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Fire Accurate Shots 24-7 With the Sightmark Wraith

The feature-rich Wraith HD Digital Riflescopes from Sightmark allow you to make accurate shots day or night.

Fire Accurate Shots 24-7 With the Sightmark Wraith

Sightmark Wraith HD Digital Riflescope (Photo courtesy of Brad Fitzpatrick) 

There have never been more night vision optics available to shooters, but a relatively small percentage of shooters and hunters actually own such devices. I suspect there are several reasons for this. First, the price of night vision equipment makes it cost-prohibitive. Second, unless shooters have past experience with NV in the military, there’s a good chance that they are unfamiliar (and perhaps uncomfortable) with night vision optics.

One company that has done an excellent job making night vision optics accessible to shooters is Sightmark. Their Wraith HD digital scopes with IR flashlights allow shooters and hunters to fire accurate shots in total darkness. The Wraith’s robust design allows this optic to stand up to abuse in the field, and the simple design layout allows even the most tech-adverse shooter to master basic operation in a matter of minutes. Despite its rugged design and long list of user-friendly features, the Wraith HD remains an excellent value.

Why Invest in 24-Hour Optics?

Optics like the Wraith raise a good question among hunters and shooters: why invest in a day/night vision optic? One reason is the tactical advantage that optics like the Sightmark Wraith offer gun owners. The first principle of self-defense is that humans are visual creatures. We navigate the world around us using our eyes and doing so generally requires light. But, optics like the Wraith HD do not require ambient light (IR is invisible to the human eye), and so there’s a major tactical advantage to owning a scope like this: you can see and shoot accurately in total darkness. That’s a major tactical advantage, and if I’m forced to defend myself and my family with a firearm, I want every tactical advantage available to me.

Sightmark Wraith HD Digital Riflescope
(Photo courtesy of Brad Fitzpatrick)

The other reason to own a 24-hour optic like the Wraith HD is to control populations of predators and feral hogs around your property. As any experienced wildlife manager will attest, controlling predators is a key component to maintaining healthy game populations. Coyotes, foxes, bobcats, and other predators are continually vying for the most productive territory, and if you’re managing your land for whitetail deer, ducks, upland game, or anything else that’s on a predator’s menu you’ll have to constantly battle against immigrating predators. Reduce the coyote population by one or two animals and it’s a safe bet that more predators are ready to move into that prime habitat.

Aside from management objectives, hunting coyotes and feral hogs at night is fun. As coyote and pig populations have exploded so have opportunities to hunt these animals, but both are adaptable and intelligent creatures. Hogs have been spreading through my home state of Ohio, though evidence of them aside from trail camera images under cover of darkness have been scant. Coyotes too are becoming harder to entice with electronic calls (I don’t know anyone who uses the popular rabbit in distress call in my neck of the woods since coyotes have come to associate it with human hunters). Fooling coyotes and pigs requires patience and stealth. Hunting them at night increases your odds of success exponentially.

The Wraith Rundown

In simplest terms, the Wraith operates in much the same way as any other digital camera in that its CMOS sensor converts light into electrical signals. The sensor has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels which results in high-definition images that are crisp and detailed. A FLCOS display provides 1280 x 720 pixel resolution. Displayed on the screen of the optic is a reticle that can be manipulated using the five-button display (four directional arrows, one select/power button in the center) on the body of the optic. The controls allow you to select from among ten different reticle options (including dots, circle/dots, and MRAD and MOA reticles). There are also nine separate color palettes from which to choose.

Sightmark Wraith HD Digital Riflescope
(Photo courtesy of Brad Fitzpatrick)

Indeed, Wraith HD optics work very much like any digital camera, but unlike other digital cameras the sensor functions in IR light. Attached to the top of the unit is an IR Flashlight that looks and functions very much like other flashlights with one important exception: instead of emitting white light, which our eyes can detect, the IR flashlight emits infrared light, which we cannot detect. When the IR flashlight is activated, the image appears on the screen because it has been converted from IR light to visible light by the sensor.

Sightmark Wraith HD Digital Riflescope
(Photo courtesy of Brad Fitzpatrick)

Despite its high-tech capabilities, the Wraith HD runs on some old-fashioned power: 4 AA batteries for the digital scope and 1 CR1232 battery for the IR flashlight. You can attach a USB cord to the port in the camera but being able to swap out dead batteries for fresh ones is preferable in the field (of course, so long as you remember to bring batteries). But with a 4.5-hour battery life (2 hours with IR) a single set of AA batteries offers substantial runtime. When the unit indicates low battery simply swap them out and in a matter of seconds you’ll be back in the hunt.

Sightmark Wraith HD Digital Riflescope
(Photo courtesy of Brad Fitzpatrick)

Both Wraith HD models (2-16x28, 4-32x50) feature 8x zooms and can capture 1080 HD video onboard and feature a full-color daytime display. Attaching these optics to your rifle is fast and easy thanks to the Picatinny-compatible mount on the bottom of the optic. Zeroing the rifle is fast and easy, and even if you loathe familiarizing yourself with new technology you can follow the PDF “getting Started” instructions on the Sightmark website. If you can program the microwave, set up a new remote, or navigate most of the buttons on your smartphone then you’ll have no trouble operating either of the Wraith HD optics. The PDF runs through, among other topics, zeroing the rifle. The process is slightly different than the approach most shooters use when zeroing a traditional magnified optic, but it’s actually faster and easier to dial in the Wraith than it is a traditional optic because you simply use the buttons to match the point of impact on paper with POA in the scope. The whole process takes just a few minutes, and the scope holds zero for day and night shooting. The tutorial also walks through mounting the optic as well as diopter and focus adjustment.




Sightmark Wraith HD Digital Riflescope
(Photo courtesy of Brad Fitzpatrick)

At the Range

I tested the Wraith 2-16x28 on a Patriot Ordnance Factory P415 Edge rifle in 5.56 and a Mossberg MVP Scout rifle in .308 Winchester. Because the Wraith stores multiple ballistic profiles switching between two rifles (or even among more) isn’t a problem, especially thanks to the Picatinny rail attachment on the optic. That means you can transition from a defensive AR to a hog rifle to a varmint gun in a matter of minutes. IR scopes aren’t inexpensive and having one with that level of versatility helps.

It's easy to get lost using optics with complicated and confusing menu setups, but the Wraith is simple to operate with just a few minutes of experience. That’s a benefit most shooters and hunters want in an optic because they can take it to the range and start using it immediately. That’s one of the great benefits of the Wraith HD: it’s a 24-hour optic that offers plenty of options but makes those options easy to use and navigate.

Sightmark Wraith HD Digital Riflescope
(Photo courtesy of Brad Fitzpatrick)

During night evaluation I found that the IR flashlight performed well at distances to over 100 yards, which is ideal for hunting predators and hogs in total darkness. It also provides a clear sight picture that allows you to avoid using filtered white lights. Image quality is good enough to make out detail, and the sturdy mounting system had no trouble standing up to suppressed .308 subsonic loads, which I’ve found to be very effective at close quarters. Using an IR light source and subsonic ammunition doesn’t disturb hunting areas like white light and unsuppressed rifles, and that’s especially important if you’re thinning out predators on your deer lease. That setup is equally effective at controlling hogs.

Recommended


Thanks to the Sightmark Wraith HD you don’t have to spend a fortune or navigate through complicated menus when using IR technology. This high-tech optic is shooter-friendly, and that’s what makes the Sightmark so appealing. Isn’t it time to see what you’ve been missing?

Sightmark Wraith HD 2-16x28

  • Design: Digital Riflescope with IR Capabilities
  • Power Source: 4 AA Batteries (optic), 1 CR1232 (IR Flashlight)
  • Run Time: 4.5 Hours
  • File Resolution: 1080 HD
  • Zoom Range: 8x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 50 mm
  • Memory: SD Card (up to 256 MB)
  • Type of Sensor: CMOS
  • Video Format: AVI
  • Photo Format: JPEG
  • Sensor Resolution (Pixels): 1920 x 1080
  • Display Type/Resolution: FLCOS/1280 x 720
  • Reticle Options: 10
  • Color Palettes: 9
  • USB Compatible: Yes
  • Attachment Interface: Picatinny rail
  • Length: 10.0 in
  • Weight: 33.3 oz (with batteries)
  • MSRP: $499.97
  • Contact: Sightmark, sightmark.com, (817) 383-1163
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