Originating as far back as the invention of rifles, night vision scopes are rifle-mounted scopes, mostly used for night hunting. A scope musters whatever kind of light in its sight and sometimes, turns night into day; all for a better vision to aim/hunt.
Technology has ensured that over the years, the standards of night vision rifles have been weighing heavy on the scale. Night vision scopes were perhaps the best ideas to aid shooters. Thankfully today, we get to see some of the best night vision scopes around us; and yes, affordable.
However, even among the best, there is a category for the best; the best of the best. This is a compilation of the top night vision scopes as reviewed by us.
The 5 Best Night Vision Scopes in 2018:
- Firefield FF26014T
- Armasight Zeus 640
- Sightmark Photon XT
- ATN Gen Night Arrow 4-WPT
- ATN X-Sight II 5-20 Smart Scope
All five of these scopes will do more than just getting the job done, they will make getting the job done easy. That’s right!
Each night vision scope mentioned is a favorite of a large group of people – us and the rest of the world. We will be considering each of the best night vision scopes intimately to ascertain which will best fit you. If you do not have a preferred night vision scope, chances are you will after this.
However, when endeavoring to choose a night vision scope, the factors to be considered are:
- Shock and waterproof levels
- Range Capacity
You might want to look out for those in our reviews to make a better choice – depending on which means more to you.
Most night vision scopes come with little customizable features which endear us to or repel us from them. We’ll consider each device and pick them apart so that whichever one you pick, you will have more than passable knowledge about it.
The Review: Top 5 Night Vision Goggles/Scopes
1. Firefield FF26014T
- Brand: Firefield
- Magnification Power: 2.5 x 50
- Objective Lens: 50mm
- Average Rating: 4.8
The Firefield FF26014T is best defined as tough and inexpensive. It is favorited by many for obvious reasons; price and capability. It is one of the few (if not the only) recommendable night vision scopes below a thousand dollars that is worth recommending. The Firefield FF26014T is perfect for bolt action rifles as it is built tough enough to prevent instability of any sort. Much emphasis was placed on the building of the insides to ensure its overall capability.
This night vision scope is made of titanium alloy. Hence, it weighs approximately 2 two pounds which is considerably light. Its portable design comes with knobs for height and windage adjustments.
A 50mm objective lens makes the gathering of light easy. It also has a multi-coated lens paired with an illuminated reticle. It is also fitted with a first generation image resolution.
The Firefield FF26014T night vision scope is definitely nothing fancy, it packs necessities into its small body. This device speaks practicality and can be used between 100 to 200 yards using the infrared illuminator. However, if you were to add an additional illuminator, you could shoot even further.
- Light with an effective design for easy carriage.
- 2.5 X 50 magnification power.
- 50mm objective lens.
- Built-in flip up lens cover.
- Standard Weaver MIL-STD-1913 Rail mount system attached.
- A multi coated lens.
- Water resistant so that weather is not a barrier.
- An illuminated reticle which of course makes gathering of light easy even in total darkness.
- First generation image resolution.
- Sturdy build with bolt action rifles which can be tweaked to accommodate shockproofs.
- 1cl=20mm/100m windage and height adjustments.
- Comes with a carrying case.
- Built with internal focusing.
- The features of the Firefield FF26014T are only great if you consider its inexpensive price. For example, a first generation image resolution pales in comparison to a second generation one. The glass and illuminator are also terrific for their prices but are definitely sub par to the ones on pricier models.
2. Armasight Zeus 640
- Brand: Armasight
- Magnification Power: 3-24 x 75
- Objective Lens: 60mm
- Average Rating: 3.5
In sharp contrast to the price of the Firefield FF26014T, is the Armasight Zeus 640. This device is quite pricey but most definitely worth it if you know your stuff as a shooter. Price is what makes this goggle sit at #2 of our best night vision scopes list; albeit a wonderful gadget.
Zooming images with this gun scope is a delight. Images zoomed do not get even slightly foggy until the max of 24x is exceeded.
The Armasight Zeus 640 is not heavy either, it’s a spectacular use of space to produce a night vision scope of great quality. Using it feels natural and if you have not been using night vision scopes, getting adjusted to the Zeus will be incredibly easy.
This device has a lens of 640×480 resolution. Added to a 60mm objective lens, even in the darkest of nights, images taken are extremely clear as the lens is able to gather a more than suitable amount of light.
The Zeus uses a FLIR Tau 2 VOx microbolometer core thermal imaging technology. Compared to other night vision scopes, it is in another class of its own. The thermal imaging technology means that getting a target through smoke, haze, or a fog is easily accomplished. This also means that it can be used to shoot effectively in the day time. If you are looking for a vision scope suitable for use despite the time of the day, this is it.
The Zeus 640 also has a feature that allows video recording. It’s more than just enabling clear aim, it’s a whole lot higher. Space is ample and you will need to have recorded a whole lot to exhaust it. The replay e-zoom can also zoom in up to 8 times without the image getting foggy.
- Super efficient magnifying capabilities.
- Easy to navigate despite all the cool features
- Non obstructive.
- Shockproof and multi coated lenses.
- More than ample amount of storage capacity
- Can be used efficiently in day time
- Thermal imaging feature for seeing through hazes.
- A 60mm lens with a 640×480 resolution.
- Use of long-range infrared uncooled structure. Hence, it not affected by daytime brightness. This was a main weakness of older models which were damaged by brightness.
- Price. The Zeus 640 is quite expensive. Agreed, you get your money’s worth but not everyone can afford it. However the fact that it can serve in both day and night should make buying it easier. If you are just a beginning shooter, perhaps you should look at cheaper gun scopes. Having the Zeus 640 at hand and not being able to use it optimally must be a sin *winks*
3. Sightmark Photon XT
- Brand: Sightmark
- Magnification Power: 4.6 X 42
- Objective Lens: 42mm
- Average Rating: 4.2
Sightmark Photon XT SM 18008 is a middle range gun scope by all means. For its range however, it encompasses some of the best features. It can be used for rifles and crossbows in the day and night.
For starters, you have six reticle options to choose from. Due to this feature, it can serve as a scope for any time of the day.
Built waterproof, it allows for usage in various environments. The Sightmark Photon XT is also shockproof, that is, impact will not upset your aim or your video coverage.
One great thing is that it can be used for both rifles and crossbows. It is an excellent pick for those who have both a rifle and a crossbow. Sightmark is built to accommodate both.
The Sightmark Photon XT night vision scope also has a video coverage feature made very useful by its lens with a resolution of 640×480 and can cover as far as 120 yards. For a night vision monocular, it is very acceptable. Videos will not be botchy.
- It is built with shockproof and waterproof capabilities. This feature is especially important to experience a pain-free use of a night vision scope.
- It comes with six reticle options to choose from. Each reticle option suits a particular need.
- It can be used by both amateur and professional shooters since it has features common to both groups of people.
- It also has a video coverage feature.
- The battery lasts longer than it does on other night vision scopes.
- It comes with a digital interface suggests adjustments to enable you get a better shot, range finding and calculating holdovers.
- It has a built-in 810 LED IR Illuminator.
- Its 4.6×42 magnification is accompanied by a built-in long eye relief.
- It can be used in the day and night.
- If you use both rifles and crossbows, this device will save you a lot of money.
- Its objective lens could be better.
4. ATN Night Arrow 4-WPT
- Brand: ATN
- Magnification Power: 4X
- Objective Lens: 60-74mm**
- Average Rating: 5.0
The Night Arrow also made the list of our best night vision scopes, although it lies between the second and third generations.
This night vision monocular can cover up to 200+ yards and without a blurry or foggy view. The brightness control feature allows your images to come out with just the right contrast. There is an adjustable eyepiece. It comes with dioper correction. There’s also an adjustable eyepiece with a diopter correction and is extra padded to give you comfort.
On the grid, the markings are green with a red marking in center marking the target. This two tone color scheme makes it very easy to use and understand. The control buttons are easily handled too
The Night Arrow gun scope has buttons for adjustable windage and elevation which work on a 1/6 MOA turn system.
Although a small feature, most appreciate the battery placement. It is located separately at the bottom of the scope. This I’d great because it means that you can change the battery without taking off your scope.
The Lens Cap’s placement is nothing short of thoughtful too. At the front, the ATN Cap’s pinhole allows you to see the scope with the fitted cap. It is a lot easier to get things sighted in broad daylight than in the night. There is an alternative to this unit anyway; and cheaper. It also packs some decent specifications on sheet. You may want to check out the ATN Gen 2+ night gun scope.
- Solid design for efficient use – a solid reason for making the best night vision scopes round-up too.
- Adjustable knobs for windage and elevation.
- Automatic brightness control feature.
- Easy to understand two-tone color scheme.
- There is a built-in detachable IR illuminator for clear shooting in fog or mist.
- Adjustable and padded eyepiece with a diopter correction.
- Lens cap with a useful design.
- It’s on the heavy side.
- While it has no problem viewing far objects, closer objects are actually not quite as clear. Its image quality is also not the best on the market.
5. ATN X-Sight II 5-20 Smart Scope
- Brand: ATN
- Magnification Power: 5-20X
- Objective Lens: 85mm
- Average Rating: 4.2
This night scope is perhaps the most technologically advanced in this compilation. For some good reasons, we can simply pitch this as the best night vision scope around right now; because technology owns the future, right? And the future is now!
The ATN X-Sight II can be connected to Wi-Fi and a GPS which is a modernized compass (oh yes!). The Wi-Fi feature provides a platform that allows you to send and watch your videos on it. If you are a technologically inclined person, look no further. It is so good of an idea that I wonder why it happens to be so scarce a feature.
This smart riflescope can be controlled with a smartphone. It is not picky as it supports both Android and IOS devices. It can also geotag your videos – this feature will let you know and keep note of the location the device at any given point.
It is built with an obsidian core which can capture and record even in the day. The video output is in full HD @1080p resolution. Videos come out top notch!
With this device, you can calculate the exact distance between you and your target. This is done in both day and night. When the target is locked on, automatically, the point of impact is adjusted.
The features of the ATN X-Sight II are so convenient and awesome. If you are familiar with technology and love its modern products, this is for you.
It also offers seven different reticle colors and has a seven color scheme.
Although it is quite heavy, it can be well managed.
- It comes with a recoil activated video recorder that automatically records videos before and after a shot.
- Video output is in HD 1080p.
- Smart features such as Wi-Fi, geotagging, GPS.
- It can be controlled with a smartphone
- Capable zoom control.
- It comes seven reticle options.
- 5-20X magnification power.
- Can be used in both day and night.
- Although the day capability is suitable, the night capacity is less than that. It cannot be compared with earlier models on that but does a decent job still, considering the price.
- It is quite heavy.
Why Night Vision Scopes?
For hunters, hunting nocturnal creatures tend to be a hassle in many cases. The fact that their eyesight is programmed to even work better in darkness than that of us, humans, makes it really difficult to sneak up on them and hunt them down.
Having a night vision monocular for your rifle can make discovering and killing these nocturnal creatures a hundred times easier than being without one. See it this way: you will be able to catch your prey mostly unaware and some other times, even while they are asleep. Talk of a silent and effective hunter; yep, that’s you whenever you have yourself equipped with the best night vision scopes in your kit.
How Does It Work?
A night vision goggle on your rifle does not perform magic; though it seems magical. Here’s what it simply does: it takes in as much natural light in its surrounding and enhances it at a maximal level to aid your vision. In fact, a night hunting scope can also detect infrared light (which is invisible to the human eyes) and brightens it for you to see (through the scope of course). We have found that many people shun night vision scopes because of the expense and would rather opt for a night vision binoculars instead. Unfortunately, while speaking to a group of hunters, we also found that these binoculars are a hassle to them because with it, one has to first re-adjust eyesight and rediscover the target before making the kill shot. However, with a direct night scope attachment on the rifle, keeping the eyes on target and making the kill shot all happens at once. In that amount of time spent between dropping the night vision binoculars and re-adjusting eyesight with the rifle, the target could have moved. As we know, a good rule of thumb [for hunters] is to take lesser time between discovery time and moment of kill. The best night hunting scopes were made to make every hunter’s dream come true.
Fixed Rifle Scopes or Variable Rifle Scopes?
In the quest to search for a night vision rifle scopes for sale, there are two other major considerations to make asides finding out the type of gun you wield (in terms of purpose and functionalities). First, you need to determine the type of shooting you plan on doing. For instance, if you are a whitetail deer hunter, your gun scope would definitely be different from say, someone who hunts yaks or mountain goats. Second is your preference in terms or fixed or variable vision scope. You may need both or you may just need one of them. Let’s examine further…
Fixed Rifle Vision Scope
This kind of gun scope sticks to one setting of magnification all through its usage and existence. That is, there is a fixed range it can cover; which means you need to have an idea of the magnification of the distance you intend shooting from. The magnification of rifle scopes is expressed in terms of power and power is the factor that visually reduces the distance between you and your target. For example, say the magnification is fixed at 20x and a target is about 80 yards away, you will only appear 4 yards away from that target with this magnification power.
Using a fixed rifle scope has some awesome advantages with the foremost being that they are generally less expensive than variable riflescopes even if they share the same power. Also, since the power is constant, fixed vision scopes cause less strain to the eyes. The major con of this kind, however, is that you are stuck with just one magnification all through your shooting. Should you have a need to zoom further for a better view, you may lose your target; because that suggests you have to move closer, giving the target some time to sense danger.
Variable Rifle Scope
The variable counterparts of the best night vision scopes like the name suggests, have a varied range of magnification. We have a lot of 3x-9x variable scopes around today and as we may have noticed somehow, this is the choice of many white tail deer hunters. 3x in this case means that the target comes out three times larger than what the naked eye sees while the same goes for 9x. This means that the target can be viewed at various sizes, also making a variable gun scope as deadly as anything, even up to 500 yards.
If you deal in longer shots, you may need up to 12x or 16x magnification. A little caveat though. Variable scopes should only be used by experienced shooters for reasons being that any slight movement by the shooter could make for loss of impact (since there’s so much zoom applied already). In competitions though, we have seen shooters use 24x, 36x and even 40x as these are the best of the best. They are the real deal if only you can use them right.
That rounds our handpicked list of best night vision scopes this period. As mentioned earlier, each night vision scope mentioned is a favorite to a different group of people. To get the one that best suits you, consider your budget and needs. That said, the only knowledge that cannot be passed to you is the one you can only get from experience. And since this list caters for users of different tastes, picking one should not be a problem.
Also, remember we have added links to each unit’s Amazon page so you can get the best discount available on them today. Time waits for no one, get yourself a device that complements your needs today. We will keep this page updated from time-to-time. You have nothing to worry about 🙂