Thursday, February 4, 2010

ATN Night Vision Group Buy

Sit down, fasten your seat belts, take your heart medication, clock out, and go on break-- this is important. On Point Firearms is doing its first ever ATN Night Vision Group Buy. Our exclusive VIP members normally buy at dealer price, but by ordering directly from ATN in bulk, we'll be able to leverage distributor pricing from ATN! So, if you've ever wanted professional-grade night vision, now is the time.

Before we discuss pricing, it's important to reiterate that this is professional-grade equipment-- the same kind used by our military. It's true that a sportsman could get by with a $500 system since his primary mission would be spotting fallen cans of Coors Light from a tree stand. However, shooters and survivalists have different needs. They require ruggedness, clarity, and waterproofcicity. I made up that last word, but you get the picture. In an extreme situation, having NVGs can be a huge force multiplier. You can have all the guns and ammo in the world, but you can only carry a little at a time. When the power grid is down, the ability to see at night is unparalleled. Well, situational awareness and training helps, but we're not selling that today! ;)

Here's your crash course in NVGs. Night vision technology is broken up into different levels. Gen 1 night vision is the gear you buy at Wal-mart for $500. Gen 2 costs a lot more and is widely used in the law enforcement sector. Gen 3 is what our military uses. Gen 4 is scary cool and the price of a Rolex.

Gen 2+ is our starting point. You get a lot of cool features like the micro-channel plate (MCP) that the previous first generation models didn't have. It's a lot brighter and clearer. The resolution is 40-45 lines per millimeter (lp/mm). The service life is 5000 hours. The next step up is Gen 2 CGT. CGT is an image intensifier, so you get better resolution 45-54lp/mm, and twice the service life: 10000 hours. For only a couple hundred dollars more, you get twice the service life. That's huge! Upgrade from CGT to Gen 2 HPT and you'll enjoy increased sensitivity (what are we talking about again?), resolution (51-64lp/mm), and a whole array of whiz bang features. HPT is said to be equivalent to Gen 3. Of course, Gen 3 is the military standard and you also get 51-64lp/mm resolution and a chemical called gallium arsenide that makes the image brighter and sharper. If you drink gallium arsenide, you can communicate with dead pets from your childhood. Then there's Gen 3A (64-72lp/mm), Gen 3P Pinnacle, and Gen 4. Gen 4 is top dollar, shit hot technology. It uses something called "gated filmless technology" and is the biggest tech breakthrough in the past 10 years. I would buy Gen 4 if NVGs were going to be part of my every day life. Since they're not, I'd prefer a nice watch that I could look at every day-- or 5000 lottery tickets. What can I say, I'm stupid when it comes to money. So, we've covered the different levels of technology. Now, let's talk about the different models.

The reason we're doing a night vision group buy in the first place is because my Army Ranger buddy wants to. After last year's Shot Show I had originally wanted a weapons-mounted PS22 model that would attach to any M1913 Picatinny rail and cinch down in front of the daytime optics of your choosing. My buddy reminded me that you don't necessarily want to point your weapon at everything you want to see in a low light environment. "Hey honey, can you check on the kids?" Sure, let me point my M4 carbine at them. Instead, we are focusing on a monocular-- a handheld device you can wear on your helmet, with headgear, or mount on your weapon. He used a PVS14 in the Rangers. We're looking at the NVM14 and the 6015-- which is based on the military PVS14.

Both units are robust and waterproof. They accept AA batteries, have a 40 degree field of view, digital controls, and similar dimensions. You're really buying a different form factor-- and that's it. The 6015 units also ship with headgear included as standard equipment, but even if you buy it separately, the NVM14 still ends up being less expensive. ATN offers a better price on the NVM14-- the discounts are much more substantial, so unless you want a PVS14 look alike, I would recommend the NVM14 model. It's just a better value.

Let's get down to the biscuits and gravy, folks: pricing. I did some cost benefit analysis yesterday and here's what I came up with: NVGs are EXPENSIVE! There are four prices on the schedule. There's MSRP (full blown retail), MAP (minimum advertised price that dealers can advertise), dealer cost, and distributor cost. The biggest discount off of MSRP is for the NVM14-HPT model. That's our sweet spot, my friends. The NVM14 models don't come with headgear, but even if you buy it separately, you're still $400+ less than the comparable 6015-HPT model. If you want to step up to Gen 3, the delta between the NVM14-3 and 6015-3 falls to $200+ when the cost of headgear is considered. If you do want the 6015 form factor, then the best deal is at the HPT level. The NVM14 is also a better solution if you want to upgrade to a universal helmet mount in lieu of the headgear kit-- for only $31 more.

We can only leverage distributor cost if we collectively buy 20+ units. So, 20 units will be placed on the website. You can place your orders, payment will be accepted, but nothing will ship until all 20 units are sold. Then, we can make the group buy. If we don't get orders in a couple of weeks, then all monies will be refunded. However, I'm confident that at least 20 of us will be interested and the buy will happen swiftly. I think I have about 10 guys locally that are interested, so we'll be halfway there.

If you have any questions, let me know. Thanks and God bless! -- Evan

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