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Near-Complete Failure: Delta CAR-15 at Midnight Brutality 2023

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Thanks to the 1 Shepherd cadre for making Midnight Brutality possible! And thanks to our excellent match sponsors:

Tactical Night Vision Company (TNVC)
B.E. Meyers Advanced Photonics
Live Q or Die

Midnight Brutality was a 6-stage all-nighttime match held at the Echo Valley Training Center. It was designed to test gear and skills in a dark environment, and it was both tremendously fun and very educational. This particular night for me, more educational than fun…

This is my run through the match in Infantry division, meaning that I was using an infrared laser and infrared light. Specifically, I was using a clone of a 1980s or early 1990s Delta Force CAR-15 carbine setup. It is set up with an Aimpoint 5000 red dot, an AN/PAQ-4A infrared pulsing laser, and a Surefire 6P with an infrared filter. It also has a collar for an Ops Inc telescoped suppressor, but I didn’t have one of those on it for the match. The upper assembly was generously loaned to me by Augie Kim of TNVC (Tactical Night Vision Company), who was also our primary match sponsor.

This sort of carbine setup would be fantastic for kicking doors and clearing rooms…but it did not work well for me against small targets at long (by night standards) ranges in minimum ambient light, to put it mildly. One could also say I crashed harder than a Blackhawk over Mogadishu. The problems I had were twofold; the flashlight just didn’t give enough light for targets on the open range, and the laser dot was larger than any of the targets I had to engage.

Filming was done with a Sionyx OPSIN digital NV monocular/camera. I also used a Grec recorder on one of my PVS14 tubes to get a first-person view. The OPSIN struggled in the early stages before the moon rose and the clouds cleared a bit, but it was massively aided by my IR light. Actually, the OPSIN did a better job with the flashlight than my PVS-14s did. My test runs with the rig before the match had all been under significantly better lighting (lots of stars and some moon), and didn’t give me a proper appreciation for the setup’s strengths and weaknesses.

I completed four of the six stages, and avoided being dead last only because a couple other people also failed to complete all the stages, and one person DQ’d. It was educational, but frustrating. If I could go back knowing what I do now, I would not have chosen to use it in the match. That said, I initially tried to find a way to bring an M3 Snooper M1 Carbine with Korean-War era NV scope, and I’m very glad that didn’t work out! That rig would have been even worse…

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