lot of time at the long-range explaining and demonstrating the Vectronix LRTV.
I also flew my Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced a bit as well as demonstrated quad tubes with my modified ANVIS-10 (PP-NVG). I will do an article about that in the future as well.
East Coast Night Shoot Wrap Up
Big thanks to J.W. and Daniel for hosting the East Coast Night Shoot as well as the rest of the staff that volunteered.
Shout out to Legion Arms for sponsoring the event and providing a hot dinner for everyone.
Here is a video by Alex Ko aka Nocorium,
Alex and I had a blast. As mentioned earlier, it was cold. Having lived in Pittsburgh for a number of years as well as my plumpness, I am more insulated and acclimated to the cold. Alex is a lot more fit than I and he was struggling even with some great cold-weather gear. But as long as I kept moving and talking about how awesome night vision is, the cold did not bother me. I look forward to next year.
If you are ever in Ohio, make sure you eat at Skyline Chili. I’ve had it before when I lived in Pittsburgh and would travel to Ohio, so I took Alex there for his first time. He enjoyed it.