by Jeff "Biggs" Wobig
If you're reading this you obviously want a honest review from a qualified operator. I can guarantee it will be honest but me being qualified is debatable - unless you ask my mom. She thinks I'm awesome! As a US Navy SEAL sniper I have used my fair share of optics. Personally I like quality equipment that works every time and can take a beating. If there is one thing the special operations community is good at, it's breaking things. I can't count how many times I've heard "If you take care of your gear it will take care of you". I agree. I also agree with the saying "you can't polish a turd". If you do your homework you will see that the guys that use night vision the most all have the same brand on their set up. I choose to use Armasight night optics. Here's why:
I really, really enjoy shooting things at night. I don't know why but it makes me feel better about myself if I have the ability to confidently take shots and connect with my intended target when it's dark outside. The first time I shot Armasight's CO-LR 3A Gen 3 NV Clip-on I was in a hurried stage of a competition and engaged a target just inside 600 yds. Well that target wasn't in play and the hit didn't count. I guess when they set the range up they figured there was no way the optics could pick that target up at that distance so they left it up. Needless to say, the CO-LR 3 picked it up perfectly and enabled me to make what I thought was a great shot. The shot didn't count for the competition but I was sold on the clarity and all-around ability of the NV Clip-on system.
What does shooting a quality piece of night vision do to a guy that loves shooting at night? Well, I called Armasight the next week and me and my best friend (also a SEAL sniper) both purchased CO-LR 3A Gen 3 Clip-ons. I mounted mine on my AR-10 in front of a 1-9 day time scope and took it to the range. Let me be more specific. The evening it arrived I ripped it out of the cool little protective case it comes in and slapped it on my gun and went to the range. I definitely didn't spend any time reading the owner's manual. After all, I'm like all men, I know everything about anything manly and I don't read unless there are lots of pictures. That being said, read the manual. I set up my steel target at 200 yds and I was ready to start seeing how my night life was going to drastically change. I was looking through my scope and thinking it wasn't near as bright as I remembered it. I could see the steel but it was pretty dark. I started trouble shooting but everything was working great. That's when I remember the manual gain. With one little twist the whole range was at an immediate disadvantage. I was ecstatic. I started sending rounds into that steel like it was my job. I remember smiling and I think I may have screamed with joy.
What is manual gain you ask? Well I'm sure there is some big fancy explanation but it's basically added amplification of ambient light. It makes the scope brighter. The components that Armasight uses are top-notch. The more I look into the company, the more I like their products. Of course every company says they use top-notch components. And who am I to know the difference? To be honest, I don't know the difference in components, but I do know seeing is believing. The difference in the CO-LR 3A's image and other Clip-ons is what drives me to support this superior optic.
The Armasight CO-LR 3A has a very crisp image. You can manually adjust the focus and the gain. This is very important because the biggest issue with night vision is a fuzzy image that ultimately keeps you from identifying and engaging targets. It has impeccable mounts and multiple options for mounting. I used the Armasight FSRS (Front Scope Rail System) to mount my CO-LR in front of my Nightforce 5.5-22x50 on my sniper rifle. The FSRS makes it possible to add a CO-LR clip-on to any of your favorite hunting rifles that may not have rail space for a forward mounted optic. I also like the remote control option. You just flip the power switch to STB and you can operate your power from wherever is most convenient for you at the time. I use the remote when I am patrolling in low light instead of having the optic on the whole time. It's also great for hunting coyotes. Not having to reach up to turn on your CO-LR limits your movement and improves success.
As the spokesman for DEPSOC 360, a revolutionary new camo design, I get to hunt quite a bit. I would say hunting is my true passion. I grew up hunting elk but I've grown very fond of predator hunting. I just started hunting pigs. Now that's fun!! Although hunting predators is still very challenging at night, hunting pigs at night is like shooting fish in a barrel. You are literally at an astronomical advantage. Get it? Anyway, if you want to slay some pigs this is a mandatory piece of gear. Depending on how much damage the pigs are doing, it could pay for itself in one night of hard hunting.
Good equipment is not cheap and cheap equipment is not good. Armasight is not cheap. But in the name of optics it is very affordable. This CO-LR is better, and I do mean better, than units twice as expensive. In my opinion this is the best priced quality equipment on the market. I have had zero issues with Armasight and I look forward to seeing their new gear. I think my next purchase will most likely be one of their thermal units. I'll let you know if and when I get it and as always I will give you my honest opinion.
Jeff Wobig grew up in a small mountain town on the western slope of Colorado. His youth was filled with hunting and learning outdoor skills from family and other local outdoorsman. Jeff Wobig joined the U.S. Navy in 2002, where he successfully completed Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL training. Jeff Wobig aka "Biggs" was deployed twice at SEAL Team Seven and twice at SEAL Team Five to various combat zones. His expertise as a SEAL sniper, breacher (explosives expert) and communicator have led to multiple advising roles for the USG and private organizations.
Jeff Wobig is constantly training to maintain and improve his combat readiness. He is the co-founder of CTS Solutions, a security business specializing in tactical consulting and training. Jeff is also the co-creator of Daddy GO Bag. A combat inspired bag for fathers.
Biggs was fortunate to represent the SEAL community in Maxim Magazine's 2012 Maximum Warrior Challenge. His skills and experience enabled him to finish in 1st place and be named Maximum Warrior 2012. Biggs also represented the SEAL community as the lead sniper and point man for Animal Planet's Battleground: Rhino Wars. A mini-series documenting the illegal poaching of the world's few remaining rhinos.
Jeff Wobig has a passion for transforming youth in need of guidance and direction. He is a growing pillar in his community and continues to teach and mentor on as many levels possible. As the spokesman for a revolutionary new camouflage, DEPSOC360, Jeff is able to continue his own education as an outdoorsman in hopes to transfer these skills to eager youth.
Mr. Wobig has taken his teamwork and leadership skills to the medical field as the founder of CTS Solutions. He and his special operations team present a course of life saving techniques used by the U.S. Navy SEAL Teams. The CME (continued medical education) workshop focuses on leadership and teamwork in critical situations, with an emphasis on communication. Jeff resides in his hometown of Paonia, CO.