If you demand the best, you go to the top.
The PS28-4 is the best clip-on scope that ATN manufactures.
It’s significantly more expensive than the other models in the series, but it offers so much more.
To get an inside look into how one of the premium night vision scopes can serve you in the field, read on.
What We Like: Gen 4 IIT
What We Don’t Like: Price
Best Uses: Night Shooting, Tactical Use, Hunting, Scouting, Varmint Control, Clip-On, Close to Long-Range Detection
- IIT: Gen 4
- Magnification: 1x
- FOV: 13-degrees
- Resolution: 64-72 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
Our Verdict: The ATN PS28-4 is top-end night vision for ATN. It’s a must-have for hunters and workers who demand high-quality night vision performance in front of their day scope or red dot. If ATN is your go-to brand, this clip-on is the NVD for multiple weapon setups with zero change to POI and eye relief.
Who is the ATN PS28-4 Best Suited to?
The PS28-4 is the best PS28 clip-on scope that ATN has to offer. What are you getting for the high price that makes it worth buying over the cheaper models? It has Gen 4 night vision technology. In short – an unfilmed tube with autogating. It comes with the specs that also qualify it as a high-end scope.
Who needs this type of quality? If you need professional use from your scope for hog hunting, prepping, or work, you will. It provides the type of quality you want for clear, bright, and crisp imaging with dependable performance in little light and zero retention on medium caliber weapons.
How Does the ATN PS28-4 Perform?
The PS28 clip-ons from ATN is a solid series that has solid performance. While many are happy with the PS28-2 and PS28-3, this model has the latest advances in night vision technology with an unfilmed/autogated tube.
Due to the higher specs and high-quality Gen 4 tube, its performance is noticeably better than said models. While even the PS28-2 is good out to 300-400 yards, the PS28-4 can provide longer range and better clarity in little to no light such as cloud cover and starlight.
The clip-on works best with a magnified optic since it has unity magnification, meaning, it has 1x magnification and will work in sync with your magnified optic. It works best with optics between 2.5-8x power, but it is compatible with 1-12x powers.
It’s slightly on the heavy end for a clip-on but it’s certainly not the heaviest we’ve come across. The Knight’s Armament AN/PVS-30 is one of the absolute best military-grade night vision scopes available to civilians, but it weighs about 3 lbs. In comparison, the 2 lbs of the PS28 is acceptable – and so is the price.
Features & Benefits
Gen 4 IIT
While Generation 4 is not an official night vision classification, it does indicate that an IIT has standout materials and specs. Other brands like AGM and Bering Optics don’t use the Gen 4 term but the Gen 3+. Hence, it’s less about “terms” than it is about features.
In this case, the ATN PS28-4 has an unfilmed, autogated IIT. It has a filmless (unfilmed) GaAs photocathode that provides high resolution of 64-72 lp/mm, SNR of 25-30, and FOM of 2000. These are high-quality specs that ensures optimum performance for long-range detection, clean and crisp imaging, and incredible performance in little ambient light conditions.
Clip-ons are more expensive than standalone scopes because they must be collimated to work with daytime scopes or night vision compatible red dot sights. Due to factory alignment, you don’t need to rezero your scope. The PS28-4 should produce no shift in your POI. It’s aligned to be accurate to within 0.5 MOA and should be repeatable.
The ATN clip-on comes with a quick release mount (QRM) that fits Picatinny rails, and a Weaver mount is an optional buy. You can also mount the clip-on to a conventional daytime scope with a side focus, but the adapters to the objective bell are also an optional and separate purchase.
Like most night vision clip-on scopes, the optical axes of the daytime scope and clip-on must be within 3mm or alignment issues are likely to occur. It’s designed to provide lower 1/3 co-witness on AR-style platforms.
The PS28-4 clip-on is MIL-STD-810G rated, so it’s tough and meets military standards. Tube life is estimated at 10,000 hours. It’s waterproof to 10m for 30 minutes and is nitrogen-purged for protection against internal fogging.
While the B.A.M. (Boresight Attachment Mount) system improves resistance from vigorous recoil, the B.A.M. mounting system is a separate cost. With the QRM mount, results will vary.
ATN devices are said to be recoil-proof up to 375 H&H. Most clip-ons are only rated up to .308 Win, and ATN doesn’t specifically say what the recoil resistance is of the PS28 series. It would be best to play it conservative and stay within the 3500 joule range (308 Win and less).
Long Battery Life
The clip-on runs on a single CR123 battery and provides up to 50 hours of use. IIT scopes have much longer lasting battery life than digital models. You can also conserve battery life with the included wired remote control that activates the scope from STB (Standby Position).
The 50 hours of battery life is considered standard run time for an IIT scope. If you want even longer lasting battery life, consider the Bering Optics D-790 with 120 hours that requires 2x AA batteries.
The PS28-4 falls into a competitive price category against the best NVDs in the civilian market. For the price, it’s too bad that we’re not seeing manual gain. The PS28 models all have the Automatic Brightness Control System that automatically adjusts gain as necessary to maintain a constant brightness. However, manual gain should be an expected feature for such a costly unit.
For an alternative filmless/autogated clip-on with manual gain in the same price range, consider the Bering Optics D-790W Gen 3+ with White Phosphor.
The PS28-4 clip-on scope comes with standard accessories that includes the QRM, IR850-B1 illuminator kit, wired remote control, and mil-spec hardcase. Other smaller items include a CR123A battery, objective lens cap, light suppressor, lens tissue, and necessary documents.
Physically, both clip-on scopes from ATN are exactly the same and offer the same standard features. The differences lie in the tube specs. The PS28-4 has an unfilmed/autogated GaAs photocathode with 64-72 lp/mm resolution, 25-30 SNR, and 2000 FOM.
The PS28-3 has a standard Gen 3 filmed photocathode with 64 lp/mm resolution, 22 SNR, and 1600 FOM. The PS28-3P is better than the standard PS28-3 with a Pinnacle, autogated, thin-filmed photocathode, 64-72 lp/mm, 24 SNR, 1800 FOM, and 2000-2800 µA/lm photocathode sensitivity.
All PS28 clip-ons from ATN have their fast catadioptric front lens system. A catadioptric lens system typically alludes to the use of both spherical lenses and mirrors. On the clip-on, this is used to achieve a 68 mm focal length with a fast focal ratio of f/1.15 objective lens assembly. It collects ambient light, and with the focus ring, you’re able to focus the input lens (fast catadioptric lens) to attain the sharpest, clearest, and brightest image possible.
The PS28-4 has a green phosphor screen that provides the iconic green night vision display. To acquire the black/white imaging, you’ll need to check out the PS28-WPT clip-on that has a white phosphor screen.
Unfortunately, ATN only offers their 2-year warranty on all their PS28 clip-ons regardless of cost and quality. It is non-transferable, starts from date of purchase, and damage from excessive bright light or use during daylight will void the warranty.
As the top clip-on scope from ATN, the PS28-4 definitely sets itself apart with its unfilmed technology.
Without the ion barrier film, its performance is unmatched. What about the fragility of Gen 4 tubes? tubes?
That’s a thing of the past. Today’s filmless night vision technology is not what it used to be. Gen 4s are tougher, stronger, and more reliable than their earlier predecessors.
If only the best is good enough for you, you mustn’t settle for anything less than the PS28-4.
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Simon is an avid outdoor enthusiast and the owner of Target Tamers. He is passionate about bringing you the most up to date, accurate & understandable information on sports optics of all kinds and for all applications. When not glassing the local wildlife, you can find him in the garden with his German Shepherd.