When choosing a night vision device for your air rifle you will need to consider the following. First of all, are you looking for a dedicated night vision scope or a night vision add on which converts your existing rifle day scope into a true night vision device. Your next and biggest consideration is of course your budget.. How much do you really want to spend?
Both types of weapon mounted night vision devices each come with their own set of criteria which have to be considered before purchasing.
If you choose to buy a dedicated night vision rifle scope, the first thing you will need to check is. Can the night vision rifle scope be fitted directly to your air rifle or does it need to be raised in order to provide enough clearance for a rotary multi-shot magazine as is the case on many air rifles.
If so, you will need to purchase a raised mount adaptor to help provide the clearance. Some night vision rifle scopes such as the Pulsar N970 LRF and Digisight Ultra N250 come equipped with a weaver/picantinny rail which means that you will need to acquire a raised weaver base adaptor mount to fit to the 9-11mm dove tail rail commonly found on most air rifles. Air rifles with a single piece dove tail rail, will not require a raised base.
The ideal dedicated Night Vision rifle scope for air rifle use is the Yukon Photon XT 6.5x50 digital night vision scope. All you need is a set of 30mm scope tube mounts suited to your rifle (low, medium, high, extra high) and you can fit it directly to almost any Air rifle. Priced at just £389, the Yukon Photon represents the best value for money night vision scope for air rifle use. The aforementioned Pulsar N970 LRF has a performance more suited to rimfire and larger caliber use which is also reflected in the much higher price of £1449.99, however it will work perfectly on most air rifles.
If on the other hand you go down the night vision add on route, there are a few different options. Firstly there is the front mounted add on such as the ever Pulsar Forward F155 which will give an incredible detection range of 450m and battery life up 9hrs.
The night vision add on kits from Nitesite have become increasingly popular. There is the Nitesite Eagle, Wolf and Viper. They all have the same specifications except the detection ranges. On the Nitesite Eagle the detection range is 500m, On the Wolf it is 300m and on the Viper the detection range is 100m. They are all shower proof and have a battery life of 27 hrs. They also have upgraded versions which are called the RTEK series which adds in built in recording, larger battery and other minor features.
As a result, it does still require you to shoulder your air rifle differently. This add on system is ideal for use on Air rifles from Air Arms, BSA, Webley, FX, Cometa, Theoben, etc. etc. and at £399 incl.vat. for the Nitesite Viper and £599 for the more powerful Nitesite Wolf, they represent the best value for money night vision add on devices. There are more advanced front or objective lens mounted systems available such as the Pulsar Forward F155, thus not affecting your eye relief, but this particular device is not really suited for air rifle use due to the limited target range of air rifles in general coupled with a price tag in excess of £989.95..