NEW! Nitesite Viper Dark Ops
Hunting at night is nothing new, but there have been massive advances in the equipment that’s available to us. Whether you use a scope mounted light unit, night vision or thermal imaging it’s an area of the industry that just doesn’t stand still for a moment.
Nitesite is one of these companies that have continued to develop and improve their products in order to give the night hunter the maximum advantage over their quarry.
At Shot Show 2018 Nitesite unveiled the new Dark Ops range of night vision add-on units. The first chance that UK hunters got to get their hands on this new range was at the British Shooting Show.
Nitesite make three models the Viper, (clear detection 100 m), Wolf, (clear detection 300 m) and the Eagle (clear detection 500 m). It’s important to note that Dark Ops is not a replacement for the RTEK or an upgrade, but a separate standalone product brought to market offering a different option and there are all the excellent features on the Dark Ops that you will find on the standard RTEK unit.
The 3.5” LCD screen has a dimmer switch enabling you to have full control of the screen brightness; something that’s very useful when you’re hunting at close range because this is going to drastically reduce or even eliminate glare from the screen lighting up your face.
Moving to the camera unit; there’s the focus wheel that allows you to make the crosshairs on the screen crisp and clear as well as the record button that will record your hunting footage and store it onto the SD card that slots into the camera unit. There is a very faint red back light on the record button that is permanently on and then flashes when the unit is recording.
The most significant feature is the new IR illuminator; the Dark Ops now uses a 940 nm wavelength IR! The standard RTEK units have illuminators with a wavelength of 850 nm. So what’s the difference? 850 nm is more the standard because the majority of day/night cameras have a greater sensitivity to this wavelength. However, the light source does produce a slight visible glow. The advantage that the 940 nm wavelength has over the 850 is that it’s virtually invisible.
There are pros and cons for both. As mentioned, the 850 omits a small visible glow, but gives the shooter a greater distance. The 940 is a shorter wavelength, therefore a shorter distance – around 40% that of the 850 – but enables you to be much more covert, which is particularly advantageous if you’re using an air rifle to shoot rats or rabbits that are now becoming much more aware of the associated danger linked to 850 nm IR illuminators, or foxes, if you’re out with something like a .17 HMR. Obviously, this is not such an issue if you’re foxing with a .243 Win that can reach out and touch.
Nitesite Dark Ops is also available as the Elite combo kit. This kit includes the RTEK Laser Rangefinder, although the rangefinder is available separately and it can be picked up for around £250. Personally, I would definitely spend those extra pennies and invest in the Elite Combo Kit. The reason being, I was out looking for rabbits on a new permission and trying to judge ranges in the dark without knowing distances between prominent features and just having that sense of familiarity in my surroundings stopped me from taking shots. However, it was a different kettle of fish when I was shooting around our stable yard.
Something that does take a little getting used to is shooting from a “heads up” position and you will want to shoot from sticks, a bipod, shooting seat or from something else that the rifle can be rested on.
The Nitesite Viper Dark Ops is an extremely effective way of turning your daytime hunter into a deadly night time hunting platform. The technology needed to enable us to effectively hunt at night often comes with a four figure price tag, so with the Dark Ops Viper coming in at under £500 and the Elite Combo Kit coming in at under £700 what is there not to like here?
To find you nearest stockist visit the Nitesite website.