dbal vs peq

DBAL vs PEQ: A Comprehensive Comparison of Two Top Laser Sight Systems for Nighttime Shooting

There are many options available in the laser aiming market. But since it’s a niche market, finding proper suggestions for which one to get can be difficult. 

So are you confused by dbal vs peq?

DBAL and PEQ are both military-grade laser aiming devices with unique features. Both have visible and invisible laser options. But the DBAL only has a 250m range with IR laser, while PEQ-15 has 600m in low setting. Both are compatible with rifles, carbines, submachine guns, and night vision devices.

This just paints a vague picture of how the two laser aiming devices compare. A more detailed comparison can be found right here in this article. 

DBAL Vs PEQ: General Overview 

DBAL stands for Dual Beam Aiming Laser. PEQ, on the other hand, stands for Personal Equipment Quest. It is a product line of laser aiming devices manufactured by Insight Technology. Refer to the table below for a quick comparison.

Weight9 oz (with batteries)7.5 oz (with batteries)
Build QualityMilitary Grade Military Grade
LaserVisible and Invisible Visible and Invisible 
Daylight Usability Medium with visible laser, better with IR
Sight Range250 meter (IR laser)600 meter (IR laser)
Compatibility Rifles, carbines, and submachine guns. Also with night vision devices Rifles, carbines, submachine guns, and even some handguns. Also night vision devices
Other Features Rifles, carbines, and submachine guns. Also, with night vision devices Low-power visible red aiming laser
Laser is zeroable
Modular design
Mode selector
Durable polyamide material built
Price RangeCheck Latest PriceCheck Latest Price

DBAL Vs PEQ: In-Depth Comparison 

Now let’s see the nitty-gritty of the two laser aiming devices. 


When comparing the weight of DBAL and PEQ devices, note that there are multiple models available under each product line. The weight can vary depending on the specific model and features included.

That being said, as a general trend, PEQ laser aiming devices are typically lighter in weight than DBAL devices. PEQ devices are designed to offer a lightweight and compact solution for laser aiming and target illumination.

For example, the PEQ-15 model is a popular laser aiming device used by military and law enforcement personnel. And it weighs around 4.9 ounces (139 grams) without batteries. While the weight of the AN/PEQ-15 with battery is 7.5 oz.

On the other hand, the DBAL-A2 model weighs around 8 ounces (227 grams) with batteries included. This makes it slightly heavier than the AN/PEQ-15. The DBAL-A4 weighs around 9 ounces (255 grams) with batteries included.

It’s worth noting that while the DBAL scopes may be heavier than the AN/PEQ-15, they also offer additional features. These can be valuable in certain tactical situations. 

Verdict: PEQ-15 wins this round for weighing much less. 

Build Quality:

Both the DBAL and PEQ laser aiming devices are considered to be military-grade equipment. They are built to meet the rigorous demands and specifications of military and law enforcement applications.

These devices are designed to be waterproof and shock-resistant. This allows them to operate reliably even in extreme weather conditions or if they are dropped or bumped during use. They are also built to be durable and able to withstand the recoil of firearms and other types of impact.

The weight of the DBAL and PEQ devices does differ. But this does not necessarily mean that one is more rugged than the other. 

While it is true that heavier devices may have more solid construction and be more durable. However, the difference in weight between the two devices is not significant enough to be a major factor in ruggedness.

Both the DBAL and PEQ devices are trusted by military and law enforcement personnel around the world. They are trusted for their reliability, durability, and performance.

Verdict: This round is a draw as both of the laser aiming devices are military grade. 


The DBAL and PEQ devices are capable of emitting both visible and infrared laser beams. This allows users to effectively engage targets in low-light conditions or other situations where visibility may be limited.

The specific type of laser used in each device may vary depending on the model and intended use. For example, some DBAL models use an infrared aiming laser, while others may use a red or green visible laser.

The PEQ-15A Multi-Functional Laser System and the Steiner DBAL-I2 Infrared Aiming Laser both utilize infrared lasers. They emit light at a wavelength that is invisible to the human eye. This allows the laser to be used without being detected by the enemy, making it an effective tool for covert operations.

Additionally, the DBAL-A2 and PEQ-15A also incorporate an improved IR illuminator, which provides better illumination at longer distances. This feature allows the user to effectively identify and engage targets at greater ranges, even in low-light conditions.

Note that both of these devices’ IR lasers can be seen by night vision

Verdict: This round is also a draw because both have very capable lasers. 

Daylight Usability:

The DBAL and AN/PEQ-15 laser devices can be used during the day. They have multi-functional aiming light that includes a visible laser for day use or an invisible IR laser. 

But in reality, the visible lasers used in both the DBAL and PEQ devices are generally most effective in low-light conditions. Or in situations where there is a high contrast between the laser dot and the background. In bright daylight conditions, the visible laser may be difficult to see, particularly at longer ranges.

However, some DBAL and PEQ models also incorporate infrared lasers. This can be used effectively in daylight conditions with the use of a compatible night vision device. 

Infrared lasers emit light at a wavelength that is invisible to the human eye. But can be detected by night vision equipment. This makes them an effective tool for use in both low-light and daylight conditions.

Verdict: This round is also a draw because both devices have similar daylight capabilities with IR lasers. 

Sight Range:

The DBAL A2 and DBAL-A4 models are capable of emitting a visible green laser with a range of up to 750 meters. The infrared laser on the DBAL-A2 and DBAL-A4 has a range of over 250 meters. It is important to note that the effective range of the laser may be reduced in adverse weather conditions.

On the other hand, the PEQ-15 laser aiming device has a visible aim laser with a range of 25 meters. The infrared aim laser on the PEQ-15 has a low setting that extends up to 600 meters. While the high setting has a range of up to 2000 meters. 

The effective range of the DBAL and PEQ laser aiming devices depends on factors such as the type of laser used, the ambient lighting conditions, and the target material. More powerful lasers have a longer range as they can maintain their intensity over greater distances. 

Different laser types emit light at different wavelengths, which can interact differently with surfaces. For example, a UV laser may be better for cutting certain materials than an infrared laser.

In general, the range of the visible laser on these devices is limited by the power output of the laser. The divergence of the beam also plays a role in the range. 

Divergence is the measure of how much a laser beam spreads out as it travels from its source. If a laser beam is highly divergent, it will spread out quickly and lose intensity over a short distance. Conversely, a less divergent beam will maintain its intensity over a longer distance.

The visible laser is typically most effective at ranges up to several hundred yards or meters. However, this depends on the specific model and laser output power.

The infrared laser on these devices can be effective at much longer ranges. Particularly when used in conjunction with a compatible night vision device. With the use of night vision equipment, the range of the infrared laser can extend to several thousand yards or meters.

Verdict: PEQ-15 wins this round with its longer range at higher power. 


The compatibility of the DBAL and PEQ 15  laser aiming devices depends on the specific model. Both are compatible with a wide range of weapons. 

Many DBAL models feature a Picatinny or Weaver rail mount. This allows them to be easily attached to a variety of firearms, including rifles, carbines, and submachine guns.

Source: steiner-optics.com

For example, the DBAL-D2 is compatible with rifle devices, including 50BMG systems. Some models also feature a quick-detach mount. This allows for rapid attachment and removal from the firearm. 

Some DBAL models are compatible with a variety of night vision devices in addition to firearms. This includes monoculars, binoculars, and spectacles, among others. This enables the infrared laser to be utilized effectively in low- or no-light conditions.

There are plenty of night vision devices that are compatible with DBAL and even PEQ-15. 

The PEQ-15 is designed to be compatible with a wider variety of firearms, which is one of its advantages. Not limited to, but including rifles, carbines, submachine weapons, and even certain handguns.

Additionally, the PEQ-15 can be easily integrated with a variety of optics and accessories. This includes night vision devices, magnifiers, and reflex sights.

Moreover, DBAl and PEQ-15 are both compatible with filmed and unfilmed night vision devices. 

Verdict: PEQ wins this round for being compatible with a wider range of devices and having more favorable size and profile. 

Other Features:

The DBAL devices also come with some extra features that make them stand out. 

One of these features is the adjustable illumination beam that ranges from 2° to 30°. This allows for more precise targeting and control of the beam. This highly collimated beam also significantly enhances night vision performance. That makes it easier to identify targets in low-light conditions.

DBAL is an abbreviation for Dual Beam Aiming Laser, which is a laser aiming device that combines both visible and infrared lasers in a compact unit. The DBAL-A3 civilian model is equipped with an adjustable infrared (IR) illuminator that can provide better illumination at longer ranges. This makes it highly effective in low light or no light conditions.

The DBAL features dual activation switches and high/low power modes. This provides flexibility to the user to adjust the device’s operation as per their needs. 

The high-power mode provides a brighter beam, making it easier to aim at targets at longer distances. While the low power mode conserves battery life and reduces the visibility of the laser. This also makes it harder to be detected by the enemy.

Moreover, the DBAL-12 model is made with aircraft-grade aluminum. This ensures the device’s longevity and durability. It is designed to withstand harsh environments and can operate in extreme temperatures. 

Additionally, the device is waterproof for up to 30 minutes if submerged in 1 meter of water. This makes it suitable for use in wet and humid conditions.

The DBAL-I2 model also includes a high-powered infrared LED illuminator. This can be used to illuminate a wide area in complete darkness.

On the other hand, the PEQ-15 also has some unique features that make it a versatile tool for tactical situations. One of these features is the ability to attach a visible white light to the unit. This provides illumination for close-quarters combat or search and rescue operations. 

The PEQ-15 is designed to fit on a Picatinny rail MIL-STD-1913. It is made of durable polyamide material and features a floating fiber. This helps to absorb shock and prevent damage to the device. 

Additionally, the PEQ-15 is compatible with a prototype crane mil-spec plug. This provides a secure and reliable connection to the weapon.

The device has a prototype hand feeling mode selector. It allows the user to switch between different modes of operation quickly and easily. 

The aiming laser is zeroable, which means it can be adjusted to hit the target accurately. Moreover, the laser produces clicking sounds that help to confirm the user when the laser is on target.

The PEQ-15 also includes a low-power visible red aiming laser. It can be used in conjunction with the IR laser for added flexibility. The high mode has an output power of 27.5 mW (max) 3B. While the low mode has an output power of 3.5 mW (max) 3B.

peq 15
Source: emergingtacticalsolutions.com

Verdict: PEQ wins this round for having more practical features. But for some the feature set of DBAL may be more favorable. 

Price Range:

Comparing the price of DBAL and PEQ is tricky because of the wide range of different models available. Bringing the conversation of the price down to dbal a3 vs peq 15 does not help. Because there are different versions of the specific model as well. 

Here are the listed prices of the most popular model

ModelsPrice Range
Steiner DBAL-A2$2,098.99
DBAL A3$1,864.49 – $2,033.99
L3Harris ATPIAL (AN/PEQ-15)$1,950.00
Eotech ATPIAL (AN/PEQ-15)$1,439.00

Verdict: The prices of the models vary a lot and are based on many factors. So the winner will depend on the user’s choice. 

Final Verdict: DBAL or PEW, Which one to Choose? 

Both the DBAL and PEQ are excellent aiming devices for firearms, with their own unique set of features and advantages. You cannot go wrong with either one. 

You may need a specific feature or capability that is only available on a particular model of the DBAL. Then it may be the better choice for you. For example, if you need a high-powered infrared LED illuminator, DBAL I2 is the way to go.

However, if you may not have any specific requirements that would make the DBAL a better choice. Then the PEQ-15 may be the better option due to its overall better compatibility, range, and features.

Additionally, the PEQ-15 is designed to be compatible with a wide range of firearms and accessories. This makes it a versatile choice for many users. Furthermore,, the PEQ-15 includes a wide range of features, which we already highlighted.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Does the military use DBAL?

Yes, the DBAL (Dual Beam Aiming Laser) is a popular aiming device used by the military, law enforcement, and civilian shooters. The DBAL is designed to provide accurate aiming and target illumination in low-light and nighttime conditions, making it a valuable tool for the military, who operate in a variety of environments and situations.

Can a civilian buy a PEQ-15?

Yes, a civilian can buy a civilian version of the PEQ-15. But the full power, military-grade PEQ-15 is not for sale to civilians. The ATPIAL-C civilian legal version of the AN/PEQ-15 has some extra features that are not found in the full-power military version. One of these features is a low-power visible laser that can be used for close-quarters combat or low-light conditions.

How long does a PEQ-15 last?

The AN/PEQ-15 has a battery life of approximately 6 hours when using both high-power settings for both the infrared laser and illuminator. However, the battery life can be extended if using lower power settings or if only using one of the functions.


And that concludes our discussion on dbal vs peq. Both are excellent options, and our article should highlight where they differ. 

When choosing between the two systems, it’s important to consider factors such as laser type, power output, battery life, mounting options, and compatibility with other accessories. The DBAL, with its dual laser design and IR capabilities, may be better suited for military or law enforcement applications, while the PEQ’s lightweight and compact design may be more suitable for hunting or civilian use.

Ultimately, the choice between the DBAL and PEQ will depend on the specific needs and preferences of the user, as well as the nature of the shooting activity. Both systems offer advanced features such as adjustable laser intensity, visible and IR aiming options, and rugged construction that can withstand harsh environments.

Follow our article, and you should be able to figure out which one is more suited for you. But if you still have any confusion, go to a shop to try out the devices for yourself. 

Good luck!

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