When we talk about night vision scopes or thermal sights, in general, the models that are successful in the market are formidable pieces of engineering with state-of-the-art technologies.
Doing a bit of history, night vision devices are elements that are born for military purposes. The first to use them were the special forces, who used these tactical teams to carry out operations at night.
Today I bring you what I humbly believe are the best night vision scopes for AR-15 available on the market, available to anyone with an Amazon account.
I clarify that all the sights and scopes that you are going to see are for civilian sale , but there are also scopes restricted to military use, with very advanced technology that will not be covered in this article. Let’s go there!
Regulations for night visors Are they legal?
First things first, we must be serious and inform ourselves about the laws that govern night optics, relative to the world of hunting. In this article we will limit ourselves to the regulations of Spain. I clarify that I am not a lawyer, and that it is best that you also inform yourself.
According to what the law establishes, there is a clear difference between what is an aiming element and an observation element:
- Observation element: Monocular, prismatic or binocular.
- Aiming element: telescopic sight or hunting scope.
This is important, since, depending on the area where you are, some of these elements will be allowed, all or none.
There are certain exceptions and permits that can be given for the use of night visors while waiting, when, for example, there is a case of damage caused by animals on a property. They must be processed with the regulatory body of each community.
Night vision scopes vs. Thermal visors
Many people confuse these two concepts and let me make it clear: A night vision device is not the same as a thermal visor. They are two different mechanisms for observing in the dark.
- How night vision works: Night vision devices collect existing ambient light (starlight, moonlight, or infrared light) through the front lens. And they use it to generate an amplified image in green tones of what is being observed.
- How Thermal Vision Works: All objects, both natural and man-made, emit infrared energy in the form of heat. By detecting very subtle temperature differences in everything you see, infrared (or thermal imaging) technology reveals what would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye.
Apart from the conceptual difference, there is a difference in both price and quality. Clearly, and without offending anyone, thermal vision is a much more sophisticated mechanism for seeing in the dark and is therefore much more expensive.
This is not to say that only thermal sights work, but I think it necessary to make this distinction.
What is the best night viewer for waiting?
Night sights have become very popular, especially for wild boar waits, a truly exciting type of hunting. And very often we are asked: What night viewer should I buy? o What night visor do they patch for big game? Among many other inquiries we receive of this type.
The truth is that the answer is a great depends. It depends on your budget, if it is legal or not in your community, if you are looking for an aiming element or an observation element, etc. In my experience, these questions are answered in a simpler way, presenting all the alternatives of IR or night vision or thermal elements that are present in the market , so that each one can analyze their characteristics and choose the option that best suits them according to their situation.
Among the observation elements we have:
- Night vision binoculars or binoculars.
- Night vision monoculars.
And among the aiming elements we have:
- Night accessories attachable to day visors
- Telescopic sights or night sights.
We will proceed to present each type of product and make some recommendations of models that work well for use in waiting and hunting in general.
Night vision binoculars or binoculars
Do n’t be fooled with binoculars . Just because the product title says “night vision” does not guarantee that it really is. There are a huge number of cheap models that are useless. There are many Chinese products in this area, and that does not mean that they are bad, there are Chinese brands of very good quality, but there is also a lot of fraud.
To make sure that a binocular or binocular is night vision, look for a digital model. The additional advantage that digital binoculars have is their camera function (they have the possibility of making a recording or taking a photo from the same device ).
You should also bear in mind that a binocular is for viewing at a distance, a cheap binocular that has IR light but has no or very few magnifications will do you no good. Pay attention to the amount of magnification when buying a binocular. Here we leave you some good alternatives taken from Amazon.
Night Vision Monoculars
Monoculars are an excellent alternative , not only widely used in hunting, but also for watching birds and other animals.
One of the interesting features of this optic is its weight. They are really light and, as you surely already know, the lighter we go to the field, the better.
Here we have two alternatives according to its price:
- Infrared light monoculars: Relatively cheap.
- Thermal monoculars: Much more expensive.
IR light monoculars
Regarding this type of monoculars, the acceptable ones are in a price range of 100-400 euros. Most are Chinese, but they are of good quality.
Thermal monoculars are much more effective when it comes to night vision, but they are quite a bit more expensive too. Quality models can cost up to 2,000 euros.
Night accessories attachable to day visors
We have been asked a lot about this novel “night sight for telescopic sights or night sight to attach to day sight ” and certainly this has at least attracted our attention.
But what is it? How is it used? Does it really work? Do you recommend buying it? They are questions that they have been asking us (and we have asked ourselves) and for which we had no answer, until now.
We have decided once and for all to buy the most used models on the market and see how they go , to be able to answer all these questions for you and see if they are really worth it.
Choose the one that suits the regulations of your community, your budget and your tastes.
I hope as always I have been helpful.