If you are going hog hunting, target shooting, working for home security, you probably carry a rifle for shooting. In the past, you'd have to carry an additional light and a magnifier around to help you see well since it's difficult to see through the dark of night with the naked eye.
Now, thanks to advancements in night vision technology, you can see clearly in darkness without carrying additional equipment. Nevertheless, the many options on the market could make it challenging to find the best night vision scope.
So, here is a review of the top 7-night vision scopes and the factors you should consider when making your choice.
Let's go straight to business!
Best Night Vision Scope for Long Range Shooting
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1. ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope
The X-Sight 4K Pro is the best night vision scope for a digital hunting experience. While it has a traditional appearance, it also uses the latest technology to give a combination that will satisfy all your night vision needs.
The Ultra HD Sensor has a dual-core processor, which provides better resolution, faster optics, and exceptionally vivid colors. This means that you can see as much as you see during the day in the night.
A ballistic calculator measures several factors such as range, wind, trajectory, and temperature to ensure you make precise shots all the time. As a result, you can be a responsible hunter by ensuring you can account for all your shots, including the long-range.
If you want to revisit the exploits of your nighttime hunts, this night vision riflescope will provide just that. It can stream the HD resolution videos to your mobile device and record them to the SD card, so you can save all the precious memories you want to make conveniently.
2. Firefield NVRS Gen 1 Night Vision Riflescope
- High quality image and resolution
- Lightweight and durable titanium body with water resistant...
- Quick detach weaver mount
- Built-in high powered IR illuminator
- Ergonomic design and quick power-up
If you are looking for a night vision scope with powerful magnification and excellent lighting capabilities, the Firefield NVRS is the choice for you. It has a 42mm wide lens for a wide field of observation while possessing a lightweight and sturdy titanium body, making it one of the best night vision scopes you can buy.
Besides being a durable night vision scope, it also has flip-up lens covers that you can easily use to shield the lens from direct impact or the elements.
The illuminated red duplex reticle can increase the brightness, which allows you to make adjustments according to your surroundings. A weaver mounting system that you can easily detach lets you change the night vision optics and switch to iron sights. You can rest assured that you will get excellent resolution with the Firefield NVRS ensuring you get the best view of the hunt.
3. Night Owl Optics NightShot Digital Night Vision Riflescope
- Easy-to-use: Mount, Sight, Shoot
- Call for mounting advice: (800) 444-5994
- Range: 100 yds. in typical nighttime environments
- High resolution, 640X480 display
- For use with rifles up to 30 caliber (see below)
Next up is the Night Owl Optics digital night vision scope, an affordable and high-quality night shooting option. With a performance that is three times better than that of regular rifle scopes, this one lets you see as far and clearly as you need as you venture into the dark.
It is inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to operate, which is why it's one of the best night vision scopes on the market. The Night Owl Optics is compatible with any rifle using under 30 caliber magnum bullets but is not recommended for bullets over 30 calibers. The batteries will last up to 17 1/2 hours, ensuring you can use them for as long as necessary.
4. ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope
- Use Day & Night in HD resolution - our HD technology gives...
- Zero range: 100 yard. Day & Night Vision in Millions of...
- Ballistic Calculator - shifts Point of Impact on the fly...
- Smart Range Finder - identifies the range to your target...
- 1080p HD Video Recording & Photos, Recoil Activated Video...
The ATN X-Sight II HD is the solution to getting clear images and videos at any time of the day or night at the convenience of your night vision scope. With a Recoil Activated Video function, this product automatically begins recording your shots before pulling the trigger to let you save and share your triumphs with friends and family.
You can see the best image quality with this digital night vision scope in both the presence and absence of natural light. In the dark, the long-range Infrared Illuminator makes your scene three times brighter than standard vision scopes. You won't need additional equipment for determining your range from the target since it has a rangefinder that calculates the ideal distance for the perfect shot. This provides some degree of consistency and accuracy in your hunts.
Erase the need to think about environmental factors with the ATN Ballistic Calculator, which automatically processes the data to give you the most accurate chance of success. You can manage the technological features in this night vision scope with the X-TRAC (Tactical Remote Access Control) system.
5. Bushnell Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular
The Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular features a CMOS function that uses infrared sensors to provide optimal night vision capabilities rather than an image intensifier tube. With an in-built IR illuminator, you can enjoy a range of up to 100 yards of clear vision. Like in the 4.5x40 Equinox Z, you can attach any accessories or necessities to the monocular side rail for convenience.
The LCD screen will display the images in color during the day, but at night, it'll produce black and white images for enhanced contrast and clarity. The objective lens is multicoated, which enables it to produce clear night optics.
Unfortunately, since the AA batteries needed to run this model are not included in the package, you'll have to buy them separately. Nevertheless, as one of the best night vision scopes on the market, it allows you to zoom an object in or out with a simple dial or lever.
6. ATN Thor HD Thermal Rifle Scope
- Excellent Image Performance with 384x288 Sensor - it is the...
- Ballistic Calculator - the system allows you to calculate...
- Build-in Smart Rangefinder - will make your life easier than...
- Angle of view: 12 x 9.5. Smooth Zoom - lets you magnify to...
- High Resolution HD Video Recording & Photos, Recoil...
The ATN Thor HD 384 is a great option because it features Smart HD Optics Technology which provides thermal imaging. The thermal sensor detects the heat your prey emits and converts it into images to see your target in darkness.
The ATN Ballistic calculator gives you an easy time by automatically calculating the environmental data to give you a minimal missing chance. Since this thermal imaging product doubles as a rangefinder, you can say goodbye to carrying extra equipment with the Thor HD 384.
With 22 hours of battery life, you can enjoy continuous use of this night vision scope. It is easy to recharge the batteries, and you can use it to power other devices.
7. Pulsar Trail Thermal Riflescope
- Highly Sensitive Thermal Imaging NETD <40 mK Sensor with...
- 2-16 variable magnification with detailed 640x480px...
- Stream Vision App - connects scope to smart device for...
- IPX7 fully waterproof and submersion in 1 meter of water for...
- EXPORT CONTROL NOTICE: This product is controlled for export...
Our list would be incomplete without the Pulsar Trail Thermal riflescope, which features an in-built laser rangefinder that can accurately display a target of up to 1000 m. The variable magnification lets you zoom the image up to 8 times its size while maintaining a wide field of observation.
With the thermal imaging function, you can see the heat signatures of targets as far as 1800 meters away in pitch-black darkness. The waterproof protection will ensure it can weather heavy rain, snowfall, or submersion and emerge unscathed.
Buyer’s Guide for the Best Night Vision Rifle Scope
1. Types of Night Vision Scopes
We have several scopes; digital night vision riflescopes, thermal riflescopes, and the traditional night vision scopes.
- Traditional Night Vision Scopes -These types amplify true light instead of using IR illumination technology.
- Digital Night Vision Riflescope - These are the newer models that use IR light to illuminate the images.
- Thermal Night Vision Optic- While this type uses an infrared illuminator, it is more sensitive to the heat a target emits. As such, it allows you to see the natural heat signature of your prey during the day or night.
A typical night vision scope can magnify an image up to 10 times its original size. Larger scopes can provide a greater magnification, but the size could end up being too bulky. The best night vision scope options offer 3 to 5 levels of magnification while still being affordable.
The better the magnification, the longer the shooting range can get. This is because limited magnification is more suitable for close-range shooting.
3. Optical View
This refers to the measure of width that you can see with the lens of the night vision scope. Night vision optics provide a standard distance of 100 yards with a view of 22 feet. The level of magnification directly relates to the optical view.
The width of the view is essential because hunters and sportspeople need to observe the targets before making the shot. A wider field will provide enough room to make your tactical considerations and make accurate shots.
4. Size and Weight
Because of night vision requirements, the digital scopes will be heavier and larger than a regular vision scope. Unfortunately, while weight increases with magnification, it could easily cause fatigue in the shooter since it adds to the rifle's weight.
If you were using the night vision rifle scope for long hours, it would be better to select a lightweight and smaller model that you can handle better over an extended period. A heavy optic could make it difficult to make standing and off-hand shots or observe targets.
Night vision technology has evolved, with the newer generations replacing the old ones. There are four generations of night vision devices on the market running from Gen 1 -4.
Gen 1 Night Vision Technology
These were the first mass-produced night vision systems. They require lots of ambient light for optimal functionality and usually use star-light and moonlight.
Alternatively, they could use an IR device to provide infrared light. Without light, night vision will be impossible to achieve. Gen 1 + models are better than the Gen 1 scopes but need a solid IR illuminator.
Gen 2 Night Vision Technology
The Gen 2 night vision scopes are clearer and have a longer viewing range than the Gen 1. These models are the best option when you have to compromise cost and clarity. They are smaller and are ideal for hunting, and can function in low ambient light conditions. If you are handling tactical operations, you shouldn't go below Gen 2 models.
Gen 3 scopes feature a modified design with an ion film barrier for extending its longevity. They have a clearer picture, higher resolution, and a high signal-to-noise ratio. They are clear enough to let you read small texts and produce a small amount of noise. Gen 3 night scopes don't need as much light as standard scopes and still perform exceptionally better.
These are the latest generation of night vision scopes. They are expensive, have high clarity, and are completely noiseless. It is hard to find these scopes on the market, and they have a shorter service life.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the best night vision rifle scope?
The best night vision scope on the market is the ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart Day/Night Hunting Rifle Scope.
2. What’s better thermal or night vision?
Thermal imaging is ideal for detecting the target when hunting, while night vision helps observe, identify, or recognize the prey.
3. What night vision scope does the military use?
The United States military uses Gen 3 night vision scopes that are ideal for tactical operations, long-range shooting, and durable.