What to Consider When Buying a Night Vision Scope

We’ve all seen movies in which some form of a soldier and special forces troops are attacking an enemy at night using a night vision scope. We’re familiar with the green tinted camera work that signifies night vision. We know what it looks like, but how does it work?

Night vision enhances the image you see by amplifying the existing light and allowing the user to see infrared light. Infrared light is invisible to the naked eye and requires the use of special devices to see. The amplification of this light makes it possible to essentially see in the dark.

Night Vision Scope Considerations

When you are looking into purchasing some form of night vision or another there are certain considerations you should consider. These conditions change depending on your budget, your intended use, and the features you require. Today, we are going to talk specifically about night vision scopes.



The ergonomics of a scope are much different than the ergonomics of other night vision devices. When using a night vision scope you need an optic with easy to use controls. You need to be able to control all functions of the optic from behind a rifle. You’ll need to be able to increase the zoom, turn it on and off, use an IR illuminator, and adjust the optic for clarity all from behind the rifle. In most shooting situations, lighter is better. A heavy optic will make a rifle difficult to shoot, and straining to even hold steady. So remember, weight is important when choosing an optic of any kind.



Clarity in a night vision scope is critical. A scope is often used to spot a specific target. If you can’t tell what you’re looking at you can’t identify your target. Clarity or resolution is measured by lines per millimeter when it comes to night vision. The higher clarity you have, the more millimeters per line your night vision scope will have. When attempting to determine the clarity of an optic, look for the following acronym, LP/MM. (LP = Lines Per / MM = Millimeter.) For example, the militaries PVS 14s has 64 to 72 LP/MM.


Distortion can affect the clarity of an LP/MM rating. Distortion is mainly caused by the materials used to make the lenses. High-quality lenses will be made from glass, and present less distortion. Optics that use poor quality glass or even plastic lenses will have a greater level of distortion. Distortion is also more common in older generations of night vision, due to a lack of an MCP. Generation 2 and above will rarely have serious distortion. Gen 2 and up have mostly minimal geometric distortions. At longer ranges, this distortions can increase and make a target indecipherable. Your LP/MM is your overall clarity rating but is not the final clarity rating.


Signal to Noise Ratio

When looking through night vision, or even seeing it on TV, you’ve seen the ‘snow’ effect it has. This ‘snow’ is called noise. Signal is the light signal that your eye actually perceives. Signal to noise measures is the amount of signal that reaches your eyes divided by the noise. So signal to noise is a more measured and refined clarity. The higher the signal to ratio is, the clearer the optic will be.



Night vision devices require some form of light to function. Night vision does not produce light, it merely amplifies it. The more ambient light the clearer and farther you can see. Gain is what is required to see clearer and farther with a night vision device. Gain is also known as luminance gain. Gain is measured in tube gain and system gain. Tube gain is often in the tens of thousands and system gain in the several thousand. Tube gain is dependent upon the lenses. Too high of a tube gain and you increase the noise seen. System gain is light output divided by light input. System gain is the most important measurement.


Field Of View

Field of view is measured at a particular magnification at 100 yards. Field of view decreases as magnification increases. For example field of view at 2x in a night vision scopes maybe 30 feet from one side of the lens to the other, but at 8x the fov maybe only 14 feet. A wide field of view gives you a greater view of an area in front of you. Night vision scopes often have an effect known as blooming around the edge of the field of view. This decreases the overall field of view partially.


Night Vision Generations

Night vision is split into 4 distinct generations. You can argue five, but Gen 0 are rare antiques that are no longer sold. Night vision generations create the biggest differences in the price of night vision scopes.


Gen 1 – The earliest mass produced models used in the Vietnam war. These optics need moon or starlight to function correctly. Without some form of ambient light, this generation is close difficult to use. THere are Generation 1+ devices that function extremely well with less light.


Gen 2 – Gen 2 night vision scopes saw a massive increase in clarity and usefulness and a large drop in size. These optics are capable of working in very little light. Generation 2 optics are still proficient enough to be used for shooting and scouting.


Gen 3 – Generation 3 night vision scopes increased the clarity of night vision devices, but remained the same overall size. There was a sharp decrease in the amount of necessary light required to use these optics efficiently. These optics are the current military and police issue in most cases.


Gen 4 – Generation 4 improved clarity by up to 20 percent by removing the protective coating around the microchannel plate. This also decreased the overall lifespan of generation 4 night vision scopes. Gen 4 optics are rare and extremely expensive when found. The lowered lifespan and increased cost have prevented these scopes from being popular.


Educated Decisions

It’s no secret night vision is an expensive technology. The more you know about it, is the more you understand it. The more you understand, the better investment you will make. Read, learn, and take careful considerations when buying a night vision scope.

Law Enforcement Rifle Scopes

As a previous law enforcement officer, I can attest to the fact that it is important to know and understand the various types of rifle scopes and sights that are available for tactical career purposes. When working on the streets, in special operations, drug enforcement teams, detective divisions, and various other units within the basic law enforcement agency, it is essential to have the right rifle scopes and sights for your weapon. By neglecting this very important detail when it comes to the tools that you use for your position, you are not only putting your own life in jeopardy, but those lives that you work to protect and serve in the community. Here, I will share with you the types of rifle scopes and sights for the law enforcement professional.

Telescopic Rifle Scopes
The most popular type of rifle scopes that law enforcement professionals prefer are the telescopic type. While working in the public, it is important to keep as much distance as possible between you and potential criminals and other individuals that may seek to do you, or others, harm. In addition to this, the ability to accurately target those individuals that may not be in close proximity to you is also essential. This is what makes the telescopic rifle scopes so appealing to police officers, deputies, and highway patrol professionals. These units can easily be placed on any weapon. They can provide you with the accuracy that is required, without putting yourself and others in danger of getting too close to someone that may prove to be dangerous.

Reflex Sights Rifle Scopes
The reflex sights rifle scopes are also an important choice for the individual who works in a profession in law enforcement. These scopes are particularly beneficial to the officer that works on the night shift. Basically, this scope will allow you to see a visible marker on the target that you are aiming at. These are often used in other situations apart from those that involve low light. Examples include when you must shoot a target at close range, and when you are seeking a suspect within a building. It is important to understand that the reflex sights rifle scopes do not provide magnification like the telescopic scopes provide. Basically, this scope provides a base visual of where you will hit once you initiate your weapon.

Diopter Sight Rifle Scopes
The diopter sight rifle scopes are seen as both an advantage and a disadvantage when it comes to law enforcement personnel. The diopter sight rifle scopes are beneficial in that they zero in on the target and where you will hit when observing it through the hole. Unfortunately, this can really place a restriction on the vision of the officer. This restriction can actually pose potential hazards that may interfere with the personal safety and protection of the officer in the line of duty. When it comes to rifle scopes, I would not recommend using the diopter sight rifle scopes when working in the field. I would say that this type of scope is most beneficial on the shooting range.

As you can see, there are many different types of rifle scopes and sights available for the law enforcement professional. When selecting a scope, or a scope with a particular sight, the first thing that you must consider is the effectiveness of your aim. Then, you must consider the accuracy when it comes to distance. Once you consider these elements, you must decide whether or not the rifle scopes and sights that you are evaluating will interfere with your personal protection and safety, as well as the personal protection and safety of those that you protect and serve. Once taking these things into consideration, you will be able to easily select the appropriate rifle scopes for your law enforcement career.

Understanding The Basic Terminology of Rifle Scopes

It is important to have a general understanding of the basic terminology of rifle scopes if you use this tool on your weapon. Naturally, the terminology will depend on the type of scope that you use, as well as the intention of the rifle scope that you select. Rifle scopes are generally selected by the time of application in which they will be applied.

There are some rifle scopes that are designed for specific weapons, and then there are those that are designed for various tactical purposes.


  1. Exit Pupil Size – The exit pupil size is the actual diameter in which the entire shaft of the rifle scope has when it comes to light coming in the front of the scope and extending back into the eye of the user. This is often measured in millimeters. If a rifle scope has a large diameter overall, it is considered to be among the best when it comes to shooting in conditions in which there is low light. An easier way of looking at it is that this is the term that describes the amount of brightness that the overall sight has in it.


  1. Magnification – This is the amount of sight that is contained in the rifle scopes that are available today. Now, you can select a scope that has an adjustable magnification, which is called a “power” rifle scope, or you can select one that has a standard magnification and cannot be adjusted. This, of course, is called a “fixed” rifle scope.


  1. Relief – The relief for the eye is an important term when it comes to rifle scopes. This refers to the distance that rests between the eye that you are using to aim with, as well as the actual start of the scope. When shopping for a scope, it is essential to purchase one that has a relief that is large enough to allow you a complete view of your target as well as the area around your target.


  1. Viewing Field – When you purchase a rifle scope, it is essential to ensure that you gauge the viewing field of that scope to make sure that you can see the amount of footage that you want to achieve. In most cases, a powerful scope will allow you the opportunity to see as much as one hundred feet. Basically, the magnification of the scope will allow you to determine what kind of viewing field that it has. This viewing field is both vertical and horizontal.


  1. Parallax – This is when the target is not properly aligned with the rifle scope sight center. This is often caused when an individual places a scope that is too big on a weapon. It has been established that if a high powered magnification is used, this is generally not an issue that is very troublesome.



If you are in the market for rifle scopes, it is absolutely essential that you ensure that you know and understand some of the basic terminology that is involved. This way, you can choose a scope that is best suited for your needs. The terms listed here should be beneficial when selecting the best of the best in rifle scopes.

Useful Tips on How to Choose the Best Rifle Scope

Nowadays in the world that we live, most of us find themselves extremely busy with long working hours and hectic activities that do not allow one to create time for a hobby or leisure activity. When you are not busy with your normal activities and want to spend some time to shop for the best rifle scope; use this tips as a guideline for selecting a good rifle.

  1. Range rifle- Depending on what you want to do with your rifle, determine whether you require a short range rifle or a long-range scope.
  2. Shooting accuracy- If you are still learning how to use a rifle scope, choose the right scope because all rifle scopes shoot differently due to their characteristics.
  3. Adjustment features- Check on the adjustment capability of different scopes and compare them to determine the best rifle scope that will offer you some good customization features.
  4. Magnification- Check and compare different scopes magnification power.
  5. Objective lens diameter- larger objective lenses provides a shooter with more light to see a target.
  6. Eye relief- This represents the distance between your eye and the lens of the scope. a good scope should provide you with an eye relief of about 3.5 inches or more.

After comparing different scopes, use the above tips to select and buy the best rifle scope that will provide you with a good experience. Knowing how to compare different companies scopes helps you to become more knowledgeable about rifles and how each one of them can be used for different purposes. If you planning to buy a rifle scope for great hunting experience, consider the above factors and finally you will be able to make an ultimate choice.

Hunting at Night | Using Night Vision for Hunting

Hunting is a sport that is highly reliant on speed, vision, and accuracy. Night vision has met those standards while bringing the sport to an entirely new level. Night vision devices were first introduced by the military during World War II, resurfaced and ultimately grew in popularity during Vietnam.

Night vision instruments have managed to seep their way through the military and into civilian hands for such things as hunting. Hunting can be enough of a challenge without having to worry about visibility. The industry, as well as the technology, has been growing ever since. Night vision capabilities have rapidly advanced many aspects of outdoor recreational activities.

It’s no secret that animals feel safer and tend to roam more freely at night, hidden in the darkness and creeping out of their normal safe havens. This makes the night hours prime hunting time for hunters that don’t want to go home empty handed. None of this would be possible without night vision. The development of night vision makes hunting at night not only possible but increases accuracy, making surroundings and targets visible to the hunter. Hunting itself will never be the same as a result.

A variety of night vision technologies are available on the market such as night vision infra-red, lasers, goggles, scopes, and riflescopes. All offered by a series of different manufacturers with a variety of different features to meet individual needs. Night vision scopes use telescopic lenses and illuminators which make it possible to see all your surroundings while staying completely hidden from prey.

copes are designed for rugged outdoor endurance through their compactness, durability, and water resistant casing. There are also scopes available that have multiple fields of view using high resolution. Accuracy is key when it comes to successful hunting, therefore accuracy is the key to the development of night vision scopes which have been created with precision for this very purpose.

These are powerful pieces of equipment that are sure to get the job done for the determined outdoorsman. There are a variety of sizes and models available on the markets, which are adjustable and mountable for rifles and other pieces of recreational equipment. Don’t be left out in the dark. Night vision technology will ensure that no opportunities go to waste.  Scopes are the perfect addition to any hunter, hiker, and camper’s collection of outdoor gear. Be ready for anything with the most up to date and accurate technology available.

Different Types of Rifle Scopes

Depending on your requirements, rifle scopes are available in many types and it’s recommendable to select the right rifle for the right purpose in order to get the best shooting experience. The following list comprises of different types of rifles scope that are designed to serve a particular purpose.

  1. Long-Range Scope

Long-range rifle scopes are hunting weapons that are designed with high magnification power and precise aiming features that help to perfectly shoot long-range targets. Most long-range rifles come with adjustable setting features that help hunters to view different focal lengths and compensate the wind direction for a perfect shot. If you would like to hunt animals in an open field, long-range rifles provide the best shooting experience because you can easily target from a far distance where an animal cannot see you.

  1. Close Range Scopes

Close-range rifles are designed for aiming and shooting targets at a close distance. They usually come with a red dot that appears inside the lens. A user uses the dot as the aiming point director when shooting targets. The red dot perfectly guides and indicate the exact place where the shot will hit under ideal conditions. Most close range scopes provide a wide field of view and their lens are made with very low magnification power.

  1. Red Dot Scopes

Unlike most rifle scopes that are designed to use cross hairs for aiming, a red dot scope does not have cross hairs and instead, a small red dot of magnified light is projected onto a small aiming projector that is mounted on the front of the rifle. The red dot provides the best aiming experience than most traditional scopes that requires one to use open eye sight while targeting. Red dot scopes have the following advantages over open sight designed scopes.

Wider field of view
When compared to tube style scopes, red scopes have a wide field of view. Tube style scopes helps to magnify targets and allow the user to shot on targets at a far distance, but the magnification limits the actual field of view. Additionally, tube-style scopes limit a user to use the rifle when aiming at short distances. Red-dot scopes are not designed or build with any magnification and this makes them to be more suitable while aiming at targets within a medium range and short distances.

First target acquisition
One of the most liked feature about red-dot scopes is their target acquisition. When compared with open sight scopes, the red-dot helps a shooter to aim very quickly at a target. After the shooter zeros the red-dot sight, the shot perfectly lands on wherever the dot is aimed. With the dot the hunter does not need to align a particular front and a rear sight on the target. Most professional firearms used by the US military uses a red-dot because the dot helps solders to easily make shots in a combat.

Low light usage
Another great advantage of using the red dot is that, it uses very little battery power to project the dot onto the glass. The red-dot is clearly visible in low light situations while tube style scopes cannot be seen in a low light shooting.

Unlimited eye relief
In order to properly utilize a rifle scope, the shooter is required to mount the firearm close to his eye. Most traditional scopes usually have an eye-relief distance of about 2 or 3 inches for proper utilization. Red-dot scopes have an unlimited eye-relief and this factor makes them more suitable to use than ordinary traditional scopes. The red dot helps the shooter to aim the rifle without necessarily bringing it close to his face. This advantage can help one to easily shoot fast during competitions.

  1. Air Rifle Scope

An air rifle scope is a special weapon that is designed for a unique property of shooting flying targets. This scope provides a shooter with customizable settings of perfectly shooting birds flying at very high speeds. Air rifle scopes also comes with parallax adjustment features that help users to compensate when the target is not properly focused or when the shoot does not clear see through the reticle pane due to strong sunlight rays.

  1. Muzzleloader Rifle Scope

Muzzle-loader scopes are specifically designed to be mounted onto muzzle-loading rifles. They are made with a high course engineering structure that prevents them from blocking access to the firing mechanism of the weapon. Muzzleloading scopes can be easily adjusted to provide articulate precision while targeting animals or objects in a range of 60 to 80 yards.