AR 15 is a long and powerful weapon with which you can kill many animals at a time. But then hunting in low light conditions with this style of rifle can be quite challenging because you might struggle to shoot your targeted wildlife animals. This shortcoming necessitates the need to have the best night vision scope for AR 15 to increase your chances of sighting and shooting your targets with ease, irrespective of how dark the wilderness is.
The advancement of technology has made provisions for this military equipment to be used by the civilians as did the military personnel when targeting their enemies at night. As thus, hunters can now hunt without low light restrictions.
The wild animals usually feel free to walk at night in search for foods. This could be the best chance for hunters to get the meat that they desire. Even when targeting your enemy, it will be a cinch to couple your rifle with the best night vision scope.
Keep in mind that there are, recently, plenty of riflescopes on the market, and they vary according to ranges, strengths, and sizes. This could consequently be a confusion to the amateur hunters that which one is the best.
So, to help narrow down your search for the night vision scopes for the AR 15, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of rifle scopes in this article and discussed their superb features to help you choose. These night scopes were carefully selected due to their compatibility and excellence when paired with the AR 15. Before delving into the reviews of these excellent low-light scopes, let’s discuss the basics and classification of night scopes to give you a glimpse of night vision scopes.
A basic understanding of night vision scopes
As highlighted above, night vision scopes come in different sizes, strengths, and ranges. You should, therefore, choose them based on these varieties of features. Some provide you a great versatility of controlling them with remote controllers and mobile apps that are compatible with the iOS and the Android smartphones. The Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities are also some of the choices available to you.
The issue of compatibility is not a concern with our scopes because our compilation was done specifically for the AR 15 rifles. You can simply mount your chosen scope and configure necessary settings to start shooting confidently at night. The major focus is needed in the classification of these scopes into generations 1, 2, and 3. Each generation has its capabilities, ranges and other settings.
Generation 1 → With night scopes falling under this generation, you will be able to view your targets in a green image. But because the military needs continue to expand, the new technology keeps on coming. There are improvements on the first generation scopes with features added to improve resolution. The 1st generation by itself offers the sight of inferior quality compared to the recent ones.
Generation 2 → Made of white phosphorous tubes, generation 2 scopes provide a crisp image compared to the 1st generation. You will be seeing the target in a gray color. However, its improvement in quality comes with a rise in the price.
Generation 3 → This is the most advanced generation of the previous two. It utilizes pinnacle tubes for its superior quality and versatility of being used either during daylight or nighttime. Moreover, the scopes under this generation usually have longer ranges of over 300 yards.
So, if you are looking for a great quality, generation 3 night vision scopes are the ideal ones to meet your desires. There’s hearsay about the introduction of generation 4 scopes. We just have to wait and see.
Knowing that which night vision scopes fall under a certain category is your ticket to know that which one can be suitable for you. Note that generation 1 green image provision is a challenge to stare at for long periods. Let’s further help you choose the best night vision scope for your AR 15 below.
How to choose the best night vision scope?
Given the fact that there are numerous features for each scope to be used in the AR 15, it can be a hassle to spot the best among them. Discussed below are some of the tips to help you select. Among other tips, we focus on the distance range, affordability, and additional accessories.
Distance range of the scope
If you’ve planned to hunt for your targeted wildlife at long distances, you should then give preference to the latest generations of scopes because they have longer ranges. For instance, the 3rd generation can help you look up to 300 yards. This is long enough to shoot your target with the powerful AR 15. Meanwhile, the lower generation can look up to 75 yards, which therefore prompts you to be closer to the target.
But bear in mind that you really have to budget for the recent generations. They are costly, as justified by their long distance range and high quality of images.
Affordability has to be taken into account as these scopes vary widely from lower to higher generations. For example, with lower generation night vision scopes, you can spend as little as $100. The advanced scopes can even cost over $1000. But if you’re an enthusiastic hunter, you wouldn’t mind spending so much to get a top-notch quality scope to pair with your AR 15.
One other important tip is to check if the scope works as a standalone or with other accessories. Among our reviewed scopes, some make use of smartphone apps, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi features that help control them. That being said, you must have a compatible smartphone. Other additional accessories can be applied and may put a strain on your budget.
Now that we know that what to expect from the night vision scopes, we can review the best models compiled hereunder. For each model, we will also provide you a related product that matches with features and/or prices.
Reviews for the best night vision scopes
Yukon Nvrs Tactical 2.5X50 with Internal Focusing Night Vision Riflescope
Dimensions: 3.1 X 3.3 X 10 inches
Specific Features: Titanium shockproof body, Internal focusing ability, Adjustable lit red-on-green reticle, Integrated IR system infrared illuminator, Flip-up objective 50mm lens cover
Best Uses: Hunting
The Yukon NVRS Tactical night vision scope comes with a 50mm lens that will provide you with a high resolution to spot your targeted animals with ease. The enhanced optics can also provide a magnification of 2.5X at night for a maximum range of 250 yards.
With such capabilities, you are assured maximum results of hunting with the AR 15. To add on, the scope is lightweight and has a durable titanium body.
The scope’s additional accessory, flip-up lens covers, wrap the multicoated optics and an illuminated reticle. And the integrated infrared illuminator enhances the viewing range and also helps you save more battery. Furthermore, this integrated infrared illuminator allows the illuminator diode to beat, although you may not notice that with your naked eyes. It will also protect the IR from burning and has a distance range of 100 yards and a 15-degree field of view.
In the range of $250-$350 for the cost of this night vision scope, you may add the costs of additional accessories such as the AK Adapter, doubler lens, laser pointer and the IR flashlight. Included in your purchase is the carrying case, flip-up lens covers and the remote on/off switch.
Having this night vision scope for your AR 15 will enable you to shoot and kill your targets with ease. It is powered by 2 AA batteries that can last you as long as 50 hours. If the product has some manufacturer defects, there is a lifetime warranty provided by the manufacturer.
Related Products: You may consider the Yukon NVRS Titanium 1.5×42 Night Vision Rifle Scope, Weaver Mount with its advanced features, although charged at an expensive price.
Armasight ORION 5X Gen 1+ Night Vision Rifle Scope
Dimensions: 12.7 X 4.6 X 4.1 inches
Specific Features: magnification of 5x, illuminated red cross reticle with variable brightness, shockproof optics, mounted to standard weaver rails, detachable long-range IR810 infrared illuminator
Best Use: spot your target
With a magnification of 5X, you will be able to spot your target more clearly. The Armasight Orion night vision scope is one of the high performing riflescopes under generation 1 category. It is further characterized by its excellent optics for a great magnification of your targets. The design is a rubberized aluminum body.
To enhance the accuracy of the scope, the top wheel focus is featured for your convenience. For hunters that are looking for an affordable scope, the Armasight Orion could be an ideal solution. Other customers are also praising the scope’s high magnification in spite of falling in a lower 1st category of generations.
Should it rain while hunting at night, you do not have to worry about the scope getting any damage as it is water resistant. The 40 hours of battery life will enable you to spend several days in the wilderness’s low light conditions. Furthermore, if there’s any mechanical defect, the manufacturer offers a 2-year limited warranty.
Related Products: The company offers the similar product Armasight XLR-IR850 that comes with the detachable X-Long Range Infrared Illuminator w/Dovetail to weaver transfer piece, rechargeable battery, and a charger.
Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital Night Vision Riflescope
Weight: 2.3 pounds
Dimensions: 17.6 X 4 X 3.8 inches
Specific Features: 33% longer battery life, 4.6X higher magnification, 42mm objective lens, designed for medium range
Best Use: hunting at a medium range
The Sightmark Photon comes with a higher magnification of 4.6X and a 33% longer battery life compared to other scopes in the same range. It also features 6 digital reticle options and also 2 crossbow reticles for 320, 350, 370 and 400 fps, the duplex reticles for varmint and hog hunting, a mil-dot reticle for finding the range.
For crystal pictures, the scope comes equipped with 640 X 480 resolution that works up to 120 yards. Furthermore, it affords you the opportunity to capture all the targets you have seen with the video capabilities. Additional accessories can also be added for an excellent functioning of the scope in low light conditions.
The precision is further enhanced by the elevation adjustment system as well as the digital windage system. Included in the package are the lens cloth, storage case, video cable and the user manual.
Previous customers are also impressed with the product’s capabilities among other Gen 1 night vision scope. No major complaints about the product.
Related Products: The manufacturer offers a great combo of this night vision scope with the Sightmark IR-805 Compact Infrared Illuminator Flashlight and the Sightmark Medium Height QD Mount, 30mm/1-Inch to enhance your night vision.
ATN X-Sight II 3-14 Smart Riflescope w/1080p Video
Dimensions: 10 X 6 X 6 inches
Specific Features: WIFI streaming, 1080p full HD resolution, 3-14X magnification, features GPS for geotagging, controlled by the iOS/Android app
Best Use: home defense
The ATN X-Sight II is more beyond the basic functions of a night vision scope. You can be able to capture crystal images with a 1080p full HD resolution and also record videos for later view. It’s a versatile scope that can be used throughout the week either day or night. With only a push button, you can switch it on/off or configure the settings.
There’s an integrated Smart RangeFinder which helps you configure your range for precision. If ranged in the reticle, it can then adjust automatically its point of impact so you can shoot animals accurately. Also noteworthy is the RAV (Recoil Activated Video) with which you can view a full video of what had taken place before the shot was fired.
There’s actually a plenty of capabilities to achieve with this night vision scope. It is one of the rare products that can be controlled easily with the mobile app. The only downside is the exclusion of the battery because it adds extra costs
Related Products: Since the battery isn’t included, you may consider purchasing the ATN 16 Extended Life 16000mAh Battery Pack as well as the ATN Corporation, Ir850 Pro Long-Range Ir, Adjustable Mount for a fruitful night vision.
Firefield FF16001 NVRS 3x 42mm Gen 1 Night Vision Riflescope, Black
Dimensions: 9 X 3.2 X 3.4 inches
Specific Features: integrated IR infrared illuminator, lightweight titanium design, detachable weaver mount, 3X magnification.
Best Use: hunting for wildlife
Increase your chances of hitting your target in low light conditions with the help of the Firefield NVRS 3X42 night vision scope. It helps reveal the detail of the target and improves the view range in the darkness.
Meanwhile, the 42mm lens helps gather more light in low light conditions while the detachable weaver mount helps you change the optics. With these features, you’re assured an excellent precision whenever using your AR 15 at night for hunting.
The inclement temperatures are not a match to the flip-up lens cover and the durable water resistant titanium body. Wrapped with the flip-up cover lens are the multi-coated optics and the illuminated red duplex reticle. The scope is versatile in that it lets you adjust well to whichever environment you’re hunting at and can shoot up to 75 yards as it is a Gen 1 scope.
Related Products: Having the Firefield 5×50 Nightfall 2 Night Vision Monocular by the same company can also enhance your night-time vision and sight.
Pulsar N750 Digisight Riflescope
Dimensions: 7 X 4 x 18 inches
Specific Features: integrated laser IR illuminator, wireless remote control, one-shot zeroing, 3 step power adjustment, long eye relief
Best Use: hunting
Pulsar N750 Digisight Riflescope is an ideal night vision scope to be paired with the AR 15 due to its high-quality image resolution and other features. These features include the built-in laser IR illuminator, internal focusing and a broad range of temperature operations. Its design is durable and lightweight.
The Pulsar N750 Digisight Riflescope’s resistance to bright light exposure proves that it was designed for use only in low light conditions. You’ll surely excel in targeting your wildlife or your enemies while using a wireless remote control to maneuver the settings of this night vision scope. Included with this product is the integrated flip-up objective lens cover.
Other customers have expressed their satisfactions about the scope’s excellent and clear images, and its ease of use even when you are an amateur. However, the hardest part is that costs between $1350 and $1450. If you were to add accessories to it, it could cost even more.
Related Products: For an efficient functioning of your scope, you can purchase the Pulsar EPS5 Battery Pack and the Pulsar PL79076 940 IR Flashlight Night Vision Accessories to increase the detection/view range.
ATN Gen 2+ Night Arrow 4-2 Night Vision Weapon Sight
Dimensions: 11 X 4.1 X 3.7 inches
Specific Features: one-knob operation, water/fog resistant, 4X magnification, Generation 2 night vision scope, illuminated center red reticle.
Best Use: home defense, hunting, target practice
Make hunting at night even more adventurous by coupling your AR 15 rifle with the ATN Gen 2+ Night Arrow 4-2 Night Vision Weapon Sight. This scope is more advanced with clearer images than Gen 1 products. With just a one-knob, you can operate the scope to see quality images of the target. The brightness control is automatic.
As a Gen 2 product, it costs between $1250 and $1350 to own this night vision scope. With such an exorbitant price you get a light and compact design that provides an excellent target acquisition, excellent sights and aiming capabilities in low light conditions. Expect a higher performance, the best tubes, and best optics compared to any scope in the lower generation category.
Loyal customers applaud the ATN’s night vision scope high-quality performance in the darkness. It meets the needs of many hunting enthusiasts since they can spot their targets with ease when combined with the AR 15. If it rains your scope will not be affected by the rain or fog because of its water resistant capabilities.
There’s a lot of functions and features that come equipped with this scope. It can also mount on the standard weaver rails. If the scope has some manufacturer defects, you will be covered by the limited two-year warranty.
Related Products: You may alternatively consider the ATN X-Sight II 5-20 Smart Riflescope w/1080p Video that comes equipped with WiFi, GPS, Image Stabilization, Range Finder, Shooting Solution and IOS and Android Apps.
Yukon NVRS Titanium 1.5×42 Night Vision Rifle Scope, Weaver Mount
Dimensions: 3.1 X 3.3 X 8.6 inches
Specific Features: integrated IR infrared illuminator system, flip-up objective lens cover, 1.5X magnification, 42mm lens diameter, durable titanium design
Best Use: hunting, home defense
With the Yukon NVRS mini varmint hunter, you will be afforded an excellent comfort of use during the shooting. It is a lightweight scope with a sleek design and a titanium body. A higher resolution is provided by its 42 mm lens and a magnification of 1.5X at a range of 200 yards. Included in the package is the carrying case, remote on/off switch and the flip-up lens cover that opens to uncover the illuminated reticle and the multi-coated optics.
This scope is an adaptable digital camera. It also has additional accessories that include the IR flashlight, laser pointer, double lens, and the AK adapter. The manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty for any factory defects.
We’ve come to the end of our compiled list of the best night vision scopes that can be used with the AR 15. As you might have noticed, these scopes predominantly fall under Gen 1 and Gen 2. The recent generations will command expensive prices and top notch quality of images.
Important Note: The night vision scope from the United States are subjected to some export restrictions. These products fall under the jurisdiction of the US Department of State or the Department of Commerce. You must, therefore, beware of the products you order to avoid disappointment because the law prohibits the manufacturers to export to other countries.
Final Thoughts on the Subject
With any of the night vision scope products we reviewed above, you will be well prepared to head to your hunting destination in low light conditions. Gone is the inconvenience of guessing the targets because these products are capable of providing excellent and crisp images with their advanced optics and lens.
Because these products come with different strengths and sizes, it’s important to know what you need. For instance, if you plan to shoot at longer ranges, it is recommended that you focus on Gen 2 and 3 scopes. We’d like to hear from you, which did you select and why?
Let us know in the comments section below. And don’t forget to share this one out with your friends on social media, you never know when someone is in the market for a scope.