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Posted: 3/20/2005 10:46:16 AM EDT
I started a thread a couple of weeks ago about picking suitable NVD's. I Got a lot of good help from you folks.

I have decided that I cannot afford second and third gen NVD's.

I am in the first gen catagory,$650 or less. I'm looking at the Yukon, and the vietnam era gen 1 from CDNN, and several others.

What do you guys recommend for a durable,versatile,$500 or $600 dollar NVD ??? Anyone have any first hand experience??? I thought maybe some of you guys have experimented with the cheaper scopes. Are any of the NVD's so crappy that I should avoid them??? Should I avoid any particular companies???

Link Posted: 3/20/2005 12:52:07 PM EDT
I just purchased a Yukon 2.5 X 42 Tactical first generation, when it gets here, I will post a review of it.
Link Posted: 3/20/2005 2:44:45 PM EDT
Artifex, that would great.Let me know how it works.
I'm wondering how many people own NVD's??? My guess is 90% of the AR guys have no night vis. They probably have eotechs,red dots,etc.

I want to compile a list of all NVD's under $650 and compare them. It would benefit a lot of people like me who do not know a great deal about night vis and are making their first purchase.
Link Posted: 3/21/2005 12:50:54 PM EDT
Hey trustjesus, did you get my email?
AMXJavelin73@msn.com
Chuck
Link Posted: 3/21/2005 1:38:43 PM EDT
Yes sir ...I did get the e-mail. Thanks for the offer.
Link Posted: 3/23/2005 8:10:20 AM EDT
My Yukon is getting delivered sometime today. I can't wait to get home from work. Unfortunately, I know that since no one was home, there will be a yellow note on the door, and hopefully it will be back at the UPS office by the time I get there to pick it up.

The good news is that I have a 3 day weekend to goof around with it and try it out. No nocturnal pest in my neighborhood will be safe.

Though more than likely, the majority of use this thing will get is nighttime aluminum can extermination.

I will post pics and performance notes this weekend.
Link Posted: 3/23/2005 8:55:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/23/2005 8:55:29 AM EDT by CSGunWorkscom]
Link Posted: 3/23/2005 12:14:00 PM EDT
I have it here in my hands!

I haven't put batteries in it yet because it was sitting on my porch when I got home and the manual says to let it sit for 5 hours when coming from a cold to a warm environment so condensation on the circutry doesn't cause any problems.

It mounted easily enough, it's a wide rail like a weaver or picatinny, but doesn't use the cross-slots. Instead, it tightens on like a tip-off mount. Makes it convenient because it fits all rails then.

When it gets dark tonight, I'm going to slip batteries in it and try it out. I can't wait.

If I get images as clear as those, I'll be a happy camper.
Link Posted: 3/23/2005 12:36:08 PM EDT
Much interest in more reviews and pics!
Link Posted: 3/23/2005 12:37:40 PM EDT
Artifex, I share in your enthusiasm...cant wait for first hand reviews.

Link Posted: 3/23/2005 12:39:52 PM EDT
Hey Mike at CS Gunworks, I only see Bushnell NVD's on your website...where's the prices and pictures of the Yukon stuff???
I'm thinking about getting one.
Link Posted: 3/23/2005 1:11:25 PM EDT
Here's a tease:

Link Posted: 3/23/2005 2:45:27 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/23/2005 6:57:02 PM EDT
Ok, I finally got back home and got to try this thing out.

The following images are taken of the park down the street from my house at 10:30 at night on a very overcast, cloudy night. Distance is approximately 200 yds.





It's more difficult to get the true scene through the lens with a camera. It really is clearer looking through with the naked eye.

I'm also going to try to get some shots of common items at close ranges against a dark backdrop when the snow melts...
Link Posted: 3/24/2005 10:08:09 AM EDT
I took the NV unit into work today and tried it out in a dark conference room. the room is 30' by 50' and the only illumination comes from 3 red exit signs. With the naked eye, visibility is about 6'

Using the Yukon scope without IR, I was just barely able to resolve a coffee cup at 50' (from one corner of the room to the other - approx 58')

Using the IR, details came into a lot sharper focus. Too bad the IR makes a red glow. I had an old soviet unit once and the IR didn't make any visible light at all. I'll have to look for a pure IR add-on illuminator if I want total invisibility.

Still haven't had the chance to shoot it yet. Maybe tonight...

It's a cool unit, I'm still undecided on 1st generation NV optics, whether or not they're worth the expense, but 2nd generation is still a little out of my ballpark price-wise. This one does everything they say it does, no doubts about that.

Link Posted: 3/24/2005 3:05:29 PM EDT
Artifex,
Thanks for the wealth of information.It appears that you are happy with the Yukon.
I'm interested in hearing your thoughts after you have shot with it. I dont know of a better Gen1 NVD in this price range. I think I have seen 2 or 3 of them...I dont think one is any better than another. Keep us posted !!!!!
Link Posted: 3/24/2005 3:10:09 PM EDT
Try the thing out in total darkness on an overcast night(no moonlight), see what the view looks like at 100 or 200 yards. Thats the big test. Lights always skew the image...there may be a time when you have no ambient light.
Link Posted: 3/25/2005 4:56:13 AM EDT
Results from last night:

Last night, though it was a full moon, it was very hazy and overcast here, so ambient skylight was limited to some city-glow off the clouds (from the lights of a large shopping center parking lot about a mile and a half away.

Since I live in a neighborhood, there are porchlights and streetlights that add to the ambient lighting, so I found the darkest place in my yard where I could shoot in a safe direction, set up a soda can in front of an old telephone book (great for absorbing .22 rounds) and a bail of straw (that has been behind my garage since halloween when I used it for decorations), behind that for added security. My line of sight beyond the target showed me no houses or anything that would react poorly to being struck by a bullet, but .22 rounds zinging around a neighborhood are always a bad idea - so I err on the side of safety.


The rifle was sighted in earlier in my basement at 30 feet to strike about 3/4" low. Experience has taught me that this should put me about dead-on at 50 ft.

The rifle was loaded with S&K subsonic hollowpoints.

In order to get 50 feet between myself and the target, I had to lie in a relatively exposed area of my front yard, but it was dark enough that I would escape notice as long as no cars pulled down the street.

At 50 feet, it was dark enough that I could make out the bail of straw with the naked eye, but the soda can and phone book were invisible.

I was almost sure I'd need the infrared to do the trick. When I turned the unit on and lifted the cap though, the can came into sharp, bright focus and I had no trouble putting a few rounds into it, without the need for additional IR illumination.

All in all I'm very happy with it. It has its limitations, being 1st generation, but for my purposes, it will do well enough.

The built-in illuminator does emit a red glow that I don't really care for, so I'm looking for a coherent IR only illuminator of some sort to clamp onto one of the rails.


Mike at CS, do you know of such a unit that you could recommend? An illuminator that doesn't emit any visible light or glow?

Link Posted: 3/25/2005 9:32:50 AM EDT
Tag.

The no NV and NV pics in the park are very helpful, thanks for posting them!
Link Posted: 3/25/2005 12:47:45 PM EDT
Sounds like a fine nvd. Should be suitable for basic home defense.
Link Posted: 3/25/2005 6:41:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/25/2005 6:44:01 PM EDT by Balisong]
Thanks for the reviews Artifex!

Sounds like a pretty good unit for the money.


ETA: Any chance we can get a pic of your rifle with the scope on it? From the one on CSGunworks page, it looks like it doesn't leave enough room for eye relief.
Link Posted: 3/26/2005 9:35:40 AM EDT
Yeah, that was it above

Link Posted: 3/26/2005 10:19:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/26/2005 10:20:13 AM EDT by CSGunWorkscom]
Link Posted: 3/26/2005 2:53:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Artifex:
Yeah, that was it above

www.artifex.ws/images/nosferatu.jpg




Wow, how do you shoot that? Maybe it's just the angle of the pic, but it looks like the scope sits waaay back!
Link Posted: 3/26/2005 5:54:37 PM EDT
Mike, Feel free to use that pic, I've just been updating my website with more pics. I need to take even more tomorrow to add. If there are any particular angles or views you would like to see, let me know. I'm working on my girlfriend to get a pic of her scantily clad with it... but she's not fully willing yet

Check this out though:


I have nicknamed this rifle "Nosferatu" because it seemed fitting; silent, deadly, can see in the dark...

To answer some questions, the scope does sit far back, but it needs to in order for you to get your eye tight up into the rubber eyecup where it belongs.

Here are some more "in action" pics.

This is an image of a soda can on a breakwall 50 feet away on a dark night to the naked eye:



Here is the same view through the yukon WITHOUT IR:



The reticle looks blurry here, in real life it is not doubled like that. The camera just had a hard time getting the image. You can plainly see the can here, but the view was actually better in real life.

Here is the same view with the Illuminator turned on:



The honeycomb filter on the IR would be beneficial, but I'm sure someone has to make a totally invisible IR illuminator. Depends on the cost as well though...

Link Posted: 3/27/2005 9:09:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/27/2005 4:47:24 PM EDT by Artifex]
Another pic:




CHECK THIS OUT lots of new updates


This building was about 100 feet away



These docks were about 50 yards away

Link Posted: 3/27/2005 10:36:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/27/2005 10:49:00 AM EDT by Victor]
Artifex,

You might be interested in this pure IR illuminator. www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=7&f=23&t=262113
VERY difficult to make a dedicated IR LED unit without the faint red glow for a fair price. You can't see the faint glow (naked eye) except for straight on and no more than 30 yards. Hope this might help you. I found this unit to be one of the best IR units out there thus far.
Link Posted: 3/28/2005 4:16:02 PM EDT
Artifex,
Can you tell me if the yukon has any magnification? Also,can the yukon be used like a regular scope during the daytime...much like an Eotech would be used??
Link Posted: 3/28/2005 6:11:35 PM EDT
Magnification is 2.5X

Can be used in the daytime with filter in place...but it's nothing like an eotech in the daytime... It's pretty much limited to dark use. But it is great for that!
Link Posted: 3/28/2005 7:44:27 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/28/2005 8:23:09 PM EDT
Ok, it's midnight in northwest ohio. It's nice to be able to conduct little experiments without bothering anyone...or summoning the police. Sound suppressors, by the way, are WELL worth the paperwork, wait, and $200 if you live in a silencer friendly state.

It's dark out...not a lot of streetlights...about 3/4 moon.

At 50 feet the 8" black "dirty bird" target was invisible to the naked eye and plainly visible through the Yukon. In fact, so visible that it wasn't difficult to put 3 rounds through the dime-sized white dot in the center without using the IR.

At 100 feet, I could see it, and hit it, just as well. I have a small yard, so couldn't test a greater distance yet. I'm starting to appreciate the capabilities of this unit. I was skeptical about first gen..but for a .22, it's the perfect thing.

Link Posted: 3/29/2005 9:34:12 AM EDT
Art - could this unit be used at say 300 yrds with much effectiveness?

Also, when you talk about faint glow - what exactly are you saying? Are you saying that if someone was glassing an area you would be easily spotted?

If you could, would you set your unit up and then step back 50 - 100 yrds and glass your unit? How noticable is it with just glass and then how noticable is it with glass and IR filters?

TIA
Link Posted: 3/29/2005 10:15:08 AM EDT
I think 300 would be a stretch for this particular unit unless there were some type of illumination in the target area - even then... that would be pushing it I think.

When the unit is on, it is invisible unless you activate the IR illuminator. (I put black tape over the red and green LED's on the back of the unit)

When the illuminator is turned on however, it stands out like a sore thumb - within a few degrees arch of the target area. Standing to the side you can't see anything, but directly in front of the unit you might as well be looking into a maglight with a red filter.

Any other NVD's in the area would definately be able to see the IR illuminator when turned on and trace it back to its point of origin.

Link Posted: 3/29/2005 1:10:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2005 1:11:58 PM EDT by Face_N_The_Crowd]
Thank you.

So what do you feel is the range that you could detect (resolve well enough to confirm) a paper plate sized object on a black night without IR?
Link Posted: 3/29/2005 2:40:02 PM EDT
Artifex,
Great info. I am not wild about the IR illuminator creating so much red light...but I suppose all 1st gen NVD's will have this issue.
I was hoping to compare the Yukon with some of the other $500.00 NVD's. Anybody ever used any others such as the old AN/PVS-2 or the ones by Aurora ,Stano, American Technologies,etc.
Appreciate any advice!!
Link Posted: 3/29/2005 2:58:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2005 5:25:18 PM EDT by Victor]

Originally Posted By trustjesus:
Artifex,
Great info. I am not wild about the IR illuminator creating so much red light...but I suppose all 1st gen NVD's will have this issue.
I was hoping to compare the Yukon with some of the other $500.00 NVD's. Anybody ever used any others such as the old AN/PVS-2 or the ones by Aurora ,Stano, American Technologies,etc.
Appreciate any advice!!



I must interject a bit here by stating IR illuminators (the high end ones at least) do NOT "create so much red light" and "might as well be looking into a mag light with a red filter", this is a bit of an exaggeration I hope? Never looked at a real cheap IR light, but I would assume they are very low power and the red glow would be even dimmer next to a high power unit?? I guess its a subjective thing on where and what someone might be targeting, but we are talking about a VERY dim glow that is ONLY seen head on AND from 50m or so naked eye. A deg or two off center, there is NO visible glow. We have used IR illuminators in the LE arena for *special* circumstances for several years now and we realize the small visible naked eye threat they pose. We also realize ANY IR type device will be seen as "hey here I am" to the bad guys if they are employing a NVD as well.

Just my 2cts worth on the "so much red light issue." Take care.
Link Posted: 3/29/2005 4:43:34 PM EDT
Victor,
I like your $179 IR iluminator. I may be contacting you about buying one.

IR ilum's are another area of research!!!
Link Posted: 3/29/2005 4:45:42 PM EDT
Sure would like to hear about some other brands of NVD's.

First hand accounts are very informative.
Link Posted: 3/29/2005 4:54:44 PM EDT
I wonder how well the NVD's hold up to repeated shooting over time and how the flash effects them.

I'm thinking the muzzle flash and the shock from shooting is tough on them...NVD's just seem kind of delicate. Maybe I'm wrong...I hope I'm wrong!!
Link Posted: 3/29/2005 5:23:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By trustjesus:
I wonder how well the NVD's hold up to repeated shooting over time and how the flash effects them.

I'm thinking the muzzle flash and the shock from shooting is tough on them...NVD's just seem kind of delicate. Maybe I'm wrong...I hope I'm wrong!!



Actually most modern rifle scoped NVD's stand up quite well to moderate recoil. In fact, most rifle scoped NVD's are tested for recoil, they are made for this purpose, The Raptor 6x is actually made for a .50 cal and all units are QA test fired before they go out for sale. The PVS-14's type hand held units do fine on .223 or less (their not just used for hand viewing any longer), but folk are well advised that these units were not meant for heavy recoiled rifles even though most all of the 14 line come with a weapon mount.

As for the flash, most units come with a auto dimmer type to compensate for sudden flashes. Once again, most folk are well advised to install a Vortex type flash hider, these work incredibly well. Hope this helps.
Link Posted: 3/29/2005 5:23:43 PM EDT
Tagged.
Link Posted: 3/29/2005 7:11:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Victor:

Originally Posted By trustjesus:
I wonder how well the NVD's hold up to repeated shooting over time and how the flash effects them.

I'm thinking the muzzle flash and the shock from shooting is tough on them...NVD's just seem kind of delicate. Maybe I'm wrong...I hope I'm wrong!!



Actually most modern rifle scoped NVD's stand up quite well to moderate recoil. In fact, most rifle scoped NVD's are tested for recoil, they are made for this purpose, The Raptor 6x is actually made for a .50 cal and all units are QA test fired before they go out for sale. The PVS-14's type hand held units do fine on .223 or less (their not just used for hand viewing any longer), but folk are well advised that these units were not meant for heavy recoiled rifles even though most all of the 14 line come with a weapon mount.

As for the flash, most units come with a auto dimmer type to compensate for sudden flashes. Once again, most folk are well advised to install a Vortex type flash hider, these work incredibly well. Hope this helps.




So, how much the Yukon holds on a .308 like an AR-10 or similar? Any tests on that?

Link Posted: 3/30/2005 1:09:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/30/2005 4:07:55 AM EDT by Artifex]
The truth is that the IR illuminator on the Yukon is as I've described it - very noticeable. A few degrees offcenter it is invisible, maybe just a bit of reh haze from close up, but if you're directly downrange looking into the IR at say...50 feet... it is a bright red beacon saying "here I am."

Luckily, I have found that I don't need to use the IR on the yukon much.

This is a scope for varmint hunting or nighttime plinking - not tactical use unless you know you won't be using the IR, because it's a dead giveaway.

I had an old Soviet PN-3 once that I bought for about 180 bucks, the built in IR illuminator on that WAS invisible...don't know why they can't replicate that on modern units....

I haven't really got any plans to mount this on a .308 to try it out, but this unit appears robust enough to tolerate the recoil.

Video of the NV in action coming later today...
Link Posted: 3/30/2005 4:03:27 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/30/2005 6:06:01 AM EDT
Victor,
I agree on the Vortex FH...I have one on my M4gery...works great!!
Link Posted: 3/30/2005 6:08:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Artifex:
The truth is that the IR illuminator on the Yukon is as I've described it - very noticeable. A few degrees offcenter it is invisible, maybe just a bit of reh haze from close up, but if you're directly downrange looking into the IR at say...50 feet... it is a bright red beacon saying "here I am."

Luckily, I have found that I don't need to use the IR on the yukon much.

This is a scope for varmint hunting or nighttime plinking - not tactical use unless you know you won't be using the IR, because it's a dead giveaway.

I had an old Soviet PN-3 once that I bought for about 180 bucks, the built in IR illuminator on that WAS invisible...don't know why they can't replicate that on modern units....

I haven't really got any plans to mount this on a .308 to try it out, but this unit appears robust enough to tolerate the recoil.

Video of the NV in action coming later today...



The soviet PN-3 you talked about..What was the IR source btw? LED, bulb,etc? Thanks
What was the range? Thanks,

Vic
Link Posted: 3/30/2005 7:19:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/30/2005 9:02:12 AM EDT by Artifex]
the PN-3 was in a hammered-steel body that looked like an old super-8 movie camera and was quite heavy.

There were 2 lenses, the objective and the IR illuminator just beneath it. I don't know exactly what light source was used, but I know that in a pitch black room you couldn't see any light with the naked eye, but it lit up the room great for looking through the scope.

Range was very limited, but I'd say the IR would illuminate out to about 50 yards well enough, it could be focused from flood to spot.

Based on everything I can find, the illuminator was the PN-3's only real strong point.


Link Posted: 3/30/2005 9:11:49 AM EDT
PN-3 =



the top lens is the pbjective lens of the scope, the one beneath is the lens for the illuminator.
Link Posted: 3/30/2005 6:42:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/30/2005 6:42:37 PM EDT by Victor]

Originally Posted By Artifex:
PN-3 =

www.artifex.ws/images/pn3.jpg

the top lens is the pbjective lens of the scope, the one beneath is the lens for the illuminator.



Thanks Artifex, NEVER seen one of these before....Looks like an "oldie but goodie!"
Link Posted: 3/31/2005 2:30:13 AM EDT
Did some testing on the illuminator last night. It can't be seen from the left side of the rifle because it is blocked by the scope.

On the right side of the rifle, some glow can be seen from nearly all angles.

At a distance of 50 yards, looking straight at the rifle, you can tell there's a red light shining at you. It isn't quite as bright as a mini-mag light, as I said earlier, but it would definately be bright enough to attract attention if you were somewhere very dark where any light would stand out at a distance... or in a relatively close-quarters situation.

As for the practical illumination distance of the illuminator, it provides additional advantage up to about 50 yards under conditions with some ambient light. Under total darkness, (which unfortunately I haven't found anywhere locally yet) it may be beneficial at longer ranges.

really... this is only a problem if your game is shooting back though. For varminting or pest control, the light this thing puts out shouldn't be a problem at all.
Link Posted: 3/31/2005 9:20:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Artifex:
Did some testing on the illuminator last night. It can't be seen from the left side of the rifle because it is blocked by the scope.

On the right side of the rifle, some glow can be seen from nearly all angles.

At a distance of 50 yards, looking straight at the rifle, you can tell there's a red light shining at you. It isn't quite as bright as a mini-mag light, as I said earlier, but it would definately be bright enough to attract attention if you were somewhere very dark where any light would stand out at a distance... or in a relatively close-quarters situation.

As for the practical illumination distance of the illuminator, it provides additional advantage up to about 50 yards under conditions with some ambient light. Under total darkness, (which unfortunately I haven't found anywhere locally yet) it may be beneficial at longer ranges.

really... this is only a problem if your game is shooting back though. For varminting or pest control, the light this thing puts out shouldn't be a problem at all.



Hmmm, very strange you can see the glow at all angles. They must use a very diferent reflector. Thanks
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