Shooting and hunting in dark environments, such as murky caves or open prairies, is one of the ultimate challenges of the sport. Because it is difficult to hunt at night, you need the best night vision scope to accompany you on your trip.

Night vision scopes are specially designed for use in the dark. They come with an IR illuminator and reticle adjustments for improved performance. They also have a rugged build that makes them ideal for rough outdoor environments. However, you need to choose the right night vision scope if you want to get the most out of it. To get started, keep reading in the following reviews and buying guide.

Quick Answer: The 11 Best Night Vision Scopes for 2020

First, let’s take a look at the top-rated night vision scopes. Then we’ll talk about how to choose the right one for you in our buying guide below.

Best Night VisionScope Reviews of 2020

Best Overall
Our Score 9.6 Out of 10
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Best Mid Range
Our Score 9.1 Out of 10
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Cheaper Choice
Our Score 8.8 Out of 10
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Our Score 8.4 Out of 10
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Our Score 8.1 Out of 10
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Our Score 7.7 Out of 10
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Our Score 7.2 Out of 10
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Our Score 6.6 Out of 10
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Our Score 6.3 Out of 10
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Our Score 6.0 Out of 10
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Our Score Out of 10
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ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope

ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Edition 5-20x Smart HD Day/Night Riflescope Up to 22% Off and Free Gift w/ Free Shipping — 2 models opticsplanet.com Check price

Included Accessories: ATN OPMOD X-Sight 4K Pro 5-20x Smart Ultra HD Day/Night Hunting Riflescope, Black, DGWSXS5204KPO
Code: AT-NVR-PESDNHR-DGWSXS5204KPO-KIT5

The quality of its optic is what ATN X-sight high-quality night vision scope for hog hunting prioritized the most. It is powered by a Dual Core Processor that brings crisp and clear images. Nothing is more important than a seamless view during shooting to achieve bull’s eye on target.

Another benefit to the lens of this scope is the Ultra HD sensor. The advantage of this technology for any user is that images look as they are in close encounter. It prevents pixelated or blurred view when you are shooting from a far distance as it has a viewing capacity of 120fps.

You can also enjoy doing hunting at night using ATN X-sight rifle scope. Its night vision mode was enhanced so the view looks like the same on broad daylight for easier catch of targets. What is more impressive about this item is its ballistic calculator. This feature guides the hunter to find their exact target and not to have mistaken identity. It is also amazing that this rifle scope is fast to attach and remove.

Further, successful shooting performances are to be documented; hence, ATN X-sight riflescope has a video recording, which is dual stream. Also, this rifle scope has power-saving capability. Its battery can last for at least 18 hours. There are no worries of running out of power during the hunting season.

Some users reported pixelated images on the recorded videos.

Pros
  • Ultra HD sensor
  • Powered by Dual Core Processor for bright images
  • Night vision mode
  • Includes a ballistic calculator to determine the exact target
  • With video recording
Cons
  • Pixelated images on recorded videos

Overall, this is a decent pick for its video recording, night vision mode, and ultra HD sensor.

Find out more about how to choose the cheap night vision scope 2020 with our reviews and ratings.

Sightmark Wraith HD 4-32×50 Digital Rifle Scope

Sightmark Wraith HD 4-32x50 Digital Riflescope
Sightmark Wraith HD 4-32x50 Digital Riflescope amazon.com Check price

Day/Night mode – full color viewing for day use; black and white or classic green for night vision mode
High-definition sensor – high resolution imaging with video recording in 1080p HD
8x digital ...

This piece includes an 850 nm IR flashlight as an additional feature for lighting. This flashlight can light up a range of 200 yards. It is quite impressive that the Sightmark Wraith HD Rifle Scope has full 10-reticle options, plus nine different colors. This is a unique feature to a rifle scope that allows high accuracy in hunting and target shooting.

Any hunters will love the video recording of this item. It may serve as a memorable clipping that you can replay on other days. The objects in the videos are not pixelated, unlike on other brands, because this one carries a 1080 HD higher definition sensor. To transfer the videos, just use the micro USB.

A full package of this item includes an IR flashlight, lens cover, picatinny mount and user manual which saves you money from buying them separately. This item requires four AA batteries that can last for 4.5 hours.

On the downside, the scope is a bit bulky.

Pros
  • Higher magnification range and objective lens for clear vision
  • Extreme night vision
  • Includes 10 reticle options plus nine different colors
  • With 1080 HD higher definition sensor
  • Long lasting battery
Cons
  • Bulky

This is reliable and effective for hunting and tactical shooting because of its long-lasting battery and high definition sensor. It also has great night vision ability and 10 reticle options.

ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope

ATN X-Sight-II 5-20x Smart HD Day/Night Riflescope Similar Products
ATN X-Sight-II 5-20x Smart HD Day/Night Riflescope Similar Products opticsplanet.com Check price

Features of ATN X-Sight-II 5-20x Smart HD Day/Night Riflescope w/Obsidian Core & Obsidian App:
ATN Obsidian II Core is a highly specialized computer that is designed to run a suite of sensors and c...

This ATN rifle scope is known for its excellent ballistic calculator. Likewise, this item allows any hunter to pin point its exact aim target, even on far distances. Moreover, ATN X-sight II HD Rifle Scope possesses a rangefinder so a hunter may sort easily which is which to shoot.

Another favorite feature about the ATN X-sight II HD 5-20 Rifle Scope is the 3D Gyroscope that prevents blurry images, and an E-compass. In case the users want to save their performance in shooting arena, this piece has a higher resolution of HD video and photo recording for up to 1080p. Further, the recorded videos can be streamed through a Wi-Fi streaming on android phones or tablets.

However, there were isolated customer-service related issues reported.

Pros
  • With Ballistic Calculator and Rangefinder for easily determination of target
  • Includes 3D Gyroscope for clear images and E-compass
  • With higher resolution of HD video and photo recording for up to 1080p
  • Composed of E-Zoom to magnify targets
  • Night vision
Cons
  • Non-responsive customer service based on clients’ reviews

Overall, this item is still a good pick for a high-quality night vision scope because of its features that include easy zooming, video and photo recording, and 3D gyroscope.

Firefield NVRS 3×42 Gen 1 Night Vision Rifle Scope

Firefield 3x42 Gen 1 Night Vision Riflescope FF16001 Color: Black, Finish: Matte, Magnification: 3, 13% Off w/ Free S&H opticsplanet.com Check price

Color: Black Reticle: Duplex Illumination Color: Red Night Vision Generation: 1 Image Intensifier Color: Green Phosphor System/Lens Resolution: 36 lp/mmDiopter Adjustment Range: 4 - -4 dptCondition...

This NVRS 3×42 allows you to shoot under the moonlight from medium and long-range targets with decent clarity. The 42mm lens will give you a clear shot for about 70 to 100 yards from your targets with its powerful 3x magnification. It is also lightweight with durable titanium body, and of course, water resistant.

The good thing about this product is that, this NVRS comes cheap and quite durable. And for a low budget, the NVRS having a built-in high-powered IR illuminator is quite surprising. Since it is a night vision rifle scope, it has a cap for daylight use. Clarity of target is best shown through the cap under the moonlight.

The flip-lens cover has a multi-coated optics and red duplex illuminated that will allow you to quickly adapt to your surroundings. The quick detached mount system is a good touch. It makes it easy to switch to iron sights or change optics, and yet still maintain the return-to-zero reliability.

On the downside, there are black dots revealed in the tube.

Pros
  • Built-in high-powered IR Illuminator
  • Powerful magnification, high quality image and resolution
  • 42mm lens for medium to long range targets
  • Quick detached weaver mount systems
  • Ergonomic design and quick power up
Cons
  • Black dots showing in the tube

Nevertheless, the black dots do not affect the clarity of your picture. The NVRS has a high-quality image and resolution for long-range target shooting.

Night Owl Optics NightShot Digital Night Vision Rifle Scope

Night Owl Optics NightShot Digital Night Vision Riflescope with IR illuminator, Black, NIGHTSHOT,Medium
Night Owl Optics NightShot Digital Night Vision Riflescope with IR illuminator, Black, NIGHTSHOT,Medium amazon.com Check price

Easy-to-use: Mount, Sight, Shoot
Call for mounting advice: (800) 444-5994
Range: 100-200 yds. in typical nighttime environments
High resolution, 640X480 display
For use with rifles up to 30 caliber...

It can be used from 100 to 200 yards shooting distance. This NVRS features a 640×480 high resolution display that will give you a clear vision of your target. It also has three different reticle types for best adjustments to shooting environment and easy focusing and a built-in infrared illuminator.

Another good thing about this unit is that this rifle scope can be used at night or during the day. Though you may only see a black shadow of your target through your vision, this rifle scope is not useless during daytime. Plus, this NVRS is durable and made resistant to any kind of weather. It is also lightweight, uses polymer construction, and is easy to operate.

On the downside, the battery is hard to replace once you run out. You have to remove it from mounting in order to replace it.

Pros
  • High resolution
  • Long range from 100 to 200 yards in nighttime environment
  • Built-in infrared illuminator
  • Durable and weatherproof
  • Three different reticle types for best adjustments to shooting environment
Cons
  • Hard to replace the battery

The NVRS is a fantastic night vision scope. Not only does it perform excellently, but it is also affordable.

ATN ThOR HD 384 Smart Thermal Rifle Scope

ATN ThOR-HD 1.25-5x Thermal Smart HD Rifle Scope w/WiFi, GPS Similar Products
ATN ThOR-HD 1.25-5x Thermal Smart HD Rifle Scope w/WiFi, GPS Similar Products opticsplanet.com Check price

Powered by Obsidian Core, the ATN ThOR-HD, 384x288 Sensor, 1.25-5x Thermal Smart HD Rifle Scope w/WiFi, GPS is an advanced riflescope capable of hunting down targets in any weather condition. These...

This thermal rifle scope has a quality image performance with sensor 384×288 to detect the heat energy coming from your preys. The built-in smart rangefinder will help you calculate the distance from your target for better shooting.

Navigating through this smart thermal rifle scope to set up the scope is easy if you are used to advance technologies like computers, laptops, tablets, smart mobile phone. However, if you are not, this kind of unit needs getting used to.

This thermal riflescope has the ability to do all the calculations for you through its ballistic calculator. It ensures that you hit your target accurately. What’s good about this product is that your hunting capabilities are extended to 24 hours.

What’s more? You can even record your hunting experience with this unit. It features a recording HD videos and pictures, a recoil activated video, and Wi-Fi streaming.

It is difficult to stay on focus with eye glasses on. But if you can manage without one, this thermal vision scope is highly recommended for you.

Pros
  • Built-in smart rangefinder
  • Inclusive of ballistic calculator
  • Features a recording high definition video, recoil activated video and Wi-Fi streaming
  • Smooth zoom
  • 384×288 sensor for quality image performance
Cons
  • Hard to focus with eye-glasses on

This is the best thermal night vision scope for its rangefinder, ballistic calculator, and smart zoom.

Pulsar Trail XQ & XP Thermal Rifle Scope 

Pulsar Trail XQ38 2.1-8.4x32mm Thermal Imaging Riflescope Similar Products
Pulsar Trail XQ38 2.1-8.4x32mm Thermal Imaging Riflescope Similar Products opticsplanet.com Check price

Product Info for Pulsar Trail XQ38 2.1-8.4x32mm Thermal Imaging Riflescope
The latest and greatest in thermal imaging, the Pulsar Trail XQ38 Thermal Scope will take your hunting experience to the n...

For one, the Pulsar Trail product is modeled on the 384×288 pixel thermal sensor for images, which is an innovative feature that you might appreciate of this item. It has an innovative imaging sensor that makes it more valuable for use in the dark.

This high-quality night vision scope for crossbow is also a good choice for its long-lasting eight-hour rechargeable battery pack. Choosing it, you will be able to hunt or perform your job better than without it.

Another thing that makes it innovative includes it sensor that can provide you with heat detection reaching up to 1,475 yards. You can also rely on the scope for its durability. This model is with resistance to dust, fog, and water. With it, you can safely use it no matter the outdoor condition and worry not about the scope being damaged.

Other benefits include a long viewing range suitable for long distance shooting and hunting. It is also mobile friendly and features a live internet streaming and remote control.

Some users reported visibility issues.

Pros
  • High-quality lenses
  • Waterproof, fog-proof, and dust-proof performance
  • Eight-hour rechargeable battery pack
  • User-friendly interface and ergonomic button locations
  • Sensor for human size and heat detection
Cons
  • Some visibility issues reported

The Pulsar Trail XQ & XP Thermal Rifle Scope is a decent pick for its top of the line features and heavy-duty performance that make it a favorite among hunters and tactical shooters.

Sightmark Photon XT 6.5x50L Digital Night Vision Rifle Scope

Sightmark Photon XT 6.5x50 Digital NV Riflescope Similar Products
Sightmark Photon XT 6.5x50 Digital NV Riflescope Similar Products opticsplanet.com Check price

Engineered for precision placement at medium range, the extremely versatile Sightmark Photon XT 6.5x50 delivers a higher magnification, 33% longer battery life and 30% lighter weight than other dig...

The Photon XT Digital Night Vision Rifle Scope is a good scope for day or night use. It comes with a digital reticle that can offer you six options. It is also constructed with an integrated IR illuminator, offering increased range in viewing even in the dark. You can also count on it for its versatility for use in regular mounting rings.

This model is also with an easy to use with a controller knob that allows up to 11 illumination levels. You can also select from six different patterns and has an eyepiece adjustment ring. This item also has a lens cap that has a light filter enhancing the image clarity at daytime. In addition, you can count on it for it for a wide range of applications that include security, sports shooting, hunting and general observation.

On the downside, it is a bit tricky to use for first timers.

Pros
  • Adjustable brightness settings
  • Video output
  • Light exposure resistance
  • Up to five hours operating time
  • Accessories included like carrying case, user manual and video cable
Cons
  • A bit tricky to use for first timers

Overall, this model is a good pick for its features that also include log battery life, precision, clear and quality lenses and easy to understand user manual. Nevertheless, this high-quality night vision scope for AR 15 is an excellent choice if you are looking for clear sight picture and heavy-duty performance in your hunting and tactical shooting activities.

Pulsar Phantom Generation 3 Select 4x 60mm MD Night Vision Rifle Scope

Pulsar Phantom 4x60 MD WPT Night Vision Riflescope
Pulsar Phantom 4x60 MD WPT Night Vision Riflescope amazon.com Check price

White Phosphorus Tube (black and white image) and Modular IR illuminator with Ultra durable housing (composite and duraluminum D16)
Large 60mm objective lens with High 4x magnification
Internal foc...

The Pulsar Phantom night vision scope comes with a durable 60mm lens, as well as offers 1.69 Relative Aperture for efficient use. This model also comes with a powerful IR illuminator that enhances your vision in the dark. It is also reliable for even the darkest shooting environments for its precision placement.

You can also achieve clearer view of the target at medium or long distances for its 57-64 lp per mm resolution and 60mm objective lens. When it comes to brightness control, you can also take advantage of the green-on-green and red-on-green feature. It can also offer long battery life and has low battery indication.

This model is also backed by 90 days of refund or replacement if it doesn’t work as intended. You can count on the quick support from the brand, too. In addition, it offers easy operation for its internal focusing knob, something ideal for beginners still learning how to use a scope.

Finally, it has a dust-proof and rain-proof performance, making it suitable no matter the shooting condition. This feature also ensures of added protection from changing weather and outdoor conditions.

This model is a bit bulky.

Pros
  • Built to last composite and aluminum D16
  • Rain-proof and dust-proof performance
  • Clear sight picture even in dark surroundings
  • Generous 50mm eye relief
  • Added durability and integrity for its nitrogen purging
Cons
  • A bit bulky

This is a reliable and efficient sighting tool that has generous eye relief and nitrogen purging. It also has a high-quality lens and durability from its composite and aluminum D16 construction.

Armasight Nemesis6x-SD Gen 2+ Night Vision Rifle Scope

Armasight Nemesis6x-ID Gen 2+ Night Vision Rifle Scope w/6x Magnification
Armasight Nemesis6x-ID Gen 2+ Night Vision Rifle Scope w/6x Magnification amazon.com Check price

Powerful 6x magnification with 6.5 degree FOV and shock protected optics
Features bright source protection and auto brightness control and illuminated center red cross reticle for optimal contrast ...

This item also comes with six variable and powerful magnification settings that you can choose from based on the hunting conditions. In addition, this model is constructed with a waterproof body for enhanced performance regardless of the weather conditions. With it, you can ensure that you can hunt or shoot no matter the outdoor conditions.

The Night Vision scope comes with protected optics that add to its ruggedness for use in different locations and conditions. In addition, this model can offer bright source protection as well as an automatic brightness adjustment for versatility of use. This item has an illuminated center red cross reticle, allowing for more functionality.

You can also count on it if you’re looking for a solution when you need to have a better distance between the target and yourself. It has an image intensifier tube that gives you a clear sight picture. Another benefit is its variable reticle brightness.

The scope can be blurred at a high magnification setting.

Pros
  • Reliable and varying six magnification settings
  • Variable reticle brightness
  • Can be mounted on a standard weaver rail
  • Auto brightness control for added reliability
  • Detachable infrared illuminator
Cons
  • Can be blurred at high magnification setting

But whether or not you are looking for a night vision scope attachment, you might want to include this sighting device in comparing your choices for its ease of use features and heavy-duty performance.

Bushenll 4.5X40 Equinox Z Digital Night Vision

Bushnell 4.5x40 Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular
Bushnell 4.5x40 Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular opticsplanet.com Check price

Product Info for Bushnell 4.5x40 Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular
The Bushnell 4.5x40 Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular provides outstanding optical clarity and a wide field of view ...

You can also count on its innovative features that include tripod mounting compatibility, as well as image and video capturing and recording. These features offer more value even to beginners in the field of hunting or tactical shooting.

This model also comes with accessories like a tripod mount and a carrying case, adding to its value. In addition, this Bushnell item also offers clear sight picture along with a wide view field for added precision. It also offers up to 750 feet of viewing, and that’s thanks to the infrared illumination of this brand.

The Equinox Z Digital Night Vision scope is also compatible for day or night use. It is also versatile that it can help you track a target even in a murky cave. You can also rely on it for an unbeatable viewing experience even in a low lighting condition.

More so, the Equinox Z can offer you success no matter the shooting conditions because it is built to last. It can deal with the tough outdoor environment for its heavy-duty components.

On the negative side, it has a shorter battery life.

Pros
  • Adjustable infrared brightness settings
  • Tripod mount and other accessories included
  • Video recording and image capturing
  • Tripod mounting compatibility
  • High performance glass objectives
Cons
  • Shorter battery life

The Bushnell scope is one of the best choices for its adjustable IR settings, tripod mounting capability, video recording and image capturing and high performance objectives.

Read more: The Best Night Vision Scope Under $500 in 2020

What Is a Night Vision Scope?

Most people hunt when the sun is up. However, the night brings about different types of prey and game that attracts any hunter. While that may be so, the human eye is fairly limited in terms of seeing at night. This frailty has resulted into various lighting devices such as flashlights, lamps, etc.

When it comes to hunting, these devices might do more harm than good. For one, they scare away prey, and two, they expose you to danger by alerting predators to your location. A night vision scope makes this all easier for you and gives you just the right amount of advantage. Hunting becomes easier and efficient as the scope allows you to see your prey while remaining hidden.

Night vision scope has tremendously improved over the years. In fact, there are numerous models and types available in the market, each differing in the types of technology they use.

How does the Night Vision Scope Work?

Night vision scopes work by intensifying the available light in an area to generate a clear and crisp image. To do this, the light particles go into a process.

First, the objective lens of the scope collects ambient light from its surroundings. If there no available light or it’s insufficient, some scope models use an infrared light instead. These light particles, or photons, are then transferred to the image intensifier tube. This component is responsible for converting the photons into electrons.

Once they are transformed, these electrons travel towards the photomultiplier that is a photoelectric cell. Here, the electrons multiply in number. The electrons then revert back into their previous state once they hit the phosphor screen. However, since they are now more electrons compared to the ones initially absorbed, the light produced is brighter.

Night vision scopes produce green images. This is because the human eye is sensitive to the color green and can pick it up easily compared to other colors. Generally, older versions of night vision scopes can only be used at night or in low-light situations. However, due to technological improvements, newer and modern models provide dual functions. With this, you can use the scope both day and night.

Types of Night Vision Scopes

Night vision scopes have continuously evolved throughout the years. Currently, there are four types of night vision scopes, differing on the image intensifier technology.

Generation 1

First-generation scopes are considered the most affordable and common type in the market. These scopes are commonly used by hobbyists and predator control professionals. This scope version relies on ambient light to function properly. However, they tend to produce distorted images since they use anodes and cathodes. These components also affect the tube’s lifespan. Moreover, these scopes also tend to make a sound when used.

Generation 2

Second-generation scopes are a huge improvement of the first ones and are preferred by most users. For one, these scopes produce higher-quality images due to the micro plate attached. With this, second-generation scopes can be used even in low-light conditions. Aside from that, they are also lightweight and compact. However, they can be quite expensive.

Generation 3

Third-generation scopes are ideal to use in tactical operations and are often wielded by military men and other professionals. The gallium arsenide photocathode material inside the image intensifier creates more electrons which results into higher image resolutions. You also have the option of adjusting the scope to match with the lighting conditions. However, third-generation scopes are quite rare and also expensive.

Generation 4

Fourth-generation scopes are currently the most high-tech scopes available. These scopes are known to produce more stable, clearer and brighter images due to its technology. Fourth-generation scopes are also equipped with an automatic power supply system, allowing you to make adjustments. However, these scopes are only reserved to the military and other professionals.

Why Do You Need a Night Vision Scope

Knowing the pros and cons of a product is essential for a buyer. With this, you will know what to expect from the product and assess if it can meet your needs. A night vision scope is a game changer for night hunters, especially when you are a beginner. However, like all products, they also have their own fair share of advantages and disadvantages. This section will list all these accordingly.

Protection

A night vision scope can very well protect you from danger. As the human eye can’t see very well in low-light conditions, it would need a bit of light. However, using standard lighting devices would pose a big risk since it would alert predators of your location. Using a night vision scope, however, would enable you to remain hidden and stay away from danger.

Locate Prey Better

Due to the technology equipped in the night vision scope, you can also locate your prey quickly and effectively. Since you only have to rely on the light of the moon, the night vision scope does not alert your prey of your presence. As such, animals will not scurry away or hide from you as you remain hidden, affording you the advantage of surprise. With this, you can easily and quickly spot your prey and aim for them.

Improve Accuracy

A night vision scope would also greatly improve your aim. For one, night vision scopes, especially the newer models, are equipped with different reticles and sighting technology. Regardless of which reticle and what technology your scope is using, it will do wonders for your aim. With this, you can sight and aim more accurately. This is greatly helpful especially when you are a beginner.

Dual Usage

Older generations of night vision scopes are a bit sensitive to light. As such, they can only be used during night time. However, newer models can now be used in both day and night. With this, you won’t have to be limited to using one scope and/or constantly switch scopes.

Disadvantages

Night vision scopes, especially from the second-generation to the latest, can be quite expensive. Due to its price, this may discourage some users from purchasing one.

Trusted Brands

ATN

Dubbed as the brand for the future of night vision scopes, ATN continues to innovate and deliver performance in its scopes and sighting tools. It’s been around for years and since inception has been a trusted source of quality and precise sighting devices. You might want to check out one of the latest offerings of this brand.

Sightmark

You should make a mark in your outdoor adventures, be it hunting or tactical shooting. Whether in the field or in the shooting range, you can take advantage of the advanced and innovative night vision scopes of Sightmark known for its wide range of scopes available. It is the trusted brand among 3-gun shooters, law enforcement officers and hunters worldwide. If you’re looking to improve your confidence and shooting skills, you can trust the optics along with the accessories offered by this brand. It can offer you with red dots and night vision scopes that you can rely on no matter the shooting condition and trail.

Firefield

Be one of the legionnaires! You can trust this brand for its solid commitment to quality and precision. It is an innovative company that has introduced and offered easy to use, durable and precise sighting tools to its customers worldwide. The brand is serious about the performance of its products and continues to build quality and accurate optics that you can rely on in your outdoor shooting and hunting activities. Check it out for yourself.

Pulsar Trail

Create your own trail in the world of shooting or hunting with precise and effective riflescopes by Pulsar Trail known for its thermal imaging scopes that you can take advantage of when hunting even in the darkest of surroundings. It features top of the line scopes with durability, weatherproof and fog-proof abilities as well as those with quality lenses for clear sight picture.

Night Owl

This trusted brand is another to consider when finding quality and durable optics that you can use in your hunting or tactical shooting activities. It’s known for its topnotch night vision scopes that can deliver the performance that every hunter, law enforcement officer or 3-gun competition contestant is looking for in a scope.

Armasight

It’s known for keeping things simple for its precise scopes with innovative features like an image intensifier. It also offers less expensive night vision scopes than the competition yet ensures the quality and performance of every single product it offers on the market.

Bushnell

Check out this brand if you’re looking for a wide range of daytime or nighttime use scopes. It is proven and trusted by the thousands worldwide for its quality and accurate scopes that deliver performance and superb functions. It offers precise sighting devices that you can always count on whether you’re a seasoned or a beginner in the shooting or hunting world.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Night Vision Scope

Night vision scopes are essential for every night hunter, especially when you are a beginner. With this, you get to spot your prey while also hiding from predators. These scopes also come with numerous features that can improve your overall hunting experience. There are quite a lot of scopes in the market, each differing in the type of technology with which they are equipped.

To help you out, here are a few factors that you should consider.

Clarity

Like all scopes, a night vision scope’s job is to allow you to see your target quickly. As such, it is important to look at the clarity the scope offers. Clarity is often measured by lines per millimeter (LP/MM). The higher this number is, the clearer the image will be.Most night vision scopes in the market can already spot prey 200 yards away. With this, you can already hunt a variety of prey. However, you can also choose a scope with a higher clarity if you wish.

Range

Night vision scopes have limited magnification. As such, the scope’s range plays an important part as it affects the image’s clarity. For better results, you should look for scopes with long optics since it produces more light. Most scopes in the market typically have a range of 100 yards or so, which is enough for some users. However, there are also others that offer much longer ranges.

Battery Life

Night vision scopes run on batteries. As such, the battery type and size are important as it can affect the lifespan of the scope and its performance. It’s advisable to look for scopes that run on high-grade AA batteries since these types are generally rechargeable and durable. You can also opt for lithium-ion batteries.

Durable Construction

Another important factor is the durability of your scope. Hunting can do quite some damage on your scope, more so when it happens at night. Thus, it is important to find a scope that is made out of high-quality materials. Aside from that, ensure that your scope is suited to all weather-types and also shock and waterproof.

Optics

Optics is important, as they are responsible for the light collection, which in turn, affects your image’s quality. Look for optics made out of high-fiber glass and with the proper coatings. If available, go for a scope that comes with caps and a cleaning cloth.

Weight

The more features your scope has, the heavier and the more fragile it will be. Thus, it is important to purchase only a scope that has all the essentials, least you’ll have a hard time moving. Moreover, lightweight scopes are also more durable and easier to aim and maneuver.

Technology

Scopes differ on the technology with which they are equipped. As such, they have been segregated into four generations. Later generations are more high-tech and provide a ton of extra features. However, they can be expensive and bulky. The first-generation models also offer a solid performance, but the images they produce can sometimes be distorted or blurry.

Care and Maintenance

Night vision scopes, while generally durable, can succumb to wear and tear if they are not properly cared and maintained.

First, never use your night vision scope during the day or bright light is present unless it has a dual functionality. Otherwise, you will greatly damage your product.

Second, you should also treat your night vision scopes with care. These scopes have delicate image intensifier tubes. Be careful not to drop, kick or bump it in hard surfaces.

Third, make sure that they stay dry. While they may be weatherproof, it’s best if you keep your scope as dry as possible. Night vision scopes use fragile and complicated technology that is easily damaged by water and moisture.

Fourth, be careful not to touch the objective lens. While they may be coated, these lenses are quite sensitive and are easily damaged. Touching them may leave filth and oil, which may harm your lenses.

Make sure you use a soft and non abrasive cloth when cleaning them. There are cleaning kits available if your scope doesn’t come with one.

Lastly, ensure that you remove the batteries when you are not using the scope. For one, you can prevent them from damaging your internal system in case they leak. This also assures you that you won’t be leaving the scope on which can drain the device and damage it. It’s best to store your scope in a cool, dry place.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is better thermal or night vision?

Thermal vision and night vision are two completely different technologies and have different applications. Thermal vision scopes rely on the body heat of the animal target. As such, they can be used during any time. Whereas, the night vision scopes require a bit of light to function properly. If there is no such light, then they use some sort of illuminator (usually infrared). Unless they have dual functionality, night vision scopes are generally not recommended for day time use as it can damage the product.

Thermal vision scopes also focus more on magnification while offering very little image clarity. On the other hand, night vision scopes offer a lot of clarity but little magnification. Nevertheless, both scopes are quite similar in terms of their durability. Both are useful to use in low-light conditions and both have no problems with recoil. However, night vision scopes are cheaper compared to thermal scopes.

It’s best to use both of these scopes for best hunting results. However, if you are an exclusive night hunter, then the night vision scope is recommended. Use only the thermal scope if you are unsure about the light condition you will have during a hunt.

What’s the difference between infrared and night vision?

Infrared and night vision are two different technologies with different usages and applications. Typically, infrared visions detect far-infrared rays. These are waves emitted by any organism that gives off heat. As such, images produced by the infrared depend on the amount of heat each body has. The more heat the body has, the brighter the image.

Infrared is also a light source and are used by devices to help detect targets. For example, night vision scopes also have IR illuminators in case of light deficiencies. On the other hand, night vision scopes rely on a light source to generate an image. As such, it does not do well in dark areas.

Because of this, infrared visions are ideal when it comes to spotting hidden objects, as it depends on a heat signature. Moreover, you can also use it in any time of the day.

Can night vision see through smoke?

No. Night vision scopes rely on some amount of light and amplify it to generate an image. With that said, if there is no light, then the scope will not work. Smoke and other obscurants like snow, sand, fog and the like, generally block the light from coming through. As such, the night vision scope cannot function properly.

What night vision scope does the military use?

Military men and professionals generally use the fourth-generation scope or the higher-end of the third-generation models. This is because these versions offer more support and functionality. They are also more powerful and equipped with features that are more useful. In fact, some of these scopes are designed for their use.

How far can you shoot using a night vision scope?

The range of your night vision scope depends on the model you are using. Aside from that, range also depends on the quality and the amount of light available in the environment. Older versions of night vision scopes, as the first- and second- generation have lower ranges. Most of them generally have 100 yards or so. Newer models, such as third-generation above, offer higher range, starting from 300 yards. However, this range will only enable you to detect a target. You won’t be able to know if it’s an animal or not unless they are 150 yards away.

What do targets look like through night vision scope?

Images viewed through night vision scopes come with a greenish hue. This is because the human eye is more sensitive and can easily pick up the color green compared to the other colors.

Can a night vision scope be used in daylight?

This depends on the type of night vision scope you are using. Generally, these are not for daytime use or in very bright conditions. Otherwise, you can permanently damage your device. This is especially true for older models. If you have this, be sure to avoid car headlamps, strong flashlights, projectors and other harsh light sources as this may damage your scope. However, there are night visions that have dual functionality. In other words, you can use this scope in both daytime and nighttime without damaging it.

What is the usual warranty for night vision scope?

It depends on the manufacturer. Some companies have no information about warranty, but others give lifetime warranties to their customers. To have details, contact the manufacturer directly to get the right information. The warranty information on some websites could be read as reference only.

Where to buy night vision scope?

Night vision scopes are available in most gun shops and hardware stores. If you want, you can even purchase these optics in online shops like Amazon.com.

How to sight in a night vision scope?

First, you need to consult the instruction manual that comes with the product. Afterwards, you should start practicing with your gun. As a rule, you should never use your night vision scope during the day as it can damage it. However, there are conditions wherein you can calibrate your scope during the day.

Check your product. If you have a digital scope or a scope with dual functionality, then you can safely practice during the day. Otherwise, check if your scope comes with a lens cover with a pinhole.

You could also always practice at night. However, it is best if you choose a night where the moon and stars are bright. That way, you can clearly see your target and be aware of your surroundings. To practice, you can line up targets or shots. However, make sure these have markers indicating the degrees and that they are made out of reflective material.

Now the shooting begins. Finding the zero takes a lot of trial and error. It’s best to fire out shots until you get to a stable position. Make sure not to move your gun after every shot. Once you do get into a stable position, make sure to learn and master the basics.

Once you’re done, you can now adjust your range. Keep on shooting until the scope is zeroed to the bull’s eye. Fire a few last rounds to confirm your zero.

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Conclusion

Knowing how to choose and what to expect from a night scope can make the purchasing process easier. To find the right scope, refer to our reviews, which features the top 11 products in the category. Each night scope has its special qualities, as well as pros and cons, that will help you select the right scope that works for your skill level, knowledge and purpose.