7 Best Night Vision Scope For AR 15 – 2023 Update

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Are you a hunter needing the best night vision scope for AR 15, or are you an officer, security guard, or another type of person? As shooting has become important in more domains, whether for safety reasons or enjoyment, the requirement for night vision scopes has grown.

You should purchase the best scopes with the required features to improve your shooting.

To ensure your night vision scope meets all your demands, you need to pay close attention to various characteristics and features. Choosing the perfect one for your needs can be difficult because there are many scopes.

To provide you with the chance to choose the best night vision sight for your AR-15, we have compiled a list of the top ones. In addition, we discuss characteristics that a night vision scope needs to have to function well and stand out.

Top 7 Best Night Vision Scopes For AR-15

There are currently four generations of night vision scopes available. The biggest advancement in night vision in the last ten years is Gen 4. The clarity is unmatched, but they are now oversaturating the market.

It can be challenging to decide which one to buy without the chance to test them out for yourself.

But don’t worry. We have put together a collection of reviews to assist you in determining which night vision scope is ideal for you. This list covers gen one scopes because, in certain cases, that is all you truly need.

1)    ATN X-Sight 4K Pro 5-20x – Best Overall

The premium range of digital night vision scopes from ATN is the X-Sight 4k Pro. Dual streaming, ballistic calculations, and even a changeable, smart MIL dot reticle are features of this system. You won’t be disappointed if you want the best performance possible from a day/night system.

With a technologically advanced optic, you’ll probably encounter technical problems. ATN thankfully offers firmware updates. So, you’ll appreciate having the extra bells and whistles if you’re ready to climb the learning curve and update your scope as needed.

The clever MIL dot reticle of the X-Sight 4K Pro is one of its outstanding features. It’s a dynamic reticle that lets you adapt it to your load and preferences by adjusting the mil distance between the hash marks.

Additionally, you get Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, a smart stadia metric rangefinder, dual-stream video, an onboard ballistic calculator, and other features. Yes, it can sync with other ATN smart devices you may have. Consider ATN Radar for access to real-time information.

The X-Sight is still a rifle scope, not a camera or computer. One Shot Zero is available to help you zero in, and it can be placed on heavy-calibre rifles and maintains zero while tracking precisely.

It has an 18+ hour battery life, weighs only 2.2 lbs, and comes with the rings and mounts you need to start shooting immediately. It’s an exciting scope that might prepare you for any hunt because it is ready for everything and everything right out of the box.


  • Digital
  • Smart features
  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Recoil-proof


  • Tech issues


2)    ATN X-Sight LTV 3-9x – Best Value

We think that the X-Sight LTV scopes are the best X-Sight models thus far. They are very functional, incredibly lightweight, and, best of all, incredibly simple to use in the field.

The LTV scope’s greatest strength could also be its greatest weakness. It is a streamlined version of the ATN X-Sight 4K Pro; hence it lacks all the advanced features of its upgraded sister.

Even though the features are thought of as not being necessary, some people still think that if you’re going to buy digital, you might as well have everything. They should not use this X-Sight, we tell them.

Although it doesn’t have the extra fixings, it still does what it does quite well. You will view HD resolution through the scope day or night because of its new Obsidian LT core and color CMOS sensor.

At just 1.6 lbs, it is exceptionally light, making it perfect for lightweight configurations like an AR-15 or for topping a big bad boy that loads 375 H&H. The body is likewise very tube-like, fits regular 30mm rings, and has a more realistic appearance than a big upper receiver accessory.

You have fantastic performance out to 300 yards (about) with 3-9x magnification, a large field of view, and day/night settings, which is ideal for catching those night-time scavengers. Consider the portable X-Sight LTV 5-15x model for even more strength and to increase the range.


  • Simple system
  • New body style
  • HD display
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Recoil-proof


  • Simple system


3)    Armasight Co-Mini – Best Clip-on

Both Armasight and the well-liked Co-Mini clip-on night vision sight are back. It’s always costly, as predicted, when using a Gen 3 tube and manual gain. Register it with Armasight to obtain the 3-year warranty considering its hefty cost.

The clip-on design enables you to convert your setup for night vision while keeping your preferred day scope mounted to your rifle. It doesn’t influence eye relief because it’s used in front of the rifle scope, doesn’t have a reticle of its own, and is set for a setup height of roughly 1.5″.

It includes a light suppressor for installation and matching with the day scope and a Weaver mount for quick rail connection. It can be presumed that the Co-Mini is factory-collimated to be within 2 MOA or better and performs best with the 1-6x powers of a day scope, as zero is not necessary.

With the adjustable gain, 64–72 lp/mm resolution, and Bright Light Cut-Off, it has a Gen 3 IIT. The clip-on may run for 45 hours on a CR123A battery or 24 hours on an AA battery.

The wireless remote that comes with it will rouse the Co-Mini from standby mode for immediate activation to preserve battery life and minimize unnecessary movement.

It works best for close-quarters work, typically out to 350 yards. The IR850-XLR Long Range IR Illuminator, which is included and detachable, extends the range and visibility to about 546 yards. A laser or red dot can be mounted on the integrated rail on the 1.06 lb, 4.9 x 2.7 x 2.2″ clip-on.

Even though clip-ons can cost as much or even more than specialist riflescopes, they provide you with the option of using your preferred day scope for night-time perp or hog hunting.


  • Gen 3
  • Manual gain
  • Clip-on
  • Wireless remote
  • Dual power option


  • Pricey


4)    Armasight Vulcan 4.5x – Best GEN 3

With the revival of Armasight, a separate night vision weapon sight called the Vulcan 4.5x has recently been reintroduced. The Vulcan is a premium choice for the semi-auto shooter who demands the best. It has 4.5x magnification, Gen 3 IIT, manual gain, and was specifically made to fit the AR-15.

The Gen 3 tube, 64-72 lp/mm resolution, variable gain, and automatic brightness of the Vulcan make it a top-tier NV scope. This device features a large 108mm lens with multi-coated optics and a lot of potential for bright, clear, and sharp vision.

As a result, it also adds weight, totalling 2.4 lbs. As could be imagined, given its dimensions of 11.7 x 3.8 x 2.8″, it’s not exactly a little scope.

Turret adjustments are made every half of an MOA for 45 E/W travel. It seems more appropriate for the AR-15 in.223 and has a relatively small eye relief of 1.77″. Its lone option in both the green and white phosphor tubes is a red, lighted crosshair reticle

The scope is shockproof, waterproof, and nitrogen-purged to withstand the hunting environment. Additionally, it has a dual power option that runs on either an AA battery for 20 hours or a CR123A battery for 40 hours.

For the protection of the tube, the Bright Light Cut-Off will immediately turn it off if it is, for some reason, subjected to high lighting conditions. It includes a wireless remote for activation in standby mode to make things easier in the field and save battery life.

The Vulcan 4.5x is an exceptionally pricey item. Thus buying one demands careful consideration and money. In the big scheme of things, registering it with Armasight within 60 days to be eligible for the Extended 3-year Warranty is time well spent.


  • Gen 3 IIT
  • Manual gain
  • 4.5x magnification
  • Wireless remote
  • Dual power option


  • Pricey


5)    ATN Thor 4 Smart HD – Best Thermal

best night vision scope for AR 15The Thor 4 Smart HD 640 thermal scope was created to offer the best possible sight, comfort, and accuracy.

This is the most recent model of the Thor thermal riflescopes, and it is the best in its class with 640×480 resolution and a 60 Hz refresh rate. It has a 1280×720 HD display, 90 mm eye relief, and a 1.5–15x magnification. It records video and audio, has a variety of thermal palettes, and different reticle designs and colors.

It has an outstanding detection range of more than 1000 yards, a recognition range of more than 500 yards, and an identification range of more than 300 yards.

With Bluetooth/Wi-Fi compatibility and the ability to connect to iOS and Android devices, this gadget is quite intelligent. ATN’s One Shot Zero, the Ballistic Calculator application, the Smart Rangefinder, the Smart Mil-Dot Reticle, and many more features are all included.

It contains the Gen 4 Next Gen sensor core, improved tactile controls, and standard 30 mm rings, which should simplify mounting.

The Thor 4 is weatherproof, has a 16+ hour runtime, weighs 2 lbs, is 13.5 x 3 x 3″, and has a 3-year warranty. It’s a remarkable thermal unit that might be too sophisticated for your AR-15, but it might be everything your AR needs and more!


  • 4th Gen – New Version
  • Long detection ranges
  • Bluetooth/Wi-Fi
  • HD Display
  • Smart digital features


  • Pricey


6)    AGM Wolverine 4 NL2 – Best GEN 2

best night vision scope for AR 15In comparison to the night vision industry mainstays ATN and Armasight, which we have grown accustomed to over the years, AGM is a very young optics producer. The Wolverine 4 night vision weapons sight has earned a slot in this lineup for quality without compromise.

This scope is well within budget, and all Generation 2 optics and higher will always cost an arm and a leg. The Wolverine 4 boasts a 4x magnification, a massive 108 mm aperture, a lovely 9-degree field of view, and an outstanding 51-64 lp/mm resolution.

The scope weighs 2.6 lbs and is 12.1 x 3.7 x 3.8″. Thus it has some good weight and length, which is about average for scopes of this kind. Additionally, it sports a non-illuminated duplex-type reticle surrounded by an adjustable, illuminated mil-dot center-cross.

AGM Sioux 850 Long Range IR Illuminator can be attached to the Wolverine through an integrated rail. You can use one CR123A battery for up to 50 hours at room temperature (20°C/68°F). It offers a diopter adjustment, 14 MOA adjustments, and 45 mm eye relief.

This is about the best Gen 2 can offer without seeing a large price increase. It detects targets at a long distance and is incredibly clear and sharp to gaze through. Law enforcement and hunters will value the qualified and premium products that are affordably priced. This brand is worth a shot because it has a three-year warranty.


  • Gen 2 “Level 2”
  • Double-level quick-release mount
  • 4x magnification
  • Illuminated reticle
  • Long battery life


  • Pricey


7)    NightStar Gen 1 2×50 Tactical – Best GEN 1

best night vision scope for AR 15Overall, NightStar is one firm still assembling reasonably priced tubes as Gen 1 technology appears to be dying out. The 2×50 Gen 1 tactical scope can be affordable for consumers looking to install night vision to an AR for recreational or small game use.

It has a fixed 2x power rifle scope with a Weaver rail mounting method. This NVD is a low-cost Gen 1 rifle scope with a 35 lp/mm resolution and a green phosphor display. It is entirely analog.

Its Gen 1 status makes its build quality suspect, and its lack of spec clarity is an issue. It retains the fish-eye lens effect; thus, IR illumination is the only way to get any clarity or range. The NightStar scope can still identify and recognize objects up to 80 yards away. Where the NightStar performs best is inside 100 yards.

Despite the word “Tactical” being used in the model name, this inexpensive night-vision rifle scope is not made for discreet or professional use. It is said that IR light emits red, visible light. It works well for pest/short game control or recreational target shooting. It might be employed for predator hunts if it performs well above 100 yards.

It has basic features, including focus, illumination with adjustable brightness, a red reticle, elevation, windage adjustments, a 4-button interface, and a CR123A battery.


  • Price
  • Gen 1
  • 2x fixed magnification
  • 150-yard range
  • 35 lp/mm resolution


  • It is a Gen 1, which means that it is outdated.


What to Look for in a Night Vision Scope for the AR 15

You should consider obvious elements, like the glass and coating quality, the size of the objective lens, and general durability. These characteristics are particularly crucial for night vision and conventional rifle scopes.

However, thermal and digital scopes have additional features that you should take into account before you buy.


Like uppers, lowers, barrels and stocks, the cost of a night vision sight to mount on your MSR varies widely. For a few pitiful dollars, you can purchase a medical sight or spend about $10,000 on the newest night vision technology, which is certainly more scope than you’d need for your AR.

We have various scopes in the $600-2000 price range since we’re trying to keep realistic budgets in mind with actual shooting applications used by the bulk of shooters. For all of you high rollers, there are also some high-end options.


Unlike their daytime equivalents, night vision and thermal scopes are heavier. When choosing your style of night-time hunting and shooting, be careful to take overall size and weight into account.

If you’re prone, set up with sticks or a bipod, and waiting patiently to fire, the weight won’t be as important. However, a lightweight option will best fit your needs if you want to spend significant time tracking and stalking.

User interface

These days, digital scopes are extremely popular because of their affordable costs and digital functionality. You’ll be prepared for a fruitful shoot and hunt if you’re ready to take the time to familiarize yourself with the UI beforehand.

You risk missing your shot if you have to navigate through numerous menus, displays, and functions in the brief amount of time you have to aim and fire. It’s simple to use in the dark, so make sure you are familiar with the UI. Don’t waste the night fiddling about without even getting a chance to shoot.

Battery life

Digital scopes consume battery life as quickly as a Popsicle would melt on hot pavement. Although the added features are nice, they can be taxing. You’re prepared if you merely intend to spend a short time outside. Although night vision scopes are pricey, their batteries typically last over 20 hours, making them much more durable than digital.

If your scope has an illuminated reticle, traditional scopes will be the greatest at conserving battery life because they solely operate the reticle’s illumination. It ought to have this feature if you’re outside after dark.

Distance range

For several hundred yards in the dark, meaningful data will require the greatest thermal and night vision technology, saving you thousands of dollars. The effectiveness of your ability to see and shoot in the dark is naturally impacted by the fact that, in reality, very few people have the budget to spend at those price levels.

The ability to recognize and identify the target, what it is, what gender it is, and what it’s doing is distinct from seeing the target from 800 yards away.

Most night vision scopes give you a range of vision of 50–250 yards. Beyond that, be prepared to spend more, get a good IR illumination, or pick up insider tips on how to flash blind predators and have a productive nocturnal hunt.


Whether you spend a few hundred dollars or a lot of money, everyone deserves a good guarantee to safeguard their purchase. Even though you frequently need this warranty coverage for night vision, digital, or thermal scopes, all warranties may not cover it.

Make careful to review what is covered and what you will ultimately be responsible for paying. Consideration should be paid to the general public’s track record of customer service. Even if it costs a little more, stay brand-specific or stick with manufacturers you’ve had good luck with.

FAQs on The Best Night Vision Scope For AR 15

1)    Can red dot sight be used with night vision?

When combining red dot systems with your night vision applications, heed the warnings and exercise appropriate caution. Verify whether the two of them are compatible. This is dangerous because if the red dot’s brightness is excessive, it could harm and interfere with the night vision optics.

2)    Will a thermal scope function in the sun?

Yes, the thermal scope performs just as well and efficiently during the day as at night. Thermal cameras have a lens that emits objects onto the sensitive detector by focusing especially on infrared light and heat. This indicates that bright light or daylight does not affect it.

3)    How long does an AR-15 night vision scope last?

Night vision scopes for an AR-15 may last longer, depending on how you use them or how much abuse they must endure when used for night-time shooting. Night vision scopes, according to some, might last a lifetime if used properly and cared for.

A reliable Generation 2+ system can operate for up to 5,000 hours, while a Gen 3 system can work between 12,000 and 15,000 hours. However, you may turn off the Gen 2 scope while not in use if you want to increase its lifespan.

4)    Does night vision function in total darkness?

No, a night vision scope cannot function in complete darkness because it amplifies ambient light, unlike a thermal scope. Devices for night vision, such as digital and enhanced tubes, are passive and rely on light to project an image.

They employ ambient infrared light from the moon and stars to form an image. Unfortunately, unlike a thermal scope, these scopes will not function well on cloudy nights or in complete darkness.


Finding the best night vision sight for a AR 15 might be difficult because so many alternatives exist. When selecting the night vision scope to hunt and shoot effectively, you must consider some aspects.

To guarantee you have learned about the five greatest products on Amazon that are effective in their performance, make sure to read each of the descriptions mentioned above. In addition, we have given you a shopping guide with the fundamental requirements for a good night vision scope.

This post helped you find the best night vision scope for AR 15. You can also check the 5 Best Budget Night Vision Monoculars.


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