Letter from The Army Aviator Re: A Source for Night Vision Scopes

I’ve been running night vision since I learned to fly with them back in 1978. Not to disparage the writer’s comments about how good the “Mini-14” monocular is, because it is a good unit. However, it’s been my experience that the PRC-14Delta (Government) model is even better. Yes, a papered version costs more than a civilian Mini-14 but it’s worth the money. And, as an additional note, the manual gain adjustment of the PRC-14D is invaluable. It’s there for a reason. You strap it on and adjust the gain until you have maximal effectiveness of both eyes (One aided eye and one un-aided eye). Auto gain doesn’t allow for that and limits you to only using one eye to effectively see. It’s normally too bright to utilize both eyes, especially in dark arenas.
I use automatic gain adjusting Night Vision weapon scopes, but for the head unit, automatic gain adjustment doesn’t work well.
Further, don’t confuse ABC (Automatic Brightness Control) with gain adjustment. ABC is a protective function to turn the scope off before it’s tolerance to bright light is exceeded.
Also, even though NVDs are really neat, you don’t actually need an NVD unless it’s so dark you can’t see you hand in front of your face. This was one of the original design parameters. BTW, they can be effectively and comfortably utilized with the PASGT original Kevlar helmet, as well as the new Army ACU or the Marine helmet. However, the Navy SEAL Boat Helmet (which was the original MICH (Modular Integrated Communication Helmet) is the best I’ve found. It’s available, custom built, from privatesnuffy@yahoo.com. Regards, – The Army Aviator