Armasite Vampire 3x Night vision Optic
This is my first piece of Night Vision equipment, I’m very satisfied with the investment and wanted to do show and tell. Hope you guys enjoy!
Two important things up front.
- DO NOT TAKE THE COVER OFF IN DIRECT LIGHT, YOU WILL DESTROY THE UNIT.
- BUY STOCK IN A COMPANY THAT MAKES CR123 BATTERIES.
I got this piece of equipment specifically with the intent of predator control on my property with regards to my livestock. Oh yeah, and what yall are probably thinking… being able to hunt in the dark without any perceptible light signature… well I mean, that too. Using night vision does take some getting used to, but nothing can hide in the dark. Irises glow like little green led lights when you cut the illuminator on and look into the scope. Having your dominant eye very impaired when you come off the eye piece to walk or look around it a strange feeling as well but you get used to it quickly. This unit operates for a long time on 1 CR123, in my opinion. However I have left it on several times wiping out a hand full of CR123 batteries. Im looking at rechargeable, but haven’t tested it with any yet but Im ABSOLUTELY going to get rechargeable batteries.
The reticle is the standard IR green, the cross hair is red and the crosshair brightness can be adjusted from very dim and hardly perceptible to very bright which I found can bleed over what toy are aiming at a little bit. I run it at a low setting to conserve battery and decrease eye fatigue.
There is an accordion boot that I only use about half the time since I often wear glasses. The focal adjustments, diopter ring and fine adjustment knob, together work well to provide very fine adjustment for varying distances. I am satisfied with the ability to focus the view clearly at distances from 30 – 150+ yards (focus knob on tom of unit see pic below) there is also a diopter ring as you would expect. I found it fairly easy to sight in, I sighted it during the day with the cover on. The cover has a pin hole that allows you to use the optic during the day though I prefer just to switch to day time glass. (a sightmark coreTX SM13072DCR review coming soon).
The quick detach (QD) mount allows for this unit is intended to be weapon mounted, thought it can be used as an observation only piece of equipment. I like the lever lock that is integrated into both of the QD levers I have this feature on another optic and love it, I think it should be an industry standard. (You can see this feature in the pic above) The QD mount is extremely useful when swapping to another optic during transitional light situations like dawn and dusk. In my case I often wear a shooters bag and just snap the QD mount levers, pop the scope off, drop it in my bag, put on my day time glass .The ability to adjust the tension of the QD mount on the fly without any tools is also nice and convenient. You simply open the lever to half position and push it, the nut on the other side will push out of its seat and you can adjust it easily with two fingers. The levers / bars are spring loaded and the seat of the nut prevents the nut from moving. Once your tension is set the spring applies pressure reseating the nut. This is kind of difficult to explain, and is way easier to show in a video.
This unit comes with an external IR LED illuminator (see below). It looks a lot like a typical led flashlight. It takes 2 CR123 batteries, and had decent battery life… if you don’t forget to turn it off. During nights with big a bright full moon, the illuminator is not even really needed. The illuminator lens has the ability to be adjusted a few degrees up/down and side/side and the beam can be focused. I found I got more use from the focus than I did the directional adjustment, personally I ran my focus more like flood light or wide angle view due to the terrain I’m hunting in. I will interject, a little humor in at this point and say don’t even bother trying to use this in fog… it will blind you. I am seriously considering sourcing a different brand that offers a rail mount IR illuminator, if you are wondering there is a 2 slot section of rail on the top-ish left side of the scope that allows for the illuminator to mount to the body of the scope. I have also been looking at an IR laser designator but haven’t committed to that yet, though it will be coming soon.
Now for the big question… price… out the door was nearly $900, not including a case of cr123 (another 45.00). I would pay that again in a heartbeat for this unit without hesitation. I’m sure I could have shopped it and gotten a deal but F*** it, I had something killing my animals and I needed a solution. I believe at the retail price it’s a very solid value for the capability and strategic advantage it gives you. I would recommend it, and have had several colleagues, friends and students use it and have gotten great feedback.
In a nut shell here are my likes and dislikes.
- Quick and easy on / off with quick disconnect mount
- Holds its zero when being uninstalled and reinstalled
- Image quality and field of view
- Weight… I rifle mounted 3 extra pounds will wear you out over the course of a night hunt. However its usability, practical application, and functionality make up for this.
- Reticle on / off / brightness cap style knob … this is my least favorite part but I understand and appreciate the design.
- IR illuminator cap style knob, however turn it all the way left or right and it’s the off position. It does have 3 different brightness settings.
What could be improved
- Pressure pad option for IR illuminator
- Push button on/off / selector for reticle.
- Built in time out function for scope
So what it actually like mounted? Here’s some pics with my AR for scale… I know bananas are usually used for scale but tough shit, I didn’t have one.
Hope you guys found this informative. If you have questions shoot us an email firstname.lastname@example.org or hit us up on the Instagram.
Till next time, head on a swivel, stay alert and stay safe.