Night Vision Rifle Scope: How to Choose the Best One?

If you wonder how to choose a night vision rifle scope, firstly let’s read this article. Here we will explain to you how a day and night vision rifle scopes work, why choose and how to choose. So, read on!

How do Day and Night vision rifle scopes work

How do day vision rifle scopes work

If you are an experienced shooter or hunter, you will definitely know that going a field without a rifle scope is not smart at all. Furthermore, if you are not into big game hunting, it is likely that you may own an expensive scope.

How do day vision rifle scopes work

Image source: YouTube

To a few novice hunters, this doesn’t make any sense. But we still have to say that a rifle scope is a very useful device for any type of hunt. The difference is that while hunting big game, such as wild hog or whitetail, you can use an ordinary scope. It is because the target is not neither afar nor small. However, when you hunt wild turkeys, rabbits, or any other type of small animals, you will definitely need a more proficient and specialized rifle scope.

How do night vision rifle scopes work

But what about a night vision rifle scope? In which case should you use one and how does it work exactly? If you are not sure about this, then the following information can be helpful for you.

First of all, it is essential for you to determine how a rifle scope works so as to figure out which type can suit your needs best. Just like a telescope, a rifle scope has an objective lens and light will pass the lens and focus on a point inside the scope.

When you look through the scope, the image you see is actually the amount of light which is allowed to cross these lenses. Additionally, inside the scope, you have certain markers, they will point out exactly where to shoot, or at least, where the shot can go right after the trigger is pulled. Is this simple, right?

According to some researches, night vision scopes basically use the starlight night vision technology and they come with different generations. In general, generation 4 scopes can be used by everyone. However, they are specialized for military use, while for amateur use or hunting, there is a wide range of night vision scopes from other generations.

Why should you choose a night vision rifle scope

Now, why should you choose a night vision rifle scope? This is primarily because hunting or shooting at night or in dense and dark forests is not easy and simple for you at all, even with a mere flashlight.

In details, night vision rifle scopes will need some lights to amplify.. If the field of game is a dense forest, or if you have to go out hunting on a dark and moonless night, you will not have any ambient light. Night vision product manufacturers are aware of this, therefore, you will find that almost every night vision scope has an infrared illuminator built on ( IRI).

Why should you choose a night vision rifle scope

Image source: Scott Country

Every Starlight night vision scope has IRIand, the particular illuminator will get you out of the dark. Basically, an IRI sets out an infrared light beam that is completely invisible to the naked eye. And you can see it by using the night vision scope. That is the reason why you can use this type of scope even if you are in complete darkness. Specifically, the illuminator is like a flashlight and it can offer you limited light access, commonly 100 yards.

Of course, you can’t do anything with the visibility range. If you are used to hunting or shooting at great distance, I’m sure you will be interested in a scope which has a larger magnification range. It is highly recommended for you to get the right rifle scope since you can’t alter the original magnification settings.

Scope with coated lenses

Here’s a tip for you. If you have to go out hunting and there is too much ambient light, just try using a scope which has special coated lenses. If you haven’t heard of them, I will explain to you how they work. In fact, the lenses are covered in 1 or more thin layers of some synthetic material which reduces glare. Consequently, the lens reflects less and can allow more light so as to reach your sight, and convey crisp and well-balanced images.

Night vision rifle scope with coated lenses

Image source: Survival Mastery

Actually, this is only one type of rifle scope, thus, there are many other types out there for you to choose from. We suggest you use red dot sight rifle scopes. Obviously, they project a red dot or other illuminated targeting symbols on top of an image of your target. These scopes are not only helpful for, particularly in long distance shots, but they also make you feel like you are a real shooter.

If you are really fond of the “real deal” type of night vision device, just try out an ATN white phosphor technology night vision scope. This device is especially awesome due to its clear, black- and- white images, instead of classic green ones. In addition, once you have tried it, it is certain that you will never go hunting without it.

For a lot of experienced shooters, a rifle scope is an indispensable piece of accessory. However, they usually put more faith in their own eyesight. Some of them said to me that “ if you can’t shoot right only using eye precision, then you are not a real shooter yet”. Therefore, nothing is better than setting the target and then shooting with the confidence. Your shot can hit the spot perfectly.

Night vision rifle scopes

Overall, when it comes to night vision scopes, there are various types you can choose from. In fact, they come in different designs, sizes and strength. Therefore, they can fit many firearms to make sure the users can see whatever they need to see at night.

The most important thing is that you can choose any scope you want and use it on your favorite guns. Actually, you just have to swap out the scope from one gun and mount it on the others. However, you should get more than 1 scope if you are planning on using different guns for your hunting at night.

There are three 3 main “generations” of night vision rifle scopes which you can choose from:

Gen 1

The first is gen 1, and of course, this is the oldest generation. It provides a green image which can be a little difficult for you to stare at for long time. And generally, it is a lower quality. Additionally, this is also an analog style what contributing to the quality problems. A lot of shooters have experienced with this scope type. However, there are newer versions of this scope. And they have started to come with brand new technology. This technology can actually improve the resolution.

Night vision rifle scope gen 1

Image source: Kushielverse

Gen 2

Next, they usually make the gen 2 versions of night scopes with white phosphorous tubes. In fact, these tubes enable you to get clearer images without hurting your eyes. Specifically, the screen will show the image in a gray color which can balance out the extra light. Furthermore, this type has a moderately price. And it can provide you a decent result as well. Therefore, this generation is considered the most popular in many circles, offering the best balance of both things: quality and cost.

Night vision rifle scope gen 2

Image source: Night Vision Forum at

Gen 3

The last one, gen 3 scopes are the latest. And therefore, they haven’t had any significant changes since they were released. These scopes use pinnacle tubes to give you the best possible quality. At this point, they are so much better than gen 1 and 2. Besides, they are also able to be used during daylight and night. It means you just need 1 scope instead of carrying many for the hunting trip. This can be really  cost-effective and more importantly, they can provide you high quality. Actually, with a gen 3 scope and in average conditions, you can completely get a good sight from more than 300 yards away.

Night vision rifle scope gen 3

Image source: Tactical Night Vision Company

How to choose

The new scope can work for the gun or not

First, before buying any night vision scope, you need to determine whether the new scope can work for your gun or not. This is because you never want to spend much money on something and then find out that it is totally useless.

Sure you can even send it back but I’m pretty sure that not everyone wants to go through that trouble. In fact, just by paying close attention to a scope’s specifications, you can completely save yourself a lot of hassle in the long term.


Now, look at the distance that scope provides for. It is the fact that higher generation scopes can provide for vision at longer distances. For examples, generation 1 scope can only provide 75 yards but generation 3 scope can be much better with 300 yards. Therefore, if you are planning to hunt at closer distances, you can get a lower generation scope. However, if you are going to hunt from further away, then the later generations will be the best choice for you.


Yet, you may want to check the cost. And do you want to get the best night vision scope for the money? Then, you will have to make sure that you are capable of spending for it from the beginning. Some specialized scopes start at less than 100 dollars. But some other can go up to more than 1000 dollars as well. A lot of people prefer scopes which cost between 100 and 200 dollars. But if you are looking for something really good or special, you will definitely have to spend a little bit more for it.


Image source: Iconfinder


Last but not least, you should check whatever you need to make sure that it can work 100% for you. Sure, a scope can work out of the box. But will it need any additional accessories to make it more accurate? If so, you may want to figure that into the cost you are about to pay. For short, just ensure that you have something that can work exactly in the way you need it to do.