View Full Version : Questions about NightVision Scopes(?????)

July 3, 2011, 09:00 PM
I'm totally new to NV,and looking for advice!
Are the inexpensive ATN first Gen scopes any good?
How does Muzzle flash effect night vision scopes?
What would be a good (quality/price) NVS for a 100 to 150yd Hog gun?
Do they normally come with mounts compatable with a flat top AR?
What's your favorite set up?

July 4, 2011, 09:05 AM
Try this for a reasonable approximation of a gen 1 NV scope.
Buy a pair of cheap (preferably green-tinted) sunglasses, the cheapest you can find as you're actually looking for poor image quality. Now smear a lot of greasy fingerprints on both inside & outside surfaces.
Imagine that view filmed on a poor video camera for pixellation & you're there.

Not that they don't work, they do, but there is a real low quality to the image & it is monochrome green.

In moonlight or with a bit of city lights backscatter they are adequate but if you are working without a moon, or under heavy tree cover you'll need Infrared illumination to make them usable. When you do this the range of the IR light becomes the range of the Night sight as well.

Gen 1 has a problem with bright light sources, sometimes, depending on brightness a permanent one. It also allows for "trailing" where a bright light (house porch light in the distance for example) will create a trail of light like a snail trail, if it comes into the field of view. Gen 1+ partially solved the problem. Now imagine muzzle flash doing the same thing at the bottom of the field as you fire.

I went with a gen 2 (image intensifier, instead of Ir-viewer) & the difference is major. I now keep my best Gen-1 for viewing only, & use exclusively a gen 2 as a rifle sight. It works out to about 200 yds, but then image quality suffers enough that it becomes useless as you can't positively ID the target.

Size & weight are still an issue though as it weighs 4 Lbs & is large. The bottom 2" long dustcover for a FAL to give you an idea of size. this is strictly a fixed position setup, preferably with a bipod, but within those limitations it works fine & no external light is needed. Using the old set as a worn viewer & the new one as a sight cures the other problem with NV. Once you stop looking through the brightly-lit scope you have zero night vision at all.

Mounts vary but you do need something substantial to support the weight & bulk. Regular ol' scope mounts won't make the grade. This one uses something called STANAG & 2 6mm bolts with a mortice & tenon fitting, a bolt-on standard NATO configuration. Then there is a STANAG adapter to the individual rifle in use ( the lower black part in this picture.)

July 5, 2011, 03:07 AM
I forgot to ask : Can your typical NV-(Scope) be used during the day light hours as a regular scope?Or are they only useful at night? I don't want to rendor the rifle a night rig only! The ideal set up would be one unit for both Night/Day. It seems like the sky's the limit or should I say bank account with N-vision options. I'm looking for inexpensive NV optics for hog/varmint control.

July 5, 2011, 03:09 AM
BTW..that's a nice scope Wogpotter

Double Naught Spy
July 5, 2011, 07:14 AM
I am not sure what sort of Gen I wogpotter was using, but aside from the illumination issues, the two that I have own have had very good images. One was a monocular and one a rifle scope. They are better than some Gen II monoculars. I have two such monoculars, one from Night Optics and the other is ATN.

I have an ATN Paladin, Gen I. It is a decent scope and it looks to be about the same behemouth size as wogpotter's Gen II scope. It isn't lightweight. Gen II, like Gen I, will give you green images. Both use image intensifiers.


200 yards? No problem using an good illuminator and you will be able to ID your targets fine and shoot them out to at least 150 yards. I found that the Luna Optics ELIR3 with the integral weaver mount works great for the purpose. The Paladin comes with a decent illuminator that will get you 75 yards or so, but it isn't great. The ELIR3 will rock your world.

When you do this the range of the IR light becomes the range of the Night sight as well.
This is the same concept for Gen II and III under moonless nights, cloudcover, treecover, etc. They do a much much better job than Gen I, but they all HUGELY benefit form IR illuminators.

So you can spend about $1000 on a scope and ELIR3 and get basically as good or even better capabilities that you get with a Gen II scope

With most lower end NV gear, you are limited in recoil to about .308, FYI. Don't put it on your 12 ga or .45-70. There are some more expensive NV gear that will handle the recoil, but price goes up quite a bit.

Do the rifle scopes come with mounts? Sometimes. Usually if they do, they come with weaver mounts. For some, the mount is an additional expense to the scope. It depends on the make and model, so check the specs yourself.

I would not suggest you get a Gen I if you can afford better. You can also get Gen II scopes that are not as bulky as wogpotter's. I would suggest that with whatever scope you get, you get a Luna Optics ELIR illuminator. The folks over at JaegerPro have folks using them with Gen III scopes and getting IDs and hits on hogs out to 500 yards.

July 6, 2011, 08:01 AM
DNS thanks for the post.
There is some very informative info in those links guys n gals!!
I'm not sure if I missed something ,but im still wondering if I can use one unit for day&night optics. Or would a NVS compatibale red dot optic be a better compromise?

July 6, 2011, 11:10 AM
Can you? Yes.

Is it heavier, bulkier & not so clear as a cheap day sight. Also yes.
The type with a mirror optic with a center that is opaque for the reflector will be a much bigger problem as it uses multiple pinholes & so give a very confused image.

Is a compatible red dot & NV goggles more versatile. Yes, but it doesn't have magnification like a scope.

My older setup was a Kobra holographic sight with a Baigish 20A gen 1 goggle. I had the unit already for a different purpose & it seemed like a logical extension of its use to add NV to my shooting capabilities. It worked but wasn't what I really wanted/needed, so I went with the dedicated 4X scope.

Incidentally that is one of the better gen-1 units, a grade above the $99.00~$199.00 stuff that is frequently sold. However it definitely is not as versatile, sharp, bright, or as sensitive as the gen 2 unit. I used the goggles at work in a total darkness area so the infrared with illuminator was actually a better choice than an image intensifier, because there is nothing to intensify! The fact that it is wearable, gives depth perception with true binocular imaging & lets you work with both hands free is a big plus as well:p

Wearable gen 1 goggles.

Kobra collimator (red dot) sight