Bruce Potts looks at some quality equipment that will help you target quarry after dark without a lamp…
Nite Site Dark OPs Eagle
Nite Site offer a very different type of NV sight that attaches to your day telescopic sight and uses a TV screen, camera and an IR illuminator for a cost-effective unit to see at night.
An infrared beam is sent towards your target from a unit attached to the scopes tube and it its rear is a TV screen. The second camera module attaches to the eyepiece of your scope and picks up the image generated by the IR beam and displays it on the TV screen. A separate battery pack proves up to 5-hours use. Your reticle from your scope is then superimposed onto the quarry as viewed on the TV screen, and you shoot with a heads-up stance.
The Dark Ops Eagle Elite is the high spec unit that gives sharp defined images and uses the new 940nm infrared that is invisible to humans and animals for total stealth use. This only illuminates the area you are aiming at and thus gives a super clear image and range of 550-yards max. You have a rotating focus wheel, and an SD slot, so you can record images.
The Eagle also has the laser range finder attachment that is really good, as range finding at night is hard. Nite Site has a sight for airgunners right up to centrefire users and their proven technology delivers a good NV sight for the price.
Pulsar Argus LRF
The Argus is a Night Vision Gen 2+ weapon dedicated sight that weighs 1.2kg, with dimensions of 322 x 111 x 87mm and runs off one CR123A battery. This has a 60mm Lens and a detection range of 600m with the built-in IR unit with its 4x magnification and field of view of nine-degrees all for £2229.95. The laser range finder takes away the uncertainty of the range to your quarry, so an accurate shot at night is now possible. It is accurate too and on an air rifle or 22lr subsonic, where the trajectory is curved, it makes hold over a lot easier.
The Argus is a Russian Gen 2 + tube sight that gives a good degree of light sensitivity and clarity and being an analogue tube design with a digital aiming system, you combine the excellent light gathering of the Generation 2+ tube matched with the flexibility of a digital system to aim and zero. For those wanting a one-stop NV dedicated weapon scope, from a trusted company, then the new Argus LRF has to be it.
Yukon Photon RT
The Yukon Photon RT is another digital weapon sight that weighs 870g and is 421 x 100 x 92mm in size and uses 4x AA or rechargeable battery pack giving 3.5-hours life. The lens is 42mm with a magnification of 4.5x and 9x digital zoom and the sensor, which is a CMOS 768x576, offers a detection range 200m and field of view of 4.3-degrees. This mounts like a conventional scope, or you can buy an optional one-piece mount for £66.95 with the actual sight being a great value price of £589.95. Not everyone wants a Night Sight that has long range capability and costs the earth, especially if it’s only for rabbits at air rifle or rimfire ranges.
The Photon comes with a built-in IR illuminator of 850nm and gives a good clear black and white image from the LCD 640x480 screen display. During half moon light, you can shoot rabbits up to 65 yards and detect pass 125-yards. Turn on that IR illuminator and then image instantly improves, with more definition and the range increases too.
Flir Scout TK
The Flir Scout TK is an entry level thermal imaging, hand-held observation device that allows you to detect a heat source up to 100-yards away. It’s ideal as a pocket-sized sight for security, wildlife watching or hunting, priced at under £559 it won`t break the bank. It can also record still or video images. The Scout is designed for single hand use and is only 6 x 2 x 2-inches and weighs 170-grams. There are four operating buttons to navigate through the system and start up time of less than 5-seconds and the ion battery has a fivehour time span for uninterrupted viewing.
You can choose between white and black hot and you also have a colour pallete to show degrees of hottest of an object. There is a wide field of view and definition is good when viewed on the 640 x 480 LED screen and detection range of 100-yards is more than adequate, considering the excellent price of the Scout.
The Scout is a very handy, cost effective Thermal device and comes with a 2-year warranty on parts and labour and 10-year warranty for detection. The Scout is IP-67 submersible rated and safe to use in -20 to 40 degrees C.
Pulsar Trail XP38
The Pulsar Trial is an extremely effective and high-quality thermal weapon sight that can be used mounted to a rifle to actually take the shot and also used for observation. The new Trail XP38 offers a superb level of detection and clarity at a price of £3,769.95. I like the wider angle of the 38mm and has 640 x 480-pixel resolution with a frame rate of 50Hz so crisp images.
You have a F38mm F1.2 lens, which gives 1.2x mag, whereas the XP50 gives 1.6x mag. But you do have the option of a continuous digital zoom from 1.2 to 9.6x mag or set digital zoom of 2x, 4x and 8x.
It’s quite compact at 11.5 x 2.8 x 2.6-inches and weighs in at 620-grams and once mounted is not too high on the rifle or un-balanced. Battery life is basically all night! The AMOLED display is 640 x 480 resolution and has a nice greenish tinge for good contrast. You have a technical maximum range of a detected 1.7m tall object of 1476-metres!
This is superb thermal weapon sight that offers excellent clarity, definition and long detection range and ability to take an accurate shot too.
Pulsar Core FX50
The new Pulsar FXD50 Core is a front mounted thermal weapons sight that converts a day sight to thermal use for day or night. You can also fit a different rear end and use as a viewing device only.
Priced at £3995.95, you get a very good thermal device that is excellent for detecting quarry in the hand with its distinctive green OLED sapphire display. Being front mounted, there are no parallax issues and the zero stays the same and your day scope’s reticule looks over-laid on the image.
Dimensionally, the Core is 7.5 x 2.6 x 2.4 inch with a magnification of 2.9x, plus digital zoom also. It uses a 50mm, f1.2 lens that gives a field of view of 10.9-degrees at 100-yards. The power comes from two CR123A type batteries. Resolution is excellent from the 640 x 480 OLED screen and the detection range on this model is 1200 metres! You have four buttons for of/on, mode and left and right navigation and can be used to increase or decrease the brightness or contrast of the image.
Sensitivity is excellent and gives very vivid images with good contrast between the reticule and image for a superbly detailed view. The high 50 Hz refresh rate means a detailed image that does not blur as you move the Core in observation and is IPX7 rated so highly weatherproof and this backed up with a three-year warranty.