The 4 Best Night Vision Scope [2020 Update]

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In this guide I’m going to show you the best night vision scope.

In fact:

These are the same scopes that many optic experts and competitive shooters use.

The best part?

I’ve sorted the scopes by use. So whether you’re on a budget or need a solid great night vision scope for hog hunting, you’ll find it here.

Let’s get started!

The 4 Best Night Vision Scope

If you’re pressed on time, here’s a quick list of the best night vision rifle scopes:

  1. ATN ThOR HD 384: Best Night Vision Scope.
  2. ATN X-Sight 4K Pro: Best AR-15 Night Vision Scope.
  3. Sightmark Wraith: Best Night Vision Scope for the Money.
  4. Firefield NVRS 3×42: Best Night Vision Scope Under $500.

1. ATN ThOR HD 384: Best Night Vision Scope

The ATN ThOR HD384 is the best night vision scope.

In fact:

I’ve used this scope both in daytime and nighttime for hunting hogs, coyotes, rabbits, and several other game.

Even if you completely disregard the night vision aspect of the ThOr HD, it’s still one of the most impressive scopes on the market.

Here’s why…


Image Clarity & Reticle

The image quality is bright and clear.

The ThOR HD comes with a 384×288 sensor and a new Obsidian IV Dual-core processor, great for long-range hunting. This improved core extracts more from the sensor, giving you a sharp image even when observing distant targets, both day and night.

In fact:

This scope allowed me to see clearly in total darkness through the fog and smoke, thanks to its illuminated reticle.

Equipped with several reticle patterns and color options, the ThOR HD enhanced my overall shooting experience.


Recording and Streaming

This scope comes with High-Resolution HD Video Recording & Photos plus Wi-Fi Streaming. With a whopping 64GB removable SD card.

I was able to record all my kill shots in excellent quality via the ATN Obsidian app that I connected to my iPhone.

On that note, if you’re an avid YouTuber, you can stream your hunting trips LIVE on social media.

The best part?

You don’t have to worry about pressing the record button every time you aim.

The ThOR HD also comes with Recoil Activated Recording (RAV). As soon as it senses a shot, it records a video automatically. I had mine set to 10 seconds, but you can adjust how long it records before and after the shot to your liking.

However, a downside is the audio recording isn’t as perfect as I’ve expected for the price tag. But considering the sound isn’t the most crucial aspect, I’ll give it a pass.


Eye Relief

The eye relief ranges from 2.5-3.5 inches.

The eye box is a bit unforgiving.

Since it has a very small display, you have to have your eye against the scope, which can be an issue if you mount it on a rifle with a big kick.


Durability and Battery

This ThOR HD is sturdy, and the buttons are tactile.

The battery life on this scope is great too.

I worked this scope for 8 hours before I swapped the AA batteries that came with the box. Most night vision scopes only last 4 hours making the ThOR HD perfect for long hunting trips.


Zeroing

Zeroing was incredibly easy.

I’ve put the scope through 500 rounds, and it never had issues holding a zero.

One of my favorite features is the Profile Manager. You can store all the zeroing-in data for every weapon that you plan to use the ThOR HD on. No worries about resetting everything up every time.


Magnification

This scope can be purchased with multiple magnification options: 1.25-5X19mm, 2-8X25mm, 4.5-18x50mm.

So, which magnification should you pick?

A magnification range between 1.25-5x will give you a detection range of up to 750 yards for a human-sized target and an identification range of 180 yards.

The middle range 2-8x provides a detection range of 900 yards and an identification range of 250 yards.

The 7-28x magnification version offers a detection range of 3,000 yards and an identification range of 720 yards.

Take note:

The digital zoom on this scope is smooth, but the image sometimes gets blurry as you increase magnification.

The solution is to select the model where the minimum magnification is your most common use/need. That way, you do not need to rely as heavily on the digital zoom.


Mounting & Accessories

The ATN ThOR HD comes with a Picatinny Quick Release Mount. Mounting this scope on my 7.62×39 AR-15 was a breeze.

This advanced scope comes with a ballistic calculator. It gives you an accurate bullet path by calculating elevation and environmental conditions along with your gun’s profile.

It also comes with an integrated Smart Rangefinder. This allowed me to acquire my target quickly for a precise hit.

No more wasting ammo on missed shots!

On the other hand, if you end up needing more time, I recommend buying the ATN Power Weapon Kit.

ATN Power Weapon Kit 20,000mAh Battery Pack w/USB Connector, provides up to 22 hrs of continuous use
  • Power weapon kit - Provides 20,000mAh of power to operate your ATN Smart Scope, instead of basic AA batteries
  • USB to micro USB w/L shape Connector - is designed to be used with our ATN Smart Scopes
  • Water resistant rubber seal - seals the media port from environmental conditions

It’s a 20,000mAh battery with a USB to micro USB cable and a buttstock pouch to attach to your rifle. With this, your scope can last up to 22 hours.

One thing that was a little disappointing was the packaging. The scope came in a canvass bag inside a box with little protection.

ATN does have a 3-year warranty, so you can return it and get it replaced if it arrives defective.


Is the ATN ThOR HD 384 worth it?

All in all, the ATN ThOR HD 384 is a spectacular game-changer.

It’s got:

  • Ballistic Calculator
  • Good Image Performance
  • Built-in Smart Rangefinder
  • Recoil Activated Recording
  • 1080p HD Video Recording & Photos
  • 3-year warranty for returns and repairs
  • Fog proof, dustproof, and fully waterproof
  • Easy recording and streaming to your smart device

If you are on the hunt for exceptional quality and value on the night vision or thermal riflescope market, you should consider any versions of this scope.

The ATN ThOR HD 384 is a great night vision scope for hog hunting, coyote hunting, etc. It may have a few bells and whistles but is surely a complete package worth its price.

Need a scope specifically for a .243 rifle? I’ve got a great list for you.


2. ATN X-Sight 4K Pro: Best AR-15 Night Vision Scope

The ATN X-Sight 4K Pro is the best night vision scope for the AR-15.

In fact, this digital scope offers an excellent view and clear image — even in the darkest of nights.

Here’s what I like about the X-Sight…


Glass Clarity & Reticle

The ATN X-Sight 4K Pro is a digital optic with night vision features.

Plus, you can record your hunting experience in 1080P video. But the night vision camera is hit or miss with this scope. Which is a bummer, but let’s go over the pros and cons…

First off, the dual WiFi streaming capabilities with your smartphone is impressive. You can record and stream the footage to your phone at the same time.

Although it’s a great concept, I found the video grainy rather than the high-defintion that the scope manufacturer promises. And the screen sometimes freeze, which was the last thing I wanted to fix while on the hunt.

Second, the night vision was a lot better than I anticipated for a scope in the $600-800 range. But it was bright…a bit too bright. After a while, I felt like my eyes were burning from watching the screen.

Plus, once I zoomed in to a certain level, the great clarity of the black-and-white night vision easily became blurry.

But this scope won’t get damaged in the sun. So you can use it on a bright day and count on it working well into the night.

And the reticle?

The illuminated digital reticle features multiple color and pattern options. Plus, these features are all customizable so you can adjust it for different targets.

Simply use the black-and-white night vision and select any color you see fit to light up the field of view.


Eye Relief & Eye Box

The 3 inches of eye relief will give you clear images on-screen.

And you’ll be good with the internal lithium ion battery, which has over 18 hours of life on a single charge.


Durability

The ATN X-Sight 4K Pro is highly durable.

This is due to its hardened aluminum alloy construction, which also makes it resistant to high caliber recoil.

It’s completely weather resistant, so it can handle the harshest elements. Plus, the digital features are highly impact-resistant, so no worries if it’s dropped.

But there were issues with the durability of the buttons themselves. The corners would get wedged into the scope body when pressed. So I was cautious, but for a pricey scope I’d expect better durability from every part of it.


Elevation & Windage Knobs

Because the ATN X-Sight 4K Pro is a digital scope, there are no physical turrets to adjust.

Which means you’ll have to learn about the digital functions, so it can be a chore to figure out if you’ve only used traditional scopes.

The menu layout has the night vision feature as the first option. To change your range, you press a sequence of buttons.

For example, a useful feature is the Ballistic Calculator. This calculates your range, windage, temperature, humidity, target angle, and more.

You simply input your weapon profile and environmental data through the smartphone app. And then the scope adjusts your point-of-impact. Easy.


Parallax & Magnification

The magnification goes from 3-14x.

It works with the reticle by adjusting during the zoom range, so you can easily zoom in and out without readjusting. But my view did become pixelated with the higher magnification levels. I could still see my target, but the high-definition didn’t really hold up.

But does it zero?

Yes: in fact, this scope offers the easiest zeroing ever with its One Shot Zero feature. Simply take a shot, adjust the reticle, and your scope will be sighted and ready to go!


Mounting & Rings

The ATN X-Sight 4K Pro comes with several great accessories.

This includes: two standard rings, L-shaped ring, lithium-ion battery, scope cover, lens cloth, sunshade, USB-C cable, and the IR850 infrared illuminator.

But there’s no mount included, so I mounted this scope with the 30mm ATN Quick Detach Mount.

ATN Quick Detach Mount for 30mm Scope Tube, Black
  • Made of Hardened Aluminum Alloy, increased durability with minimum impact on weight
  • Perfectly compatible with all existing 30mm diameter tube scopes
  • Must-have accessory for ATN scopes X-Sight 4K Series or ThOR 4 Series

It’s lightweight, simple to use, and will hold zero when transferred to another firearm.


Is the ATN X-Sight 4K Pro worth it?

If you’re serious about target shooting or hunting, especially at night, I highly recommend the ATN X-Sight 4K Pro.

Here’s the best features:

  • Illuminated reticle
  • One shot zero feature
  • 1080P video recording
  • Dual streaming with your smartphone

This scope comes with a two-year warranty with ATN. So if your scope gets damaged, simply send it back.

Overall, you’ll get a solid digital night vision scope with amazing video quality. So you can replay your best shots and share with your fellow hunting enthusiasts.


3. Sightmark Wraith: Best Night Vision Scope for the Money

Do you need a night vision scope that’s both affordable and great quality? Check out the Sightmark Wraith.

Not only does it have great night vision capability, it can save up to 5 zero profiles, so you can switch it to whichever weapon you need without having to readjust it.

Want to learn more? Keep reading…

Glass Clarity & Reticle

With the Sightmark Wraith you get an advanced HD sensor, that provides excellent clarity.

But the best part of this scope is the 10 different reticle options!

With this scope, you can choose the reticle that works best for you. It also has 9 different color options, so you can personalize this scope to your heart’s content.

For night vision, you can choose between black and white or the classic green. Want to shoot during the day? There’s a full color option for that as well!

The one downside is that all reticle options are second focal plane, which means it doesn’t change size when you change the magnification. It’s a little harder to see those long distances, but since this is mainly for hunting up to 150-200 yards, that’s not a huge problem.


Eye Relief & Eye Box

The eye relief depends on where you mount your scope.

I’m pretty tall and the way I originally mounted the scope, I felt I was creeping up on it to see well and didn’t quite have enough eye relief.

I found that I needed a Sightmark Wraith long mount, especially on my bolt action 308, to get the proper eye relief that I needed.

Sightmark Wraith long mount
31 Reviews
Sightmark Wraith long mount
  • Weaver/Picatinny cantilever scope mount
  • Designed for use with the Wraith digital day/night riflescope
  • Gives more rail space for additional accessories

You may not need as much if you’re average height though.

The field of view at the higher magnifications is also pretty narrow, but the long mount helped to widen that as well.


Durability

The Sightmark Wraith is extremely durable and can withstand some pretty harsh conditions.

It has a durable aluminum body, it’s water resistant, and can handle extreme temperatures.

I’ve taken mine out night hunting and have accidentally banged it against trees multiple times, with no issues.

It also comes with a warranty, just in case anything goes wrong.


Elevation & Windage Knobs

This is an all digital scope, so you don’t have to worry about any elevation or windage turrets.

The menu is really easy to navigate and the interface is simple, so you can get everything dialed in just right.

What about zeroing?

Once I had mine mounted, I had it zeroed within 5 shots. After a couple boxes of shells, it held zero beautifully.

And as I mentioned before, you can save the zero setting for up to 5 different weapons, which makes it super easy to move it to a different caliber or firearm.


Parallax & Magnification

The Sightmark Wraith has a 2x optical system for up to 16x magnification and it can zoom too!

The lower base magnification makes it perfect for hog hunting or other fast moving small varmints, especially with that longer mount that gives you a wide field of view.

At night, I could clearly spot my target at up to 150 yards. After that, the foliage and even the boar cast some infrared shadows, making it a little harder to see. Not a huge problem for me, as I wasn’t shooting anything that far out anyway.

You can get a supplemental IR illuminator light for increased visibility farther out if you think you’ll need it.

theOpticGuru ATN IR850-Pro Long Range IR Illuminator with Adjustable Mount
  • Long-range illumination capacity - excellent field of infrared vision that can reach up to 300 yards in total absence of ambient light
  • The contents of the kit include the IR illuminator itself, a mount, a battery and a battery charger. The product is ready for use
  • Adjustable mount for weaver rails - quick to attach and easy to release. Allows to swap the scopes in no time, can be used as a handheld unit

Mounting & Rings

The Wraith comes with a fixed picatinny rail for easy mounting.

For a bolt action rifle or more eye relief, upgrade to the long mount I mentioned earlier.

You’ll also get a 850nm IR light with the scope, for easy visibility up to 200 yards. It’s removable, so you can upgrade to an IR light more suited for longer ranges if desired.

One thing I forgot to mention about this scope is that it has a micro memory card slot, so you can record video. It also has a USB port that allows you to export those videos and/or attach an additional power supply.

You’ll need to buy your own memory card.

Sale
SanDisk 64GB Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Memory Card with Adapter - 100MB/s, C10, U1, Full HD, A1, Micro SD Card - SDSQUAR-064G-GN6MA
  • Ideal for Android Smartphones and Tablets, and MIL Cameras
  • Capacities up to 512GB (1GB=1,000,000,000 bytes; Actual user storage less) to store even more hours of Full HD video (Approximations; Results and Full HD (1920x1080) video support may vary based on...
  • Up to 100MB/s transfer read speed (Based on internal testing; Performance may be lower depending on host device, interface, usage conditions and other factors) lets you move up to 1000 photos in a...

Is the Sightmark Wraith worth it?

Hunting hogs or small varmints has never been easier with Sightmark Wraith night vision scope.

It has:

  • Great price
  • Video capability
  • 9 color options
  • 10 reticle options
  • Detachable IR light
  • Easy menu navigation
  • Day and night vision settings

To put it simply:

The Sightmark Wraith has all the qualities you’ll need in a night vision scope at an affordable price.

You’ll be able to get an accurate sight picture at any time of night, making it easy to bag your prey. Plus you can take a video of the whole hunt to show off your prowess!

If you’re new to night vision scopes or just need a good quality one that you can afford, try the Sightmark Wraith.


4. Firefield NVRS 3×42: Best Night Vision Scope Under $500

The Firefield NVRS 3×42 is the best night vision scope you can find on the market that runs under $500.

In fact:

I bought this scope in a hurry because I needed something cheap and effective for a coyote hunt. I haven’t taken it off since.

Want to know why? Keep on reading, starting with…


Glass Clarity & Reticle

The glass clarity on this scope is great, no black spots, and more than worth it for the price. I had perfect visibility at 75 yards.

The 30 Ip/mm image tube and multi-coated glass really make this scope work. Personally, I don’t settle for anything less than fully-coated glass, so the multi-coat optics on a budget scope was a pleasant surprise.

As small as the illuminator is, it sends a great beam into pitch darkness. Under moonlight, I could see and shoot 75-100 yards out with good clarity.

Field of view is somewhat limited, but this scope is for hunting, not panoramic photography 🙂

The reticle for this unit is a variable illumination red-on-green duplex reticle. Basically, it’s your standard fine crosshair illuminated by a red LED.

The red crosshair really makes the target pop. However, if you’re shooting at a red target, you’ll have trouble sighting. But for black target and nighttime game hunting, this won’t be a problem.

The Firefield NVRS 3×42 is a first generation scope and uses a green phosphor screen. This is Vietnam era technology that still works great today.


Eye Relief & Eye Box

Unlike a regular scope, night vision scopes work better when you have your eye right up to the eye piece. So when I say there’s 45mm eye relief, don’t panic.

The rubber surrounding the eye piece is soft and helps to absorb any movement from recoil. The stabilized power supply resists recoil up to 3700 joules, that’s typical recoil for a Winchester .308 with a rifled barrel.

I have this scope mounted on my AR-15 .223 and walked away with both eyes intact.


Durability

I took this scope coyote hunting and dropped it more than once. It still functions like new.

It’s a rock-solid scope with a lightweight titanium body.

The titanium body and flip-up lens cover will protect the scope from harsh weather conditions, but it’s not 100% waterproof.

It will hold up during average rainstorms, just don’t let the scope be submerged completely if you’re crossing a body of water.

Like all good toys, the batteries aren’t included.

Luckily, the Firefield NVRS 3×42 Gen 1 takes standard AA batteries. Overall, the batteries averaged 50 hours for me. I keep extra batteries with me just in case.

The longer you have the IR light on, the quicker it drains the battery. I switch the light on when I need it and switch it off when I don’t.

This scope is very rugged, but just a few seconds of sunlight can damage some of the components.

That said, don’t use this scope in daylight. While it comes with a cap for daylight use, the clarity is marginal at best and better suited for twilight hours.

This scope was designed for night vision only, and it handles that perfectly.


Elevation & Windage Knobs

The Firefield NVRS 3×42 has 1 MOA windage and elevation turret.

I’ve had no issues with the turrets holding zero. Again, I don’t recommend zeroing in the daylight as that can damage the scope.

I waited till dark to zero using a red lens flashlight. Shooting at 100 yards and fine tuning the zero in complete darkness was easy.


Parallax & Magnification

This scope is set to 3x magnification. I was shooting about 50-75 yards easily.

The parallax adjustment is factory-set, so anything beyond 80 yards and my crosshairs became fuzzy.

The only shortcoming I really see to this scope is that it could use a better IR illuminator.

The stock is still great for the price; it illuminates up to about 80-100 yards comfortably, but I know that this scope is capable of shooting over 200 yards if you add an additional illuminator.

That said, I added the Streamlight 88704 Super TAC IR Long Range Infrared Active Illuminator. It made a huge difference and wasn’t expensive.

Sale
Streamlight 88704 Super TAC IR Long Range Infrared Active Illuminator - 160 Lumens,Black
  • IPX7 Rated design; all openings o-ring sealed to resist moisture
  • Serialized for positive identification
  • LED Solid State circuitry provides regulated light output throughout battery life

Mounting & Rings

The quick-detach weaver mount makes it easy to change optics on the fly while still maintaining zero reliably.

While it’s an adaptable design, improper installation will give you a lot of problems. You have to adjust the mount for your rail.

Here’s how I installed mine for a rock-solid fit:

To adjust, push the opposite side of the quick release cam. A small cross will pop out of the adjustment latch. Tighten or loosen this until the scope fits snugly on your rail.


Is the Firefield NVRS 3×42 worth it?

I’ve gotten great use out of this scope hunting coyotes at night. So I can say that this scope is great for nighttime hunting and home defense…if you’re on a budget.

Here’s what makes this scope stand out:

  • Affordable
  • 3-year warranty
  • Quick-detach weaver mount
  • Multi-coated crystal clear glass
  • Variable illumination red-on-green duplex reticle

In short, this scope is worth way more than what you’ll be paying.

The glass quality outperforms anything you’ll find in its price-range, and the versatile mount works with nearly every setup. That’s what makes this my go-to for affordable night vision.

If you’re wondering whether the Firefield NVRS 3×42 is right for you, I say, try it and see for yourself.

Firefield NVRS 3x42 Gen 1 Night Vision Riflescope, Black
  • High quality image and resolution
  • Lightweight and durable titanium body with water resistant IPX4 Rating
  • Quick detach weaver mount

Now It’s Your Turn

I hope you enjoyed my best night vision scope guide.

So as a recap:

If you’re looking for the best night vision scope, get the ATN ThOR HD 384.

Looking for the best AR-15 night vision scope? I’d recommend ATN X-Sight 4K Pro.

How about the best night vision scope for the money? Then opt-in for Sightmark Wraith.

Lastly, if you are looking for the best night vision scope under $500, I’d recommend Firefield NVRS 3×42.

Firefield NVRS 3x42 Gen 1 Night Vision Riflescope, Black
  • High quality image and resolution
  • Lightweight and durable titanium body with water resistant IPX4 Rating
  • Quick detach weaver mount

That said, you can’t go wrong with any of these options. After all, I have hand and torture tested all the above scopes, and proved to be reliable.

Now I want to turn it over to you:

Which rifle scope will you pick?

Let me know by leaving a quick comment down below.

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