Whether you want to go out hunting or target shooting at night, what you need is the best night vision scope. A night vision scope is designed to facilitate clear and brighter image viewing even with low light conditions.
These scopes are built to utilize the limited light from the moon or stars to power up their vision without affecting how you view the image. Furthermore, while you enjoy clear images in the dark, this will not affect your eye vision or cause fatigue. So below, we’ve compiled for you our top picks for the best night vision scopes to help you find the perfect choice.
1. ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope
An ultra HD 4K sensor of the ATN-X Sight 4K Pro Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope comes with Obsidian 4 Dual Core Processor which delivers exceptional performance in the dark – guaranteeing high resolution, and a range of color options to match different conditions. Furthermore, the rifle scope is designed with a ballistic calculator.
With the ballistic calculator, you will an accurately hit your target with each shot preventing bullet loss. This is because the ballistics calculator allows you to measure range, wind, multiple weapon profiles, angle to target, temperature, and humidity. Built with a special SX-Sight 4K Pro mode, the scope offers the same amount of brightness and contrast to prevent the night from limiting you.
Its dual streaming video recording on the other end allows you to document every moment of your shooting adventure. Whilst streaming your shooting in HD resolution on your smartphone, you can simultaneously record the footage in the included scope SD card.
Whilst it offers great sighting performance on the field, the scope also boasts a durable construction. Its waterproof and weather-resistant housing allows it to withstand the roughest and wet conditions. To ensure you never miss out on the target, the scope features an ultra low power profile that provides up to 18+ hours of operation.
- Single push button video recording on the phone and SD card with Wifi connection
- Built smart range finder
- Ultra HD 4K sensors for high image resolution
- Offers a smooth zooming magnification power of 5-20x
- Delivers up to 120fps and non-pixelating digital zoom for clear image viewing even from long distance
- Smart ballistics calculator measures all the relevant shooting parameters
- Struggles to hold zero
2. Burris Xtreme Tactical XTR II 8-40x50mm Precision Rifle Scope
Built with up to 11 brightness settings, the Burris Xtreme Tactical XTR 8-40x50mm Precision Rifle Scope delivers great image clarity and contrast in night vision, low light, and day time. Its tactical scope design and high magnification range make it ideal for use in serious, technical, and long range precision shooting.
In fact, this scope model offers the highest magnification power to make it perfect for bench rest and fixed position extreme long range target. Nevertheless, it still a highly sought-after optics option for varmint hunting. Its 80 click adjustment knob on the other end provides 80 clicks per rotation with 1/8 MOA adjustment and true Zero Click stops for optimal precision adjustment – ensuring you never miss a shot!
The true Zero Click Stop adjustment knob allows you to quickly return to the original yardage setting without having to count clicks. Its 34mm aluminum tube on the other end doesn’t only give it a high tensile and rugged finish. Its size makes it relatively larger compared to other night scopes – allowing it to facilitate better light transmission whilst accommodating more for elevations. Therefore, even in the darkest nights, you will still enjoy generous lighting functions.
Furthermore, the 8-40x50mm scope features a large multicoated high grade glass lens for even better light transmission, brightness, clarity, and long lasting durability. Its versatile 5x magnification system facilitates a large view field at point blank range and enhanced target acquisition at a longer range. A fast side focus and easy-to-reach parallax adjustment allow you to do so from 50 yards to infinity for better accuracy at long range.
- Triple internal spring-tension system holds zero through shock and recoils
- Nitrogen filled tube to prevent fog due to rapid temperature changes
- Lage 34mm aluminum tube for added strength and better light transmission
- Up to 11 different brightness settings for use in both day time, low light conditions, and night time
- 5x magnification system for a large field of view at close range and better target acquisition at long range
- High grade and durable optical glass 50mm objective lens for added image brightness and clarity
- There’s slight distortion at high magnifications
3. Night Owl Optics NightShot Digital Night Vision Riflescope
Integrating a built-in IR illuminator, the Night Owl Optics NightShot Digital Night Vision Riflescope delivers great functionality even at night. Thanks to the IR illuminator, the scope will enjoy increased sensitivity to allow you to use the night vision function without any visible light on the scene. Its built-in helps to enhance the scope’s portability so you don’t have to carry multiple equipment.
Furthermore, designed with a working range of between 100 and 200 yards, the scope is perfect for nighttime hog and varmint hunting. Whilst it is built using a plastic tube, the riflescope still boasts increased durability and weatherproof performance. The plastic tube construction also helps to significantly reduce the cost of the scope to make it a perfect option for those on a budget.
Fitted with a 52mm objective lens, the scope enjoys increased light transmission which improves image clarity and contrast. Its 3X magnification power makes it just an ideal scope for short and mid-range applications without having to compromise the field of view. Fitted with 4 x AA or lithium-ion batteries, the nighttime riflescope will last you long enough to sufficiently enjoy your shooting adventure.
On a high IR setting, the scope lasts for up to 4 hours, whilst on a low, it lasts for nearly twice as much for up to 7 hours. However, without the IR setting, the scope can go for up to 17 hours on lithium battery operation. For easy mounting, the riflescope is compatible with a Weaver or Picatinny mounting rail.
- Designed for short to mid-range varmint and hog hunting
- Built-in infrared illuminator for easy night time use
- Compatible with a Weaver or Picatinny rail mounting
- 3x magnification power for clear image and wider viewing range
- Lasts for up to 17 hours on battery operations
- Built for rifles of up to 30 caliber
- Battery life becomes shorter on IR
4. Pulsar Digex N455 Digital Night Vision Riflescope
With an IPX7 waterproof rating, you don’t have to worry about damaging the Pulsar Digex N455 Digital Night Vision Riflescope even if it falls in the water. Along with its waterproof function, the weatherproof rifle scope integrates a high tensile metallic housing that can withstand temperatures of between -13 degrees Fahrenheit and 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
Additionally, the scope is designed with a low mounting point and flexible positioning which makes it easy to mount on your firearm whilst giving it an appealing look. Built with a 1280×720 HD sensor, the scope boasts increased sensitivity to triumph in the night. Its built-in IR illuminator still maintains its performance even during moonless nights with intense darkness. Yet, you can still use it during day time.
Its 16x magnification on the other end delivers excellent non-pixelated imagery to make it ideal for long range applications – covering ranges of over 500 meters. Additionally, the scope is designed with a high precision aiming “picture-in-picture” mode and 5 independent shooting profile, the scope provides better and faster target acquisition and shooting precision whilst holding up to 50 zeroing distances.
With over 10 different reticle types, the scope offers different color options to cater to different lighting and weather conditions. Additionally, the scope is designed with an integrated video and sound recorder that can be paired with wifi connectivity. Its remote Wifi operation allows for live YouTube streaming through your smartphones so you can share your shooting footage with family and friends.
- Up to 10 different reticle types for different color options in different lighting conditions
- Built-in IR illuminator for moonless nights
- Quick start up for energy saving
- IPX7 waterproof rating allows the scope to be submerged under 1m deep water for up to 30 minutes
- Wide 4-16X magnification power for long range applications
- High caliber recoil resistance withstand shock from 12 gauges, 9.3×64 and .375H&H
- It’s heavy
5. ATN ThOR 4 384×288 Thermal Rifle Scope
Built with a highly sensitive thermal performance powered by an Obsidian IV Dual Core processor, the ATN ThOR 4 384×288 Thermal Rifle Scope guarantees accurate target acquisition and shooting in the dark. The scope’s ultra sensitive Gen sensor, allows it to maintain clear images with stable resolution and smooth gradations even with no light.
Furthermore, the scope also comes with a ballistic calculator. The ballistics calculator allows you to accurately gauge important parameters such as the range, wind, temperature, humidity, and multiple weapon profiles, just to mention a few. This calculator comes in especially handy for long range applications – guaranteeing perfect shots with every target. To complement the ballistic calculator’s functions, the scope features a built-in smart ranger finder as well.
To allow using the scope for long periods without eye fatigue, it features a long eye relief design. With the long eye relief, your eyes will also receive an extra layer of protection from the shock caused by recoils or vibrations.
Designed with a Recoil Activated Video and Dual Stream Video Recording, the scope automatically records before and after you take the shot whilst saving the footage on both your smartphone and the included SD card in the scope. To allow you to fully enjoy your shooting adventure, the riflescope is powered to work for up to 18 hours without any interruptions.
- Comes with a removable SD card with up to 64GB of storage
- Long battery life that’s lasts over 18 hours
- Smart ballistic calculator to track important shooting parameters
- Wifi connectivity for iOS and Android
- RAV video recorder automatically records before and after you shoot
- Built-in thermal performance for increased sensitivity
- Issues with durability
How to Choose the Best Night Vision Scope
A night vision scope simply works to enhance vision and image clarity in the dark. In addition to ensuring your scope of choice does this, you also want to focus on other key features that make it the best night vision scope. Below, we’ve outlined some of the key features to look at when looking for the ideal scope to invest in.
In general, a magnification power that goes up to 10x for a night vision scope is ideal. With increased magnification power, the scope size increases too – making them perfect for both short- and long-range applications. However, this also means that the cost increases. However, on a budget, you can opt for a smaller magnification range of between 3x and 5x for short to mid-range applications.
Field of View
The field of view determines how much detail around your target and the target itself you can see through the scope. Typically, a scope with less magnification power boasts a wider viewing field. As the magnification power increases, you will compromise the field of view.
For example, for a scope with 100 to 200 yards – typical for a night vision one – the field of view is about 22 feet at 100 yards. This, in turn, means that you will be able to view the target in your scope at 22 feet wide when they are 100 yards away.
However, if you increase the magnification or view the target from 200 yards, the field of view drops. So, a wide field of view works for short range applications whilst higher magnifications work for long range. Nevertheless, you want to ensure you have the right lens size and quality to ensure you view non-pixelated images when you zoom in at long range.
Normally, night vision scopes tend to be bigger and heavier than regular ones. As their magnification power increases, so does their size. So, it all depends on your hunting or shooting environment. If you will be hiking or walking through deep forage for longer periods, you certainly want to go for a smaller scope that will not weigh you down.
Alternatively, if you will not have to cover a lot of ground, you can go for a bigger scope and get a supporting stand so you don’t have to ear the weight of your scope and rifle during shooting.
You will find up to 4 different scope generations when shopping for one.
First generation scopes require a lot of lighting to function effectively. – thus, they depend on the moon and starlight. Alternatively, you can pair them with an IR illumination device. For extra performance, you can opt for Gen 1+ scopes as they are a bit more improved. These types of scopes are normally around the budget-friendly spectrum; selling at around $300 and $700.
Generation 2 scopes are much clearer and deliver a longer viewing range. Whilst their housings are smaller than that of Gen 1, they still accommodate amole light transmission. When paired with IR illuminators, they deliver an even better job. However, their limitation is that they may cost more.
Gen 3 scopes feature a more improved design with an iron film barrier that extends their durability. This allows them to deliver a clearer picture, contrast, resolution, and respond well with a signal to noise ratio. Currently, this scope gen is even used by the US military. Compared to Gen 2, they have a lower noise level and are quite accurate; allowing you to even read small prints if properly turned.
A newer design, Gen 4 scopes are super expensive. However, they boast up to 20% more clarity compared to the older versions. These scopes don’t have an ion barrier however, they are adequately protected. They also feature a noiseless performance.
How Do Night Vision Scopes Work?
Generally, a night vision scope is designed to accentuate existing light in dark conditions to help improve image brightness and clarity. In this case, light sources such as the moon are what is used. Unless you get a high-end scope, most regular quality night vision scopes are not as useful in total darkness.
What Can I Use a Night Vision Scope for?
You can use a night vision scope for a wide range of applications. These include hunting, target shooting, and even home security. For most of these applications, Gen 1 to 2 scopes are a perfect option. However, if you can afford it, you can invest more in Gen 3 and 4 scopes.
With the best night vision scope, you can extend your target shooting and hunting adventures through the night. Even with the limited light, you will still receive adequate image clarity and contrast. So, choose the ideal scope for your needs from the list above to begin enjoying more shooting and target precision in the darker outdoors.