How To Select The Right Night Vision Scope For The Military

The scope is an essential optical sighting tool that helps the army in mounting night offensives while in the combat fields. The device is also known as a telescopic sight or night binoculars. The scope has a graphic image design fixed strategically to deliver the exact target point. Apart from the military, the night vision scope can also be used by various individuals and teams like hunters and rescue groups.

This blog aims at offering you useful information about a telescopic sight and focuses on the following areas: types of the night vision scope available in the market and what to consider when buying the devices.

Types of telescopic sights

There are various kinds of scopes in the market. The devices are classified using different methods like optical magnification, the diameter of objective lenses, and classification by generations.

Objective lenses diameter classification

The classification of optical sights depends on various factors, including optical amplification capacity and the diameter of the objective glasses. For instance, �60×120′ means a magnification power of 60 with 120mm objective lenses. Optical sights with large diameters have more significant luminous power and provide a more explicit photo at the reticule.

Classification according to optical magnification

In terms of amplification, some scopes have magnification systems that can be adjusted to suit the needs of the user. Such kinds of telescopic scopes have a zoom system that can be altered to vary the image length. Most shooters find the variable magnification scopes friendly because of their ability to shoot at multiple ranges, aims, and provide a broad line of sight at low-level amplification settings.

The formula for variable magnification is the following: Variable magnification=Small magnification-optimal magnification times objective glasses.

Technological advancement has made it possible for manufacturers to come up with scopes with minimal magnification range like 1-8× and 1-6×. Scopes with low power variable optics have become famous, and many manufacturers are producing them. Scopes using flat power variable optics are the best for medium and short-range usage.

Classification according to Generations (Gen)

The GI and G2 Generations

Scopes are also classified as per their generations. There are various generations, including Ge1-Ge4. The G1 and G2 scopes are accessible by different individuals in the market. In terms of pricing, G1 and G2 telescopic sights are generally affordable and can be accessed by hunters, birdwatchers, mountaineers and others.

The G3 and G4 Generations

The G3 and G4 models, on the other hand, are expensive are and used for military purposes. These scopes have superior functionalities and multiple capacities. The G3 and G4 makes are not available for ordinary citizens. Accessories like batteries that work on G3 and G4 devices are expensive but produce reliable power.

The G3 scope improves on the features of the G2 scope and has been in the market since the 1990s. The devices apply photocathode devices from gallium arsenide that enhances photo resolution.

The military models are non-rechargeable as they apply sophisticated batteries. The G3 and G4 models are compelling as they enable the user to access a clear and sharp image of the target. The image magnification in a G3 model is highly enhanced and can go to a maximum of 50,000.

The market has various kinds of G3 devices, including Army/Navy Portable Visual System (AN/PVS7), AN/PSQ-20, and AN/PSV-14.

In the US, the NVESD is part of the organizations that approve Generation names. Although people can use the name G4 technology, NVESD hasn’t recommended it. The US military regards what is referred to as G4 scopes as GEN-III-OMNI-VII.

How to select the best scopes

Before determining the kind of night vision scope to buy, you need to consider various factors as listed and explained below:


Resolution is the measurement of the quality of images produced by the scope. The quality of the resolution of the military scope explains the capacity of the tool to intensify the image (image intensifier). G3 devices use technology that enables the production of high-quality and clear photos.

Weather resistance

An excellent night vision scope should be resistant to adverse weather conditions. High humidity, for instance, may affect the quality of images produced by the scope. It’s, therefore, critical to buy a device that can overcome the harsh weather situations.


The military scope models usually have inbuilt non-rechargeable batteries. The other kinds of models can either use alkaline or lithium batteries. The alkaline batteries are easy to get and affordable than the lithium ones. However, lithium batteries are durable and can be locally obtained.

Portability and the ease of use

The military scope should be portable and easy to learn how to use it. Complex systems may take time to master and may not be appropriate for the military whose main task is to fight the enemy. Bulky devices may add to the weight of the rifles that the military officer carries, which may be uncomfortable to them.


The best optical sighting tools for the military are made using the latest technology. For instance, Generation 1 devices were used in the 60s and may not be appropriate at the moment. Such devices use ambient light instead of the infrared source of vision.

The US Air force is examining a technology that can produce night vision goggles with a broad field of view than the current on. The military is working with various institutions to come up with excellent scopes that apply sophisticated technologies.


Technological advancement has seen the development of sophisticated military hardware equipment. While on the battlefields, the military officers are supposed to tackle the enemy at all times. The need for advanced scopes cannot be gainsaid. This blog, therefore, has explored various kinds of night vision scope products that the military apply. In summary, the blog has offered information on the following aspects:

  • Multiple types of scopes, including G1-G4.
  • What determines the best device
  • The factors to consider when selecting telescopic sights for the military


About the Author

I'm Rodney Heaton and I love hunting in the wild. In the past, I was in the military for over 5 years. After that I became a licensed hunter and a mountain guide.