best night vision scope for ar 15

Best Night Vision Scope for AR 15 of 2021: Complete Reviews With Comparisons

For hunting enthusiasts, getting the best night vision scope for AR 15 is necessary.

Many people love hunting—some love doing it at night or in the wilderness.

We all know that it is difficult to see without proper illumination, especially in a setting with many obstacles.

With all the available models in the market, getting the most suitable night vision scope for your needs and preferences is essential.

Read on the reviews and comparisons of some of the top models in the market to get one that you can rely on even in unpredictable terrains. 

Best Night Vision Scope for Ar 15: A Review

1. TheOpticGuru ATN X-Sight-4k

This scope will impress any hunter with its excellent resolution, rapid viewing, and low light sensor.

Plus, this sight comes in at a surprisingly low cost.

It has Dual Core CPU that provides unrivaled image performance and all of the capabilities you’d expect from an ATN scope.

Product Highlights

Some of the features of this scope that you need to make a note of are:

  • Dual-Stream HD Video Recording

This feature allows you to video-record your shots while streaming via WiFi.

The best part about it is you can do both without affecting your performance. 

It also takes away the need for you to do it every time manually.

  • 18-Hour Battery Life

You can count on this night vision scope to function for a long time.

It has an ultra-low power consumption that can last for a maximum of 18 hours. 

With this model, you don’t have to worry about losing games or missing shots over drained batteries.

  • Obsidian-4 Dual Processor

If you want to enjoy 24/7 hunting sessions, this is the best pick. 

It has a rich color palette that gives you clear photos during the day.

Its Obsidian-4 Dual Processor enables you to enjoy a 1280 x 720 Micro HD display.

You can also rely on it to give you crisp and sharp black and white images at night.

  • Ballistic Calculator

This feature heightens your chances of killing every shot because of its automatic point of impact calibration.

It automatically adjusts depending on your range to target, environmental data, and ammo type.

The Good

TheOpticGuru ATN X-Sight-4k’s special optics allows a seamless transition between daytime and nighttime shooting.

It’s a fantastic night or day optic because it hosts a lot of capabilities.

Let’s start with convenience and accuracy because of its ability to zoom up to 20x.

It lets you enjoy your sight in a 4K camera with a high-definition display, giving you more chances of making the shot.

Its recoil-activated video recording is also bound to amp up the excitement in your hunts.

This feature lets you focus on the game as it automatically records once it senses a recoil.

The Bad

We all want to have all these features available for all types of shooting ventures.

However, there are numerous features available that can be overwhelming for a beginner.

It has a steep learning curve that one should give time to adjust to.

Another downside of this is some users sometimes experience difficulties with software updates.

Pros:

  • Durable and good value for money
  • Can handle pressure from high-caliber weapons
  • Convenient and easy to use

Cons:

  • Learning how to use it can take time 
  • Features can be intimidating for amateur users

2. ATN X-Sight II

The greatest night vision scopes let you see in both day and night surroundings.

With that said, getting one that gives you a hard time sighting in daylight and at night can be troublesome.

If you want one that can serve you day and night, you better go for the ATN X-Sight II.

It lets you enjoy hunts in varying time settings and offers excellent video quality along with many other innovative features.

Product Highlights

The scope has a lot to offer, including:

  • RAV and WiFi Streaming 

The scope features an option for WiFi streaming or RAV or Recoil Activated Video for a more enjoyable hunting experience.

  • HD Resolution

Utilizing HD technology to create 1080p videos and images, you surely have an outstanding hunting optic.

You can expect your adventure shooting videos to be high-quality because this sight combines day and night vision.

If you want one that can let you see up to 240 feet, this is for you.

  • Smart Range Finder 

To determine how far the target is, you can use this scope’s smart range finder.

It takes only two clicks to know how far away your target is.

You can enjoy knowing each bullet’s landing point while pairing it with the scope’s ballistics calculator.

It helps you get more accuracy in your shots, especially when hitting a long-range target or making angled shots.

  • Ballistic Calculator

As soon as the distance is known, the impact point is immediately modified. 

The ballistic calculator converts target information and environmental data into a trajectory correction.

That means more accurate and well-calculated shots for long-range targets.

  • Smooth Zoom

With the smooth zoom option, you can fine-tune your modifications. 

You can easily focus on your targets with the necessary magnification accurately.

The Good

A great feature of this scope is its magnification range of 5x to 20x since you can easily hit targets at various distances.

Shooters can also greatly benefit from its night and day mode features.

Apart from that, you can easily use the rangefinder and ballistics calculator to shoot your targets with utmost accuracy.

As for recording hunting ventures, this scope facilitates RAV and WiFi Streaming without a hassle. 

The Bad

As for its downsides, some calipers can create excessive reticle recoil.

For some users, this recoil becomes a challenge because it affects the shot’s precision.

Another possible drawback would be its weight and build.

It can be a handful because it is an enormous scope.

As for its use, some quality control difficulties may develop after a bit of usage.

You also get the added task of updating its software from time to time.

Pros:

  • Versatile
  • Good for varied settings
  • Can be used by amateurs and enthusiasts

Con:

  • Heavy build and bulky design

3. BUSHNELL 4.5x40mm Equinox Z Digital Night-Vision Monocular

You never know when you’ll need to venture at night.

The Bushnell Equinox Z provides you with the ability to do so from any location.

Utilizing established technology, this monocular turns night into day.

Equinox continues to elevate the bar for Generation 1 night vision by delivering clarity, illumination, and field of view in equal measure. 

The compact model has a durable, weather-resistant casing as well as integrated accessory rails.

All these let you attach an infrared flashlight to extend its viewing range by a significant amount.

Product Highlights

Let’s talk about the scope’s features in detail.

  • Optical Magnification

You’ll be able to enjoy superb optical clarity and superior illumination with this scope.

It has 4.5x to 13.5x digital zoom for an unrivaled field of view. 

It also boasts of fully multi-coated optics to decrease glare and increase light transmission.

  • Daytime Color and IR Illumination 

The Equinox Z’s infrared IR illumination and daytime color let you use the scope in your day and night ventures.

You can choose to adjust the IR illuminator in three intensity levels. 

It shows color images during the day and switches to black and white at night for contrast.

  • Video and Photo Capability

This scope features a 640 x 480 image and video resolution. 

A recording and live view feature for external devices is made possible by its RCA video-out port.

It also has a micro SD card that lets you save videos and photos up to 32 GB.

You can enjoy the convenience of downloading or transferring data through a USB cable without removing the memory card.

  • Ease of Handling

For any idle time beyond 10 minutes, the auto-off feature will shut it down to help you save power.

You can easily refer to its display icons for battery level, digital zoom, IR setting, image brightness settings, and other data.

  • Functional Build and Design

This scope is IPX4 rated, so it’s water-resistant.

You can count on its built-in side Picatinny rail to let you attach all the accessories you need.

The Good

The Bushnell Equinox 4.5×40 Z is the most recent entry into the inexpensive consumer night vision market. 

Nothing unveils the unknowns of darkness with its high-performance glass objectives, zoom capability, and long battery life.

Its viewing experience is impressive, especially in low-light circumstances.

You can rely on this to track an animal or explore the depths of dark terrains.

It delivers excellent optical clarity and a broad field of vision.

Hunting is made easy by its intense infrared illumination for day or night viewing.

It is an excellent tool for success, proven by its overall build, batteries, accessories, and water-resistant casing.

The Bad

When used indoors, this item requires continual attention.

The handling and learning curve also takes time.

The battery life isn’t all that impressive either.

If you plan to utilize the infrared camera, make sure you have enough spare batteries.

If you spend much time attempting to concentrate, your batteries will run out soon.

Pros:

  • Reasonable price
  • Good for day and night viewing
  • Can be used in varied weather conditions
  • Good value for money

Cons:

  • Focus can be hard to achieve
  • Batteries not too impressive

4. Night Owl Optics NightShot Digital Night Vision

One of the best options for night hunters is the Night Owl Optics NightShot.

It is known to be among digital rifle scopes of excellent quality.

The NightShot Rifle Scope is a lightweight and easy-to-use instrument.

These night owl optics allow you to see in the dark while using night vision riflescopes to acquire your target. 

It’s a three-power digital night vision riflescope with a detection range of 100 to 200 yards.

Product Highlights

Let’s look into some of the best features of this scope.

  • Aiming and Magnification 

The scope has a fixed magnification that can zoom in three times the normal eyesight.

The objective is 40mm in diameter, and the LCD has a resolution of 640×480.

An eyeshade spans the distance between your eye and the eyepiece, and the eye relief is 2.5 inches. 

You also get three buttons: an on-off switch, a brightness regulating control, and an IR activation button.

  • IR Technology 

This scope has an IR illumination upfront that provides enough illumination, enabling the scope to pick up a good image at 75-100 yards in pitch darkness.

With a full moon, you can get a good shot from 150 yards away at night.

You’ll also find a mounting point next to the infrared assembly for a better view from a longer distance.

  • Construction and Durability

The materials used to construct this scope are thermoplastics. 

The most significant benefit from this is that the overall weight of this scope has dropped to only 20.8 ounces.

Rubber is used for the eyeshade and plastic for the built-in lens cap on the other end. 

This adds up to a light structure that won’t feel like it’s on top of your weapon.

The scope is also sealed, making it waterproof and dustproof, allowing you to use it safely even if the weather isn’t ideal.

  • Battery Life

The battery assembly is located directly beneath the scope and opens via a secure clasp.

With the IR off, you’ll get roughly 12 hours of operational time with good-quality alkaline batteries.

If you are using lithium batteries, you can get around 17 hours of operation time.

The Good

The majority of hunters are looking for the best price-to-value product available.

The Nightshot is the best pick because it is an inexpensive model that gets the job done.

It has enough magnification for a 100- to 200-yard shot and can be mounted on almost any modern rifle.

It has the capabilities to expand your vision range and boost image brightness and quality in utter darkness.

The Bad

Unfortunately, this device’s lack of streaming and recording features limits its capacity.

If you are an enthusiast who loves recording or streaming, you need to choose another option for activity tracking.

Pros:

  • Good adjustability
  • Comfortable eye relief
  • Lightweight and affordable
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Not too good with long-range shots
  • Does not support recording or streaming

5. Sightmark Wraith HD 4-32×50 Digital Riflescope

best night vision scope for ar 15

Sightmark is a top contender in the digital optics revolution.

With their Wraith HD 4-32×50, enthusiasts can now enjoy high-tech capabilities at a surprisingly low price.

Anyone will love this versatile device because of its outstanding full-color HD day vision display and recording.

Product Highlights

Some of the things you’ll expect from this scope are:

  • Image Quality and Detection Range

For daytime settings, it has a 1920×1080 HD sensor for full-color clarity.

You can switch to night mode, which offers black and white or a classic emerald viewing option.

  • IR Flashlight

The Wraith has a removable 850nm IR flashlight for a better nighttime view.

It also ensures precise target acquisition up to 200 yards.

  • Reticle Variations

To match your demands, choose from ten reticle variations and nine color options for your riflescope.

  • Battery and Ports

The Wraith has an integrated camera that allows you to record and share videos.

The micro USB port improves the range of power sources for video recording and export.

With four ordinary AA batteries and an external charger, the battery life is 4.5 hours.

The Good

The Wraith’s menu is simple to use and understand. 

The angled shape of the touchpad makes scrolling through the menus from a shooting stance a breeze. 

You can activate the IR illumination when the daylight fades to darkness, so you can seamlessly transition from day to night vision. 

This digital optic is perfect for the future generation of shooters, regardless of the weather, range, or time of day.

The Bad

Wraith HD scopes do not have impressive battery life.  

They can only survive two hours at maximum power.

To save battery life, you have to use the Sleep Mode and keep the settings at their lowest possible levels.

Pros:

  • Affordable 
  • Clear view
  • Easy to adjust brightness
  • Convenient recording, transfer, and sharing

Con:

  • Poor battery life

Buyer’s Guide

A night vision scope is an essential tool for night hunters, especially for newbies. 

With a decent scope, you can effectively identify targets while remaining safe from predators.

The best part about it is that it has terrific add-ons that can enhance your hunting experience.

However, several night vision scopes are available, and each uses a different technology to deliver excellent images in the dark.

Thus, choosing the best scopes for night hunting involves several factors, like the ones discussed below.

Range

Night vision scopes have lesser magnification than other more powerful scopes.

You should keep in mind that the scope’s range is critical to image clarity. 

Long-range optics provide more excellent night vision since they offer better brightness and clarity. 

Make sure to pick the best one among the different night vision rifle scopes available.

Clarity

The primary goal of any night vision scope is to see moving targets. 

The clarity of a night vision scope is often expressed as LP/MM. 

A higher number indicates a better quality night vision scope with a clearer image.

Most night vision scopes have a maximum line per millimeter of 200 yards.

This distance somehow gets the job done, but you can always opt for various night vision scopes with better clarity.

Battery Life

Your scope’s battery life depends on several factors, such as battery type and size.

They affect how well and how long your scope works.

Always go for long-lasting and easily rechargeable batteries. 

You have the option to use AA batteries or other lithium-ion batteries.

Build and Durability

The sturdiness is another factor to consider when choosing the best night-hunting scopes.

Hunting includes several powerful movements, which increases the risk of scope damage, especially at night. 

Invest in a long-lasting scope made of high-quality materials.

It also helps if the model is weatherproof, waterproof, and shockproof.

Weight

A scope with plenty of features will be heavier and more sensitive.

So make sure to buy a model with the functions you need but avoid unnecessary features that can add to your scope’s weight.

Otherwise, carrying your night vision scope around will be a hassle.

There are durable, lightweight models that are also easy to use and aim.

Technology

Different scopes have different forms of technology.

Scopes have four generations: one, two, three, and four.

Later generations, including Generation 3 and 4, have more advanced technology and enticing features. 

On the flip side, these new night vision scopes are more expensive and bulkier to carry.

FAQs About Night Vision Scopes

1. What’s better night vision or thermal?

Thermal optics measure both heat and radiation.

As the temperature rises, the radiation sent off increases.

Since thermal imaging detects radiation, there is no need for any visible light. 

When used correctly, it enables you to identify even the smallest animals. 

However, if you’re looking at a thermal image, you will be missing some of the finer details.

In contrast to thermal vision, night vision requires a light source like the moon or stars.

The images you get from night vision are more detailed and natural.

Thermal vision is more effective for detection, but night vision can be a better choice if you need better details. 

In terms of technology, thermal imaging is more recent and more expensive to produce.

2. What scope should I use for night vision?

There are numerous kinds of scopes with varying levels of technology and features.

As mentioned, the scope comes in four generations.

Recent generations, like the third and fourth generations, has more advanced technology.

They also provide many nice-to-have features and extras, but they cost more and are difficult to carry because of their bulkiness. 

Opting for them will depend on your preferences and needs.

3. What night vision scopes does the military use?

Military personnel relies on third-generation and even fourth-generation devices.

While they are generally more expensive, they provide better support, functionality, and range capacity than previous generations.

4. How far can night vision see?

Night vision scopes let you see in the dark, and you may be curious as to how far it enables you to see. 

Before we dive into the answer, let’s try to understand how these night vision scopes work.

In night vision equipment, there are two technologies used.  

The first is optoelectronic image enhancement utilized in traditional night vision devices.

It works by measuring tiny amounts of infrared light reflected off objects.

Then finally electrically amplifying this light into a distinctive luminous green image.

On the other hand, digital image enhancement is a modern technology that collects available light on a digital image sensor.

This makes it possible to enhance the photos digitally in a full-color display.

On a dark night, decent night vision scopes allow you to see animals, people, and things up to 1,000 yards away. 

In addition to that, night vision monocular cameras let you take images and record videos too.

5. How long does a night vision scope last?

Thermal cameras are solid-state devices that, if maintained properly, can last a lifetime.

The coatings on the tubes give these systems a life span good to last a lifetime.

A competent Generation 2 system should be able to provide you with up to 5,000 hours of use. 

Meanwhile, a Generation 3 system can last up to 15,000 hours of operation.

That said, many users claim that you are more likely to get 12,000 hours out of it.

If you wish to extend its lifespan, you have to turn the device off when not in use.

Our Final Recommendation

Now that you know what makes the best night vision scope for AR 15, you can easily decide which to get.

As for our winner, we have to go with the TheOpticGuru ATN X-Sight-4k.

That’s because of its long battery life, dual-stream and HD recording, and ballistic calculator.

Meanwhile, the ATN X-Sight II takes the second spot on the list. 

Its day and night HD resolution and streaming and recording capabilities make it worth the buy.

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09/24/2021 02:24 am GMT

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