AR Night vision scope


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Ericreed22
September 21, 2012, 04:25 AM
I'm in the market for a night vision rifle scope for one of my AR's. I don't like the ATN MK350. Had serious issues with the one I owned. It wouldn't hold a zero, and it weighed a ton! I'm looking for Gen 1, or Gen 2, less then $1000 preferably. Any thoughts on the other brands? Pulsar, Yukon, Dark Ops, etc.? Anybody have any experience with these? The scope's going to be used for Texas midnight Feral Hog hunting.

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MtnCreek
September 21, 2012, 11:39 AM
In my very limited experience, I’d rather have a high quality day scope than a Gen 1 NV, even at night. YMMV.

taliv
September 21, 2012, 02:00 PM
i had a Yukon some years ago. picture was ok but it wasn't useable. i agree with mtncreek on the dayscope. you're prob not going to be happy with NV under $2000 or so unless you have a very narrow requirement

Double Naught Spy
September 21, 2012, 10:04 PM
You know, you can take a 3x $650 Gen 1 rifle scope and put a $370 laser illuminator on it and nicely identify deer and hogs at 200 yards. I am hunting with one on a fairly regular basis right now, an ATN Paladin with a Dipold IR laser illuminator with good results.

Having IR illuminator is a big benefit and a laser can really project that illumination over distance. Even with Gen II+ scopes, lack of sufficient lighting can still be a problem and Gen III are not impervious to it either.

http://i627.photobucket.com/albums/tt352/HornHillRange/Horn%20Hill%20Hunting/2011Sept17BoarHornHill100_1197_zpsa16c7126.jpg

This is the setup I was hunting with last night, in fact.

jmorris
September 21, 2012, 11:08 PM
I still use the "good glass" method (costs more than cheap NVDs though) as the ATN I had wouldn't hold a zero. If you buy cheap NVD's at least get them from optics planet, they will take them back.


http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/jmorrismetal/can/DSC02435.jpg

taliv
September 22, 2012, 12:24 AM
dang, jmorris, what suppressor is that??

looks like the rifle would tip forward if your bipod was any further back :)

jmorris
September 22, 2012, 09:16 AM
dang, jmorris, what suppressor is that??

looks like the rifle would tip forward if your bipod was any further back

It's one I built for a 458 socom, one reason it looks so large is that it telescopes back over the barrel for almost half its length, its just empty air space and air by volume doesn't weigh much. I did that because I wanted to keep the OAL of the rifle/can as short as I could. Its not real sexy looking but is sounds better than an M4 2000 08 and 7.62 SD despite having a huge hole at the end.

http://s121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/jmorrismetal/can/458socom/weld1.jpg

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/jmorrismetal/can/458socom/sxsxs.jpg

http://s121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/jmorrismetal/can/458socom/excmon.jpg

http://s121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/jmorrismetal/can/458socom/layout.jpg

taliv
September 22, 2012, 09:05 PM
wow, cool!

you should post those pics in a thread in NFA if you haven't already

Sky
September 22, 2012, 09:14 PM
I really hate to hear you are having problems with the ATN MK350!! I have had one for a couple of years now and have used it on many night hunts with a 14.5" AR chambered in 5.56 without problems. Hope mine does not start having problems! I wonder if they would correct the problem for you? I would call them or Treavor at Optics Planet and see if he knows anyone from ATN to speak with or call them direct?

jmorris
September 23, 2012, 09:50 AM
you should post those pics in a thread in NFA if you haven't already Not a lot of form 1 questions here and even less for big bore rifles. Have posted them in the silencer smithing forum over at silencertalk though.


I really hate to hear you are having problems with the ATN MK350!! .. I wonder if they would correct the problem for you? .

Had problems with it and yes they took it back without any issue, thus my recomendation of buying cheap NVDs from them above.

Double Naught Spy
September 24, 2012, 09:03 AM
Same scope, but last night instead of last year...http://i627.photobucket.com/albums/tt352/HornHillRange/Sow%202012%20Montague%20County/103_1488_zpsae4176ec.jpg

150 lb. sow, 125 yard shot, spotted the hog at 160 (along with 13 others). Impact was just behind the ear, clipping the edge of it.

Sky
September 27, 2012, 12:04 PM
150 lb. sow, 125 yard shot, spotted the hog at 160 (along with 13 others). Impact was just behind the ear, clipping the edge of it.

Great shot!

125 yards seems to be about my scopes accurate visual limit on a dark night. Either that or my eyes suck; maybe a combo of both.....

EmbarkChief
September 27, 2012, 01:33 PM
I use a Pulsar NV550, been really happy with it so far. Nice to be able to shoot in the daytime if the need arises. Currently mounted to an AR-15 but going to migrate it over to the M1A Scout in a few weeks.

Double Naught Spy
September 27, 2012, 10:42 PM
Ah, but the N550 doesn't fall within the price needs of the OP.

125 yards seems to be about my scopes accurate visual limit on a dark night. Either that or my eyes suck; maybe a combo of both.....

It was a great shot, but only becuase it hit something really vital despite not actually hitting close to the base of the ear where I intended. :o
The bullet did blast through the cervical vertebrae. It was a good kill.

I think the crosshairs center point is about 1 MOA and so the impact would have still been a touch outside of the center of the crosshairs.

I also hit one of the shoats at about 150 or 160 yards on the run. We did not recover it, but the buzzards did late the next day.

modarmory
October 3, 2012, 07:42 PM
With night vision you get what you pay for and our recommendation is to save money and invest in a Gen 3 device as taliv indicated. For hunting we outfit hog hunters with the PVS-14 or the D-740 (fixed power rifle scope).

The industry leaders in night vision are ITT and L3 and this is what our military uses. ATN is Russian.

Currently there are different variations/qualities for PVS-14’s and D-740. Terms that are often used are: p-, p, p+, hand select, image clean, etc etc. What is important to know are the following specifications that are listed on a data sheet: Signal to Noise S/N, lp/mm (resolution) and FOM (Figure of Merit). The higher the specifications the better your system will perform in low light and high light conditions.

Once you do invest in a night vision device there are quite a few accessories to look into. As Doubly Naught Spy suggested the IR illuminator is a great accessory.

Other questions to ask: will you weapon mount and/or helmet mount your system?

There is a lot to cover when starting out in the night vision world. You are welcome to give us a call and we can answer any questions that you may have.

Double Naught Spy
October 3, 2012, 08:20 PM
Along the lines of getting what you pay for, often is the case that you can pay for a lot more than you actually need, sort of like with guns. You don't need a Blaser to blast hogs or 'yotes at 100-200 yards. You do need to make sure the gear suits your needs and that the optics will handle the recoil.

Sky
October 3, 2012, 09:11 PM
Along the lines of getting what you pay for, often is the case that you can pay for a lot more than you actually need, sort of like with guns. You don't need a Blaser to blast hogs or 'yotes at 100-200 yards. You do need to make sure the gear suits your needs and that the optics will handle the recoil.

Agreed; most of our shots are taken from 50 to 125 yards (due to terrain) so the old heavy Russian POS has worked very well for me and my purposes.

taliv
October 3, 2012, 11:01 PM
i remain curious about the digital NV. i saw even bushnell has a NV camera with little IR LEDs on the front. i think it was like $150 or so. maybe they'll shake the bugs out of that and make affordable NV. heck, i remember when having a 3 megapixel camera was a big deal...

to be honest, a lot of it is expectations. nobody really complained about the quality of the picture on the television or VHS back in the 70s/80s. with each successive generation of DVDs, HD, Blueray, etc, people's expectations go up. get used to watching blueray and go back and watch a VHS movie. you'll notice a lot you didn't before.

same with NV. cheap NV looks really cool til you spend some time with a gen3 tube and then you look through the cheap stuff and realized all you were missing. and you really have to experience it in lots of different light conditions. when it gets REALLY dark is where the good stuff shines. if you're lighting up the whole area with IR so it's not really dark, then it might not matter that much to you

MachIVshooter
October 3, 2012, 11:22 PM
I run an ATN Mk 390 Paladin on my Remington 673 .350 mag for hogs, it's worked great thus far. I do want a Pulsar Digiscope, but I have other ways to allocate $1,400 right now, and the Paladin works just fine. Even on a very dark night, I can easily identify targets (tell the difference between a ~40 lb spitz breed dog and a coyote) to 125 yards with the iluminator.

The ATN scopes are heavy, but well built. I'm surprised you had an issue.

Double Naught Spy
October 4, 2012, 08:56 AM
if you're lighting up the whole area with IR so it's not really dark, then it might not matter that much to you

Since the OP has a definite spending limit and will be using the scope for hunting, "lighting up" (ironic since without NV gear, nothing is lit up for the people or hogs other than the source) the area is what makes it possible to see nearly as well with lower generation scopes as with higher generation scopes (at least inside 300 yards) that may cost 3,4, up to 8 times as much without using some sort of illuminator.

Adding a laser illuminator to a high end, higher magnification Gen III scope will get you out to 600 yards and more according to the folks over at JaegerPro over in Georgia (IIRC). Supplementing scopes with IR has a long tradition for
"hunting" going back at least to sniping in Vietnam.

Also, I have a Digisight too. Worked great until it lost the ability to hold focus and not is going back to the folks at Pulsar. It's ability to gather light was described as being on par with lower end Gen III and that is probably right. It also has a supplemental illuinator built-in that works well, but you can add more. The biggest limitation, really, is pixels/resolution. This is a problem with NV gear in general. So you are limited to 300-400 yards, tops, for being able to properly identify targets, like separating out the difference between a hog with its nose down and a dee with its nose down versus a big dog with its nose down.

taliv
October 4, 2012, 12:08 PM
IR lasers rock, but on a budget at closer range, you can get regular flashlights and put IR heads on them. produce IR light on the cheap

Double Naught Spy
October 4, 2012, 02:24 PM
Right, you need to find an 805 nm head/drop-in module for a Gen I scope to do that. They run $15-25 depending on where you find them and will go in your typical P60/G2 sized light powered by 2 CR123 batteries. The lower 805 nm works well with Gen I, but works that much better with Gen II which has better light amplification. So you might get 60-90 yards out of the light with Gen I and 70-120 out of Gen II or greater.

Many of us have old P60/G2 style lights we aren't using and if not, you can get a cheap version like a Solarforce or other less notable brand for $12-30 and be good to go. You can even order a Solarforce with their IR LED, but it si a 900s nm LED and so not well suited for Gen I (or they used to be when I purchased a couple of them...which work fine $17).
http://www.solarforcestore.com/servlet/the-26/IR/Detail

The downside is close quarters amongst the foliage. Most such lights and heads have considerable splash because they are much like a directed flood light. The result is a LOT of light reflected back at you.

They light up a large area. At 50 yards from a tree stand overlooking a feeder, I can watch a large area in the clearing around the feeder that is more than 40 yards across (and see most of it).

I have not seen LEDs for non-P60/G2 style lights or anything with a collimated beam in IR other than the lasers.

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