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Old December 10, 2012, 11:04 AM   #2
Double Naught Spy
Senior Member
Join Date: January 8, 2001
Location: Forestburg, Montague Cnty, TX
Posts: 11,551
I have an ATN Paladin. Here is the link to Optics Planet.

It is a decent scope for the money. If you buy a supplemental laser illumnator in the 800 nm area, you can easily see beyond 200 yards. I can and have target shot with mine at 400, but the targets were white. The current setup is good for 100, but a laser will really light up things.

I have a couple of these and have purchased from this seller. It takes about 3 weeks to receive.

That would get you in at under $1000 with reasonable longer range capability. I hunt hogs with my setup.

The Paladin is bulky and heavy. It runs on 1 CR123 battery and I want to saw will run for 8 hours on one battery. Sorry, I don't recall exactly how long it is, but I don't change them often unless I leave the scope on by accident. With illumination, it has a good picture. Without illumination, it has poor light gathering ability even on full moon nights. That is part of the nature of Gen I scopes. The little illuminator that comes with it also runs in a CR123 battery. So you will want spares. They are expensive if purchased at stores, but can be found cheaper online if you buy a few at a time. I would suggest to you that the savings online are defintely worthwhile. ($1-2 a piece versus $3-5 a piece)

The other option, I also have, is a Pulsar Digisight N550. That will set you back $1350. It is also bulky. However, it works very well in lower light conditions without supplemental illuminators. It has its own to use and it works pretty good out to 200 yards for seeing animals, but runs on the same batteries that run the scope and can run down the unit quicker (shorter run time).

The Pulsar is the same company that makes the laser I noted above. Given the little TV screen inside, probably about 400 yards is the max distance to use the scope and be able to recognize things unless they are huge. You can certainly see and identify animals out to 300, but sometimes the ID part is a difficult due to the resolution. Inside 200, it is great.

I use a supplemental light source on mine as well. I use an IR flashlight ($50) that is good to about 150 yards with this scope and I don't have to be picky about the nm range. It will see 900-940 nm ir light just fine and see the 805 nm laser even better. The laser really helps beyond 200 yards, but I rarely use it. With a good moon, no problem hunting at 150 yards for hog-sized critters. To ID coons versus other game, or to even see them (in some cases) as anything other than a blob, you would definitely need illumination at that distance.

The digisight is a bit different to use, but once you get used to it, it is pretty nice, except for the bulk, but within your range, you aren't going to get the tiniest of scopes that perform well.

The run time on the Digisight is something like 2 hours on the batteries. I always carry a spare set. The ones that come with it are not great. Go to Amazon and buy a good set of batteries. They suggest 2500 mah. To get the 2 hours, that is what you want, or more. It runs on 4. Buy 8 and a "smart" charger (charges based on feedback from the batteries and not simply for a set period of time that can result on overcharging and damaging the batteries).

The scope, charger and batteries and you would still be out less than $1420. You might be out less if you can find the Digisight on sale elsewhere. Don't forget to consider if they charge shipping and tax.

If I was in your place and didn't plan on over 100 yards, I would go with the Paladin and save the rest of the money. If I wanted a more versatile scope, I would go with the Digisight.

There may be other good options out there. These are two that I own that I am happy with that fit your criteria.
"If you look through your scope and see your shoe, aim higher." -- said to me by my 11 year old daughter before going out for hogs 8/13/2011
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