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The Best Night Vision Scopes in 2021

Man aiming rifle with night vision

It’s 2021, and technology keeps progressing at break-neck speed, which has reflected on the modern rifle scopes. What was once unimaginable is today at the tips of our fingers, and the prime example of that is night vision scopes.

What we tried to do here is to put together some semblance of guidelines you should follow when browsing for the best night vision scopes out there. There won’t be any reviews below, but there will be advice on how your thought process should flow and which questions you need to ask yourself when you’re considering which scope to get.

Understand the Generations

When looking for a scope, you’ll notice that the product name often states which generation of night vision technology it is. Depending on if it’s Gen 1, 2, or 3, you can already conclude what kind of equipment you’re dealing with. Gen 1 was the baseline tech that provided the vision of up to 100 yards by gathering passive infra-red light.

We came by Gen 2 scopes by natural progression, which improved both the resolution and the range of vision, pushing it to around 200 yards. And finally, we have Gen 3, which is currently relevant and has the best resolution and range.

What You Should Look for in a Night Vision Scope

You need to consider many factors and make sure they are up to standard when investing in a night vision scope. A good one won’t come cheap, so you want to make sure that everything is on par with your rifle and what you need to achieve with it. 

We’ve pinpointed the two properties specific for night vision scopes below. Still, you should also pay attention to all the stuff you usually would for a regular scope, like lense quality and reticle type and size.

Magnification & Resolution

When it comes to magnification, you won’t run into crazy high numbers with night vision scopes, as you might when looking for a regular one. Most of them will have a variable magnification of 3-6x, which isn’t much but works just fine for the intended range for night shooting, which is around 200 yards at the maximum.

Because night vision scopes work much differently than basic ones, you’ll also need to pay attention to the resolution of the image they display to you, the shooter. The top scopes today will display video in fantastic quality, even up to 4K resolution. However, something around 640x480p is probably enough for your average shooter.

Battery Life

Night vision wholly depends on power, so you want to find a scope with long battery life. You don’t want to be left practically without a scope in pitch darkness. It’s also probably a good idea to keep spare batteries on hand, just in case. However, you might not even need them, as the technology is advanced enough that it can take extended periods of constant use to drain the battery.

Can Night Vision Scopes Be Used in Daylight?

There’s no reason why you couldn’t use your night vision scope during the daytime as well. Of course, the magnification probably won’t be what you can get with a regular one, but it’s very manageable at short distances. It should also be noted that your scope will have to stay turned on during the day as well if you intend to use it, and that can sometimes be a strain on your battery.

In any case, if you invest in a quality night vision scope, you should be able to use it any time of day or night. This is an excellent advantage if you’re going on a prolonged hunting trip and don’t want to carry around multiple rifles or heavy scopes.

Do You Need Video Recording?

Many modern night vision scopes allow you to take footage of what you see through them, which can be useful in some circumstances. It can be merely anecdotal, like proving to your hunting buddies that you did make that shot you were telling them about, but it can also come in handy in more serious situations.

In case of any legal dispute that may occur, it’s always good to have video evidence to back up your claims, which can make a world of difference in such situations.

In Conclusion

You are now up to date with what 2021 has to offer when it comes to new night vision technology, and you should be able to determine what kind of scope you need. The bottom line is, it’s all up to your preference, but if you want an additional edge, modern scopes offer so many advantages, you only need to make good use of them.

More on this topic:

Which Night Vision System Do You Need?

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