AR15.Com Archives
 suggestions for night vision scope under $1000
Redman  [Member]
11/22/2002 9:22:55 PM
Well, now that winter is here and it gets dark about 3, most of my shooting will be at night. I have an AR target rifle I would like to equip with an NV scope. I don't know anything about NV scopes except that there is an extremely wide price range. I am not on a swat team. I am just an ordinary target shooter looking for a reasonably priced NV scope that I am going to be happy with and that will allow me to engage targets(balloons)out to 100 yards. Info would be appreciated. thanks
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mr_h  [Member]
11/22/2002 11:11:37 PM
doug, check out this web site; www.nightvisiononline.com you may find more answers and lots of good info there. i can tell you that i had a Cobra(D241) gen2 scope from these guys; www.usnightvision.com it was a great scope for my flat top AR and was close to 1000. scott.
DevL  [Member]
11/23/2002 6:22:26 AM
Any night vision scope that allows you to identify targets past 100 yds is going to cost over 1000 dollars.
Paul  [Team Member]
11/23/2002 10:16:33 AM
Generation I runs about $500 Generation II runs about $1800 Gernertion III runs about $2400 Look at a set of goggles rather than a night vision rifle scope - sucks having to swing a loaded rifle around trying to detect targets. Looking down the tunnel of rifle's scope sucks. Movement is nearly impossible without goggles.
Redman  [Member]
11/23/2002 10:49:02 AM
What do you guys think of these guys: 1. ATN 1st Gen 330? Jim Scoutten had one on Gun-tech on American Shooter 2. I can get a used Aries Gen 2(2 years old)MK6500 for $700 or a used Cobra 2nd Gen D241-M for $850 3. How bout the Osprey from Sportsmen guide for $599?
Paul  [Team Member]
11/23/2002 3:09:58 PM
To amend my first post I have seen the AMT second generation night vision rifle scope for $900 (Sportsmen's Guide). I have a first generation night vision rifle scope made in Canada that I bought in mid-1999 for the Y2K night when the lights would go out and never come back on. I've taken it out to the desert and had some fun with it making some impossible shots in complete darkness. First generation night vision is rough. You can see under star and moon light but there are issues - they're subject to blooming where when you wipe the scope across a street light the display flashes over creating a large green halo around the light. They also have small flaws - mine is pretty flawless but I can see some noise around the edges. Using active IR - as an example a nice Surefire with a $60 IR filter the first generation scopes work well. Mine has a small illuminator which works pretty well out to about 50 feet. The newer first generation scopes are a bit smaller then the older military ones that you often see. Mine is pretty chunky but no where near as big as US or Russian military models. Running on common "AA" or "AAA" batteries is a good thing as they're easy to resupply and a set of rechargeable ones are cheap enough. Mine runs off of "AA" batteries which seem to last forever in use. At this point I wish that I would have spent the extra bucks for a second generation scope - or better yet a set of second generation goggles. But at $900 to $1800 that sight could just as well be a really nice complete rifle.
Redman  [Member]
11/24/2002 12:40:41 PM
What about the Aries MK6000 and 7000 series Second Gen.? I know they are over $1000 but after dong much research I realize I am headed to the $1300-$1500 range. Is this a good line of optics? And as someone suggested, am I better off with goggles than with a scope?
M4Madness  [Member]
11/24/2002 1:28:09 PM
I've owned a 1st generation nightvision riflescope before, and would NOT recommend one to anyone. At least get a 2nd generation. I can't bring myself to buy one since I learned that nightvision devices have a shelf life and will go bad over time regardless of the amount of usage they receive. I cannot convince myself to spend over $1000 on something that will degrade away.
mr_h  [Member]
11/25/2002 1:23:44 PM
i thought the only real limitation on NVD's was the life expectance of the image tube itself. the nitrogen purge may degrade but that doesn't impact the tube performance other than to prevent fogging in humid enviroments. the comment about shelf life can be applied to firearms as well. our beloved AR15 has a life expectancy also, barrel, trigger parts etc. when the NVD fails get it fixed. sure tubes aren't cheap but no one ever said shooting was a cheap hobby. i personally would recommend a night vision device to anyone. IMO it's better to see in total darkness a little or alot for a short period of time than to not see at all forever. we must remember, its dark half of our life. besides look at how much crazyness goes on after hours.
DevL  [Member]
11/26/2002 6:34:10 PM
[quote]Originally Posted By M4Madness: I've owned a 1st generation nightvision riflescope before, and would NOT recommend one to anyone. At least get a 2nd generation. I can't bring myself to buy one since I learned that nightvision devices have a shelf life and will go bad over time regardless of the amount of usage they receive. I cannot convince myself to spend over $1000 on something that will degrade away.[/quote] OK people are still using WWII and Vietnam era NV devises to this day. By the time your tube burns out (decades) it will only require a cheap intensifier tube replacement (couple hundred) because in decades intensifier tubes will be very advanced or obsolete and a new Gen III tube will be the bare minimum you could buy. ITT is already working on a combination night vision / thermal monocular which will blow away all current night vision gear. When your NV finally dies after thousands of hours of use and decades of storage just pick up one of those instead of spending a couple of hundred on what will be an ancient Gen III tube.
M4Madness  [Member]
11/26/2002 8:08:00 PM
I have been led to believe that shelf life is less than a decade. If I am in error, I stand corrected. [;)]
mr_h  [Member]
11/26/2002 9:21:55 PM
i believe you were led astray, i posted the question on the night vision forum and found that some guys have some very old scopes. i too have a NV scope that was made in the early 80's by litton and it's still going strong. the NV/thermal units DevL speeks of will certainly make current gen3 seem like childs toys. there is currently a weapons mountable thermal unit available that is not much larger than a normal day optic, the Elcan SpecterIR.
Redman  [Member]
11/26/2002 9:48:58 PM
How much are we talking on these new NV/Thermal scopes?
mr_h  [Member]
11/26/2002 10:49:04 PM
i don't think civilians will be owning any combo NV/thermal units in the near future. mainly due to the new world we live in. hell, the civilian market can't hardly get a Litton Range, PVS17, PVS10 day/night scope let alone something that is still in design stage and probably classified. we can't even be trusted with paq4's. just get yourself a gen2 or gen3 scope and you'll be steps ahead. a gen2 scope is a good place to start and should run abut $1000. the Cobra D241 was my 1st and was very satisfactory for 100 yard shots but whatever you get just make sure it has an built in IR spot light. gen3 won't need IR assistance. just remember; what you can see with YOUR night vision, someone else can see with thier NVD.
DevL  [Member]
11/27/2002 5:45:21 PM
Hey I did not even know about the Thermal/Night vision combo monocular till I saw it on the Discovery Channel last week! [:P] It is about 50% larger than a PVS14 and has a thermal/NV and combination setting. The thermal sight works as well during the day as it does at night. Now even a ghilie suit wont even work any more.
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