Night Vision Explained

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

OnPoint Firearms, an online gun retailer, have published an article explaining the different between each generation of nigh vision gear. I learn’t quite a lot from reading it.

It’s true that a sportsman could get by with a $500 system since his primary mission would be spotting fallen cans of Coors Light from a tree stand. However, shooters and survivalists have different needs. They require ruggedness, clarity, and waterproofcicity. I made up that last word, but you get the picture. In an extreme situation, having NVGs can be a huge force multiplier. You can have all the guns and ammo in the world, but you can only carry a little at a time. When the power grid is down, the ability to see at night is unparalleled. Well, situational awareness and training helps, but we’re not selling that today!

They are doing a group buy of NVG and the prices look very good. I have always wanted a decent NVG but there is always a firearm I want more 😉

UPDATE: OnPoint looks to be pulling the plug on their group buy.

UPDATE: The group buy is back on

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • Aurelien Aurelien on Feb 13, 2010

    Technically there is no Gen4. The correct term is Gen3 autogated unfilmed.
    The modifications are not considered big enough by DoD to call those 'new' tubes Gen4. The basis is exactly the same as the Gen3.

  • on Feb 15, 2010

    Ok.... That is what I was thinking. Our company just purchased some Gen 3 Autogated optics from two different companies that use ITT tubes. They were both quite explicit on calling out the "myth" of Gen 4.... Just wanted to try to pass on what I've heard to keep others from being confused.