Best Night Vision Rifle Scopes for AR15 and other Tactical Rifles

One of the most common questions we get asked by our customers is to suggest the best night vision riflescope for their tactical rifle setup.  The answer to this question is not simple.  There are many factors involved in this decision.  On this page we will outline several options and point out their strengths and weaknesses. Then you decide.  No matter which tactical scope you decide to buy for your AR15 type rifle, rest assured that you will receive the best possible service and lowest possible price when shopping with the Night Vision Guys. All of the above night vision scopes will work very well on a tactical rifle such as AR15 or AR10 platforms.


Best Night Vision Rifle Scope for AR15 in $550 to $2000 range.

If your budget for a night vision scope is limited, you will still have some great choices between digital night vision or lower-end Generation 2 image intensification or budget level thermal imaging scopes. This means that your target range will be within 75-100 yards with thermal, up to 250 yards with digital and 350 yards with Gen 2 night vison.  If this is acceptable, then please consider following popular choices... 

  • Sightmark Photon RT 4.5-9x42S Digital Night Vision Riflescope - this day or night vision scope is based on 768x576 CMOS and 640x480 LCD. You get a lot in this digital riflescope for the money – LED IR for total darkness, Wi-Fi, digital zoom, 6 MOA/MRAD reticle choices. Shockproof and water resistant it can be mounted on AR15 flattop with most 30mm aftermarket rings.  Excellent budget choice for $550

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  • ATN ThOR LT 3-6x Thermal Rifle Scope – build on 160x120 sensor and with affordability in mind. If thermal imaging is what you must have, you are comfortable with 75-100 hunting range and you only have $1,200 to spend, this is the choice for you.
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  • AGM WOLVERINE 4 NL3 Night Vision Weapon Sight – true Gen 2 image intensification night vision scope with 4x magnification. This night vision sight is simple to operate, features illuminated reticle, full metal construction and quick release mount. If digital features are not a must and you care most about your range and picture quality this is a good choice. MSRP is $1,595
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Best Night Vision Rifle Scopes for a Tactical Rifle in $2000 to $5000 range.

It is not uncommon for high-end day time riflescopes to push a $3000 price tag those days. A good example would be Vortex Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27x56 Riflescope EBR-7C Reticle MRAD Turrets. Nevertheless, in this price range you can get a lot of solid performers in thermal imaging and night vision scopes for your AR15 rifle. Once you go over the $2000 mark you have a lot of options.  The main choice to make here, is the choice of technology.  You need to decide between digital night vision and the old-fashioned analog night vision tube.  

Digital night vision devices use sensor arrays to process and enhance images.  This technology is similar to the one used in video cameras.  The benefit of this technology is that these devices are not damaged by daylight and they also have the added benefit of having the image digitalized.  This last point makes it possible to have a video output connector or even an internal SD card recorder to memorialize your hunting victories.  On the other hand, good old Gen 3 night vision tubes still deliver excellent and often superior to digital results.  Especially if you step up to advanced Gen 3 generation.  Here are some of your choices: 

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Yes, this is not AR15, but gives you a good sense of size.

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  • Pulsar Thermion XM50 5.5-22x 320x240 Thermal Imaging Scope is next up. The Pulsar Thermion 320x240 is 5.5x native magnification and utilizing classic versatile magnesium alloy construction of common 30mm tube day scopes. Core technology is 320x240 12-micron pixel microbolometer. The Thermion detection range is 2500 yards. Full HD, 1024x768 color AMOLED display allows for eight color modes and sharp imaging. $3,800.
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  • NV Depot NVD-740 Gen 3 Pinnacle Night Vision Sight 4X – really popular choice for 4x Gen 3 auto gated image intensification from Night Vision Devices. Long recognition range, simplicity to operate and up to 40-hours AA battery life to consider. $3995. There are a lot more of image intensification or I2 choices of night vision scopes that would work great on AR15.
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Here are PTS Pro Pallet choices.  

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  • Armasight Zeus 640 3-24x75 30hz Thermal Riflescope – last, but not least, this is the only 17-micron 640 with 75mm germanium lens in this price range. This scope is larger size and has only external recording, yet it provides an amazing image quality in 3x native magnification and high resolution under $5000.  
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Best Thermal and Night Vision Rifle Scopes for AR15 if Price is NOT an Issue. Budget $5000+…

  • Pulsar Trail LRF XP50 Thermal Riflescope – as with any digital scope you are looking on the projection from digital screen which makes it really hard to estimate distance to target. Depth perception can be very important especially when you hunt in unfamiliar environment or open field where there is little range reference. Build in Laser Range Finder combined with 640 sensor and 50mm lens makes this amazing high-end scope for $5,995.
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  • N-Vision Optics HALO-LR 640x480 Thermal Imaging Scope – again, this scope may only offer external video recording, yet you get a great combination of 12-micron 640 core and 50mm germanium lens that leads to best overall image quality at wide FOV 3.5x native magnification and excellent choice for engaging targets to 400 yards and beyond. Tough yet lightweight, waterproof composite housing, AMD Picatinny mount and 5-year warranty complete the package. Great choice if you are willing to spend $7,495.
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  • Reap-IR Type 2 60mm Mini Thermal Weapon Sight – 12micron 640 6-Hz with 60mm lens 4.5x magnification – best for long range open field smaller predator hunting (think coyote hunting in Wyoming or Nebraska). Color: Black... $9,499.
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