Optical instruments have long been an integral part of the world of small arms. Starting in 1776, shooters began to install unique designs with lenses for better visibility of the target at a distance. Gradually, the sights acquired markings, control and adjustment systems, and then electrical and electronic additions. Since the 1920s, the technology of night vision devices has been actively developed. And, naturally, such devices have become at the service of shooters worldwide. From military special forces to hunters and wildlife photographers. But progress never stands still, and for some time, special detachment snipers began to receive special attachments for optical sights. It was possible to stay in one position for a long time during several changes in the light regimes of the day. Then these inventions were rightly appreciated by civilian users. The CLIP-ON series of pre-objective attachments features an innovative mounting system that allows them to be used with weapons with a Picatinny rail. With them, any sight can be turned into a night sight reasonably short time. This is an excellent solution for long to medium-range shooters who need to aim effectively in challenging weather and light conditions. CLIP-ON allows you to do without reinstalling the sight and re-zeroing it. CLIP-ON pre-objective attachments have the advantages of versatility, ease, and speed of use, the ability to use both at night and during the day for more convenient aiming.
Let's try to understand the variety of choices of night vision Clip-On scopes.
Bering Optics BEAST-C 336 Thermal Clip-On
This model works as a night vision attachment with one of the highest resolutions on the night vision market. It has a sensor resolution of 336 by 256 pixels. Dimensions are 8.27 inches long, 2.96 inches wide, and 2.95 inches high. One of the best features of this thermal snap-on night vision system is long-range target detection. The handpiece features superior germanium optics combined with an advanced uncooled vanadium oxide (VOx) heat core and patented electronics. Control buttons have tactile elements that allow users to operate without looking at the buttons. The device is purged with nitrogen, protected from water, dust, and shock. A wide range of menu-driven options is available for optimal performance, including switchable image polarity.
Specifications: magnification 1x, lens 50mm, display 800x600 pixels, viewing angle 6.5 degrees, focusing from 5 meters, target detection distance 1000 meters.
Weight - 0.56 kg.
Compact and lightweight
It can be easily installed in front of a day sight.
Easy to use control buttons
Water, dust, and shock-resistant
Image polarity switchable
AGM Global Vision Comanche-22 NL3 Night Vision Clip-On System
Built for mid-range Comanche 22 nighttime applications, this model provides exceptional clarity, reliability, and versatility in all weather conditions. Provides significant functionality at a reasonably low price. Attaches to a standard Weaver or Picatinny rail in front of an existing day scope, turning it into a night vision device without the need to reset. This product is equipped with a manual brightness gain control and an auto-off system to conserve battery power.
Specifications: image clarity 60 l / mm, magnification 1x, viewing angle 12 degrees, focusing from 10 meters, low battery indicator, power type - CR123A or AA battery (battery life with active use up to 60 hours).
Weight - 0.75 kg.
Pros: Gen 2+
Cons: Low recoil resistance
Pulsar Digisight Ultra N455.
It is a versatile and affordable scope designed with many useful features. It comes with a quality interchangeable goggle that works both as a monocular and as a thermal scope to help you scan your environment efficiently. The compact body provides a reliable balance of the rifle. The battery and housing are weather resistant. The green screen reduces eye strain, allowing you to use this scope for extended periods. The interchangeable eyepiece can be switched after a few seconds. There are three modes of operation. This model features picture-in-picture, a wide field of view, a detachable modular IR illuminator, and many reticle options. There is a built-in DVR to record and broadcast live video using the Stream Vision program on a mobile phone for remote viewing.
Specifications: magnification 4.5x-18x, 42mm lens, six color gamuts, viewing angle 6.2 degrees, target detection distance 600m, power type B-Pack Mini 18650 Li-Ion (working life with active use 4 hours).
Weight - 1.2 kg.
Versatile, lightweight, and durable
Waterproof with high caliber recoil resistance
High-resolution display and built-in recording with sound
Eight hours of battery life due to a rechargeable B-Pack power system
Precise digital zoom with the wide-angle eyepiece
Integrated video recorder with an Updatable software
Hard to use the focus knob
FLIR Apollo-Pro MR 640 50mm Thermal Imaging Clip-on
Thermal imaging technology allows you to detect targets despite atmospheric conditions of any complexity. The Armasight by FLIR Apollo-Pro MR 640 50mm Thermal Imaging Clip-on System is based on the FLIR Tau 2 VOx microbolometer and combines performance, value for money, and state-of-the-art technology for a variety of users from beginner to professional. The Apollo is a solid-state, uncooled long-wavelength infrared sight with an enlarged device designed for day and night use. This device is installed in front of a standard daytime optical picture. Factory tolerances are set to less than 1 MOA, so no re-zeroing is required. This model maintains constant eye relief and shooting position. This range is the smallest and lightest in its class.
Specifications: magnification 1x, germanium lens, display 800x600 pixels, activation time 3 seconds, angle of view 15 degrees, focusing from 5 meters, power type - two CR123A batteries (working time in active mode up to 4 hours).
Weight - 0.7 kg.
Objective Germanium lens
SVG A 800×600 OLED display
superior engineering and design
PRG Defense Anaconda TC50-Micro Compact Medium Range Thermal Imaging Clip-On System.
This model has a 17-micron 384x288 sensor and a 50mm lens. The Anaconda TS50-Micro is compatible with all-day scopes up to 8x magnification. The sight itself has two levels of digital zoom; 2x and 4x. This product withstands harsh environments and powerful recoil. Waterproof. This device is also equipped with an external WiFi module. That allows you to control it from your smartphone.
Specifications: magnification 1x, angle of view 7.4 degrees, focusing from 5 meters, display 1021x768 pixels, power supply - two CR123 batteries (working life with active use up to 5 hours), shock resistance.
Weight - 0.43 kg.
Good resolution and refresh rate.
Compact and lightweight.
Long battery life.
Additional WiFi module.
Video output option.
HD OLED display.
Not ideal for long-distance hunting.
The Digital Crosshairs Clip-On NV 1000 converts a day into a night vision scope capable of 100-200+ meters depending on scale and conditions. This model has excellent image quality and resolution. The product copes with the most substantial returns and has an IR illuminator. The device turns on very quickly. Warming up is not required. The adapter fits any eyepiece size up to 50mm. Chipsets can be upgraded.
Specifications: Lithium-ion battery for 6+ hours with additional battery, weather-resistant, aircraft-grade aluminum alloy body, 38mm lens, 4.3-inch digital display 480x272 pixels.
Weight - 0.148 kg.
Quick turn on
Short effective use distance
ATN TICO LT 320 50mm Thermal Clip-on
The ATN TICO LT 320 50mm Thermal Clip-on is an updated model with a thinner and more ergonomic system, powered by an ATN Obsidian LT Core processor with 12-micron sensors. This device is suitable for night shooting, day shooting, tactical use, hunting, reconnaissance, surveillance. It has a built-in patented internal battery.
Specifications: image expansion 320x240 pixels, two-color modes, lithium-ion battery life of about 8 hours, magnification 1.5x-3x, angle of view 4.5 degrees.
Weight - 0.544 kg.
12-micron sensor and 60 Hz refresh rate
Has Obsidian Core LT from ATN
No Zero with clip and mount
Installation of the thermal imager ATN TICO LT 320
Extended Long-Distance Detection Range
Not suitable for long-distance hunting.
Based on this review, clip-on technology has become a solid player in the field of night-hunting scopes. It is convenient and gaining more and more popularity. True, the relative disadvantages include the fact that the weapon becomes more cumbersome with a nozzle. Also, some hunters are deterred by the price. But still, you need to try and find out how comfortable it is for each particular shooter.