Night Vision Scopes
Night vision rifle scopes are becoming increasingly popular as the price decreases and the performance increases. The 2023 updated deer management legislation in Scotland permits the use of thermal and digital scopes (day and nightvision) for the shooting of deer. This brought the law in line with the use of thermal and image intensifying (digital scopes) for shooting deer in England. Over the years the image quality of digital night vision has increased massively as the resolution and quality of images obtained through digital cameras have increased and the quality of compact screens to display the image to the shooter have increased in resolution. Many digital day / night scopes have the option of an in-built Laser Range Finder (LRF) enabling distance to target to be accurately determined. Most LRF models also feature built in ballistic calculators which will display the holdover for your calibre rifle at different ranges.
Pulsar are considered the market leader when it comes to digital night vision scopes with the Pulsar C50 offering probably the highest quality image at the time of writing this however there are many other manufacturers in the market and some of which we feel are coming close to Pulsar quality at significantly lower levels investment. The manufacturer we feel is currently offering exceptional performance for money and is making significant inroads in to the market is HikMicro, we feel that their new scope the HikMicro Alpex 4K LRF will knock the Pulsar C50 off of its mantle as being the best in class, we have seen a pre-production model and it offers an image that is in our opinion fractionally better than that of the C50, it is available with built-in laser range finder with ballistics software calculating the required aiming point at distance and it is coming in at over 20% less than the Pulsar. Both Pulsar and HikMicro have a 3 year transferable warranty allowing their units to be sold on with the remainder of the manufacturers warranty provided the receipt is kept with the unit.
Digital night vision rifle scopes can be used on air rifles, rimfire rifles and centerfire rifles. Most current generation digital night vision scopes have a similar shape to a standard day rifle scope making them easy to mount on the majority rifles. There are a few models on the market that are shaped differently and these are usually sold with a picatinny rail mount allowing them to be mounted onto a rifle fitted with picatinny rail. Mounting these on some rifles can be a little more difficult and sometimes adjustable combs and different picatinny rails would need to be fitted to ensure comfortable use; these types of units are however often cheaper and easier for manufacturers to produce so are cheaper to buy.
If you are looking at putting a digital night vision scope on to an air rifle then I would suggest opting for either the HikMicro Cheetah LRF as it has a large field of view perfect for ratting in barns and around buildings, it is light weight and has a built in laser range finder with ballistic compensating software, it features an in-built IR illuminator perfect for airgun distances so there are no additional costs on top of the unit; the Pard DS35 / DS70 is another option as they are light weight so will not alter the balance of the rifle too much and have the shape of a normal scope enabling more comfortable use on some rifles, it is also available with in-built laser range finder with ballistic compensating software; Another recommendation is the new HikMicro Alpex 4K LRF which offers a higher level of image quality than the other units and has a built-in laser range finder with ballistic compensating software but it is a heavier scope with narrower field of view so would be better when shooting in the field at 30+ yards and at higher magnification levels than ratting around / in buildings.
If you are looking at putting a digital night vision scope on to a rimfire rifle then I would suggest opting for either the the Pard DS70 as it is light weight so will not alter the balance of the rifle too much and has the shape of a normal scope enabling comfortable use and ease of mounting on most rifles, it is also available with in-built laser range finder and ballistic compensation software; the Pulsar C50 rifle scope is a very good option as it offers a very good level of image quality at slightly higher magnifications than the Pard, it also performs exceptionally well in dawn and dusk applications even without an IR illuminator as the digital camera is of high quality. The new HikMicro Alpex 4K LRF is another option as it offers a higher level of image quality than the others, has a built-in laser range finder with ballistic compensation software and performs well at slightly higher magnifications but it is slightly heavier than the other two.
If you are looking at putting a digital night vision scope on to a centerfire rifle then I would suggest opting for either the Pulsar C50 rifle scope as it offers a very good level of image quality at slightly higher magnifications than most digital rifle scopes, it has a very robust construction ensuring it is capable of withstanding the recoil of .30 cal centerfire rifles and performs exceptionally well in dawn and dusk applications even without an IR illuminator as the digital camera is of such high quality, using a C50 will give the shooter a strong advantage in both dawn and dusk lighting conditions over highest quality day optics including top models from leading manufacturers Zeiss and Swarovski. The new HikMicro Alpex 4K LRF offers a very high level of image quality enabling it to perform better at slightly higher magnification levels and it has a built-in laser range finder with ballistic compensation software.
If you have questions or would like any advice on picking the right night vision scope for you please call us and we can go through the advantages and disadvantages of the models you are interested in and find the right scope for you.
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