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FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: Holosun LS321G

For those who like to shoot in the dark with night vision, often it is easier to aim with a laser than try to look through your optic while wearing NODs on your face. Most night vision users tend to go to Steiner for their DBAL or L3 for their ATPIAL/PEQ15. While those two are the industry standard, besides the BE Meyers MAWL-C1+, there are other options for a Multi-Function Aiming Laser (MFAL) like the Holosun LS321G.

What Is An MFAL?

L = Low Power H = High Power

 

An MFAL is a Multi-Function Aiming Laser like a DBAL or ATPIAL. They have multiple functions. Typically an aiming laser is just a single or dual laser system like the Steiner CQBL. What makes them multi-function is adding an illuminator. If you recall the Wilcox Raptar Lite ES is the penultimate MFAL since it has all four illumination options; VIS laser, VIS illuminator, IR laser, IR illuminator. Not all MFALs have a visible illuminator like the Holosun LS321G. But it does have a VIS green laser, infrared laser designator/pointer, infrared laser illuminator.

Looking at the photo above, the selector switch has two power settings. If you turn the switch to the left from OFF you access the low power laser. VL – Visible laser Low. IRL = Infrared laser Low. Turn the switch to the right and you access the H settings for high power laser. VH and IRH are the higher powered settings for the respective visible and infrared laser designator/pointers. IL is to access the infrared laser illuminator. And the last setting is for IRH and IL simultaneously on.

Close up of the Holosun LS321G

You can see the three elements. The larger circle is for the IR illuminator. The circle on the left is for the IR laser designator and the circle next to it is for the green visible laser.

At the back of the Holosun LS321G, there is a knob. This is to change the diameter of the IR illuminator. Next to the illuminator knob is a copper-plated port for a remote tape switch. The LS321G comes with Holosun’s standard tape switch which is similar to a Steiner/ATPIAL plug.

The LS321G is compatible with the SureFire SD-D-IT dual tape switch.

Just below and to the right is the locking latch to mount the LS321G.

Push the button at the rear forward and it unlocks the latch so you can open it out and remove the laser.

The IR and VIS lasers are co-aligned so adjusting one will adjust the other.

I used to have an older Holosun laser that was a green and IR laser. It did not have the IR illuminator functions but it did have a short Picatinny rail on the left side. The new LS321G no longer has this Picatinny rail.

 

Shooting With The LS321G

The height of the LS321G is rather tall. It completely blocks the irons on my 416 but even the SU-231 EOTech is too high for those irons anyway.

If I remove the Eotech HWS, the LS321G still blocks the 416 irons.

When mounted behind actual AR BUIS like these MBUS PRO sights, the LS321G is low enough you can still see the front sight post.

If you do not want to use the tape switch, the LS321G has an activation button at the top the laser housing.

The activation button is for momentary activation but if you quickly double tap it, the laser will switch to constant on.

Even with a narrow slim handguard like this Midwest Industries combat rail.

How does the actual laser look? As a laser pointer, the LS321G works great. But as an IR laser illuminator, it lacks luster. See the video below.

Unfortunately other than the MAWL-C1+, all civilian rated MFAL have terrible IR laser illuminators that are borderline almost useless. The Holosun LS321G joins this group, unfortunately. You are better off with just a plain IR/VIS laser and compensate with a good IR LED light. Like the Modlite head I used in the video.

So Is This Laser Hot or Lukewarm?

As a laser pointer/designator, it is just as good as any laser. The green VIS laser is rather bright. Bright enough that you can see it in daylight with the right lighting conditions. As I mentioned earlier this laser has two power settings; Low and High. Since this is not a full power laser having a lower power mode seems useless. Non-Civilian rated lasers usually have power settings to differentiate from non-eye-safe full power and eye-safe low power. That way you can practice with the lower power setting and not risk burning out your retinas. I can overlook the dual power settings as this may be a carryover from their full power LE/MIL version of the LS321G but the IR illuminator is basically useless.

If you are in a completely dark environment then it could be of use. But as you saw in the video above, the IR illuminator had difficulty illuminating dark shadows across the street. The US Night Vision Triad is the same laser with different branding. The IR illuminator is weak and not very good compared to other options like a good IR weapon light.


The other major factor that hurts the LS321G is the price. MSRP is rather high at $941.16 on Holosun’s website.  A slightly more reasonable street price of $799.99 can be found on Botach.com.  The price of the LS321G is cheaper than your standard DBAL-A3 or ATPIAL-C which are around $1,200 for similar performance. However, this is still quite expensive for lackluster performance for an IR illuminator. You would be better off buying Holosun’s standalone LS221G laser which is a similar laser as the LS321G just no IR illuminator. You can get one for around $550. Then spend the money you saved on a decent IR weapon light. If you want to save more money then take a look at the LS117IR which can be bought for under $300. Just know that the LS117IR is only an IR laser. There is no visible slaved laser to help zero it.

For more information on Holosun lasers, take a look at their website.




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