If you use your air rifle for hunting and pest control, you could put it away for a few months until it gets a little warmer, or you could take a brave pill, gear up accordingly and carry on. In addition to what your mum would have called ‘a sensible coat’, that means investing in some kind of night-vision optic. That could be a torch, and others consider a thermal scope to be the way forward, but for most, the answer is some kind of infrared (IR) tech. 

Last month, we took a look at some of the best dedicated digital day/night scopes, which as the name implies, enable you to shoot in colour during the day, then push a button, turn on an IR torch and shoot in the dark. 

The gap is closing, for sure, but for many, day/night scopes are still a compromise on glass when there’s enough natural light to operate in. 

Add-on IR attachments promise a best of both world’s solution; shoot with your glass scope in the day, then pop an add-on to the front or back of your scope when the sun goes down. There’s no need to re-zero, and on the whole, they’re cheaper, too. 

So, what’s not to like? We’ve assembled five of the best night-vision, IR add-ons to find out. 

Nite Vizor
NiteVizor VN3-XTR 



Screen NV add-ones – the type that necessitate a heads-up shooting style – have been around a while and for short to medium-range rat shooting they are hard to beat because the screen makes scanning for targets much easier. 

NiteVizor’s VN3-XTR comes in a crushproof box that’s full of components. There are no printed instructions, but set-up is simple enough and there’s an online manual if you get stuck. Three rubber tubes of varying sizes to accommodate different size optics are supplied. If you’re lucky, one of them will fit the back of your scope straight away. If not, you may need to soften the rubber in a cup of hot water. With that task done, the camera pushes onto the other end of the tube.  

The infrared beamer and screen are powered by two rechargeable 18650 batteries. NiteVizor says you can expect ‘up to 15 hours operating time’, which is a little optimistic. Thankfully, you get a spare set of batteries, although changing them in the field is tricky because they are a tight fit and you need to undo four small screws. 

In addition to the batteries, NiteVizor provides a power bank that plugs into the beamer. However, there are no straps to secure it and I ended up using a couple of elastic bands.  

The beamer/screen attaches on top of your scope via a clip that goes around the scope – several are supplied for different tube diameters – and the wires are plugged into the camera. The two knobs on top switch the screen on and adjust brightness. 

Of the three buttons at the back of the camera, the middle one switches the unit on and off; the left button accesses the menu, which includes options such as WiFi, video format (1080P or 720P), the ability to set up time lapse recording, and four photo resolution settings.  

The right button both turns on the 850nm IR illuminator and activates the monochrome night mode. An additional switch allows you to take photos or record video with a time-lapse function stored on a supplied micro-SD card. A dial on the top focuses the reticle image. 

The screen is large at 4.3 inches, but the image is somewhat impeded by on-screen information. More importantly, the quality via the 1/3 CMOS colour lens is good both during the day and at night. NiteVizor claims a 400m range which again seems a little optimistic but is more than adequate for airgun use.  

Pard NV007
Pard NV007SP-LRF Gen 2 



Pard’s NV007 add-on has been updated several times, and whilst the current, top-of-the-line NV007SP-LRF Gen 2 retains an in-built infrared illuminator, it also boasts a laser rangefinder (LRF), with a non-LRF model also available. 

One of the more subtle improvements is the way the unit attaches to a scope, making it easier to swap between rifles. The system still relies on a bayonet collar that fits over the eye bell, with the help of a selection of shims to ensure a snug fit, but a lever on the collar makes the process much easier.  

Weighing only 440g, impact on rifle balance is negligible. However, as with most add-ons, a bit of wiggling is needed to get the image lined up and the reticle centred and in focus – a process that is achieved by adjusting the ocular ring and a small dial on the right side.  

Powered by a supplied re-chargeable 18650 battery that Pard says will last up to eight hours (I’d take a spare or two), the NV007S-LRF is operational within a few seconds of pressing the power button. A short press activates an instant wake-up standby. 

Of the five-button cluster at the rear, the top button activates the range-finder that provides a constant reading and stays on until you switch it off again. A long press of the left button takes you off the daytime colour image and activates the monochrome night mode.  

Short presses scroll through three levels of IR brightness from the 850nm illuminator that Pard says has a 350m range. It’s hard to test the claim, but for airgun use I found it more than up to the job, especially as the beam is adjustable.  

The middle button operates the video and camera modes in 1920 x 1080px MP4 and 2592 x 1944px JPG resolution respectively, with data captured on a mini-SD card (max 128GB) that is not supplied. The right button accesses the main menu and a long press on the bottom one activates the wifi, with short presses scrolling through the 4-14x magnification range (4x optical, 1-3.5x digital). 

With eye relief of just 25mm, the NV007S-LRF is best suited to PCP rifles and low-recoil rimfire, and the 2560 x 1440px sensor combines well with the 1024 x 768px OLED display to provide a clear image in both day and night that can be adjusted for brightness and contrast. 

Pulsar Forward
Pulsar Forward FN455S 



Pulsar’s Forward FN455S is unlike most other IR add-ons that are aimed predominantly at an airgun audience. Don’t get me wrong, it will do the job admirably, but this is a product that is clearly intended to work with centrefire rifles as well. 

For example, it attaches to the front of a scope rather than back, negating any issues with recoil and eye relief. And the four-point bayonet and collar attachment system, which is sold separately (£124.95) to accommodate different objective lens sizes, has an industrial strength feel to it.  

Overall weight, including the high capacity IPS7 battery and 500-metre range 940nm Pulsar Ultra X940S (eyesafe) LED IR Illuminator, is just under a kilo, making this a product you’d want to use from a rested position, ideally prone.  

Pushing the foremost of four buttons switches the unit on in only a second or two. A long press turns it off and something in between activates a standby mode. The bottom button gets you into the menu, whilst the ones left and right both scroll through options including WiFi streaming to the Stream Vision 2 app, and operate the ‘SUMlight’ feature, which adjusts sensor settings for light conditions, and video/camera functions with images and footage stored to a 16GB internal memory. 

This is a dedicated night-vision optic, so whilst you can use it during the day, the image is monochrome. However, thanks to the 1280 x 720 CMOS sensor and 1746 x 1000 AMOLED display, the image is crisp and clean. A dial on top of the Forward FN455S brings the image through the 50mm lens into focus and magnification is via the scope itself. 

The IPS7 battery pack clamps to the left of the unit and the IR illuminator, which has a separate on/off switch but runs from the main battery and is adjustable for both beam and direction, attaches to the right.  

Unlike the standard F455S model, the FN has the additional benefit of acting as a 5-30x digital infrared monocular as well simply by screwing in a separate attachment to the back of the unit. 

HikMicro Cheetah
HikMicro Cheetah LRF Front Mounted Clip On 



HikMicro announced its entrance to the UK airgun IR space with the Alpex A50T. Faced with the tricky second album conundrum, the company didn’t disappoint with the Cheetah – a dedicated digital day/night IR scope with optional laser rangefinder functionality. At the same time, the Cheetah Front Mounted Clip On was launched to give added flexibility to airgunners who prefer to shoot with glass during the day. 

The core unit is the same for both the dedicated scope and add-on Cheetah models – only the method of attachment differs. However, it’s not possible to purchase the components to convert an add-on to a scope, but you can purchase the parts needed to turn a scope into an add-on.  

As a clip-on, the Cheetah comes with a cover ring adaptor, which with the help of a selection of shims that stick around the objective lens on your scope for a tight fit, tightens with a lever. The adaptor provides a bayonet attachment that connects to the rear of the Cheetah and is then secured by tightening a ring. 

Powered by a rechargeable 18650 battery, the Cheetah is turned on with a long press on the furthest of two buttons, with a short press activating an instant wake-up standby.  

A long press on the second button switches between the colour day/low light mode and monochrome night mode, automatically activating the integrated 850nm IR torch that is beam-adjustable and has a claimed range of 400m.  

A short press activates the onboard LRF which, via the menu will give either a one-off reading in metres or yards or a continuous sweep for 15, 30 or 60 seconds. 

The menu is accessed with a long press on a dial located behind the two buttons. A short press records video to an internal memory, and rotating the dial moves through the 2.7-22x (8x digital zoom) magnification range. 

The menu includes the ability to save up to five profiles so you can swap the set-up between different rifles, activate a picture-in-picture mode, adjust brightness and contrast and access the Cheetah’s wifi. Switching the reticle off so you can use your scope’s reticle is also achieved via the menu. 

Thanks to a sensitive 2560 x 1440 Ultra HD day and night sensor, the Cheetah delivers exceptional clarity that can be further enhanced at night by adding an auxiliary IR torch to boost the onboard illuminator. A chunky collar at the front and a dioptre ring at the back sharpens the image through the 1920 x 1080 OLED display. 


Digital day/night scopes have come on in leaps and bounds in recent years, and the daytime image quality is almost as good as it is with a glass scope and therefore acceptable to many of us, but the key word is ‘almost’ and some shooters are not prepared to compromise on the quality of their day-time shooting. The beauty of IR add-on products is their flexibility. Shoot with your scope in daylight then attach the add-on and away you go. No need to bring a second dedicated night shooting rifle with you. 

An additional benefit in our social media YouTube and Instagram world is that most add-ons also provide a cost-effective means if recording ‘down-the-scope’ footage. 

If you plan on shooting centrefire rifles, then a front-mounted add-on that won’t impede eye relief is the way to go, but for less powerful PCP or rimfire rifles, then a rear-mounted product could be just what you are looking for.