Best Night Vision Scopes | Top Picks Revealed

March 15, 2018
best night vision scopes

Best Night vision scopes have proven to be helpful to different groups of people. 

Hunters use these rifle scopes when hunting hogs, coyote, rats, and rabbits in the dark.

The military optimizes the use of this rifle optics extensively in low light conditions.

What makes the best night vision rifle scopes

things to look for when buying scope

Rifle scopes are designed to not only observe but hit the target.

Several factors determine rifle scope quality within its generation. For best night vision scopes 2017 consider:

Clarity

The rifle optic resolution is very crucial when it comes to tactical operations and hunting. Lines per millimeter measure resolution in rifle scopes, the higher the lines per millimeter, the higher the resolution of your rifle scope. Best night vision scopes have the highest clarity.

Infrared illuminators (IR)

Consider whether your rifle optics has an infrared illuminator or can it attach one. By shinning the infrared light on the target, it makes the targets brighter especially on nights that are nearly pitch dark. Best night vision scopes utilize this feature optimally.

Range

Best night vision scopes give you the required detection range that you seek. Longer rifle optics is better at producing more light.

Recognition ranges calibration is for full moons, starlight only, quarter moon and overcast scope. Best night vision scopes have a variety of rangefinders.

Durability

With many electronics put in the rifle optics, ensure that the rifle scope is waterproof if you are operating in wet areas.

Also, know the amount of recoil the rifle optics can handle as the sensitive electronics are easy to damage. Best night vision scopes are durable and waterproof.

Ergonomics

magnification and objective lense diameter

Having the best night vision scopes means using the right rifle scope for a particular purpose efficiently.

A higher magnification implies a heavy optic. 

If you are moving a lot and doing a lot of bush hunting, lighter scopes will be better as they are comfortable to walk and make aiming targets easy.

Coated lenses

When considering the best night vision scopes, a coated lens is an essential feature, especially with fully multi-coated glass.

The coating helps in capturing more light, even in low light conditions. Consider the objective lens size as the larger the size, the more light will be captured.

Difference between Gen 1, 2 and 3 of night vision rifle scopes

evolving gunscope generations

Gen 1

These rifle scopes are the first to relay passive infrared. The scopes need a lot of natural light to function optimally.

Best cheap night vision scopes are in this generation. These rifle scopes are not for high risk or dangerous applications. They are suitable for some vermin hunting but not in tactical applications. Other features you can find in Gen 1 include:

  • ​The maximum useful range is about 75 yards but can differ depending on the night.
  • ​Images are not clear as the resolution is low.
  • ​The distorted images cause the scope to have a small field of view.
  • ​Susceptible to “blooming” which is the distortion of the image due to excessive light.
  • ​Gen 1 monoculars luck the versatility of higher generations such as adapting rifle scopes and spotting scopes mounting capability.

​​Gen 2

Gen 2 technology significantly improved the size, clarity and overall performance of rifle scopes.

Gen 2 introduced portable, small and lightweight optics. Some Gen 2 technology, especially regarding size, has ended up in current generation one rifle scopes. Its other features are:

  • ​It has a more extended range of the 200 yards depending on the model.
  • ​Compared to generation one rifle scopes, it has a longer battery life.
  • ​Images come with better resolution.
  • ​Has the ability to operate “passively” without the need to light the infrared illuminator.
  • ​Gen 2 monoculars have greater versatility due to increased adaptability and durability.
  • ​The life expectancy is more compared to Gen 1 rifle scopes.
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    ​Has a full field of view with no distorted images.

​​Gen 3

A gen 3 rifle scope is what is currently used by the military. Gen 3 technology further refined the gen 2 rifle scopes.

The clarity and resolution of this optics have significantly improved. The rifle optics sensitivity and necessary light needed for efficient optimum operation have also developed further. Oter features include:

  • ​They have the most extended range of 300 yards or more depending on the model. These make them the best night vision scopes.
  • ​Provide the best resolution, brightest and cleanest images.
  • ​These rifle scopes have the best performance in low light.
  • ​Reliable and durable with a life expectancy of 10000 hours plus.
  • ​Very versatile can be mounted with camera adapters, different magnification glasses, and other night vision accessories.
  • ​Possible to operate entirely “passive” without the use of infrared illuminators. These make Gen 3 rifle scopes the best night vision scopes in the market.
best night vision scope options

​​Best Gen 1 night vision scope

​Firefield FF 16001 NVRS 3X 42mm Gen 1 Night Vision Riflescope

Firefield FF 16001 NVRS 3X 42mm Gen 1 Night Vision Riflescope
3.9
Rating

These rifle scopes come with a built-in, high power IR illuminator that enhances the details of images and increase the viewing range in pitch darkness.

It’s quick-detach weaver mounting system makes changing optics easy or switching to iron sights while still maintain return-to-zero reliability.

The rifle scope comes in a rock-solid titanium body that is lightweight and has a flip-up lens covers that shields it from harsh weather conditions.

These rifle scopes are one of the best cheap night vision scope in the market. If you are looking for best night vision scope under 500, this is the ideal choice.

Pros

  • Strong and durable.
  • Powerful magnification.
  • Ample field of view.
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    User-friendly in pitch darkness.
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    ​Enhanced clarity and sharpness.
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    ​Ergonomic design for quick power-ups.

​Cons

  • The mount can be a little unstable.
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    ​The quick release lever may not work well at first.

Best Gen 2 night vision scope

​Vortex Razor HD Gen II 1-6x24 Riflescope with JM- 1 BDC Reticle MOA RZR- 16003

Vortex Razor HD Gen II 1-6x24 Riflescope with JM- 1 BDC Reticle MOA RZR- 16003
4.4
Rating

The Vortex Razor HD Gen II 1-6x 24 rifle scope has the ideal optical scope solution for short to medium range tactical applications.

This device has the highest level of clarity, light transmission, color accuracy, resolution and edge to edge sharpness.

The zero-resettable turrets offer 50 MOA of adjustment in a single turn. Razor HD Gen II 1-6x24 has to cap on windage and elevation turrets enhancing smooth operation.

Pros

  • Has apochromatic lenses that correct color across the entire visual spectrum.
  • This rifle scope is easy to mount on different rifles.
  • Its Argon-filled fog proof and waterproof.
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    Its lightweight from the anodized aerospace aluminum construction.
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    The scratch-resistant lens coating makes it one of the best night vision scopes.

​Cons

  • The red dot can be off target on some devices.

Best gen 3 night vision scope

​Primary Arms 1-6X24mm SFP Riflescope with Patented ACSS 5.56 / 5.45 / .308 Reticle Gen III – PA1-6X24SFP-ACSS-5.56

Primary Arms 1-6X24mm SFP Riflescope with Patented ACSS 5.56
4.7
Rating

​This device features exclusive, patented Advanced Combined Sighting System reticle (ACSS).

Bullet drop compensation, moving target leads, wind holds, and range estimation is seamlessly integrated. Easy to use automatic sighting systems that are very fast from 0-300 yards.

It is one of the best night vision rifle scopes for sale and is one of the best long range night vision scope.

Pros

  • The glass is very clear which enhances visibility.
  • Windage and elevation work correctly.
  • The target lead and ranging are precise.
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    Advanced Combined Sighting System reticle (ACSS) works well in fast firing.

​Cons

  • Illumination can cause slight blooming.

Best night vision scope for hunting

The best time to hunt for animals is when you have the advantage of surprise. Darkness provides cover and a significant benefit to the hunter. Night vision rifle scopes come in handy in such situations and guarantee a high rate of success.

Best night vision scopes for hunting coyotes

​Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital Night Vision Riflescope

​Sightmark Photon XT 4.6 x 42S Digital Night Vision Riflescope
4.3
Rating

The Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S rifle scope is lightweight and has high magnification. It is suitable for hunting coyotes after dark. You get clear focusing and crisps details on the target at ranges of about 120 yards.

It’s compact and easy when it comes to storage and portability. The design ensures quick action which is handy for moving targets. Making this rifle scopes the best night vision scopes for coyote hunting.

Pros

  • Battery life is long.
  • Compatible with a variety of rifles.
  • Robust construction and easy to maintain.
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    Attaching and detaching from the gun is easy.

​Cons

  • Some people may find the controls a bit stiff.

​​​​​​Best night vision scope for hunting hog

​Eotech HHS 1 (EXPS3-4 with G33 3x Magnifier)

Eotech HHS 1 (EXPS3-4 with G33 3x Magnifier)
4.1
Rating

The HHS 1 features an EXPS3-4 with a G33.STS magnifier is suitable for engaging threats in close quarters to mid-range combat situations. The HHS 1 can quickly transition from close combat targets to 500-meter targeting or surveillance situation.

A swift switch-to-side (STS) offers pure, fast detachment of the G33 magnifier. The firm, night vision compatible optical systems provide superior light transmission for visibility in extreme low-light conditions.

Eotoch HH1 is the best night vision scope under 1500 and the ultimate night vision scopes for hog hunting.

Pros

  • Optimized for high-speed close quarter tactical operations.
  • 7mm raised base allows iron sight access.
  • Its waterproof and fog proof.
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    This equipment maintains accurate zero and reticle visibility at all times.
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    ​Passive weapon objects with no light signature to betray your position.
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    ​Its easy to make a rapid switch between 1x and 3.25x magnification.

​Cons

  • There are too many dots in a small space which can make targeting difficult.

​Best night vision scope for hunting rats

​Yukon NVRS Titanium 1.5x24 Night Vision Scope, Weaver Mount

Yukon NVRS Titanium 1.5x24 Night Vision Scope, Weaver Mount
3.4
Rating

The NVRS Mini Varmint Hunter 1.5x24 uses enhanced optics and has a durable, sleek titanium body. It incorporates a long mount into its ergonomic design to allow comfortable shooting and accommodate a wide range of rifles.

This Mini Hunter come with a sturdy 42mm lens that has a high light gathering and top image resolution. A powerful built-in Pulse infrared illuminator helps in brightening the target images under total darkness.

Pros

  • Its lightweight and has a durable titanium body making it easy to carry.
  • Multi-coated optics helps in light adjustment depending on the environmental conditions.
  • Optical accessories provide high-resolution photos and video recording.
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    Has precision windage and elevation adjustments.
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    Its powerful Pulse infrared illuminator works well in low light.

​Cons

  • Some devices fail to video record.

Best night vision scope for hunting rabbits

​ATN X-Sight II 3-14x/50mm Smart Day and Night Rifle Scope

​ATN X-Sight II 3-14x50mm Smart Day and Night Rifle Scope
4.2
Rating

The HD technology in this device provides day and night resolution in millions of colors. This makes it the best hunting optic that fits any situation. Ballistic calculator shifts the point of impact on the fly letting you calculate ballistics needs quickly.

Smart range finder identifies the range of the target. Full HD video recording and Recoil Activated Video and Wi-Fi Streaming allow the recording of the hunting trips on your electronic devices.

It is one of the best infrared rifle scopes and also one of the best night vision sniper scope. These rifle scopes are some of the best night vision scope under 1000.

Pros

  • Built-in rangefinder allows you to clearly identify distant targets without carrying additional equipment.
  • Day and night HD provides sharp image resolution in color.
  • The gyroscope keeps images steady when you move, and the e-compass helps in navigation.
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    E-zoom lets you magnify the target without losing what’s on your point of view like with step zoom systems.
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    The full HD and Wi-Fi streaming options allow you to record on your phone or tablet when hunting.

​Cons

  • The battery pack can be bulky.

Best night vision scope for crossbow

​ATN ThOR HD 640 Smart Thermal Riflescope

ATN ThOR HD 640 Smart Thermal Riflescope
3.7
Rating

ATN ThOR HD 640 is one of the best thermal imaging scopes as it utilizes the 640x480 sensor that detects heat energy.

The technology promotes clarity in pitch dark. The ballistic calculator helps you calculate the trajectory of the bullet and helps improve shot placement by adjusting the point of impact.

Built-in smart rangefinder improves your target hitting accuracy at range. Recoil Active Recording and WiFi streaming enable you to record the hunting trips. This riflescope is one of the best night scopes for predator hunting.

Pros

  • This atn night vision scopes use its 640x480 sensors which apply heat energy technology to spot targets which makes it a suitable thermal scopes for hunting.
  • Ballistic calculators systems allow for bullet trajectory calculation and help in adjusting your shots.
  • Built-in smart rangefinder enables you to improve on target shooting skills.
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    The Recoil Activated Video and Wi-Fi streaming allows you to record the hunting expeditions on your phone and tablets.
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    Smooth zoom allows magnifying of targets without compromising on your field of view.

​Cons

  • Some users find adjusting the settings to be a bit complicated.

Best night vision scope for ar-15

​Firefield FF26014T Tactical Night Vision Rifle Scope with Internal Focusing, 2.5 x 50

Firefield FF26014T Tactical Night Vision Rifle Scope with Internal Focusing, 2.5 x 50
4.8
Rating

Uses advanced optics and have a sleek, durable titanium body.

The device has internal focusing ability and an ergonomic design that allows comfortable shooting. It is also equipped with a powerful 50mm lens to gather more light for high-resolution images.

The device has multi-coated optics and an illuminated reticle for automatic light adjustment. Built-in Pulse infrared illuminators are efficiently activated which helps in brightening targets and increase their range in shallow light environments or conditions.

Firefield FF26014T Tactical Night Vision Rifle Scope is one of the best night vision scope for the money.

Pros

  • Very durable.
  • Lightweight.
  • Powerful 50mm lenses that gather a lot of light.
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    Pulse infrared illuminators increase range and brighten targets in total darkness.
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    Multi-coated optics and illuminated reticle are effecting in light adjustments.

​Cons

  • The battery life can be short.

Best night vision thermo scope

​Apollo 336 (60Hz) Thermal Imaging Clip-On System

Apollo 336 (60Hz) Thermal Imaging Clip-On System

The device comes with FLIR thermal image camera designed for mounting in front of existing day scope. Apollo rifle scopes are one of the best thermal scope for hunting.

No change in cheek weld, trigger reach and continued use of ballistic reticules in the day scope is required.

It is one of the best night vision spotting scope and comes equipped with some of the best thermal imaging scope.

Pros

  • Bright, sharp images through the use of the image filtering algorithms.
  • Useful in total darkness as it uses heat to locate the target.
  • Light in weight made from airplane grade aluminum.
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    Useful in tactical operations as it can be operated wirelessly using remote controllers.
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    Easy and intuitive drop-down user interface.
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    ​Extended operation time with external battery supply.

​Cons

  • The settings can be a bit complicated at first.

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