Night vision scopes are extremely useful for hunting in low light conditions. But finding a good night vision scope for your AR15 rifle can be a daunting task. So we reviewed some of the top night vision scopes on the market to help you buy the Best Night Vision Scope for AR15. If you are in a hurry:
Review Summary: ATN X-Sight
- Night Vision
- Build Quality
ATN X-Sight is an excellent night vision scope for your AR15. It comes with HD quality optics, 5-20x magnification, and 85mm lens. The built-in rangefinder and ballistics calculator provide you with the best opportunity to hit your target on the first attempt.Buy on Amazon
Now let’s move on to our detailed reviews.
Best Night Vision Scope for AR15 Reviews
Here is our list of the 9 Best Night Vision Scopes for AR 15
Last update on 2019-09-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
ATN X-Sight II HD
ATN X-Sight II 5-20x/85mm is a digital night vision scope. It comes with a 5-20x zoom and 85mm objective lens. The smooth zoom allows you to fine-tune magnification for perfect adjustment.
This night vision scope can be used both during the day and night. It provides great images irrespective of the available light. It comes with a ballistic calculation system to help calculate ballistics for long-range shots. A ballistic calculator shifts the point of impact in real-time to calculate ballistics.
It also includes an inbuilt rangefinder to help you calculate the range to your target.
- Excellent night vision scope for mid to long-range.
- IR illumination works well up to a range of 125-yard.
ATN Thor HD
ATN Thor HD comes with a thermal sensor which uses thermal energy for night vision. The thermal sensors are different than light sensors as they allow vision even in complete darkness. These thermal sensors can convert heat or thermal energy from animals or prey into images.
It also comes with a ballistic calculation system to help calculate the bullet trajectory. The ballistic calculator can help you improve shot placement. It can help you hit the target with your first shot. It includes an inbuilt rangefinder as well. The rangefinder can help you calculate the distance for improved shot placement.
- Smooth zoom allows you to magnify without losing your target.
Sightmark Photon XT
Sightmark Photon XT comes with a 4.6x magnification and 42mm lens. It is a digital night vision scope, which is comparable to Gen 2+.
It comes with an inbuilt 810nm LED infrared (IR) illuminator. The 4.6x magnification combined with a large 42mm lens provides crisp images at 640×480 resolution. It had a detection range of up to 120-yard at 0.05 lux illumination level. The digital precision system for elevation and windage adjustments.
Sightmark Photon XT is versatile and provides precision placement at medium range with crisp detailing up to one hundred and twenty yards and is capable of use in both daylight and darkness. It features 6 digital reticle styles in white, red, and green. 2 crossbow reticles, 2 duplex reticles, a Mil-Dot reticle, and a German-style reticle.
Although a Generation One scope, it gives almost the image quality of a generation 2+ product. It is also compatible with the weaver rail mounting system. Sightmark Photon XT is thirty percent lighter weight than most scopes on the market. It is resistant to bright light exposure and provides long eye relief.
Battery life is thirty-three percent longer than other scopes on the market; however, the batteries are easy to change even in the dark if the need arises. The video output feature allows for video recording.
- Shockproof and weatherproof construction with long eye relief.
- Supports video output for video recording (requires additional accessories).
- Batteries last up to 30% longer than comparable night vision scopes.
- Thirty percent lighter weight than other digital scopes.
- Precision placement at a medium range.
- Six green, white and red digital reticle options.
- Crisp detailing up to one hundred and twenty yards.
- Weaver rail mounting.
- Digital windage and elevation adjustment.
- Day and night usage.
- Control placement may be awkward for some users.
- Manual is lacking in instructions on how to use the scope.
Armasight ORION 5X
Armasight ORION 5X is a Gen 1+ night vision scope. It provides powerful magnification up to 5x. The F1.6, F108mm lens system provides a 10° field of view.
It comes with a long-range detachable IR illuminator. It also features an illuminated red cross reticle and adjustable reticle brightness.
Armasight ORION 5X can be mounted on standard weaver rails.
- Rubberized body and a water-resistant design.
- Powered by a 3V battery which lasts up to 40 hours.
Firefield NVRS 3X42
Firefield NVRS 3X42 is a Gen 1 night vision scope. It comes with a 3x magnification and 42mm lens. The large 42mm lens provides excellent light-gathering capabilities. It is very ergonomically designed for a comfortable experience.
It also includes an inbuilt, high power IR illuminator which improves image quality and viewing range even in near-zero daylight. The multi-coated optics combined with an illuminated red duplex reticle helps shooter be better aware of surroundings.
It has a detection range of up to 100-yards and an IR illuminator range up to 80-yard. It has an excellent 20 hours battery back up with IR and 50 hours battery back up without IR.
Firefield NVRS 3X42 is an excellent scope with three times the magnification, forty-two-millimeter lens, and ergonomic design. This scope features a built-in IR and titanium body which is high quality and durable. It also has a quick detach weaver mount for easy removal.
The high powered IR illuminator enhances the image details and increases viewing range in total darkness. The illuminated red duplex reticle with has incremental brightness and adjustment which allows the shooter quick adaptation to surroundings.
The scope is attractive as well with a compact tactical design.
- Easy to change optics and still returns to zero.
- Forty-two-millimeter lens for light gather and three times magnification.
- The flip-up lens cover protects from harsh weather conditions and impact.
- Enhanced multi-coated optics.
- Illuminated red duplex reticle.
- Built-in IR for a high powered advanced range.
- Quick detach weaver mount.
- Mounting the scope can be difficult.
- Images slightly blurry around the edges.
Bushnell Equinox Z
Bushnell 4.5X40 Equinox Z is a Gen 1 night vision scope. It comes with a 4.5x zoom and a 40mm objective lens. The high-quality 40 mm objective lens combined with 4.5x zoom provides great optical clarity. Bushnell 4.5X40 offers excellent infrared illumination with a wider field of view.
It comes with a versatile mount, and tripod mounting capability. The mount helps attach this night vision scope easily to your intended rifle. Bushnell Equinox Z is smaller than most other night vision scopes. It is lightweight and portable, weighing only 2.6 lbs.
Bushnell 4.5X40 Equinox Z has long-lasting battery life. Although it is important to note that battery life may vary depending on IR brightness level being used.
- Feature-rich, simple design and low price.
- Comes with features such as Daytime Color, Video Recording, and Image Capturing.
Yukon NVRS Titanium
Yukon NVRS Titanium is a Gen 1 night vision scope. It comes with a 1.5x magnification and 42mm objective lens. The large 42mm lens allows for excellent light-gathering capabilities. The multi-coated optics provide crystal clear high-resolution images.
The lens provides 1.5x magnification, 20-degree FoV, and a 45mm eye relief. It has a built-in IR illuminator improves brightness and range even in almost total darkness. Yukon NVRS 1.5X42 has a detection range up to 200-yard and IR illuminator range up to 100-yard.
It is a sleek night vision scope which is smaller and lightweight than most other. Its ergonomic design allows for a comfortable shooting experience.
Yukon NVRS Titanium comes with the standard weaver rail mount system. It is compatible with a wide range of rifles including bolt action types.
This night scope for AR15 allows for enhanced multi-coated optics observable under the flip-up lens and will fit a standard weaver rail mount. It is constructed of a titanium body. The forty-two-millimeter lens provides high resolution and more light gathering capabilities.
The red reticle is illuminated and sits on the green field view. The scope boasts a built-in Infrared Illuminator (IRI) to expand view range. The built-in IRI also minimizes battery drainage while providing for maximum possible infrared output.
The illuminator diode pulses protect the IR from burning out. But the pulsing is invisible to the naked eye but allows the IR to be useful at longer distances. Optics are fully adjustable and can be turned off completely.
- Long mount allowing for comfort.
- Able to accommodate the widest of rifles.
- Multi-coated optics.
- Standard weaver rail mount.
- Red or green adjustable reticle.
- Large controls easily found in the dark.
- Allows for a remote control to be mounted on AR15.
- Focus range up to seven yards.
- Water intrusion rating IPX5.
- IR reaches up to one hundred yards.
- View through this scope is really small.
- Not designed to shoot at long range.
- Magnification of only one and a half.
Burris Fastfire III
The biggest draw for this night vision scope is the fact that the graphics are etched in the glass. The company boasts outstanding ring and coil design to help stabilize the scope.
It also provides an additional range even though it is a compact design. Burris 300234 Fastfire III features a quick-change option from red to green or black for the reticle.
There are five red and five green power levels to match all the lighting conditions quickly. The rugged construction is designed to withstand recoil and abuse. The Burris is waterproof and stands up to all weather conditions. It boasts nitrogen-filled body tubes to prevent internal fogging in cold and rainy conditions.
- Three times magnification of the image.
- Outstanding ring and coil design.
- Made for extreme shooters.
- Red/Green reticle is sharp.
- Easy mount on a standard rail.
- Tends to be heavy.
- Screws may loosen over the course of time.
Aipa Tactical Night Vision Scope
The Aipa Tactical Combo Rifle Scope for AR15 features high grade fully coated optical lens and a thirty-two-millimeter reflex lens for a wider field of view. The holographic red and green dot sight is controlled by electronics and not by a screw.
Aipa Tactical Night Vision Scope is great for fast-moving targets. It features a high-resolution image with unlimited eye relief as well as brightness control. This durable scope is one hundred percent waterproof, fog proof and shockproof.
The Aipa Tactical scope comes with nitrogen filled dual illuminated rangefinding graph or reticle.
- Fifty millimeters beautiful flower object lens.
- High grade fully coated optical lens.
- One hundred percent waterproof.
- Rail mount on Picatinny or Weaver mount.
- Wide field of vision.
- Reticle color is red and green.
- Windage and elevation adjustments.
- The red laser reaches one hundred meters.
- Clarity reduced with magnification.
- Issues with the function of the reticle.
How to Choose a Night Vision Scope for AR-15
The night vision scope for AR15 should be capable of mounting to standard rails and providing the same level of precision as a day scope. It should allow the hunter to see clearly between one hundred and fifty to two hundred yards. Inside that range, the shooter should be able to tell whether it is an acceptable animal to hunt or not.
Almost all night vision scopes for AR15 come equipped with IRI or Infrared Illuminator. Basically, IRI throws out a beam of infrared light that is almost invisible to the naked eye, but the scope can see it and this allows the scope to work in total darkness. As an IRI works like a flashlight, the distance you can see with it is limited. There are also some generational differences between night vision scopes.
Generation 1 night vision scopes use intensifier tubes as opposed to the simple process of amplifying light. As such, generation 1 night vision scopes tend to be cheaper than generation 2 and generation 3. Generation 2 night vision scopes include a micro-channel plate that multiplies the electrons. Thus, these scopes are able to provide more depth and a clearer line of vision.
Generation 1 night vision scopes are built around image intensifier tubes with very simple configurations. Although Gen 1 provides lower light amplification or gain and image resolution as compared to Gen 2/ Gen 3 scopes, they are most popular and widely used among hunters. Gen 1 night vision scopes usually satisfy most recreational needs.
Generation 2 night vision scopes are enhanced by using a microchannel plate (MCP). The MCP looks like a honeycomb where each cell has a large number of channels for electrons to enter. The MCP boosts the light gain of an image tube by about one thousand times. It will also provide the shooter with a brighter and clearer image and is suited to more advanced users.
Generation 3 night vision scopes are military-grade. These night vision scopes provide the longest range and the top-most resolution. It operates without the use of an IRI and functions in all light conditions. This scope provides better versatility and durability. It also has the longest life expectancy of ten thousand hours.
Generation 3 devices also come with a microchannel plate that has the same abilities as a generation 2 night vision scope. But, the main addition to the generation 3 scopes is the Gallium Arsenide Photocathode. It helps create more photoelectrons compared to the earlier generations.
No doubt generation 2 and generation 3 night vision scopes offer better light amplification and performance than generation 1. But, they are more expensive than what most hunters intend to pay. Even a high-quality generation 1 device can provide enough lighting for hunters.
Again, here is our list of the 9 Best Night Vision Scopes for AR15:
- ATN X-Sight II — Winner
- ATN Thor HD
- Sightmark Photon XT
- Armasight ORION 5X
- Firefield NVRS 3X42
- Bushnell Equinox Z
- Yukon NVRS Titanium
- Burris Fastfire III
- Aipa Tactical Rifle Scope
As you can see, owners of AR15 are presented with many options while purchasing a night vision scope. The basic function of a night vision scope is to aid eyesight in low lighting by amplifying the surrounding light. A rifle scope also magnifies objects so they appear closer and provides a clear and focused picture.
Ergonomic design and durable body, make ATN X-Sight the Best Night Vision Scope for AR 15. It provides 5-20x magnification and has a high-quality image and resolution with the built-in long-range infrared illuminator.
The scope itself is durable and comes with a 20000mAh battery pack. Also, includes an easy-to-use remote access control system which provides control over features such as Rangefinder, Ballistic Calculator, etc. The eighty-five-millimeter lens helps gather light and the 5-12x magnifier makes objects more visible.
The ability to record your hunting activities in 1080p HD quality make this scope our pick as the Best Night Vision Scope for AR-15. If you have any other recommendation then you may let us know through the comments section.