Why You Should Use a Night Vision Scope: A Quick Guide to All the Benefits

Have you thought about buying a night vision scope? Not sure if they’re worth the extra price premium over regular scopes? Need to know the pros and cons before buying? Night vision scopes are a …

Are you thinking of getting a night vision scope for your gun? Not sure what its ideal use case is? Read on to learn more about night vision scopes.
Disclosure: We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.

Have you thought about buying a night vision scope? Not sure if they’re worth the extra price premium over regular scopes? Need to know the pros and cons before buying?

Night vision scopes are a staple for low-light shooting activities, like hunting before sunrise or as the sun sets, night-time range shooting, or even homestead defense in the pitch dark.

One obvious benefit is that night vision scopes allow shooters to see targets clearer at night. However, there are other benefits that you might not know about.

There are also disadvantages to buying one, which you should remember if you’re looking to buy one. Check your priorities to see if it’s worth considering, and let us help you decide with this guide on night vision scopes.

How Are Night Vision Scopes Different Than Thermal Scopes

Movies and video games have popularized specialized weapon optics like night vision and thermal scopes. While their uses do overlap, there are differences in their design that set them apart.

Thermal scopes use infrared radiation to detect heat signatures, allowing you to detect targets in a way that allows you to work under any light condition.

On the other hand, night vision scopes amplify the tiniest amount of ambient light to brighten up how the surroundings look through the scope.

Thermal scopes work even without any external light source but are worse when it comes to clarity, especially when clusters of different targets or if a non-target close by emits a heat signature.

To gain a deeper understanding of these rifle scopes and discover effective ways to utilize them with your firearms, exploring Shooting Mystery is highly recommended.

Advantages of Using a Night Vision Scope

Can you paraphrase this paragraph? Also retain the words “Shooting Mystery” Using a night vision scope offers numerous advantages, particularly in low-light or dark conditions. Below are the key benefits associated with this technology.

Wider Field of View Than Other Low Light Optics

Compared to other types of low-light optics, night vision scopes have a wider field of view. This lets you see more without moving your optic or weapon around too much.

This wide field of view helps increase a shooter’s situational awareness by letting them see more of what’s happening around them and the target, providing them with exceptional peripheral vision.

For example, if you’re hunting at dusk, you’ll be able to see the game you’re shooting at and any cover that it might disappear behind.

A wide field of view also reduces the severity of tunnel vision, which you’ll want to avoid, especially if you’re hunting in an area where bears, mountain lions, and other natural predators can be found.

More Natural Image

Unlike other night vision technologies, night vision scopes amplify the light from the moon and stars to brighten the environment. This makes the image look a lot more natural.

It essentially applies a bright filter or “turns on the light in a dark room. This means everything looks exactly how it would typically, just with more light and a greenish tint washing over everything.

Having a more natural image compared to a less natural one, like the sight picture on thermal scopes, makes it less jarring to look at. It also makes the background clearer.

This helps in tracking game through bushes and trees because you’ll be able to see your surroundings clearly.

Highly Efficient and Long Battery Life

Most night vision scopes have a long battery life long enough to last through the whole night. Depending on your light sensitivity settings, this duration can be longer or shorter.

This is because the system that night vision scopes use is exceedingly power-efficient. It doesn’t suck up too much battery when turned on because it uses ambient light and enhances it.

With a highly efficient battery life, you’ll be able to get through a night of hunting before having to recharge. Just remember to charge it fully before every shooting session.

Reliable and Sturdy

Night vision scopes are built to last. They’re very sturdy because manufacturers have to make night vision electronics just as durable as the rest of the scope.

While this doesn’t mean you should go throwing your rifle around expecting the sight to work just fine afterward, it means you won’t have issues like it randomly turning off or not working when you need it most.

Another plus is that most night vision rifle scope manufacturers offer an extended warranty for their scopes. Even if there is an issue from the factory, you can get it fixed with relative ease.

Disadvantages of Using a Night Vision Scope

While the advantages of night vision scopes definitely outweigh the disadvantages, there are a couple that you should keep in mind before buying them. They could be deal breakers.

Added Expense

In general, night vision scopes are more expensive than those that don’t have that extra feature. As with any other product, adding features also increases the overall cost.

Depending on the manufacturer and the optic glass quality, you can get a scope of this type for as low as $500. However, the optical glass quality and other features might be compromised.

On the other hand, if you get a $500 regular scope, you’ll get a better value when it comes to the optical glass quality alone, not to mention the rest of the build.

Therefore, if you know you won’t really be using the night vision feature of the scope, it’s better to opt for one without it just to save a lot of money you could use to buy other accessories.

Heavier Than Non-Night Vision Equipped Scopes

Adding a complex feature like night vision to a rifle scope will also require adding more weight and bulk. This is because of the additional electronics required to access that feature.

Rifle scopes are already on the heavy side of weapon optics, especially compared to sights like a reflex sight or a red dot sight. Adding more weight might be a deal breaker for some users.

This is especially likely if your pet peeve is lugging around a rifle with a heavy weapon sight weighing you down. If so, you might want to consider another, more lightweight option.

How to Maximize Your Night Vision Scope

If you already have a night vision scope or have decided to buy one, you’ll want to read up on these tips. They’ll help you become more accurate with your scope in no time.

Sight in or Zero Your Scope

Before shooting with your scope, the first thing you should do after taking it out of the box is to zero it and dial it in. Weapon optics must be manually sighted in to achieve its best accuracy.

For night vision scopes, you’ll want to zero it during the day to get the best results. Remember to place the cap on during the daytime, or else you’ll blind yourself.

Then, set up a target 25-50 yards away and shoot a few shots. Adjust your scope based on the results and keep going until you’re satisfied that your target is exactly where the bullet will land.

Test It Out First Indoors

When you want to first use the night vision feature, try it out indoors with the lights dimmed down or turned off (with the moonlight shining through your window).

This will allow you to acclimate to how a night vision scope changes the way objects look. Even if your sight picture is more natural, you’ll still notice a difference, especially with colors.

Testing it indoors first will allow you to verify it works before you mount it on your gun and go hunting. Even if it’s already on your gun, you can still test it indoors as long as you ensure the gun’s unloaded and don’t point at any housemates.

Use the Scope and Practice During the Daytime

You don’t have to only use night vision-enabled scopes at night. You’ll also want to practice aiming and shooting with it during the daytime.

Whether at the gun range or in the woods shooting game, practicing during the day will get you used to how the scope works and all its little quirks.

Then, when it gets darker, you’ll only need to make minor adjustments and can focus on locating wild game in the dark instead of fiddling with your scope settings.

(For the finest selection of night vision scopes, discover Shooting Mystery)

Frequently Asked Questions

You might have some related questions after learning more about the pros and cons of night vision scopes. Here are answers to the most commonly asked ones.

Is Seeing at Night Good?

If you can see well, even at night, it’s a sign of good eye health. This is because your eyes are adjusting to the lower light, meaning they’re still reacting well.

If you can barely see even in slightly darker conditions, no night vision scope can fix it. You’ll have to get a checkup with your doctor to see if you have cataracts or glaucoma.

Which Are More High Resolution, Thermal or Night Vision Scopes?

While thermal imaging has a higher contrast ratio than night vision, the latter is much more high-definition. This is because what you see in the scope is as close to unaltered as possible.

Night vision scopes only amplify ambient light instead of creating vibrant colors to show heat signatures. This makes it much closer to what you see in real life, though more monochromatic.

Are Night Vision Scopes Bad in Daylight?

Night vision scopes will function the same as scopes without the feature as long as you close the cap that allows more light in and turn off the relevant settings.

Final Thoughts

While night vision scopes are an investment you should think carefully about before buying, they can be worth it. If you hunt or shoot at times when lighting isn’t ideal, it’s worth the cost.

The superior field of view, natural image, reliability, and good battery life make it the perfect option for anyone looking to shoot at night without sacrificing a good shooting experience.

Remember to practice both during the day and at night with it to get more accurate faster. Additionally, don’t forget to zero it before taking it to the range or out on a hunt.


Leave a Comment