ATN PS28-3 Night Vision Scope Review (Clip On)


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If you’re scoping out ATN’s night vision clip-ons, then you’ll be shopping their PS28 series.

If you’re looking to spend mid to top dollar on their top Gen 3 night vision models, you’ll be comparing the PS28-3 and PS28-3P.

Which is better?

Here are the ins and outs of the two models and why the PS28-3 is still a solid recommendation.

Quick Overview…

What We Like: Gen 3 IIT

What We Don’t Like: Price

Best Uses: Night Shooting, Tactical Use, Hunting, Scouting, Varmint Control, Clip-on Scope, Close to Mid-Range Detection

  • IIT: Gen 3
  • Magnification: 1x
  • FOV: 13-degrees
  • Resolution: 64 lp/mm
  • Eye Relief: N/A
  • Color Modes: Green Phosphor
  • Battery: 50 hours
  • Dimensions: 7.3 x 3.4 x 3.3”/1.98 lbs
ATN PS28-3 Night Vision Clip On Rifle Scope Review
Image Credit - ATN Corp

Our Verdict: If you can’t afford the ATN PS28-3P, then this is your next best option. It has great specs to see you through your nighttime needs with excellent imaging, long battery life, and Gen 3 night vision performance.

Who is the ATN PS28-3 Clip-On Best Suited to?

The PS28-3 is the best clip-on to consider when you don’t need the absolute best but you need better than average performance. While this model is Gen 3, it’s not the best of Generation 3 that is available. But there are many buyers that don’t require that type of quality or the price tag that comes attached with them.  

This is a good compromise between price and functionality that may make this night vision scope perfect for coyote, varmint and predator hunting, surveillance, and various types of observation.

How Does the ATN PS28-3 Clip-On Perform?

ATN PS28-3 NV Clip on Scope
Image Credit - ATN Corp

It’s difficult not to compare models within a series, and when you do, you may be at a loss in choosing which is best. This can be the case between the PS28-3 and PS28-3P. The 3P is highly desirable but may be overkill for those who are shooting off foxes or rodents.

However, if you’re going to have night vision because you need more than 75-yard performance from your device, then you’ll need to put a little money into it. Gen 3 is top-tier night vision, but this classification has varying levels of quality too. This would be considered a standard Generation 3 IIT.

With that in mind, you do have a decent FOM value, and while it does sport a gallium arsenide photocathode, there is some light loss and possible halo due to the inherent nature of the ion barrier film. Even so, the clip-on has Automatic Brightness Control to help keep imaging consistent even during unsteady ambient light conditions.

It’s a performer for close to mid-range performance, and it’s made to sit forward in front of a magnified optic. Mounted appropriately for your setup, it will bring the night to life.

More than adequate for hunting, surveillance, SHTF prepping, and close-range patrol work, the PS28-3 turns your day system into a night system too.

Features & Benefits

PS28-3 Night Vision clip on rifle scope
Image Credit - ATN Corp

Gen 3 IIT

The PS28-3 is standard generation 3 night vision. Unlike the PS28-3P that has autogating and a pinnacle tube, this model doesn’t. In compromise for those coveted features is a lower price point which may be the deciding factor for many potential buyers. But don’t be too disappointed as this is still a Gen 3 night vision scope.

The PS28-3 has great resolution of 64 lp/mm and a 68 mm aperture that allows a lot of light into the system. However, these are the not only specs that matter. The clip-on scope has an SNR (Signal-to-Noise Ratio) of 22 and FOM (Figure of Merit) value of 1600. This tells us that the NVD has great tube performance and is above average for what is considered standard and necessary for professional and military use.

The PS28-3 is not going to be as awesome as the PS28-3P that has an SNR of 25-30, 64-72 lp/mm resolution, and FOM of 1800, but then again, it’s not as pricey.  

Clip-On

PS28-3 Night Vision Clip on scope mounted to rifle
Image Credit - ATN Corp

The PS28 series is a series of clip-on night vision scopes. They come with a QRM (Quick Release Mount) for fast and convenient mounting to a Picatinny rail. It must be aligned with the optical axis of the daytime scope being used. When you cannot align the optical axes within 3mm, the mount rings on the day scope may need to be changed out. This can present some issues for the user.

You can always mount the clip-on scope to the objective bell of the daytime scope. This is also a good option for those who do not have an extended rail. The catch with this type of mounting system is the adapters needed are not included with the scope. They must be purchased separately. Additionally, if you’re using a traditional day scope, it must have a side focus and not an adjustable objective (AO). AO scopes are not compatible with clip-ons.

With a clip-on, you can maintain your zero, use your own reticle, and use the familiar scope features of your daytime scope. You can also use the same clip-on on different rifles as the need arises – as long as you can mount it that is.

Scope Performance

Technically, it’s not a scope but you are using to it to help get dead-on in the dark. It’s great for use with multiple types of optics from red dots to holographic scopes and traditional daytime rifle scopes. Since it only has 1x magnification, detection range will be limited with red dots and non-magnified optics.

With magnified scopes, you may be able to see a little further, but resolution and imaging may degrade the higher you crank up power, however, his is true of all clip-on scopes. The PS28 shines in the fact that is has a wide range of 1-12x magnification that it’s compatible with. Optimal magnification will be within 2.5-8x.

This particular model is good for close-range detection. With a red dot, its detection performance is within 100 yards. With a day scope, you can use it for longer shots up to 200 yards. The included IR illuminator is effective to 30-40 yards.

This would be a great night vision scope for an AR-15, 300 Blackout, or other hunting rifle, say, for hog hunting up to about a 308. Recoil resistance is likely rated for medium caliber rifles.

Durable

All PS28 clip-ons are tough and durable. They’re MIL-STD-810G rated and are made to handle shock and extreme climates. The ATN clip-on is waterproof and nitrogen-purged for protection against internal fogging.

If you insist on hunting while it’s raining, the clip-on is covered. While it is waterproof, it’s also submersible to 10 m for 30 minutes. However, it’s not ideal to keep it exposed to weather, and besides, night vision doesn’t perform so well through rain, snow, and sleet anyway.

Limitations

ATN PS28-3 Clip on night vision scope mounted to rifle
Image Credit - ATN Corp

Price

While the price point of the PS28-3 is more attractive than the PS28-3P, it’s not that much cheaper than the latter model that offers an incredible improvement in performance. However, it is a significant upgrade from the PS28-2 and PS28-WPT models.

Between all the models, it’s in the middle ground for price points, but it would be worth upgrading to the Pinnacle/Autogated model if the budget is there for it. 

Popular Questions

Can the ATN PS28 Mount to Head or Helmet Setups?

With 1x magnification and an extremely close focus range, the ATN PS28 clip-on would seem like an adequate NVD for head and helmet mounting setups, but it is not. It’s heavy at 2 lbs, has a large objective lens of 68 mm, and limited FOV.

Most monocular setups equipped for helmet/head mounting are lightweight, have an objective lens size in the 20-29 mm range, wide FOV, and they come with compatible mounting accessories. You would be better off considering the ATN NVM14-3 Gen 3 Monocular that can be mounted to head and helmet gear.

Is the PS28-3 a Day/Night Scope?

The PS28-3 is an analog night vision scope. It cannot be used during the day in bright light conditions without harm to the IIT. It is not a digital day and night vision system.
Why is it called a day/night scope? It’s a clip-on scope that provides night vision to a daytime rifle scope. Because you don’t need to dismount your regular scope to use the clip-in, you’ve turned your day system into a night system in a sense. Still, it’s a sort of misnomer nickname that can make things confusing.

Do you need to Zero a Clip-On Scope?

Clip-on scopes do not “zero,” however, they must be collimated to allow for use with any optic that sits behind it. The clip-on must be mounted correctly, and the optical axes must be within 3 mm of alignment. While you do not need to rezero your daytime scope with a clip-on, you must confirm that you have accurate POI without shift or at least within ½ MOA.

Does the ATN PS28-3 Clip-On come with a Hardcase?

The PS28-3 comes with a hardshell case for storage and transportation. It also comes with the IR850-B1 IR Illuminator, remote control unit, 1x CR123A battery, and necessary paperwork.

Conclusion

The PS28-3 is an ITAR product not approved for exportability. The Gen 3 IIT is that good and its FOM value puts it at the top among the best NVDs allowed for civilian ownership.

It has great performance, good detection, and will certainly satisfy the needs of civilian owners. It has more potential than a Gen 2 to be used in the work force.

While it’s not the most luxurious Gen 3 clip-on available, it costs less. So, either save a little bit more and upgrade or spend less and compromise. Really though, with Gen 3, is it fair to say you’re compromising? This clip-on is a must-have if you value quality and performance.

Further Reading

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