Night VIsion Monoculars


July 5, 2007, 11:33 AM
I was looking at the Cabelas catalog and saw that there are some night vision monoculars not too unreasonably priced ($200-$300, compared to some that cost thousands). I was thinking it might be fun to try one out, not just for hunting but also hiking at night & try to see "who's makin' that sound?". Some of the brand names of the less expensive ones: Bushnell Night Vision Monocular 4x 50mm, Night Owl Marine Night Vision 3.1x, Weaver, ATN Night STorm, NV-360 Night Vision Monocular. Has anybody purchased a good $200-300 NV monocular & which brand do you recommend?

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July 6, 2007, 02:11 PM
Most image intensifiers with Gen I innards aren't worth spit in the passive mode.

Gen II innards will cost in the $1000+ range & are worthwhile. Gen III more so, in dollars & perf.

Any of the cheaper Gen I solutions will require some sort of visible or IR light to aid them. There are IR-wavelength-emitting LED flashlights that might help.

There exists no good, cheap solution.

Bottom Gun
July 6, 2007, 03:01 PM
You won't get much use out of a $300 device. They are pretty worthless.
You will be very disappointed in the inexpensive units.
In order to get any clarity, resolution, etc, you need to step up to Gen 3.

I tested a few of the low end units and ended up buying a $2600 set of goggles in order to get something usable.
I suggest you try some before you buy.

July 6, 2007, 04:13 PM
As above, I've had several gen 1s and used a milspec gen 3. It's kinda like the difference between a candle and a spotlight.

July 6, 2007, 04:50 PM
Gen I units are okay when you have nothing else. You won't get sufficient detail for most uses but you will see "stuff" they are fun to play with. You can find one for less than $140 from Sam's Club. Good GEN III units you can read a book with and make out recognizable features pretty clearly to 100 yards depending upon humidty and illumination.

July 6, 2007, 08:49 PM
What jmorris said.

July 6, 2007, 08:56 PM
I've been hunting deer and elk for 23 years and have never needed NVGs. It's not legal to shoot before daylight hours and after sunset here in Utah and the deer and elk don't scatter once the sun comes up. If I'm stealthy enough - then they'll stay put. If they wind me - I'm hosed. I'd rather spend my $$ on scent control clothing. Also - I bow hunt so I can get close enough to smell a bull elk in the rut

July 6, 2007, 09:27 PM
I recently purchased a Yukon NVMT 3 4x50 after reading reviews. I was surprised how well it did considerating it is gen 1 with a ir intensifier . I live in the south with high humity and it was very impressive out to 100yds on ID and even futher on seeing objects. You may want to take a look at these units as well .They where about $190.00 the comparable bushnell unit is very similar with less warranty. I purchased it to view coyotes in pastures and fields and it works for my purpose.
Hope it helps

Matt Dillon
July 7, 2007, 10:29 AM
You can purchase some Russian made Gen 1 monoculars from Harbor Freight. I purchased one for ~$80.00 a few years ago, and found it most useful. It has a built in IR illuminator, which works well out to ~40 yards, and it intensifies regular ambient light well enough to make out most things. For the price, you can't beat it!

July 19, 2007, 01:20 AM
I too bought a Harbor Freight Gen 1 monocular a couple of years ago. Out in the desert at night it really does brighten the starlight. I think, however, that a good pair of binoculars would work almost as well and would not wreck your night vision. After looking through the night vision gear, your night vision is just not very good.

July 19, 2007, 02:18 AM
Mauserguy where in the OC are you? Im not too far up the road.

July 19, 2007, 11:20 PM
Hey Davo, I'm down here in South Orange County. Where do you go shooting? I usually head out near Palm Springs or off of the 395.

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