Affordable Night Vision

ATN’s X-Sight 4K Pro 3-14X packs a lot of value into a night vision optic that won’t rob the kids’ college fund.

Affordable Night Vision

Hunters dragging their feet before entering the night-vision revolution now have good reason to sprint to the nearest sporting goods store — $699 will set you up with a quality infrared/daytime scope tailored for your predator pursuits. To say the ATN X-Sight 4K Pro 3-14X impressed during testing is an understatement. At this price point odds are good they’ll go fast, especially if you want one of the models matching your preferred Mossy Oak camo pattern. 

It’s packed with just about every feature imaginable for today’s technophobes, but don’t let all the electronics fool you. This is a riflescope, first and foremost, one that lets you deliver precise shots in full darkness and retains that virtue in daylight.  


Simple Sighting-In

All that technology is worthless if an optic doesn’t hold zero, adjust reliably and present a clear, crisp reticle. The X-Sight 4K Pro 3-14X shined on all accounts during testing. The scope went on a 5.56 NATO-chambered AR-15 for testing. Sighting-in was a breeze, thanks to ATN’s one-shot zero system. It’s a simple approach that begins by anchoring the gun solidly or working from the prone position. Carefully squeeze one round at the target’s bull’s-eye. Get the gun back in that steady position, enter the menu and activate the scope’s zero function. Two superimposed crosshairs are now visible. Hold them directly on the bull’s-eye again and, using the optic’s control panel atop, nudge the new reticle to the bullet’s point of impact. 

The crosshair moves continuously when keeping the left or right buttons firmly depressed, but up or down requires a push and release of their respective buttons for each tiny elevation change. It’s nothing major, just something to keep in mind before calling customer service. Rotating the magnification dial also changes elevation, and it’s a faster option.    

Double check zero by simply placing the original crosshair on the bull’s-eye. Ensure the other one is directly over that hole in the target. If so, accept changes in the menu and you’re set to go. 

ATN’s all-digital optics are far from traditional, so it didn’t come as a surprise there’s no published value for the reticle’s shift per click — in this case, per button push. It took a lot of counting as it moved during setup, but the crosshair moves consistently less than ¼-MOA, both horizontally and vertically. The scorching-hot range session and mirage made it impossible to determine the precise figure but walking the crosshair across the 1-inch target squares at 100 yards can be said with certainty to take a minimum of four pushes on the controls. It’ll not only get you on target fast, but it will also do so with accuracy. 

Second Focal Plane

The crosshair, albeit digital, acts as if it is on the second focal plane. That means it remains the same size regardless of magnification, which slows the math for those accustomed to using hash marks on known-size objects to calculate distance. ATN has an elegant answer, though. 

The company’s Auxiliary Ballistic Laser (purchased separately) mounts on this scope. Once paired with the optic it instantly sends range to the ballistics app that, in turn, adjusts the reticle for distance and your load. With holdover guesswork and elevation-turret dialing no longer required, accurate shots are sent faster.


On the Firing Line

The acid test is whether an optic holds zero and this one did so with style. Despite nearly 100 rounds, point-of-impact and point-of-aim never parted ways. After testing another of the company’s ThOR night-vision optics I’ve come to expect that. 

This 30mm scope body is hardened aluminum alloy, and the impact-resistant electronics are capable of handling heavy recoil. The company backs that rugged construction with a two-year warrantee. There is no plastic or polymer on the body of the scope. It’s metal, except for the controls atop. They wear a soft and rubbery sealed-from-the-elements coating that allows manipulation of the buttons below while preventing leaks. 

The ATN X-Sight 4K Pro 3-14X is weather resistant, not quite waterproof. That’s not a huge concern because about the only place it might leak during routine use is at the side of the control panel body. The USB-C recharging port and Micro SD card slot are there, although their rubber covers will keep out most or all the elements encountered during hunting. Add anti-fog coatings on glass surfaces and it’s a solid choice for predator hunting in the daytime and it performs admirably at night. With an infrared illuminator, things light up nicely downrange in the dark.

The large dial on the left side of the menu pad adjusts magnification.
The large dial on the left side of the menu pad adjusts magnification.

IR Illuminator Included

ATN ships an IR illuminator with the riflescope and even includes the pair of CR123A batteries to power it. It’s a versatile unit, too. You can narrow or widen its beam by turning the lens bell to concentrate infrared where it’s needed most — up close or at distance. The company didn’t opt for a simple push-button tail cap either. It rotates to activate and dials to three different output settings.   

The IR illuminator wisely arrives wearing a Picatinny rail mount. Of course, not everyone has spare space for the infrared transmitter, but the three included mounts (also Picatinny) include one with rail on either side. That allows installation on even more-traditional bolt guns.


Mount Wrenches Included

Wrenches come with a kit to affix the scope mounts. The bases/rings are metal, plenty solid and did not shift or come loose during testing. They went on a standard Picatinny rail with ease. The lugs under the bases are beefy and do a great job preventing any unwanted shift when anchored in the right system. Weaver is not it.   


Manual Focus for Clarity

The X-Sight 4K Pro 3-14X is manual focus. Adjusting the eyepiece until the reticle is clearly in focus is standard in the industry and done right on this scope there’s no sight-picture-compromising glow to the lighted reticle. 

Seeing things clearly downrange, though, requires rotating a ring just behind the objective lens. Its texturing is sufficient for use with gloved hands or in inclement weather — as is every control on the optic — and a removable speed “bump” there ensures a non-slip grip.

The micro-card storage slot and USB connection are found on the right side of the keypad.
The micro-card storage slot and USB connection are found on the right side of the keypad.

When the Sun Goes Down

Infrared night vision is a different beast. The ATN 4K M265 Sensor, 3864 (H) x 2218 (V), captures all wavelengths in the daytime and presents a nicely contrasted color picture at the eyepiece. Once the sun’s down, however, light in the visible spectrum diminishes. At night the optic displays a video of the infrared it collects, processes and enhances on the 1,280x720 eyepiece display. It’s black and white, not color. 

Add enough zoom at sufficient distance and some grain — more like an old analog TV screen receiving a distant channel — is unavoidable. That’s when increasing the infrared emitter’s power and focusing it downrange comes in handy. Doing so enhances the view and reduces that noise. Dialed correctly it provides all the information needed to accurately deliver a precision shot at distance.


For the Technophobes

It’s the electronic wizardry that dominates X-Sight 4K Pro 3-14X headlines. It’s all made possible by the company’s cutting-edge Obsidian IV Dual Core processor and the assets it brings are staggering. 

Power comes from an internal lithium-ion battery charged through that USB-C port. An appropriate cable comes with the scope, but there is no wall plug. Odds are good nearly everyone has one of them — more like a dozen — laying around. Fully charged the optic can operate for more than 18 hours of continuous use.

The scope has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and its app is compatible with iOS and Android devices. It records 1080x720 video a Micro SD card and capable of live streaming at 720, simultaneously. 

It also has a recoil-activated video feature, which records from a few moments before a shot until a few seconds after, automatically. It’s a great way to share the hunt with friends in HD and it’s hard to imagine a better tool for curing new shooters of flinch or trigger jerk. A few seconds of full-color video showing how they move the crosshair off a bull’s-eye will do wonders. You can also manually activate the video camera or snap a photo. 

There are more reticles than you’ll ever need. One of the newest features, however, is of particular interest when it comes to long shots. The ATN Smart Dot reticle allows you to adjust distance between hash marks, reducing holdover guesswork. Better yet, harness the company’s ballistic calculator and it will adjust automatically. 

The processor is also continuously providing information to the shooter in a heads-up view through the eyepiece. Angle of the shot, battery condition, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and SD card status and much more are presented, without unduly cluttering the field of view. Add the laser and the details provided increase significantly. 

There’s also an ATN Radar app that allows you to create a group of hunters and monitor their locations on a smart device. It displays location of members in the group and when paired with one of the company’s lasers, an animal’s position can be tagged. That position is provided instantly to the entire party.



The U.S. military has been using infrared night vision for decades, effectively enough that it’s commonly stated that, “We rule the night.” For obvious reasons the technology behind its current gear remains largely unavailable to the public, although ATN blurs that border with its fine line of cutting-edge scopes. 

With its X-Sight 4K Pro 3-14X, the company has made a lot of that performance available to hunters at a very reasonable price. Add the long list of features with unfailing duty as a riflescope, and it’s something every predator hunter should put on their radar. Better yet, add one to your gun safe before they disappear into the night.


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