Author Topic: Recommendations for night scope  (Read 1413 times)

Steelhead

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Recommendations for night scope
« on: April 23, 2020, 06:54:30 PM »
I'm thinking about a night vision scope but I don't know much about them. Some of the technological stuff can confuse me and it would be easy for either over/under spend and have regrets over a particularly expensive purchase. Here's what I'm looking to do:

Put the new scope of Raptor

I want the ability to use in the day or night

Recording ability is not a big deal to me. If it has it, fine. If it's cheaper without it I'd pass on it.

I've heard battery usage can be an issue...is another battery advisable?

Is there an additional light that needs to used as well? I don't know the difference between what 'the version with flashlight does' and a scope that doesn't require an additional light.




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Alan

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Re: Recommendations for night scope
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2020, 05:18:48 AM »
The 4K version of the ATN is about your only choice at this point (see below). The older X-Sight I and II, do use up the batteries fairly fast, hence the need for an external one. The 4K version, however, will run up to 4 hours depending on what you have running (video record?). The build-in ballistic software still has some issues, but does work best if you have their range finder talking to the scope over BlueTooth.

The reason I said it is about your only choice is this; Most other night vision scopes, use a small aperture (almost a pin hole) lens cover allowing use during the day. But from experience, they just don't work well in daylight. The ATN uses an aperture too, but the hole is about 1/2 inch in diameter. They work well, once you figure out the software which is still a hit and miss.

There are thermals which you can use during the day, but they cost as much as a small car. The Top-Line Flir, is just under $14,000. Having used one, no one can believe how good they are, day or night.

If night vision scopes have a drawback, it is its weight. Some weigh in at over 4 pounds. The ATN 4K is 2.3 pounds.
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caniborrowsomeammo

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Re: Recommendations for night scope
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2020, 03:58:42 PM »
I have the 4K Pro 3-14. Still learning it.
Battery life is claimed to be 12 hours, I've been using it 30 minutes a day/night  for about 2 weeks now and finally charged it. Probably could have waited but I don't like Li-Ion to get too far discharged.
I'm switching between a 940 Nm and 850 Nm IR, both from Amazon ~ $25 each and think the 940 is better at closer ranges < 50 yards, but the 850 reaches out better<120 yards.  I am not using the included IR (850) from ATN as it uses expensive C123 batteries and the Amazon lights use 18650 rechargeables and even switching between IR's I have already had to charge both. Reviews of the ATN IR claim maybe 200 yards, but for me and my little 22 Mrod I don't bother.
Comparing the 4K to my old ATN 350 NV is night and day in the darkness. I have run out of vermin here.
During the day the scope does not compare to a glass optic, it is good, but you are still looking through a camera lens. On the 3-14 it seems to help to put on a scope cover with a 3/8" hole in the center.
I really like the fact that I can wi-fi to my phone to check video and also change settings if need be.
Buncha BB guns that I don't get to shoot as much as I like. Grinding out a living on the farm.

Alan

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Re: Recommendations for night scope
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2020, 04:47:18 PM »
Welcome back!

Your comments are about the same as mine. The ATN is a-ok for what it is, but if you want excellent night time viewing, spend the buck and get a good thermal. All said, I do not want to taint anyone's view, but the truth is, if you want a DAYTIME scope, use an optical one. If you want a good NIGHTTIME scope, then spend the bucks needed to get a really decent thermal. Personally, I wouldn't recommend the ATN (anything) scope, but heir cheap thermal is passible for an airgun—barely!

The best on the market are the Flir series, but the cheapest one, at about $4,000, is at least 25 times better than anything ATN has. You just have to decide what you're willing to pay for.
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Steelhead

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Re: Recommendations for night scope
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2020, 04:47:40 PM »
Thanks for the input. Range isn't going to be a big factor as I'm anticipating working from 50 yards in. What I'm interested in doing is setting up my ground blind in a nice location on the family dairy and go to town on the rodents. I'm fairly certain that while not infested (although there were years when I was a kid that rats were biblical there) it should still be a target rich environment, especially with a well chosen blind location. By using the blind I can stay comfortable, sit or move around a bit, use my phone or a small light, etc...all with ease. It's a nice option (the blind) and I can always use it as a base/storage and change positions.

I'm thinking of setting up a gun with the ATN. More than likely the FX .25 Streamline. The reliability and familiarity makes it more appealing than the Raptor. If I get my .22 and .25 barrels from Travis it may be a different story, but right now my choices are .177 or the .30 (which is what it's set up for now) I really like the Hawke Sidewinder on it now and I don't want to change that, and for where I'll be shooting the .30 is bit too much power.

Appreciate everybody's advice. Helping me to make a better decision.
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Loren

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Re: Recommendations for night scope
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2020, 05:32:25 PM »
I looked at night scopes and it looked like it meant a rifle dedicated to night hunting.  Like Alan said a day scope means optical, night means thermal.

My fix was cheap solar yard lamps.  Lets me use the optical scope with no problems. 

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Gerard

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Re: Recommendations for night scope
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2020, 06:17:31 PM »
No recommendation, rather something to avoid - I bought a Torrey Pines (since re-branded as Sector Optics) thermal T20 for about $1,000 Canadian. I won't be selling it, as it wouldn't likely fetch much more than half what I paid, but I was pretty thoroughly disappointed. What I'd really been waiting for was their T25. Was in a protracted email conversation with one of their reps about features, refinements as they brought it close to market, then at the last minute they pulled the project and instead went with a sort of hybrid optical scope plugin wind meter thingy. UGLY as heck and about triple the money, with features I would never want. The T25 had reached market ready prototype stage and offered 3-8x optical zoom with a higher resolution screen for precision reticle adjustments. The T20 is nice for looking at stuff. A decent spotter. But comes to scope use it's almost entirely useless. At least 20MOA off. I can't zero on a rat's head reliably. And that was my only use for the thing. With the T20's low-res screen I might miss by 2" either way at 10 yards and won't know it until I miss and the rat gets away.

So it's back to the bulky ratting rig - a Carson NV200 infrared monocular which cost about $125 Canadian, which I modified to move the infrared emitter quite high above a 4x scope and put inside a 3/4" tube with a lens up front to focus the beam. Also added a 3x AA battery pack outside it as the thing was burning through the more expensive AAA batteries like crazy. Besides bulk, the main drawback with infrared is that rats can easily see the red glow of the LED. It's like a scary dull red eye looking right at them, leaving me up to maybe 5 seconds to acquire a rat brain in the crosshairs and let a pellet fly. After that they're gone, rats being neophobic - anything weird is a possible threat and I won't see that one again for a while. I've become pretty good at getting a shot off in 3 seconds or less but the high scope-over-bore makes it challenging to remember the various holdovers at very close range. Anything from 2" at 2 yards through 1" at 7 yards then zero at 15 yards. Beyond that I don't usually take a shot, as I'm using a very quiet sub-500fps .177", not very effective at longer range. The thermal mounted much closer to the bore offering much easier holdovers... dang I wish that had worked out. But having missed a half dozen rats inside 10 yards I just can't justify trying any longer with the T20. Besides which, it has a nifty 'feature' which Torrey Pines won't talk to me about. The reticle zero randomly changes. Stays on for a random period, then is suddenly a few clicks off and I have to re-zero on a hot target.

So the T20 gets to live on my 9mm PCC, atop the optical scope as a backup spotter. I have an older T15 which is adequate for spotting rats around the yard prior to setting up a shot, so no need for the narrower field of view with the T20. As spotters though, these things are decent. Not the level of imaging you'll get from a FLIR but nowhere near the price either. And the pest can't see that it's being watched.
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caniborrowsomeammo

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Re: Recommendations for night scope
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2020, 07:11:20 PM »
Alan, thank you for the welcome. I'll try and get on more often but life changes things. Waiting for this Plandenium to get over and hit the trap range.
I have a little over 7 Benjamins in this scope. I kill rats and mice mainly, possums and a few coons a year here. Sure it's not a Flir, but I don't need to, nor can I hunt at night for song dogs or pig. I do know the yotes are getting closer but AFAIK they haven't crossed the drainage channel west of me.
So far, in my limited experience, for the price, it will bring me many many many hours of vermin elimination as had the MK350 that I have been using for the past 4-5 years. I would still be using it but I wanted to video my shots as my barrel is giving me fits unless I run a snake through it every mag.
When I'm comfortable that the 4K Pro hasn't any bugs I will put the MK350 up for sale as I only keep 1 gun for night shooting.
Buncha BB guns that I don't get to shoot as much as I like. Grinding out a living on the farm.

Steelhead

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Re: Recommendations for night scope
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2020, 06:16:37 AM »
The best point I picked up in this thread is basically having a gun set up for night hunting only. The sacrifice of quality glass in the daytime isn't worth having the same gun for both. I'm sure it can and it is done, but that compromise isn't suited for me.

The fact that one 'should' keep a dedicated gun for night hunting changes the way I'm approaching this purchase. I'm fine with the one-gun-for-nighttime setup, but it definitely influences my decision on what to buy and which gun to put it on.
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steveoh

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Re: Recommendations for night scope
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2020, 09:22:05 AM »
The best point I picked up in this thread is basically having a gun set up for night hunting only. The sacrifice of quality glass in the daytime isn't worth having the same gun for both. I'm sure it can and it is done, but that compromise isn't suited for me.

The fact that one 'should' keep a dedicated gun for night hunting changes the way I'm approaching this purchase. I'm fine with the one-gun-for-nighttime setup, but it definitely influences my decision on what to buy and which gun to put it on.

My Marauder is set up as my night / rat gun. The ATN X-Sight is pretty heavy when you include the essential external battery, and I hate having to switch out scopes. The Marauder is consistently accurate, and is pretty quiet. Let me shoot some daytime video as I find it reasonable as a day shooter. Yep you are looking at a miniature tv screen and so you should not expect a clear clean scope view you’d get with a quality lens optic only.

Occasionally the ATN freezes up, or the Point Of Aim mysteriously changes. I think that sometimes I turn it on and start shooting before everything, including date, and perhaps sight in info has completely loaded. Strange but I have no other explanation. I now will turn on before an anticipated rat shoot and check to make sure it’s still sighted in.

I love this scope, especially when I have my outside IR lights set up and on. Then I don’t need the battery powered light attached to the scope.

Wife fussed at me about all my shooting / rat feed stations, so I took them all down but one. Took down my lights but I’m fixing set one back up nice and high so I can light up a larger section of yard.

Currently I have at minimum four or five rats showing up. Waited last night for another double but the rats are skittish at 10pm. Later they show up and hang around for a minute or two, or until big daddy rat shows up and reminds them who the boss is. For some reason I am reluctant to kill them off. I guess I’d like a steady number of rat clientele for the summer. Get them fat, provide an abundance of food so they mate like rabbits.  ;D

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screwwork

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Re: Recommendations for night scope
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2020, 05:01:51 PM »
Hi Kevin,
I like the ATN X-sight 4K Pro 3-14 NV scope, I had the older X-Sight and always had to have an external battery for it or at least ready to use at least for longer night hunts. If you set up your shooting bench it would be so bad and have a place to hang the battery. My shooting distance was in the less than 20yards and on a 1720T set up just for ratting.. Super stupid quiet and accurate.  I ended up selling the 1720T and X-sight scope and still have the 4K Pro scope for other adventures in the future. If you have time, you can wait for some refurb scopes to come on sale and get them at a discounted price and save some $$$.  Steve brings up great points about looking at a screen and not as clear & clean lines as a standard scope. I had the same with the X-sight of losing zero occasionally, I haven't seen that with the X-sight Pro. Check out some videos of the  ATN X-sight4K Pro NV, they are pretty good IMO.
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screwwork

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Re: Recommendations for night scope
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2020, 07:47:26 PM »
ATN has some refurbished scopes again. Check em out.

https://www.atncorp.com/ref-x-sight4k-pro-day-night-rifle-scope-3-14x
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caniborrowsomeammo

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Re: Recommendations for night scope
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2020, 08:51:19 PM »
$100 less than what I paid for a new one. I see they say 2 year warranty like a new one.
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Alan

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Re: Recommendations for night scope
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2020, 03:47:56 AM »
They say they do, but my hunting partner has been waiting for nearly 8 weeks, and he has yet to get a ship notice, even though he paid for it up front!
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