Cheap Night Vision Rifle Scope – Top 6 Reviews, Buyers’ Guide, FAQs & More

night vision rifle scope

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For the best hunting experience, all hunters prefer night vision riflescopes that are affordable and easily mountable on their firearms. Whilst hunting in the dark, clarity and precision become the two most important factors.

Hence, searching for the best affordable night vision scope is quite a task. But, we’ve taken the liberty to tell you all that you need to know with these top 6 reviews discussing pros and cons of all scopes.

But, first let’s discuss our top three choices


Winner

ATN X-Sight II HD 3-14 Smart Day/Night Scope

No stopping at night with this rifle scope. It gives you HD resolution in both light and darkness for long range angled shooting.

Runner Up

Firefield NVRS 3×42 Gen 1 Night Vision

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Easily mountable 1st Gen scope with IR taking down targets in complete darkness. An affordable military standard scope.

Also Great

Sightmark Wraith HD Digital


Easy to use riflescope with lots of reticle choices. All color day-time mode, and white and black or classic green night vision mode.

Since we know our top choices now, let’s examine features of each of our favorite scopes separately.


Cheap Night Vision Rifle Scope – Top 6 Reviews


#1: Best Affordable Rifle Scope for Day and Night – ATN X-Sight II HD 3-14 Smart Day/Night Scope Review


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We all know the agony of dimly lit reticles and impaired sight during night time hunting. But, this new digital riflescope solves all those problems at an affordable price.

Its HD resolution will give you a clear and crisp image in any light. Along with its digital night vision mode, it also has a ballistic calculator and a smart range finder which determines the exact point of impact in long range angled shooting.

Moreover, it also has many additional features which you will definitely love.

Features of ATN X-Sight II HD 3-14 Smart Day/Night Scope

  • 3-14x magnification range
  • HD resolution
  • 1000 yards- 240 ft. field view
  • ⅛  per pixel adjustment
  • Ballistic calculator
  • Shifting point of impact
  • Smart range finder
  • Automatic point of impact adjustment
  • 2 click range finder
  • 0.371 Ballistic Coefficient
  • 1080p HD Video Recording and Photos
  • Wi-Fi Streaming
  • Upgradeable firmware

Pros

  • Durable
  • Rugged 
  • Easy to zero
  • Built-in ballistic calculator and range finder
  • Clear optics
  • Automatic video recorder
  • Fine tune adjustments
  • RAV (recoil activated video)

Cons

  • A bit heavy
  • Requires frequent battery change

Best Affordable Rifle Scope for Day and Night

The ATN X-Sight II HD 3-14 Smart Day/Night is the top recommended affordable scope for day and night as its amazing features won’t stop you from hunting in any light conditions.


#2: Best Budget Night Vision Scope – Firefield NVRS 3×42 Gen 1 Night Vision Review


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If you are in the search for a new digital Gen 1 night vision scope then this is the one to have. It does not come at a high price and will fulfill all your requirements. Besides, it gives a clear image for short range shooting even in the dark due to its adjustable Illuminated IR reticle

No need to prohibit yourself from day-time hunting any longer. 

They are the best night vision scopes under 500 for short to medium range shooting. This brand new digital night vision riflescope takes down targets up to 165 yards easily.

It offers a finely tuned 1 MOA shot group for accurate zeroing through conveniently adjusted elevation and windage controls and many other features all while keeping the price low.

Features of Firefield NVRS 3×42 Gen 1 Night Vision

  • 3x Magnification
  • HQ Resolution
  • IR Illumination
  • Multi-coated lens
  • IPX4 Rating
  • 4.5mm eye relief
  • 42mm objective lens
  • Adjustable Duplex Reticle
  • Weaver rail mount system
  • 1 MOA shot group
  • 14 degree FOV

Pros

  • Durable
  • Shook-proof
  • Adjustable reticle brightness
  • Illuminated IR
  • Good battery life
  • Carrying case

Cons

  • Difficulty in mounting

Best Budget Rifle Scope for Day and Night

The Firefield NVRS 3×42 Gen 1 Night Vision is a great budget rifle scope for day and night as it  provides the best hunting experience for medium ranged shooting by taking out targets even in the dark because of its adjustable illuminated IR reticle.


#3: Best Cheap AR 10 Rifle Scope – Sightmark Wraith HD Digital Review


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We know how the experience of hunting can totally get ruined if you buy a rifle scope that has so many amazing features, but it does not mount on your firearm properly. 

Well this one will solve that problem for sure. It comes with a fixed tactical mount that secures itself on your arm and stays bolted.

Besides, it is also easy to zero and all the controls are right under your fingers. This easily accessible system makes it super easy to operate. 

Furthermore, these new digital night vision scopes give full colored clear crisp images in the day, and black and white or classic green while it’s dark. 

Its tactical reticle can be customized according to the given conditions and adjusts brilliantly to the surrounding allowing you the perfect hunting experience.

Features of Sightmark Wraith HD Digital

  • 4-32x Magnification
  • HD Sensor
  • 1080p video recording and photos
  • 8x digital zoom
  • 2x optical system
  • Full color day-time display
  • IR Illuminator
  • Three power setting Illuminator
  • Adjustable reticle

Pros

  • Easily Mountable
  • Durable
  • Holds zero
  • Clarity
  • Excellent day-time mode
  • Ease of use

Cons

  • Little battery life

Best Cheap AR 10 Rifle Scope

The Sightmark Wraith HD Digital is the top cheap AR 10 scope in low price that offers the best features for medium range shooting. 


#4: Best Budget Digital Night Vision Scope – Bushnell 4.5X40 Review


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We’re all looking for digital night vision scopes within our budget. But every brand that offers a ton of amazing features does it at the expense of keeping the price high. However, this one gives all these incredible features at an affordable price. So, no need to search any further.

Besides, this one is good for hunting in darkness and in the light for long range shooting of about 500 ft. It gives clear crisp images and makes the hunting experience even greater. Moreover, it lets you live stream your shoot on your phone and records HD videos and photos.

It offers new digital technology under extremely affordable prices. Also, it comes with its own monocular, carry case and instruction manual.

Features of Bushnell 4.5X40

  • 4.5x Magnification
  • 5-13.5x Zoom Range
  • Fully Multi Coated lens
  • 40mm objective lens
  • IR illuminator
  • Live video stream
  • Mobile device controls
  • 1080p Records video and photos

Pros

  • Durable
  • Built-in IR illuminator
  • Strong Build
  • Easy controls
  • Clear optics
  • Clarity

Cons

  • Brightness

Best Budget Digital Night Vision Scope

The Bushnell 4.5X40 is the top recommended affordable digital scope because of its exceptional qualities that will give you the best hunting experience at an affordable price. 


#5: Best Budget Illuminated Riflescope – Night Owl Optics Scope Review


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It says it all in the name what these digital night vision scopes do. Despite keeping the price low, it offers amazing features and excellent quality to the product.

It is great for short range shooting at its 3x magnification which shows clear and crisp images in complete darkness at 75 yards or up to 150 yard in ideal conditions. 

Not only this, it has 6 adjustable reticles to fit any given conditions and gives good image quality due to adjustable IR and brightness controls.

Along with its great optics, it is also durable thanks to its thermoplastic body which makes it weatherproof and does not add extra weight. In short, it gives you good quality and features all while remaining very affordable. 

Features of Night Owl Optics Scope

  • 3x magnification
  • IR Illumination
  • 6 reticles
  • Thermoplastic body
  • 640×480 display
  • High Resolution
  • One click windage and elevation control
  • 100-200 yards range
  • 30 frames per second
  • 400-900nm spectral range

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Weatherproof
  • Daytime resistant
  • Ease of use
  • Easily Mountable
  • Clear optics
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Low battery life

Best Budget Illuminated Rifle Scope

The Night Owl Optics Scope is a high performing lightweight budget-friendly illuminated riflescope because of its clear images and easy to use features which will make your hunting experience better.


#6: Best Affordable Gen 2 Night Vision Rifle Scope – Armasight Nemesis 6x-SD Review


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These new digital scopes have the best quality for night hunting, whilst not even keeping the price high. It is the perfect riflescope to have for medium to long range shooting.

It has an image intensifier tube along with adjustable windage and elevation controls that are easy to use thus giving a crisp clear image. It will be impossible to miss a target even at night.

Moreover, it features an adjustable illuminated reticle with very fine but distinguishable crosshairs that allow precision to the next level. It also has an adjustable weaver mount system which gives a very generous eye relief and makes mounting easier.

Features of Armasight Nemesis 6x-SD

  • 6x magnification
  • Standard Definition 2nd Gen
  • 6.5 degree FOV
  • 46mm eye relief
  • IR Illumination
  • Weaver support
  • Illumination center
  • Multi coated optics

Pros

  • Durable
  • Clarity
  • Clear optics
  • Shook proof
  • Water proof
  • Good battery life
  • Variable reticle brightness
  • Automatic brightness control

Cons

  • Weight

Best Affordable Gen 2 Night Vision Rifle Scope

The Armasight Nemesis 6x-SD is the top recommended affordable Gen 2 night vision riflescope because of its amazing reticle that offers accuracy and precision every time, and will never let you miss a shot.


Buyers’ Guide

night vision rifle

Things that you should consider while buying a night vision scope

  • Clarity

Clarity is amongst one of the most important features to look for in a night vision scope. It refers to the resolution of the image while it’s dark and is measured in lines per millimeter. Moreover, it determines the image quality – the higher the clarity the crisper the image.

Although it should be kept in mind that a higher range does not necessarily give more clarity, the image may still be blurry. Most affordable riflescopes have a higher range and may not offer much clarity. But some do spot a prey even if it is 200 yards away.

  • Reticle

Reticles increase the accuracy and precision in shooting. There are many different types of reticles such as BDC which is the most accurate reticle.These are great for long range shootings or hunting in dark.

The most common reticles are the simple duplex or red dot ones which are considered good if you are a beginner. Other types of reticles are etched, ballistic, and plex. Reticles are just the crosshairs on your glass to give you an exact aiming point on your target.

  • Battery Life

The battery life of such riflescopes is extremely important as they provide sight at night when there is no light in the surrounding environment. Some come with exceptional battery life and last a long time without having to change frequently. 

However, it is better to have one that operates on rechargeable batteries such as AA batteries. Lithium ion batteries are also good for use. Also, you should always carry extra ones to ensure the smooth operation if batteries run out. 

  • Glass Optics

Having a riflescope with high quality optics is also another important factor. As these optics are responsible for optimum light transmission and forming clear images. Whether in dark or light conditions, the collection of light by your glass optics determines clear image lines and translates to higher resolution. 

Moreover, make sure to choose a multi coated glass as it protects the lens from shock and in different light conditions from getting damaged. 

  • Durable Construction

Looking for a riflescope with strong construction will determine how long it will prove to be by your side. The good ones that are shock-proof, water proof, and fog proof are called weatherproof. 

Having a weatherproof riflescope is worth the money as it proves to withstand harsh conditions in the wild with any environmental changes. An aluminium aircraft-grade or corrosion resistant one will serve well for such conditions. 

  • Dual Usage

A dual usage riflescope is like two in one and has a greater worth for the money. It means that it does not only have a night vision mode but also offers day-time services. Some manufacturers may use this term as a hoax but the ones that do have dual functionality are great. 

Most of such riflescopes act as a normal scope during the day and instead of using the IR Illumination to generate light they collect ambient light to form an image. Though they still use battery power and you need to keep it on during the day as well. Try to find an automatic one since the manual ones are a bit harder to operate.

  • Technology

There are four Generations in the digital night vision field. Beginners usually opt for Gen 1 and Gen 2 because of their reliable performance. Whilst Gen 3 and Gen are new and more advanced.

Different categories will help you determine different features. Gen 1 has a range of 75-100 yards whilst some might also exceed 100. Gen 2 can view up to 200 yards and give better resolution due to IR Illuminators and good electronics. 

Gen 3 gives the best image as it has the capability of converting more photos into electrons.

Thermal vs. Night Vision Scope

Thermal scopes operate in a slightly different way than night vision scopes. Their only work is to give images in the dark. They do it by determining heat that escapes from objects acting as heat detectors thereby creating an image in the eyepiece. 

They both have the save results in the end which are images in the dark. However, night vision scopes get damaged in the light and the thermal scopes do not. 

Moreover, thermal scopes are great for use though they do not give recognition of the type of animal whilst the night vision scopes give specifications of the animal but it is hard to determine the shot range. 

Thermal scopes are more expensive, heavier and larger whilst night vision scopes have a smaller body and are more durable.

FAQs

What is the best cheap night vision scope?

The best budget-friendly night vision scopes includes:

  • ATN X-Sight II HD 3-14 Smart Scope – Best for Low and Dark Environments
  • Firefield NVRS 3×42 Gen 1 – Best Budget Night Vision Scope
  • Sightmark Wraith HD Digital – Best Budget AR 10 Riflescope
  • Bushnell 4.5X40 – Best Affordable Digital Scope 
  • Night Owl Optics Scope – Best Budget Illuminated Riflescope

Are night vision scopes illegal?

No, night vision scopes are not illegal in the USA. In fact, it is legal to have thermal or night vision devices. However, there are laws regarding illegal sniper scopes only in California.

What is the best night vision rifle scope?

Following are the best night vision scopes:

  • ATN X-Sight II HD 3-14 Smart Scope – Best for Low and Dark Environments
  • Firefield NVRS 3×42 Gen 1 – Best Budget Night Vision Scope
  • Sightmark Wraith HD Digital – Best Budget AR 10 Riflescope

Are night vision scopes legal in Australia?

Yes, night vision scopes are legal in Australia. There’s no such laws regarding the use or ownership of night vision devices. However, it is illegal to keep Gen3 night vision equipment unless you are an investigator, police or military.

What is the best night vision scope for the money?

The best night vision scope for the money includes:

  • ATN X-Sight II HD 3-14 Smart Scope 
  • Firefield NVRS 3×42 Gen 1 
  • Sightmark Wraith HD Digital 
  • Bushnell 4.5X40 
  • Night Owl Optics Scope 

Can you hunt with night vision?

Definitely, you can hunt with a night vision scope. In fact, it is a great option for night hunting. However, we’d recommend you to use proper night vision gear in order to engage the animals appropriately and humanly.

Can I use a night vision scope during the day?

It is not a good idea to use night vision during the day. As the image intensification tubes that are used for the external light sources are quite sensitive, and can be damaged permanently if exposed to sunlight or any bright light. So, always use the night vision scopes only at night time.

What is better thermal or night vision?

In our opinion, night vision is a better choice than the thermal one. As thermal optics are not capable of seeing through glass, and also extreme cold may affect the thermal image quality.

Final Thoughts

This concludes our review with all the information you need on affordable night vision riflescopes. Our most favorite one is the ATN X-Sight II HD 3-14 Smart Day/Night Scope. 

Its advanced technology gives you the best hunting experience with HD resolution and crystal clear images even in pitch black.

The second most must have is the Firefield NVRS 3×42 Gen 1 Night Vision with its military standard qualities. However, the Sightmark Wraith HD Digital will also serve you well in any condition you find yourself in with its exceptional qualities.