Friday Night Lights: Laser Devices DBAL-Compact & GLIS

Nicholas C
by Nicholas C
Friday Night Lights: Laser Devices DBAL-Compact & GLIS

Welcome nocturnal enthusiasts. Do you crave esoteric night vision-related content? Then you have come to the right place. Last week we took a peek at the Insight ISM-IR. Well, we end this year with some even more obscure weapon-mounted lasers. Specifically, the Laser Devices DBAL-Compact and GLIS.

More Esoteric Lasers @ TFB:

Laser Devices DBAL-Compact

So Laser Devices is the company that actually designed and made the DBAL lasers that so many of us use and enjoy. They were purchased by Steiner and now everyone associates them with the DBAL. Well, the same friend that helped me to get the Laser Devices MP5K laser grip and MP5 cocking tube laser helped me to get the DBAL-Compact and GLIS. First, we will focus on the DBAL-Compact.

Photo by Steiner
Photo by Steiner

Back when I reviewed the DBAL-A4, I came across this photo of an early prototype version of the DBAL-A4. You can sort of see where the A4 came from but then my friend showed me this brown version called the DBAL-Compact. Other than the color and some slight aesthetic changes, the DBAL-A4 prototype is the DBAL-Compact.

One major difference is that there is only one IR illuminator. The other major difference is that the body of the DBAL-Compact is made of polymer rather than aluminum. The head, where the laser emitters and illuminators are, is milled aluminum.

Instead of the industry standard blue safety screw, they have a bolt-on blue plastic shield that prevents you from flipping the switch to HI power.

The dual ambidextrous activation buttons are similar to the newer DBAL-A4 as well as the VIS override and remote laser activation port. But the mode switch is very different. They use PT for pointer instead of AIM. Also, there is a separate switch on the far left to switch between low eye-safe to high full power.

The VIS override port only activates the white light no matter what mode you have selected. I have tried all the possible modes and none of them produce a laser with the white VIS override light. Interestingly though the VIS override produces a higher output white light even if the switch on the far left is in the LO position. The far right port is for regular remote activation.

Just like the A4, the DBAL-Compact has ambidextrous activation switches near the bottom rear of the housing.

Looking top down, you can see how far forward the illuminators stick out of the DBAL-Compact housing. Yes, that is a heatsink next to it.

It is powered by three CR123 batteries.

G.L.I.S. (Green Laser Interdiction System)

GLIS was an ARMY program called Green Laser Interdiction System. They wanted a non-lethal option to deter potential threats. So by shining these bright green lasers at their faces, it would cause a potential human threat to turn away or go blind. Blindness is better than bullets to the face. B.E. Meyers and Insight won the contract. B.E. Meyers made the GLARE, a bright green vis laser version of their IZLID. And Insight had their LA12P. @sahelsolution has photos of the LA12P on his IG. From the photo, you can see it looks like it takes two CR123 batteries and has an Insight red dot mounted on top.

Photo by sahelsolution

From this photo, you can see the green laser and the red dot are not in line with the barrel. Not sure why the red dot is not in line with the laser either.

Photo by sahelsolution

Laser Devices GLIS

Laser Devices tried to compete with Insight and B.E. Meyers and here is that prototype. It is like the OTAL on steroids. You can see the body is much wider than an OTAL to fit three CR123 batteries. It does not have any other lasers other than the single-diode green VIS laser. Like other Laser Devices DBALs, OTALs and ITALs, it has the Burris Fastfire footprint to directly bolt on a mini red dot sight.

The battery compartment is offset at an angle from the laser emitter.

Unlike the Insight LA12P, the Laser Devices GLIS has the red dot in line with the laser. But the laser is offset to the bore of a firearm if mounted at 12 o’clock.

There is an activation button near the top rear of the housing.

Burris Fastfire with enclosure.

Controls are only low or high. MOD I believe is for programming the laser.

100 yards and out the beam divergence makes the laser a little bit bigger than a human head. Further out the laser will be a bit bigger. That is why having the red dot makes it easier to aim it. Especially in the daytime.

Here is the GLIS compared to my full-power 50mW Steiner ITAL.

Final Thoughts On The DBAL-Compact and GLIS

A huge thanks to my buddy Dave for helping get these pieces of laser history. The DBAL-Compact is interesting but I don’t think they saved much weight with a polymer housing. According to another source online, Alex Chavez who worked on the GLIS and DBALs, it was the first polymer DBAL and only 5 of these exist.

Nicholas C
Nicholas C

More by Nicholas C

Join the conversation
2 of 3 comments
  • Uri Predrag Uri Predrag on Dec 31, 2023

    Very interesting tech.Happy New Year gun nerds junkies & aficionados.I hope the Santa steals one of James'most expensive guns lasers and optics and bring those babies to me the poor.Have a good one.

  • Adam Nemeyer Adam Nemeyer on Jan 11, 2024

    ...the good old days.
    Those are very early prototypes, that DBAL we designed (USD746405S1) was originally a small run for the SASR (Australia), Ultem / Aluminum. My compact still functions great.

    The GLIS program was last minute for us, we made some prototypes but never went anywhere.