peq-15 full power vs civilian
peq-15 full power vs civilian

PEQ-15: Full Power vs Civilian Models – Which One is Right for You?

There are different versions of PEQ-15 available in the market. However, not all of them are accessible to the general public. So what is the Full Power version of PEQ-15, and is it for civilians?

So, are you confused about peq-15 full power vs civilian?

PEQ-15 Full Power is a military-grade laser aiming device that is not available to the general public. It has a class 3 laser with over 600 meters of range and good daylight useability good for professionals. Also, the civilian version has a much weaker class 3 laser, shorter range, and less daylight useability.

This is just a surface-level comparison between the full-power and civilian versions of PEQ-15. A much more nuanced comparison can be found right here in this guide. 

General Overview

The full-power version of the AN/PEQ-15 is a military-grade device. Its civilian legal counterpart, the ATPIAL-C, is still a highly capable device. Both versions of the PEQ-15 are highly effective tools for aiming and illuminating in low-light conditions.

So, what is the difference between civilian and military PEQ-15?

AspectsPEQ-15 Full PowerPEQ-15 Civilian 
Availability Not available to the general public Available to the general public 
Laser Class IIIb laserClass 1 laser
Beam Adjustability 1 mrad to > 105 mrad1 mrad to > 105 mrad
RangeLong range, 600 meterApprox. 400 meters
Daylight Usability The lack of IR in some versions makes them inferiorThe lack of IR in some versions makes it inferior
Features Low-power visible red aiming laserVisible white light
Modular design 
Quick-release mount Built-in remote cable
Price Check PriceCheck Price

In-Depth Comparison 

Now let’s see the in-depth comparison of military versus civilian grades of PEQ-15.


Can a civilian buy a PEQ-15? Civilians can only buy the civilian version of PEQ 15. 

The availability of the full-power PEQ-15 for civilians is limited due to legal and regulatory restrictions in many countries. In the United States, for example, the export and sale of military-grade equipment, including the full-power PEQ-15, is restricted. It is regulated by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the Arms Export Control Act (AECA). 

This means that civilians cannot easily purchase or possess a full-power PEQ-15. That is unless they have the proper permits and licenses.

However, some civilian-legal versions of the PEQ-15 are available in the market. So, what is the civilian version of the PEQ-15?

The civilian version of the PEQ-15 is called the ATPIAL-C and is available for purchase by civilians. These are designed to have features and functions similar to the full-power version but with less power output. 

These civilian-legal versions are often marketed to law enforcement and shooting enthusiasts. Especially those who want to use the same technology as military operators but are restricted by legal regulations.

It’s important to note that in some countries, the use of laser sighting devices may be regulated by law. Civilians may need to comply with certain regulations or obtain permits to use any type of laser-aiming device. This includes the civilian-legal versions of the PEQ-15.

Verdict: PEQ-15 civilian wins because it is the only version easily accessible to the general public. 

Laser Type:

Both the PEQ-15 full power and ATPIAL-C have a Class1 Infrared Laser Pointer and Illuminator. But the full-power version is capable of outputting higher power levels and has a longer range.


The laser in the PEQ-15 full power is a Class IIIb laser. This means it is rated to output more than 5 milliwatts (mW) of power. This allows it to be used at longer ranges and with higher-powered night vision devices. 

In contrast, the laser in the ATPIAL-C is a Class 1 laser. This means it outputs less than 5 mW of power and is considered eye-safe.

The Class IIIb laser in the PEQ-15 full power has a wavelength of 820-850 nm. It is invisible to the naked eye but visible with night vision devices. It also has a range of up to 600 meters, making it suitable for use in long-range engagements.

On the other hand, the ATPIAL-C has a wavelength of 820-850 nm. This is also invisible to the naked eye but visible with night vision devices. Its range is much shorter.

Verdict: PEQ-15 full power wins this round for having a stronger laser with longer range. 

Beam Adjustability:

The PEQ-15 civilian, known as the ATPIAL-C, has an adjustable beam divergence. This ranges from approximately 1 mrad to > 105 mrad. But the full power version of the PEQ-15 offers even more options for adjustability. 

However, specific details on the adjustability of the full power version may not be publicly available due to its restricted use. But most versions of PEQ-15 Full Power have beam divergence that is adjustable from approximately 1 mrad to > 105 mrad.

Verdict: Draw because both have very similar beam adjustability. 


The full-power version of the AN/PEQ-15 is designed for military use and is optimized for long-range engagements. On the other hand, the civilian legal version of the AN/PEQ-15 is designed for short to medium-range engagements.

An/PEQ-15 illuminator has a range of greater than 600 meters. This means it can illuminate targets at distances beyond half a kilometer. 

This is particularly useful for military personnel operating in large open areas, such as deserts or fields. The visible laser range of the full-power AN/PEQ-15 is greater than 25 meters. This means it can be used for short to medium-range engagements as well.

 Comparatively, the civilian version of the AN/PEQ-15 has a reduced range compared to the full-power version. This makes it more suitable for civilian applications such as hunting or personal defense. 

The exact range of the ATPIAL-C will depend on various factors. Such as atmospheric conditions, target reflectivity, and battery life. However, it is generally considered to be effective at ranges of up to several hundred meters.

Verdict: The full power PEQ-15 wins because it has a longer range.

Daylight Usability:

Both versions of PEQ-15 are said to be usable in daylight. However, visible lasers are most effective in low-light conditions. Alternatively, in situations where the laser dot is in high contrast with the background. 

In bright daylight conditions, the visible laser may be difficult to see, particularly at longer ranges. However, PEQ-15 full-power models also incorporate infrared lasers. This can be used effectively in daylight conditions with the use of a compatible night vision device. Also, note that IR lasers can be seen by night vision

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

The visibility of the laser will depend on several factors. Such as the brightness of the ambient light and the color of the surface the laser is pointing at. In general, the visible laser of the ATPIAL-C is more effective at shorter distances and in low-light conditions.

Better performance of laser aiming devices is one of the reasons soldiers use night vision goggles. 

Verdict: Full power PEQ-15 wins because of having more options that are suitable in day light settings. 


Both the full-power version of the AN/PEQ-15 and the civilian legal version, the ATPIAL-C, are built to be durable. And to withstand harsh conditions. They are made of high-quality materials and designed to meet military standards for ruggedness and reliability.

The AN/PEQ-15 is designed to be used in various operational environments. As such, it needs to be rugged and durable to withstand the elements and possible damage. 

So, how durable is a full-power PEQ 15

PEQ-15 has been tested and designed to meet strict military standards. This includes MIL-STD-810G, which sets out parameters for environmental testing, including temperature, altitude, humidity, and dust and water ingress.

Regarding extreme cold, the device is not designed to operate at temperatures below -51F (-46C), and even at -40F (-40C). Beyond these conditions, the battery life may be severely impacted. 

Similarly, in extreme heat, the device can operate successfully up to 124F (51C). However the visible aim laser may degrade in temperatures above 104F (40C). Therefore, it’s essential to keep the device within its operational temperature range to maintain optimal performance.

Dust and sand storms can also be a challenge for the device. However, by fitting and seating the caps correctly, the risk of damage to the lenses can be reduced. Additionally, the device is designed to be immersed in water up to 6m for one hour. This makes it suitable for maritime operations.

Similarly, the ATPIAL-C is also built to withstand rugged use and harsh environments. It has a ruggedized housing made of high-strength aerospace aluminum and is waterproof and shockproof. The ATPIAL-C has also undergone rigorous testing to ensure that it is reliable and durable.

Verdict: The Verdict is, unsurprisingly, the military grade PEQ-15 Full Power.


The PEQ-15 has a white light for illumination and a low-power visible red aiming laser for precise targeting. Its high power mode for long-range targets. The ATPIAL-C has a quick-release mount, allowing it to be easily attached or removed from a weapon. Additionally, it has a built-in remote cable port, providing a stealth advantage in critical situations.

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 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.

On the other hand, the ATPIAL-C has a quick-release mount. It allows it to be easily and quickly attached or detached from a weapon. This can be especially useful for hunters or shooters who may need to switch between different firearms.


The unit also has a built-in remote cable port. That enables the user to activate the laser or illuminator without having to touch the unit itself. This further enhances its usability in tactical situations.

Verdict: this round is a draw because different feature sets may be preferable to different users. 


The price of the laser aiming devices varies from model to model. The price of L3Harris ATPIAL (AN/PEQ-15) is $1,950.00. But the Eotech ATPIAL (AN/PEQ-15) costs $1,439.00.On the other hand, L3HARRIS ATPIAL-C CLASS1 costs $1,749.00.

Remember that the full-power versions may be more expensive, but they have more offerings as well. But you cannot buy the full-power PEQ-15 without a license. 

Verdict: PEQ-15 civilian wins this round because it is generally cheaper than full power versions. 

Final Verdict: PEQ-15 Power vs Civilian, Which Is Better? 

The PEQ-15 civilian is the only version available for general use to most people. Also, it is sufficient for regular use and hunting. Comparatively, PEQ 15 civilian also has an impressive feature set. It has beam adjustability, easy mounting, a remote control port, and more. All this makes it a great choice for anyone. 

So, the choice between the PEQ-15 full power and the civilian version depends on the individual’s needs and accessibility.

But if you are an enthusiast and have the necessary license for a PEQ-15 Full Power, then you can get one. It will offer you more rigidity, a stronger laser, more function IR, longer range, and other helpful features. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What is the highest power laser legal?

As per federal regulations, the sale of lasers exceeding 5 mW is permissible if the laser adheres to FDA/CDRH guidelines for labeling, safety features, and quality control, among others. However, it is prohibited to market the laser as a “laser pointer” or for pointing applications. The Class 3B power levels are between 5 and 500 mW.

Is PEQ-15 plastic? 

Yes, the PEQ-15 is primarily made of high-strength military-grade material, making it rugged and durable. However, there are airsoft versions of the PEQ-15 that are made of high-strength nylon plastic to keep the weight down and reduce costs for airsoft players

Is IR laser safe for eyes?

No, infrared (IR) laser beams can cause severe retinal injury to the eyes. IR lasers are invisible to the naked eye, which means the laser can be unintentionally directed towards someone’s eye, causing permanent eye damage. It is essential to use proper eye protection when handling IR lasers.


That concludes our discussion on peq-15 full power vs civilian. For most people, the civilian version is the only option. And it is sufficient for them as well. 

But enthusiasts, with necessary permits, can get the full power one. Hopefully, our article will help make the decision-making process easier for you. 

Good luck!

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