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Converting to the dark side

Mat Manning puts Pard’s new night vision clip-on through its paces during an evening on the rats.


Manufacturer: Pard

With the days getting noticeably shorter, a lot of shooters will be turning their attention to after-dark pest control. Whether targeting foxes, rabbits or rats, infrared night vision makes the job easier, and you don’t have to splash out on a dedicated optic to take advantage of this super-stealthy hunting technology.

Clip-on night vision devices like the Pard NV007SP LRF Gen 2 attach to your usual daytime telescopic sight to convert it to night vision. The result is clear after-dark viewing with no lamplight to blow your cover, plus you get to use your usual rifle/scope setup with all your familiar aimpoints.

The NV007SP LRF retails for £599.99 (or just £499.99 without the rangefinder) and comes supplied with a rechargeable battery and USB lead for onboard charging, plus the connection system which fastens it securely to your scope. The kit includes a set of shims of varying thickness, which slide over the ocular bell to ensure the perfect fit for the quick-release collar. With the collar clamped in position, you then simply offer up the main unit with the notches aligned and then twist until it clicks into place. Give the retaining button on the right side a press, and it unlocks and twists off just as quickly.

Mat lines up on another unsuspecting rat from the cover of darkness.

One thing I really like about this clip-on is that it’s short and therefore doesn’t sit too far behind the scope, unlike some which can make you feel like you’re falling off the back of the cheekpiece when you try to look through them. Tipping the scales at around 440g, including battery and mount, it also doesn’t add too much weight to your rifle.

Press and hold the power button and the device switches on. You then use the ring in front of the eyepiece to focus the display and then turn the wheel on the righthand side to get your reticle pin-sharp on the screen. This procedure only needs to be done once, and then you’re ready for night vision shooting. Any focusing thereafter is done by using the scope’s parallax focus to bring the target into sharp relief.

Once the collar is in place, the NV007 simply twists on to the rear of your scope.

This little night vision clip-on is packed with features yet is still very easy to operate via the buttons at the rear. Install a micro SD card and you can capture JPG images and record MP4 video files with audio by pressing the middle button. The button on the left switches between monochrome IR mode and colour daytime viewing and also adjusts the power of the onboard 920nb infrared illuminator. The bottom button shifts the 4-14x zoom up and down and turns wifi connectivity on and off, while the top button operates the laser rangefinder on the LRF model. The button on the right opens a more detailed menu, which is simple to navigate and allows you to access more advanced settings, including a really handy one that ensures your crosshairs are shown at dead centre of the screen.

After receiving a call from a farmer who was having problems with rats around his grain stores, I decided to mount the Pard on a Hawke Vantage scope and use it for some airgun pest control. The inevitable gap between the line of sight and the barrel means that hold-over and hold-under need to be bang on to achieve clean head shots at close range, which I thought would be an excellent test for the laser rangefinder as well as the NV007SP’s general after-dark performance.

Arriving before dark enabled Mat to survey the grain store for signs of ratty activity.

The rats on this farm are never usually active until night has closed in, but I arrived an hour before dusk to have a proper look around the yard. This recce enabled me to earmark any potential hazards and also to confirm that rats were indeed raiding the grain, their droppings providing clear evidence of their visits.

Arriving during daylight also gave me an opportunity to get the Pard set up before dark. I needn’t have worried, though. I had already familiarised myself with its controls during a session on my garden range, so I had it attached and up and running in a matter of seconds.

Rather than wandering around in the hope of encountering the odd rat, I decided to settle inside one of the large barns where the grain is stored so I could ambush rats as they scuttled in to dine. This ensured a comfortable and very stable shooting position, sat on a backpack stool with the gun supported on sticks. It also meant that I would be taking safe shots with a concrete wall serving as a backstop and, with the rats limited to only one point of access, it looked like being a straightforward ambush.

The focusing dial makes easy work of bringing the scope’s reticle into sharp relief.

The initial wait was longer than I had expected, and the swallows that were swooping in and out of the barn on my arrival had been replaced by bats by the time I picked up the first rat through the NV007SP. Image quality was very impressive, as I would expect from this unit’s 2560x1440px CMOS 2k sensor and high-resolution OLED eyepiece. The adjustable onboard illuminator has a stated detection range of 350m – I was using it at minimum output and could easily see the rat’s twitching whiskers.

A quick press on the rangefinder button gave a reading of 17 metres to target. This shot would need a touch of hold-under, as the pellet initially rises through the crosshair at 14m and drops back down to zero at 30m with this setup. With the aimpoint held just beneath the rat’s eye, I touched off the trigger and the pellet delivered a fatal strike to the head.

The next rat was much closer, the Pard’s rangefinder gauging it at just eight metres. This shot needed hold-over to compensate for the fact that the pellet would still be beneath the line of sight. Holding the crosshair just above the rat’s head resulted in another clean kill.

Over the next two hours I managed eight more rats before activity tailed off, prompting me to stretch my legs and try another spot where I shot another six before wrapping up at midnight. The Pard NV007SP LRF Gen2 had proved to be a very capable performer and was equally at home when I used it to target rabbits around pony paddocks the following night. It is very easy to use and offers a simple, reliable and comparatively affordable night vision option for shooters who don’t want to switch to a dedicated digital gunsight.

Two of the rats that fell to Mat’s lamp-free ambush utilising the NV007’s night vision stealth.

Spec Box

  • PRICE: £599.99
  • LENGTH: 125mm incl. eyecup and mount
  • WEIGHT: 440g
  • ZOOM: 4-14x
  • FEATURES: Integral laser rangefinder, onboard IR illuminator, photo and video capture, reticle centring.

Also consider

Hikmicro Cheetah LRF

RRP: £789.99

The Cheetah is a night vision clip-on which attaches to the front of your scope. It has a detection range of up to 400m and also delivers exceptionally bright full-colour twilight viewing. Features include integral laser rangfinder and IR Illuminator, wifi connectivity and recoil activated video recording.

Pulsar Forward F455S

RRP: £1,199.95

This high-quality night vision unit has a four-point bayonet mount for rapid front-end attachment. Its onboard 940nm illuminator gives a detection range of up to 500m. Features include 1280×720 HD CMOS Sensor, frost-resistant 1746×1000 HD Display, 50Hz frame rate and direct recording to 16GB internal memory.

InfiRay Clip T (Tiny)

RRP: £1,224.99

The Clip T is a very compact front-mounted clip-on which converts your day scope to thermal imaging. It weighs 130g and is just 77mm long yet has a detection range out to 675m. Features include a 12μm thermal imaging sensor high resolution OLED display, and its single CR123 battery delivers a runtime of over three hours.