Laser Pointers

Overview


Until the late 1990’s, laser pointers availability in the Israeli Security Forces, including within its extensive SF community, was limited. The primary laser pointer used at the time was the ITL AIM1/D, an IR laser pointer which was the IDF standard issue laser pointer from the late 1980's and until the early 2000's. However, the modernization of the IDF infantry units that began the late 1990's, impacting both SF and regular units, resulted in mass procurement of various laser pointers models.

Today different laser pointers models are in usage, ranging from basic standalone devices such as the Beamshot modules to high-end multifunction aiming devices such as the AN/PEQ-15. The current selection of laser pointers is larger then ever, and is expected to further grow as new advanced multifunction aiming devices are gradually introduced. The specific models used vary significantly between units based on budget and preference, and sometimes even within units based on operator's preference.

Israeli made/used laser pointers can be grouped into three primary categories:

  • Standalone laser weapon mounted modules, primarily Beamshot.

  • Multifunction aiming devices, primarily AN/PEQ-14 and AN/PEQ-15.

  • Multifunction aiming sights, primarily ITL MARS and Meprolight MOR

In the past decade, most standalone laser pointers including ITL and Beamshot were replaced with multifunction sights such as the MARS and MOR, as well as with AN/PEQ-14 and AN/PEQ-15.

Operator armed with a Micro Uzi Para fitted with Tasco Optima 2000, an IMI GM sound suppressor and a Meprolight IR laser pointer.

 

Multifunction Aiming Sights & Devices


Multifunction aiming devices integrate several modules such as visible laser, IR laser, IR illuminator and a flashlight into a single unit. They provide the operator with a tactical flexibility to select the right combination of visible and IR aiming solutions for the situation at hand, without the need to mount multiple devices on the weapon.

In the mid 1990’s Israeli manufactures were among the first to introduce multifunction aiming devices, though most never passed the prototype stage. Today, the AN/PEQ-14 and AN/PEQ-15 are the primary multifunction aiming devices used with the Israeli SF.

Multifunction aiming sights share the same design principles as Multifunction Aiming Devices, and typically integrate a non-magnifying red dot sight with an IR laser and/or visible laser. Today, the MARS and MOR are primary multifunction aiming sights used with the Israeli SF.

Advantages

  • Lighter streamlined setup

  • Single power source

  • Most or all integrated modules can be zeroed via a single boresight mechanism.

  • Lower cost then the combined cost of several independent modules

  • Logistical benefits with inventory and maintenance of a single device

Disadvantages

  • Malfunctioned or damaged multifunction aiming device could impact all aiming modules carried by the operator instead of a single one.

  • Less individuality in end-user accessories selection and placement.

 

Manufacturers


  • Insight is currently the primary provider of the standalone laser pointers to the Israeli SF, with its AN/PEQ-14, AN-PEQ-15 and AN/PEQ-16 devices.

  • ITL was the primary provider of laser pointers to the IDF from the late 1980's and early 2000's. However, most ITL models have since been replaced replaced by MARS and MOR, or with Insight laser pointers.

  • Meprolight is the primary provider of multifunction sights to the IDF with its MOR. The advanced optic has been replacing the MARS, other legacy optics and dedicated standalone laser pointers since its introduction few years ago.

 

Setups


SF setups typically combine three key components - an optic, a laser pointer and a flashlight. There are two commonly used setups:

  •  Multifunction aiming sight (MARS or MOR) and a flashlight.

  • red dot optic, standalone laser device and a flashlight.

However, it is not uncommon to see setups that include MARS and AN/PEQ-14. With this setup, there is a redundancy in IR laser pointers, and the AN/PEQ-14 is typically used for its flashlight and/or visible laser.

IDF SF setup with redundant IR laser pointers: a M4 Commando fitted with an ITL MARS, an AN/PEQ-14, a compensator, a stock, a pistol grip, a rail system and a forward grip. Note dual remote switches near the forward grip for the AN/PEQ-14 and the MARS.

 

Typical IDF SF setup with redundant IR laser pointers: a M4 Commando fitted with a flip-up sight, an ITL MARS, an AN/PEQ-14, a forward grip and a rail system. Also seen is a Sig P228.

Optics Guide