Night Vision Scope: 8 Common Questions

How does a night vision scope work?
A: Your night vision scope uses the existing ambient light (Starlight, Moonlight as well as infra-red light). The ambient light will travel through the objective lens of your scope in photon form and will then morph into electrons by traveling via the photo-cathode element. Next the light will be amplified by the Image Intensifier Tube (IIT) many times. After the light is amplified it is thrown against a phosphor screen. It will then appear in the scope’s eyepiece as an amplified and clear picture.

How far will I be able to see with a Night Vision Scope?
A: This answer relies on a few variables.

How big is the object that you are trying to view? Is it a person, a house or a varmint? Are you looking for "detection range" or "recognition range"? If you are trying to see a person, you will be able to “detect” him from about 300 yards away with a good Gen 3 night vision scope. However, if you are wanting to “recognize” him, you may not be able to make out features until he is closer to 150 yards away.

The amount of available light is another variable to consider. Will you be using your night vision scope on a cloudy night with no moonlight? Or will you be using your scope on a bright clear night? You will be able to see farther with a brighter night. You will also have a better detection rage. The generation type of your night vision scope will play a significant part in how far you can see as well. For example, the recognition range of a Gen 3 night vision scope will allow you to view an object several times farther than a Gen 1 night vision scope.


Pictured: Armasight Vampire 3X CORE IIT Night Vision Scope

Will a night vision scope work in foggy conditions?
A: It will not.

Can I use a Night Vision Scope in daytime?
A: You should never user your night vision scope in the daytime. The daylight sun will ruin your scope by burning the Image Intensifier Tube (IIT). This is why some people opt for a digital night vision scope, because you are able to use it in both daytime and nighttime.

Can I use daytime scope with Night Vision?
A: You can use your daytime scope and purchase a night vision clip on system that simply attaches in front of your daytime scope and converts it into night vision.

What is the difference between night vision scope generations?
A: The short and sweet answer is that typically the higher the generation the better and more advanced. There are four generations in Night Vision (NV) technology. Each generation has it`s special features and characteristics. Take a look at this article for a more in depth explanation of the differences in night vision generations.

Why do people use a night vision scope?
A: Night vision scopes are used for a very wide range of purposes. These include fishing, boating, wildlife observation, hunting, security, hog control (and other varmints), hiking, paintball and many other nighttime activities.

Is it legal to own a Gen 3 night vision scope?
A: If you have ever looked through a Gen 3 night vision scope, you may say to yourself, “Wow is this even legal to own?” Yes, it is perfectly legal to own a Generation 3 night vision scope. However, it is a federal crime to carry or ship it out of the U.S. Please read our export policy to find out more information. 



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