Richard Saunders: An Experts View

All of our reviews are based upon Richard Saunders opinions. Richard has been shooting air rifles for nearly forty years. Today he hunts and carries out pest control on more than a thousand acres spread across different locations in the south of England. He is a regular contributor to Airgun Shooter magazine, writing mainly hunting features and product reviews, as well The Airgun Show on YouTube.

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Spring Powered Air Rifle

Introduction to the ATN X Sight 4K

The ATN X-Sight 4K Pro follows on from the mk II, which is still sold, but benefits from a number of enhancements such as an integrated long-life battery and enhanced optics. Two models are available, offering either 3-14x or 5-20x magnification.

About ATN

Based just outside San Francisco, ATN was formed in 1995 and focuses specifically on digital optics, leveraging both infrared and thermal technologies which it markets to hunters as well as law enforcement and military customers. In addition to weapon scopes and clip-ons, ATN produces a range of night vision binoculars, monoculars, range finders and goggles.

Our full review of the ATN X Sight 4KSee more

With two versions offering either 3-14x or 5-20x magnification, the X-Sight 4K Pro can be used in daylight and although the colour image is still a compromise compared to glass, the difference is much smaller compared to older models and remains crisp throughout the magnification range. At night, the provided infrared (IR) illuminator can either be attached to the specially designed mount or to a picatinny accessory rail. With the night mode enabled, the image is crisp at ranges airgun hunters are likely to operate at. At long range there is some pixelation at higher magnification. Although it is provided with a set of picatinny mounts, ATN designed the X-Sight 4K Pro to accept 30mm rails, allowing it to fit easily to rifles with dovetail rails as well. In addition, the eye relief is a more conventional 90mm and unlike the X-Sight 2, the model it succeeded, the scope has an integrated, rechargeable li-ion battery that will provide a claimed 18 hours of use.

Like all digital day/night scopes, the X-Sight 4K Pro has a huge range of features, functions and options which, at first sight, can be intimidating. However, a little time spent reading the instructions and using the scope soon reveals the logical layout. In addition, there are some excellent online instructional tutorials, including several from ATN itself. 

Accessed by the rubberised buttons on the top of the scope, there are a range of options covering functions including zeroing as well as activating the ballistic calculator and features such a recoil activated recording and wifi. Selecting a spanner icon accesses five main menus – night vision, photo/video, display, profile/zero and settings – each with its own sub menu to allow you achieve the set up you want. It really is easier than it sounds.

You can choose from a selection of different reticle types in different colours, and the ability to set up profiles for different calibres, ammunition and zero distances means you can swap the scope to other rifles. 

The X-Sight 4K Pro has a rangefinder feature which uses an algorithm based on an assumption of different size quarry species. Using it is fiddly though as it requires you to access a menu and then a sub menu and then use more buttons to frame your target within a pair of cursors. 

Alternatively, as an additional purchase, ATN’s Auxiliary Laser Ballistic (ABL) rangefinder, screws onto the front of the scope. In addition to providing a distance reading, the ABL means you can use the X-Sight 4K Pro’s Ballistic Calculator function. By entering some basic information including the ballistic coefficient and weight of your pellet, velocity, zero range and the distance between the middle of the scope and the middle of your barrel, the calculator will adjust your point of aim relevant to the distance of your target.

An important consideration to note is that the X-Sight 4K Pro is not small. The scope itself weighs around a kilo, not including the mounts and the IR illuminator, and is 379mm (5-20x model. The 3-14x is 351mm). The ABL adds a further 360g and 111mm.

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How to use the ATN X Sight 4K

In general, once you have it zeroed and have chosen the reticle style and colour you want, there are a lot of similarities between the ATN X-Sight 4K Pro and a conventional scope in terms of use. Eye relief is the same as with glass scopes, and it even takes 30mm tube scope rings.

Of course, there are a couple of differences:

Zeroing: 

At first the zeroing process can look a little tricky, but it’s really not and in fact the process is quick and easy. 

  • Aim at a target and shoot a group of pellets to see where they are hitting relevant to your point of aim
  • Press the ‘OK’ button, then the left button twice to highlight the reticle icon. You will see ‘zero reticle’ in the top left of the screen
  • Press the button
  • You will see your reticle with a second smaller white reticle superimposed over it.
  • Keep the white reticle on your aim point and use the buttons to move the centre of your normal reticle to the group you shot. The white reticle will stay fixed on your original point of aim. The left and right buttons move the reticle left and right. The ‘Power’ button moves the reticle up and the button that has a dot inside a broken circle will move the reticle down.
  • Once you have moved your normal reticle to cover the group you shot, hit the centre ‘OK’ button and then select the ‘Save & Exit’ option.
  • Fire off another group and if necessary repeat the process.

Night vision mode:

  • You will need to attach the infrared (IR) illuminator either via the provided mounts or to a picatinny accessory rail.
  • Switch the IR illuminator on. 
  • Press the centre ‘OK’ button and then the right button to highlight an icon showing two overlapping circles, one of which is solid.
  • Press the ‘OK’ button to activate night mode. Press it again to switch back to day mode.

Taking photos and video

  • You will need to buy a mini-SD card and insert it into a slot which is accessed from the right side of the scope. The record mode works in both day and night mode. A press of the right arrow button (you’ll see a tiny film camera logo on it) will start and stop the HD video recorder. 
  • Pressing the left arrow button, which has a small camera logo, will take still photos.
  • There is a recoil activated record function, however it is intended more for rifles that generate more recoil than an air rifle.

ATN X Sight 4K Specifications

X-Sight 4K Pro 3-14xX-Sight 4K Pro 5-20x
Magnification3-14x5-20x
Field of view @1000 yards460 ft240 ft
SensorATN 4K M265 Sensor, 3864 (H) x 2218 (V)
System resolution600 lp/mm
Eye relief90mm
Ballistic calculatorYes
WiFiiOS and Android
BluetoothYes
3D gyroscopeYes
3D accelerometerYes
RangefinderYes
Recoil Activated VideoYes
Electronic compassYes
ReticlesMultiple designs and colours
MicrophoneYes
Micro SD card4 – 64 Gb
IR illuminatorYes
Battery life18 hours
Waterproof ratingWeather resistant’
Mildot value range1.0 – 10
Dimensions in mm350 x 76 x 76379 x 76 x76
Weight in kgs0.941.01

ATN X Sight 4K Troubleshooting Tips

Generally speaking, the ATN X-Sight 4k Pro is very reliable. In the past there have been issues with the unit freezing which is usually dealt with by performing a hard reboot – essentially holding the power button down for 30 seconds or so until it switches off. ATN provides occasional firmware updates to address known bugs and deliver updates and function upgrades and additions. To access the firmware you must first set up an account on the ATN Update Centre https://www.atncorp.com/firmware which also provides a video tutorial on the process.

ATN X Sight 4K vs ATN X Sight 2

The X-Sight 4K Pro replaced the X-Sight 2, though both models were sold alongside each other for a time. The X-Sight 2 was available in 3-14x and 5-20x magnification. The improvements in the X-Sight 4K Pro include a higher specification sensor which results in an improved image quality. In addition, whilst the X-Sight 2 had an external battery that had to be attached via a velcro pouch to the rifle, the X-Sight 4 has an integral li-ion battery.

Compared to the ATN Scopes Range

ATN’s only other infrared day/night scope is the X-Sight LTV which is available in 3-9x and 5-15x magnification. Though shorter, lighter and lower priced, it does not have some of the features of the X-Sight 4K Pro, such as the ballistic calculator as the scope is not compatible with the ABL range finder. That said, for many airgunners its performance will be more than acceptable. Other scopes in the ATN line up use thermal rather than infrared technology.

Other scope brands to consider

The market for digital day/night IR scopes is getting bigger all the time. Brands such as Pulsar and Yukon are very strong. The former offers the Digistight Ultra 450 and Digisight Ultra LRF 450, as well as the Digex 450. Yukon’s main IR products are the Sightline N470S and N450S as well as the Photon RT 6x50S and Photon RT 4.5x42S. Much smaller and more compact are the NV008P from PARD Technologies, as well as the laser range finder version, the NV008P LRF.

As an alternative to dedicated day/night IR scopes, it is also worth considering clip-on products. These work in conjunction with a regular day scope, either clipping on to the ocular lens or attaching in front of the objective lens, meaning you can use them without having to alter the zero on your regular scope. Clip on products include the PARD NV007A and Pulsar Forward F455.

Non-digital IR solutions include a range of products to which an IR camera is attached to the back of a regular day scope and a screen attached on top. Night Vision UK and Digital Night Stalker provide excellent products in a range of different specifications. Although they are much cheaper than a digital product, they require you to adopt a ‘heads up’ shooting position using shooting sticks or a bipod.

FAQs

How to zero an ATN X Sight 4K?

Shoot a group and then open the zero menu. You’ll see a white reticle superimposed over the normal reticle. Hold the white reticle on your aim point and click one of the directional buttons. The white reticle will freeze and allow you to move the normal reticle over your point of impact with the buttons. Hit save. Shoot another group and repeat if necessary to fine tune.

Is the ATN X Sight waterproof?

The ATN X-Sight does not carry an IPX rating. ATN claims it is ‘weather resistant’.

Where can I find the manual for the ATN X Sight 4K?

Downloadable manuals are available at: https://manual.atncorp.com/.