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Best Night Vision Scopes 2021: Top 10 Picks, Reviews and Buying Guide

Shopping for the best night vision scope for hunting? 

You've come to the right place.

This guide will help you find just the right NV scope to expand your hunting window and range in low-visibility conditions.


What's In This Buying Guide

In this guide, we review the 10 best NV hunting scopes sold today (in our opinion) and compare them on the features that matter, price and other important characteristics.  

We review both true night vision and thermal (infrared) scopes to cover every need.

After reviewing our top picks, we provide a detailed buying guide you can use to shop for a night vision scope.  

Then, we answer some of the most frequently-asked questions about night vision scopes.


What Is A Night Vision Scope?

A night vision scope is a device you attach to your rifle that uses a light sensor to improve down-range visibility.

Visually, the background light of the scene is amplified and presented in either black and white or green color. 

Night vision scopes are useful for hunting at night in low-light conditions, but due to their reliance on background light they cannot be relied on for long-range shots in total blackout / no-light conditions.  You can  use an illuminator to improve the range.

That said, for hunting or shooting in no-light conditions, a thermal (infrared-based) scope is the best choice.  Some can be found for less than $2,000 today.

Night vision scopes aren't just for hunting - you can use them for seeing in the dark while camping, for home security, night fishing, night birding, night boating, wildlife inspection and night photography.  


How Does Night Vision Work? 

The process is straightforward: a sensor called a micro manometer collects all of the available light from existing light sources and an image intensifier tube amplifies the light and creates the image you view in your NV scope.  

Here is the process used: 

  1. Ambient light makes its way through the NV scope's optical lens and into the image intensifier tube. 
  2. A component of the intensifier tube, the photocathode, is converts light photons into electrons.
  3. The electrons are amplified in a vacuum where they come into contact with the microchannel plate (MCP), which is a thin glass disc with millions of holes. Here, the electrons multiply.
  4. The multiplied electrons are then sent onto a phosphor screen which turns them back into light (photons). This results in the image you see in your NV scope.

Monocular NV goggles use one image intensifier tube and binocular NV goggles use two.

In total blackout conditions where there is no ambient light, an IR illuminator can be used to shine invisible infrared light onto your target, which the image intensifier tube uses to render a visible image for you.

That said, the range and field of view are significantly reduced when using an illuminator.  

If you plan to hunt in total blackout/new moon conditions, then we recommend using a thermal hunting scope instead.


Best Night Vision Scopes 

Pulsar Digisight Ultra N455 - Riflescope digital de visión nocturna
  • Pulsar Digi sight Ultra N455

  • Best for quality

  • Objective Lens
    50mm

  • Magnification
    4.5–18x

  • Detection range
    550 yards

  • Wireless Remote Control
    Yes

  • Video Recording
    No

  • Technology
    Digital

  • Weight
    3.5 lbs

best cheap night vision scope
  • ATN ThOR LT

  • Best for portability

  • Objective Lens
    90mm

  • Magnification
    3-6x

  • Detection range
    200 yards

  • Wireless Remote Control
    Yes

  • Video Recording
    Yes (+streaming)

  • Technology
    Digital

  • Weight
    1.4 lbs

best night vision scope for hunting
  • Bestsight DIY

  • Best for money

  • Objective Lens
    16mm

  • Magnification
    4.5x

  • Detection range
    200 yards

  • Wireless Remote Control
    Yes

  • Video Recording
    Yes

  • Technology
    Digital

  • Weight
    2.24 lbs

best night vision scope for hunting
  • TheOpticGuru ATN X

  • Best for magnification

  • Objective Lens
    160mm

  • Magnification
    6x

  • Detection range
    100 yards

  • Wireless Remote Control
    Yes

  • Video Recording
    Yes (+streaming)

  • Technology
    Digital

  • Weight
    2.2 lbs

best night vision scopes
  • ATN TIWSTLT148X Thor LT

  • Best for additional accessory

  • Objective Lens
    30mm

  • Magnification
    4-8x

  • Detection range
    250 yards

  • Wireless Remote Control
    Yes

  • Video Recording
    Yes

  • Technology
    Digital

  • Weight
    1.4 lbs

best night vision scopes
  • ATN Thor 4

  • Best for reliability

  • Objective Lens
    90mm

  • Magnification
    3x

  • Detection range
    750 yards

  • Wireless Remote Control
    Yes

  • Video Recording
    No

  • Technology
    Digital

  • Weight
    1.25-5 lbs

best cheap night vision scope
  • ATN X-Sight II HD 3-14

  • Best for size

  • Objective Lens
    85mm

  • Magnification
    3-14x

  • Detection range
    100 yards

  • Wireless Remote Control
    Yes

  • Video Recording
    Yes (+streaming)

  • Technology
    Digital

  • Weight
    4.4 lbs

best digital night vision scope
  • Sightmark Wraith HD

  • Best for speed

  • Objective Lens
    50mm

  • Magnification
    6.5x

  • Detection range
    200 yards

  • Wireless Remote Control
    Yes

  • Video Recording
    Yes

  • Technology
    Digital

  • Weight
    2.45 lbs

best cheap night vision scope
  • WANNEY Smart

  • Best for accuracy

  • Objective Lens
    40mm

  • Magnification
    3.9x

  • Detection range
    300 yards

  • Wireless Remote Control
    Yes

  • Video Recording
    Yes

  • Technology
    Digital

  • Weight
    2.3 lbs

best night scope
  • ATN X-Sight 4K Pro

  • Best for versatility

  • Objective Lens
    90 mm

  • Magnification
    3-18x

  • Detection range
    165 yards

  • Wireless Remote Control
    Yes

  • Video Recording
    Yes

  • Technology
    4k

  • Weight
    2.2 lbs


best digital night vision scope

The Pulsar Digisight N455 is a great night vision scope for use in the daytime as well. It has a flip-up cap that can easily secure the lens from any potential damage through sun exposure or too much traveling. 

Pros

  • Includes a CCD (charge-coupled device) and flashlight to help users shoot more accurately.
  • Useful for daytime or nighttime shooting.
  • Easy installation and operation.
  • The 360-degree rotatable camera gives more flexibility to the user in positioning themselves while locating the target.

Cons

  • Requires external batteries.`

Our Review

The N455 scope is suitable for professionals who deal with high-caliber rifles with a larger recoil. 

The Pulsar N455 night vision scope offers generous a 50mm eye relief, so the chances of getting your eye bruised are low.

You have a lot of versatility when it comes to mounting, as it works with both Weaver and Picatinny mounts. 

This Pulsar NV scope is well-suited for stationary video monitoring.  It features a built-in power supply and an external power supply and can be operated using the included wireless remote, which gives access to many features and power settings. 

You can also switch the N455 scope's video output and preferences using the remote.

Issues & Limitations

The Pulsar N455 is a bit pricey. 

And even though it has great battery life, the video resolution is not as stable nor as high resolution as we expect at this price.

Bottom Line

The Pulsar Digiscope is a great choice for high-caliber hunters who want hands-free video monitoring in the blind. 

The only downsides are the price and the numerous accessories required for video monitoring, so plan carefully before you head out. 


The light weight and compact size of the ATN ThOR LT thermal rifle scope, along with its 6x magnification range, make it the most appropriate choice for hunters who are always on the move. 

good night vision scope

Pros

  • Lightweight, compact body with few edges or protrusions.
  • One of the most durable night vision scopes.
  • Batteries last up to 10 hours.
  • Weatherproof body.

Cons

  • Eyepiece is rather small, may not fit larger faces.

Our Review

The ATN ThOR LT night vision scope comes with three digital reticle color options including red, green, or white - and you can even switch between these while the scope is in use.

The LT's 320×240p resolution lets you see targets with extreme precision at up to 200 yards

This scope has a video recording function that is activated by touch and is completely weatherproof. 

Several important accessories come with the ATN ThoR LT scope, including a carrying case, video cable, and lens cloth.

In addition, you can attach more accessories to the integrated Weaver rail and make use of the digital windage and adjustment systems using the wireless remote.

Issues & Limitations

The biggest limitation of the ATN ThoR LT night vision scope is the same thing that makes it great: its size.

Since it is designed to be portable, some people with a smaller face frame may not find it the best choice.

Bottom Line

The ATN ThOR LT night vision scope does not come cheap.

But if you need a lightweight and portable night vision scope, we don't know of a better choice.


long range night vision scope

The Bestsight DIY night vision scope is one of the least expensive options in the market - and probably one of the largest scopes you will come across.

The scope's bulky exterior body combined with the spacious digital viewing screen offers incomparable optics, even for very long distances.

Pros

  • Includes a CCD (charge-coupled device) and flashlight to help users shoot more accurately.
  • Useful for daytime or nighttime shooting.
  • Easy installation and operation.
  • 360-degree rotating camera gives more flexibility to the user in positioning themselves while locating the target.

Cons

  • Requires external batteries.

Our Review

Bestsight DIY Digital Night Vision Scope has a 3-megapixel quality camera, and you can take shots at any angle with extreme ease after setting up the camera at the end of the scope.

It is one of the easiest night vision scopes to put together using an instruction manual, which makes it great for beginners.

The best part about this scope is that you can use it in the daytime, too, without losing the quality and detail.

Plus, the included high-power infrared illuminator and telescopic zoom offers precise and clear views of your target, which can be displayed on the 5-inch screen for easy hands-off monitoring of the field.

Issues & Limitations

The lower resolution sensor explains the lower price of the Bestsight DIY Digital Night Vision Scope.

So even though it is super affordable, it comes with some drawbacks including a lower magnification limit vs. similar priced scopes, and noticeable image distortion at maximum zoom.

Bottom Line

In terms of value for money, the Bestsight DIY Digital Night Vision Scope is an amazing product.  

It has everything you'll find at this price range, plus an amazing set of flexible digital settings and a built-in viewing screen for easy field monitoring.


best digital rifle scope

There is no better night vision scope than TheOpticGuru ATN X-Sight-4k if you are looking for powerful magnification.

 With a 6x zoom, you get crystal-clear images in 480p at up to 200 yards.

Pros

  • 4k HD resolution imaging.
  • 18 hours of battery power.
  • Three camouflage options.
  • Can withstand the pressure of high-caliber weapons.
  • The body is made of high-grade aluminum, ensuring durability.

Cons

  • A bit large / bulky.   

Our Review 

TheOpticGuru has stepped up its game by the introduction of this ATN X-Sight night vision scope. It is incomparable not only in its zoom but also in its overall functionality.

It features flip-up backup iron sights so the user can easily switch between night-vision or regular eye sights.

The optics are shock-proof, so the scope pairs well with high-recoil weapons.

The glass is scratch-proof and multi-coated, which improves overall light transmission and humidity protection.

This ATN scope also has an auto-brightness control setting, but you can set it to manual too, using the digital control, if it doesn’t suit your preferences or seems too drastic. This scope is compatible with a standard Weaver rail.

Issues & Limitations

There is no major drawback of TheOpticGuru ATN X-Sight-4k except for the price.

However, that doesn’t come as a surprise since the scope has all the professional features one could ask for.

Another potential issue for some is its bulky size and weight. 

Bottom Line

Overall, TheOpticGuru ATN X-Sight-4k is an excellent night vision scope for those who need precise shots from afar, especially professional hunters.

The battery runs for 18 hours before it requires a recharge, so you won't need spares for an overnight. 

Moreover, the aluminum body is waterproof, and it works well as a daytime scope.  


best digital night vision scope

If you enjoy getting additional accessories with your main purchase and need a good long-range riflescope, this night vision scope by ATN is a great choice.

It also comes with a carrying case and a tripod mount, which allows you to look through the monocular with the maximum amount of stability.

Pros

  • Can be hand held, very portable.
  • It comes with a case and tripod.
  • Excellent day and night time clarity and color.

Cons

  • Can’t change settings during video recording.
  • Short battery life, spare batteries are required.

Our Review

Offering magnification at 4.5x with a 30mm lens, this ATN scope is built with flexibility in mind: you can mount it on your rifle, on a tripod, or hold it in your hand. 

It also has a wide field of view at an effective range of up to 250 yards.

This ThoR LT scope can capture images and video at up to 1x to 3x magnification in good quality.

As is true with all ATN scopes, this unit is build solid and is weatherproof.

Issues & Limitations

With this ATN thermal riflescope, daytime recordings are a bit high in contrast and color in comparison to nighttime recordings.

Another small downside is its light sensitivity, which you cannot change manually while the scope is in video mode.

Bottom Line

Overall, we think ATN provides great value for money with this model because of its features.

You also get additional accessories that would increase the price of any comparable unit.


6. Most Reliable: ATN Thor 4 

top rated night vision scope

The ATN Thor 4 is a night vision scope is a reliable and proven performer that is super easy to store and travel with. 

So if you value simplicity and reliability, this is the one to buy.

Pros

  • Comes with an infrared illuminator.
  • Multi-coated optics for clear images in humid conditions.
  • Adjusts to focus quickly.
  • Robust body, durable construction.

Cons

  • Limited useful range of about 100 yards.

Our Review

ATN is a brand known for its reliability, and the ATN ThoR 4 night vision scope has all the features you'll find on modern military rifles for a very respectable price.

The ThoR scope is built like a rock, has excellent weather and humidity resistance and includes digital features such as brightness control.

The scope’s batteries will last up to 12 hours, which is more than any hunter can ask for.

To extend the battery life in long-winter-night settings, you can always turn off the illuminator.

Issues & Limitations

Using the ATN ThoR scope requires an external adapter or mounting kit.

And even though this is labeled as a multi-purpose night vision scope, it lacks a reticle or crosshair.

It also takes a lot of time to explore all the features and learn how to use them. That said, it's not hard to use out of the box - it just has a lot of extra features to explore.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a night vision scope you can rely on and is easy to use out of the box - and you cannot spend a fortune - the ATN Thor is a great choice, especially for beginners.


7. Most Compact: ATN X-Sight II HD 3-14

long range night vision scope

Given its compact nature, the ATN X-Sight II is an ideal choice for air rifle hunters others on a tight budget.

Pros

  • Super effective during day and at night. 
  • Record HD vide
  • Weaver mount is available.
  • Easy to set up and use.

Cons

  • Some users find it heavy for an optic that has to be used on small caliber rifles.

Our Review

When it comes to the ATN X-Sight II, size does not equate to performance.

The X-Sight offers up to a 20X zoom and works well on any caliber rifle due to its large eye piece. 

You won't need a handheld rangefinder with the X-Sight, either. Just enter environmental data and the ballistic calculator will automatically help you make the perfect shot.

Issues & Limitations

One obvious drawback to the ATN X-Sight II is that it is a 1080p optic, not a 4K option.

So even though we think 1080p images are plenty clear enough for most hunters, if you want higher clarity or produce professional quality video you may not like this unit.

Bottom Line

We believe that the X-Sight II night vision scope by ATN may become the company's best-selling product. It has all the features you could ask for at a very competitive price.  

But professional videographers should probably look elsewhere.


best cheap night vision scope

If you're looking for a high quality night vision scope that you can use in daytime, too - and you don't have a lot to spend - then the SightMark Wraith is an excellent choice. 

Pros

  • Invisible infrared illuminator.
  • Lots of reticle options, each with unique advantages.
  • Compact and easy to carry.

Cons

  • Low-res display may not be sufficient for some.

Our Review

The Sightmark Wraith includes all the latest technologies so you will probably find everything you want in this scope.

A unique feature of the SightMark Wraith HD is its invisible infrared illuminator, which is a blessing for hunters because the target cannot identify you in the dark.

It also features six different reticles in four different colors, so you have the liberty to choose one which best fits your visual preferences.

You can also adjust the settings digitally.

Lastly, it comes with a CMOS array so you can use this scope in the daytime, too. 

Issues & Limitations

The only real drawback to the Sightmark Wraith HD is its short battery life at just 4.5 hours.

Another thing to consider: image quality drops considerably for objects more than 200 yards away.

Bottom Line

The Sightmark Wraith HD is an excellent budget scope for day and night hunters who don't want to swap gear.

If you can live with short the battery life and don't need super long-range visibility, this is a great buy.


9. Best For Beginners: WANNEY Digital Night Vision Scope

night vision scopes reviews

For a very straightforward night vision scope, look no farther than the Wanney Digital Night Scope. It is lightweight and great for beginners practicing accuracy, especially for hunting.

Pros

  • Possible to use in the day.
  • The body is well-made, ensuring its safety against hazards.
  • Easy to focus.
  • The body is not heavy, so users can carry it at their convenience.

Cons

  • Short battery life.

Our Review

One thing that stands out in the Wanney Digital Night Vision Scope is the area it covers in a large field of view, even if the target's location is more than 150 yards away.

It features three different reticle types, depending on the shooting environment, and it can capture good details in any light condition.

Adjusting windage and elevation is also super easy with this scope. The body is made using engineered thermoplastic material, which gives it durability while keeping it lightweight.

Plus, the mount which comes with the purchase allows the scope to be lower on the bore axis, so it's easier for you to balance, especially if you are a beginner.

Issues & Limitations

One problematic thing with the Wanney Digital Night Scope is the battery door location, which requires the user to sight in if the batteries have to be removed.

Moreover, some users have reported the scope to not be tight enough against the mount it comes with, so it is important to use it with minimum movement-related hindrance if you are to purchase it.

Bottom Line

Overall, the Wanney Digital Night Scope is a great option that every beginner should buy. It’s particularly ideal for those who wish to learn under a 200-yard range. 


10. Best For Small Game: ATN X-Sight 4K Pro

night vision rifle scope reviews

For small-game / short-range hunters looking for modern features in a night vision scope, the ATN X-Sight 4K Pro is a great and very affordable choice. 

Pros

  • High-quality image and resolution.
  • Built-in high-powered IR illuminator.
  • Quick-detach system makes it easy to switch sights.
  • Lightweight and durable titanium body.

Cons

  • Limited range of 50 yards
  • Some reports of black spots in image.

Our Review

The X-Sight 4K Pro is the most affordable model from the X-sight series by ATN.

With a super lightweight body, it is great for beginners and professionals. It also supports Weaver-style mounts.

The battery can run for an extra-long 16 hours, and the built-in illuminator is a one-piece system with automatic brightness adjustment.

The X-Sight 4k Pro is IPX4 rated and features a 42mm lens for excellent optics.

Finally, the multi-coated optics are a plus, as is the flip lens cover which helps in bad weather and mud.

Issues & Limitations

Even though the X-Sight 4K Pro is weatherproof, it is not nitrogen-purged and therefore is not fog-proof.

Its effective range is also very limited at about 50 yards.  But for small game hunters who don't need the range, this scope will save a ton.

Bottom Line

The X-Sight 4K Pro is a great, affordable choice for small game and shorter-range hunting at night.


Night Vision Scope Buying Guide 

best night vision scopes

To ensure that you get the best night vision scope for yourself without requiring a second mortgage on your home, you need to consider exactly what features and capabilities you need for the style of hunting you want to do.

These are the categories of features to consider:

Magnification and Zoom

Obviously the more zoom magnification available, further away you can see. 

Budget scopes typically come with 3x-5x magnification, while scopes for professional use typically can go up to 6x - or up to 20x in rare cases.  

However, you need to ensure that the image quality you require is actually available at the range you need. 

Most night vision scopes support a 50 to 200-yard range with usable clarity.  If you need more than this, you need to be extra careful the image quality doesn't degrade to an unusable level.

Optics & Resolution

The better the image resolution, the better your chances of accurately identifying your target. 

Some night vision scopes have resolution described in lines per millimeter (LP/MM). The higher the value, the clearer the target will be in the viewfinder. 

All night vision scopes list their image resolution in pixels.  Night vision scopes most commonly produce a 384x200p or 640x480p resolution image, with some expensive professional models going up to 4K resolution.  There is a substantial cost difference between these, however.

Reticle Type/Size

When it comes to the reticle, A BDC (bullet drop compensation) reticle is the best choice for most because it has a unique reticle pattern that reduces guesswork for the user, as it has a special series of aiming points located vertically underneath the central dot.

The BDC reticle eliminates the need for the user to manually adjust elevation from time to time, making it a great choice for long-range night vision scopes.

Most scopes offer flexibility when it comes to the type, color, or brightness intensity of the reticle, and they affect the maximum accuracy.

Such factors all depend on the user’s preferences, so there’s no right answer to this. 

Battery Life

Night vision scopes rely on battery power - so if your battery runs out right when your shot is ready, you've wasted the entire night.

Ideally, you'll want a battery life of 8+ hours, so you don't have to worry about the scope shutting down in the middle of a shoot.

Higher battery life usually translates to a higher price, but this is one of the features that we suggest you don’t compromise on.

The other option is to purchase spare batteries (if possible) and make sure you swap them before you're down to the last few minutes of juice.

Construction and Durability

best night vision scope

The durability & construction of a night scope ultimately determines how reliable it is. 

Always buy a night vision scope that’s at least IPX4 weatherproof.

In addition, it's a good thing to purchase optics that are nitrogen-charged and fog-proof, and have a housing and optics that are shockproof - especially if you hunt with a high-caliber/high-recoil rifle.

When it comes to the body, the best / most durable choice for a night vision scope is aircraft-grade aluminum.

If you see a scope being marketed as having an anodized coating, it is rust-resistant and better for use in humid conditions. Anodized coatings also help camouflage your location in daylight conditions by reducing glare. 


Types of Night Vision Scopes 

best night vision scope for hunting

There are three common types of night vision scopes: thermal imaging, active illumination technology, and image intensification.

Each uses a different technology for light collection and amplification that provide different capabilities you should be aware of. 

Thermal imaging

Thermal imaging scopes measure the heat difference between the background and an object in the foreground. This difference is usually displayed as shades of dissimilar colors.

Thermal imaging is the best technology if you plan to hunt in black-out / zero light conditions, because it requires no ambient visible light nor an illuminator to function.  

Thermal scopes also emit no light or radiation of any kind, so your prey cannot see you coming.

Active illumination

Active illumination technology amplifies existing ambient light. This kind of technology is most commonly used in urban and populated centers for commercial, governmental, and residential security. 

Active illumination does an excellent job in a night vision scope - as long as there is ambient light in the environment, such as the moon or a cloud-free sky of stars.  But on a rainy/cloudy moonless night you may find a night vision scope lacking.

Image intensification

Image intensification captures and amplifies reflected infrared radiation projected from an IR illuminator to create green and black images to see objects not otherwise visible to the naked human eye.  

It is suitable for use in any light conditions, but requires the projection of IR radiation, which some prey can sense.


Limitations of Night Vision Scopes

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Night vision scopes have come a very long way since their creation by the US military.  That said, they still have limitations. These include:

Lack of color/clarity

The images provided by night scopes are often low in contrast and have poor resolution.

For example, standard infrared thermal images taken through temperature difference might not show the best result if the target temperature difference is not large.

In addition, less expensive NV scopes often rely on digital zoom which really reduces an image resolution at range.  This is especially true for IR/thermal images and objects spotted using an IR illuminator.

Limited field of vision

Due to sensor limitations, most night vision scopes offer a tiny slice of view compared with day time / optical scopes.  

This means you'll have to scan an area constantly to find targets.  

That's why many NV scopes come with video out capabilities, so you can scan the field on a screen while you pivot the rifle on a tripod.

Cannot See Through Glass, Water, Rain & Brush

Most night vision scopes cannot see through transparent materials, such as window glass.  

They also cannot see through heavy rain, behind walls or through dense brush - as many think.

Power Required

Night scopes always require an additional power source. Even those that have an in-built battery have a limit of a few hours until they run out and require a recharge.

So the user has to ensure that they carry an additional power source with them, the cost of which they have to bear, too.

High Price

These days, the high cost of night vision scopes remains the biggest barrier to widespread use.   Most quality NV scopes cost more than $2,000 with some professional rigs going for nearly $10k.

It is expected that with ongoing development of technology, this cost will continue to come down.


FAQs

Is thermal imaging better than night vision?

Night vision uses the surrounding starlight and amplifies it brighten a dimly-lit area, whereas thermal imagers use sensors to catch the heat of objects and create images in different color gradients.

So infrared images look almost psychedelic, while night vision systems create a greenish image.

They both have some functions and features in common, so in the end, it comes down to the personal preferences of the user.

For example, both come in handy in security and hunting.

Night vision scopes using light amplification offer more clarity in images.

But in no-light and bad weather conditions, a thermal scope will still work whereas the light-based tech will not.

Some hunters and military personnel prefer having both night vision goggles and thermal imagers on hand for their unique benefits. 

Do Special Forces and the military prefer a special type of night vision scope?

Special forces and the military prefer using Enhanced Night Vision Goggle-Binocular (ENVG-B) to take out targets on a training range, which come with the Family of Weapon Sights-Individual (FWS-I), an innovative and compact thermal-optic. 

What are the distances that night vision scopes can cover?

When it comes to detecting people, a Gen 3 scope can detect movement from 300 yards away, but you can only make out their features up to maybe 150 yards away.

This difference can be understood as the ‘detection range’ and ‘recognition range.’

Therefore the answer to this question depends on the purpose of surveillance. 

Another factor in the distance that  NV scope can cover is the available amount of light. The less cloudy a night is, the clearer and farther you will be able to see.

More factors are the generation of NV tech used and the optics used (night vision scope or long-range scope). 

Can you see through complete darkness using a night vision scope?

Yes, you can see through complete darkness using a night vision scope - IF it has an IR illuminator and it is designed to detect IR radiation. This illuminator creates invisible infrared light, thus letting the night vision scope identify objects.

Does a thermal scope work just as efficiently in daylight?

Yes, a thermal scope can work just as efficiently in the daylight. This is because it uses sensors to detect heat given off by an object onto the heat-sensitive detector.

So given that it is not affected by light, the thermal imaging component will work just fine in the daylight as it does in the nighttime to produce quality images. 


Final Verdict: The Best Night Vision Scope

Our current favorite is the Pulsar Digisight Ultra N455 Night Vision Riflescope. It a super-high-quality modern NV scope that offers a 50mm lens with 8X magnification and a range of up to 500 yards.  It is also comes with excellent video out features and a wireless remote control, which makes it perfect for hands free night time scanning.