Nighttime Security Night Vision Devices | A Force Multiplier

Night Vision Devices - PVS14

Night vision devices are amazing force multipliers and are commonly used in the military.

Did you know that American civilians can get them too?

Why will (are) these devices critical for nighttime security?

Following true SHTF, it will make all the difference because current night vision technology provides stunning visibility at night.


“The enemy” who wants to take your stuff (or worse) will likely make their attempt at night. Not saying that there won’t be plenty of daytime security issues however nighttime security is a whole different thing.

If the enemy has night vision devices and you do not, chances are the enemy wins.

A Force Multiplier

Having a night vision device yourself is a force equalizer to the enemy who also has it, and a force multiplier (big time) to those who do not.

Once you have experienced the effects of being able to see in the dark, you will understand the importance during a real societal collapse when danger lurks, especially during nighttime.

Most preppers who have been into it for awhile (beyond level 1 & 2) know and understand the terrible potential consequences of a big time SHTF collapse. Most people will not fathom or accept that it could get so bad such that we’re talking about night vision devices used in a non-military application – for one’s own security.

The fact is that if you or your nighttime security can see in the dark they will likely have lots of warning prior to a potential deadly encounter.

Seeing the enemy or a potential enemy long before they see you will provide the option to warn them off, to take evasive action, or to take care of business.

Night Vision Devices: How They’re Used

Today’s night vision devices can be used in a variety of ways:

You can simply hold it to your eye as a monocular viewer.

Attach it to a purpose made head mount, typically a strap mechanism (some come with one).

Fasten to a helmet equipped with a night vision device mount.

Mount it to your rifle with your scope.

Mount to helmet in conjunction with a IR Laser also mounted to your rifle.

Drive a car at night without headlights*
(*only under ‘end-of-world’ circumstances or on your own property for practice).

Hike in the woods at night.

View animals at night.

Star Gazing (awesome!).

How it works

More about night vision Gen-0 through Gen-3 and how it works:

Read this, and come back:
Gen 0, 1, 2, 3, 3+ Night Vision

Where To Get Night Vision Devices

I cannot imagine nighttime security post-SHTF without night vision. Having a NVD myself, I know the value it will bring under those circumstances.

Bob Griswold | ReadyMadeResources

A number of years ago I purchased my night vision device from Bob Griswold over at Ready Made Resources. He specializes in this area and will gladly answer any questions that you may have about it. A great guy to talk to who has plenty of “field” experience as an operator.

He often runs various sales, like the current PVS-14 3rd gen autogated with the HP+ tube, the best out there…

The following are examples of visible night vision devices. It is astounding how they can magnify existing light (even just some starlight) into ‘daytime’.

I personally like the white phosphor because I can see more detail.

PVS-14 Gen 3+ Pinnacle (green phosphor)

PVS-14 Gen 3+ Pinnacle (white phosphor)

Here’s there complete lineup, including thermal and other devices:

NVD’s at ReadyMadeResources

And just so you know, their company offers easy financing, and says it only takes less than a minute to get approved.

While he is a sponsor here on Modern Survival Blog, I’m not posting this as just some sales pitch. I’ve been to his place and talked with him at length (and played with some of their ‘toys’). You can trust them. They’re a great family run business.

My visit to ReadyMadeResources

Night Vision Devices for Serious Nighttime Security

If you’re into pepping and preparedness to the extent of level-3 & 4 then no doubt you have given some serious thought about daytime and nighttime security.

Dealing with security, especially nighttime security after a true collapse will not be at all easy. In fact the difficulty for many will be the required number of people to rotate in and out if you really want to be covered 24/7.

Lets hope we NEVER NEED IT to the extent of societal breakdown and SHTF.

Continue reading: Human Night Vision


  1. I can attest to the quality of the NVD’s that Readymade Resources offers. I purchased two of these from Bob Griswold, and his prices are extremely fair and his customer service is second to none.

    Expensive, yes. But, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. If you are considering spending the money on a night vision device, I can promise you that the first time you look through one at night you won’t be disappointed. It truly is amazing.

    If you REALLY want to experience the ultimate in nighttime confidence, buy yourself a thermal optic. Trijicon makes what is probably the best on the civilian market, as their sensors are made by military contractor “BAE Systems”.

  2. My NVG and monocular isn’t but a gen 1&2 and my lasers are just level 1s but they work decent. They aren’t near the quality I carried in the army or on the team but I make due.
    I’ve got a lasermax IR. My sons is set up on strobe and mine solid so we don’t get crossed up.
    Our red dots are night vision quality too. You need to try and have this because lasers work both ways.
    I carry the best white lights I can on my rifle as well to be used as a counter to their night vision. Once you hit it and shut it off you’ve got a real real real narrow window to get moving.
    I’m working on IR driving lights for my truck.
    Look closely at your ammo too. In shorty 556s use Hornady SBR (short barrel rifle) ammo(burns the powder up in 10”).
    In 300 BLK use
    SIG SBR ammo(burns the powder up in 9”). For longer rifle barrels and handguns look at ammo like TAP or other law enforcement quality for low flash.
    Get trained if possible and try and go on a hog hunt so you get the opportunity to engage multiple targets and/or targets at distances.
    Stock extra batteries and put some in those fancy grips on the gun.
    Try hiking with them because depth perception can be a challenge.
    Get some kind of markers for your team cause friendly fire isn’t. Be that crazy guy who sits in his dark living room after watching red dawn aka training film #1 feeling where all his gear is on his kit because you can’t turn on a light to find stuff when nightstalking.
    Amazon also sells IR chemlights to mark areas, signal a buddy, illuminate a room etc. just don’t carry them around like seal team wanna bees hanging all over the place off your kit. It’s embarrassing.

    Buy the best you can afford. You won’t regret it.

  3. Night vision is much more useful when integrated onto your weapon platform. As far as a good price point and functionality, I would recommend the ATN X-sight II because it can be used night and day. With the augmentation of the remote, you get instant zoom in and out. It will perform active ballistic calculations when integrated with the laser range finder. Add the battery pack and it will run all night.

  4. As far as getting around at night without a bright flashlight, I would recommend the Nightfox 100V Widescreen Digital Night Vision Infrared Binocular. They are cheap $120 and they work. This will allow you to walk around without hitting trees. They are for sale on Amazon.

    1. Just remember though, while you’re using the Infrared Binocular that you referenced – you will be lit up like a spotlight to others in the area who may have a NVD. That may or may not be a concern in a typical use scenario. Just pointing it out…

      That’s one reason why devices like the PVS-14 (for example) are expensive – while they do have a built-in IR illuminator for optional use, normal operation does not require it given it’s incredible ability to magnify ‘any’ existing light (e.g. star light) in order to ‘see’.

      1. If you are going to spend that kind of money for night vision, then go with thermal and skip the whole IR tag game. ATN thermal starts around $2,300. I have yet to buy an ATN thermal scope, but it looks almost like cheating. The FLIR scout I have can see the amount of propane in my tanks. The FLIR scout does not white out with each shot. I can see warm car engines and in the right conditions I can see warm tire tracks and footsteps.

  5. I’ve seen the NV at readymade resources. They are nice but expensive. Are there any other NV devices of good quality for a lower price?

    1. JF,
      It’s like most everything, “you get what you pay for”.

      Bob Griswold (at ready made resources) sells a variety of night vision devices. With that said, the units that I referenced (linked) in the article are literally the same that military operators use. Given their high quality and demanding specifications, they are going to be expensive. They’re the best.

      With that said, a previous commenter mentioned a particular inexpensive device, as there are many listed on amz for example. I’ll simply mention that if you’re considering a lesser NVD, just be aware of the pros and cons so that you are making a good decision based on your own budget.

      When comparing a night vision device that costs a few hundred dollars to one that’s a few thousand (or more), there is no comparison. Well, there is, but it’s ‘night and day’.

      My general suggestion is this. If someone is looking for a NVD for life-threatening scenarios such as combat with an enemy, either don’t be in that predicament, or you better have the best NVD that you can possibly have as a force multiplier because your life may depend on it.

      If the NVD will only be used for recreation, hunting coyotes at night, or other non-security non-life-threatening purposes, well, it’s just a matter of one’s budget versus features.

  6. I have a multitude of security cameras. Like an embarrassing amount. I’ve been doing it for decades. I have some IP cameras still in use that are over ten years old. Most of them now are POE. Whenever I find a weak spot I put in another camera. Even the camper has 3 cameras always recording and a WAP.

    The hardest part I’ve found is finding a good IR illuminator for them that is affordable. So far I’ve settled for quantity over quality.

    In the visible spectrum my yard is exceptionally dark except the weather station backlight and cordless drill charger LED that is in the detached garage. The IR 850-940 spectrum is lit up like a Christmas tree. What effect does this have on a modern (gen 3) NVD?

    1. pinky asked, “The IR 850-940 spectrum is lit up like a Christmas tree. What effect does this have on a modern (gen 3) NVD?”

      I’m not sure exactly what you’re asking but I’ll take a crack at it…

      If the area is ‘lit up’ with infrared (as in your ‘Christmas tree’), the Gen 3 will easily ‘see’ it, even from far away.

      1. Ken,

        Pinky’s comment and your response opens up a whole new conversation when discussing night vision.

        As night vision devices proliferate (more and more folks obtaining them), the use of infra-red (IR) illumination to enhance the efficacy of a device, can defeat the benefit of staying invisible while observing possible threats.

        While I own an outdated (15 year old) gen-1 monocular, which has served me well, on truly dark nights, the IR function is needed. If I use it as planned (observation/listening post) should things go terribly south, if the threat is equipped with night vision, I will lose all element of surprise should I employ the infra-red.

        I have toyed with the idea of installing high intensity flood lights spaced evenly around our home, facing outward, to effectively blind anyone approaching at night, on a single switch, to be employed only when threatened. My thinking is, this would affect those with or without night vision equally. Just a thought.

        1. Dennis from using modern military grade night vision in Army training exercises I have one comment on them. Their good for a lot offensively BUT you still cannot see trip wires, wait a minute bushes and in general I was busy treating wounds from Soldiers “Thinking” they could move around at night like daylight. Your visual field of view is reduced even with the good High Tech Models.

          So defensively think about your thorny black berries people funnels and adding barbed wire tripwires as needed. Night Ninjas will hate you. You’ll know where they are apt to travel AND likely hurt them noisily. Also if you want great eating as well as incorruptible night vision guards get Geese. They are still used around some nuclear plants as security as they eat grass, raise a ruckus to strangers and have pretty good Ultraviolet night vision (unlike chickens).

          Flood lights are good for blinding but everyone for miles will know your interesting, even folks that had not figured you worth a visit?

        2. Dennis,
          You’re right. Which is exactly why I particularly like NVD’s that are good enough not to need an IR illuminator ‘to see’. That way, no one sees YOU.

          I like your idea of perimeter high intensity lighting on a switch (remote would be cool). If it gets to the point of having to utilize this method to engage, one needs all advantages available to them. With one’s defense being behind it (the ‘wall’ of light) while exposing ‘the enemy’, will have a momentary advantage (or longer). Good thought.

        3. Dennis have you thought of a second switch that just does IR floodlights pointing at “them”?

      2. I have a lot of security cameras. And I have a lot of IR illuminators. Like so many that you can read a pocket dictionary using the camera on your cellphone. But in the visible spectrum you can’t see your hand.

        It started out because cameras came with junk IR LEDs. Then cameras in the sun had them burn out. Then because it is nice not having any hotspots in the cameras. Basically other than the color I can see with the cameras at night as good as day.

        So 150′ or so around the house and outbuildings it is like daylight in the IR spectrum.

        Out in the woods at some choke points I have more POE cameras but only 940nm IR. Someday I will have them everywhere but it is a PITA.

        I was wondering the effect all of this has on modern NVDs. It makes my gen1 stuff useless. Gen3 stuff buys me about another 45 cameras. I have only looked at gen3 stuff in the store.

  7. Anybody know if a SiOnix or Bushnell Equinox Z2 6X50MM are OK for starter NV?
    Hate buying something and out of the box it doesn’t work or quits in a few months.
    I plan on getting Gen3+ later.

  8. Ken and others can anybody tell me if Night Vision is hardened from EMP? I know they were testing a man pack EMP “Gun” in the 90’s for scrambling enemy electronics but the sand box folks have very little electronic in their war fighting gear, so it was dropped from middle east testing.

    Curious as I know how much of our warfighter load out was batteries for the NV.

    1. Me2
      As PaPa Smurf stated they are not EMP proof.
      Yeah the batteries are a load and most devices are only good for about 6 hrs.
      When I planned my platoon needs I planned on 2 sets batteries for each night per device in use. It’s more than needed however folks leave them on in the bag in the morning cause they are tired. Folks who aren’t familiar with them leave the Illuminator on all night. Sometimes the extreme temps sap them quicker. Occasionally we had to use them in the day for buildings, caves and tunnels. Murphy

    2. Current issue NVDs are not specifically hardened as such. Though as I’ve mentioned in some of my EMP-related articles, the effects thereof are largely based on a number of factors which may vary based on a number of parameters. With that generally stated (surely with no real convincing one way or the other), I wouldn’t count on the survival of said device unless adequately protected.

  9. – me2,
    Most assuredly, they are *not* hardened against EMP. A good close lightning strike will take them out (guess how I know?). Expect them to be sent back for rebuild/replacement if you are military. If you are not, figure they are toast.
    – Papa S.

    1. – I have used both Gen 3/4 NV and Thermal sights. All I have myself is a cheapo Gen 1 Russian tube that was rebuilt. When I can afford better, I will look closely at a Gen 3 to replace it. For now, I would have to say, that while it is much better than nothing, it is much less than impressive.

      – Papa S.

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