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How to Make a Night Vision Scope for Air Rifle

How to Make a Night Vision Scope for Air Rifle

An air rifle can be used for recreational hunting and self-defense. It is the perfect rifle to shoot small rodents like rats roaming around your property. One of the best ways to make the most of your air rifle is to ensure you can use it perfectly at night as you would during the day.

There was a time when night vision scopes were only accessible to military personnel or law enforcement agents. They were very expensive and technical products that normal people couldn’t buy or use. In today’s world, owning a night vision scope has become considerably easy. If you are a hunter or a target shooter who is out in the field at night, then a night vision scope is what you need. Such scope enables you to see at night when there is pitch black in your surroundings.

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 the other setups you have for it. However, if you still have to get out at night and still enjoy using your rifle, the good news is that you can make your air rifle night vision scope.

How To Make A Night Vision Scope

Some Things You Will Need

For you to make the night vision scope, there are a few things you will need. This will help you make a competitive night vision scope at an affordable range without breaking the bank. Some of the things you will need include:

A Camcorder/Digital Camera

The smaller the better. A camcorder is a better option, but the digital camera will work as well. However, if you get a digital camera, it will still work provided it has a night capture capacity. 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.

Infrared flashlight

You need a good IR LED flashlight with an adjustable beam.


The lenses will require to be attached and that’s where the tape comes in. Duct tape or aluminum tape works great, and follow up with black electrical tape to blend the color and add strength.

Lens adapter

The Lens adapter of a filter is what makes the camcorder and scope lenses fit together.

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. You can choose whichever adapter available provided it will serve the purpose.

Your scope

Of course, the scope and rifle are the most important tools to have for the task considering you will not be building the night vision independently.

Scope ring

This is just an attachment ring for attaching the flashlight to the scope.


Your camcorder or digital camera will require to be powered. Therefore, you will require to get the perfect set of batteries to power the camera. 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.

Now that you have all the essential tools for the job, it is time to get started.

Attach the Lens Adapter

First, you want to attach your lens adapter to the ocular lens of your scope. Fit the lenses perfectly together to a point that they operate as one single unit. Secure them together with a tape of your choice to guarantee that they remain together. This process will take you less than five minutes to align the two lenses.

Attach the 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. Through adjusting the magnification, you are also guaranteed that the images you see through the lenses will appear as they are on normal projection without the lenses.

Attach the Infrared flashlight

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. The purpose of the flashlight is to provide you with a reliable vision path through the dark.

Once you have attached the flashlight, ensure to play along with the beam adjustment. This will help you ensure that that flashlight will light your way as you try to pick on particular objects with the lens through the night. However, as you attach the flashlight, it is essential to ensure that it is perfectly aligned with the scope. This way, you are guaranteed that the light will only focus on where you want to see.

Test the Night Vision Scope

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.

Therefore, once you are satisfied that you have attached every part perfectly, and they are secure, it’s time to test everything and see whether they synchronize their performance. If you target shoots a little bit, this device should be good for between 50 and 100-yards.

Also, ensure to change the flashlight beam for enhanced vision. However, as you adjust the beam light, you should put in mind the area you intend to cover/ see with the scope.

It would help if you also considered testing the ability of your rifle in shooting at various distance ranges to ensure that you don’t make the night vision and miss hitting your target. Therefore, ensure to use the appropriate ammunition that you will use for hunting to maintain the quality of the same result in an actual field of use.

Night Vision Scope


Making the night vision scope for yourself is an easy task provided you have the right tools. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to buy one or even go through complicated training sessions to make one. However, you must not be in a hurry if you expect to get a useful tool and still save a couple of dollars.

However, there are several other methods of making the night vision scopes for an air rifle. If you find this somewhat complicated, you can find other techniques that will work for you. Lastly, ensure that when making the night vision scope, you attach it to the appropriate rifle for better performance.

Common Questions

How does night vision work?

 Night Vision amplifies ambient light that may not be visible to the naked eye and allows you to see in darkness. Night vision is broken down into multiple generations, each offering a higher level of performance (ranging from Gen1 – Gen3, as well as Digital Night Vision). Night Vision technology uses various types of image intensifier tubes that convert weak light from the visible and near-infrared spectrum to visible light detectable by a human eye. Allowing people to see in semi-dark or full darkness with the help of IR illumination or ambient light. Night Vision amplifies this ambient light by passing through electron charged intensifier tubes.  All night vision devices are very sensitive to light and are possible to damage by exposure to sunlight, headlights from cars, or from too much direct light.

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.

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.

Bink Grimes

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