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#5842820 - 07/22/15 10:26 AM Which IR Illuminator
hogwilde Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 03/29/11
Posts: 6
Loc: United States
I hunt hogs every year down in Texas but didn't start using night vision until 3 years ago. Night Vision equipment isn't legal here in my home state so I only use it approximately 2 weeks a year. I don't work with it much and know very little about it and reading the reviews on the internet can get confusing. I want to purchase a IR Illuminator that has more power than the built in units the two scopes I have now use. Some of you use your night vision weekly if not daily so I felt you would be better qualified to give me some recommendations. I have a Sightmark SM16016 3x60mm Night Raider with the built in IR they use and an ATN X-Sight 5-18 with their Illuminator. The one's I'm looking at right now are the Streamlight Super Tac IR, UNV 20IR Illuminator and the Surefire M1. I don't have a local dealer that handles these so I can't actually handle or see them here. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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#5842875 - 07/22/15 10:53 AM Re: Which IR Illuminator [Re: hogwilde]
ccoker Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 3316
We got on these in and used it a few weeks ago on a crappy night for NV
Even with Gen3 you couldn't see cows at 400 yards..

With this IR it was like a lightwsitch.

http://www.steiner-optics.com/laser-devices/spir
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#5842926 - 07/22/15 11:27 AM Re: Which IR Illuminator [Re: hogwilde]
Rcinit Online   content
Bird Dog

Registered: 03/04/10
Posts: 494
Loc: Copperas Cove
I use a UNV 20IR and I like it. Has three modes and you can focus the beam or make it really wide. I've found the lowest power setting works best. I've also found mounting it has far away as possible helps a lot. I use a one inch riser and a Burris signature Z ring(high) to mount it on top of my Armasight Nemisis 6XQS(Gen 2).

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#5843306 - 07/22/15 03:36 PM Re: Which IR Illuminator [Re: hogwilde]
syncerus Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/01/08
Posts: 1989
Loc: Dallas, TX
From what I've seen the SPIR is about as good as it gets. That said, the SPIR is literally 7x more expensive than the Streamlight Super Tac. How far do you shoot? The Super Tac is good well past 200 yards with Gen 3. I haven't tried it with digital, so I can't give you a number, but it's pretty darn good for shooting at reasonable ranges.
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#5850982 - 07/27/15 07:39 PM Re: Which IR Illuminator [Re: hogwilde]
hogwilde Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 03/29/11
Posts: 6
Loc: United States
Until this year I haven't had to shoot any farther than 60 yards but the landowner put me in a blind over a peanut field and the shots were out to 300 yards. The equipment I had wouldn't reach any where near that distance.

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#5851168 - 07/27/15 09:22 PM Re: Which IR Illuminator [Re: hogwilde]
Rcinit Online   content
Bird Dog

Registered: 03/04/10
Posts: 494
Loc: Copperas Cove
My longest shot with UNV 20IR was 360 yards. It'll illuminate much farther than that. 360 yard shot at night of a brush guard on the front of a pickup truck is a very tuff shot to make.

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#5852256 - 07/28/15 03:33 PM Re: Which IR Illuminator [Re: hogwilde]
DrifterAT Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 01/25/15
Posts: 454
Loc: Austin, Texas
X2 on the UNV 20IR smile

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#5853068 - 07/29/15 06:28 AM Re: Which IR Illuminator [Re: hogwilde]
Rockfish Dave Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 08/12/11
Posts: 246
Loc: Texas
Same thing for 25% the price...
T-20 IR Illuminator on Amazon


Edited by Rockfish Dave (07/29/15 06:29 AM)
_________________________
"Sheep have two speeds: grazing and stampede."
- Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
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#5853313 - 07/29/15 09:37 AM Re: Which IR Illuminator [Re: hogwilde]
syncerus Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/01/08
Posts: 1989
Loc: Dallas, TX
I just ordered a T-20 for testing. Thanks for the suggestion. I've lusted after a SPIR for a while now, but I flinch every time that I see the price tag.
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#5853605 - 07/29/15 12:21 PM Re: Which IR Illuminator [Re: hogwilde]
Beaubien Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 02/18/15
Posts: 473
Loc: In the mountains east of ABQ
I use the unv20 and like it.
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#5853625 - 07/29/15 12:32 PM Re: Which IR Illuminator [Re: hogwilde]
Vern1 Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 09/13/11
Posts: 1757
Loc: Pettytown, TX, US of A
I have a couple of Sightmark 805s that work well with gen 1, 2 and my N750.
They don't work well at all with the Photon 5X.
I also have a Streamlight SuperTac IR that makes the Photon 5X and N750 see much further than I wish to shoot but it can be overpowering at less than 100 yards.

If I had it to do over, I would be using the UNV version....the versatility of this unit trumps the others I have tried.

I just received a new Pulsar N750A yesterday but haven't tested any of them with it as it's a full moon!
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#5863123 - 08/04/15 03:26 PM Re: Which IR Illuminator [Re: Rcinit]
clandr1 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 12/12/14
Posts: 97
Loc: Frisco
I have a Streamlight TLR-1 IR unit that throws surprisingly well for its size. out of the ones you recommend, I'd say the Streamlight Supertac IR is going to be the absolute best bang for the buck. It show throw REALLY well with that big @ss reflector. Price is definitely doable at $120.

The Surefire M1 is good for ranges up close to about 50-75 yards, but is more of a general use/navigation light.

The UNV 20IR is the most overpriced unit you can possibly buy. It seems to be a rebranded Chinese IR zoom light.
This one looks just like what UNV offers, but is only $35:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/T38-809-mini-Hun...=item3cf226f937


Edited by clandr1 (08/04/15 03:29 PM)

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#5863186 - 08/04/15 04:02 PM Re: Which IR Illuminator [Re: hogwilde]
syncerus Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/01/08
Posts: 1989
Loc: Dallas, TX
The T20 arrived and passed the 30 second back yard test. I'll try to give it a more serious work out in the near future. I will say this: it's certainly worth $35 as a backup, if nothing more.
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#5865511 - 08/05/15 10:39 PM Re: Which IR Illuminator [Re: hogwilde]
hogwilde Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 03/29/11
Posts: 6
Loc: United States
This gives me a better idea of what to try and I believe I'll pickup a T-20 also just because the price is low enough that if it failed within a short period of time it still wouldn't break the bank. I thank all of you with your suggestions. It looks like the Streamlight would be my best choice for now.

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#5865664 - 08/06/15 06:45 AM Re: Which IR Illuminator [Re: hogwilde]
Rockfish Dave Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 08/12/11
Posts: 246
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: hogwilde
This gives me a better idea of what to try and I believe I'll pickup a T-20 also just because the price is low enough that if it failed within a short period of time it still wouldn't break the bank. I thank all of you with your suggestions. It looks like the Streamlight would be my best choice for now.


The T-20 is the same thing UNV is selling for $200. In an old thread I provided the information to order direct from the manufacturer in China. The manufacturer will even laser engrave your logo on the lights for free on orders over 100 if I recall correctly. The unit price from the manufacturer is only around $15, but you can negotiate that lower.

Just get the T-20 you will be no better or worse off, other than saving a boat load of $.

PM me if you want to buy my old Streamlight, as I no longer use it.


Edited by Rockfish Dave (08/06/15 06:54 AM)
_________________________
"Sheep have two speeds: grazing and stampede."
- Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
- Benjamin Franklin

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