Best Night Vision Scope under $500 – [Top 6 Editor’s Picks]

Hunting night vision scopes are often not given importance by even the greatest avid hunter. Merely because they seem weighty and unnecessary.

Why would you require a night vision scope when the maximum of your time is done in the daylight?

The fact of the subject is that the forms are not always perfect. This makes having a diversity of scopes a smart idea.

These scopes can greatly improve your hunting capabilities in severer environments and climate.

Today’s theme is all about getting the best night vision scope under $500. Let’s begin!

Best Night Vision Scope under $500

In this section, I’ll include six night vision scope reviews that are my personal favorite because they each offer something special and any type of night hunter probably would get a fit for themselves. Let’s get into it!

Armasight Night Vision Rifle Scope – The Illumination Technology!

No. 1

The Armasight rifle scope for night time hunting is a decent choice to have if you are a beginner.

You can call it the best night vision scope under $500 that provides a bunch of features that would be good for dark shooting.

This is a first generation rifle scope with all basic configurations and settings. With 4x magnification, you would be able to have close range shots with ease.

Also, the detachable illuminator available creates enough lighting. So it would stress-free to have good vision in darkness. The reticle is an illuminating type.

Also, it provides better adjustments to control the brightness. And so you can easily regulate the lighting according to your needs.

The scope is a well suitable one for the weaver rail mounting. Also, the design is pretty solid. It provides decent durability if you maintain it with care.

The body is waterproof. And so you can easily carry it with you no matter how the climate is.

Armasight Night Vision Rifle Scope – The Illumination Technology!
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  • A worth for money rifle scope that is great at night hunting.
  • Provides 4x magnifications with clear image quality.
  • It also doesn’t allow scratches or dirt to ruin your scope.
  • The lighting system is quite helpful for any dimness.
  • The design is hardwearing and waterproof.


Bushnell 4.5X40 Equinox Z Digital Night Vision – A Bright Buddy for Night!

No. 2

The Bushenll 4.5X40 is a digital night vision scope that provides outstanding quality and durability.

The sturdy built-in, nice rubber feel and other basic features will do a decent job at nighttime hunting. The Image is bright enough and so the clarity is on point.

The buttons are easy to access and press. It gathers right amount of light to provide a good night vision technology.

The unit has an excellent functioning at lower light situations. This durable beast will also provide great light adjustments and sensitivity to the users.

It doesn’t wash out the picture that is too close. That’s what makes it more convincing night scope. Overall there are absolutely no complaints if you talk about the light and bright side.

The scope will manage to provide 4.5x magnification that is great for nighttime hunting. It might be a problem to deal with when you are going for long range shooting.

However for nearby shots and ranging the tool will work more than enough. Not the best but definitely not the least also.

Bushnell Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular, 4.5 x 40mm
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  • It provides a decent value for your money.
  • The low-frequency IR light sensitivity works extremely well.
  • The image clarity is on point and really focusing.
  • The IR illuminator makes room for enough ranging.
  • Great for weapons such as AR15.


  • The battery life is short.

Firefield Night Vision Riflescope – The Clarity King!

No. 3

This is generation one night scope that provides easy coyotes and hogs at two-hundred yards. Also, the Clarity and IR make the feature more prominent.

Most of the Gen one scopes won’t provide these level of clarity and so it would also satisfy the ex-military hunters.

There’s an instruction that comes along with the scope. One needs to read very well and then the set up will seem pretty easy.

Also, it doesn’t take so much time to get the set up done. The unit parts are pretty strong.

They stand still with rugged usage and also are quite durable. However, try to keep them away from direct sunlight.

It isn’t a daytime scope and that’s noticeable in the scope. There is a cap that might help in daylight usage. However, it is meant for the twilight period mainly.

The 3x magnification is great for zooming in 100 yards during dim light. So it would give a decent usage for night time. The zero stop works fine is mostly accurate with lesser time.

Firefield Nightfall 4x50 Night Vision Monocular
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  • The scope is quite reasonable in price.
  • The parts are durable and can withstand rough use.
  • The reticles are very clear.
  • The adjustments placements are good and accessible easily.
  • The battery replacement is super simple.
  • Comes with easy on and off method.


  • It is a bit heavy than most other scopes.

Night Owl Optics NightShot Digital Night Vision Riflescope – The IR Illuminator Scope!

No. 4

The Night Owl scope is one more night vision tool that is great for fast focusing and good lighting in providing optimum performance at night.

The body is black and looks very classy. It isn’t the usual boring design like other scopes. The ranging is pretty accurate at hundred to a two-hundred-yard range.

The 640×430 display is a good size to provide clear information and details of the picture.

Also, the rifle is great for 30 caliber usage range. The illuminator that comes along is great in lighting.

Moreover, the scope is an all-weather scope that survives almost in any situation or harsh climate.

The magnification is up to 3x and it is good for closer ranging during dark times. The IR illuminator is detachable and that is another convenient plus of the scope.

The windage and elevation adjustments are easy and accessible. The eye relief is 2.70 inches with 5.6 degrees of field of view. The three reticles are well functional to provide clear and bright images.

Budget Pick
Night Owl Optics NightShot Digital Night Vision Riflescope
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Budget Pick
Night Owl Optics NightShot Digital Night Vision Riflescope
Buy On Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.


  • The scope works well in hundred-yard range.
  • The lighting is enough for night hunts.
  • Great resolution of the display.
  • Nice adjustments and quite effective.
  • The focusing is accurate and fast.


  • A bit expensive scope under $500.

ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope – The Modern Hunter’s Tool!

No. 5

The ATN is the brand that from always was and is the most famous and renowned brand for night vision scopes.

This X-sight model is nothing different and proves why they are the best in the game. The model comes with HD resolution great both for day and night usage.

Also, the vision is crystal clear and doesn’t give any blurriness that might disturb you while giving the main shot.

The 100-yard range shooting is effortless with this scope. The color is also bright enough to provide enough vibrant vision.

It also suits for any climate and would withstand even rough usage. The ballistic calculation is also quick enough that would suit any shooters need and give good results.

You would get two clicks to identify ranges at your target. As soon as the distance is determined the adjustments become automatic.

The 5x to 20x magnification is one of the best for an all-purpose rifle scope. Now you would be able to shoot both close and far targets without much effort.

ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope w/1080p Video, Ballistic Calculator, Rangefinder, WiFi, E-Compass, GPS, Barometer, IOS & Android Apps
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  • Great for 150 yards functioning.
  • Provides excellent magnification scales.
  • The reticle options are very compatible.
  • Clear and vibrant images.
  • It also allows recording video.


  • A very heavy scope to handle.

Sightmark Citadel 3-18×50 LR2 Riflescope

No. 6

The Sightmark is a pretty good and well-known provider of night vision equipment. This is a very adaptable and versatile rifle scope that works well in dark situations.

The battery life is said to be 33% further than average scopes. Also, it weighs 30% lighter than most other similar price scopes available. There is a manual that comes along for easy setup and mounting.

The illumination level is almost 0.05 lux. The range detection can work pretty well up to 130 or 120 yards. The windage and elevation adjustments are good and accessible.

There is also a lens cap that makes using more convenient. It is a scope that could be used both during day and night. The display is really good at showing good details and accurate information.

Also, the eye relief is longer than usual.  There are six different reticles style with the digital reticle.

The image is clear and bright enough to provide good accuracy. Also, it doesn’t wash the images out when too close or too much light since it has the bright light exposure.

Sightmark Citadel 3-18x50 LR2 Riflescope
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  • The scope is completely water and shockproof.
  • There is extra weaver for rail accessories.
  • The video recording option is available with the video output.
  • The image is very clear and sharp.


  • N/A

Why You Need A quality Night Vision Scope?

Hunting night-time creatures can be a stress.Their vision is much more comfortable with darkness than ours. And so it is a lot harder to sneak them up on and take out.

Having a night vision scope would make realizing and killing nocturnal beings ten times cooler than without one. You would be able to get them oblivious and possibly asleep.

You will also give yourself a vast benefit. This is because numerous daylight animals have imperfect visibility at night as well. With this scope, you would be able to develop into a silent and more operative killer.

Today this technology is obtainable to anyone that can pay to use it. While the most public uses of these devices are still soldierly and law enforcement.

Still, they are becoming progressively popular with security firms, private investigators, hunters, shutterbugs, and nature fanatics along with hunters.

A Night Vision Scope vs. a Night Vision Device:

How does these affordable night vision scope actually works? Night scopes take in the natural light in a space. Then it simply enhances it to exploit your field of vision. It even improves ultraviolet light which is unseen to the naked eye. Also, many soon find out that discrete night vision devices are not as useful as night vision scopes.

A scope lets you keep your eye on your aim. You can have focus before, during, and after the kill is done. If you’re using a discrete night device you would have to take the time to rearrange your eyesight and revive your target when you go to make the aimed shot. In that amount of time, your prey could move. And this will make you lose it entirely. As any hunter sees, the less amount of time between finding and kill, the better.

The Four Generation of the Digital Night Vision Scope:

There are, in fact, four dissimilar generations obtainable at the present time for night vision scope. And generally, this vocabulary applies to the level of the image intensifier tube that is within the tool. This is the technology that lets you see at night and this also makes the image vibrant. So what is dissimilar about each generation?

First Generation

Maximum of the night vision scopes that you stumble across in your own individual search would be from the first generation. What this generation of expertise does is take in the partial light available. Then it magnifies it up to 1000 times or more to let you see pictures in the dark. This model usually has a soft perceptible noise when the tool is on. Also while you can see images in the dim, they might be to some extent blurry.

Second Generation

The next generation up of night vision scopes is those that offer extra technology features. Such as a micro-channel plate that offers you with a far greater image. The images you see through the scope are far livelier. Also, the image is cleaner and crisper. The tube also frequently features a lengthier tube life. Also, the noise of the tool is lesser. These scopes are chiefly popular in professionals such as law enforcement specialists and private detectives.

Third and Fourth Generation

As you upsurge to more progressive night vision scopes outside the second level, you would find that resolution upsurges even further. And they can give you ultra-high quality pictures with very less light obtainable. They run with ultra-quiet sound and have a pipe life that is around twice that of a second generation model. They feature machinery that works to diminish the halo effect. This is common with first and second generation versions. Several also have a black and white image output instead of the green glow that is usual with such devices.

As you can see, if you are shopping around for the night vision scope under $500, you likely would want to stick with the first generation versions. However, you might find better quality if you can have enough money to pay out for a second generation version.

Frequently, the third and fourth generation models would be hard for the average civilian to trace. Also, they are usually more expensive for most people to have and enjoy on their own. Several people find that for the drives of wildlife viewing and hunting, a first or second generation model is what they require.

How Can They Help In Night Time Hunting?

When dark comes, you must be fully equipped with night vision tools and weapons. The most important two are the night vision rifle scopes and night vision goggles. These two tools will surely help you last at night shooting. The most common use would be for camping or hunting purposes. Can you imagine how valuable it can be? Nighttime is the finest time to shoot creatures. And with this gadget, you would surely do so without applying so much effort. This can also defend you by letting you peek into your lawn for undesirable visitors, without making a ruckus.

How to Choose the Most Suitable Night Scope

A night scope should have a design to make sure that you are firing at the spot-on target and at the right angle. If there is a mistake in your scope, you can almost ensure a miss. It doesn’t matter how good of a hunter you are. When picking a night vision rifle scope, you need to confirm that you choose one that meets all of your requirements.

The Difference of Usability

This can be convenient in many tenders and scenarios, such as soldierly use. But individual use is also a prevalent mode of night vision equipment. However, night vision equipment can be useful to work in two very dissimilar ways. It all depends on the technology that is in charge. One is image improvement, and the further is thermal imaging. These are just the two elementary types of night vision scopes. And so there are variations you must check out when making your choice.

Fast Focus

Another important consideration is the speed of what you are chasing. Faster moving creatures may cause you not to be capable to focus on what you are aiming at. And this will make aiming demanding. The worse quality of the scope, the tougher time you would have aiming at your target. It will make an obstacle in getting the shot you need.


As for Stability and ruggedness, you have to consider what you would be using this for. Also, think about where you would be using it and how regularly you will be using it. As soon as you get your scope make sure you can fire a square with it by firing two shot and then going in a square. By the moment you get to your final two shots you must be right back to the first two. Also, make sure to stiffen your screws every month.

The Weather Environment

For beginners, maximum hunters will go out in the early break of a day or pre-dawn hours to their favorite chasing spots or blinds. Your selection of a night vision scope would also vary on the time of use. We should note that with each generation resultant to the degree of shade in the environment where it will be operating. The general rule is that the higher the generation stage, the more its “seeing” competency in the darkness.

In count, maximum of the hunting seasons come to pass in the fall and winter. This means that they might be dealing with opposing weather conditions. Night scopes can be very convenient in those early hours of the morning while it is still dark. Check if the scope is an all-weather one.

Covering Distance

Next, you must decide on the span that the night vision scope would cover in the path of its use. If you are a long-range shooter, then we advise choosing a scope with better magnification. If you are a close range shooter, then a low power scope is a good choice. Each one, nevertheless, has pros and cons. particularly if the exaggeration and illumination is a concern. Pick one over the other so as to short down your selections.

Kind of Target

Though, it isn’t just the span that you need to take into consideration when picking from among numerous night vision rifle scopes. You must also fix the types of aim in your sights. Since then your choice of magnification would then have to differ. And so it is important you take care about this point. So that the accurate power of the scopes can be taken. The following common rules in magnification relate in scopes:

  • Squirrels would need 4x magnifications.
  • Varmints require 4x to 12x magnification.
  • For the big game in solid environments, both the 1.5x to 4x and 2x to 7x would work.
  • For the Big game in fairly open to wide open environments would require a 3x to 9x or 6x to 18x magnification. Also, you can choose 2.5x-10x to 4x-12x ones.


Also essential in choosing the finest night vision scope for your use is the attendance of features that would make it more suitable to use the tool. Look at the sighting system accurateness, which can come in red as well as green.


You can get night vision hunting scopes from a range of different brands with great quality. The brands offer more technology and feature this day. And so you can rely on the popular brands. Check the customer’s review to understand better about the brands if you are confused. Also, it is better not to get from local sporting goods retailers.

Passive or Active?

One more thing you must consider when getting your night scope is the type of scope you want. There are both active besides passive scopes available. A passive night vision scope just collects the light and intensifies it. An active scope would not only amplify light. It would also improve the images. No matter what type of scope you choose, make sure that you have sufficient batteries on hand.


The lens you use would play an important factor in your night scope consideration. If you need to spot animals from a pan, you would want a more influential lens. You may have to hazard light gathering qualities for intensification. Also, you must really try to get a happy medium between the two.

The least costly first generation night scopes would only show the clearer images in the light of a full moon. This can get dangerous since you might also be seen as well. Second generation units could provide much more lucidity, even in less light situations. Third generation scopes would provide the maximum illumination. Even when it is a shady and dull night. Both second and third generation scopes are going to be much more costly. However, these are of the premier quality.


Maximum night vision scope reticles have a humble mechanism, particularly the common kinds. But there are times that you would be meeting complex reticles. Specifically, those that are from Germany.

By far, the utmost popular scope reticle is the meek crosshair. This is usually accessible in fine, medium and thick. Fine simple crosshair reticle is perfect for varmint shooting. While the medium simple crosshair reticle is decent for big game shooting and is for all-inclusive use. On the other hand, the thick simple crosshair reticle is flawless for near range shoot at huge targets like deer. The simple crosshair is constant and much comfortable to use.

The post and crosshair is the thereafter most prevalent scope reticle. The post was intended to look like an even topped front sight. This is basically for those with iron visions or has difficulty adjusting to a crosshair scope reticle. Post reticle usually has a flat cover. The tip of a post with a sharp edge or a picket hedge post is very problematic to see at dim light. So, the shooter aims far-off down the scope reticle and in this way shoot gets above the aim.

Under the post top, the horizontal crosshair is there. It is to keep up the rifle at balance. It does not have a pointing function. The dots are available in numerous sizes and helps to subtend at hundred yards for 2, 4 or 6 minutes of angle (MOA). The 4-minute dot is decent for huge game hunting.

The Duplex reticle has a good central crosshair. It changeovers to a sturdy crosshair about quarter toward the edge. The idea was to guide the eye to the marking point of the scope reticle. The thick part of the Duplex reticle is much laid-back to see in the dim light. Also, the fine inner crosshair could be finer if you compare it to the classic medium crosshair. On the whole, the standard Duplex reticle is very adaptable for night time hunting.

Lower F-stop & Multiple Coatings

Most marksmen would want a high-quality optical configuration scheme. With a high level of quality, you would find a noteworthy decrease in the F-Stop factor. A night vision rifle scope with a low F-Stop factor offers a clear and more improved picture quality. This eventually means better use and a more correct shot. Multi-coating glass optics is just about essential for night vision rifle scope hunters.


One of the vital features that you want to check out about night rifle scopes is the exaggeration. Hunters are often picky concerning this feature. You must choose a magnification that would work best for you. If you select too low of an enlargement, then you would not be able to correctly sight your target. Though, too high of magnification and you’ll be pointing at too small of a piece of your aim.

Dredge up that a higher magnification always does not promise a better shot. The clearness of the image is hugely reliant on the quality of the glass available. With a night vision rifle scope, you would likely want to consider something that sounds suitable. The 3x-5x range of exaggeration is perfect for the night vision rifle scopes. In this favor, you can check out the finest brands. So, picking the ideal exaggeration is absolutely essential for such scopes.

Aiming System

You must also ponder the quality of the accuracy aiming system. The maximum popular choice is an accuracy red on the green aiming scheme. Memorizing that the resolve of this system to communicate the mark location to the brain for the maximum precise aim. And it is easy to appreciate why the red or green system is so highly ideal. If your scope changes take lesser time, you would find more time to dedicate for concentrating on your shooting skills. The quality of the accuracy aiming system would also be taken care of. For nighttime hunting scopes, an ultraviolet illuminator is also useful.

Push Buttons

There are numerous hunters who favor using a push button operating organization on a rifle scope that is apposite for nights. This feature ensures that the scope is more user-friendly. Since it will reduce the difficulties related to the use of the night scopes.


Finally, you have to reflect the functionality of the night vision rifle scope. Check how it performs in your regular environment and knows from other users. Liable on where and when you mean to use it, you may value a scope that has dependable and durable water and fog confrontation. Or, if you need your night scope to function in extreme surroundings. You may need one that could be completely safe even in full water.

Price Range

First off, you need to set your price range particularly as night riflescopes are equipped with night optics technology. This can be relatively costly. Choices range from a few hundred bucks to numerous thousand dollars.

There are so many options when you look for the best night vision scope under $1000. However here we are talking about five hundred dollars range scopes.  It all depends on the exaggeration power, resolution and other aspects. Keep in mind that, as with maximum products and services, you get what you spend for.

When you are seeking for affordable night vision scope, you may be driven by the price range that you are gazing at. But you must also put some thought into the kind of technology that you will need. For example, if you will be running around while looking through your scope, then you must probably pick lightweight ones. In short, here are a few methods to get the correct night vision price for you:

  • Don’t get more technology than you really require. Maximum people will get by with a “generation 1” model that is tremendously inexpensive right now.
  • Buy online where you would find the inexpensive prices (and the finest selection). Spending full price in an outdoors store is absurd these days!
  • Put some consideration into what you would be using the device for. It might be that buying a higher price item would give you more functions. However, there might be features that you don’t need or wish.

Other Factors

Here are some other factors that you need to focus moreover.

  • Try to pick detachable infrared illuminator. It would always be a plus when it comes to picking the right night vision rifle scope.
  • Adjustments must be comparatively smooth and easy to realize and reach. In order for it to be a good night time scope you must be capable to adjust it by hand.
  • The size if the objective lens verifies the amount of light that will be let in. Therefore when it gets gloomier out with a larger objective lens, you would be able to see the crosshairs for more time.
  • Get some accessories that you would want with your scope. You have plenty of choices out.

Our Top Pick

ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope w/1080p Video, Ballistic Calculator, Rangefinder, WiFi, E-Compass, GPS, Barometer, IOS & Android AppsSightmark Citadel 3-18x50 LR2 Riflescope
Armasight Night Vision Rifle Scope – The Illumination Technology!
ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20
Brand: ATN
Color: Black
Dimensions: 11.36″ x 3.45″ x 3.5″
Sport Type: Hunting
Item Weight: 4.4 Pounds
Sightmark Wraith HD 4-32×50 Digital Riflescope
Brand: Sightmark
Color: 4-32×50
Dimensions: 17″ x 3″ x 2.5″
Sport Type: Hunting, Airsoft
Item Weight: 2 Pounds
Armasight Orion 5X Gen
Brand: Armasight
Color: Black
Dimensions: 12.7″ x 4.6″ x 4.1″
Sport Type: Hunting
Item Weight: 3.7 Pounds

Frequently Asked Questions:

Are there scopes with video recording?

Also, some night vision is available that offer sights that would allow you to convey the information that you are watching and record it. So you would be able to use it to act against someone if you need to.

Especially if you are afraid about a crime that is going on at your place of business or on your possessions at night. This will help you to record and would help you make your case.

Do I need other accessories with night vision scopes?

Well, it’s not compulsory but definitely encouraging. Some night vision rifle scopes could be used with further accessories to increase your performance.

The adaptor is a quick separable, multiple eye relief increasing the base. Also, you can try using a camera Adaptor, a stand to keep it stable. See if you need to have this tools and upsurge the chances of getting your prey.

Are night vision scopes are meant actually for military application?

Night vision technology was primarily popular for military applications. However, over the years the technology ended its’ way into law implementation uses.

Today this technology is accessible to anyone that can have enough money to use it and maximum users are from hunting society.

Also, it is highly used for security and other purposes. So maybe at previous days, it was only meant for military uses, now it isn’t only limited.

Is there any govt. rules related to night vision scopes?

There are some states where using night vision riflescopes are not legal. Yes, you heard me right. But you need to find out about that and most probably if you are a pro shooter you almost know it.

But still, you can use it by getting a license or allowance. So check the local regulations if you need to use it.

What else other purposes can it be used for other than hunting?

This is a great tool to have you go camping at night. Also, you can play paintball games with it. However, try to use it to a non-public area.

Otherwise, you might find your neighbors calling the police being not sure of your intention. There are certain areas where playing these games are okay and permissible.


A night vision scope is a complete necessity for anybody looking to shoot cave dwelling or nighttime creatures. It can be a bit hard to adjust to at first.

However, as soon as you get the hang of shooting with these scopes you would be a much more creative hunter and have a whole easier time.

These scopes would make it probable for you to hunt successfully all day long. Do yourself a courtesy and get the best night vision scope under $500 for hunting as soon as possible.

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