Scopes

Best Night Vision Scope Under $1000 [Buyers Guide & FAQ]

A night vision scope is an excellent option for those who want to shoot in low-light conditions with the highest level of stealth. However, buying a night vision scope can be a big commitment, considering the price tag most of these scopes carry. I prioritized finding the best night vision scopes under $1,000 that still provide a quality and professional experience to the shooter. After rigorously testing all the scopes, I concluded that the #1 budget night vision scope is the ATN X-Sight LTV.

 


Best Night Vision Scopes Under $1000

Here is our list of the best budget-friendly scopes.

  1. ATN X-Sight LTV 5-15X
  2. Sightmark Wraith 4K Max 3-24x50mm Digital Rifle Scope
  3. ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart Scope
  4. Night Owl Optics NightShot 3x NV Rifle Scope
  5. X-Vision KRAD 4-8x Night Vision Scopes XANS550
HuntersHalt: #1 Pick
 
 
5.0
4.5
4.0
Pros:
  • Budget-friendly ATN X-NV Sight
  • Video Recording Capable
  • Dual Functionality - Night and day scope
Pros:
  • Highly Durable (aircraft grade aluminum housing and IPX5-water resistant)
  • Video Recording with audio compatibility
  • Great range - up to 300-yards
  • Highly Adjustable - Ten reticle options
Pros:
  • Recoil-Activated Video Recording
  • Ballistics Calculator and smart range finder
  • Easy to Zero - One shot
  • Can update scope from your phone
HuntersHalt: #1 Pick
5.0
Pros:
  • Budget-friendly ATN X-NV Sight
  • Video Recording Capable
  • Dual Functionality - Night and day scope
4.5
Pros:
  • Highly Durable (aircraft grade aluminum housing and IPX5-water resistant)
  • Video Recording with audio compatibility
  • Great range - up to 300-yards
  • Highly Adjustable - Ten reticle options
4.0
Pros:
  • Recoil-Activated Video Recording
  • Ballistics Calculator and smart range finder
  • Easy to Zero - One shot
  • Can update scope from your phone
Lasso Brag

1) ATN X-Sight LTV 5-15X

HuntersHalt: #1 Pick
ATN X-Sight LTV 5-15x50mm Day/Night Hunting Rifle Scope
5.0
Pros:
  • Budget-friendly ATN X-NV Sight
  • Video Recording Capable
  • Dual Functionality - Night and day scope
Cons:
  • Best suited for medium to advanced shooters
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I love ATN night vision scopes, especially the X-Sight series. The LTV is basically a slimmed-down, more basic version of the 4K Pro, but make no mistake, this sight is truly fantastic and deserves to be our #1 budget night vision scope.

Night Vision: The LTV has a range of up to 500 yards, I rarely shoot beyond that range, especially at night. The sight has a 5-15x magnification with a 160 lp/mm resolution. You can expect a high-quality IR illuminator and HD sensor built into this sight by ATN.

ATN X-Sight LTV 5-15X sighting in coyote

Battery Life:  The batteries are rated to last for 10+ hours and are rechargeable. The strong battery life is one of the main reasons I also rated this scope one of the Best Hog Hunting Scopes during my recent testing.

Video Recording Capabilities: ATN placed the Obsidian LT Core into the sight to produce even better video recording results, up to 60 fps. The video recording is saved to an internal SD card and is unfortunately not streamable.

Additional Features: The LTV comes with ATN’s revolutionary one-shot zero, which automatically adjusts your next shot’s point of impact to align with the crosshairs.

Simply place a shot on a target at 100 yards. Then, using the d-pad of the scope, adjust the zeroing crosshairs over the point of impact while holding the primary crosshairs over the target, then the ATN X-Sight LTV will zero itself automatically.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Budget-friendly ATN X-Sight
  • Video Recording Capable
  • One shot zero function
  • Night and day scope
Cons
  • None

My Experience With the LTV

The LTV is my preferred scope for early-morning hunting trips. It is mounted on my .223 Remington, and I usually use it for hunting hogs.

 


2) Sightmark Wraith 4K Max 3-24x50mm Digital Rifle Scope

Sightmark Wraith 4K Max 3-24x50mm Digital Rifle Scope
4.5
Pros:
  • Highly Durable (aircraft grade aluminum housing and IPX5-water resistant)
  • Video Recording with audio compatibility
  • Great range - up to 300-yards
  • Highly Adjustable - Ten reticle options
Cons:
  • Shorter battery life (90 min - 8 hours)
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Across the years, Sightmark has produced exceptional, budget-friendly night vision scopes, and the Wraith 4K Max is no exception. The combination of features and excellent quality construction makes this an easy choice for the #2 spot.

Night Vision: The SightMark uses a 4,000 x 3,000 digital CMOS Sensor that can detect up to 300 yards at low light conditions and even further during the day with the help of its daylight filter. This night vision scope also has an 850 nm IR illuminator to enhance vision on distant targets.

You can expect stunning visuals from the Wraith’s 1280 x 720p display, even zooming between the 3-24x magnification is sure to maintain the visual quality. The sight uses a second focal plane mode of operation, for more on the differences and advantages of using a second focal plane or a first focal plane, feel free to read this article.

Sightmark Wraith 4K Max 3-24x50mm Digital Rifle Scope sighting ni coyote

Battery life: The Wraith requires 2 x CR123A batteries to be operational and is rated to last up to 8 hours, luckily they are rechargeable. Although, using the IR Illuminator on max will only provide 90 minutes of battery life.

Video Recording Capabilities: As the name suggests, the Wraith 4K records content in UHD-4K with audio.

Additional Features: You can toggle between ten different reticle styles to find the one that bests fit your shooting style. The scope also has a smart memory system, storing up to five different zeros. You will be able to zero and save settings for various rifles. Not to mention, this scope will perform better then most of the Low Light Budget Scopes that I’ve tested in night time conditions!

Pros and Cons

PROS
  • Durable (aircraft grade aluminum housing and IPX5-water resistant)
  • Up to five zero settings for different rifles
  • Video Recording with audio
  • Impressive visual content
  • Great range – up to 300-yard detection range at low light
  • Ten reticle options, available in nine different colors
Cons
  • Short battery life (90 min – 8 hours)

Our experience with Sightmark wraith HD

I have tested quite a few SightMarks now, especially the Wraith series, and I must say that the 4K Max is the best of all I’ve tested.

The 50 mm objective lens made target acquisition much faster for me, thanks to the increased light that gets into the scope. The scope is also really easy to use, the IR Illuminator and stunning visuals are this scope’s main attributes.

 


3) ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart Scope

ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Edition 5-20x70mm Smart HD 30mm Tube Day/Night Rifle Scope
4.0
Pros:
  • Recoil-Activated Video Recording
  • Ballistics Calculator and smart range finder
  • Easy to Zero - One shot
  • Can update scope from your phone
Cons:
  • Requires a mini-SD card for updates
  • Occasional software issues
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If you want a more expensive scope yet still be in the $1,000 budget range, then the 4K might be the sight for you. It is very similar to the LTV, but for $200 extra, you get some nice extra features. These extra features are why I also rated this one of the Best Coyote Hunting Night Scopes that I’ve used.

Night Vision: The resolution of the ATN x sight 4K Pro is of market-leading standard. Even zooming in from its 3x to 9x magnification will maintain the visual picture.

Battery life: The 4K’s battery life will last you a few hours longer than the LTV, it has a rated battery life of 18 hours in optimal conditions.

 

Video Recording: Similar to the LTV, the 4K also does HD video recording, however this video recording is recoil activated. Which saves the footage to the internal SD when a shot has been fired from the rifle.

The scope also offers a dual stream video recording, which is done by the built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth system of the ATN x sight.

Additional Features: The X-sight also has a built-in ballistic calculator and a smart range finder. Simply add the caliber and specific round specifications you are shooting into the scope software, and the ATN x sight 4K’s smart computer will make the necessary adjustments.

You can also expect to find the one shot zero feature with the 4K, which is definitely a must if you want to be conservative with your time and ammo. The one shot zero is one of the main differences between night vision & thermal scopes.

Pros and Cons

PROS
  • Recoil-Activated Video Recording with Streaming capabilities at 30,60 and 120 FPS also allows Wi-Fi Dual-Streaming and ATN Radar.
  • Ballistics Calculator and smart range finder
  • One shot Zero
  • Easily update your scope from the comfort of your phone to stay up-to-date with the latest firmware and software.
Cons
  • Requires a mini-SD card to update the scope; some SD cards are not recognized.
  • Sometimes has software glitches.

My experience with ATN X Sight 4k

I found the X-Sight 4K user interface extremely thorough, making my life in the field much easier as the computer does most of the work. I did however had to educate myself on what all the controls does, which did not take too long to do after a quick scope of the user manual.

If you have the money to spare, I will go with the X-sight 4K instead of the LTV, the added features make life so much easier.

 


4) Night Owl Optics NightShot 3x NV Rifle Scope

Night Owl Optics NightShot 3x NV Rifle Scope NIGHTSHOT
4.0
Pros:
  • High value for your money!
  • Compatible with external IR illuminator
  • Daytime Operation
  • Durable - Able to withstand .30 caliber recoil.
Cons:
  • Battery Replacement - Have to detach scope to replace the batteries.
  • Resolution - Worse than competitors
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The Nighshot has been on the market for a long time and boasted some of the most advanced technology for a night vision scope at its launch. Now, years after its launch its still good enough to be featured on top 5 lists, this speaks a lot about the scope’s quality design.

Night Vision: The Night Owl is a Gen 1 night vision scope so the resolution is not of the best quality, 640 x 480p, to be exact. It has a built-in infrared illuminator effective up to a range of 100 yards, yet it is compatible with an external infrared illuminator to improve image quality and range.

This night vision scope only comes with a 3x magnification, and the sight picture is only grayscale, meaning you are limited to black and white imagery. However, in my opinion it is still one of the Best Crossbow Night Scopes that I’ve used in the past.

Battery Life: The battery life of the 4 AA batteries in the NightShot is rated to last for up to 5 hours.

Take Note: The battery compartment is located at the bottom of the scope. Thus before you can replace the batteries, you will need to detach the scope from the rifle.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Cheap 
  • Compatible with external IR illuminator
  • Daytime Operation – Although using it in night vision mode is much better
  • Durable – Able to withstand .30 caliber recoil.
Cons
  • Battery Replacement – Detaching the scope is the only way to replace the batteries.
  • Resolution – The resolution is not the best because it is a Gen 1 night vision scope.

My experience with night owl optics

The NightShot was one of the first sights we used for nighttime hunting that we were actually impressed with, considering its low price tag. The scope for the design flaw in the battery compartment and its limited range (1oo yards).

A great night vision scope if you are just starting out with night shooting.

 


5) X-Vision KRAD 4-8x Night Vision Scopes XANS550

X-Vision KRAD 4-8x Night Vision Scopes XANS550
3.5
Pros:
  • High-resolution display
  • Night & Daytime Operation - Up to 950 yards
  • Compatible with your phone
Cons:
  • Short battery life compared to competition
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The KRAD is also an excellent budget night vision scope. X-Vision perfected their formula of combining useful features while still keeping it affordable. This digital scope definitely deserves to be on this list

Night Vision:  The night vision on this scope is superb, its 940 NM built-in IR illuminator has an effective range of 350 yards in complete darkness. The scope also has an effective range of 950 yards for daytime use. This is perfect for nighttime deer hunting in states where it is legal.

The digital magnification of this scope is 4-8x and image quality does not get compromised as you increase the magnification, which is ideal.

Battery Life: The X-Vision uses lithium-ion batteries with a rated battery life of 6 hours. A charger is included with the contents on purchase to recharge your batteries.

Additional Features: This scope’s highlight must be its streaming and app combination. The built-in WIFI allows you to stream to the X-Vision app where you can take photos and watch the footage in real-time. The app also allows you to adjust the settings of your scope easily.

The sight also features a ballistic calculator that will save you money and time.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • High-resolution display
  • Daytime Operation – Up to 950 yards
  • Streaming
  • App for your phone
Cons
  • Short battery life

My experience with X-VISION scope

Of all the sights on this list, I had the least time to test this one, but from the little exposure I got, I was really impressed. The scope’s resolution and streaming abilities, combined with the app’s user-friendliness, stood out for me.

The scope is also very well constructed, from the aluminum design alone, you can tell that it is a durable sight.

 


Buyers Guide

Which Is Best: Thermal vs Night Vision Scopes For Hunting?

This depends on the surrounding conditions, a thermal rifle scope works better in total darkness, whereas night vision scopes will outperform the thermal scope in rainy conditions. For long hunts, the best scope is the thermal imaging scope.

If you want a detailed article explaining the differences and highlighting each scope’s pros and cons, you can do so here.

Main Benefits of Night Vision Scopes

  • Price – Using a night vision scope allows you to hunt at night without spending a small fortune on a thermal scope. Most night vision scopes are also compatible for daytime use.
  • Beginner Friendly – These sights are easy to use with minimal training required, features like the streaming app of the X-Vision help someone experienced guide you on how to use the sight correctly by watching you use the night vision scope.
  • Performance in Poor Weather Conditions – A night vision scope outperforms thermal imaging technology in poor weather conditions, such as when it rains. It only relies on ambient light to work and is not impacted by factors that affect the heat signature of the animal, as is the case with a thermal scope.

Main Problems With Night Vision Scopes

  • Range – Digital night vision scopes have limited range, most are limited to only be effective up to 350 yards. However, the best night vision scopes will have a range of up to 500 yards or beyond.
  • Recoil Resistance – Most night vision scopes do not have a high tolerance for recoil. Thus it is not advised to place it on larger calibers as it might diminish the longevity of the night vision rifle scope.
  • Cost – Quality has a price, the best night vision scopes will cost you $750+ up to $5,000.
  • Battery Life – The battery life of a night vision scope is extremely short, rarely exceeding 20+ hours. Newer models are rechargeable, but in the past you had to replace your batteries every time you used them at night.

How We Rate Products Like This

Value

We evaluate the craftsmanship of the manufacturer including:,

  • What material is it made from, 7050 aircraft-grade aluminum is recommended as it is lightweight yet as tough as a tank.
  • What features does the night vision scope include, do the features justify the price point, and are these features actually useful to the user.
  • Market competitiveness, the scope should be priced at a price that competes with its competition.

Features

Features I look for when rating night vision optics are:

  • IR Illuminator
  • Recoil activated video
  • Bright light cut-off
  • Manual gain.
  • Easy zeroing capabilities

The resolution is also important, the better the visual picture, the easier it is for spotting and shooting long-range targets.

The latest night vision technology to hit the market is Gen 4, so it will be interesting to see how manufacturers use this tech to make their products stand out from the rest. In the end, all these features should help increase your shooting performance.

Battery Life

The battery life can tell a lot about the reliability of the scope, nobody wants to replace the battery after only an hour of use, especially when aiming at an animal, as this could ruin your entire hunting experience. A good battery life is 5+ hours, preferably above 8 hours or for the duration of the night.

Also, we note where the battery compartment is located, the SightMark is heavily penalized for having a battery compartment at the bottom of the scope, as you need to detach the scope to replace the battery.


Frequently Asked Questions

Do cheap night vision scopes work?

Yes, however cheap night vision scopes, usually priced under $300, have a reputation for having a short lifespan and very poor night vision capabilities.

What is the best scope for hunting at night?

Depending on your weather conditions, a thermal scope will be the best for hunting at night as it is more effective than a night vision scope. However, in rain or any other situation where the heat signature of the animal might be compromised, a night vision scope will perform better.

What is the best digital night vision scope?

Well, according to our research and backed by years of experience, the best night vision scope under $1,000 is the ATN X Sight LTV and the overall best night vision scope is the ATN X-Sight 4K.

What scope do Navy SEALs use?

The Navy Seals prefer holographic sights, specifically the EOTech 553 Series A65 and Trijicon's ACOG series. However, each Seal can customize their gun to their liking, and thus, every Seal's weapon will be unique.

Is Nightforce better than Vortex?

Both companies produce some of the best scopes available. However, I have found that Nightforce makes better night vision scopes than Vortex, whereas Vortex's hunting scopes outperform Nightforce's hunting scopes.

The Bottom Line

If you are looking for quality and affordability, then any of these budget night vision scopes will suffice. We have done various articles on night vision scopes best for each scenario, such as hog hunting, coyote hunting, and bow huntingAfter you have mounted that new thermal or night vision scope of yours, you should check out our helpful guide on how to sight in a thermal and night vision scope.

HuntersHalt: #1 Pick
ATN X-Sight LTV 5-15x50mm Day/Night Hunting Rifle Scope
5.0
Pros:
  • Budget-friendly ATN X-NV Sight
  • Video Recording Capable
  • Dual Functionality - Night and day scope
Cons:
  • Best suited for medium to advanced shooters
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About the author

Patrick Howard

I have been working as a gunsmith for 20 years. Rain, fog, moisture, high temperature, or even snow are all the things a product must withstand in order to be recommended by me.

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