long distance night shoots


June 19, 2012, 11:28 PM
So, it's been a year since this thread (www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=602732) where I first got some decent NV. I've been using them probably once/week or so all year. They've really been great during the winter because they let me go shoot after I get off work, even though it gets dark before 5pm in the winter.

Anyway, the past 5 or so nights in a row, I've been going out every night shooting and stretching the distance with some targets a little past 1000 yrds. The nice thing about shooting at night is the wind goes dead calm around here when the sun sets but it gets really hard to see the target with high magnification at dusk. Of course, the NV solves that problem but at the same time, the PVS-27 only support up to 12x magnification, so I have to dial down quite a bit from the through-the-scope pic below which was taken at 25x.

So first is a day-light pic of the target. the cow's about 500 yrds and I often have to wait for them to cross, which can take a while as they're not usually in any kind of hurry. i often pass the waiting time by taking pics, so it seems most of my pics have cows in them...

Next is a close up of a 3-round internet group on a 30" tall IPSC silhouette. the head shot was from 520 yrds. the kidney group is pretty tight, but the location is really really irritating as i think my scope is wandering. There definitely wasn't any wind, and I had .3 left on the gun (and yeah, it's .3 left not .3 right... i checked several times) from the previous night which had me centered up, but the next night i was off again. I think I'm going to check my zero tomorrow at 100 yrds.

The paint on that target looks a little funky because it has a layer of orange ground-marking paint, followed by a layer of neon-green ground-marking paint, followed by several layers of the cheap 98 cent black spray paint from wally world. It makes impacts easier to see from a distance because they tend to knock off bigger circles of paint, even though it looks odd up close.

The last pic is some of the gear I have been playing with. the NV is the PVS-27, purchased from TNVC. I'll try to take some through-the-scope pics of it tomorrow night.

Some things I have noticed about long-range shooting at night over the past year:

ambient light makes a huge difference
illuminators make a huge difference and some are way better than others
it's a PITA to have to focus both the NV and the parallax
despite ^^^^ when focused at 1000+ yrd targets, I can still easily see cows of any color at 500 yrds in the dark. I was initially concerned that I might not, and one might walk between me and the target at the wrong instant.
very rare to spot impacts, and you can forget about trace
PVS-27s are a friggin mill stone! I feel like I'm working out every time I move with my rifle
black targets stand out. (pro-tip for the ninja/balaclava guys...)
everything sounds louder at night. a lot louder. (on the positive side, it's very easy to hear the steel ring from past 1000 yrds.)
teamwork makes a huge difference at night, with a spotter running illuminator for you
ergonomics on the PVS-27 seem like they were done by same guy who invented the AK47. nothing is in the right spot. nothing is easy to adjust or manipulate. it still works though.
surprisingly good battery life. buy bulk AA lithium batteries. it's worth it.
i have yet to find a decent range finder at night. the $2000 PLRF05 Terrapin is awesome but it's "NV mode" is just for eyeballing at dusk, not for using PVS14 or similar like the "NV" settings on Aimpoints and eotechs. The PLRF10s have a mount that lets you hook the PVS14 to them but so far I've heard they're not effective past a few hundred yards, which isnt' worth doing
NV mode on the kestrel 4000NV is similarly lame.


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June 19, 2012, 11:42 PM
nice post, shooting, and gear! what caliber? even if a cow did walk within your line of fire at 500, perhaps you'd lob the round over it's back :)

i got a chuckle from the 3 round "internet group"

again nice shooting and write up.

June 19, 2012, 11:47 PM
sorry, it's a 260AI, pointed berger 140 vld and R-17
Yeah, I would clear the cow by a few feet, but still a little close for comfort

June 20, 2012, 01:36 AM
Great equipment! Do you have any photos of looking through that scope at night?

June 20, 2012, 11:39 PM
why yes i do...

I was able to go shoot and take some pictures this evening. For reference, a picture of the two targets during the day, from 500-600 yrds at roughly 12x and again from 1000-1100 yards at 25x. The near one is a full size IPSC and the far one is a bigdogsteel snipershide target (http://www.bigdogsteel.com/snhirehechta.html) which has a spring-reset reactive head (i think 6"x9"), and also a reactive chest plate (12"x16") (I took this one off the prize table from K&M earlier this year). Obviously these are iphone quality photos that have been resized and jpg compressed so they all look a bit better in person than the photos reflect. As an example, note the IPSC head looks taller in the top photo. This is because I put two rounds in the brain area from 500 after I took the first pic, which from 1000 just blur the target into the dirt above.


now, same shots (both at 1000+ yrds, not 500) in the dark

(note I'm at 12x power here)

I also took a few while the sun was setting for comparison...

Now you see why I said black targets show up well in NV... I looked for a cow to take a pic of through the NV so you could see what fur looks like, but as luck would have it they got camera shy after dark. Maybe next time.

and a close up of the snipershide target...
the hit on the right side of the head was from 600 yrds in daylight, still trying to figure out what's wrong with my scope's windage. From 1100 in the dark, I was 2 for 3 on the body. (note the two spots on the top are bolts, not impacts)


and some more gratuitous gear pics of my firing position while waiting for the sun to set and cows to move


June 21, 2012, 06:44 AM
That's so cool. I'm thinking you don't live in NJ, huh?


June 21, 2012, 08:07 AM
Very cool stuff! Thanks for the post & pics. If you perm mount any posts for targets, I've found wrapping barbed wire around them keeps the stock from using it as a scratching post. They'll try it at first, but then quickly figure out they don't need that much scratching. :D

June 21, 2012, 06:52 PM
Awesome stuff! The targets are a lot clearer than I was expecting with the NV. Really nice setup. The PVS looks gigantic, though.
What kind of can do you have on that?
I wish I had a place like that to shoot. :(

June 21, 2012, 08:56 PM
wow that target and position look really familiar :)

June 21, 2012, 11:06 PM
turtle, i have a couple of Zak's titanium thunderbeast 30p-1. they are awesome

chase, yeah it should! you need to come out and shoot sometime

June 21, 2012, 11:20 PM
I'm all about it Tom, shoot me a pm somtime and we'll hook up

June 22, 2012, 03:04 PM
So is that a suppressor or just pipe insulation used to cut down on the muzzle flash?

Very cool setup all around.

June 22, 2012, 03:47 PM
it's a thunderbeast 30p-1 suppressor with a TAB Gear cover, the purpose of which is to reduce the distortion from mirage from the heat coming off the silencer in longer strings of fire. The cover is a bit too long for the suppressor and the muzzle blast over the last 6000 rounds has frayed the end. the rubber bands just keep it from sliding back down the barrel when i carry muzzle up

June 27, 2012, 10:15 PM
Just curious, what is the service life of the pvs27? I spend a lot of time hunting pigs on the family ranch, and wouldn't want to spend 10k for only a few years of service.

June 27, 2012, 11:25 PM
no idea. there is a very popular "night vision with kill pics" thread over on snipershide that might give the casual observer the impression that the state of texas was sponsoring some sort of coyote and bacon genocide. you might ask them. seriously, i think almost everybody hunting pigs with NV is from texas. it's illegal around here unfortunately.

June 28, 2012, 12:14 AM
Very nice work, Tom. You're just having way too much fun.

August 3, 2012, 01:19 AM
so... unlike the first post where i waited over a year to post a review, this is more like a typical internet review where I take a new product out of the box the first day, shoot some bragging groups with it and blather on a while. so take the following with a grain of salt. particularly, the parts where i complain are likely because i just don't know how to properly set it up yet.

First some pics of the device next to the 27s... Note the spiffy case that doesn't have molle webbing, but is otherwise pretty nice.

First impressions...
1. wow, it's lightweight!! (more than a pound less than the 27)
2. it's much longer, which was almost a problem with my EFR/scope setup
3. the rubber guard seems intended for 44mm objectives or smaller, and particularly seems useful only when centered. though i didn't stretch too hard, i couldn't get it around my 50 or 56mm objectives. i suppose my new 58mm USO is right out!
4. nice QD like the 27s, but is on opposite side from the 27s, which is slightly annoying due to having to swap the illum/laser to the other side when switching between clip ons.
5. being able to use 123 or AA batteries is a very cool feature
6. despite a much smaller objective lens it sits much higher than the 27s. note rifle pics later. I think this might be part of my problem described later.
7. the focus control is much better design than the pointy knob on the 27s, but in use, both have the same very narrow band where it's in focus; a little to either side and you're noticeably out of focus.
8. you'd think for what these things cost, you'd get a tube without black spots all over it, but both devices have many black spots. if my pvs14s had these blemishes, i'd send them back. but with these clip ons, i'm guessing it's the magnification that makes them so noticeable

Some pics of the clip ons on rifles. note that for the shooting below all through-scope pics and rounds fired were from the rifle on the right with the S&B PMII.

On to some shooting...
first a gratuitous pic of my target from previous afternoon... 2 rounds from 530 yards

after which I painted the target thusly, as an experiment. Since there seemed to be some interest previously in the thread about target color, i painted the top black, the middle white and the bottom in ground-marking neon green paint. We'll see how easy it is to distinguish between the colors through NV.


But first, while it was still daylight, I wanted to confirm my dope again, even though it looked pretty good from previous afternoon. (ok I admit i was just bored waiting for sun to set...)
before and after, with closeups:

and in fact, it wasn't exactly where i expected on my 1st round so i kept same POA and put a total of 3 rounds in a small group on the head of the ipsc silhouette from 580 yards, then 1 round on the head of the 653 yard target. that's good enough to test the NV though... so finally the sun set. It was partly cloudy and there was a full moon, but it was only about 15* above the horizon and behind a large stand of trees so not directly visible from my shooting position, though it was visible from the targets.

August 3, 2012, 01:19 AM
For whatever reason, I'm having a great deal of difficulty taking decent through-scope pics of the NV with my iphone 4. To be sure, I wasn't impressed with the image i was seeing with either the 27s or CNVD-LR tonight. Both were fuzzy. I played with the gain as best I could, since the light from higher gain settings was washing out the camera. The following pics were taken with relatively lower gain settings on both optics as that was the only way the camera would take a reasonable pic that wasn't just a bright green blur.

Even so, imho, all the images were poor in person tonight, and all the pics are even worse. I'm sure i will get different conditions later this week and post more comparison pics. For now...

The 27s at 12x and 20x:

and the CNVD-LR at 12x and 20x:

note the black shape in the last picture is the southwest end of a northeast-bound cow about halfway to the target.

note the blemish on the 27s about a mil and a half left of the ipsc silhouette. there are actually many more visible in person, and the CNVD-LR is even worse, but the camera isn't picking them up very well.

And I took one shot at each target using the CNVD-LR...

Now, I wouldn't normally complain too much about those, particularly the center hit on the ipsc, but I have to confess I was aiming for the heads! Granted, as you can see from the pics, my ability to aim small isn't nearly what it was in the daytime, but my impact is clearly a couple minutes lower. so since both shots were quite a bit low I'm thinking I have some sort of bore sight problem and the CNVD-LR is affecting my zero in ways the 27 never did. I guess I will make a few phone calls and continue my education tomorrow.

August 3, 2012, 05:02 AM
That is very cool. I wish I had the budget for such gear.

Remind me to wear neon green if I am ever going up against night vision snipers. :rolleyes:

Where are you located Taliv?

Cows sure surprise me. Gun shots would send most critters running, but not bovine. I almost wanted to use one as a rest while hunting one time.

August 3, 2012, 07:30 AM
When shooting game at night i just aim at the animals eye. Since I sight my guns in with the sight at the bottom of the bullseye I hit the animal right above the eye virtually every time. If I do miss I am either out of range or I just plain screwed up. I just use the million candle power hand held lights. A partner is a lot of help. Usually if the animal is so far off all I can see is the eye I am making adjustments to prepare for the shot. My partner makes sure the pest doesn't sneak off while I am adjusting the sights.

In NC night hunting for hogs is now legal. I can't wait to go on a night time hog hunt.

August 3, 2012, 08:56 AM
i'm in TN, BigE

August 3, 2012, 09:18 AM
there is a very popular "night vision with kill pics" thread over on snipershide that might give the casual observer the impression that the state of texas was sponsoring some sort of coyote and bacon genocide.

Well, Yeah... The state of texas IS if not sponsoring then actively encouraging a campaign of genocide against the feral pig population. Last year I overheard one of the local TPW game wardens opine that he beleived he'd found a "Sporting use" for Tactical nukes.

August 3, 2012, 09:43 AM
Do both rifles have the same rings?

Remind me to wear neon green if I am ever going up against night vision snipers.
If this gets out, we'll start seeing neon green fatigues at the gun shows. :)

August 3, 2012, 10:03 AM
rings? i am pretty sure the S&B is in talley rings and the bushnell HDMR is in badger rings. Both clip ons have larue QD bases built in.

i wouldn't get too worked up over the neon green haha. keep in mind the background there is light tan dirt berm, and it's the contrast that gives you away. if my berm were all black, or urban etc camo choices might be different

August 3, 2012, 08:35 PM
Very cool. Nice "toys". :)

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