Cheap Night Vision Scopes for Air Rifles

By Archer | Scope

Apr 06
Cheap Night Vision Scopes for Air Rifles

Just as headlights are crucial to driving in the night, night vision scopes are a necessity to air rifles when shooting after sundown. The human eye is an extraordinary tool, but it doesn’t compete well on its own against nocturnal animals in the dark. Own a night vision scope, own the night.

The perfect night vision scope has a few certain qualities that are a must-have. Before you even look through it, the first thing you’ll notice when you mount a scope on your rifle is its weight. As with any addition to your gun, a good scope should be light and should not interfere with the comfort of hunting. It should also be durable, and most obviously, it should provide a clear picture in the dark. On top of that, you’re here because of one specific trait, and that’s affordability.

In A Hurry?
The Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital is my favorite out of the 5 scopes, you can check it out on Amazon here.

There’s a very large selection to choose from, but you’re on a tight budget. I’ve narrowed that list down to a few options for under $500. Here’s my top 5 list on cheap night vision scopes for air rifles that’ll surely give you a bang for your buck.

Comparison of Cheap Night Vision Scopes for Air Rifles

To get a quick taste of what we’re looking at, here are a few basic specs for the scopes I’ll be reviewing in the article.

 Bushnell Night Vision 4.5x40 Equinox ZFirefield FF16001 NVRS 3x42 Gen 1Yukon NVRS Titanium 1.5x42Armasight Orion 5x Gen 1+Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital
Dimensions (in)10.5 x 5 x 3.29 x 3.2 x 3.48.6 x 3.1 x 3.312.7 x 4.6 x 4.117.6 x 4 x 3.8
Weight (lbs)2.51.81.93.72.3
Magnification4.5x3x1.5x5x4.6x
Objective Lens Size (mm)4042424042
PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Cheap Night Vision Scopes for Air Rifles Comparison Table

The prices are quite varied, $250 being the cheapest and $500 being the most expensive, but these are as low as you’ll get for night vision scopes. I put the main specs for you to take a look at and make a quick comparison, but let’s see what each of these scopes really do.

Bushnell Night Vision 4.5×40 Equinox Z

Cheap But Bulky

The Equinox Z is possibly the cheapest effective night vision scope on the market, but before you mindlessly scroll past thinking it’s the cheapest for good reason, you’ll want to give this one a chance. It’s got great magnification strength, it’s as tough as nails, and the strong material lets you know it means business.

Features

  • Equipped with a durable rubber casing
  • Lens focus is tight, preventing it from being accidentally bumped into another setting.
  • The screen is bright even without illuminator
  • Generous 4.5x magnification
  • IPX4 weatherproof
Pros Cons
  • Very durable
  • Bright screen
  • One of the cheapest on the market
  • Great in very low-light conditions
  • No reticle
  • Heavy
  • Glare and light will shine brightly on screen

Verdict: 3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Bushnell Night Vision 4.5×40 Equinox Z on Amazon

Firefield FF16001 NVRS 3×42 Gen 1 Night Vision Rifle Scope

Firefield FF16001 NVRS 3x 42mm Gen 1 Night Vision Rifle Scope Front View Firefield FF16001 NVRS 3x 42mm Gen 1 With BagFirefield FF16001 NVRS 3x 42mm Gen 1 Night Vision Rifle

 

Mid-Range Companion

One of the greatest Gen 1 scopes available, the Firefield will turn night to day for you. For its price, it provides one of the clearest views in the dark, and it has a neat adjuster for the illumination of its reticle. The scope comes with a quick-release mount which makes it convenient to snap on and off. The Firefield has quickly become many hunters’ best friend.

Features

  • Reticle can be adjusted from nearly invisible to very bright
  • Quick-release mount
  • Solid titanium body
  • Built-in high-powered illuminator
  • Objective lens cover to preserve scope during the day
  • 3x magnification
  • IPX4 weatherproof
Pros Cons
  • Fantastic at mid-range
  • Quick-release mount allows for fast on/off setup
  • Easy adjustment of reticle illumination
  • Limited range
  • Mount is not as sturdy as others as it is a quick-release

Verdict: 4 Stars (4 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Firefield FF16001 NVRS 3×42 Gen 1 on Amazon

Yukon NVRS Titanium 1.5×42 Night Vision Rifle Scope

Yukon NVRS Titanium 1.5 x 42 Night Vision Rifle Scope

 

Size Doesn’t Matter

A lot of the bigger scopes offer more artillery than the smaller ones, but the Yukon Titanium proves bigger doesn’t mean better. While it only provides a 1.5x magnification, that serves well for mobility through the night. At a little under 2 pounds, the durable Titanium holds its own despite its small stature.

Features

  • Solid titanium body
  • Multi-coated optics
  • Adjustable reticle
  • Built-in high-powered illuminator
  • Objective lens cover to preserve scope during the day
  • 1.5x magnification
  • IPX5 weatherproof
Pros Cons
  • Small and lightweight
  • Perfect for mobile shooters
  • Only available in green
  • Not effective for targets farther than 75 yards
  • Very low magnification

Verdict: 3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Yukon NVRS Titanium 1.5×42 on Amazon

Armasight Orion 5x Gen 1+ Night Vision Rifle Scope

Armasight Orion 5x Gen 1+ Night Vision Rifle Scope Front View Armasight Orion 5x Gen 1+ Night Vision Rifle Scope Side View Armasight Orion 5x Gen 1+ Night Vision Rifle Scope Attached

 

The Heavy Duty

The Orion is a bit bigger and heavier than the other scopes listed, but that’s a small price to pay for its capability. The Orion boasts a 5x magnification which is much more than the competitors at its price range have to offer. It easily provides a great visual past 100 yards, and the flexibility of the brightness is great (offering 4 different settings). If you can see past the bulk and weight, the Orion is the way to go.

Features

  • Adjustable brightness settings
  • Built-in infrared illuminator
  • Durable, solid rubberized body
  • 5x magnification
  • IPX4 weatherproof
Pros Cons
  • Greater magnification than most of its competitors
  • Flexible brightness settings
  • Clear visuals past 100 yards
  • Very bulky and heavy (3.7 pounds!)
  • Too much zooming in generates a fisheye effect
  • Built-in IR doesn’t utilize scope in its fullest potential

Verdict: 4 Stars (4 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Armasight Orion 5x Gen 1+ on Amazon

Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital Night Vision Rifle Scope

Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital Night Vision Rifle Scope Mounted Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital Night Vision Rifle Scope With Bag Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital Night Vision Rifle Scope Close Up Front Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital Night Vision Rifle Scope Close Up Back Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital Night Vision Rifle Scope Back View

 

Last But Not Least

If you made it this far, I think it’s safe to assume that you’re willing to spend $500 if it’s worth your money. Well, believe me when I tell you that the Photon is worth your money. If effectiveness and simplicity is your thing, and you don’t need all the snazzy bells and whistles, you may want to look at the Photon. It’s got a tolerable weight, good magnification, and like the Orion, it can give you that crystal clear picture of a target further than 100 yards without too much weight.

Features

  • Day/night flexibility
  • Lots of eye relief
  • Built-in high-powered illuminator
  • Resistant to light exposure
  • 6 reticle options
  • 4.6x magnification
  • IPX4 weatherproof
Pros Cons
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Day/night flexibility
  • Extended battery life in lieu of extra features
  • Very few extra features
  • Narrow FOV

Verdict: 4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital on Amazon

Different Shooters Need Different Guns

While most shooters may find themselves in similar situations, the shooters themselves are very different.

Lightweight

If you find yourself getting tired easily or struggling to keep your rifle up for long periods of time, I would stay away from the Orion despite its quality. Stick to the lighter scopes that weigh less than 2 pounds.

Beginner

If you’re a beginner hunter and would rather not have to go through a long-winded process of complicated setups, the Photon will be a better option for you. Very functional without all of the mess. If you like to have your options open with a variety of extras, the Photon might prove unsatisfactory.

Mobile

If you need to move around and are looking for more of a close-range, mobile-friendly scope, the Yukon would be great for you. But if you need something that can provide you sight from far away, the Yukon would be a poor purchase.

Conclusion

What if you could care less about all of the above, and you just want the overall best night vision scope as long as it’s under $500? My vote goes for the Photon. Personally, I’m a minimalist. If it can be unobstructed while pulling its own, then I’m sold. Aside from its effectiveness in the dark, the Photon is barely over 2 pounds, and it’s the only scope on the list that’s also decent in the daytime.

I’ll also give honorable mention to the Bushnell. Despite its weight, the quality offered for its price is amazing. It also has a very secure and tough feeling, which I love since I can be a bit clumsy at times.

With all that said, only you can make the best decision for yourself. Find the scope that maintains accuracy and can drop four-legged trespassers before they can even smell you. Be a hunter at day, and the Boogeyman at night.

About the Author

I love adventures and the great outdoors!

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