With the explosion of tactical rifles and electronics on firearms, night vision has become something that civilians can now take a part of. What was once a military only piece of hardware, has now become a valuable cost-effective tool in the war against varmint, and especially hogs.
Nothing has been better for civilians who want night vision, than the leaps and bounds made in military technology and advancements in night vision. State-of-the-art equipment is now for sale on the civilian market and purpose made scopes can be had for only a few hundred dollars.
While the vast majority of night vision scopes still cost several thousand dollars, you can pick up a usable night vision scope for hog hunting or predator calling for well under $1000. Here's our pick for the best night vision scope under 1000.
Table of Contents
- Night Vision Scope under $1000 - Table Comparison
- When to Use Night Vision?
- Best Night Vision Scope Under $1000
- 1. Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital Night Vision Riflescope
- 2. Firefield FF16001 NVRS 3x 42mm Gen 1 Night Vision Riflescope
- 3. Sightmark Photon 6.5x50L Digital Night Vision Riflescope
- 4. Firefield FF26014T Tactical Night Vision Rifle Scope with Internal Focusing
- 5. Bushnell 260140MT Night Vision 4.5x 40mm Equinox Z and AR Mount
- Buy Quality Batteries & Have a Spare Set
Night Vision Scope under $1000 - Table Comparison
When to Use Night Vision?
Most guys starting out with night vision are looking for a way to take advantage of game regulations that allow them to hunt species at night. If you are going to be hunting hogs over beat or calling to predators and you have a general idea of where they will be when you see them, night vision will work well.
The rule of thumb for spotting and stalking game at night with electronic equipment is to locate the animals with thermal imaging, and then use night vision to make a shot. Night vision simply doesn’t have the range or clarity to see more than about 150 yards ahead, and you also lose all depth perception when looking through a night vision scope.
Decide whether or not night vision is going to make a good fit for your task, just about everyone can benefit from a night vision scope with infrared laser designator when hunting in low light or no light. For some hunters, it makes more sense to use the more complex and more expensive thermal imaging equipment.
Best Night Vision Scope Under $1000
Sightmark makes dozens of different products in the night vision and thermal readout sector of the optics market. This is their most versatile, and arguably most impressive, product for hunters that plan on using a night vision without having to break the bank.
Rather than make a night vision scope design for a certain rifle or use Sightmark has gone to the trouble of designing a scope that is at home on a crossbow as it is on a long-range rifle. This is the lowest magnification scope they offer in their photon lineup, but it is also the lightest and most user-friendly when it comes to carrying it through the field. You still get crystal-clear optics, very good night vision capability, and all of the features you would expect on a regular rifle scope just with the addition of the ability to see in the dark.
This is really what all other night vision scopes should be. A lightweight, field ready design that packs a ton of different features all of which are highly usable into a package that really makes for an awesome piece of equipment.
If you intend to do some serious hunting with your night vision rifle scope, and plan on shooting from the scope with it mounts on your rifle this best night vision scope for hunting is as good as it gets in the sub $1000 price range.
- Light weight
- Higher magnification
- Better battery life than the competition
Firefield is not known very much outside the night vision portion of the hunting world, but they certainly deserve more attention than they get. They make absolutely bombproof optics for serious hunters that put their gear through serious abuse.
That ruggedness comes with the solid titanium body they manufacture their night vision scopes around. This is no exception and every part of this model is contained within a titanium body that wraps down to an integrated mount that was designed with the AR-15, and other lightweight carbines in mind.
With this scope, you get Gen 1 night vision capability, 3X magnification and a large 42mm objective bell. This is one of the best models designed for lightweight carbine use because the balance in design of the optic lends itself well to being mounted on the flat top receiver of an AR-15.
This scope is one of the cheapest night vision ready optics on the market, that won’t let you down. You could go even cheaper, but you would be left with a product that doesn’t perform nearly as well as this one and be literally in the dark when it comes time to hunt. Every feature you can think of is included, right down to scope caps and an infrared laser designator that works during the day and at night with this best night vision rifle scope for the money. If you need a night vision scope on the absolute cheap, this is your scope.
- Integrated mount
- Older technology
- Not as crisp as others
If you’re going to try to shoot long-range at night, you’re going to need some serious equipment. Sightmark has you covered with this 6.5x50mm night vision scope from their photon series of optics.
This optic comes in a kit ready to mount up with rings, so you are ready to go to the range inside in as soon as you open the box. The site itself is huge, much longer than any conventional optic you may be used to shooting, but that extra length is where the 6.5x magnification comes from. To maintain the quality and integrity of the night vision image, and get magnification, you have to make the tube exceptionally long.
The 50mm objective Bell on the scope puts it pretty far above the bore axis, but it’s nothing that you can compensate for once you do shooting with this night vision scope. You can comfortably shoot out to the edge of an AR-15’s maximum effective range with these, with the scope.
A few extra features like a built-in laser designator allows you to see where you are pointing your muzzle when you look through the scope. This scope is as good as it gets for heart hunting in open areas at night. However, that laser can give you motion sickness if you walk through heavy brush or move the muzzle around too much while looking through the scope.
This scope is optimized for both day and night use with the laser designator and you have the ability to change between six different radical designs without affecting the generation to night vision display. This scope is certainly the inexpensive, but if you need a night vision scope and don’t want to sacrifice your shooting range, this is the only option for under $1000.
- Purpose driven
- High magnification
- Six different reticles
Having magnification is not always a good thing, sometimes you want a plain Jane scope for seeing into heavy brush After Dark. Fire field has you covered with this 2.5x magnification night vision scope that sits well on just about any rifle with a Weaver base.
With this night vision optic, you get an internally focusing mechanism built around a 50mm objective bell, encased in a solid titanium body with a built-in mount. It doesn’t get any simpler than this. The sight itself resembles an overgrown red dot and after a while carry around, you’ll forget it’s there.
If all you want is a working night vision scope to help you see into the night while hunting you’re in luck. This is a bombproof Gen 1 night vision optic made to work with just about every hunting rifle on the market. Many night vision optics are designed around an AR 15 or other lightweight carbine in mind. You run into several problems when you try to shoehorn one of these optics onto a traditional bolt action rifle.
The extended Weaver site base on this excellent night vision scope makes it ideal for a bolt action rifle. If you are going to be targeting hogs or coyotes at long-range with a bolt action gun, this is your night vision scope.
- Designed for a bolt action rifle
- Uses older generation of night vision
There’s no denying Bushnell makes a ton of different products that very few turn out to be bad. When you see Bushnell optics everywhere from high-end military units to the shelves of big-box stores, it becomes hard to question why they become so ubiquitous.
This is their best offering may have for the night vision segment of the optics industry, made specifically for the AR 15 rifle. If you are using your night vision equipment to hunt hogs and do predator control on your property, using an AR 15 is becoming more and more common in this optic is good to go on any lightweight carbine of the sort.
You get a standard 4.5x power magnification from this site, and a lightweight and small body that is a joy to carry around in the field. Especially at night when you will be trudging through woods you need to be careful of snagging your weapon on any brush in your way, the lightweight and compact design of the scope doesn’t go unnoticed when you get out and actually use it. Other than decent night vision capability and low back vocation there isn’t anything else you should know about this scope, it’s a high-value tool to get the job done.
Driving home the value of this unit even more is the integrated mount ready to go on any pick any rail. A huge advantage saving you up to $100 over the cost of a competitor’s scope and mount combination. All you have to do is pop this best night vision scope for ar-15 on your flattop receiver, cited in, and kill with it.
- The least expensive scope on the market
- Integrated mount
- Compact design
- Not very bright or high resolution
- Older generation of technology
Buy Quality Batteries & Have a Spare Set
If you are hunting with the night vision optic, and the battery dies, your hunt will be over. Night vision optics do you use electronic components to filter and concentrate ambient light and get a clear picture of what is going on through the objective bell of the scope. You will need a power source to make this happen.
While many of the high-end night vision optics have remote batteries that can be plugged in and strapped to the butt stock were held onto separately, none of the models listed here have this capability. They all use a removable and disposable battery. Each manufacturer has a different type of battery that they recommend, by the best battery you can afford and always go by the manufacturer’s recommendation in regard to the construction and type of batteries that should be used with their scope.
You will need to stock up on these batteries and have at least one or two spare sets each and every time you go hunting, the last thing you want is to be left out on a cold night, with a dead battery, a ruined hunt, and nothing to do but walk back to the truck!
Hunting with the aid of night vision is a growing part of the hunting culture. As technology progresses you will have access to better and better equipment at lower and lower causes. For the time being these are five of the best night vision scope under $1000. If you want a tight budget but want to take advantage of night vision capabilities, grab one of the five listed here and get in the woods!
The best scope in the world won’t do you any good if you never use it.