Night vision is an awesome option to have for your scope, and what a cool accessory! As with much of the great gun add-ons out there, night vision scopes can be expensive to very expensive. When you are talking about adding one to an air rifle, this exuberant expense could beat the price of your rifle combined with all of the other setups you have for it.
Did you know you can make your own night vision scope? It is relatively easy and a much cheaper option. There are several different methods of making night vision scopes that range in price and difficulty, so for this guide, we will focus on the easiest and most straightforward method. Here is how to make a night vision scope for an air rifle.
Some Things You Will Need
Your Scope – It is important to have your scope and rifle as you won’t be building the night vision independently. It must attach to your scope.
A Camcorder Or Digital Camera – The smaller the better. A camcorder is a better option, but the digital camera will work as well. Make sure it has night capture capabilities. The great part about these are that you can usually pick one up used and in great working order from yard sales or thrift stores for a few bucks.
Lens Adapter – You need to get a lens adapter or filter specifically for your lens size. This will be for fitting the camcorder or camera to the scope. I have seen methods where a rubber coupling was used to do the attachment as well, but I think you still will need a lens filter even for that route.
Tape – Nothing fancy, you will attach the lenses together with tape. Duct tape or aluminum tape works great, and follow up with black electrical tape to blend the color and add strength.
Batteries – These are whatever type of batteries your camcorder takes. You may need some spares for the IR light as well, but their battery life tends to last a little longer.
Infrared Flashlight – This is what pulls the whole project together. You need a good IR LED flashlight with an adjustable beam. This makes the entire experiment possible.
Scope Ring – This is just an attachment ring for attaching the flashlight to the scope.
How To Make A Night Vision Scope For An Air Rifle
Step 1 – Lens Adapter
First, you want to attach your lens adapter to the ocular lens of your scope. Just fit it on the back and secure it well with the tape.
Step 2 – Camcorder
Attach the camcorder to the lens adapter at the back of the scope. Now, you successfully have a camcorder scope. You should be able to look at the camcorder screen and see as if looking through the scope, so adjust the magnification a few times and make sure the image is showing as you would normally see it.
Step 3 – Infrared
Attach the IR LED light to the scope with the scope ring. Test it a few times and play with the adjustments for the beam.
Step 4 – Make Sure It Works!
Take it out and test it. You should be able to see a clear night vision image on the camcorder screen, adjust the magnification and zoom in on the scope, and adjust the light beam for a focused beam or wider lighted area. If you target shoot a little bit, this device should be good for between 50 and 100-yards.
Why do I need a camera specifically with night shooting capabilities? – A camera with night shooting capabilities already has the technology built in that can pick up the infrared light and project the image. If your camera does not have this option, it will not work.
How does night vision work? – Infrared light is not visible to the naked eye. The technology in any type of night shooting or night vision capture and enhances infrared light, along with any other available light, and amplify it to make it visible to you in the dark.
Can’t I just use an infrared flashlight and my scope normally? – Not for true night vision. You cannot see IR light with the naked eye. If you want to use your scope normally, you just need a regular red or green light and hunt with the lighted beam. For night vision, you must have the IR filter to see the IR light. This is why it can get so expensive, and why you need to use other special equipment in order to get the correct sighting effect.
It’s a pretty simple task making your own night vision. It doesn’t have to be overly expensive or complicated, but it does take a bit of work, a collection of different items and knowing how to put things together and make adjustments accordingly.
I hope that this guide on how to make a night vision scope for an air rifle has been helpful and useful to you. Remember that there are a lot of different methods and options for you. I believe you can even buy a DIY kit online. Whichever way you go with, either making one simply or very advanced, or just buying on, have fun with it. Night vision is a sweet accessory and could help out immensely on your night shoots.
If you enjoyed this article you may also like our review of scopes for the 22-250.