NIGHT VISION RIFLE SCOPE, what a fascinating subject. By nature, we aren’t supposed to see in the night with our naked eyes. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything to fix that problem.
That’s where the revolutionary night vision tech comes in. Night vision comes in all sorts of stuff. Rifle scope, rangefinder, spotting scope, night vision goggles, etc.
You probably knew this already that night vision rifle scope can be costly. But you don’t need to buy the most expensive NVRS to do your task. That is our point of this post. Most expensive doesn’t necessarily mean the best.
Before we dive deep into the post let me give you a heads up. There are mainly two kinds of night vision rifle scope. Gen-1 NVRS & Digital NVRS.
Gen-1 works like your regular rifle scope. But there is one exception, it uses an IR illuminator to see at night.
Where digital NVRS uses an IR camera and captures live footage, there is a processor inside the scope which then processes the image and broadcasts in the LCD/LED screen (eyepiece). The processor inside them is so fast this whole process works withing milliseconds.
Best Night Vision Scope
Factors To Consider
Choosing a brand new scope is never easy. The task is even more-hard when you are choosing a night vision riflescope. You need to keep somethings in mind before opting for your new scope. That’s why we are here to help you to make your decision easier.
Which Gen of NVRS Do You Want?
There are 3 generations of night vision riflescope available. We know some site claims to have 4th gen night vision products, but technically there is no 4th generation of night vision riflescope.
To simply put the newer generation provides better performance while costing much more money then gen 1 products.
Choosing a gen 1 scope? Make sure the scope has an excellent optics quality so that you get good day time performance.
Make sure the image sensor is good. Gen 3 scope is also known as digital night vision scopes. They use a high-quality camera sensor to capture what’s in front of you and feed that into the eyepiece monitor.
That’s why some scope uses complex chips like the processor to amplify the footage and make your life much easier with a digital user interface. The scopes that come with processor also packs a tons of other sensors. Like a ballistic calculator, smart rangefinder, live streaming footage to your mobile devices, RAV, etc.
Before you search about products or read this article of us, make sure you have a budget in your mind. The more options you look the more confused you will be. If you have a strict budget you will only find selected options.
Is it good? Is the scope durable? If the answers are yes then you got yourself the perfect candidate. While today we got products that are made of thermoplastic and glass fiber they are plenty durable. In night vision only build quality does not matter.
If you are planning to buy a gen 1 scope please make sure there are positive reviews. We know you can upgrade the base IR illuminator by simply adding a new one (separately purchased).
But for that, your scope needs to support weaver rail and your scope must have a feature to turn off the built-in IR blaster.
That is why IR illuminator/flashlight is really important. Your entire night hunting depends on it.
1. ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart Rifle Scope
|Objective Lens||85 mm|
|Eye Relief||65 mm|
|Field of View||240ft @1000 Yards|
|System Resolution||600 lp/mm|
Hardened Aluminum: Made to withstand high caliber weapons. Built with hardened aluminum. It can take some serious hit. You can pretty much use it with any high recoil caliber without any issue.
Dual Core: In regular scope! there is no complex prism related stuff going inside the scope. But there is much more complex stuff is hidden inside the hardened aluminum body. ATN Obsidian IV dual-core is hidden inside the body.
Sensors: The scopes sensor is ATN 4K M265 Sensor, 3864 (H) x 2218 (V). The sensor is capable of capturing 4K footage and stream it simultaneously. Well, the streaming burden is on the processor. The processor is more than capable of dual streaming.
Micro Display: The micro display is 1280x720p but don’t let it fool you. The sensor can provide you non-pixelated images with a smooth 120fps at any distance. The processor and image sensor aside the scope also comes with tons of other sensors.
Ballistic Calculator: Let’s be real it is damn hard for a novice hunter to compensate bullet drop from regular old glass etched reticles. The ATN X-Sight 4K Pro has a built-in ballistic calculator.
One Shot Zero: ATN claims that there scope has a one-shot zero feature. Which is like godsent for novice peoples. And from a novice to night-vision scope perspective the scope was relevantly easy to set zero. They are indeed correct about their claim. You have one-shot zero function inside the menu. Bring that up match your reticle to target take some shots. If they are accurate press the button and done. Your scope is now zeroed.
Smart Mil DOt Reticle: Veterans also know this as the first focal plane reticle. They act the same way. With your zoom, the reticle adjusts itself. Which is an excellent thing to have. Sometimes at maximum zoom on a second focal plane scope is kind of hard to read. Because your reticle stays the same no matter what.
Recoil Activated Video (RAV): If the name already didn’t give it away. RAV is a feature that starts recording your footage through the scope from the moment you pull the trigger. Thanks to the recoil of the gun the scope records everything from right before the shot and stops at after the shot traveled to target. This feature works excellently on ATN X-Sight 4k thanks to ATN Obsidian IV dual-core processor. And thanks to dual-stream you can see the RAV footage right when it happens on your mobile phone.
Battery Life: They claim that this is the first-ever digital scope that can continuously run for 18 hours! 18 hour! Can you believe that? 18h continuous footage on a 4k scope which has one of the best processors inside a night vision scope. Thanks to USB-C type charging slot the scope tends to charge faster than micro-USB too. Overall zero complain about battery consumption.
Other Fatures: Multiple rifle profiles, temperature, humidity, angle to target, wind-speed, wind direction, etc. You name it. The scope got it all. And they are damn accurate even in long-range. And thanks to that crystal clear image sensor you get the same result even in the night.
This is a best night vision scope to start the post with. An excellent piece of product if you are willing to spend the money on. Overall we were fully satisfied with its performance.
2. ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Smart Rifle Scope
|Objective Lens||85 mm|
|Eye Relief||65 mm|
|Field of View||240ft @1000 Yards|
|Angle of View||5 Degree|
|System Resolution||160 Lp/mm|
Body Quality: In case you didn’t know ATN is well known to supply scopes in the national artillery division. So it goes without saying they build some of the best scopes overall. Made out of aluminum the body is really strong and rugged build. If it isn’t obvious the build quality of ATN X-sight II HD is excellent.
Sensors: The ANT X-Sight II HD has an HD 1080p ATN L130 Sensor for capturing images. And to process those clear images the scope has an ATN Obsidian II core. While this might not be as powerful as the 4k Obsidian IV dual-core. Obsidian II is still a pretty good processor.
Recoil Activated Video is an awesome feature to have. To simply put the sensor records everything after you pull the trigger. It even records some footage before you pull the trigger. But the moment you pull it the recording starts thanks to the sensor.
Smooth Zoom: The title says it all. Smooth zoom is like a heavenly feature to have on your scope. We can’t emphasize enough on how a good zooming experience makes your session much more enjoyable. Distortion while zooming sucks.
Smart Rangefinder: The sensor helps you to give accurate distance between you and your prey. After placing the arrow above the target press ok the again place the arrow at the bottom of the target and press ok. It will then show the exact distance between the target and you. You don’t need to memorize anything or make complex calculations inside your head every time.
Reticle: Multi-colored reticle. Choose your color. You have multiple patterns to choose from also.
Profile Management: Got more than one gun? And want to use the same scope on both? But don’t want to get through the hassle of changing zero every time you switch guns? For you, ATN has profile management in its digital scopes. Just enter a profile set your zero and save it for later use. Forgot the profile no need to worry about resetting. Just create a new profile.
If you have the money and don’t want to spend on the high-end scopes. This is the perfect choice for you. Its a best night vision scope with best user-friendly experience. You will have a blast while using the scope.
3. ATN X-Sight II HD 3-14 Smart Rifle Scope
|Objective Lens||50 mm|
|Eye Relief||65 mm|
|Field of View||240ft @1000 Yards|
|Angle of View||9 Degree|
|System Resolution||160 Lp/mm|
Aluminum Body: You get a similar top-notch body quality in this scope too. Like I said, in the beginning, it is the small brother of ATN X-Sight II 5-20x. Aluminum build quality. Lightweight for a digital night vision scope.
Sensors: Just like the bigger brother the smaller one also have HD 1080p ATN L130 Sensor. We appreciated the sensor enough. But trust me that wasn’t enough. The sensor is just that good. You are getting it for less than 500$ I will consider that as steal.
Processor: The processor of the scope is ATN Obsidian II. ATN claims a billion cycles per second. The processor can calibrate with the hight quality ATN HD sensor. The processor is backed up with tons of sensors.
User Friend UI: What makes the scope perform better is the excellent user-friendly UI. If you are well known with user interface like android or ios you know that the UI plays an important role in unlocking the full potential of the processor. ATN made sure the UI can enable the Obsidian II and perform optimally.
Ballistic Calculator: Combined with the smart rangefinder it can not only find the accurate distance it also shows wind, humidity, wind direction, etc. You don’t have to worry about doing the bullet drop math inside it your head. Thanks to the ballistic calculator and Obsidian II the math is done inside the scope.
Recoil Activated Video (RAV): It is probably the third time we are mentioning this. But we are glad to repeat. The sensor activates the moment you pull the trigger and starts recording everything till the impact of the shot. When activated it also manages to snatch some pre-trigger footage. You can live stream the footage while taking the shot too.
Profile Management: You can set multiple profiles & don’t even need to worry about resetting every time. So, you can just create a new profile to replace the old one.
Overall, Just like the bigger brother, we can’t recommend it enough. The scope is too good of a deal to pass up. For 500$ you are getting an excellent product.
4. Yukon 2.5x50 Varmint Hunter Rifle Scope
|Field of view||15 degrees|
|Focus range||7 yards to infinity|
|Resolution||32 to 36 lp/mm|
Yukon might not be a familiar name to everyone. Yukon was founded in 1998 by two private enterprises. Located in Texas the company is making scopes, binoculars and other outdoor sport optics related accessories ever since.
Titanium: The scope is made out of titanium. Titanium is a super strong and durable material. The material is pricey that’s why not a lot of company uses it. But the material is strong and much stronger than regular aluminum.
Optics: The scope is multi-coated which means the scope going to gather as much light it can. Resulting in excellent image quality. The scope comes with rubber eyecups for a comfortable experience. Which also acts as a guard to protect the green glow when using night vision.
Electronics Inside: The scope has a quiet power supply inside. Which increases your vision range three times higher than regular IR illuminator. Increasing vision while using at night drastically.
Adjustable Brightness: The scope also has adjustable brightness switches to help you with clear vision at night & uses 2 AA batteries and the pulse rating IR extends to 50 hours of battery life. Even this scope provides a viewing distance of 75 yards at night using the infrared light.
Gen 1 night vision is one of the most popular technologies in the night vision scope world. The motto behind this was to provide best night vision scope at a low cost.
You can get a digital scope for a little bit of extra money. But if your background is from the traditional scope and used duplex-style reticle. You are going to have a good time with it. But if you want a digital scope ATN is the better option for you.
5. Sightmark Photon RT 4.5-9x42S Rifle Scope
|Magnification||4.5 - 9x|
|Field of view||22.5'|
|Range of detection||220 yds|
|Sensor resolution||768x576 Pixels|
Built-In: The scope has an IP-55 water-resistant rating. The scope is also shockproof and weatherproof. To take it even further Photon RT comes with a weaver rail as an accessory. The scope also has a built-in USB port. Thanks to the weaver rail you can easily add your own long-range IR illuminator by mounting it directly to the mount. You can even deactivate the built-in IR if you want to.
Sensors: As the scope is a digital night-vision scope not traditional. It runs on a sensor. CMOS sensor with a camera resolution of 768×576 pixels. The LCD has a 640×480 resolution. It offers a 40% improvement over its predecessors and XT series. 940nm built-in IR illuminator offers over 200yards of night vision. You can improve that by using your own IR illuminator. The scope also has 2.4ghz WIFI.
Video Recording: The scope has a video recording feature but unfortunately does not support HD resolution. The scope can record up to 640×480 pixels. We know that is not that high. ATN provides higher than that in the same price range.
One Shot Zero: Surprisingly we weren’t expecting this. One-shot zero is like a blessing to newbie hunters/shooters. You take your shot open the menu “x” mark will appear in your screen match it with the point of impact of the shot you took earlier. There you go done. It will auto-zero your gun and save it as a new profile. From the next shot, all of them are going to hit bullseye.
Overall , It’s best. But the ATN is just better. Unless you can’t stretch to buy an ATN x sight then you won’t be wrong choosing this one. It’s light, good build & pretty decent small scope.
6. Night Owl NightShot Digital Rifle Scope
|Focusing Distance||10ft to infinity|
|Focal Length||52 mm|
|Field of View||5.6 Deg.|
Night Owl optics a company that only makes night vision-related products. You can already guess the scope should be best night vision scope. They have decades of experience in manufacturing scopes.
Thermoplastic Body: The body of the scope is made out of thermoplastic. Before you decide not to buy the product by seeing “plastic” let me tell you. Thermoplastic is not your regular kind of plastic. They go through a process of softening to plastic then cooling them to make them hardened shell. They do it several times before they decide to make a mold out of the product. The scope is also weatherproof. No water is going inside the scope.
850 nm Ir Illuminator: The scope is a digital night vision scope. It should have some sensors right? Correct it has sensors. The main night vision capturing sensor is an 850nm IR illuminator. Now you might be worrying where is it? Why is there no IR illuminator on the side rail? Because the IR illuminator is built inside the scope. You can upgrade the IR illuminator by adding (separately purchased) long-range IR illuminator on to the side rail.
Reticles: The scope has 3 reticles and 2 colors to choose from. So technically you get 6 reticles. You can choose from dot, crosshair and a hash mark reticle. Which has wind drift and bullet drop mark.
Can you record videos? Well, You can’t record videos with the scope. I know it’s sad that a digital night vision scope can’t record videos. But it was what it is. The price of the scope is so low that you need to sacrifice some things in order to deliver better performance.
The nightowl scope is not bad. The battery life is holding it back you can easily get rid of that buy purchasing secondary battery pack. Just make sure to buy rechargeable AA batteries and you are good. The pricing of the scope is what makes Night Owl Nightshot such a good scope.
7. Sightmark Photon XT 6.5x50L Rifle Scope
|Field Of View||18'|
|Range of Detection||220 yds|
Nylon Metal: Made out of nylon composite/metal. The Photon XT is durable and can take some severe hits. Even though to scope looks like tiny cute little scope. It packs some massive punch. By punch I mean, it can take some hits. It is the predecessor of Photon RT.
850nm IR Illuminator: It has some sensors inside it. The main sensor which allows it to work in the night is the 850nm IR illuminator. 850nm IR illuminator is an excellent budget illuminator which helps you to see more and clear at night. It can illuminate up to 200m.
CMOS SENSOR: The CMOS sensor captures at 656×492 resolutions. The LCD has a 640×480 resolution. In the Photon RT series, this was improved by a whopping 40%. But that scope also costs much more then Photon XT.
Additional Weaver: You can see quite clear at night with the scope. You get an additional weaver for rail access. So you can increase the range of the IR illuminator by simply purchasing a long-range one.
Reticle: The scope has 6 built-in reticles for you to choose from. The reticles also comes in 3 colors. Red, blue and green.
Battery Life: With the 2 AA batteries. You can expect a 5h of screen on time with IR turned off. If you turn on IR and use it continuously you can get around 4h of battery life. Which is pretty good for such a low priced scope.
Pretty impressive night vision scope for such a price if you ask me. But we didn’t want to keep you in dark. That’s why mentioned it has a better/upgraded version of the Photon RT series which offers an impressive 40% resolution increase over the Photon XT. But then again we did mention the price of RT is much higher than the XT series. So if you are budget concerned then this could be a good pick for you.
8. Firefield 3x42 Gen 1 NV Rifle Scope
|Field of view||21m|
|Range of detection||150m|
The company Firefield was founded in 2009. Their motive was to provide good hunting equipment for a cheap price so every hunter can afford a good hunting experience.
You will run into trouble if you want an impressive Gen 1 night vision scope under 500$ let alone brand new. Firefield did manage to solve that issue. That’s why the NVRS 3×42 exists with the title of best night vision scope. And there are pretty good reasons why it should exist.
Titanium Alloy: The scope is made out of strong and durable titanium alloy. You don’t usually find titanium made shell for such a cheap price. But Firefield did say their motive was to provide the best possible outcome for a cheap price. They are doing it big on the main stage.
IR Illuminator: It has IR illuminator which helps you see at night. The built-in IR illuminator has a range of around 80yards. Which is not that much. But you get the option of easily changing it to a long-range IR illuminator. All you have to do is buy an it separately and add it to scope by mounting it on the weaver rail. But please don’t go overboard. With 3x magnifications, you don’t need more than 300 yards of IR range.
Nitrogen Purged: The scope is splash resistant and nitrogen purged. So you won’t be seeing any kind of fogging during cold weather. Even its waterproof, shockproff, wheatherproof.
Don’t sight in the scope during day time: That is correct. The best possible time to sight in the scope is during dusk or night. If you sight in the scope during day time make sure the sun is behind you. Don’t sight in the scope facing the sun. it might damage the scope permanently.
Battery Life: Probably one of the best we have seen in an NVRS scope. NVRS stands for night vision riflescope. The scope has a battery life of approx 22h with IR illuminator turned on. Which is excellent if you ask me. 22h battery life without any battery pack is excellent.
It’s a best Gen 1 night vision rifle scope. At current times it is really hard to find a Gen 1 scope for under 500$. Firefield made sure the price is not an issue. You can get the scope for as cheap as 300$ by simply clicking on our link below.
9. Sightmark Ghost Hunter 2x24 Rifle Scope
|Field of view||44m|
|Min. focusing distance||1m|
Glass-filled nylon. Which is a great material to make scopes. It doesn’t cost that much. Stays super lightweight.
Optics: This is not a digital night vision scope. You get your optics and the IR illuminator makes the night time hunting possible. The optics are made out of glass and the scope has an S25 multi-alkaline photocathode coating. The optics are clear. As clear as a sub 300$ scope can get. One downside the inside of the scope is not nitrogen purged. But the scope is IPX3 certified weatherproof.
Gen 1 night vision scopes are rare to find, to begin with. But you are getting a best gen 1 night vision scope for such a cheap price. You should consider this a great deal.
The Way It Works Is, it amplifies the light several thousand times. Leaving you with a clear picture. Thus making night time hunting possible.
Geometric Distortion: There is geometric distortion around the edges. But the scope has only 2x magnification. So the distortion is not massive. When you turn off the Gen 1 feature the scope might glow a green light for a couple of seconds. Don’t worry your scope is not dead. It’s a characteristic that all the Gen 1 scopes have.
Battery Life: This is one of the key selling points of the scope. The battery life of the riflescope is borderline insane. You need 2X AA batteries to powerup the scope. You get a whopping 72 hours of battery life with IR turned off and 20h with IR turned on. It is just beyond excellent battery life for a night vision scope.
Pretty best night vision scope for the price. Very much recommended for the budget-oriented people.
10. Bestsight DIY Digital Rifle Scope
|Sport Type||Night Time Hunting|
|Adjustable camera||360 degrees|
|Camera Pixel||3 million|
To call it an interesting name would be understatement. It’s a riflescope that you need to make it yourself hence the DIY. It is also the cheapest night vision scope on the list. It’s really an interesting little product.
It’s bulky. There is a lot of going on. But once you manage to set it up (plenty of video demonstration available on youtube). Honestly, you will love it.
Built-In System: The body is separated into parts. The camera is installed directly on to the eyepiece of the scope. You mount the screen right above the scope. The mounting brackets are 1inch bracket which sits on the scope upside down and you mount your screen on that.
The separate parts are metal except the screen. That we are sure of. The screen is plastic. Let’s be real here what kind of monitor has a metal backplate? that 5inch display can be considered as a small monitor in my opinion.
IR Illuminator: You don’t need the IR to operate in the daytime. But who is gonna buy a night vision scope to only use during the daytime? No one. You need a separate 18650 battery to power up the IR illuminator. You just set it in front of the monitor and at the edge of the objective lens of the scope. And you are done. You made your a night vision riflescope on your own.
The quality of the IR flashlight and the Bestsight DIY camera is something else. You see your subjects on a bigger screen and the screen is so clear. Also not forgetting how clear the night time images are.
Battery: This complicates stuff a little. You need 3 independent batteries to power the whole system. 2 18650 batteries for the display and one 18650 battery for the IR flashlight. Bestsight recommends you to use the 18650 batteries which have a perky positive (+) side, not the flat ones.
But Bestsight does not include any kind of batteries inside the package. You are on your own. You need to buy them separately. So depending on what models of batteries you purchase your screen on time will vary.
The whole kit is an excellent choice if you ask me. The camera the IR illuminator and most importantly the screen is just awesome. There is no complication while installing the scope. It is an excellent choice for budget shoppers.
Best Night Vision Scope: Conclusion
We can boldly claim this is the only night vision scope guide you need in 2020. Cause we featured from high to low end. & even included some out of the box idea/concepts like the Bestsight DIY night vision riflescope kit.
Thanks a ton for reading cause; it means a lot. And be sure to check the links below the scopes to know the latest price. And buy them if they suit your needs. Don’t forget to share with your friends who might need a guide to get into the amazing world of night vision riflescopes. I will not take any more of your time. Have a great time.