The DBAL-D2 (Dual Beam Aiming Laser) is a multi-function Class 1 Infrared Laser from Steiner. Being Class 1, it is completely Eye-Safe and available to the general public. Class 1 IR lasers feature a 0.7mW rating which is 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 450 yards. This encompasses most ranges at which users will engage targets during night shooting and training. The DBAL-D2 is designed to be weapon-mounted and act as an aiming system when the shooter is using head-mounted night vision goggles. With the maximum identification range of the latest Gen3 tubes being between 100-115 yards, the 450-yard range of the Class1 laser is perfect.
At its core, the DBAL-D2 is a civilian-legal DBAL-A2 (AN/PEQ-15A). It features a Class IIIa visible laser pointer (available green only), Class 1 Infrared laser pointer, and Class 1 LED IR illuminator. The Illuminator is what sets the D2 apart from the legacy LDI Class 1 lasers. The DBAL-D2 features an integral LED Infrared illuminator, complete with High/Low settings. At high power, it runs at 600mW, generating IR illumination out to 800 yards (750 yards useable). This incredibly high power illuminator is an LED, making it completely eye-safe. What’s more, the 0.7mW infrared laser will not wash out in the illuminator’s beam, giving the shooter clear and precise aiming out to the laser’s maximum range under less-than-optimal lighting conditions. Please note that the illuminator will “reflect” off walls at high power and close range, effectively washing out the lower power laser. For these applications, it is recommended to use the illuminator on its low setting. The illuminator features a variable bezel that can be focused from a wide/short-throw (30°) to a narrow/long-throw beam (2°).
Functionally, the rest of the DBAL-D2 provides the same benefits as the legacy systems. The Class 1 IR laser works great out to 450 yards and the visible green laser is the same as the others. One difference is both lasers are slaved, meaning that they zero each other when adjustments are made. This makes zeroing the laser a lot easier.
Physically, the DBAL-D2 features the same robust aircraft-grade machined aluminum housing as Steiner’s military lasers. Obviously, the illuminator housing is larger to accommodate the LED, but other than that, it is about the same size as an AN/PEQ-16B. It is extremely rugged and can take a lot of abuse. In fact, when you get the DBAL-D2 in your hands, it is very apparent that it’s built like a tank. The D2 uses the same excellent HT Self-Adjusting Throw-Lever as every other Steiner laser. This is one of the best quick-detach mounts on the market. We have yet to find a rail it won’t work on.
The DBAL-D2 is the embodiment of innovation in the civilian night vision market. Steiner listens to its customers and makes products based on more than just what the government wants. The inclusion of the infrared illuminator in the unit allows the shooter to free up real estate on the weapon platform for other accessories, or simply condense the amount of things hanging off the gun. Add in the fact that the illuminator is one of the finest we have seen, and you have a winning product. Please note: the illuminator is an LED, so there is visible downrange signature. A visible red light (inherent to all LED’s) can be seen from over 100 yards away when viewed within 2° of the emitter. This is a very small window, but something professionals need to be aware of.