DBAL-I2 (an overview) – and because this seems to come up a lot

The DBAL-I2 is very popular in the civilian market, for good reason. Combining a very desirable feature-set with the LCF looks of its more mature brother the A2, the I2 strikes the perfect middle-ground between an ITAL/OTAL and the much more expensive A3 or ATPIAL-C.

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Because Steiner has done a poor job of detailing the various I2 models, here is the breakdown. It comes in 5 configurations, as follows:

  • 9003 – black housing, green laser, IR laser
  • 9004 – black housing, red laser, IR laser
  • 9005 – tan housing, red laser, IR laser
  • 9006 – tan housing, green laser, IR laser
  • 9007 – black housing, IR illuminator, IR laser

Inferring from the list above, one can draw the following 2 conclusions:

  • All of them have an IR laser
  • 9007 (also known as the single-spectrum DBAL-I2) is only available in black and replaces the visible laser with an IR illuminator

Before you run off to grab the 9007 and pair it with just a white light, the IR illuminator present on the 9007 is for close-to-mid range engagements and lacks the power of a standalone IR weapon light. Comparing the output of the IR illuminator (<_4mW) to that of a Surefire M600V (120mW) one can see that there is simply no substitute for a dedicated IR weaponlight.

In case you are thinking that the ATPIAL-C ‘s IR illuminator is better, I have bad news, it’s only 3mW. The high-power PEQ-15 (non-civilian version) has 30mW on high, still less than the 120mW. This is why standard-issue PEQ-15s have and will continue to be accompanied by IR-capable lights such as the M720v, WMX200 and M952V.

(I should point out the the highest-power PEQ-15 variant, the LA-5 does in fact have 80mW but as far as I’m aware, these units are reserved for SOF)

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