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Best infrared nightsight #8420591 10/17/21 02:46 AM
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The neighbor brought over his new infrared scope. It’s an ATN, and you guys seem to not like ATN. So, what infrared scope would you recommend? I just don’t want to spend big money on something I won’t use that much, but neither do I want to waste money on a trash scope.

Needs to be for day and night use.

Last edited by 603Country; 10/17/21 02:51 AM.

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Re: Best infrared nightsight [Re: 603Country] #8421082 10/17/21 12:18 PM
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Sightmark Wraith..


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Re: Best infrared nightsight [Re: 603Country] #8421178 10/17/21 02:17 PM
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The Sightmarks have done very good for me...

Re: Best infrared nightsight [Re: 603Country] #8421208 10/17/21 02:48 PM
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I have no complaints about my Sightmark Wraith. The IR torch that comes with it tops out at about 100yds, so if you want to use it farther than that an upgrade will be needed. I picked up a better torch on Amazon for about $50 that'll reach out to 200yds or so, which is all I need.


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Re: Best infrared nightsight [Re: 603Country] #8421448 10/17/21 07:08 PM
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The jury has spoken, the Sightmark Wraith lineup is where it's at.

Wraith HD 4x $499
Wraith HD 2x $499

Wraith 4K Max 3x $799
Wraith 4K Mini 2x $799 - just announced on Friday

All are excellent scopes. Only get the HD 4x is you plan on doing a lot of longer range shooting and not a lot under 75 yards. The FOV is tight but it's good for a lot of shooting at 100+ yards. If your budget allows for the 4K, you'll get a much better image quality but the HD's still get the job done.

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Re: Best infrared nightsight [Re: 603Country] #8421873 10/18/21 04:14 AM
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Plus, as noted on a parallel thread right now, their customer service is outstanding, should you need it...

https://texashuntingforum.com/forum...onew/1/sightmark-customer-support#UNREAD


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Re: Best infrared nightsight [Re: 603Country] #8422208 10/18/21 02:07 PM
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Ok, let’s focus on the 4K Max versions. Do I want the Max, or the Mini. Hunting will usually be 200 yards or less. Is the difference between the Max and the Mini just a size issue? I’ll do more research, but your ideas and opinions are always useful.

Ok, the Mini is much smaller, which I like. The magnification is 2X versus 4X on the 4K Max, which I don’t know if I like or dislike. I wonder which has a wider FOV. With shots at 200 yards or so, is there a big advantage of the Max?

Which one will I prefer for varmint hunting inside 200 yards? If the prices are the same, should I just go for the higher magnification, though it’s physically larger.

Decisions, decisions….

Last edited by 603Country; 10/18/21 02:20 PM.

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Re: Best infrared nightsight [Re: 603Country] #8422288 10/18/21 03:14 PM
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Still using an original Sightmark Photon 5x on my loaner 6.8.
It's at least 8 years old and has taken dozens of pigs

And Sightmark has their service center in Texas.
What else do you need to know?


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Re: Best infrared nightsight [Re: 603Country] #8422332 10/18/21 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by 603Country
Ok, let’s focus on the 4K Max versions. Do I want the Max, or the Mini. Hunting will usually be 200 yards or less. Is the difference between the Max and the Mini just a size issue? I’ll do more research, but your ideas and opinions are always useful.

Ok, the Mini is much smaller, which I like. The magnification is 2X versus 4X on the 4K Max, which I don’t know if I like or dislike. I wonder which has a wider FOV. With shots at 200 yards or so, is there a big advantage of the Max?

Which one will I prefer for varmint hunting inside 200 yards? If the prices are the same, should I just go for the higher magnification, though it’s physically larger.

Decisions, decisions….


The 4k Max is 3x, not 4x


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Re: Best infrared nightsight [Re: 603Country] #8422470 10/18/21 05:44 PM
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Ok, I missed on the magnification. Still, I will need to choose between the Max and the Mini. Which one would you night hunters prefer, and why? I lean toward the smaller Mini, just because of the size, but is the 3X of the Max enough better that I should go for the Max? Opinions welcome.


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Re: Best infrared nightsight [Re: 603Country] #8422570 10/18/21 07:16 PM
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Have not seen them side by side to know about the image quality, but typical lens logic would suggest the reduced magnification and reduced lens size will impact image quality in a negative manner. By how much? No idea. The mini certainly sounds like it would be more than suitable for your needs.


Hogdalorian - Si vis pacem cum sus, para bellum.
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Re: Best infrared nightsight [Re: 603Country] #8422666 10/18/21 08:39 PM
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Looks like they are a brand new item, so probably best to wait for reviews and comparisons. I’ll fight down the urge to spend money and I’ll wait….probably…


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Re: Best infrared nightsight [Re: 603Country] #8423859 10/19/21 10:51 PM
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My advice is to go for the lowest base magnification they offer. Field of view with these things does seem a little greedy. Maybe that's inherent to digital scopes in general?

Something else to consider......The 4-32x has magnification levels of 1-8, so each time you increase magnification, it's by 4x at a time (4x8=32). the 2-16x has the same 8 levels of adjustment, but only 16x so it should progress at 2x per level. This would make things a little friendlier to deal with, especially given the fact that I've never turned mine up past level 4 (16x) anyway, and that was when playing around with it during the day. I think anything past that is asking a lot of optics in this price point, and say that because focusing gets very particular and the image starts pixelating pretty good too. Fast swings and the image definitely lags as well. Add to all of that a small field of view, and the 2x makes more sense to me.

Hunting at night mine lives on lvl1 (4x), and might get clicked up once to 8x for a shot. Having 6x available might be nice though and being able to go down to 2x would be huge. Enough so that I have considered buying a 2x. I bought my 4x a couple of months before the 2x wraiths came out.


Tolerance is the virtue of a man without conviction.

The end of the world began the day it was created, and life is a sexually transmitted terminal disease.


Re: Best infrared nightsight [Re: 603Country] #8423900 10/19/21 11:58 PM
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Thanks! That’s the sort of info I was looking for. I’ll focus more on the 2X Mini and hope to see some reviews soon.


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Re: Best infrared nightsight [Re: 603Country] #8423957 10/20/21 12:50 AM
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Originally Posted by 603Country
Thanks! That’s the sort of info I was looking for. I’ll focus more on the 2X Mini and hope to see some reviews soon.



If you're on Facebook, there's a good Sightmark group on there to join. Lots of info. Many kill vid's, a few of mine too.

I thoroughly enjoy mine, it's almost 2 yrs old now, gets used about once a month at least, and works great. I've never stretched it much over 125yds, just don't have enough open area where I hunt. But I'd think 200yds and less would be right in its wheelhouse.

Of course there are lots of IR upgrades available out there too. I went middle of the road and got this one.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MC17VC...VO17CB&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it&th=1

It illuminates a decent amount better than the factory torch, but has a few other features I would now require on any torch. 1) It is variable output from 0-100%, vs the SM torch having 5 preset brightness levels.I find this the most handy around dusk when natural light is decreasing. The SM torch on low setting seemed too strong until it was good and dark. 2) It has a small green indicator light by the knob on the back so you can see if it's turned on or off. This might not sound like a big deal, but given you can't see the IR spectrum, you can know if it's on/off without looking thru the scope (which I keep in sleep mode until an animal comes out), or looking into the business end of the torch. The indicator light makes it easy to know from the shooting position, and potentially saves battery as a result.

The light linked above also has focus capability, as does the SM torch. It's also much smaller than many other manufacturer's higher end lights, of course making no claims that it performs as well as them either.

I mounted my IR light on the bottom rail where the muzzle and end of the light are pretty much even, and it seems to help with whiteout from the muzzle blast, as well as aligning the beam of light with the scope better than an offset mount. The factory IR mount is a tensioned ball and socket, which does allow some alignment, but was clunky and more distance-dependent than my current setup. under the barrel at the muzzle does put the light in a position more susceptible to be damaged, but for $50/per, I'll take that risk.

I use my SM torch to augment the Bushnell Dig NV monocular I use for scanning It's a definite upgrade from the built-in IR on it.

One question for you.... Have you ever used a NV scope? I ask because I hadn't before I got the wraith. One thing I noticed right away was the effect it has on your viewing eye. Looking at the lit up screen, even when dimmed down all the way, dilates your on-eye so it's not in sync with your off-eye after looking thru the scope (or monocular, as the case may be). And the more you look thru it, the longer it takes for your eye to dilate back and things to come back into sync. At first, it was flat out disorienting to me, but I've gotten used to it over time. It can also help to use "just enough" IR instead of all you've got, back to the variable brightness adjustment.

And lastly, the light linked above is rated to use an 18650 battery which is 3.7volts. I use two 123a's, which make 6 volts, so I think I get a little more out of it than it might be rated for. Hasn't burnt up yet, so..........


Tolerance is the virtue of a man without conviction.

The end of the world began the day it was created, and life is a sexually transmitted terminal disease.


Re: Best infrared nightsight [Re: 603Country] #8423997 10/20/21 01:23 AM
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I'd go with the lower base magnification. The 4-32x50 HD field of view is very small and magnification seems more like 8x to me. Here's another thread regarding the Wraith.

Wraith HD 4-32x50


Joe
Re: Best infrared nightsight [Re: 603Country] #8424029 10/20/21 01:47 AM
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Now I feel like I’m learning stuff. My neighbor has an ATN night sight, and he’s real happy with it, but I though there’d be better options. The Wraith gets good reviews, and the price isn’t bad. The light mount on my AR is right where Psycho suggested. I have a strong lean toward the 4K Mini 2X and waiting on reviews.

The only remaining question is whether or not I want to be out late in the blind. Getting lazy as I age, I’ll admit it.


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Re: Best infrared nightsight [Re: 603Country] #8424167 10/20/21 03:40 AM
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Originally Posted by 603Country
Now I feel like I’m learning stuff. My neighbor has an ATN night sight, and he’s real happy with it, but I though there’d be better options. The Wraith gets good reviews, and the price isn’t bad. The light mount on my AR is right where Psycho suggested. I have a strong lean toward the 4K Mini 2X and waiting on reviews.

The only remaining question is whether or not I want to be out late in the blind. Getting lazy as I age, I’ll admit it.


I think night hunting is more fun than day hunting. Don’t know why, but I much prefer walking around and calling at night vs day hunting.


Wade Dews, REALTOR ®
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Re: Best infrared nightsight [Re: 603Country] #8424500 10/20/21 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by 603Country
Now I feel like I’m learning stuff. My neighbor has an ATN night sight, and he’s real happy with it, but I though there’d be better options. The Wraith gets good reviews, and the price isn’t bad. The light mount on my AR is right where Psycho suggested. I have a strong lean toward the 4K Mini 2X and waiting on reviews.

The only remaining question is whether or not I want to be out late in the blind. Getting lazy as I age, I’ll admit it.



Noise and light discipline in a blind are key factors. It seems like every little noise is amplified by a factor of 10 once it gets dark. But even then, if there's food on the ground it's unlikely you'll be sitting there hours on end waiting on pigs to come in. Ours usually arrive shortly after dark (within an hour or two). Often, I can hear them staged up in the woods waiting on darkness because I've put so much pressure on them in daylight hours.

One thing I learned is, tracking in the dark sux! I head shoot them most often anyway, but a body shot in the dark is one I typically won't even go look for. I am content in knowing it will die anyway.


Tolerance is the virtue of a man without conviction.

The end of the world began the day it was created, and life is a sexually transmitted terminal disease.


Re: Best infrared nightsight [Re: 603Country] #8424745 10/20/21 07:28 PM
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Good info! I usually catch them right at dusk, but lately I suppose they are waiting a bit longer. It seems the night sight is pretty much a necessity. My neighbor with the ATN sight is already eating pig from a few days ago, and bragging a bit about it.


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Re: Best infrared nightsight [Re: 603Country] #8425441 10/21/21 03:25 PM
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ATN is good IF you get a good one. I have one I originally bought for mounting to pellet rifle for back yard residential rat control at night. Buddy has one on his 308 and it has performed flawlessly and the built in BC is right on the money. The problem with ATN is like that of other companies who rely on Chinese manufacturing to hit a certain price point. You get lots of variation in quality. When that happens, it’s necessary to use warranty coverage and when the company makes it difficult to do so in an expedient manner, they get a bad rap and rightfully so. Every company is going to have a few lemons get through, and that’s where customer service makes or breaks the company’s reputation.

Whichever way you go, as was stated above, the included IR illuminator is only adequate for shorter ranges. Put a really good one on and you can see for a few hundred yards easily.

Re: Best infrared nightsight [Re: 603Country] #8429697 10/25/21 11:20 PM
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The Big Brown Truck delivered my 2X Wraith today and I've spent the afternoon working through the instructions. Seems like a rather straight forward, user-friendly little device. For those of you who have used them in the field for a while, have you had any problems with them? Is there anything I need to watch for? My only complaint, sitting at the dining room table working the controls, is that the little "arrows" that you need to push to get though the various settings are pretty small and do not stand proud at all above the surface of the scope. My fat little arthritic fingers are having a bit of a struggle making good contact with the ones I'm trying to depress. Other than that, I'm liking it. I'll run it out tomorrow and do the zero function and see how it works under fire.

Last edited by mikei; 10/25/21 11:21 PM.
Re: Best infrared nightsight [Re: 603Country] #8430124 10/26/21 11:37 AM
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Make sure you torque the screws that hold the mount to the scope body and check them after you've run some rounds through your gun. They all loosened on my son's, my buddy's and my scope after a while. If possible, instead of mounting your illuminator on the scope, mount it as close to the muzzle as you can and below the muzzle. It makes a BIG difference preventing IR blooming from smoke on follow up shots. Don't forget to get a micro SD card so you can record pics/videos. My buddy uses Energizer Lithium batteries in his as they last longer, he uses the same batteries for several outings. I prefer to use regular Energizer batteries, they will last several hours and are cheaper, I like to replace them prior to each outing. Batteries have a tendency to go dead at the most inopportune times.

Most of all, have fun!!


Joe
Re: Best infrared nightsight [Re: 603Country] #8430131 10/26/21 11:49 AM
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ATN customer service = terrible
Sightmark customer service = terrific

Re: Best infrared nightsight [Re: BigDad] #8430142 10/26/21 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by BigDad
Make sure you torque the screws that hold the mount to the scope body and check them after you've run some rounds through your gun. They all loosened on my son's, my buddy's and my scope after a while. If possible, instead of mounting your illuminator on the scope, mount it as close to the muzzle as you can and below the muzzle. It makes a BIG difference preventing IR blooming from smoke on follow up shots. Don't forget to get a micro SD card so you can record pics/videos. My buddy uses Energizer Lithium batteries in his as they last longer, he uses the same batteries for several outings. I prefer to use regular Energizer batteries, they will last several hours and are cheaper, I like to replace them prior to each outing. Batteries have a tendency to go dead at the most inopportune times.

Most of all, have fun!!


Thanks, BigDad; I'll check those mounting screws before I head out this morning! I'll move the illuminator to a position under the muzzle and close to the end. I have lithium batteries in it; I use them because even though they are much more expensive, I've found over the years that I have fewer power problems with the devices I use them in. I installed the microSD card and have taken a few pics around the property. Not sure how/if I can erase them; I may need to dump the whole card.

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