Best Night Vision Scope Under 500 – Detailed Review & Buying Guide

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Introduction

The best night vision scope under 500 always has to ensure many criteria that a far vision device needs to have. There are many products on the market that are suitable for hunters. So what is the most ultimate option?

We will first send you a list of five products in this article. In each device, there will be full information on technical standards, a detailed review analysis, and a summary of the advantages and disadvantages of each model.

Now let’s get started.

Compare table

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Sightmark Wraith HD 4-32x50Sightmark Wraith HD 4-32x50
  • Day/Night mode 
  • High-definition sensor
  • 8x digital zoom
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Night Owl OpticsNight Owl Optics
  • Easy-to-use: Mount, Sight, Shoot
  • Range: 100-200 yds.
  • Built-in infrared illuminator
  • Weatherproof
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WANNEY Smart Day Night ColorfulWANNEY Smart Day Night Colorful
  • Day/Night Mode
  • Built-In rangefinder
  • 1080p HD Video Recording & Photos
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Sightmark Photon 6.5x50SSightmark Photon 6.5x50S
  • Day and night Use
  • Digital reticle with the option of 6 reticle styles
  • Built-in 810nm LED IR illuminator
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NightStar 2x50mm Gen-1 TacticalNightStar 2x50mm Gen-1 Tactical
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Best Night Vision Scope Under 500 Review 

#1 Sightmark Wraith HD 4-32×50 – Best For Magnification

Sightmark Wraith HD 4-32x50 Night Vision Digital Riflescope
  • Day/Night mode
  • High-definition sensor
  • 8x digital zoom – a 2x optical system for up to 16x magnification
  • HD photo or video recording

Key features:

  • Magnification: 4-32x and 8x digital zoom 
  • Objective Diameter: 50 mm
  • Reticle: 10 options
  • Eye relief: 2.4 / 60 in / mm
  • Resolution: 1080p HD
  • Battery Life: 4.5 hours
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: ‎2 Pounds

Coming out on top is the Sightmark Wraith HD 4-32×50. The device can serve you a top-notch magnification yet still get sharp images with the advanced 1920×1080 HD sensor. 

Its total magnification can be up to 32x. Where digital is 8x, and optical is 4x. Therefore, this product is very suitable for buyers to take pictures at great distances of 200 yards. 

Sometimes we can even spot the prey from 250 yards away! And surprisingly, the images still show up clearly without a trace of a blur, no matter how big you zoom out.

For those who want to revisit those beautiful moments, Wraiths can help. It may also record and output video with up to 64GB internal memory. The device also owns a 4AA battery and lasts up to 4.5 hours with 3.5 video mode and 4.5 preview mode.

This riflescope has a large field of vision, though it allows you to find the target even if it is far away. Also, its reticle is engraved on the initial focus plane, so this would remain crisp no matter how you alter the magnification. Because of these capabilities, it may be utilized in almost any context. 

An unfortunate minus point in this scope is that it does not have a focus function and correction mode for those who suffer from eye-related diseases.

Pros:

  • A powerful infrared flashlight.
  • Eye-cup is detachable.
  • Target acquisition accuracy of up to 200 yards.
  • The menu button modification is simple.

Cons:

  • There is no warranty.
  • Short working hours.

Read more: Sightmark Wraith 4K Max 3-24×50

#2 Night Owl Optics NightShot – Best For High Quality

Night Owl Optics NightShot Digital Night Vision Riflescope
  • Easy-to-use: Mount, Sight, Shoot
  • Range: 100-200 yds. in typical nighttime environments
  • High resolution, 640X480 display
  • Built-in infrared illuminator
  • Weatherproof

Key features:

  • Magnification: 3x 
  • Objective Diameter: 40 mm
  • Reticle: 6 options
  • Eye relief: 2.7 inches 
  • Focal length: 52 mm
  • Resolution: High resolution, 640 x 480 display
  • Battery Life: 4 to 7 hours
  • Material: ‎Plastic
  • Weight: 1.4 Pounds

This is one of the cheap but high-quality products. It gives everyone all they want from the night vision sight without digging deep into their pockets.

Everything of this product is purpose-built, including its low-powered optics, which are excellent enough for us to get users out to 150 yards with ease while yet maintaining the clarity or resolution to select the target out of tough bush or detritus. 

This isn’t an outstanding accomplishment of optical technology, but it is a marvel of high-quality scopes at an incredible price. Besides that, it is suitable for hunters or photographers at long ranges at night. 

Even at distances exceeding 100 yards, the vision here is quite acceptable. You can clearly see the boundaries of the target, then nothing blends in, which is a common issue with cheaper night vision. 

The picture’s resolution is ideal for its size, and all appear crisp. In particular, the same high resolution as most other products is a 640 x 480 display. This helps people have many clear images. 

One cross-bolts has a flat place. These may be inverted to function in other mounts, notably “weaver mounts” with varying slot spacing.  This item is designed for weapons with a 2.0 – 2.5 inches gap.  

Besides that, battery life can range from 4-7 hours per pair of batteries, based on how the scope is used and the kind of batteries used. With improved battery compartment history compared to previous product lines in this brand.

This scope might use some TLC because it is not shock-resistant. However, it appears to hold up effectively even on automatic rifles. It is waterproof and can withstand temperature fluctuations. 

You can’t really ask more from the product that weighs a little over 1 pound and is certainly the lightest lightweight night-vision lenses on the market.

One drawback of this good is the position of the battery door. Users will have to eliminate the sight to change the batteries; the scope will not be in the correct spot if removed. As a result,  people must see it whenever they change the batteries.

Still, with an affordable price tag and 3x magnification, its night vision doesn’t get any better than that.

Read more reviews: Night Owl Optics NightShot Digital

Pros:

  • Can focus the image easily.
  • Simple construction.
  • May see 100 yards without using the IR light in full darkness.
  • Weatherproof.

Cons:

  • Lack one external illuminator.
  • Not suitable for persons who use glasses.

#3 WANNEY Digital Night Vision Scope – Best For Beginners

WANNEY E50-II Plus Smart Day/Night Colorful
  • 300m NIGHT VISION RANGE
  • Day/Night Mode ,Wanney Night Vision Can be used anytime and provide the best quality image regardless of lighting conditions.
  • Built-In rangefinder will make your life easier. You do not need to carry additional equipment to range your target. Forget about handheld rangefinders. It will calculate the distance, to have the perfect shot every time.
  • 1080p HD Video Recording & Photos, Recoil Activated Video (RAV) and Wi-Fi Streaming - allow you to record all of your hunting trips, using your phone / tablet as a viewfinder. Firmware upgradeable.
  • 100% RISK FREE PURCHASE: At WANNEY, we have absolute faith in our night vision products. All our products come with a 1 Year Limited Guarantee, so don't hesitate to contact our customer support!

Key features:

  • Magnification: 2x digital zoom – 3.9x optical amplification
  • Objective Diameter: 50mm
  • Reticle: 3 options
  • Eye relief: 36 mm
  • Resolution: 1080p HD
  • Battery Life: 6 – 8  hours
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: ‎2.3 Pounds

It can be said that this product possesses many features suitable for new users. First and foremost, it has many buttons with illustrated images. The regulator makes it easy for users to navigate and control. In addition, the special manufacturer also includes detailed instructions for use.

A pretty prominent feature of it is that it has a viewfinder, also known as a rangefinder. This outstanding feature will do the heavy lifting of measuring the distance and required magnification for you. As a result, it will help you kiss goodbye to the guesswork and calculation. 

This way, it enhances the precision when aiming targets. With this feature, it is suitable for beginners who are inexperienced in using scopes to target.

It is impossible not to mention the aluminum housing material, but it is quite light (only 2.3lbs) and comes with a strap, so it is easy to carry, limiting fatigue for those who are new and not used to it.

Also, including a 1080p HD camera, this technology can record high-quality films and capture photos. Wi-Fi streaming allows you to watch real-time movies on the tablet or phone through an app. 

The optic also has the Recoil Activated Video (RAV) option that begins recording automatically as you shoot.

Pros:

  • Simple to concentrate.
  • Can be used during the day.
  • Lightweight body, easy to transport
  • Well-constructed, assuring its safety against threats.

Cons:

  • Not a waterproof scope.
  • Limited battery life.

#4 Sightmark Photon Riflescope – Best For Image Quality

Sightmark Photon RT 4.5-9x42 Digital Night Vision

PROS
- Wifi streaming
- Long viewing distance
- Helpful accessories
CONS
- Low-quality images

Key features:

  • Magnification: 4.6x/6.5x optical
  • Objective Diameter: 50mm
  • Reticle: 6 options
  • Eye relief: 60 mm
  • Resolution: 640 x 480 display
  • Battery Life: 4 – 5 hours
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: ‎2.45 pounds

Digital technology is the cutting-edge solution for night vision that is on the horizon. Quality photographs will follow when CCD cameras grow more advanced. And Sightmark Photon XT is one example of the first attempts to combine digital technology with conventional glass optics.

With the provided shade-cap, the scope operates well in sunlight. It will require light at night, either from the 3/4 to the full moon or by turning on the Infrared. Under both scenarios, the scope may require additional turning of a contrast adjustment to provide a clear image.

Furthermore, the cost will most likely be cheaper than typical generating units. The image quality is amazing for the cost of this item, and it readily competes with Generation 2 night vision equipment.

Yet its drawbacks are still worth mentioning. First, the device is solidly made; consequently, it is fairly weighty (roughly 2.5 pounds), although this is not much different from traditional night vision equipment. 

Also, at observing distances greater than 100 yards, the laser illuminator or night infrared would be required. And with this additional expense, its photon is still around one-fourth the cost of a comparable traditional night vision gadget.

Overall, it’s completely suitable for varmint hunting at night or hog hunting.

Pros:

  • Adjustable brightness.
  • High-quality videos.
  • Both daytime and night operation

Cons:

  • The device may switch on by accident.
  • The shade cap commonly slips off.

#5 NightStar 2x50mm Tactical Riflescope – Best For The Price

Key features:

  • Generation: 1
  • Magnification: 2x 
  • Objective Diameter: 50 mm
  • Reticle: The lighted red-on-green reticle with one brightness setting.
  • Eye relief: 45 mm
  • Resolution: 35 lp/mm
  • Battery Life: 2.5 hours
  • Material: Titanium
  • Weight: ‎4 Pounds

The NightStar is ideal for varmint hunters, night blinkers, and newbies seeking a low-cost introduction to night vision equipment.

Its biggest benefit is its cheap price point. Hence it is geared at the budget-conscious market. You should never underestimate this low-cost kit.

Like other Gen 1 optics, this product lacks a microchannel plate. Image quality is adequate for the Gen 1 camera because it features the 35 lp/mm quality, which is soon becoming the industry standard despite today’s cheap price points.

With the modest magnification and reasonable diameter 50 mm aperture, image quality is adequate since the fixed magnification keeps all of its resolution capacity.

Although it can be thought that it can reach a range of 200 yards, this is most certainly not the case. We’d guess 100 yards would be its maximum range, which is plenty for pest management.

One significant disadvantage is the scarcity of information regarding their warranties, goods, as well as a business profile. Another drawback of this product is that it cannot record video or sound. But we can’t expect more from such a good price, right?!

Pros:

  • Have a reasonable price.
  • Easy and simple to use with four operation buttons.
  • Create precise shots.

Cons:

  • Cannot be used during the day.
  • Short lifetime warranty.

What To Expect From Night Vision Scopes Under $500? 

While some may believe that purchasing a low-cost night vision scope is a bad idea, the ones we’ve just reviewed demonstrate the contrary. 

With one of these models, you will receive superb picture quality as well as exceptional magnification or detection range, allowing you to notice any targets from decent distances. 

To attain that level of accuracy throughout your quest, you may change the brightness of the illumination. In terms of innovative features, contemporary scopes include video recording functionality, and a few of them enable you to upload them to the phone over WiFi. 

Finally, it’s important to note that these gadgets are highly sturdy and can resist extreme weather conditions.

Told, while a night vision model is compact, it contains a lot of technology that makes it one highly efficient hunting gear. We’ll go over many of the major characteristics that make it a valuable hunting tool. 

Buying Guide

Best Night Vision Scope Under 500
You-need-to-get-your-rifle-scope-ready-before-sighting-in

Magnification

It is the most important factor to consider when selecting any night vision gadget. In general, these scopes may provide a magnification range of up to 10x. 

On the other hand, a higher magnification scope might be hefty and costly. A scope having magnification settings of 3x-5x is enough for the typical shooter and greatly lowers weight.

In contrast, some optics do not have magnification and are less expensive. These sights are intended for conventional hunting and not for long-range spacing.

Objective Lens Diameter

The diameter of the objective lens would be required based on the type of image users want. 

The 50mm lens may assist capture more light as well as provide high-quality images while photographing at small distances; nonetheless, the 80mm lens seems to be more practical for hunting at long distances.

Eye Relief

Another important aspect of the night vision items is their eye relief. This value merely denotes the distance between the sight and your targeting eye. 

Eye relief is one millimeter-measured metric representing the appropriate distance for giving you the greatest visibility of the image. Although the rifle has a lot of recoils, the higher this value is, the safer the eye would be. 

Users want to shield your sight from any backlash, although there is the catch. A long-distance might put you in uncomfortable situations since it makes it difficult to see through all the scope.

Reticle

Most people prefer the BDC (bullet drop compensation) reticle. It has a distinctive reticle design that eliminates the guesswork for most users by having a particular set of targeting points situated vertically beneath the center dot.

The BDC erases the need for periodic manual elevation adjustments, making it an excellent choice for long-range night vision scopes.

Most scopes allow you to customize the pattern, color, and illumination intensity of a reticle, impacting maximum accuracy.

Because such criteria are all dependent on the customer’s request, there is no cut-and-dried answer.

Resolution

Some products’ resolution is measured in lines per millimeter (LP/MM). The greater the value, the more visible the object is throughout the viewfinder.

The resolution from all these scopes is listed in pixels. You can easily encounter a night vision unit with 640×480 pixels, while some more expensive professional kinds boast a 4K resolution. Yet, there’s also a significant price distinction between the two.

Detection Range In The Nighttime

The scope’s detection range refers to the farthest distance you can see something. An identification range is a distance that the target may be identified. 

Identification and recognition ranges are often measured in complete darkness. In a nutshell, two range measures define your scope’s abilities in the dark. 

Even while some thermal optics have detection ranges of up to 2000 yards, there would be no way to distinguish them. These scopes will usually help us identify the target at a distance of over 600-800 yards.

In excellent conditions, IR illuminators or close IR wavelengths would have the detection range of roughly 500 yards as well as the identification range of about 300 yards for scopes using IR illuminators or near IR wavelength. 

You’ll have a clearer vision when the target has been in range because they don’t show you the thermal image on the scope’s monitor.

Length, Width, and Weight

During your hunting trip, no one likes to be carrying a bulky scope. As a result, it would be best to guarantee that the item you choose is light once it has been attached to its rifle, although the scope’s weight has to be minimal.

Durability

Of course, people choose long-lasting, well-constructed night optics for their weapons. Some people are seeking water or shockproof scopes during their outdoor adventures. 

Look for the night vision rifle scope constructed of aluminum or another long-lasting material that will withstand any environmental conditions you can face along the journey.

Some manufacturers, like SightMark, take this into consideration, as evidenced with SightMark Photon Riflescope. It has an IP55 waterproof rating, making it extremely resistant to inclement conditions when hunting. 

Other scopes, such as the Night Owl Riflescope, are entirely waterproof and can endure all of Mother Nature’s elements.

Battery

If the battery dies just as the shot is about to be fired, you’ve just squandered your entire night. It would help if you aimed for the battery duration of at least 8 hours so that you might not have to fear the optic dying in a shoot.

Larger battery life generally comes with a higher cost, but it’s one characteristic we recommend you don’t skimp on. The other alternative is to buy extra batteries and swap them out before running out of power.

FAQs 

Is It Hard To Install And Adjust A Night Vision Scope Under $500?

Installing or adjusting a scope should not be difficult if familiar with rifles. It’s alright if that’s the first time setting a scope.

If you carefully follow the instructions, you should set things up in around 10-15 minutes. When installing the scope, make sure the rifle is unloaded and that you have one wrench on hand to adjust screws.

You can refer to the link to the video tutorial below.

What Is The Max Detection Range Of Night Vision Scopes Under $500 In Darkness?

The maximum range in the darkness of scopes below $500 is approximately 300 meters. 

As previously stated, detection range will not be the most crucial consideration when shooting at night. You can detect something from 300 yards away, yet determining what target is and aiming it may be challenging.

Do Night Vision Scopes Under $500 Come With A Warranty?

You should double-check with each scope to see what the warranty includes, though most of them come with one. The warranty could either cover the full scope or just its mechanical parts. 

The term of the warranties could also vary. If the security of the investments is a worry, it’s advisable to verify with its original manufacturer for the most up-to-date information and policies.

What is the Best Cheap Night Vision Brand?

While Night Owl, Pulsar, and WANNEY have historically been the greatest night vision manufacturers,  Sightmark and NightStaroffer are considered the best night vision suppliers at their lowest costs. Sightmark would be the brand to go for if you’re looking for something under $500.

Conclusion 

Choosing the best night vision scope under 500 is not difficult if you have read this article carefully. With a lot of research and survey, we believe the right fit will always be a powerful tool in all your work.

We have placed the Sightmark Wraith HD 4-32×50 in the first place because it possesses almost every advantage a night vision device needs.

In addition, you should also refer to how to buy and select the characteristic criteria of vision technology. Some frequently asked questions at the end of the article also help you better understand the dilemmas of any buyer. Be a wise consumer, and we wish you an enjoyable hunt.