THE IPHONE OF RIFLESCOPES
THE SMART FEATURES ON ATN’S X- SIGHT 4K PRO 5-20X MAKE IT A WINNER
The smart features on ATN’S X-sight 4K Pro will blow you away. By Mike Searson
My first experience with night vision occurred when I was a 17-yearold Marine back in the late 1980s. It was an AN/PVS-4 (Night Vision Sight, Individual Served Weapon, AN/PVS-4), and its claim to fame was that it was the first second-generation passive night vision sight.
Although it was state of the art at the time, it left a lot to be desired. Major improvements to night vision have been made since then. The new gear is much clearer, lighter weight and probably a lot more expensive, even when adjusting for the rate of inflation. Yet, I was recently able to lay hands on a weapon-mounted night vision scope that was different in several ways than even the multi-thousanddollar units used by the military. The best part, though, had to be the price. The scope in question is the ATN X-sight 4K Pro 5-20x.
DIGITAL NIGHT VISION
Standard optical night vision devices amplify ambient light from natural sources, such as the moon and stars, or manmade sources, such as distant streetlights, through an intensifier tube, which projects an amplified image onto a phosphor screen before the eyepiece. Digital night vision, on the other hand, processes the external light within a coupling device and projects it to a liquid crystal display (LCD). As a result, digital night vision devices can be used in daylight, as well.
Most digital night vision devices feature several display settings that allow the rendering of the image on the LCD in green, red or gray. Green is typically the highest quality, red is used for preserving night vision and gray decreases the viewer’s light signature when viewing. Instead of looking through a scope, it is more like looking through the viewfinder of a camera.
There is a bit of a learning curve when setting up, or at least there was for me.
Mounting the scope to the rifle is pretty straightforward. First you have to find room for the bases of your rings on the rail and make sure the rings engage the tube properly. Then, you make sure the scope is level and your eye relief is okay.
I mounted the scope on a Cobalt Kinetics Recon carbine. This is a fast-handling carbine built like a Ferrari. It sports a 13-inch barrel and a 3-inch permanently attached Cobalt PRO Muzzle Brake, making the total barrel length 16 inches. A comfortable PDW stock allows the shooter the ability to make the rifle even more compact.
Zeroing the scope is completely different than a traditional riflescope, and I mean that in a good way. However, it must be done at a range as opposed to boresighting in your backyard or workshop.
The shooter takes aim at the target and after firing the first round, you must move the reticle to your point of impact, press a button and set your zero.
Even better is the fact that the scope will store multiple “zeroes” for multiple rifles, so should you want to move from a 5.56 rifle to a .458 SOCOM or to a .308 bolt gun; you can do so with minimal shift in POI (Point of Impact).
The ATN X-sight 4K Pro 5-20x incorporates smartphone technology like we have never seen before in a riflescope from a rangefinder to an internal ballistics calculator. Imagine a scope that “knows” the wind, range, target angle, temperature, humidity, and as we mentioned, can be set up for different rifles. You no longer have to imagine, because now it’s a reality. In keeping with that smartphone spirit, the shooter can stream HD
video directly from the scope, plus simultaneously record what they are viewing to the SD card inside. I am starting to think of this as the iphone of riflescopes.
The view looks a bit different than a standard glass optic. I was worried at first that turning up the magnification might pixelate the view, but it turned out that worry was unfounded. The view is crystal clear on every magnification setting.
I mounted the ATN X-sight 4K Pro on a Cobalt Kinetics Recon carbine. This is a short rifle with a Pdw-type stock, built by Cobalt Kinetics to give the shooter an almost “SBR” type of feel. The barrel is 13.5 inches with a 3-inch PRO Muzzle brake permanently attached in order to bring the barrel length up to 16.5 inches.
Cobalt Kinetics builds true custom rifles, and this one is more intended for a personal protection role as opposed to a three-gun or precisiontype rifle, but it can double in a competition or hunting role as well. Even though the Recon has a shorter than normal barrel, it has proven itself to be a 1 MOA rifle with low recoil due to the linear muzzle brake. It proved to be an excellent host for this particular scope.
I followed instructions to the letter and was averaging 1.5-inch groups with Aguila 63-grain 5.56 ammunition at 100 yards. At times, I felt more like I was watching my shooting on television as opposed to through the scope of a rifle. While I was not able to shoot in complete darkness, I was able to do so in low light conditions, and removed the scope several times to check its return to zero. All was satisfactory on that front.
The scope was not perfect, though. It is powered by an internal battery pack
that requires charging via USB cable. A fully charged battery lasts about 18 hours. I found this out the hard way because I was playing around with it a little too much over the course of a week and when I finally got to the range, it died on me almost immediately.
After letting it charge up overnight, I returned to the range and was able to shoot with it extensively. Another problem that I ran into was that the red digital crosshair appeared too thick on low magnification and at close range. This may be something a shooter can get used to, but it took me a while to get as comfortable with it as I could be.
Perhaps a future enhancement could be the ability to change reticles, or at least reticle thickness. It may be rapid fire, but it is something to note.
Most of my testing was based on accuracy and functionality of the ATN X-sight 4K Pro. I am convinced that this scope would make an excellent day and night hunting scope out to 400 yards.
It could serve well in certain tactical operations, but more long-term testing on durability, as well as overall reliability will be needed before I can give a final verdict.
The smart features present in this scope make it a winner on so many levels, and the price is a very good one. However, long-term durability in adverse conditions needs to be evaluated before mounting one on a duty or defensive rifle. TW
“… the scope will store multiple ‘zeroes’ for multiple rifles, so should you want to move from a 5.56 rifle to a .458 SOCOM or to a .308 bolt gun; you can do so with minimal shift in POI (Point of Impact).”
Build quality on the Cobalt Recon is superior to just about every other AR- 15 out there. These are truly the Ferrari’s of custom AR- 15s.
The PDW stock may look uncomfortable at first glance, but after firing a few rounds down range, shooting is downright pleasant.
The ATN X- Sight 4K Pro 5-20x mounts like a traditional riflescope, but zeroing and general use take it to a whole new high- tech level.