If you haven’t noticed, there is a drastic difference in the pace of innovation in the firearms industry vs the electronics industry. The basic operation of pistols, rifles and shotguns hasn’t changed in decades, maybe even centuries. However, this is not true of the optics we put on top of our guns. From miniaturized red dot sights to lightweight scopes designed using the latest CAD/CAM methodology, there is a revolution going on in how we look at our targets. People who in the past would cling to iron sights are beginning to see the advantages of an electronic sight on top of their gun.
This revolution is also happening in low light optics. Products that once cost the same as a luxury car can now be had for the price of a dirt bike. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that we’re now seeing fully featured digital scopes like the ATN 3-14x X-Sight 4K INT Pro for under (way under) $1,000. Let’s take a look at some of the features of this optic and why you might choose a digital electronic scope over a standard optic.
Right as you open the box, you’ll see that ATN includes a set of scope rings with the optic. There is a rear ring that’s just like any rear scope ring you’ve ever seen and two choices of front rings. One is straight up and down, for use with a bolt-action or single shot rifle, and the other cantilevered forward for use with an AR platform gun. I chose to mount the unit I got in for review to a lightweight AR-10 I built a few years ago, so that cantilevered ring came in darn handy.
Setting Up The 3-14x X-Sight 4K INT Pro
Setting up the scope is both easy and hard. Simple tasks, like zeroing your gun and sending rounds downrange, are ludicrously easy to do, thanks to the one-shot zero feature of this scope. Just fire a shot at your target and, without altering the position of your rifle, adjust the crosshairs in your optic until they rest on the hole you made in the target. That’s it. What used to take me a minimum of nine rounds (three shots each at 25, 50 and 100 yards) took me two shots to accomplish (one round at 25 to get on paper and then one round at 100 yards to finish the deal). The hard part comes after that, as the possibilities for this scope are almost limitless.
In fact, the 3-14x X-Sight 4K INT Pro has so many different features, it’s hard to know where to start. It has a built-in ballistic computer which works in conjunction with ATN’s Thor digital binoculars. You can pair the binos with your scope via Bluetooth, and the range data from the binos will automatically adjust the point of aim for your ammo. The scope can also do rangefinding by measuring the height of a number of common game animals and then calculating the distance to the target, but without a handy white-tailed deer to use as a reference, I was unable to test this feature. However, the X-Sight 4K can create a mil-dot reticle that automatically adjusts your aiming point based on the range and environmental factors you input or are sent to you from a paired set of Thor binoculars, which is pretty darn cool.
Speaking of environmental factors, there is an integrated compass and GPS receiver that displays location information inside of the reticle as you scan for targets. The scope is powered by an internal battery that recharges via a USB-C cable, and an external battery is available which mounts on the stock of your gun. ATN says the internal battery lasts for 18 hours, and I have no reason to doubt them, as I didn’t need to recharge the unit during my test.
The biggest reason for this scope’s popularity, however, is it’s ability to record videos and still images of your target. Rather than thinking of your scope as a piece of glass, think of the X-Sight 4K INT Pro as a digital camera that’s perched on top of your rifle.,and you’ll understand how this optic can come in handy. It has a digital zoom, just like your smartphone, and it focuses using the barrel of the front lens, just like a camera does. It takes still photos in 4K resolution (3864x2218 pixels) and records video in 1080P (1920x1080 pixels), and all those images are stored on a MicroSD memory card that you supply and insert into the optic.
On The Range
The one-shot zero on the optic worked as ATN described. I fired a shot at 25 yards, adjusted the point to the point of impact, then continued on to 50 and 100 yards, and bingo, the rifle and optic were working together. The zoom for the optic is on the side of the scope, where the parallax control would be on a glass optic. I found the controls to be intuitive to use, as were the controls to start and stop recording video or take a still photo. The 4K Pro model also includes a low-light sensor and IR Illuminator. Activating the low-light function was just a few clicks away, and the images that combination produced on a 25 yard target during a dark, moonless night were more than adequate for hunting, as I could clearly define my target on the screen of the scope.
The rifle range I use maxes out at 200 yards, so I didn’t get an opportunity to stretch this scope out beyond that distance. Even so, the scope looked, acted and felt like a scope, albeit one with a built in video camera and ballistics computer.
Sitting behind this optic is like turning on a computer for the first time: You get the impression that what it can do is limited only by your imagination. These days, red dot sights, laser rangefinders and ballistic computers are all essential tools on the range or in the field, and the digital camera reigns supreme. Expect to see optics like this and other all-digital scopes gain more and more acceptance in the shooting community as a whole as their capabilities, pricing and feature set continue to improve. MSRP for the ATN 3-14x X-Sight INT 4K Pro is $699, and more information on this optic, please visit atncorp.com.
ATN 3-14x X-Sight INT 4K Pro Specifications
- Manufacturer: ATN Corporation
- Magnification: 3-14X
- Field of view at 1000 yards: 460 feet (9 degrees)
- Sensor ATN: 4K M265 Sensor, 3864 (H) x 2218 (V)
- Resolution: 600 lp/mm M
- Display 1280x720 HD
- Display Eye Relief: 3.54 inches
- Video Record Resolution 1080p at 30/60/120 fps
- Ballistic Calculator: Built-in
- WiFi: (Streaming, Gallery, & Controls), iOS & Android
- Bluetooth: Yes
- Smart Range Finder: Yes
- RAV (Recoil Activated Video): Yes
- Electronic Compass: Yes
- Night Vision Mode: Yes
- Reticles: Multiple Patterns & Color Options Microphone Yes
- Mount: 30 mm Standard Rings (included)
- IR Illuminator: Included
- Battery life (Li-ion): 18+ hours
- Dimensions (body only) 13.8x3x3 inches
- Weight: 2.1 pounds