Whether you’re observing game patterns or hunting in the dark, night vision scopes can help you get the most out of your rifle. But, the cost of a true night vision scopes can be prohibitive in most cases. For those that enjoy do-it-yourself projects, learning how to make a night vision scope can be a fun and cost-saving move that improves your game hunting.
How to Make a Night Vision Scope?
There are many different methods that can be used to make night vision scopes, with some trade-offs to each one. Some which are more affordable will take a bit more skill and time and may be more difficult overall. Others are more expensive, but you won’t have to do as much handiwork to get the scope to function as it should.
I have chosen three methods to talk about that are all on different levels of difficulty and functionality. Choose which one looks like the best choice for your needs and abilities and gets going on the project!
Method #1: Building from scratch
It’s possible to build your own night vision scope with a bit of cash and some knowledge about putting components together. You will have to order a few specialty components, such as an image intensifier, but this method makes an excellent night vision scope for a fraction of what you would spend on a pre-made device.
Because this method is very complex, I’m going to give the detailed instructions to you here.
While this method does end up creating a great night vision scope, it is fairly heavy. You may want to use a mount or shooting stand If you plan to hunt with this rifle, as it will be a bit difficult to hold the rifle steady with the added weight. It’s also a large scope in the end, so you might need to modify it to be an aiming scope if you prefer to aim through the scope sites as well.
Beware of recoil with a heavy device like this mounted on your rifle. This scope might feel a bit unbalanced when you are first starting using it, but you will get used to the changes once you continue carrying it for some time.
Method #2: Transforming a camera
An ordinary camera has the right components to make a simple black and white night vision scope. It may take some extra modifications in order to attach it to a rifle, but once you figure out how to do it you will have a lightweight, useful night vision scope to use as you need.
To do this build, you will need to have a small set of tools with which you can take a camera apart. It’s also necessary to have a camera that you don’t mind losing. Once you transform it into a night vision scope, you won’t be able to use it as a regular camera anymore and you won’t be able to fix it to its original state again.
Here is the method for transforming a camera into night vision, explained via pictures for clarity.
Pay attention to the directions given, as the author has described exactly what you will need and how to do it for yourself. This is another fairly complex method that will require you to have some knowledge of what you are doing with the electronics.
Method #3: Combine existing pieces
This last method is much simpler than the first two. Essentially, you will be buying some separate components with night vision capabilities and attaching them to and existing scope. Here is what you will need:
- 1. Battery with a long life
- 2. Small hand camera with night shot mode
- 3. 200mw infrared laser
- 4. Lens adaptors
Once you have all of these ingredients, you can begin. Start by attaching two lens adaptors to the camera and fixing it to your rifle scope. Before fixing it, remove the rubber eye protection tab from the scope. Attach the infrared laser to the front of the scope. Use a flash mount if it’s appropriate for your rifle.
Depending on how the fully decked out scope fits onto your rifle, you may need to get a raised mount to bring it up about an inch or so. This is not always the case, but if the fit is too tight it can help you to easily remove the camera when you want to use the plain scope instead.
This method might cost a little more than the other two, because you will be buying whole components instead of putting together the pieces yourself. However, it is still cheaper than an equal quality night vision rifle scope and it works with almost any rifle you may have.
Here are a few images and a little more information about the project itself.
These methods are purely do-it-yourself methods and are not certified. Doing any of these methods could void warranties of any of the devices used, might damage your equipment, and could potentially hurt your eyes in some cases. Proceed with caution.
Creating your own night vision scope is easier than you may have guessed. There are a few different methods that I’ve explained above that can get you a good scope for much less than you would spend on a pre-made product. Learning how to make a night vision scope can be a fun do-it-yourself project that will improve your night hunting and game observation.