EOTECH OGL (On-Gun Laser) IR and Visible Lasers

by Vern Evans

When I first started down the rabbit hole of night vision scopes, I imagined looking through my head-mounted NODs and through my EOTech while set on Night Vision (NV) mode, then lining it up with my target. While technically possible, the reality becomes so disjointed that most anyone trying will give up pretty quickly in frustration.

EOTech OGL – On Gun Laser

The truth is that it simply doesn’t work. My second plan included clipping my PVS 14 on the rifle itself, perfectly aligned with my EOTech. First, look through the night vision and then the red dot in front, ensuring alignment. Second, as you swing your rifle around at everything you want to look at, you will realize in about 45 seconds that your arms are tired. Really tired. So then you realize you need to mount your night vision back on your head.

The only practical way to aim a pistol or rifle while wearing night vision on your head is to use an infrared laser as an aiming device. There have been a ton of options to choose from: DBALs, ATILLA-200s, PEQ2s, PEQ15s, and more today. They all work. Each brings pluses and minuses; all certainly improved over time. This is what we have learned about IR lasers. First, smaller and lighter is better than bigger and heavier, unless you like your 7-pound AR morphing into a 15-pound AR. It is amazing how easily that can happen.

Hard Lessons

Remember when we all went out and bought collapsible stocks that had those nifty tubes to hold spare batteries and pistol grips that could hold a cleaning kit or multi-tool or a couple CR123a batteries? Yeah, that got old fast. It is also amazing how quickly you run out of space to put lights and IR lasers and sometimes a forward grip or a bipod on your forend. So we want this thing to be as small and unobtrusive as possible.

Second, if you have an IR laser on your rifle, you are going to want to have a visible laser built into it. Do I use a visible laser to aim my rifle? Not often. It is far slower than using a red dot sight. In fact, the only time I find a visible laser useful for aiming is when I am wearing Clan Lab respirators, AKA gas masks, and I cannot get my face down on the stock of the gun. Then they are helpful.

So why do I insist on having a visible laser? Sighting in an IR laser, at the range, after dark, screwing around in the pitch-black walking back and forth to the target, making adjustments on the fly, remains cumbersome. I prefer to do that in the daytime when I can use a spotting scope and is much faster and easier. Thankfully, most modern IR laser-aiming devices match up to sighting in the visible laser. So they deliver one-stop shopping at the range.

Battle-Proven Optics

EOTech is no stranger to making top-of-the-line electronic equipment for war fighting. I’ve trusted my life to their sights for over 20 years both domestically and abroad. I recently had the opportunity to attend Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous in Idaho, and I got to meet with John Bailey, VP of Marketing. He introduced me to the Eotech OGL (On Gun Laser). I asked him if it was the best name they could come up with. I was thinking they could call it something catchier like the Annhilator-9000? He smiled politely and I moved on.

I tried out the OGL and it worked great. He explained the OGL addresses and corrects a lot of small problems that end users have noticed when using IR aiming devices in the sandbox and back home over the last decade. First, they made it as small as they could. It is literally about the size of a deck of playing cards. Next, they made the housing out of aluminum instead of plastic. IR lasers are notorious for not holding their zero, and any amount of flex is bad. Aluminum is far more rigid than plastic. They also put two lugs on the bottom to brace against the Picatinny and again, keep the OGL rigid and unmoving. They also enhanced the ergonomics.

Easy Adjustments

The round, rubber “Fire” button on top is easy to find because it has a protruding dot in the center with a ring around the outside. Protected by the housing around them, the large, easy-to-manipulate zeroing screws adjust with a straight-edge screwdriver. They also give tactile clicks so you know how far you are adjusting, unlike the WAG system (Wild A** Guess) used on some other IR lasers. 

Some of the features are pretty standard today on most IR lasers. The remote pigtail switch takes the industry standard coupling. I’ve always found this coupling to be a little on the weak side, but it is the industry standard, so it is compatible with everyone else’s equipment like UNITY Tactical. Any brand of modern pigtail switch or one off of another laser sight will work, and they are easy to replace. A Modlite ModButton Lite switch with a 7-inch cord is included. The CR123a battery cap is tethered to prevent loss in the field, and protective caps/pattern generators that cover the IR/Visible laser and the IR illuminator are also on rubber and can be quickly swung to the sides of the unit or back in place.

Custom Control

Finally, John told me about what truly makes the OGL unique and special. The IR illuminator located on the left side has a variable beam. It can be tightly shaped to reach out a farther distance, or made into a flood light to cover a wider swath when going through narrow streets or into a building. The unique lever sits in front of the Fire switch and is easily manipulated by your thumb. Because it sits in the middle, it is ambidextrous if mounted on top of your fore-end, or easy to use with your support hand if it is mounted on one of the sides. It can be easily manipulated without looking at it, which is important for situational awareness when running NODS.

The OGL is currently only available to LE/Military at the standard power, but there are plans to release a commercial model in mid 2024. They come in tan and gray. One CR123a battery provides up to 9 hours of continuous run time. MSRP is $2,999.

For more info, visit eotechinc.com.

On June 28, 2023, Tactical Life reported:

Branching out from its typical optics platforms, EOTECH offers its OGL (On-Gun Laser). Although it is not the company’s first divergence from optics, it is its first Laser Aiming Module. Offering both an IR and visible laser with a built-in IR illuminator, the OGL is designed for easy operation.

EOTECH OGL (On-Gun Laser) Details

Constructed of an all-aluminum housing, the OGL promises extreme durability for hard-use applications. Additionally, the compact size is similar to the footprint of a standard deck of playing cards (approximately 3.5 inches long and 2 inches wide). Similarly, lightening channels throughout the housing help keep the OGL to a lightweight 7 ounces.

The OGL features both a visible green and IR aiming laser with a shared optical bench. As a result, zeroing the vertically stacked, co-aligned lasers is simple and only requires a single adjustment for both. Correspondingly, windage and elevation adjustments are made in 0.2 mRAD per click with a 50 mRAD total.

Featuring a built-in IR illuminator, the OGL utilizes a top throw lever to adjust the illuminator divergence. As a result, users can manipulate the illuminator with just the thumb on the support hand. This allows adjustments from ~5 mRAD to ~115 mRAD for a close-range flood or long-range spot.

The lasers and illuminator feature lens covers that provide diffusion or pattern generators. Correspondingly, both covers can be rotated to the side for undisturbed beams.

A large button on the top of the housing provides tactile operation even in the dark. A single press provides momentary on while a double click provides constant on operation. Likewise, at the rear of the housing is an industry-standard remote jack that takes most PTT (pigtail switches) or hot buttons. Additionally, a switch on the rear of the housing allows you to switch between laser functions.

The EOTECH OGL (On-Gun Laser).

The OGL operates on a single CR123 battery and provides up to 9 hours of continuous runtime.

Availability

The standard power (MIL/LE) version will be available to law enforcement agencies in Q4 of 2023, with an MSRP of $2,199.00. However, the company also plans a version for the public with a less powerful laser in 2024. The OGL will be available in your choice of FDE or Gray models. For more info, please visit EOTECHInc.com.

EOTECH On-Gun Laser (OGL) Features

The EOTECH OGL (On-Gun Laser).
  • Standard power (MIL/LE) mode
  • All aluminum housing for extreme durability
  • Similar in size to a deck of cards
  • Enhanced ergonomics
  • Shared optical bench for visible green and IR aiming lasers
  • Illuminator variable beam divergence: ~5 mRAD to ~115 mRAD
  • 0.2 mRAD windage and elevation adjustments, 50 mRAD total
  • Crane Standard PTT receptacle
  • Modlite ModButton Lite 7″ switch included
  • Tethered protective caps/patterne generators
  • MSRP: $2,199.00

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