Sunlight hours are the best for shooting. However, not being able to shoot for 8-12 hours in a day, because it is dark, takes the fun out of rifle shooting. Are you also one of those shooting enthusiasts who’d like to set up your rifle, handgun, or shotgun for shooting when it is dark?
Would you like a firearm that is reliable in all light conditions? This article is for you. It will help you achieve the best night vision.
You must begin by choosing a dependable base rifle with a good barrel. Once you have the base rifle ready, add the right accessories to achieve better vision in all conditions.
Choose the right optic:
Choosing the right optic is critical to ensure the performance of your rifle. This is because you will aim your rifle primarily using the optic. However, if you wish to shoot in the dark, you will need to choose the optic accordingly.
Red dot optic: Red dot optics are the most common these days. They are easy to learn with and can be used any time of the day. If you wish to invest in a red dot optic, you can choose between diode and holographic. You can find robust and affordable options here .
Diode-based optics: These optics use an LED to project light. The front lens reflects the light from the LED towards the eye of the shooter. This is a simple but effective arrangement. However, the issue with diode-based optics is the appearance of distorted light to those with astigmatism and other vision impairments.
Other than this, it can be confusing to choose a specific optic. It is mostly about personal choice when it comes to choosing one. You may choose based on size, battery life, weight, ease of adjustment, etc. To get passive aiming at night vision, it is important to get a model with low-brightness settings designed to ensure visibility in dark.
Holographic optic: Holographic sights have a shorter battery life as compared to red dot optics. However, they are effective at facilitating night vision. Your eyes will determine if you see a solid reticle or sparkly one. Many people also report some relief with astigmatism after using holographic optics.
Low Power Variable Optic: An LPVO offers magnification between 1-6 times. It has an etched reticle. You can get magnification whenever you want. Some LPVO models also come with an illuminated reticle and they can be used like a red dot.
However, they are costly as compared to red dot optics and are heavier. These offer better precision and have a battery life similar to holographic optics.
Choose the right mount height:
Once you have selected the optic, you need to select the mount. There is a wide variety of mounts available between 1.3-2.33 inches of range and you must choose one based on your needs. It needs to be higher for night-vision.
1.3-1.5 inches: If you are using a magnified scope, a mount between 1.3-1.5 inches is ideal. These mounts are good for precision shooting too. However, some scopes don’t fit a 1.3-inch mount. 1.3 and 1.5-inch mounts are not the best choice for red dot optics as they are low for their capabilities.
1.7 inches: These mounts are ideal for LVPO and red dot optics. However, if you are looking for passive aiming night vision, it may not be ideal due to the low height.
1.93 inches: This mount height works great for night shooting with LPVO and red dot both. It is good for standing position as well as prone but works better for standing position. Here is a good choice of mount for red dot optics.
Use weapon-mounted lights:
If you wish to do low-light shooting, you must use weapon-mounted lights. Choosing a good light is crucial for ensuring better visibility in low-light conditions. It may tempt to pick up any weapon light that comes with a rail light and is labeled tactical.
The aspects you must look for in a weapon light are candela lumen and lux stats. Candela refers to the beam intensity emitted whereas lumens define the brightness of the light. The intensity of light in a particular area is lux. Look for lights that are compatible with all standard mounts and other components of your rifle such as tail caps and switches.
Night vision shooting will require a dual-output white/IR light or a dedicated infrared light. While dual-output lights offer both IR and white lights, they do only a mediocre job both ways. They use the lights to illuminate the targeted area for passive aiming night vision.
Invest in a laser device:
There are numerous kinds of laser devices available. However, they need adequate care and are better if used by a single user. You also need to pay attention to their installation as contrary to popular opinion, they are not plug and play. You need to be as careful with the installation as with an optic.
Position the device carefully and zero it to get the best results and worth from your investment. While you may get an overwhelming number of options when you search for laser devices for rifles online, it is not a good idea to buy them. Choose a laser device based on your requirements. Infrared laser devices are ideal for night vision shooting.
How you want to set up your rifle will depend on your preferences and budget. However, do not opt for very cheap equipment. Remember, good-quality equipment will go a long way. Do not buy too many accessories, but ensure that whatever you buy is of superior quality.
It will usually be cheaper in the long run because you will not have to replace as often as inexpensive gear. If you are looking to set up your rifle for low-light conditions, you can find high-quality accessories here.