Best Night Vision Scope Attachments - Top 4 in 2020
Not all hunters agree on the necessity of a night vision scope but, in my opinion, these attachments are worth having. Sure, you could shoot at night without one. Yet, do you seriously want to?
With a high-quality night vision scope attachment, hunting in low light is easy and uncomplicated. You can focus on doing what you do best: picking out targets and squeezing off accurate shots.
Like all rifle accessories, a night vision scope needs to be carefully selected so that it’s compatible with both your weapon and shooting style.
This isn’t always straightforward considering how many products are on the market. So, I’ve put together a detailed scope attachment buying guide.
I’ve thought about weight, build integrity, durability, precision, style and more so you don’t have to. There are four night vision scope attachments on my list and they’re all featured because they offer excellent performance.
After we’ve looked at each in-depth, I’ll give my advice on what makes a great night scope attachment.
Things To Consider When Choosing a Top Night Vision Scope Attachment
You can’t expect to buy just any premium glass or attachment and see a guaranteed improvement in your night shooting. If you pick one that doesn’t gel with your style and targeting preferences, you might even make your performance worse.
So, it’s important to consider your choice carefully.
1. Image Sharpness
For weapon scopes, image sharpness is represented by Lp/mm (lines per millimeter). The bigger the spec number, the clearer the views produced by a scope attachment.
Aim for the highest number you can afford to buy if you’re serious about improving your precision when shooting at night.
Do take other factors into consideration as well. If you’re already an excellent marksman, perhaps you can account for a slightly lower Lp/mm in exchange for a lighter build or some other useful feature. The most useful attributes for you depend on your skills, shooting environments and preferences. This is an important thing to remember.
You’ll find most night vision scope attachments offer Lp/mm of 55 or slightly more. The sharpest, clearest images require a spec closer to sixty or seventy. Again, it depends on what price you’re happy to pay for your accessory.
2. Gen Version
Where you see the words ‘gen’ or ‘generation,’ they refer to the sophistication level of the attachment. I should stress this doesn’t mean you definitely need the biggest and baddest fourth generation scope attachment on the market.
Maybe you only go out night hunting a handful of times per year. Sometimes it’s not worth splashing the cash on high-performance features you don’t really need.
There are four generations of night scope attachment available at this point with four representing the most advanced. My favorite night vision scopes are in the two or three categories with corresponding image intensifier tubes (2+ or 3+). The ‘+’ symbol on spec breakdowns is used to indicate an attachment with some components more advanced than the attachment’s gen number.
I’ll clarify because this is an important distinction. If you’re looking at a Gen ‘3+’ scope attachment, know the product is of the third generation with some features and/or parts common to the fourth generation.
For this reason, I advise you to consider your options carefully and don’t just automatically opt for the night vision scope with the biggest gen number. You might not need it.
3. Field of View
Field of view, on the other hand, is straightforward. Get a night vision attachment with the biggest spec you can afford.
Skilled shooters can make narrower fields of view function beautifully but most of us need night support from a field of view reaching at least a hundred yards. This is essential for finding targets in the dark.
4. Resilience and Ruggedness
It’s always worth considering the toughness of a scope attachment. Resilience is important regardless of whether you’re hunting in the day or dark. Your shooting accessories should always be tough enough to take a knock or three.
The most important features are fog and rain proofing. I’d also recommend heavy recoil resistance unless you never plan to use any heavy cartridges. Plans change; it’s a useful thing to have in any case.
5. IR Illuminators
Don’t forget, you need an IR illuminator of some description to squeeze off those accurate shots in the dark. If a night vision scope doesn’t have one, it at least needs the mounting capabilities for one.
The bigger the illuminator, the more powerful it will be. Think about the possible trade-offs with weight and balance.
6. Weight and Size
Night vision optics are just heavier overall than daylight versions. If it’s your first time using them, adjustments may be needed to accommodate this extra weight. For instance, you may need to start off with the lightest possible night vision scope attachment.
Then, once accustomed to the weight, upgrade to something a bit chunkier. If you’re confident in your skills, by all means, use a bigger, heftier attachment.
4 Best Night Vision Scope Attachment Quick List
Armasight CO-Mini HD MG Gen 2
Armasight CO-LR-ID Gen 2+
PRG Defense Comanche 40 NW Gen 2
PRG Defense Comanche 22 3NL1 Gen 3
Now let’s get down to business with the
TOP 4 Best Night Vision Scope Attachments
1. Armasight CO-Mini HD MG Gen 2
The first night vision scope attachment on our list – the Armasight CO-Mini HD MG Gen 2 –offers a little more than the standard attachment. It comes with thermal imaging which isn’t something everybody looks for.
Even if it’s not on your buying list, I recommend you take a look at this product anyway. It is compatible with a broad variety of 2-6x military and commercial daylight scopes.
It means the Armasight CO-Mini HD MG Gen 2 is an easy way to upgrade your daylight scope’s functions and add night sight capabilities. Pretty cool right? As it clips right onto the day scope, you don’t even need to reset to zero.
This makes for a rapid switch and change system. The Armasight night vision scope has 1x magnification power and a field of view reaching up to twenty meters.
It includes a high def Generation 2+ image tube that boasts a reasonably impressive 55-72 Ip/mm resolution. One of my favorite features is the long range infrared illumination mechanism to aid visibility and precision.
Some other useful elements are the bright light switch off feature, the battery life icon and manual gain control. Together, they combine to create a night vision attachment that adapts to all kinds of conditions and situations.
This night vision scope attachment wouldn’t be much to shout about if it didn’t have weatherproofing. The product is made from aircraft-grade aluminum so it’s very strong and durable. It also has water, fog and heavy recoil resistance.
When you’re out shooting in the dark, it’s even more important to avoid these distractions.
The only weak part of the Armasight CO-Mini HD MG Gen 2 attachment is some potential issues with quality control. Though I didn’t experience this myself, I’ve seen reports of customers receiving misaligned parts and attachments with superficial damage.
When the product comes as intended – Armasight offers refunds in these cases – there are no complaints with performance.
2. Armasight CO-LR-ID Gen 2+
If you’ve used Armasight attachments before, you’ll know they’re usually pretty easy to combine with weapons. This product, like most of the maker’s scope attachments, snaps effortlessly on to any daylight scope.
It delivers magnification power starting at 3x and increasing up to 12x. If you use the handy lock mechanism, you’ll BE able to equip this scope attachment in a second or two.
The Armasight CO-LR-ID Gen 2+ works right out of the bag. It shouldn’t need to be zeroed once equipped. Whatever eye relief you’ve currently got should be compatible because the attachment just sits in front of the day scope. There’s minimal fussing to get this on so it’s effective in very low light.
Personally, I’d still have a practice run at equipping the night vision attachment before heading out, but you’re not going to be left scrambling in the dark if you don’t try it first.
It comes with a premium Generation 2+ image intensifier tube that produces some of the sharpest night views I’ve seen. With a top range of 300 yards and a 45-64 Ip/mm image resolution, I was able to enjoy very crisp and clear shooting. Like the Armasight CO-Mini HD MG Gen 2, this scope attachment comes with an array of interesting features.
There is the wireless remote control, bright light switch off mechanism and variable gain control. When the two products are compared - the Armasight CO-Mini HD MG Gen 2 and Armasight CO-LR-ID Gen 2+ - we can see they include almost identical extras. So, I recommend picking between the two based on core performance only.
I would go for the Armasight CO-Mini HD MG Gen 2 (the first product on our list) simply because its weatherproofing is slightly more robust. The differences are very small but I just felt it stayed steadier in heavy wind and rain.
I am disappointed to say there are reports of defective products from customers who purchased this attachment as well. It looks like Armasight has some serious work to do.
Perhaps it’s silly to recommend a scope attachment that might arrive with damaged components. I defend the decision by saying my products came in perfect condition and worked beautifully.
Also, Armasight has been quick to rectify these problems by providing immediate replacements.
3. PRG Defense Comanche 40 NW Gen 2
The PRG Defense Comanche 40 NW Gen 2 is a snap on night vision scope attachment designed to be adaptable and supremely user friendly. It can be added to almost any conventional 12x day hunting scope.
The quick mount mechanism means it takes only a second or two (less once you’re familiar with it) to equip this accessory.
As with most night vision attachments, the idea is you snap it on and start shooting. You shouldn’t need to fuss with settings or reset zero.
The eye relief works as is; clip on the accessory and find your target even in low or no light. It’s ideal for extended hunting trips because the transition between day and night shooting is so natural.
The PRG Defense Comanche 40 NW Gen 2 produces sharp views via the use of a high-performance Gen 2+ image intensifier tube. The so called ‘white phosphor’ filter delivers sharp, focused black and white pictures.
With 55-72 Ip/mm image resolution and a top range of ten meters, you can expect a satisfying shooting experience.
This night scope attachment boasts various features such as a detachable long-range IR illuminator which I particularly enjoyed. It comes with all the standard extras such as bright light switch off functions, manual gain control, wireless remote control and LED icons for monitoring things like battery life.
The PRG Defense Comanche is afforded additional toughness with robust weatherproofing and heavy recoil resistance.
One minor gripe with the PRG Defense Comanche 40 NW Gen 2 is it can feel overly heavy on the weapon at times. At 2.3 lbs it’s hardly the heftiest scope attachment I’ve ever used.
Beginners might find it a little unwieldy though. If you’ve never hunted at night with an attachment like this before, I suggest you practice and get a feel for its weight and balance.
4. PRG Defense Comanche 22 3NL1 Gen 3
The PRG Defense Comanche 22 3NL1 Gen 3 night vision scope attachment is compatible across the board. I don’t know if it fits any daylight scope but it worked great with all the weapons and daytime scopes I tried.
So, it offers a great deal of flexibility which is very valuable on night hunts. As with most of these accessories, its mounting system is straightforward. The snap on mechanism is just as easy to equip in the dark as in full light.
Again, you shouldn’t need to mess with the scope’s zero after equipping. Position your attachment ahead of the daytime scope and leave the eyepiece as it is unless you feel the night scope throws it off some.
I didn’t have to adjust any of these details before use and I don’t think you will either. The whole purpose of these night vision scopes is to make shooting in the dark as effortless as possible.
The PRG Defense Comanche 22 3NL1 Gen 3 provides 47-54 Lp/mm image resolution and ten meters of range. The high def Gen 3+ image intensifier tube means views are always sharp and unobstructed.
For mid-range shooting after dark, this night vision attachment is probably the best on our list. Extra features include a manual gain control, a bright light switch off function and a removable long range IR illuminator.
This scope attachment is made of strong stuff to ensure it can tolerate any knocks and accidents in low light. It features resilient fog, rain and heavy recoil resistance and even includes a little lens wiper which isn’t the case for all products.
Like its other night scope attachment – the PRG Defense Comanche 40 NW Gen 2 – it’s a little on the heavier side.
It should be noted though that this particular attachment is only 1.65 lbs. The PRG Defense Comanche 40 NW Gen 2 is a chunky 2.3 lbs so significantly heavier. If weight is an issue, choose this one over the other.
On the plus side, the lithium battery’s life is reasonably generous at sixty hours. Although, the rate at which the battery runs down is influenced by how you shoot and not just by how long you’re out there.
The Final Verdict On Night Vision Attachments
The support of a reliable high-quality night vision scope is invaluable for marksmen and hunters who want to target shoot after dark. It will help you get a sharper, clearer view, increase your overall accuracy and deliver a more rewarding experience.
I hope this comprehensive guide to four of the best products gives you some guidance when choosing and using a night sight attachment.