Hunting and shooting is not an easy hobby. Some animals get out of their shelters only at night. Hence for such animals you need only the best night vision rifle scopes. Also, some additional features and characteristics in your scope that can help you hunt and aim well in the dark.

For the military, sometimes it is important to stay vigilant during low light conditions, hence the scopes mentioned in this article work well for them as well. The basic principle on which a night vision scope works is that it takes and absorbs all the light from your surroundings and then enhances it according to its enhancing capability to help you see better.

Some night vision scopes can even detect and absorb infrared light (a type of light which is invisible to humans) and then the scope brightens or enhances it to help your vision. Let us see what else you have to know about night vision scopes.

Best Night Vision Rifle Scope In 2020

Given below are some of the best and most efficient night vision scopes. They have the features from an illuminated reticle to best quality glass. Read the review of each and every scope very carefully. All the necessary characteristics, pros and cons of each scope are mentioned.


This is a perfect scope for you, whether you are a hunter, a military person or just a shooter. It is a very compact and easy to handle scope.It uses advanced digital reticle technology instead of turrets. Hence this new technology makes it fast and a very easy to use scope.

This does not stop just here; the reticle is available in six options, red, white, green etc. With a powerful magnification of 42x and great quality of optics and glasses, clarity is one thing that is not compromised in this scope. It has an inbuilt illuminator which makes it perfect for hunting and shooting in low light conditions, it also delivers a detection range of 120m.

It can record video, since it has an amazing feature of video recording. Videos can be recorded at both night and day time. This scope has a digital interface which provides data on height elevation, wind speed and direction and also there are certain adjustments present which are needed for an accurate shot.


  • Long battery life
  • Night and day use
  • Long eye relief
  • Fully weather resistant (water proof and shock proof)
  • Excellent medium range scope


  • Some units are not very well constructed
  • Scope rings are not included
  • The lens cap is easy to lose


This is one of the best night vision scope with enhanced optics and a good magnification power of 2.5×50. The outer body of this scope is made from an alloy of titanium which gives it an attractive appearance. Optics are fully multi coated with an objective lens of diameter 50mm, which helps this scope to work flawlessly in low light conditions.

The battery life of this scope is about 20 hours with the reticle switched on and about 50 hours when the reticle is switched off. The best uses of this scope are total darkness hunting, NV hunting, target shooting and tactical use. Reticle is illuminated and is red duplex; it is also equipped with adjustable brightness that can cope up with any situation.

The outer body of this scope is very durable since it is made up from titanium. It has ergonomic design which means that it is extremely user friendly. The shape of this scope is very unique and the small size makes it very easy to mount it.


  • Affordable 
  • Compact
  • Long lasting battery life
  • Quick detach weaver 


  • Some sighting in issues can be seen
  • Possible black specks on inside lens
  • Less magnification


This is one of the best night vision scope mentioned in this article because it has all the modern technology. It is equipped with GPS tracking which is very helpful if you are hunting in an unknown environment. This scope can record your videos and even geo tag your location so that you know where you were shooting or hunting.

The best uses of this scope are NV hunting, day hunting, target shooting, tactical shooting and total darkness hunting. The illuminated reticle comes in various colors that you can choose according to your preference and choice. The night vision display is available in three colors that are green, black and white.

This rifle scope also has WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity features in it. It is far better than any of your basic scopes since it is equipped with some extra features like HD lens, sensors, displays and smart HD optics. If you are a tech junkie, you will appreciate that you can manage this night vision rifle scope with your profile manager.

Some other striking features of this scope are, it is equipped with a ballistic calculator and a built in laser range finder (this feature can measure and tell you the distance between you and your target at any given time of the day)


  • Affordable
  • Illuminated reticles
  • Multiple digital features


  • Defective scopes
  • Too bright


ATN was founded in 1995 and their products are mainly designed for the military, though it can be used by all hunters and shooters since it has so many features and characteristics. ATN is known for its quality, design and aesthetics. This company is one of the leading manufactures in the field of night vision rifle scopes.

This scope is every shooter’s or hunter’s dream scope because it has some amazing features like thermal imaging, digital night vision technology and its amazing ability to perform at anytime during the day. It is also equipped with the latest smart HD optics. Video recording and storage, everything is possible with this one. Recorded videos are directly transferred to a SD card located on a device and can also be viewed at a later date.

The feature of dual streaming is also available in this scope. You can now record and simultaneously watch it on your smart phone or any other device too. Mounting this scope is a very easy task since all the rings needed to mount this scope are available, three rings are available along with this scope and that are standard, L-shaped and one with a picatinny tail.


  • Long lasting battery life
  • Equipped with additional features like a ballistic calculator, Wi-Fi streaming option and a dual core processor
  • Good magnification range (5x to 20x)
  • Dual streaming feature


  • Two year limited warranty
  • Short range of 300 yards at night time


This rifle scope manufactured by the Night Owl Optics is called the Night Shot and is an excellent and an easy to use scope. Night Owl Optics products are designed and crafted for so many things but this scope is specifically designed to hunt and shoot during the night.

The best feature of this scope is that is it light weight, compact and portable and has a very large field of view. When you use this scope in a large or in an open area, you can identify and spot your target clearly up to 150 yards.

Other night vision scopes don’t have such a large field of view. The mount is built on the optic which allows the unit to sit much more lowly on the bore axis and hence gives a much better balance while performing in the field.

It is also equipped with some small features like a flip up lens cover which protects both the objective lens and the infrared illuminator; also this scope is fully weather resistant. This scopes definitely an all in one deal. This scope is best suited for normal hunting and shooting ranges of around 200 yards.


  • Constructed with engineered thermoplastic
  • Has a built in mount
  • Equipped with accessories like a flip up lens cover
  • Daytime usage will not damage the scope


  • Low battery life (2 hours with IR and 5 hours without IR)


This scope is equipped with a 3x magnification, an eye relief of 45mm, an objective lens of diameter 42mm and a 14 degrees of field of view. It has a generous eye relief and a built in infrared illumination which means that this scope is specifically designed for rifle scopes like AR 15 and AK 47.

A rugged and dependable mount is built in this scope which is set up for fast detach and also it is equipped with easy to adjust incremental reticle brightness controls. This scope can be used for all types of hunting and shooting activities like varmint control etc.

Some other features and characteristics of this scope are that it is extremely light weight and compact since the outer body is made up from titanium which is a very light weight metal. Titanium is also very durable and it gives it an amazing finish.

For beginners, this Night Vision scope is highly recommended, because of its ergonomic design which makes it very easy to use and operate and the intuitive controls mean that there is very little to learn and master while using this scope.


  • Light weight and durable
  • Affordable 
  • High quality image and resolution


  • Issues with the locking mechanism can come up anytime


This night vision scope has the magnification of 6x along with a range of about 200 yards and a bit beyond. Resolution is a standard, which is 480p. In this night vision scope you can switch between the night vision mode and the regular mode just by lifting up your head.

Optics is shock protected and this scope is equipped with flip up back up iron sights. Optics is designed in such a manner that they provide long time or consistent performance even with high recoil weapons. The glass of this scope has several coatings that protect it from any kind of damage or scratches, it also improves light transmission.

These multi coatings improve the night vision ability of the scope. The field of view is about 6.5 degrees, which gives you a lot of space to have a look at your surroundings. Auto brightness controls can be easily adjusted according to your preference.

The reticle type is illuminated center red cross, this type provides you with the best contrast possible during night time conditions. The outer body is made from high quality aircraft grade aluminum, which is completely weather resistant (water proof, shock proof and fog proof).


  • Digital adjustment controls
  • Long battery life
  • Completely waterproof, shockproof and fogproof
  • Optics are shock protected
  • Includes iron sight


  • Not great for daytime use
  • Export of this product is not allowed outside the US


This scope by Bushnell is another night vision scope, with a magnification of 4.5x and an objective lens of diameter 40mm. This scope can be mounted on your rifle or held in your hands the choice is yours.

It has a very wide field of view and you can see up to 250 yards with this scope because of the superior infrared illumination. The illuminator has two brightness settings and it works on AA batteries.

The night vision monocular can capture both images and video. The video feature has a magnification between 1x and 3x, also the quality of both image and video are excellent. The biggest flaw of this scope is that the IR illuminator cannot be altered in video mode or basically the light sensitivity.

The box of this scope has a carrying case in it, which provided great value for money. The monocular is water resistant but not shock proof, so be careful and try not dropping it. Since this scope can be handled by hand, hence you can get much better pictures and videos, since you can set the angle by yourself.


  • Can be hand held
  • Portable
  • Comes with a case and tripod
  • Excellent day and night time clarity


  • The settings cannot be altered in the middle of video recording
  • Battery life is low
  • The monocular is not shock proof

How To Choose The Best Night Vision Rifle Scope?

Here are some points you should keep in mind when you choose a night vision scope:

  • Budget: night vision scopes are a little expensive when compared to other scopes because they have added features. Make a clear budget that suits you before you start shopping.
  • Clarity and Range: mostly the magnification of a night vision scope is 3x and it works perfectly good for shooting up to 200 yards.
  • Reticle: the best type of reticle for night vision scopes is dot or simple duplex. Some new versions of scopes automatically adjust the reticle according to the bullet drop range.

There are four generations of a night vision rifle scope; each of the generations is more technologically advanced than the previous one, hence before buying a new night vision scope you should at least know the basic difference between each generation, let us see the pros and cons of each one of them:

Generation 1

This generation is the most simple and affordable generation. The features in the first generation rifle scopes are very basic and easy to master. This generation was introduced and crafted in the late sixties and works very well for mostly all types of shootings. Basically this generation has the most common technology but it is not that good. Sure, it has some flaws; also it is fairly slow when compared to other generations.


  • Fairly cheap and easy to control
  • Durability is around 1500 hours
  • 75 yards average sight range


  • Low resolution
  • Old technology
  • Short battery life

Generation 2

This generation is just an upgrade of generation 1. The basic difference between generation 1 and generation 2 is that, generation 2 is a little better in quality and is a little more expensive. Talking about technological advancements, generation 2 has some major improvements when compared to generation 1. Some improvements are generation 2 works very well in low light conditions.


  • Great resolution
  • Medium price
  • 4500 hour overall durability
  • Improved micro electronics system
  • 200 yards average sighting range


  • Quality could be improved
  • Average battery life
  • The resolution could be better

Generation 3

Modern day military uses generation 3 scopes simply because of its technological advancement. Generation 3 has some amazing features and controls and is so much better and improved when compared to generation 1 and generation 2. Many parts of generation 3 scopes are made from gallium arsenide which helps in converting photons to electrons on a photocathode. The only downside of this generation is the price; the products are a little expensive, but it gives you all the best features and technology, hence it is surely a good investment.


  • Woks well in all conditions
  • Best resolution
  • Best low light scopes 
  • 10000 hour overall durability
  • Modern day technology
  • 300 yard average site range


  • Most expensive products
  • Many controls and systems

Generation 4

Generation 4 is basically just like generation 3 but it has some additional automated features which it is equipped with. Generation 4 is categorized as filmless generation 3 by the US army. The biggest difference between generation 4 and generation3 is that generation 4 is equipped with an automated power gated sully which is capable of instantly working with any light fluctuations that comes your way. Generation 4 works great in all kinds of environments, surroundings and any type of light condition.


  • Works well light and temperature fluctuations
  • Are equipped with the latest technology and features


  • Expensive products
  • Not readily available


Here are some points which you should consider before buying a night vision scope:

  • Generation: There are four types of generations of night vision scope; generation 1,2,3,4. The first two generations are pretty basic and simple. They are less costly and are very easy to learn and use. The main flaws in them are that they do not have advanced technology and systems. But if you are beginner or a novice or someone who is looking for a bit simple and basic scope, opt for a generation 1 or 2 scopes.

    Coming on to generation 3 and generation 4, they are a little expensive but they sure do have a lot to offer. They have the most advanced technology and are updated with the latest systems. Some even have additional features like video recording, dual streaming, extended battery life etc. hence if you have some money to spend or if you are someone who is looking for a much advanced scope opt for a generation 3 or generation 4 scope.

  • Range and objective lens: Most Night Vision scopes do not have a big magnification range but they should have a considerable range. The range should be according to the availability of light. The more light your scope can gather the better it will perform and the better you will be able to aim. There are four types of recognition range; full moon, quarter, starlight and overcast light range.

    Hence before buying, check what the recognition range of your scope is. The objective lens of your scope should be big in size. It should at least have a diameter of 40mm. anything between 40-50mm diameter is good enough. More the size of your objective lens, more light it will be able to gather and more light means better clarity for you. The objective lens should also have anti reflective coatings, these coatings help to absorb more light and reflect less of it.

  • Weight and weather:  Look for a scope which is lightweight and compact. Compact scopes are easy to handle and control. Before buying the scope make sure to check its weight and other dimensions. Look for an ergonomically designed scope, they are comparatively lightweight and have all the advanced technologies.

    Remember that you are going to hunt in the forest or in some other rough environment, hence your scope has to be weatherproof. It should be waterproof, shockproof and fog proof to give you a good hunting adventure. The outer body should be made of a tough metal or a tough material because some internal parts of your scope are very sensitive, hence they need maximum protection.


Night vision scopes require a lot of things. From an illuminated reticle to a big objective lens, nothing can be less in a night vision rifle scope. The size and diameter of the objective lens matters a lot simply because, the bigger the lens, the more light it allows passing from it and hence the better you will see. Hence the diameter of your objective lens should be at least 40mm. anything between 40mm to 50mm is good. Illuminated reticles also have the same function more or less and that is it helps you see well.

Look for other features like a generous eye relief and exit pupil, a good field of view, high magnification power and easy to control and easily adjustable turrets. Weather resistance is also very important. You are going to use your new scope in rough conditions and maybe sometimes in different temperatures also, hence being waterproof, shock proof and totally fog proof is a must.

For your scope to be fog proof, it should be purged with gases like nitrogen or a combination of argon and nitrogen also works. These gases render the rifle scope totally fog proof. Make a list of your needs and then compare it with the scopes you read about.

Give this article a few more reads if you feel that you still cannot choose a scope. This article has all the information on night vision scopes from the features your night vision scope should have to the price range. It even talks about some of the best scopes out there. External features like the length and weight of your rifle scope also matters. Your rifle scope should be lightweight and compact so that it is easy to handle it. Since you are going to hunt or shoot in an unknown environment being compact and easy to handle is very important.

Look for a warranty also. Since night vision scopes can be a bit of an investment sometimes, it should be backed by a good warranty. The warranty should cover all the internal parts, since the internal parts can be very sensitive sometimes and can be damaged easily. These are some tips and tricks you can use before you buy a new rifle scope.