What Night Vision Scope Does The Military Use

Night vision scopes are used to enhance the night vision ability of humans under darkness or in low-light conditions. This modern technology allows you to navigate in the dark. 

There are several types of night vision scopes available in the market for shooters and the civilians to use. But what used to be high grade military technology?

Continue reading this article to know more about what scope does the military use, what brand of scopes do they prefer and they are commercially available? This article helps you know about the few optics used by the military personnel.


Night vision scopes are generally used by the military and law enforcement agencies, and it is also used by the civilians for hunting, observing wildlife, and many other outdoor activities. 

These night vision devices help to carry out the operations in dark environments and provide numerous benefits for the military personnel.

The first military night vision devices were launched by the German Army in 1939. These night vision devices are used in WW-II and came into existence during the Vietnam War. 

Night Vision technology has greatly developed since its introduction. There are different generations of night vision scopes, such as GEN I, GEN II, GEN III, and GEN IV.

The GEN I and II are available for commercial use, and they are economical. At the same time, Gen III and GEN IV are reserved for the military and law enforcement. These scopes are usually expensive, but they are extremely powerful. 

The batteries used by the military-grade night vision scopes are not rechargeable, while commercial night vision scopes can be charged, and it uses accessible and common batteries like AA, AAA batteries, or lithium batteries. 

Moreover, these night vision devices are often used by target shooters, game watchers, hikers, hunters, hog hunters, and also for night surveillance. 

Here are some of the top branded night vision scopes that are used by military agencies.

What Night Vision Scope Does The Military Use

Leupold Mark 4 20-60×80 Spotting Scope

The US Army has officially selected the Leupold company’s scope. This company provides the world’s most lightweight, rugged, reflex sights, and clear rifle scopes. Also, they provide a higher definition and better use of light for precision shooters. 

Moreover, Leupold Mark 4 is the military’s favorite choice for several reasons. It comes with either tactical milling reticle (TMR) or mil-dot, where TMR takes accuracy to the next level. It’s an alternative to dot pointing the object and it has hash marks for both wind compensation and bullet drop. 

Though, the mil-dot designs are used for military-specific purposes. It is used for making the right estimation, thus making the spotting scopes right for tactical situations. 

Leupold Mark is designed with excellent optical quality and has an extended twilight lens system that allows maximizing light waves of red and blue color during low-light conditions. 

The magnification range is up to 60x with an objective lens diameter of 80mm and comes only in straight shape. It’s one of the robust spotting scopes, and it adds an abrasion-resistant diamond coat 2 technology. 

Hence these specifications make it a perfect choice for military use. Also, Leupold provides its optics to law enforcement, US military, armed forces, and military agencies across the country.

Features of Leupold Mark 4 scopes

  • It has been provided with 30mm extended eye relief
  • Has bullet drop and wind compensation
  •  Mil-dot reticle spotting scope
  • It comes with excellent build and optic quality
  • Designed with weather-resistant (waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof)

Burris Signature HD 20-60×85 Spotting Scope

One of the outstanding characteristics of Burris scope is that ultra-sharp HD image quality with an included eyepiece. This HD image quality is due to the indexed matched lenses and its APO lens technology. 

The indexed match coating eliminates color aberrations and produces original colors across the entire visible spectrum.

A powerful magnification range upto 20-60x, and 85mm huge objective lens that allows the user to observe from medium to long range. 

This device is provided with a rotating tripod collar, that enables optimum comfort and comfort eyepiece positioning. For precise fine and fast focusing it is provided with a dual-speed focuser.

Features of Burris Signature HD 20-60×85 Spotting Scope

  • Lightweight, durably designed with a die-cast magnesium body
  • Has inbuilt sunshade that reduces glare and weather-resistant
  • Large 85mm objective lens
  • Field of view at 1000 yards
  • A powerful 20-60x zoom range

Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight(ACOG)

ACOG scopes are vastly popular and were originally used by the special operation units. Nowadays, these scopes are commonly used among conventional units like the marine corps and the Army units. 

ACOG/RMR combo provides an excellent sight. Mostly, the military uses a few 4×32 versions, TA31RC-M4CP, TA31RCO-A4CP, and TA31RCO-M150CP.

A tritium/fiber optic illuminated reticle allows you to automatically adjust the brightness based on the available light. Both the ACOG models such as 3.5×35 LED and 4×32 LED models are designed with user-adjustable brightness settings. Both have six adjustable brightness settings.

ACOG has 4x magnification power and an objective lens of diameter 32mm. Also, ACOG models featuring bullet drop compensation and ranging reticle for determinative targets. 

The multi-coated lenses and the quality of the glass are maximized by the light-collecting capabilities and the scope provides outstanding clarity. No other magnifying optics have been used more in warfare than the ACOG.

Feature of Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight(ACOG)

  • Shock-resistant, waterproof, and shockproof
  • BAC(Both eyes open) feature lets to improve situational awareness
  • Rugged, Reliable housing design

Schmidt & Bender PMII 5-25×56 L/P

It’s a special military version Schmidt & Bender 5-25×56 PMII scope and they are commonly used by the special forces for marine corps, navy, army, and air force. 

A huge variety of magnification ranges are available with this scope. They are more expensive than the Leupold and provide significantly high quality.

The  PMII 5-25×56 L/P model scope is for universal use and this scope is highly used in military and police units.  This scope has the highest magnification range and comprehensive total adjustment range. 

Both ranges are used for viewing distances upto 2000 meters. Also, this scope is equipped with a parallax compensation illuminated reticle and double turn elevation adjustment. 

Starting at 10 meters can be adjusted using this parallax compensation, and reaching to infinity. This scope is available with reticles in the first or second focal plane and the standard configuration is the First focal plane.

M151 Spotting Scopes

The M151 scope is one of the prominent scope models widely used by various militaries. The magnification range of this M151 scope is 12-40x and an objective lens with a diameter of 60mm. 

These M151 spotting scopes allow recognition and enable the military crews to identify the targets at longer distances. These characteristics of this scope allow you to get a bright, sharp, and clear view of the target.

This scope is provided with an anti-reflection device, that helps to remove the glaze produced by the scope optics. Moreover, the device is provided with a laser filter unit to protect the users’ eye hazards from the battlefield.

This M151 spotting scope comes with a tactical tripod kit that allows you to keep an eye on the moving targets. It is designed with a high strength lightweight aluminum, and it can be placed with pin-drop silence. 

Also, it has a night vision adapter for fixing the AN/PVS-14 NVG that can be attached to the spotting scope’s eyepiece, thus making it night-vision friendly.

Features of M151 spotting scopes

  • Weather-resistant, fog proof, and dustproof
  • lightweight and compact scope
  • A tactical tripod ensures the proper stability

Levenhuk Blaze Spotting Scope

Levenhuk scope is highly suitable for military use because it is very powerful and resistant to impact. The scope has wide magnification ranges and a high objective lens. 

This allows the observation of remote objects and lets the observer with the same level of quality. This scope has a magnification power of 25x-75x and a 90-100mm objective lens of diameter. 

Levenhuk spotting scopes are the perfect choice for viewing long range objects.  Levenhuk military spotting scopes allow collecting more light also, these scopes provide bright and clear images in the low-light conditions. 

Compared to other general use spotting scopes, the Levenhuk scope allows gathering more light, which means it can provide brighter images even in low-light conditions. 

It has high optical characteristics and reinforced polycarbonate rubber-armored shells to provide long lasting shockproof performance. Levenhuk spotting scopes are waterproof and it’s filled with nitrogen.  

It helps to perform under any weather conditions and the nitrogen filling protects the scope from fog. These scopes provide additional durability and sturdiness. These scopes are highly researched and optimized  for providing the user an error-free performance

Final Thoughts

There are several facts that differentiate the typical spotting scopes that are being used by the enthusiast, hunters, and wildlife observers. The spotting scopes which are used by the military and armed forces have been designed with distinctive characteristics to perform in critical situations. These optics allow us to recognize and identify targets at longer distances. Moreover, the spotting scopes which are used by the military forces have to withstand extreme weather conditions and it should be fog-proof, shock-proof, and should be long-lasting.

The spotting scopes which are mentioned above have these following characteristics and are the popular optics on the market. Also, they are provided with huge objective lens diameter and have a wide magnification range. As a whole, they are powerful optics and are designed to survive blows, impacts, drops, and shocks. Usually, these scopes are lightweight and reliable. All these night vision scopes are mainly designed for the defense purposes and these devices are very essential to combat terrorism.

Leave a Comment