- Best Night Vision Scope Review
- How Night Vision Scopes Work
- Night Vision Generations
- Thermal Vs. Night Vision
- Features to Consider Before Buying a Night Vision Scope
Will you have a night hunting trip this weekend? Are you worrying because this is the first time you hunt at night?
I don’t have any way for unwarranted fears. But, if your fear comes from what you need to carry, I can help you overcome it.
Apart from the electric compass global positioning system, investing in the best night vision scope, rifle scope rangefinder, or night vision goggles contributes to your successful hunting trip.
However, have you had enough knowledge to choose the best one?
If not, read my post, I will give you the top nine products which received a lot of reviews from customers as well as other related information.
Best Night Vision Scope Review
Below are the top nine-night vision scope reviews I picked up based on my experiences as well as feedbacks from other users.
First of all, please take a look at the table to see the general information of all products before learning the depth perception:
1 ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Smart Day
For beginners, ATN X-Sight II is a savior because of the most technologically advanced rifle scope.
Even when you need to shoot at a long range, everything you want to see shows on the screen of a miniature computer.
This unit facilitates your performance as much as possible through its adjustable 5-20x power magnification lens and 85mm objective lens.
That means you have ample magnification as well as a maximum light gathering ability, leading to high precision, no matter when is the time of day you hunt.
As I mentioned, you can completely expect more. This advanced technological product has the use of the ballistic calculator, electronic compass global positioning system, barometer, and rangefinder.
Here is the wonderful thing about the ballistic calculator:
It can shift the point of impact quickly and shoot your target accurately.
You may be surprised at this smart feature, which allows you to shoot 1080p HD videos of your performances then wirelessly transfer them to your computer.
Although this scope can minimize most human errors. What you need to do is to control the trigger, it’s better for you to check whether or not it is legal in the area where you hunt.
The drawback of this product is the not excellent customer support of the manufacturer. Some customers must wait for a very long time to get the answer.
2 Sightmark Photon RT
If you usually hunt at night and want to expand the detection range for your nighttime hunts, Sightmark Photon RT is what you are looking for.
Let’s mount a long-range IR illuminator to the Weaver rail on the side of this scope.
Even you can deactivate a built-in IR and use your separate IR only.
Sightmark Photon RT features a CMOS sensor with a camera resolution of 768×576 pixels on an LCD 640×480 display, improving 40% resolution.
Meanwhile, the 940nm built-in IR illuminator will extend your NV sight picture up to 150-200 yards.
I know that you are looking for the best night vision scope, but you can completely expect more. this digital scope works well during both days and nights.
You can choose one of red, green, white, and reticle colors to fit your preference and demands.
Do you want to keep the wonderful moments of your hunts?
The good news is that this scope has a memory capacity of up to five hours.
You connect it to your smartphone to playback these moments through a built-in USB port included a USB cable, a built-in video, Wi-Fi streaming, and sound recorder.
Its weakness is short battery life. So, if you tend to hunt in a long time, this is not an ideal choice.
3 Night Owl Optics NightShot
When it comes to effect, all products here are very useful. But, if you are looking for simplification, I highly recommend Night Owl Optics NightShot.
While others are designed to do many things, this scope is simple and easy to use because it’s specifically produced for hunting at night.
First, this product is a portable model, so that you can move it from place to place quickly, especially since its weight doesn’t influence your performance.
This night scope provides you with a vast clear field of view in an open area, which means you can identify your target out to over 150 yards.
It is an all-in-one deal because there is the mount, allowing the optic to sit lower on the bore axis. This feature helps you balance better while shooting.
If you usually hunt in bad condition of weather, you may love its weatherproof design. The flip-up lens cover protectes both the objective lens and the infrared illuminator.
It works very well at night, even the daytime operation won’t cause damage to your scope. But, this is not an ideal choice to hunt when the sun is so shinning.
4 Firefield FF16001 NVRS 3x42mmGen 1
Please face this true:
Not any night vision scope is perfect for lightweight carbines, and modern sporting rifles because they tend to be bulky, weighing the optic down.
Do you know what?
Firefield FF6001 NVRS is not in this case.
Almost it is designed for AR-pattern rifles like AK-47 and AR 15 since its 3x magnification with a 14° field-of-view provides you with built-in infrared illumination and generous eye relief.
Let’s see why it is so lightweight:
The body is made from titanium material, saving weight while the tube is made from steel material, adding significant strength.
Like the product above, this cheap night vision scope also has a rugged and dependable mount, which allows you to detach quickly and adjust incremental reticle brightness controls easily.
This unit operates through an AA battery, so you can replace it easily. But, remember to carry some replacements, or you must delay your hunts.
Some users complained that there are a few black dots in the tube.
At a low price, you will have an intelligent design and lightweight and durable construction, resulting in a high-quality image and resolution.
What are you waiting for?
5 Bushnell 4.5×40 Equinox Z Digital
Are you looking for reliable brands?
You are in the right place.
This scope comes from the Bushnell company, where is one of the largest optic manufacturers. All their products have high precision and are used by law enforcement and the elite military.
Don’t think that the highest-quality products always come with a high price. Some of them are very friendly-budget.
Now, let’s see what you will get from this product:
The 4.5 power magnification and a 40mm objective lens provide you with enough magnification and light gathering ability to hunt hog at night in a decent range.
Apart from the great optical clarity and an extra-wide field of view, this scope brings an extremely long battery life. So, you don’t have to worry that the unit is out of battery suddenly.
Meanwhile, the adjustable infrared brightness and integrated mount give you maximum precision no matter how the hunting condition is.
Here are my favorite things:
It has some digital features such as daytime color, video recording, and image capturing, so I can keep the valuable moments of my hunt through them.
For me, LCD is too bright, and I have only two options for adjustment levels.
6 Armasight Nemesis6x-SD Gen 2+
Are you a sportsman? And are you looking for a suitable optic?
If your answers are yes, the good news is that Armasight Nemesis6x-SD Gen 2+ can meet your requirements.
It is designed for military and law enforcement, meaning you don’t need to remove it when chasing coyotes and varmints on an open range.
Some outstanding features include:
It features a 6.5-degree field-of-view, allowing you to shoot your target in an extended range without needing magnification modules.
The fully shockproof lens provides you with exact performance.
And the waterproof body is good to hunt in wet places or areas with adverse conditions.
This optic is mounted to a standard weaver rail, so I strongly recommend you use it with a standard rifle scope like fully multicoated optics and an illuminated reticle.
The highlight of this scope is the auto-brightness control module, which can automatically account for how dark it is outside, resulting in an optimal site picture.
Here is a small drawback of this excellent night vision scope:
This advanced night vision scope requires the special permissions from the State Department, so you have to check the laws where you will use this optic, especially Canada, and Mexico.
7 ATN X-Sight II HD 3-14 Smart Day
This scope is an excellent option for those who have a tight budget. It has a good result at a more reasonable price than the competitive products.
Although this is not an expensive product, you can get benefits from the ability to record photos and video feeds.
Moreover, it has an SD card slot that accepts cards up to 64GB, allowing you to keep more surprising moments of your hunts.
Despite four AA batteries, they only work for a few hours. Thus, you should prepare replacements, such as using the USB port and connecting a power bank.
ATN comes with a kit, which allows you to carry a lot of power.
Depending on the time of the day when you hunt, your preferences, and your demands, you can adjust a suitable level of light sensitivity and choose between green, black, or white.
In case, you accidentally trigger the night vision mode, it won’t cause damages to your scope.
If you use a traditional rifle scope, it’s very important to aim your target and calculate the drop exactly. Even you must accommodate the slope, the wind changes, the target moves as well.
With ATN X-Sight II, let’s sigh with relief because its two-step system gives you a correct performance, no matter how the environmental conditions are.
Many people said that its drawback is the weight. But, it is only a hefty feel without weighing down.
The real disadvantage here:
In some cases, users can’t get the zeroing to work as advertised in the manual.
8 NiteSite Viper Scope Mounted Night Vision System
This design is another product for lovers of simplification.
It’s effortless and quick to set up into a powerful night vision scope. Even there is no need to remove it after use.
Once you are familiar with the setup, it just takes you about 60 seconds to perform all steps: from opening the box to ready hunting status.
No matter which size your scope is, you can easily mount without needing to zero or adjust your scope anymore.
Besides, you have other things in the box including a guarantee card, an instruction, a pack of five anti-glare filters, an anti-recoil clamp, two multi-diameter scope clamps 25mm, 30mm, two multi-diameter scope sleeves 35mm, 40mm, a 12-volt lithium-ion charger, a 2Sh Li-ion battery, a Digital IR camera module, an illuminator module and viewing screen, a heavy-duty field carry case.
The battery of NiteSite Viper is small and lightweight, but it can run up to 7.5 hours. If your hunting trip is more extended, it’s okay because there are some spare batteries available in the accessory range.
The only downside is that it’s a little painful to get centered through the eyepiece side. This unit brings a quite clear view.
9 Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x 42S
Sightmark Photon is the last product on this list and is also the best night vision scopes for hunting.
It is incredibly versatile with high magnification and an illuminated red reticle.
The best digital night vision rifle scope tends to be bulkier, and heavier while the battery has a shorter life.
Compared to its previous generations and competitors, this scope is a 33% longer battery life and 30% lighter weight.
The Sightmark Photon scope is longer than a traditional rifle scope, so it suits to hunt hogs. You need to mount the standard rings to any rail and shoot.
However, this heavy scope doesn’t make a significant change about the balance and feel of using a lightweight carbine for hog hunting.
As I mentioned, this is the best night vision scope in this list, but it doesn’t come with any bell or whistles.
In sum, if you accept this drawback, you will have a bare-bones approach and simple construction, a longer battery life, and a lightweight overall body.
In case you are a beginner of this product, don’t worry. You can refer to the manual and “how to use” video from the manufacturer to know how to troubleshoot problems properly.
How Night Vision Scopes Work
Unlike humans and monkeys, the majority of animals who are active mostly at night such as cats, rabbits, and foxes cause “eyeshine” when you see them under a headlight or a lamp.
This is because they have a layer of tissue – tapetum lucidum in the back of the eye, reflecting light through the retina.
While aiming, you can see that this thing increases the amount of light, but decreases the sharpness of the image.
Without a night vision scope for hunting, the eyes of humans can’t see these mammals or just see to some extent. The photoreceptor cells are specialized for seeing color or seeing in dim light.
If your targets are not illuminated, the limited night vision is not enough to shoot precisely at a long range. The best night vision scope for hunters plays a vital role in getting a better image.
There are two types as follows:
Image intensifying optics will gather the very smallest amounts of light from moonlight and starling to create a more useable and brighter light.
They turn this light into electrons, which are multiplied by a photoelectric cell. Thus, you will see greenish images through these scopes at night.
Infrared illumination provides enough essential illumination for you to see images that you don’t see before.
How can it do that?
It is combined with two technologies: passive and active night visions. The latter actively sends out light to illuminate your target, which the naked eyes can’t see.
Night Vision Generations
There are four night vision generations as follows:
The most basic level of night vision is generation 1. It can produce the clearest image with the requirement of a significant amount of ambient light, offering reasonable enhancement.
To have the best outcome, you should combine these tubes with an infrared illuminator, acting as a floodlight, allowing you to see at night.
Compared to generation 1, generation 2 can produce a much clearer view. Even when you use it in the darkest conditions, there is no distortion.
This is pretty popular with security companies and home users who are looking for a primary night vision component to their toolset.
If your targets are farther or light around where you hunt is low, you can use the help of an IR illuminator.
Generation 3 allows you to use it all night long. Please take a look to discover the reasons:
This type comes with a substantially higher grade tube, so it creates less noise and specking than lower models, leading to using for a long time comfortable.
Gen 3 comes with a wider depth of field, so you don’t have to manually adjust much, whether the image is far or close.
Usually, there are two options: automatic gain and manual gain, allowing you to adjust the brightness of the image depending on the light condition around.
The majority of companies use the enhanced Gen 3+ model label in place of using Gen 4.
Do you know that ITT manufacturer running for more than 25 years?
This place is the provider of high-quality tubes for Gen 4.
Moreover, it also features the auto-gating function, preventing your smart device from flaring when a light source appears suddenly.
It quickly turns the photocathode on and off to adjust the image automatically.
Thermal Vs. Night Vision
While the science said that they are entirely different, some users believed that both of them are used in the same way.
So, what is the truth?
They are different from capacities as well as applications.
In case you are serious about hunting at night, you should invest in both. The majority of professional guides and government hunters agree with this opinion.
The thermal optics are very helpful for locating animals at night even many hundred yards away. Especially, some of them can identify heat sources more than one mile in open terrain.
But, it’s hard to offer enough detail for making an accurate shot.
You can find out the precision and definition in a night vision.
The thermal optics work well to shoot the varmints at close range. For medium-size games like deer or hogs, I highly recommend you use thermal to locate the animals and kill them with night vision.
Features to Consider Before Buying a Night Vision Scope
The best night vision scope must meet the following considerations:
The resolution clarity of a night vision scope is similar to conventional optics. I have a high opinion of using the latest night vision generations, which are improved better than the previous models.
Many of them are specially designed for sportsmen and hunters of coyotes, meaning you can shoot exactly out to 200 yards.
However, you don’t expect that it works well over 500 yards.
Try to anticipate the ranges you will shoot at because most night vision optics don’t come with very much magnification to have a better and clearer field of view.
That means it’s straightforward to lose your targets at 50 yards at night.
Adding a night vision scope into your gun makes the overall weight heavier and bulkier, so you should carefully think before deciding.
The full scope is heavy, but it brights more functions. Meanwhile, a lighter scope is simplified very much, so you can use the basic features.
In general, the final decision depends on your demands.
Most night vision scopes come with a very simple duplex or dot optics, so never expect a BDC reticle.
However, on the market, there are available many magnifiers and night vision devices, attaching to standard scopes which are compatible with red dot optics.
It’s perfect for lightweight carbines as well as modern sporting rifles like AK-47s and AR 15’s.
Day & Night Use
Many night vision scopes allow you to use both at night and during the day. But, this function requires you to manually adjust to switching from day to night mode and vice versa.
In case you have a big budget for the best night vision, you can invest in a model that can determine day from the night itself.
Battery Type & Life
Before using your night vision, it’s essential to check the information regarding the battery, how long it can run, for example.
The military-grade optics usually use rechargeable and costly batteries, but I highly recommend you use a standard battery like AA or high-grade rechargeable batteries.
For each hunting trip, you should prepare at least one fully charged set or two for replacements.
The warranty shows a part of the quality of the product. So, make sure that you buy a product that comes with a warranty. If not, many other choices are having a guarantee.
Of course, the warranty should be as long as possible, and you avoid investing in short-term guarantees.
Whether you are a beginner or a pro hunter, only the best night vision scope can help you have a successful hunting trip.
Have you chosen an appropriate product? Do you have any questions regarding this issue? Or if you have any great models to add to this list, please let me know by leaving a comment in the section below.