Last Updated on May 9, 2021
When you’re looking for the best night vision scope, it’s important to get it right the first time. While $1,000 might be on the low end of things for a night vision scope, it’s not on the low end for your wallet.
That’s why it’s essential to take your time and check out the reviews from a reputable source, so you don’t spend a ton of money on an inferior product that doesn’t do exactly what you want.
We tracked down six of the best options out there and developed a comprehensive buyer’s guide that breaks down everything that you need to know about night vision scopes.
|Best Overall||Firefield NVRS 3x42 Night Vision Riflescope||
|Sightmark Wraith HD Digital Riflescope||
|Premium Choice||theOpticGuru ATN X-Sight-4k Night Scope||
|Night Owl Optics Night Vision Riflescope||
|Bestsight DIY Digital Night Vision Scope||
If you’re looking for a night vision scope under $1,000, it’s hard to beat the Firefield NVRS Night Vision Riflescope. It gives you crystal-clear optics and has an adjustable brightness reticle that makes it easier than ever to hit your target.
The AA batteries that it uses to operate are easy to replace, so you won’t be dreading your scope running out of juice. However, for everything that this optic does right, it’s not perfect.
For starters, it only has a magnification setting at x3, and it’s on the heavier side, even for a night vision scope. But it still earns our top nod as a night vision scope under $1,000, and it even lets you keep extra spending money to get everything professionally mounted!
An outstanding choice is the Sightmark Wraith HD Digital Riflescope. What sets this scope apart is that it can take and record both photos and videos. That said, it has a much sharper field of view.
Also, the second focal plane reticle can be difficult for novices to use. But this scope does have two different magnification ranges to choose from and daytime and nighttime modes, so you can use this scope whenever you head out!
There’s no doubt that the theOpticGuru ATN X-Sight-4k Night Scope is an outstanding choice. There are two different magnification ranges that you can choose from, and the video turns on as soon as it feels the recoil from your rifle, so you’ll always get the footage from each shot.
You can also hook up this sight to Wi-Fi and stream while recording, without any negative side effects. However, for everything that this sight does right, there are a few caveats.
First, while the price is under $1,000, once you factor in installation, you might find that you’re close to busting your budget. Second, this is an extremely large scope. That’s not a big deal if you know what you’re getting, but if you’re looking to install this on a smaller rifle, you’re likely to run into problems.
The Night Owl Optics Night Vision Riflescope is an excellent choice at a great price. There are three different reticle options that you can cycle through. Additionally, it utilizes AA batteries that are easy to replace, so packing a few extra batteries and replacing them when needed is no big deal.
However, it only has one magnification option at 3x. This limits its effective range to about 90 meters, which is definitely on the shorter side.
If you want to broadcast your view to the group, the Bestsight DIY Digital Night Vision Scope is a great choice. Keep in mind that this is not a traditional scope. In fact, you’ll need a traditional rifle scope to connect this to!
That said, it’s an extremely affordable option that enables you to convert your view to night vision and broadcast it onto a 5″ screen for the group to see. Even better, it has a quick adjustment focus ring that allows you to get optimal clarity even as you switch magnification ranges on your scope.
It’s a great attachment, but it’s not a full night vision scope.
This scope is perfect if you’re looking for a night vision scope with outstanding range and the ability to record in 1080p. Even better, the 300-meter range is among the best that you’ll find at this price point. Still, it’s closer to the top end of the price range, and there’s no doubt that this scope is more about broadcasting what you see than taking shots.
However, if the lack of versatility doesn’t bother you and you’re looking for a night vision scope for broadcasting alone, this could be your top choice.
If you don’t know what you’re looking for, then reading reviews can be a little overwhelming. That’s why we came up with this comprehensive guide to walk you through everything that you need to know both before and after you purchase your night vision scope.
Maybe you want to get some night shooting in or just want to see what’s out on the trail when it’s dark. Deciding what you want can have a big impact on which scope you choose.
If you’re looking to hunt with your night vision scope, you need to pay special attention to the reticle: Do you want a first focal plane reticle or a second focal plane one? Having variable brightness settings on the reticle couldn’t hurt either.
However, if you’re more interested in showing off what you see at night, you need to find a scope that offers photo and video-recording capabilities. Not every night vision scope has these, but if you’re looking to see different things, it’s a huge perk.
Keep in mind that if you’re mounting these scopes to a rifle, you’ll either lose their daytime capabilities, or you’ll need a scope with a daytime setting. That’s why if you’re looking to record what you see at night — and not shoot — you should consider a night vision attachment, like the Bestsight DIY Digital Night Vision Scope. It’s not a scope, but you can take it off during the day, and you can record everything that you see at night!
When you’re looking at a night vision scope, you need to take note of what kind of batteries it uses. That’s because while some batteries might last longer, they can be more expensive or harder to find and replace.
That’s why we recommend scopes that use a common battery option like AA. While you might have to replace them more often, they’re far cheaper and easy to find and replace. Keep in mind that no matter what battery option your scope uses, the batteries won’t last that long when you’re using night vision.
Sighting in your night vision scope is much harder than sighting in a traditional rifle scope. If you head out to the range and line up a paper target with your night vision scope, you’re not going to see it!
However, the good news is that there are two popular options that you can use to sight in your new scope. One, you can invest in a night vision target to put on your paper target to sight it in your scope. Two, buy some reflective tape. All you need to do is tape the center of your target, then shoot at that.
Whatever you do, don’t sight in your night vision scope during the day, unless it has a daytime setting! If you turn on a night vision scope during the daytime, you’ll likely damage the scope.
Before you purchase any scope, ensure that you can mount it to your rifle. Scopes are rail mounted, so you’ll need to determine what kind of mounting system is currently on your rifle. The most common mounting systems are Picatinny rails, weaver rails, or dovetail rails.
Night vision scopes have shorter effective ranges compared to traditional scopes, so it’s essential to check out their effective range before you make any purchases. The shortest options only have a 90-meter range, which is about 100 yards, or 300 feet.
On the other hand, the longest-range options have a 300-meter range, which is about 330 yards, or 1,000 feet. While those are impressive numbers, they aren’t nearly as far as traditional top-end scopes that can offer over 30x magnification!
Keep in mind that those ranges are for the under $1,000 price range, but considering that you can find night vision scopes that are over $3,000, it’s not hard to see how these can have farther effective ranges.
When you’re looking at night vision scopes, it can be easy to get sucked into all the extra features, like effective ranges, recording capabilities, and things like that. But don’t overlook the basics with these scopes.
In the end, the optics are still the most important feature. You want a crisp view that allows you to make out different objects with clarity. The truth is that there’s a big difference between the top-end and the low-end optics.
We highlighted choices with excellent optics on our list, but don’t expect them to stand up to $3,000 options.
When you’re looking for the best night vision scope under $1,000, there’s no doubt that the Firefield NVRS 3×42 Night Vision Riflescope stands apart from the pack. Not only is it one of the best options for the money, but it’s incredibly versatile and can handle just about anything that you could throw at it.
Hopefully, these reviews helped you break through the gridlock and find the perfect night vision scope for you, whether it’s the Firefield scope or one of the other great choices.
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Featured Image Credit: Slick-o-bot, Wikimedia Commons
Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.
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