A night vision crossbow scope can be an excellent addition for hunters and target shooters who want to extend their shooting into low-light conditions. As crossbow scopes with night vision capabilities continue to improve, more models are available offering clear optics and useful features. This article will overview what to look for when shopping for a night vision crossbow scope and provide recommendations on some of the top models for 2024.
Key Things to Consider in a Night Vision Crossbow Scope
When evaluating night vision scopes for your crossbow, keep the following criteria in mind:
Image Quality and Resolution: The clarity of the image through the scope is paramount. Look for scopes with high-resolution image intensifier tubes. Many models specify the resolution level, with higher numbers indicating crisper images.
Magnification Range: Most night vision crossbow scopes offer magnifications between 1x to 5x. Consider what magnification you need for your purposes and shooting distances. Higher magnifications often require a tradeoff with image brightness.
Objective Lens Size: Larger objective lens sizes, such as 50mm or 60mm, allow more light transmission for brighter images in very low light. But they can add extra weight and size to the scope.
Durability: Make sure the scope and housing can withstand recoil from the crossbow. Also consider waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof ratings for hunting in various conditions.
Mounting System: Select a scope with a mounting system that fits your crossbow securely. Many feature weaver/picatinny rails for compatibility.
Price: Night vision technology can be expensive. But prices have come down, with some quality digital units available for under $400. Determine your budget but don’t sacrifice key features and image quality.
The Top Night Vision Crossbow Scopes of 2024
Based on the criteria above, these are my top recommendations for the best night vision crossbow scopes as we enter 2024:
1. Armasight by FLIR Spartan HD
The Spartan HD from Armasight by FLIR leads the pack when it comes to image quality and performance. It features a high-resolution Gen 2+ image intensifier tube for crisp viewing even in near total darkness.
- 50mm objective lens with 1x-5x variable magnification
- 640×480 display resolution
- Weighs just 1.5 lbs for portability
- Fully water, fog, and shock proof
- Comes with 3-year warranty
With 5x zoom capability, you can clearly see and acquire targets at long range, even at night. And the 50mm lens gathers abundant ambient light for bright images. If your budget allows, the Armasight Spartan HD is arguably the best night vision crossbow scope you can buy.
2. ATN X-Sight 4K Pro
The ATN X-Sight 4K Pro is one of the most advanced digital night vision scopes available today. It captures highly detailed images with its 4K sensor and transmits them to an OLED display screen.
- 3864×2218 sensor resolution outpaces most Gen 2+ intensifiers
- Smart rangefinder calculates distance to target
- Recoil-activated video recording
- Zoom from 1.5x up to 12x
- WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, and E-Compass sensors
Besides industry-leading optics, the X-Sight 4K Pro packs some amazing tech features for the price. The smooth zoom, intelligent ranging, and recoil-activated recording make it ideal for mounting on a crossbow.
3. Sightmark Photon RT 4.5-9x42S
The Sightmark Photon RT delivers digital night vision performance without breaking the bank. For budget-minded hunters, it’s one of the best values available.
- 640×480 CMOS sensor provides sharp images
- 4 different reticle options
- 30% to 40% increased battery life
- Video out and WiFi connectivity
- Fully waterproof and fogproof
With its expanded 4.5-9x magnification range, you can scan open terrain or zoom in on targets for precise shot placement. The Photon RT performs well in low light compared to other models in its price class.
4. Yukon NVRS Titanium 1.5×42
The Yukon NVRS Titanium crossbow scope utilizes a quality Gen 1 intensifier tube to amplify ambient light up to 20,000 times. The Titanium series was designed specifically for mounting on crossbows and compounds.
- Multi-coated lenses increase light transmission
- Only 15 ounces for lightweight handling
- Rail mount for crossbows
- Runs up to 72 hours on 2 AA batteries
- Limited lifetime warranty
While it lacks some bells and whistles of the digital units above, the Yukon NVRS Titanium delivers reliable, consistent performance at close to mid-range distances – more than adequate capabilities for most crossbow hunters.
5. Solomark Blue Ring Night Vision
If you’re seeking the most budget-friendly option, look at the Solomark Blue Ring crossbow scope. For less than $100, you can expand dusk shooting capabilities without overly sacrificing performance.
- Uses IR illumination rather than image intensification
- Blue rings provide super clear reticle illumination
- Waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof
- Includes both red dot and crosshair reticles
- 1x magnification with large objective lens
Keep in mind the Blue Ring operates differently than traditional night vision, using infrared light rather than amplifying ambient light. But it’s extremely affordable and perfect for close-range shots under 100 yards.
What to Look Forward to in 2024
Night vision optics continue advancing quickly. Here are some exciting developments coming soon from leading manufacturers:
- Higher Resolution Sensors: Germanium sensors that quadruple the resolution of current Gen 3 tubes are entering production. This breakthrough should drastically improve image quality.
- Longer Battery Life: Several companies are utilizing dual battery systems for 2x to 3x increased runtime between charges.
- Lighter Weight: Engineers continue trimming down unnecessary materials to reduce overall weight. Hunters will appreciate lighter scopes for packing long distances.
- Rangefinding Capabilities: More basic-level digital night vision scopes will incorporate built-in rangefinders and ballistic calculators to provide holdover automatically.
- Lower Prices: Expanding adoption is driving down prices, even on higher-end night vision models. Expect even more affordable Gen 2+ and digital options.
As technology improves and prices drop, night vision scopes will become standard tools for predator and hog control operators, search & rescue teams, and recreation shooters – not just elite special forces.
A quality night vision crossbow scope enables hunting after daylight hours and precise shots even at long distances. Today’s models are highly advanced yet easy to use right out of the box. Look for key features like image clarity, magnification range, lens size, durability ratings, and secure mounting when selecting your scope.
For top performance without cost concerns, I recommend the Armasight Spartan HD or ATN X-Sight 4K Pro at the high end. If staying under $500, check out the Sightmark Photon RT. And for budget-minded hunters, don’t overlook the Solomark Blue Ring scope.
As technology progresses, shooters can expect improvements across all price points – from Gen 1 analog intensifiers to cutting-edge digital sensors. Nighttime hunting and predator control will become even more effective in coming years.
So equip your crossbow with one of these excellent night vision scopes for 2024. Then get ready to own the darkness and take your shooting to the next level after sunset. The capabilities are truly amazing and game-changing.