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BE Meyers MAWL C1

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Dominate the Dark

Photos by Rob Curtis

Laser-aiming devices have come a long way in the past decade, with reduced form factors and increased functionality across the board. The latest iteration from B.E. Meyers is their MAWL -C1+, and it’s now available on the civilian market — if you can stump up the cabbage.

I’ve been using IR lasers on my service carbine for as long as I can remember and have been privileged to evaluate more models than most, being an Army Special Forces Trainer. This isn’t to brag, but to give some idea as to how good of a job Meyers has done with the MAWL. The form, fit, and function exceeded expectations, and it was clearly designed with input from shooters and warfighters.

The MAWL’s design is impressive — its offset layout allows for the controls to be  dead center on the top of your rail. The fire control A and B buttons allow the shooter to have the same hand grip on their weapon and easily actuate the controls, without needing to adapt to it. This provides the shooter with maximum control over their weapon, while allowing for an unobstructed field of view. It not only frees up rail space for other gear, but also allows for a proper hand position on the gun and doesn’t compromise the ability to drive the weapon while painting a target.

Despite its low profile, when it comes time to employ light or laser in either the visible or infrared spectrum, its controls are intuitive. And there’s good news for you shanks — aka left-handed shooters. The MAWL’s modular design allows it to be mounted on both sides of the carbine, and its three-position selector switch is just as easily activated with either hand.

Zeroing the MAWL
The MAWL -C1+ is very user friendly to dial in, allowing the user to make their own zero target-type zero, based on vertical and horizontal offset from the bore. So long as you don’t run anything crazy like a G36, the manual clearly spells out the procedure and measurements in easy to understand steps. Even Marines can get it lined up, assuming they can stop eating crayons long enough. Once you zero the visible green laser, the infrared lasers are also automatically zeroed, allowing you to get your shoot on prior to complete darkness. There are co-aligned emitters for both the IR pointer and illuminator, so you can be sure the brightest area of the spotlight lines up with the laser, regardless of distance.

Low Power
The low power setting is useful for room clearing and short-range targets inside structures — using a high-powered laser in these conditions results in too much reflection from the target, “blooming” out under NODs. The illuminator switch on the function A setting activated a very wide 40mW, 60-degree illuminator and .7mW pointer, allowing you to see in extremely dark corners and hallways without extra discharge of IR light.

Mid Range
Midrange mode is designed for building exteriors, alleyways, and overall urban movement in general; both of the modes accomplish this very well. The midrange offers a dual illuminator and pointer and the ability to push out to further distances as you move to your target building.

Long Range
Long-range mode uses a .7mW pointer and 50mW, 4-degree illuminator, and is designed for targets at mid- to long-range. I guess the clue is in the name. In this mode, the MAWL far exceeded its 200m advertised range. I was able to hit targets out to 300m, but that’s dependent on performance of the user’s NVGs and to some extent, atmospheric conditions. Don’t expect to achieve the same results from $299 Russian Gen goggles in a monsoon.

The MAWL has individual push buttons for fire modes A and B, as well as lead remotes to complement a variety of remote-activated push-button switches on the market. The design allows you to activate it from both strong and support side, even without a remote switch. It seems like someone who knows weapons and tactics actually built this, which is a good thing. The A and B mode buttons allow the user instant access to two different illuminator and laser combinations — the A button is the go-to option, but if this doesn’t give optimal results due to changing environmental conditions, then a quick stab with the thumb will give another setup. For example, in midrange mode, the A button will give you an aiming laser, as well as both a 2.5- and 15-degree IR illuminator, which is like having a white light with a strong central spot. If this isn’t enough to effectively paint a target, then the B button can be used to add a little more power.

The MAWL -C1+ has intuitive switchology that allows for quick operation during hours of limited visibility and possesses a very clean and crisp illuminator and pointer. What’s unique about the MAWL is its illuminator — laser pointers have been around for years, but illuminator technology really separates this device from the rest. Most illuminators are LED-based, whereas the MAWL isn’t, giving it a unique quality to punch through or bypass photonic barriers.

And just what the blue f*ck is a photonic barrier? It’s a light source that’s aimed back at you and will overpower your IR source as seen with your NODs. For example, if you’re looking down a street with a couple of streetlights on it, it’s very hard to see past them. With the MAWL, it’s easy to activate high-power setting and blast it with the illuminator to see what’s lurking in the shadows.

Likewise if you enter a room and someone reaches for a flashlight, your NODs will flare out and adjust to the new light level. Again, flick to high power and light them up, without having to take a hand off the weapon and flip up your NODs.

This technology is also why the illuminator has a smooth, clean look rather than a granular appearance like current IR devices. As a package, the MAWL is capable of outperforming current civilian lasers on the market and will hold its own with many restricted devices as well. If you can justify its $2,500 purchase cost, you probably won’t be hit with a case of buyer’s remorse.

B.E. Meyers

BE Meyers Mawl C1

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