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#5822398 - 07/07/15 11:13 PM Night Vision Rookie
Bill_OA Offline
Tracker

Registered: 09/09/10
Posts: 617
Loc: San Antonio, Rocksprings
I'm interested in the possibility of putting a night vision scope on one of my rifles. However, I am a complete rookie in this arena and when I start looking at things the wealth of knowledge is overwhelming. Where should I start looking to educate myself? I honestly can't say a budget at this point. Mainly because I don't know what would even be a reasonable starting point. All I know from some searching is the range is wide and I feel out of my scope here. (pun intended)

So, all you gurus point me in the right direction to learn.

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#5822650 - 07/08/15 08:26 AM Re: Night Vision Rookie [Re: Bill_OA]
Double Naught Spy Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 4182
Loc: Forestburg, Montague Cnty, TX
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#5823023 - 07/08/15 12:32 PM Re: Night Vision Rookie [Re: Bill_OA]
Bill_OA Offline
Tracker

Registered: 09/09/10
Posts: 617
Loc: San Antonio, Rocksprings
Originally Posted By: WCallaway
I'm interested in the possibility of putting a night vision scope on one of my rifles. However, I am a complete rookie in this arena and when I start looking at things the wealth of knowledge is overwhelming. Where should I start looking to educate myself? I honestly can't say a budget at this point. Mainly because I don't know what would even be a reasonable starting point. All I know from some searching is the range is wide and I feel out of my scope here. (pun intended)

So, all you gurus point me in the right direction to learn.


Thank you for pointing me directly back to the aforementioned wealth of information available on this vast topic.

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#5823293 - 07/08/15 03:25 PM Re: Night Vision Rookie [Re: Bill_OA]
syncerus Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/01/08
Posts: 1993
Loc: Dallas, TX
Actually, the current situation in new nighttime rifle sights is fairly straight forward. At the low end, the Photon XT is the only thing worth buying. The next step up is the Pulsar n750 Digisight, and the next after that is Gen 2+ equipment from a decent vendor. Gen 3 gear is better yet, but the higher end G3 gear is at the same price level as entry level thermal, so you have to do some serious thinking about what you really want when you get to that stage.

When it comes to spotting, the thermal gear is clearly head and shoulders above gen 3; there's no decision, if you've got the $$$.

If you're willing to spend gen 2+ money, you have the option of going with a PVS 14 on your head and using an IR laser on your rifle. This setup has two advantages: you don't have to worry about rifle recoil damaging your NV gear and you can both hunt and spot with only one device. You also trade better short range performance for lesser long range precision, but everything in life is a trade off. You will need a quality illuminator with any non-thermal device.

Personally, I have two low g3 rifle sights and a low g3 scope for spotting. I've never used the PVS14/laser combo, but I will probably get something like that in the not too distant future. I don't really see thermal in my immediate foreseeable, but I wish that I did.
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#5823420 - 07/08/15 05:05 PM Re: Night Vision Rookie [Re: Bill_OA]
Double Naught Spy Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 4182
Loc: Forestburg, Montague Cnty, TX
Quote:
Thank you for pointing me directly back to the aforementioned wealth of information available on this vast topic.


You asked where to start looking to educate yourself and I provided a link specifically geared to point you in the right direction to start educating yourself.

All of the first dozen links provide excellent basic information. Heck, one was even titled "20 things you need to know about night vision." How much more simple could I possibly make it?
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#5828441 - 07/12/15 10:26 AM Re: Night Vision Rookie [Re: syncerus]
tannerlst Offline


Registered: 01/31/09
Posts: 5145
Loc: Dallas
Originally Posted By: syncerus
Actually, the current situation in new nighttime rifle sights is fairly straight forward. At the low end, the Photon XT is the only thing worth buying. The next step up is the Pulsar n750 Digisight, and the next after that is Gen 2+ equipment from a decent vendor. Gen 3 gear is better yet, but the higher end G3 gear is at the same price level as entry level thermal, so you have to do some serious thinking about what you really want when you get to that stage.

When it comes to spotting, the thermal gear is clearly head and shoulders above gen 3; there's no decision, if you've got the $$$.

If you're willing to spend gen 2+ money, you have the option of going with a PVS 14 on your head and using an IR laser on your rifle. This setup has two advantages: you don't have to worry about rifle recoil damaging your NV gear and you can both hunt and spot with only one device. You also trade better short range performance for lesser long range precision, but everything in life is a trade off. You will need a quality illuminator with any non-thermal device.

Personally, I have two low g3 rifle sights and a low g3 scope for spotting. I've never used the PVS14/laser combo, but I will probably get something like that in the not too distant future. I don't really see thermal in my immediate foreseeable, but I wish that I did.

Actually u can get some gen 3 pvs14's for a bit cheaper than thermal . I can get them starting at $1600 in upgraded milled housings with blemish tubes , which are fine for hunting

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#5837379 - 07/18/15 12:46 PM Re: Night Vision Rookie [Re: Bill_OA]
Kawabuggy Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 01/14/08
Posts: 1622
Loc: Houston, TX
I have been using the Pulsar Digisight on my personal rifle, but my friend has a Gen. 3 scope, and he also has access to thermal scopes. I have had the opportunity to look through, and hunt with, all 3 options. Of the 3-everything other than thermal-is just a waste of time & money.

Let me qualify that statement.. If you are doing any type of scouting or searching various fields & pastures then the thermal is MANDATORY. If you are hunting bait sites where you expect the animals to be because of the bait, then the Gen. 3, and/or digisight will work just fine in most cases for that type of hunting. If you don't know exactly where the animal is going to be thermal will be the difference between getting lucky at locating them, or knowing where they are immediately and planning a proper stalk.

Knowing what I know now I would never have wasted money on a Digisight opting instead just to save my pennies for the thermal. Prices on some thermal units are coming down now. I think I have been waiting on prices to drop more but the time is here & now & I can no longer wait.
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A hog is nothing more than a bullet receptacle.

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#5837409 - 07/18/15 01:10 PM Re: Night Vision Rookie [Re: Bill_OA]
Double Naught Spy Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 4182
Loc: Forestburg, Montague Cnty, TX
Quote:
Knowing what I know now I would never have wasted money on a Digisight opting instead just to save my pennies for the thermal.


People often say this, but it just isn't true in most cases. Unless you have the big bucks, you don't buy a Ferrari as your first sports car. You tend to ease into it. Maybe you get a Mustang, then a 'vette. Later, you go European and try a Lotus. Then you get the Ferrari.

Everybody knows Gen III is good. Everyone knows thermal is good. What nobody is sure about is whether they really want to invest that much into doing something they just aren't sure will make the benefits worth the expense. So they try out something less expensive and see how it does for them.

You didn't waste money on a Digisight. You learned about NV. You learned about night hunting. You learned the advantage of NV for hunting at night and you learned whether or not you enjoyed doing so without having to sell your first born child to figure it out.

By contrast, a buddy of mine got a Digisight, then came into a bunch of money and bought all the high end gear the dude at the counter could sell him. He got multiple PVS14s. He got an LWTS thermal, being assured there was nothing better and that it what the Spec Ops guys use, so you know it is good. He got a PVS24, for times when maybe the thermal wasn't right. In the end, he has a PVS24 that he doesn't use and he got a thermal that just doesn't perform as well as other thermal gear out there because the LWTS, while good, isn't exactly cutting edge technology or meant for longer range hunting (and so he has some real issues with it). Going all in first can result in the spending of a lot of money on the wrong things.

You spent $1300 on what you think was a waste of money. Imagine spending $12,000 on the wrong thermal and another $8,000 on a PVS24 he doesn't use.


Edited by Double Naught Spy (07/18/15 05:53 PM)
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#5837632 - 07/18/15 05:10 PM Re: Night Vision Rookie [Re: Bill_OA]
mikei Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/16/14
Posts: 1292
Well said, Double Naught Spy; well said, indeed!

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#5837896 - 07/18/15 09:19 PM Re: Night Vision Rookie [Re: Bill_OA]
customcutter Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 05/04/15
Posts: 215
Loc: Florida
Kawabuggy did make a good point. NV is better suited to baiting or where you know the hogs are frequenting. In some instances where you are stalking and don't know the area or terrain, it is possible for IR illuminated scopes to auto-dim (at least the one that I owned). This can cause an unsafe condition, and the shooter needs to be aware of his target and backstops.

WCallaway, is on the right track ask questions, ask more questions based on those answers, repeat, repeat, repeat. It's a lot of homework. I've been doing it for a few months now, and finally made an informed decision based on a lot of input from several people that I trust. I spent more money than I thought I would, but buy once cry once. I know I won't be wishing I had spent just a little more and gotten X.
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#5840377 - 07/20/15 07:57 PM Re: Night Vision Rookie [Re: Bill_OA]
hdfireman Offline
Tracker

Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 719
Loc: Flower Mound
Yes, ask as many questions and research as much as you need. The biggest problem with a thermal or night vision purchase is they buy the wrong setup for their style of hunting or needs.

Night Vision is best with navigation and positive ID of a target. You will hear people say you can ID just as well with thermal but that is just not true. That being said with todays technology you can ID much better with thermal. Quality thermal you can tell it's a pig at 100 yards and on good nights further, you can see it's a dog at 100 yards but is it a coyote or a pet. Time behind the scope and knowing the way animals act will greatly increase your ability to ID with thermal. I just wanted to make the point that thermal can not ID a target as well as NV. It's limitations are the amount of ambient light, easier to damage, can't find targets as quickly and recoil ratings are usually much lower.

Thermal is great for spotting and fast target acquisition. That is why most use it for hunting these days. With one scope you can scan(even thought you are pointing your rifle at things) and then shoot. Follow up shots are much easier and faster with thermal. You can also find downed animals with thermal. Again you just have to know what you're shooting at more so than with any other optic. Thermal is more durable than NV.
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The 6.8 is the #1 choice for hunting deer and hogs in an AR15

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#5840390 - 07/20/15 08:03 PM Re: Night Vision Rookie [Re: Double Naught Spy]
hdfireman Offline
Tracker

Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 719
Loc: Flower Mound
Originally Posted By: Double Naught Spy

thermal that just doesn't perform as well as other thermal gear out there because the LWTS, while good, isn't exactly cutting edge technology or meant for longer range hunting

I have looked through every clip-on thermal available to the public and the LWTS in my opinion is the best one out there. When saying it doesn't compare to other thermal gear make sure you are putting it against other clip-ons. Maybe its the scopes he's using it on. If he was wanting a thermal for long range he picked the wrong one or maybe another example of people being sold things that doesn't work best for them.
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eric@blackstonearms.com
214-945-5520
The 6.8 is the #1 choice for hunting deer and hogs in an AR15

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#5840957 - 07/21/15 08:51 AM Re: Night Vision Rookie [Re: Bill_OA]
Double Naught Spy Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 4182
Loc: Forestburg, Montague Cnty, TX
The issue isn't about comparison with other clip-ons. The issue is about making poor purchase decisions based on need. The LWTS backed by a Leupold day scope has failed numerous times to be able to see what a Zeus 3x 640 dedicated scope could see and what an ATN 5x 320 spotting scope could see. Partially obstructed targets at distance were not visible and targets were harder to identify.

The guy thought a clip-on would be the way to go, but it turns out that he paid $12K for just doesn't perform as well as a dedicated thermal scopes costing a lot less money. Turns out a clip-on was not the way to go for performance.


Edited by Double Naught Spy (07/21/15 09:12 AM)
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#5841109 - 07/21/15 10:18 AM Re: Night Vision Rookie [Re: Bill_OA]
hdfireman Offline
Tracker

Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 719
Loc: Flower Mound
I understand that but it doesn't make the LWTS is just ok and not exactly cutting edge technology. It is the best clip-on thermal on the market at this time. It was the wrong choice for your friend in what he is using the thermal for. Could also be something wrong in his settings, scope or his LWTS. I made a behind the ear shot on a 160-180 sow at around 200 yards a week of so ago. We were in a flooded river bottom and knee high grass. Humidity was high and I could see them pretty good. Probably have seen them better with a dedicated 640 3x scope but I like the ability to go from gun to gun so I use clip-on. Either way it sounds like he made or was directed towards a bad purchase. Not because the unit he got isn't good it's because it doesn't fit his needs.
_________________________

eric@blackstonearms.com
214-945-5520
The 6.8 is the #1 choice for hunting deer and hogs in an AR15

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