The OTAL (Offset Tactical Aiming Laser) Class 1 IR Laser is the first Mil Spec infrared aiming laser available to the commercial market. Class 1 IR lasers feature a 0.7mW rating which is eye safe and not restricted by the FDA. While this is a lower output than the standard 5mW+ IR lasers used by Warfighters and LE Professionals, it is perfectly adequate for targeting at ranges out to 400-450 yards. This encompasses most ranges at which users will engage targets during night shooting and training.
The OTAL Class1 Laser features a single output type: 0.7mW Infrared. The IR pointer is low powered to make it eye-safe, but will perform well out to 400 yards. The pointer is easy to spot and has a good divergence/shape. It works well with a separate LED IR Illuminator at distances, but will become a bit harder to see at close range due to the splash back from the illuminator on walls. This is especially true with light-colored walls. However, it is still easily visible for targeting. The IR pointer is more easily seen in darker conditions. Just like visible pointers, the Class1 laser will tend to wash out the closer it gets to another light source.
Based on Steiner’s proven OTAL, the Class1 version has no outward differences. The Class1 OTAL utilizes the same exact body housing and optics package as its Class IIIa brother. Physically, the housing is completely Mil Spec anodized precision machined Aircraft-Grade Aluminum with Steiner’s excellent HT Throw Lever Mount. These housings are extremely rugged, currently fighting on the front lines of the Global War on Terror. The OTAL variant is an Offset Tactical Aiming Laser. The emitter is offset to the side for mounting at the 12 o’clock position on rifles with standard front sight bases. The Mount is a self-adjusting throw lever that is exceptionally strong and requires no tools to adjust for out of spec rails. The Class1 OTAL features 3 modes of operation: On, Off, and Momentary. The momentary function works in conjunction with a remote pressure pad. The new port is standardized to allow for use of standard laser pressure pads. You can use the supplied Steiner pad, Insight Pads, or Surefire Dual SRO7D switches.
In the past, some small-time companies have attempted to build home-made modified IR lasers and sell them on the tactical market. These units did not hold zero and were generally poorly constructed- more suited to toys. Now, for the first time ever, a major government contractor is producing civilian-legal IR lasers in quality Mil Spec housings. Finally, the commercial market has something readily available at affordable prices.
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