SIGHTMARK WRAITH HD 4-32×50 RIFLESCOPE
Let’s take a look at the Wraith; the digital day and night scope from Sightmark. As the name suggests the Wraith is capable of day and night time hunting and comes with a removable IR illuminator.
Before we look at the main unit itself, let’s go over the IR illuminator. The illuminator is quite small and compact in size. It uses the 850 nm wavelength and is capable of giving you target acquisition out to 200 yards. It also has very smooth adjustment on the front to give you the option of a focused beam or more of a flood effect, depending on what you require. The illuminator comes with a mount that enables you to attach it to the picatinny rail on top of the Wraith itself, or to mount it to more favoured position on your rifle – You can see that I have it mounted just forward my VTS thumb rest, which is perfect for activating the IR without moving my hand for the foregrip.
Onto the main unit itself, the Wraith has a 4-32x magnification with a 50 mm objective lens. When you look through the eyepiece the images you see are presented on a 1920×1080 high resolution screen. The Wraith is set at a 4x optical magnification with the facility to digitally zoom in eight incremental steps to a maximum magnification of 32x. Now, this is a digital unit and because of that the zoom is digital rather than optical as per a normal day scope. Because of this you will see some image pixilation as you increase the zoom, however, I thought there would be a larger amount of pixilation than there was and I was more than happy with what I was seeing at maximum magnification.
Let’s start from the back and move forward through the unit. The Wraith has a rubber eye cup, which I have to admit I remove when I’m shooting. It’s not that I don’t like it and I know that it does stop some of the light from the screen coming back onto your face when shooting in very dark conditions, but that’s negligible really because of how I have the brightness set. The reason I don’t shoot with the rubber eye cup is nothing more than personal preference. I find that even with the scope positioned right at the rear of my picatinny rail my natural shooting position doesn’t place my eye right on the eye cup and I find that it almost compelled me to push forward until I met with the eye cup.
Still on the eye piece you have the diopter adjustment. Once you’ve got this set to your eye there shouldn’t be much need to mess around with it after that.
On one side of the body housing is the battery compartment. The Wraith is powered by four AA batteries giving a run life of somewhere between 4-5 hours, but you’ll definitely get more run time if you use higher quality lithium batteries, maybe up to 7 hours and having a spare set tucked away somewhere in your gear means that you’ll have enough juice to last a full night.
On the other side of the housing you have the compartment where you’ll find the slot for a micro SD card. A micro SD card is not supplied with the Wraith, so be sure to get your hands on one. A 64GB SD card is going to give you something like 6 or 7 hours of video footage and thousands of still images. This compartment also has a micro USB port which will enable you to run the scope from an external power pack supply, so if you wanted to team the Wraith up with 12v 8.8AMP/HR Li-On battery pack that sits in a pouch and straps or velcros to your stock you’re going to have battery life for literally days. Obviously, this is going to increase the overall weight of your platform, but if you were set up with your rifle clamped into a Wicked Lights Rekon tripod then it’s an option that’s well worth having up your sleeve.
On top of the Wraith is an integral picatinny rail on which you can attach the IR illuminator that’s supplied. Again, because the IR illuminator is detachable you also have the option on fitting an even more powerful IR like a Wicked Light predator light which will give you even more range out into the darkness.
In front of the picatinny rail is the focus ring and, obviously depending you what range your target is, or how far you’ve zoomed into that target, you’ll need to make that manual focus adjustment. Both the focus ring and the diopter are very smooth to operate and not overly stiff and then in front of that you have the 50 mm objective lens with a nice rubber cap which has a nice tight rubber ring that keeps it attached to the scope and enables you to keep the lens covered and then just flip it up, or to the side when you want to take your shot.
Moving back down the unit you have the operating panel, which couldn’t be more simple to use, in fact one best features of the Wraith is just how easy the thing is to use and how simple the menus and sub-menus are to use once you get into setting it up, but we’ll get onto the internal, technical stuff in just a minute. So, the operating panel has the on/off button in the centre and then for arrow in the up, down left and right positions. When the unit is on the up and down arrows allow you to zoom in and out. The right hand button is the video record and stop. This is done by a quick press, once to record and again to stop. It’s also the button to take still images and you do this by depressing the button and keeping your finger on it. The left-hand button switches you from colour day mode into black and white NV mode and if you press it again it will take you into the classic green night vision mode.
The Wraith comes with a very nice one piece mount, which if you want to switch out for something else simply unscrews from the underside. I think it’s safe to say that when Sightmark designed the Wraith and its mounting system it was with AR shooters in mind. The standard one piece mount is far more suited to a semi-auto action than a bolt action hunting rifle when it comes to your eye meeting up with the rubber eye cup. However, there is now an extended mount available that brings the Wraith much further back from the action and over the stock.
Menu and Settings
Once the unit is switched on a single press on the centre button will take you into the main menu and from there you can access all the sub-menus where you can adjust the screen brightness, set up your preferred reticle and reticle colour. There are ten different reticle styles to choose from and these range from a variety of hunting reticles and also a variety of tactical type reticles and there are nine different reticle colours to choose from.
You can store five different profiles into the Wraith, whether that be five different rifle calibres, or you could set up profiles for the same calibre, i.e., with the set up I have here I could have separate profiles for subsonic and supersonic ammunition.
Within the reticle settings you will find the reticle zero option. This is the Wraith’s one shot zero. If you’ve used a device that has this facility in it you will know that it’s a great function and extremely easy to use and literally allows you to zero the scope with a single shot.
The way it works is once the Wraith is mounted on the rifle, take aim at the centre of a target and take the shot. Go into the reticle settings menu and tab across to the reticle zero menu and a secondary reticle will appear, which is a red “X”. By using the arrow keys on the control panel, move the secondary reticle until it covers your bullet impact. You do this with your normal cross hair at your original point of aim. Once you have the secondary cross hair placed over your bullet impact give a single press on the centre button and your cross hair will snap to the point of impact. Now take aim at the centre of target and your shot should be pretty much bang on. It’s as simple as that!
The one thing that I would strongly suggest before you do anything with the Sightmark Wraith is download and install the latest firmware update. One thing that I didn’t like about it was the fact that when I was shooting and had the Wraith in black and white NV mode and switched it off while not using it, it would default to day mode when switched back on. With the firmware updated the Wraith will switch on in whatever mode it was switched off in.
Something else I experienced is that the Wraith did not hold point of aim when zoomed in. Now, I’m not talking about bullet drop at different ranges, i.e., zeroing at 30 m, for instance and then shooting at a target 100 m away and wondering why the impact point is different. What I experienced was zeroing at 30 m on 2x magnification; remaining at that distance and zooming into 4x magnification and all of a sudden being 2 inches low and left. After a little research I found that other users had experienced the same thing and it would seem that Sightmark themselves were aware of it because by installing the firmware update the problem has been solved.
Scott country International have been very kind in letting me use and test the Sightmark Wraith for quite an extended period and I’ve really been able to find out what I do and don’t like about it. I’m not a fan of the rubber eye cup and running it without is just my personal preference, there’s nothing actually wrong with the eye cup itself.
The only issue I found was the point of impact shift when zooming in and out which really threw me for a moment, but this was rectified with the firmware update and I didn’t have any problems after that. Again, if you’re thinking that firmware updates and things like that all sounds a bit complicated, it really isn’t. The update is a very easy process to go through.
The magic about the Sightmark Wraith is just how easy it is to set up and use and, of course, the price. The Wraith comes in at under £700, which is excellent value for money. What I was very conscious of doing was not to compare the Wraith to anything else but to test it and judge it purely on its own merits. The majority of my experience with these type of scopes has been with Pulsar and it would be easy to say the pulsar does this and the pulsar does that. For me to put the two together like that would be unfair. Sightmark clearly set out from the start to develop and bring a product to market that would be in the bracket of “affordable day and night vision” and they’ve definitely done that.
I’ve been lucky enough to have the Wraith for several months and I’ve found it to be extremely reliable. Putting the technical issue, that was quickly fixed, to one side I didn’t have any problems at all. With it mounted on my 22 platform I found the IR illuminator that comes with the Wraith more than enough for the ranges I was shooting out to and gave me plenty of detection range out to a couple of hundred metres.
The final question to ask myself is, if I was looking for a digital scope would I buy the Wraith based on my experience? The answer is simple and easy; yes, definitely. It did exactly what I wanted it to and at no point left me wanting it to do something that wasn’t included within its features.
The Sightmark Wraith retails at £699.99, but Scott Country International, at the time of this publication, are retailing it at £599.99. If you’re looking for a sub-thousand pound digital day and night vision scope then take a look at the Sightmark Wraith, you won’t be disappointed.