Testing ATN’s X-Sight 5 LRF Budget-Friendly Night Scope with Rangefinder

in Authors, Garrett Negen, Gear Reviews, Optics/Sights
ATN X-Sight 5 LRF mounted on rifle
X-Sight 5 LRF features onboard ballistics and laser range finder

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Lately, I have been testing ATN’s new night vision scope. The X-Sight 5 LRF 3-15x is an update to the existing X-Sight 5 that features an onboard laser range finder and ballistics calculator.

ATN X-Sight 5 LRF mounted on rifle. rocky background

Out of The Box

To begin with, when you unbox the optic you will find that it comes with a variety of accessories. 

  • Scope cover
  • 30mm rings
  • Flip up front scope cap
  • 850nm IR illuminator
  • USB-C charging cable
  • Eye cup
  • Sunshade

I left the scope on the charger overnight to make sure it got a good first charge before mounting it on my 308. A full charge can last up to 14 hours but that number decreases if you raise the brightness, take a lot of range measurements, or have the WIFI on. 

Mounting The Optic

First, as I mounted the scope it became clear that the included rings would not be optimal for my setup. They set the scope way too high, more than just looking strange, it made getting a good cheek weld impossible. This height would be more welcome if you were mounting the scope on a rifle with a flat-top receiver like an AR-15. 

Another discovery is that the IR illuminator is supposed to attach to the side of the scope. Furthermore, mounting it here gets the job done but at the cost of making the package quite cumbersome. 

ATN X-Sight 5 LRF mounted on rifle laid 
on gravelly ground

To bring the scope to a more reasonable height, I opted to purchase a set of mid-height 30mm scope rings. Consequently, the scope mounted quite nicely and made it much less awkward. With these new rings, I no longer have the little rail section to mount the IR illuminator but that doesn’t bother me. I am not a fan of having the illuminator hanging off the side of the scope anyway.

To remedy the Illuminator mounting situation I added a small Picatinny barrel clamp. Now the light is out of the way and I can turn it on and off with my thumb without having to change my grip on the rifle. 

ATN X-Sight 5 LRF IR illuminator
Illuminator brightness can be adjusted between four levels.

After a little use, I found that the eyecup and sunshade were not necessary and I removed them. Now with the lower rings, the illuminator moved forward, eyecup and sunshade gone, this setup is much more manageable. 

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At The Range With The X-Sight 5 LRF

Sighting in the scope is no problem. Simply take a single shot, go to the zero function in the scope’s menu, and move the reticle to where the bullet hit the target. I sighted it in with just two rounds.

ATN X-Sight 5 LRF view at 205 yards
205 yards – 15x magnification.

Here is something to keep in mind when looking at this type of optic. Digital zoom is not the same as optical zoom. The optical zoom of a traditional scope may make the image a bit darker as the light is bent to the higher magnification but the sharpness is retained. Digital zoom works by enlarging the image from the base magnification. By this process, the image loses quality as the magnification increases. This scope has a magnification range of 3-15x but due to the limitations of digital zoom, I hardly ever raise the magnification beyond 6x. It isn’t a deal breaker. Just don’t expect the 15x to be very clear.

Rangefinder / Ballistic Calculator

The features that set this unit apart from the base model X-Sight 5 are the onboard rangefinder and ballistics calculator. Once you set the ballistic profiles for your rifle and round, the scope will give you calculated firing solutions every time you range a target. 

2 - Testing ATN's X-Sight 5 LRF Night Scope

When you activate the ballistic calculator, simply press the “1” button on top of the scope to range the target and the reticle will automatically reposition to account for bullet drop. If wind data is manually entered the software will account for that too. Now you will be able to hold dead on target and take the shot. The numerical values for elevation and wind correction are displayed in the bottom left of the screen for your reference.

ATN X-Sight 5 LRF controls

The screen also displays the rifle’s level both vertically and side-to-side. The vertical level is used in ballistic calculations and the side-to-side indicator lets you know if you are holding the rifle upright. 

Pictures and Video

The X-Sight 5 LRF can record video with sound and take pictures. The images are stored on a removable micro SD card. You will need to buy the memory card separately but they only cost around ten dollars. 

picture of deer through thermal scope
Whitetail at 87 yards – 3x magnification.

You can record video manually or you can set the scope to automatically record whenever it senses recoil. The recoil-activated video clips are only fifteen seconds long, ten before and five after, so I prefer to start the video manually so I can control its length.

Mobile Applications For the X-Sight 5 LRF

This scope is WIFI-equipped and can be linked to your smartphone via the ATN Connect 5 app. In the app, you can stream a live feed of what the scope is seeing, adjust ballistics settings, or view photos and video from the memory card. 

It took a few tries to get the scope to connect with my phone at first, but I haven’t had an issue since. I mainly use the app to set up ballistic profiles. It is a lot easier than trying to do it through the scope itself.

Night Use

The progression of analog night vision technology is generally categorized as gen1, gen2, gen2+, or gen3. These labels refer to the type of image intensifier tube used in the optic and let you know what type of light amplification you can expect from the unit. 

READ MORE: Night Vision Scope on a Budget? The ATN 4K

Gen1 is the most dated and requires a ton of artificial infrared light. Gen2 and Gen2+ are drastically better. They operate well as long as there is some moonlight. Gen3 only needs supplemental IR on the absolute darkest nights. Unfortunately, digital sights like this don’t have the same cut-and-dry designations. Comparing it to analog night vision I would plant it firmly in Gen1 territory. This unit has trouble seeing much of anything without the use of the IR illuminator. Once again, it is not necessarily a deal breaker, but just be aware that you’re limited by how far the illuminator can shine. 

Effective Range

Here is the important question. How far can I effectively identify and shoot a target with this scope? At night,  I think I would cap my shots at two hundred yards for something the size of a medium hog. During the day I would probably take a shot out to three hundred on the same animal. Of course, it may be more or less depending on the specific situation but due to the grainy image longer shots get tricky. 

Thermal image of deer and racoon
Small animal (probably a raccoon) at 225 yards – 8.1x magnification.

So, why would anyone want to spend $1095 on an optic with a rangefinder and ballistics calculator when it’s only useful out to three hundred yards? The conclusion I came to means that this scope just isn’t for everyone. Most people could get the $795 X-Sight 5 without the LRF package and be just as happy. But, for some, this may be exactly what they need. 

ATN X-Sight 5 LRF mounted on rifle with modifications on cracked ground

I think the best case would be to use this scope on a suppressed rifle shooting subsonic ammo. Subsonic 300BLK has a max range of around two hundred yards and it has quite a bit of drop all along the way. Being able to range your target and hold dead on with a super quiet rifle would be great for varmints and pretty fun in general. 


All things considered, would I buy this optic for myself? Probably not. I just don’t have the niche use case for it. Could it meet your particular needs? Maybe. I’ll leave that for you to decide.

Head over to ATN’s Website for more information on the X-Sight 5 or the X-Sight 5 LRF.

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