Night vision scope for crossbow has come to stay. The constant innovation in the weapons space is outstanding. Everything has its place, including crossbow shooting.
Hunters particularly have been given so much variety that it’ll take a massive chunk of your life to try them all out. As more and more people now go hunting with crossbows, the need for a crossbow scope has grown.
Even more so, night hunting is becoming increasingly popular among hunters. This means more people need scopes that will allow them to see their prey and their surroundings at night – in comes the night vision scope for crossbow.
Night vision scope is just what you need if you use a crossbow for hunting. Now, you don’t even need to be hunting at night to need this scope. In a low light condition, the night vision scope will give you all the clarity you need to both see your hunt clearly and stay safe in the process.
It probably might have been easy to pick the crossbow night vision scope you needed a couple of decades ago, seeing that the scopes in this category serving crossbows were few and far between. The story is different now; the boom in the industry has led to more brands joining the train of producing night vision scopes for crossbows.
While this is fantastic news for users as you get variety, it also means choosing the best scope for you just got even more challenging. It is for this reason we’ve put together this guide.
The guide contains some of the best crossbow night vision scopes for crossbow in the business, its features, advantages, and disadvantages alike; you’ll also find a buyer’s guide and more.
At the end of this piece, you would be able to choose a night vision scope for your crossbow effortlessly.
Best Night Vision Scope For Crossbow
What are the best night vision scopes in the market now? What makes them special? Why should you even care? And of course, what drawbacks do they have?
All these and more will be answered in this section. Before we go ahead, you should know there are so many other night vision scope for crossbows that will not be mentioned here. What you’ll see here is a collection of some of the best scopes we have curated.
- ATN X-Sight 4k Pro 5-20x – Our Top Choice
- ATN X-Sight II HD 3-14x
- Firefield NVRS 3×42 Gen 1 Night Vision
- Sightmark SM16012 Ghost Hunter 2×24 Night Vision Scope – Best Value for Money
- ATN ThOR HD 384 2-8x Smart Thermal Scope – Best Thermal Scope
- Sightmark Photon XT 4.6-6.5x Night Vision Scope.
In case you want to know about the scopes, in brief, this comparison table below is tailor-made for you.
|ATN X-Sight||• Magnification of 5-20x|
• Great image quality
|ATN X-Sight II||• Magnification of 3-14x|
• Obsidian four core dual processes
• Wide field of view and e-zoom feature
|Firefield NVRS||• Magnification of 3x|
• Large objective lens
• Built-in IR illuminator
|Sightmark SM16012||• Magnification of 2x|
• Can serve as both scope and monocular
|ATN ThOR HD||• Magnification of 2-8x|
• 30hz image refresh rate
• 384×288 thermal sensor
|Sightmark Photon||• Magnification of 4.6-6.5x|
• Extremely durable
• Built-in IR illuminator
#1. ATN X-Sight 4k Pro 5-20x
There’s a reason this scope sits at number one as our top night vision crossbow scope, and you’ll soon find out.
You can easily switch between night and day vision which will signal the scope of the type of view and illumination to give you, so you get clear and crisp images at all times. ATN may not be as popular in the regular optics industry. Still, they are one of the best names in the industry when it comes to night vision, and it is no surprise one of their products top our list.
Its image quality is outstanding, led by its ultra HD sensor with the obsidian four dual-core processes that help it produce clear images.
Another reason why this scope tops our list because of its special crossbow reticle that uses the information you provide to give you a precise reticle. With these amazing features, you would assume this scope should be big and clumsy, but you’ll not be farther away from the truth. The scope is slim and can be moved around easily.
With this scope, it is more than just clear images, as it can also record your hunt in resolutions as high as 1080p, aided by its 64GB SD card. You’ll also enjoy a wide magnification range of 5-20x.
All the fantastic features on the ATN X-Sight 4K pro scope are powered by a 2000mah CR battery that can give you up to 18hours of usage as it is optimized to use lower power.
You’ll find the IR might, and IR connection features quite valuable when using night vision. The ballistic calculator and range finder will also improve the speed and accuracy of your shot as you can get accurate distances using these features.
- Long battery life with a low battery consumption rate
- Magnification of 5-20x
- Ballistic calculator and range finder included
- HD video recording
- Amazing image quality
- The body is prone to scratch and wear
- SD card slot is not user friendly
#2. ATN X-Sight II HD 3-14x
Another ATN night vision scopes make our list. This time it is the ATN X-Sight II HD 3-14x night and day scope. And just like the ATN X-Sight 4k pro, it also has the obsidian four dual-core processes to guide it to produce clear images.
You can easily toggle between night and day mode and enjoy amazing quality whatever time of the day and in whatever light condition.
It allows you to choose a magnification between 3-14x, covering all your mid-range to long-range shooting. Its wide field of view of 1000 yards is hardly affected even when targeting long distances. Its “e-zoom” feature allows you to zoom into objects and areas without losing the wide field of view.
There’s also GPS attached, digital imaging, and WiFi streaming enabled on the scope. But that is not even all; you can control all these from your phone.
You’ll notice a significantly faster and easier targeting with this scope as the ballistic calculator and rangefinder do their work in calculating distances and variables to make targeting accurately easier for you.
One feature I particularly like is its recoil-activated video feature RAV that starts recording as soon as you pull the trigger; this way, you can watch your hunt later and analyze your moves.
It is, however, lacking an IR illuminator that helps day and night scopes produce clearer images.
- Magnification of 3-14x
- Day and night vision
- HD video recording RAV feature
- Amazing image quality
- Obsidian four core dual processes
- Wide field of view and e-zoom feature
- Built-in rangefinder and ballistic calculator makes targeting easier
- Lack of IR illuminator may reduce image quality
- Bulky at 2 pounds
- Lacking windage and elevation turrets
#3. Firefield NVRS 3×42 Gen 1 Night Vision
Dubbed as the scope for the casual user. The firefield NVRS 3x-42 generation 1 night vision scope ticks so many boxes when it comes to the best crossbow night vision scopes.
One outstanding feature this scope has is its 42mm objective lens which lets in enough light further boosted by its multi-coated lens that produces clear and crisp images. On the other hand, its magnification is fixed at 3x, which means you’re only able to target objects at mid ranges with this scope.
If you’re looking for a good gen-1 night vision scope, you’ll hardly do better than the firefield NVRS crossbow scope. It is extremely lightweight and durable as its body is weather resistant. The lens comes with a flip-up cover to protect it from dust and scratches.
It is powered by a 2AA battery and can last up to 20 hours with IR illuminator use. The IR illuminator wavelength is 850nm.
This scope can be easily and quickly mounted and unmounted; this means changing your optics wouldn’t take so much time anymore. Bear in mind that this is a generation 1 night vision scope and lacks additional features.
- Long battery life even with IR illuminator usage
- Ease of mounting scope
- Flip-up lens cover to protect the lens
- 42mm objective lens
- Built-in IR illuminator
- It lacks so many additional features
- Fixed magnification
#4. Sightmark SM16012 Ghost Hunter 2×24 Night Vision Scope
Perhaps the best value for money among any scope on this list. The sight mark SM16012 ghost hunter crossbow scope can also serve as a monocular. This means it can serve you even when you’re not hunting. It’ll also save you lots of space as it is extremely lightweight at just 0.5 pounds, and seeing it serves two purposes; this means one less gadget to carry around.
It also comes with a built-in IR illuminator that further enhances night vision and clear images even in total darkness.
It lacks a variable magnification, though, and at 2x and 24mm objective lens, the range at which you can target is limited. Nevertheless, you’ll enjoy its many other perks. Like its durability as parts of it are made with polymer. It also comes with a lens cloth and nylon carrying case.
This scope has a decent enough battery and an awesome life-long warranty. The scope turns itself off when exposed to bright light, enhancing its durability and battery life. Talk about a self-protecting night vision scope for crossbows.
The biggest drawback to this scope, however, is its missing reticle. This means aiming accurately is going to be a big task. This missing reticle is a big turn-off for many users. Still, if you can overlook this, you’ll be getting one of the best value-for-money night vision scopes for crossbow in the market.
- Affordable (our best value for money scope)
- Self-protecting by switching off when exposed to bright light
- Can serve as scope and monocular
- Extremely lightweight and small
- Built-in IR illuminator
- Life-long warranty
- Missing reticle
- Lack of variable magnification
- A small objective lens which may affect picture quality
#5. ATN ThOR HD 384 2-8x Smart Thermal Scope
Like most ATN night vision scopes, the ATN Thor HD 384 scope is powered by the obsidian two core dual processes. And while the last night vision scope for crossbows we mentioned was lacking a reticle, this scope gives you the option to choose between several reticle options.
There’s a ballistic calculator that puts into context all the outside factors that may affect your shot to give you a more accurate reading. It can collect enough accurate data because it comes with a magnetometer, gyroscope, barometer, GPS, and accelerometer. There’s also an attached rangefinder doing the work of a distance calculator. Hence, you get the distance you’re targeting in an instant—all these work to produce better, more accurate shots.
I like the 30hz image refresh rate particularly, and coupled with the smart HD optics technology; blurry images will be a thing of the past. I also like the 384×288 thermal sensor attached to this crossbow scope.
Recoil-activated video recording (RAV) is also available on this scope, automatically recording your shots in clear resolutions up to 1280 × 960p. You’ll also enjoy a variable magnification range of 2-8x, which will cover mid to long-range shooting distances.
This is the most advanced scope on this list. It also comes with a human detector, e-compass, e-barometer, among other additions. Its advanced features may even make it quite difficult to operate as you’ll have a lot of learning to do.
- Most advanced scope on the list with so many additional features
- Highly accurate ballistic calculator
- Smart rangefinder
- RAV enabled high-resolution video recording
- 30hz image refresh rate
- 384×288 thermal sensor
- Comes in four different variants
- Difficult to operate
- An SD card is needed to update firmware
#6. Sightmark Photon XT 4.6-6.5x Night Vision Scope
Durability is the watchword when it comes to this crossbow scope. It is both water and fog proof and is also made with polymeric materials that can withstand up to 1000 GD recoil from the bow making it extremely durable and shockproof.
It is both a night and day crossbow scope, meaning you don’t need another scope when you decide to hunt during the daytime. It also has 6 reticle designs for you to choose from.
It sports a 42mm objective lens, and it is no wonder it produces crisp pictures as enough light can pass through the lens. And with a magnification of 4.6-6.5x, accuracy at mid-range distances will hardly get any better than what the Sightmark Photon XT offers.
The IR illuminator attached to this scope further enhances the video quality and recording. It also has a multi-coated lens and a lens cap to protect the lens and keep its clear and crisp images. Unlike the above-mentioned night vision scope for crossbows, this scope is easy to operate and handle.
It uses a 2AA battery to power all these features. However, you’ll have to buy this battery separately as it is not attached to the scope. The scope however comes with a lens cloth, carrying case, and video cable.
Mounting this scope may be challenging as it does not come with mounts.
- Long-lasting 2AA battery
- Built-in IR illuminator
- Large enough 42mm objective lens
- Shockproof, water, and fog-resistant
- Great accuracy at mid-range
- Variety of reticle designs to choose from
- Extremely durable
- Lack of scope rings
- Not so great day vision
Buying the Best Night Vision Scope for Crossbow, Factors to Consider:
Here are things that will guide your decision and show you the best scope for you. Depending on what you need the scope for, the particular scope you need may vary.
See how to choose a night vision scope for a crossbow the right way.
- Magnification and Objective Lens
Wondering why they’re together? Well, they work together in most cases. The magnification is how many times bigger you can see an object. At the same time, an objective lens indicates the amount of light that can go into the lens and produce clear images.
Scopes with fixed magnification will not give you the liberty to adjust your magnification. On the other hand, variable magnification scopes will allow you to choose the magnification you want depending on where your target is. Scopes with larger magnification generally will enable you to see farther distances. But how clear these distances are will largely be dependent on the size of the objective lens.
A larger objective lens will produce clear pictures even at higher magnification.
- IR Illuminator
An infrared illuminator is a special type of light that is invisible to the human eyes. But allows the scope to produce clear images even in pitch darkness.
A scope with a built-in IR illuminator will ensure your night vision scope gives you the best images.
Seeing that most crossbows produce a high recoil GS rate, you need a durable scope. Without it, you’ll be forced to change your scope frequently as the recoil pressure from the crossbow would have damaged it.
You also need a scope that can be used in all weather, especially during wet weather. It must be waterproof and fog proof to keep water away and keep the lens clear from fog.
Scopes come at different prices. Some are budget scopes, while the others are high-end. You need to figure out the money you’re willing to spend on a night vision scope for your crossbow and then look for the appropriate scope in that price range.
What is the weight of the scope you’re looking to buy? Add the mount; how much does it weigh now?
A lightweight scope is always more advisable as it is easier to carry and handle. But you should know that the more the features, the heavier the scope. A larger objective lens will also increase the weight of the scope.
This guide has made it easy for you to choose a night vision scope for your crossbow and enjoy the best of night hunting or hunting in low-light conditions.