Review By Jonathan F
Original Article Date: April 9th 2009
Howdy all, I’m back with another review. Today we’ll be looking at a variety of laser aiming modules and battery boxes. I’ve rounded up 6 pieces from my collection for 6 quick reviews today so hopefully some of this information will help you in your future purchasing. If you have any questions regarding the following products please drop me a line and I’ll answer them to the best of my ability.
And for those always wondering what the hell PEQ, PAQ and PVS means check out the Joint Electronics Type Designation System (JETDS) for more info.
MFG: Vega Force Co
Product: Insight Tech-Gear ATPIAL (AN/PEQ-15) (Advanced Target Pointer Illuminator Aiming Light)
Type: Dummy/Battery Box
Empty Weight: 68.7g
First on the market was the Vanaras, then King Arms came along with their oversized box. Now one of the latest PEQ’s to hit the market is the VFC and what a looker she is. The VFC PEQ-15 is mainly constructed with is advertised as nylon-reinforced ABS construction. Though I’ll admit this thing feels cheap and light at 68.7g, and for a VFC product left me disappointed in that respect. However VFC took the time with the finer details such as alleged 1:1 dimensions, a removable blue metal dummy hi power lockout hex screw, rubber dummy fire button, deep engravings, and a sheet of decals with 3 choices of Danger sticker (Tan, Green/Black, and original black yellow red). Other details include the lens covers which are removable and are affixed with rubber straps. However why VFC chose to skimp on the screw mount and used plastic for the clamp is disappointing as I can see it breaking or wearing down quickly. Either way this relatively small box can store up to an 11.1v 1300mAh 15c Li-Ion battery. Battery change isn’t terribly fast as you must unscrew 3 tiny hex screws from the front of the unit to remove the face. Those using it just for looks won’t have to worry!
In closing VFC could have certainly made this out of harder wearing materials, but maybe it’s just because it’s empty and feels so light which makes me perceive it as cheap. As a bonus I was taking a look at the packaging and noticed there are also SKU’s for an upcoming version with laser in black or fde. I will certainly be getting my hands on that unless DYTAC beats them to the punch with their current generation PEQ-15 repro. For the price it was definitely worth purchasing, highly recommended 8.5/10
MFG: Star Airsoft
Product: Insight Technologies (AN/PEQ-2A)
Type: Dummy/Battery Box with Visible Laser
Empty Weight: 223.8g
As if there wasn’t enough 2A’s out there, I chose the STAR version to add to my collection some time back due to its attractive looks and features. What striked me about the STAR version was its large battery storage capacity, quality build materials and full trademark decals to name a few. The first thing you’ll notice is that it is quite hefty as it weighs in around 224g empty. The body is constructed of a hard wearing plastic and features a metal thumb twist rail mount, and permanently molded into the body is a dummy blue high power lockout block just for looks. While it’s certainly not 1:1 size these details make up for it. To access the battery space you simply unscrew the mode selection switch all the way and remove the rear panel. Slip in a battery, replace the panel and you’re back in business. It’s quick to replace, and can be done on the field if need be, just don’t loose the screw in the bush though!
Now the unique thing that sets this apart from most other PEQ 2A’s is the addition of an actual visible red laser unit. This unit does not take up any space you could be using for battery and is a separate and removable module that you twist to turn on. This tiny unit is non adjustable and runs off 3 LR-44 button cells, even for its small size its surprisingly bright and can be activated while installed and with gloves on. All you need to do is twist the dial CCW for on and CW for off. All in all, this dual purpose box is an excellent buy even if it is more expensive than others, but for those wanting an aiming module with storage this is the one to get! I give it a 9/10, high quality, good details, large space and a functional laser.
MFG: Star Airsoft
Product: Laser Devices OTAL (Offset Tactical Aiming Laser)
Type: Visible Red Laser
For those looking for something more unique and compact I present you the STAR “S-LAP” which is a knock off of the Laser Devices OTAL module. This tiny little module is constructed out of a hefty aluminum block for extremely solid construction. The only plastic pieces are the rubber strap the holds the battery cap, the laser adjustment dials, mode switch and the remote switch guard. This laser is a joy to use because of its small size, with the inclusion of a metal ARMS throw mount you can quickly attach it to any 20mm rail platform in a snap. This unit takes 2 LR1 / 910A 1.5v batteries (that are included) but is a pain in the ass due to their rarity and price point locally. However eBay is an excellent and inexpensive source for these batteries China direct!
Operation is dead simple, slide in the 2 batteries, screw on the metal battery cap and get down to business. On the rear of the unit you have a mode switch that has 3 modes “Off, Remote Momentary, and On”. Remote momentary can be activated with the included pressure pad. This laser is bright as you’ll notice when fired and projects a nice red dot down range. The laser can be easily be adjusted for down/up and left/right corrections provided you have a thick flathead screw driver to turn the knobs with as they are too small and tight to do so with your thumb and forefinger. In closing this is most definitely worth the high price for those looking for an ultra compact unit, though I can only give this unit an 9.5/10 because the choice of battery type as the real one only uses 1 AA cell which is infinitely cheaper and more abundant than LR1s, but this is a serious little piece of work and STAR has certainly pulled off an excellent OTAL replica.
MFG: G&P Industrial Co. Limited
Product: "Real Size" Insight Technologies (AN/PEQ-2A)
Type: Visible Red Laser and Illuminator
Now it’s time to get down to serious business. After years of ‘Coming Soon’ G&P finally released their replica 1:1 (99%) real size PEQ-2A some time back in 2007 to the wide reception of many looking to get their hands on it. G&P hasn’t released a fully functional replica laser model since their PAQ-4C back sometime in 2003. But what a joy this was to me when I finally got my hands on it after way to many years of waiting.
It the package you’ll receive a handy pouch, 3 AA batteries, a pressure remote, a clickie remote, instructions and decals. The build material of this appears to be a nice hard wearing ABS. G&P left no details behind with the inclusion of nicely made decal stickers to outfit the unit with and an actual operational blue lockout block! It features a metal screw mount which requires a flat head screw driver on the field if installing on the go. To get going all you need to do is unscrew each of the metal battery caps and pop in the AAs according to the diagram on the PEQ itself. Select a fire mode (Off, Aim, Dual, and Illuminator, and Off again). Now the interesting part is that the dial actually stops in between the selections and rotates the full 180 degrees Off to Off. The Lo and Hi markings as true to the real PEQ are there just for looks and don’t offer additional power settings. A tiny green LED above and to the right of the selector will light up indicating it’s ready for action. To fire the laser it’s dead simple, switch to your preferred mode and press the rubberized FIRE button or with one of the 2 remote switches provided. Don’t forget to reveal the cover for the illuminator so you can light up those dark corners with its bright white 100 torch. The only real disadvantage really is that you must have brand new batteries or NiMH rechargeable which I use in order to utilize the Dual mode properly otherwise you’ll get a combination of a dim illuminator and weak laser. The price is incredible to own the closest thing you’ll ever have to a real PEQ-2A. This unit is available with green, red, and IR laser capability. Recently released is their tan version with green laser. I will give this a solid 9.5/10 for its extremely high quality build, full functionality and pretty looks! Now the only reason this did not receive a 10/10 is the lack of proper laser adjustment as the hard to turn thumb dials are vague at best. Those who have GBB rifles, or AEGs with batteries stored elsewhere will definitely enjoy adding this to your rifle. It clears most optics as not to interfere with aiming and gives you that tacticool operator look!
MFG: G&P Industrial Co. Limited
Product: Insight Technologies (AN/PAQ-4C)
Type: Visible Red Laser
Up next is a more unusual piece that very few people seemed to have paid any attention to over the years it’s been available. This is the G&P PAQ-4C and has been around ever since I can remember even in my early airsoft days. The real PAQ-4C was designed as an IR laser pointer only versus the Model 2A which provided IR illumination with flood/spot capability for advance night time operations. This is probably why you see the 2A more often than the 4C due to it’s versatility. However G&Ps replica of the 4C features a red laser rather than an IR which is the only ‘unrealistic’ thing about this in that respect.
The PAQ-4C arrives in simple and typical G&P plastic packaging ready to be torn into. As with their 2A this unit was hefty for its tiny size! The choice of material is interesting as it appears to be similar to the ABS material used on piping around the house, it looks like it could be dropped and not experience any ill effects, though I would not recommend it regardless. A much appreciated addition is the inclusion of an all metal mount with a large thumb screw which allows attachment to your rail system on the go even with gloves on.
To begin use, all you need to do is slam in 2 AAs by unscrewing the metal battery cover according to the diagram direction and you’re in business. Now the nifty part about this unit is it’s method of being able to fire the laser. You may fire the laser with the use of the low profile paddle switch or via the included pressure switch. There is a diagram on the unit as per the real 4C that indicates the laser paddle can be in any of 5 positions (Off/Storage, On Momentary, On Steady, On Momentary, and Off) All of these positions work except the first on momentary. Another strange addition is the On Steady which can only be used provided you hold the laser in your hands because it won’t clear your rail system to operate correctly. That is just a minor quirk I noticed, but its based of the real deal so I can’t complain! I thoroughly enjoy the paddle system, when you fold it out into the secondary off position all you need to do is depress the paddle with your thumb to fire the laser. The laser will remain on until you remove your finger from it. Alternatively you may fold it to the off/storage position and utilize the pressure pad. I chose to operate it with the switch closed so it doesn’t get snagged on something and snap off. The laser can be operated with both the paddle and pressure switch deployed should you prefer that. Laser adjustment is fast and easy with the use of the Left/Right and Up/Down thumb screws which are easy to turn for full laser adjustment.
This G&P PAQ-4C has absolutely no faults that I can find with it and is by far the most over looked and forgotten accessory for something that’s been around for so long. I will easily give this a 10/10 as it’s quite possibly the best laser unit I’ve ever used next to my real Insight and Streamlight modules. It has everything you could ask for, superior build materials, bright laser, 2 modes of operation and a low profile size. Even at the higher price point I will highly recommend for those who are wanting a really nice visible red laser for any occasion. Well done G&P!
MFG: Streamlight Inc,
Product: TLR-2 with laser Sight
Type: Visible Red Laser and Illuminator
I’m including this as a quick bonus review as it’s not a replica, but the real deal! To date I have yet to find a LAM unit as capable or reliable as the various Insight Tech and Streamlight products I’ve owned over the years. These modules certainly deserve your attention. This light is simple and too the point. It features a CNC machined aluminum body and bezel. Featured inside is a C4 135 Lumen LED light and visible red laser unit. All I can say is this product is serious business. Powered by 2 included CR123 batteries it provides a stunningly bright white LED and a super bright laser dot. This unit will quickly attach to any pistol or rail unit within seconds. Untwist the thumb screw enough to clear your rail system, push in to grip and lock and re-tighten. 3 Modes of operation are available (Laser/light, Light, and Laser). Operation can be made on the go with the flick of a tiny switch below the paddle. To get going pry open the metal battery door clip which will release the paddle. Pop in the included CR123 batteries according to the diagram and replace the cap. To fire the laser/light momentarily depress the paddle upwards with your right trigger finger or left hand thumb, or downwards for constant on. You may also choose a method to fire depending on your shooting style. The C4 LED inside lights up those dark corners with no problem what so ever which guarantees fast and correct target acquisition. Its small size and capability make this worth every dime. The only downsides I can even think of is the fact that the battery door clip is a pain in the ass to open/close when changing batteries which isn’t that often anyways. The TLR-2 as well as my other Insight and Streamlight products are the only units that have ALWAYS worked when required and have provided consistent and guaranteed output without any worry as to it’s operational capability. A solid 10/10 and should be in the kit of every serious CQB player or those looking for some extra bling. Lay down the cash, and you will not be disappointed if you are in the market for a LAM unit.
This concludes my first installation of the PEQ and LAM roundup until I get my hands on others. And to end the show, here is a group shot showcasing the various size differences from smallest to largest.