ATN X-Sight II HD 3-14 Day/Night Riflescope Review
By TR Nelson


The ATN X-Sight II HD 3-14 Day/Night Riflescope is the latest generation of software assisted digital optics. It is available as either a 5-20x or a 3-14x magnification, and is capable of doing a ton of neat, slick and even downright useful things, provided you know how to operate it. As the name implies, the scope allows the user to run the exact same optic during the night as in the daytime with the push of a couple buttons.

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The ATN X-Sight II HD represents the future of optics, as the tagline says. This scope can record video with audio and take pictures at 1080p quality either through manual user input or recoil initiation. Yes, you can immediately review the video on the device to see how good the hit was on that whitetail, or you can attach the scope to an external video monitor via a micro HDMI cable for everyone at the camp to see how awesome you are for all time. The scope can be paired to external devices, such as your smart phone, a remote control, and a laser rangefinder. It also has a built-in weather station that automatically tracks temperature, barometric pressure and altitude, you can manually enter wind speed, direction, and relative humidity. The X-Sight II HD also has a manual rangefinder that utilizes basic MIL range finding techniques. You also get a WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth ability to pair, a GPS enabled compass, built-in level and angle readouts, a ballistic compensation calculator (that pairs to the ATN1500 rangefinder) and an IR illuminator. And that’s just to start. There is quite a bit more that this optic is capable of that will be touched upon later in the article.

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Upon delivery of the ATN X-Sight II HD 3-14 I spent an evening going through the basic instructions that come along with everything in the box, familiarizing myself with the terminology of the technology. These are basic instructions and will get you to a place that you can start to operate the optic. You will have a ton of questions at this point. There is a lot going on with the riflescope and unless you are a natural with modern tech-based systems I would highly recommend spending a bit of time looking at the various threads located at www.atnowners.com. In all seriousness, every one of my, ‘what about this,’ and, ‘how do you do that’ questions were answered right there, everything from tech support questions and suggested updates to accessories, and there are even links to contact customer service.

I am not a super tech savvy guy so there was a bit of a learning curve involved for me. There are also some very good videos on YouTube that walk you through several of the features, like the one shot zero feature for instance. The next evening I spent poking around the ATN Owners Forum and YouTube, charging spare batteries and playing around with the settings and the setup of the riflescope systems. I never did figure out how to not have to reset the time and date, as you will probably notice by looking at the date and time stamps on the photos and videos. Over the course of my testing I mounted, set up and zeroed the riflescope on seven different rifles, so now I have that setup procedure down in my sleep. The process is very straightforward.

I mounted the riflescope, extended battery life package and remote controller on my 20” barreled 6.5 Grendel AR, a consistent and validated 0.6 MOA shooting rifle that I put together a few years back when the 6.5 Grendel was all the rage. l had set up the ballistic profile in the riflescope to match that of my proven load using the 130g Berger AR Hybrid at 2,400 fps, and it was time to head to the range and sling some lead getting this thing zeroed.

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I started at 25 yards and was literally zeroed after the first shot, no kidding. I will walk you through that process. I simply fired a shot and went to the settings menu and then to the profiles/zero menu and selected current then moved the colored crosshair to the bullet hole on the target while holding the white crosshair on the center of the bullseye. I took one more shot to confirm the zero because I could not believe it was that easy; it was. I then turned on the ballistic compensation feature and went to the 200-yard range. I utilized the ATN1500 laser rangefinder that I had previously paired to the riflescope and ranged the target at exactly 200 yards. A little flag and, ‘200yd’ appeared on the upper left of the display screen and I zoomed the display to 14X and fired three shots, which landed in a quarter-sized cluster, a little left of center. I moved the zero of the reticle to take that into account and sent another three shots dead into the center of the bullseye. Easy as pie.

It was time to stretch the riflescope system out and see how well it handled longer distances and the never-ending gusting Nebraska wind. We set up early in the morning the following Saturday at 917 yards with a steady 12mph wind gusting to 18mph. I entered the temperature, wind velocity and direction into the riflescope. I ranged the steel plate with the ATN1500 laser rangefinder, and verified that I saw 917yd next to the little flag in the upper left of the display and centered the reticle on the plate. I fired and made a cold bore hit on the plate in a 12mph wind that I followed up with two more within the margins of the changing wind on the steel plate.

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The ballistic compensation features work well, provided you have valid velocity and ballistic information entered. My velocity data was previously recorded with a Magnetospeed and the ballistic data was validated with live fire. The riflescope tracked nearly exactly with my recorded values. I took the opportunity to also test the internal rangefinder by entering the known size of the plate target and taking a reading at the top and bottom of the target, it calculated the range to be 877yd. Your ability to aim and take a reading precisely at the top and bottom of the target heavily influence its output values, inside of 400 yards it is pretty well ok and will get the job done. It has several default object sizes and you can manually enter the exact size of a target as well.

I mounted the riflescope next on my Ruger 300 blackout bolt gun that I shoot a 250g Outlaw State Bullets low-velocity expanding round-nosed bullet from at 1,020fps. It is a sub-sonic expanding bullet for hunting that I have harvested a few whitetail deer with, and is a good fit for sub-sonic suppressed hunting. It has a similar ballistic arc to that of a thrown rock.

I zeroed it at 25 yards, only needing one shot again to zero it. I moved over to the 100-yard range and took a reading with the paired ATN 1500 rangefinder and fired a group. I made a slight adjustment in the zero and fired another group that centered right up on the target.

The next morning, I was able to get to my local range and really push the limits of what the riflescope ballistic compensation could do, both with manual range entry, internal rangefinder and the paired rangefinder. I started by entering the wind data and temperature into the system. Then I used the paired rangefinder and ranged a 6” square steel plate at 315 yards, and after I verified that 315yd appeared next to the little flag in the upper left of the display screen I sent five in a row into a neat little cluster on the plate. I then ranged a chicken silhouette at 27 yards and readily toppled it, followed by the steel plate at 315, a pig silhouette at 218, the chicken at 27 yards and back to another silhouette at 164 yards as fast as I could range them, aim and shoot.

If you are shooting at a known range you can also manually enter the distance and apply the same ballistic corrections. It is just more fiddly to scroll through the menus and enter the distance and isn’t exactly quick, but it also works fine.

The ballistic compensator works by automatically making the corrections needed inside the riflescope. You hold the crosshairs where you want the bullet to hit and the computer does the rest. The crosshairs stay centered in the view finder. This works for elevation via your distance entry that you can enter manually, enter through the internal range finder or through pairing with the ATN 1500 laser rangefinder.

You can choose to either hold off for the wind, or to enter the direction and velocity values and the riflescope will compensate for the wind. You will see the offset that the calculator is applying in the lower left hand portion of the screen as an arrow pointing up or down followed by the correction in inches, then an arrow pointing left or right followed by the correction in inches. Think of it as a digital version of a ballistic turret on your traditional glass optic.

You click the rangefinder and the elevation correction happens automatically. No dialing in the wrong distance value accidentally or using the wrong hashmark for the wind. The feature works day or night and can be turned off at any time. Just manually set the distance back to your normal distance, or click a few times around your desired distance, and once you get it right just scroll to the menu and turn off the compensation calculator and you are right back to your normal zero range.

It works equally as well with your 22LR as it will with your 6.5 wildcat laser beam, provided your ballistic data is correct. I used this feature flawlessly to shoot my 50 yard zeroed 300blk out to 315 yards, 6.5 Grendel out to 917 yards, 5.56 x 45 to 625 yards, 7.62 x 39 to 315 yards, 6.5/06 to 865 yards, 308 to 865 yards and 22LR to shoot to 315 yards. Bottom line, it worked and could not be easier to use unless it utilized telepathy.

ATN X-Sight II HD 3-14 Day/Night Riflescope Review - Page 2

The ATN 1500 laser rangefinder is worth a more in-depth mention by itself. Here is a link directly to it so you can investigate it further yourself: https://www.atncorp.com/range-finder-laserballistics-1500 I found it to work very well, accurately and quickly resolving range, angle and ballistic distance with a simple click. It easily paired with the riflescope to provide ballistic corrections for long range shots. Literally, just find the menu item to pair it and hold down the button on the rangefinder to pair it to the riflescope.

The ATN 1500 laser rangefinder can output data in yards or in meters. You can also pair it with your smartphone or device via the ATN Ballistics application that is available for free on either the App Store or Google play and provide ballistic solutions for your other rifles. Enter the ballistic profile of the load, MOA or MIL based turrets and their value per click. Then enter the weather data and take a reading with the paired ATN 1500 Laser Rangefinder and the click value to your target will appear on the screen of your device. This provides accurate solutions and can work with every rifle in your safe from your 22LR to your 50BMG. The rangefinder is a great stand-alone value and when paired with the riflescope it makes long range shooting a point, click, fire and get the truck proposition.

Now for some bad news. For some reason that I never found out, the optic suddenly would not calculate the ballistic information, and would no longer pair with the range finder or the remote controller. I studied the threads on the owner’s forum, switched batteries out on both the rangefinder and remote controller, restarted the riflescope, restored it to factory configuration, and even reloaded the firmware to no avail. The riflescope was not functioning properly.

During a short phone call to ATN Tech Support, the representatives made every effort to walk me through several things that could have been the source of the issue over the phone. Once Tech Support determined that there was some sort of irreparable software glitch, they had tracking on a new replacement unit emailed to me before we got off the phone, and a return shipping label followed in a few minutes.

At this point I asked to speak with a manager. I informed the customer service manager that I was reviewing the product and gave him kudos for all the help their customer service representative had given, and how promptly and properly they had treated me. The new unit arrived at my door in four business days and has performed flawlessly in every instance since it arrived. I have fired several hundred rounds in several rifles with the replacement riflescope including a C-308, .30/06, .30/338 Winchester and can report no issues with the riflescope.

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There are some things that could be improved upon to make the riflescope easier to use and enhance the ability of the-end user to manipulate it. First, an illuminated reticle for the ATN1500 laser rangefinder so it can be utilized more effectively at night. It is an accurate rangefinder that compared favorably to both of mine and several others of my shooting buddies. The riflescope has a night mode; so should the rangefinder. In that vein, don’t forget to turn OFF the ballistic compensation feature at night, because you cannot effectively aim the non-illuminated reticle in the rangefinder so you cannot be sure that you have actually ranged your intended target. Therefore, the applied compensation may not work out very well when shooting sub-sonic cartridges at any range beyond 100 yards especially if you utilize a 50 yard zero.

Secondly, The extended battery life package should have been standard equipment. The four AA batteries that fit inside the optic run dead in about three and a half hours at 75 degrees. Buy the extended battery life package, as it allows about 24 hours of continuous operation. I wouldn’t waste a trip to the woods in winter if all you have are the double A batteries.

Third, the ATN IR850 Pro is TOTALLY worth the extra cost if you intend to do any night shooting beyond about 70 yards, I did not like the standard IR light, I found it to be inadequate and quickly saw the utility of the IR850 Pro. Once the IR 850 Pro went on the riflescope the standard light was relegated to the bag.

Fourth, the remote controller, I have mixed feelings about the remote controller. On the one hand, it adds utility to the system. On the other hand, battery life is limited, and when the remote runs out of power there is no warning as there is battery level indicator. Carry at least one spare battery if you want to be sure it will work.

Fifth, this setup is not light. With the remote controller, extended battery life package, the IR 850 Pro and the scope, you’re adding over five pounds to your rifle.

Lastly, this optic does a lot of things and therefore takes a lot of user input to make it do what you want it to do. It can be a bit fiddly to get through all the menus, choices and options. Unless you are very technologically savvy, it is going to take some time to get to know the riflescope system and make it do everything you want it to. The night before leaving for deer camp is not going to cut it. It is a computer that has riflescope features, not a riflescope with computerized features. Govern yourself accordingly.

I thought it would be wise to mount the riflescope on a magnum rifle to see how well it performed on that class of rifle. I entered all the relevant ballistic information for my 30/338 Win mag that shoots the 230g Berger OTM tactical at 2,740 fps and headed to the range. This rifle is very similar in performance to a 300 Winchester Magnum, so it certainly is not a 50 BMG, but it does have a relatively stout recoil. Again, I zeroed it at 25 yards in one shot and then moved to the 200-yard range to fine tune it in three more shots. Over the course of an afternoon I sent 51 rounds out from 50 yards to 315 yards paired with the ATN1500 rangefinder, and the optic tracked the ballistic corrections and held zero perfectly fine. If I were permanently mounting the riflescope I would certainly utilize a medium thread-locking solution to absolutely insure that fact.

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I then entered the relevant ballistic data for my 5.56 AR-15 and proceeded to fire off about 500 rounds over the course of a few weekends, all without any incident or even a hiccup from the riflescope. It was absolutely predictable and nearly boring to shoot at every range I used, from 25 yards out to 625 yards.

Click the rangefinder, verify the distance in the upper left of the display, steady the reticle and send out the shot and wait for the report of the bullet on the steel. It held zero and returned to zero flawlessly. I can’t say enough about how smoothly the rangefinder pairs with the ballistic compensation feature. I pushed this feature especially hard and it came through every time. It is plain smooth to use.

The riflescope then was mounted back on the 300 blackout. I recalled the saved profile from the micro SD card and re-zeroed it at 100 yards. In two shots it was dead on again. The picture to the left is what could be seen of the 107 yard silhouette in day mode before I switched it to night mode.

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I was then ready to test the night vision mode. After a few weeks of struggling to find a facility to test at night I was able to test the night vision capability at the DE Guns private range under the supervision of a range safety officer. Having never shot after dark previously, and utilizing a new optic, I wanted a controlled environment for the first time. I would like to give DE Guns a special thank you to them for opening up the facility and providing a safe place to test the night capability of the ATN X-Sight for this review.

Shows the capability of the riflescope without any IR illumination. We could readily identify the target and hit it, and you can select the color theme, white or green, and the light sensitivity of the riflescope. This is the only time I actually removed the sunshade and the light limiting device off the riflescope. The zero holds over from day to night mode and with proper adjustment of the sensitivity we were shooting targets at 107 yards easily in less than two minutes. As previously mentioned, don’t bother with the rangefinder or ballistic compensation at night because you will be wasting your time and ammo until you manually enter the correct range into the riflescope and throw the rangefinder back in the bag.

On the evening that we shot there was a nearly full moon and the IR illuminator was not needed to be able to readily identify our steel targets even at beyond 200 yards when in night mode. The IR 850 Pro really sharpened up the images on longer range shots and helped make picking out and positively identifying targets. We were not able to shoot beyond 107 yards so I was not able to put lead on target beyond that range in the night mode.

After removing the riflescope from the rifle I was able to readily identify human size targets out to 600 yards in urban settings. Never point a weapon at anything you don’t wish to destroy. With the IR 850 Pro, deer were easily spotted at 200 yards in dark rural environments. This riflescope would be a good choice for a night hog hunt. I am looking forward to some after-dark coyote shooting soon. Switching the riflescope back to day mode requires pushing three buttons and can be accomplished in less than two seconds.

In closing, the ATN X-Sight II HD 3-14 manages to fit in a ton of options that no other optic system at its price point matches. I found in testing that every claimed feature functioned as advertised. I have been watching this technology evolve for the last few years and I really like where it is at today, especially considering the price-point of $599 for the 3-14 optic.

Adding in the extended battery life package, IR 850 Pro Illuminator, remote controller and ATN 1500 laser rangefinder gets you to approximately $1,300 to your door. I recommend getting the rangefinder and extended life battery pack for sure, the remote controller not so much. When comparing features of similarly priced optics nothing else comes even close to the ATN X-Sight II HD’s capabilities. If you were to price out similar equipment separately you would be approaching $3,500 and would be carrying a pack full of stuff that still wouldn’t work together. If you are considering a new optic I would give the ATN X-Sight II HD 3-14 a long look. In my testing, it performed very well, actually better than I expected it to perform. It truly does represent the future of optics.

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About The Author:
Construction industry CEO and Commercial Pilot. Avid reloader, long time hunter, long range shooter and cigar aficionado. Fan of nearly every 6.5mm cartridge, owner of several, a budding glass snob and kit plane enthusiast.
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