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Apr 24, 2024 | 11:20 am 508 0

Long Range Shooting with Night Vision: Getting Started

Long Range Shooting with Night Vision: Getting Started

Long-range shooting at night presents unique challenges that demand precision, patience, and the right technology. Historically, the absence of light limited visibility and accuracy, but with the evolution of night vision technology, shooters can now engage targets with remarkable clarity under the cover of darkness at similar distances that snipers and long-range target shooters are used to during the day.

Night vision technology allows users to see in low-light conditions or even total darkness, primarily through two methods: image enhancement and thermal imaging. Image enhancement works by collecting tiny amounts of light, including the lower portion of the infrared light spectrum, which is invisible to the human eye, and amplifying it to a level that our eyes can see. Thermal imaging captures the upper part of the infrared light spectrum, which is emitted as heat by objects instead of reflected as light. It then renders it as an image. Both technologies are crucial for various applications, from combat, to hunting, to target shooting.

For long-range night vision shooting applications, the most effective piece of equipment would most definitely be a Night Vision Clip-on Device.

What is a Night Vision Clip-on?

Night Vision Clip-ons have pretty much all of the same basic components as a traditional night vision monocular would have, such as the image intensifier tubes, and battery system, but with a few additional enhancements to the lenses, housing, and mounting system to allow the user to effectively convert their day scope into a night vision scope by mounting the Clip-on Device directly in front of your daytime optic.

To get more of a first-hand experience with the true capabilities of Night Vision Clip-ons, our team here at AGM Global Vision had the awesome opportunity to spend a few days of training with CR2 Shooting Solutions.
CR2 offers training courses covering: Marksmanship, Reconnaissance and Surveillance, and Communications. Utilizing broadly available commercial technologies such as Lasers, Night Vision, Ballistic Solvers, and Commercial-off-the-shelf drones.

Our instructor Chris Roberts did an outstanding job with teaching the AGM Team how to properly apply the fundamentals of marksmanship, how to carry those fundamentals over to nighttime applications, and the proper use and manipulation of our gear and equipment.

CR2 Solutions has extensive experience in real-world applications for night vision and marksmanship working with multiple military organizations. Check out their website HERE to learn more about them!

If you’re just considering buying a night vision clip-on, or if you are interested in investing in professional training focused on its use. Here are the key things you should know before getting started.

There are several types of Night Vision Devices, each suited to different applications:

  1. Monoculars - These are single-eye units like the PVS-14 that are lightweight and versatile, ideal for quick scanning and when mobility is required.
  2. NVGs (Night Vision Goggles) - These are dual-eyepiece devices mounted on a helmet or rig, offering hands-free operation. They are preferred for dynamic situations like driving, walking, and low-light close-quarters combat (CQB).
  3. Night Vision Scopes - These are dedicated scopes that utilize night vision tubes and a fixed magnified lens like our Wolverine 4 Night Vision Scopes.
  4. Night Vision Binoculars - Night Vision Binos Like our Foxbat series binos are handheld systems with built in night vision tubes and a centralized magnified lens.
  5. Clip-ons - Clip-on systems, such as the AGM Comanche-40, attach in front of a day scope, converting it into a night vision device without requiring re-zeroing of the scope or collimation of the clip-on device.

Using clip-on systems like the Comanche-40 offers significant benefits for existing scopes:

  1. Versatility: Clip-ons easily transform a standard day scope into a night vision device, allowing users to maintain the familiarity and comfort of their setup.
  2. Cost-effectiveness: Instead of purchasing a separate night vision scope, shooters can add capabilities to their existing day scope, saving on costs and training time.
  3. Maintained Accuracy: Since the day scope’s zero is unaffected, the point of impact remains consistent whether shooting in day or night conditions.
  4. Ease of Use: Easy attachment and detachment means shooters can swiftly adapt to changing conditions without extensive equipment adjustments.
  5. These features make clip-on systems like the Comanche-40 an excellent choice for hunters, military personnel, and competitive shooters needing reliable night vision capabilities without the hassle of multiple optics or multiple rifle systems.


Taking a closer look at the specs of a Night Vision Clip-On

The AGM Global Vision Comanche-40 Night Vision Clip-On (NVCO) system stands out as a premier solution for enhancing night-time shooting accuracy and vision. Its innovative design seamlessly integrates with existing day scopes without the need for re-zeroing, offering unmatched operational flexibility and performance.

  1. Optical System: The Comanche-40 features a high-quality optical system with a 108 mm focal length and a F/number of 1:1.54 (without getting too technical, this means it has a larger aperture allowing more ambient light to enter the lens with a better depth of field, and a brighter image), ensuring sharp, clear images under night-time conditions.
  2. Magnification: It operates at 1X magnification, allowing for accurate use of your reticle without altering the natural magnification of the day scope.
  3. Field of View: With a 9° field of view, it provides a broad observational range suitable for varied environments.
  4. Manual Gain Control: Users can manually adjust the brightness of the image, catering to different levels of ambient light and enhancing visual clarity.
  5. Quick Release Mount: The device includes a quick-release mount compatible with standard Weaver or Picatinny rails, facilitating easy and rapid attachment or removal.

Specifications and Shooter Benefits

  1. Resolution and Clarity: The system's advanced optics and image intensifier tube ensure high-resolution images, crucial for precise long-range engagements.
  2. Range of Focus: The Comanche-40 can focus from 10 meters to infinity, providing versatility for different shooting distances and scenarios.
  3. Battery Life: It operates on a single CR123A (3V) or AA (1.5V) battery, with up to 40 hours of battery life, ensuring reliability during extended field use.
  4. Environmental Durability: Water and fog-resistant, it is built to withstand adverse weather conditions, making it ideal for rugged outdoor use.

Benefits of Using the Comanche-40 with Existing Scopes

Clip-on systems like the Comanche-40 offer significant advantages:

  1. Preservation of Scope Settings: By clipping onto the existing day scope, it maintains the day scope’s zero and reticle characteristics, thus preserving shooting accuracy without additional adjustments.
  2. Versatility and Cost Efficiency: It enables a standard day scope to be used at night, eliminating the need for separate night vision scopes and thus reducing equipment costs.
  3. Ease of Use: The clip-on system is designed for quick attachment and detachment, which is ideal for dynamic shooting situations where lighting conditions can change rapidly.


Key Considerations for Long-Range Night Shooting


Importance of Understanding the Environment

Weather Conditions: Factors such as fog, rain, or high humidity can significantly impact the effectiveness of night vision technology by scattering or absorbing infrared light. Understanding how different weather conditions affect visibility is crucial for adjusting your tactics and equipment settings.

Terrain Features: The layout of the land—whether open plains, dense forests, or urban environments—will influence the kind of night vision device you choose and how you employ it. Terrain also affects how light behaves, which can impact the performance of your NVD.

Ambient Light Conditions: The amount of available natural light (moonlight, starlight) or artificial light (street lamps, building lights) can enhance or degrade the performance of night vision devices. Knowing how to maximize the benefits of ambient light while minimizing its disadvantages is essential for successful night-time shooting.

Impact of Night Vision on Depth Perception and Distance

Altered Depth Perception: Night vision devices can flatten the perceived image, which might distort the shooter's ability to judge distances accurately. Training and experience are necessary to compensate for these effects, especially when identifying and engaging targets at varying ranges.

Distance Estimation: Night vision can make objects appear closer or farther away than they actually are. Users must familiarize themselves with their equipment’s particular characteristics and possibly rely on range finders or pre-determined range markers to ensure accuracy.

Legal Considerations and Safety Tips

Compliance with Laws: Night vision devices are regulated by various international, federal, and state laws. It’s crucial to understand these regulations, which can dictate who can use NVDs, how they can be used, and in what settings they are permitted.
Transport and Export Restrictions: Many countries have specific rules about exporting night vision technology, which could include criminal penalties for non-compliance. Always check local laws and regulations before traveling with or shipping night vision equipment.
Safety Protocols: Always ensure that your firearm is unloaded when attaching or adjusting any night vision equipment. Practice safe firearm handling protocols at all times to prevent accidents.
Training and Familiarity: Given the potential complexities of using night vision gear, adequate training is essential. Practicing in various environmental conditions is advisable to become proficient with the operational characteristics and limitations of the equipment.

Setting up for Long Range Night Vision Shooting: The Essential Gear

Aside from the Night Vision Clip-on device, the necessary support equipment needed for Long Range Night vision shooting is incredibly similar aside from a few key pieces of gear that will make things run much smoother.

  1. Laser Range Finder - Having a laser range finder is incredibly crucial for long-range shooters to the proper ballistics calculations. For obvious reasons, trying to visually gauge distance at night is much more difficult. (It is important to note that in most cases, the laser on a laser range finder is detectable under night vision.
  2. “Long Range Night Vision Shooting is a team sport.” - Chris Roberts CR2 Shooting Solutions
    Having a spotter equipped with a night vision spotting scope, range finder, and IR laser is incredibly helpful. Your partner can highlight targets and provide callouts to help offset the limitations caused by low light conditions and other external factors so you can focus on making the shot.
  3. A solid shooting surface - If you’re shooting off a bench make sure to invest in a quality bipod and support bag. If you prefer to shoot off a tripod system, invest in a quality tripod from a reputable manufacturer and a quality mounting system.
  4. IR Illuminator/IR Spotlight - if it makes sense to run an IR illuminator they can be great for improving visibility when there is very little ambient light outside. But remember, if you're using IR lasers and illuminators, anyone else with Night vision devices can also see it. 

How far can you shoot using a Night Vision Clip-On?

As mentioned, multiple factors come into play such as environment, equipment, shooting skills, etc. But with the help of our support equipment, instructor, and the AGM Global Visions Comanche 40 Night Vision Clip-on, the AGM Team was consistently connecting with stationary targets out to 1000 yards in total darkness.


Modified: May 13, 2024 | 10:29 pm

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