Mat Manning gets to grips with the Sightmark Wraith – a digital day and night scope that boasts admirable performance and easy operation without a hefty price tag
With so many airgun shooters moving over to infrared night vision for after-dark pest control, it was inevitable that this equipment would become more affordable. What is surprising, though, is the standard of quality and performance this kit can deliver. Even the more affordable units give a level of viewing that would have cost you thousands of pounds to achieve just a few years ago.
The Sightmark Wraith HD digital day and night scope is a great example of the recent advancement of infrared night vision tech. I was so impressed with the value and performance of the 2-16x version sent to me by Scott Country at the start of the summer that we broke away from the usual Airgun Show schedule to let viewers know about it. Print moves at a slower pace, but we made a slot for it this month.
FROM: Scott Country (scottcountry.co.uk)
MODEL: Sightmark Wraith HD 2-16×28
LENGTH: 210mm (without eyecup)
WEIGHT: 950g (incl batteries and mount)
DETECTION RANGE: 200m
CAMERA RESOLUTION: 1920×1080
FEATURES: Picatinny mount and illuminator supplied, full colour daytime viewing, video recording, choice of reticles designs and colour palettes, multiple zero profile
What you get
Available in a range of specifications, the Sightmark Wraith HD is a high-performance night vision scope. The 2-16x model I was sent to review is perfect for airgun use and retails for just £589.99. If that modest price isn’t impressive enough, the package includes an extremely sturdy one-piece Picatinny mount, which can easily fit to dovetail rails if you buy a simple adaptor. The Wraith also comes with an 850nm IR flashlight that provides the invisible illumination needed to see in the dark and a mount for attaching it.
The infrared flashlight runs on two CR123 3V batteries which come supplied. It has a focusable beam and three levels of power output, which you toggle by pressing the tail switch.
The mount for the illuminator is of the Picatinny variety and attaches to a rail on the top of the sight. It can be adjusted for angle by means of a ball and socket joint, so you’re assured of perfect alignment with the sight picture. The snap-fit flip-up cover that protects the 28mm objective lens also comes included.
Night vision kit tends to get bashed around, especially if you’re shooting inside farm buildings after dark. The Wraith is very sturdy and feels to be extremely well-made so I can see it standing up to unforgiving use.
It’s shockproof, so apart from being able to tolerate a few bumps it can safely be used on a recoiling airgun. Furthermore, the Wraith is covered by a three-year warranty.
The 2-16x version weighs around a kilo with batteries, mount and IR fitted and is about 21cm long, so it isn’t unwieldy. One of the things that I really like about it is the fact that the mounts are nice and low, so the line of sight is fairly close to the barrel and it doesn’t make your gun feel too high-sided.
Power it up
To start up the Wraith, you simply press and hold the power button in the centre of the control console.
After it powers up, the rear focusing ring in front of the soft rubber eyecup enables you to get the display clear for your eye. You only need to do that once, as the front focusing ring is the one you use to get the picture pin-sharp when you’re actually out shooting.
General operation is simple. The Wraith has 2x optical zoom, but you can boost that to 16x by using the forward and backward buttons on the control panel to zoom in and out.
The left button switches between viewing modes for day and night, and the right button starts and stops the internal video recorder.
You just need to install a micro-SD card to capture the action from your shoots. The card slot is concealed beneath a rubber cover on the right side of the sight where you will also find the USB port.
With the unit switched on, a quick press of the central button opens up the main menu, which is incredibly easy to navigate.
Here you can adjust general settings such as brightness, date and time, and also access the really simple single-shot zeroing mode. You can choose between 10 different reticle designs in nine different colours and set and save zero profiles for five different setups.
Zeroing and performance
Ease of use is a big feature of the Wraith, and the control menus and options are both very simple to navigate and also clearly labelled on the display, but I will explain the zeroing procedure.
All that you need to do is open the main menu with a quick press of the central button, and then scroll down and select the Reticle Settings menu.
Here you will find Reticle Colour and Reticle Style options, but you need to select Reticle Zero at the bottom. In this mode, simply shoot at a target at your chosen zero distance while aiming dead centre of the bull.
Keep the main reticle on target and the up, down, left and right buttons on the control console now move a secondary reticle in those directions. All you have to do is use the controls to move it until it corresponds with where the pellet struck while keeping the primary reticle on the bull.
Once you have it set, a press of the central button saves the zero. A few more shots at the bull will confirm whether you have it dead right or whether it needs further tweaking.
The Wraith runs on four AA batteries, installed by opening the cover on the left side of the unit which has a twist-lock mechanism. From those batteries, you can expect a runtime around three hours, depending on what you’re using.
Munching through batteries with digital NV can get expensive, and the Wraith’s USB connection allows the attachment of an external power bank such as the Sightmark Quick Detach Battery Pack, a great way to keep running for extended sessions.
This rechargeable power pack mounts to your gun via a Picatinny attachment and will massively increase run-time. It’s available from Scott Country for £89.99 and will soon pay for itself if you’re really putting in the hours.
Stated detection range for this model of the Sightmark Wraith is 200m, which is more than enough for airgun shooting, but I reckon you could boost it quite significantly by attaching a more powerful illuminator. Image quality by night is very good, remarkable for its price point. Rabbits can easily be spotted and clearly identified at the outer limits of the stated detection range.
And remember, this is a day and night scope, and it also produces a very good colour image by day so you can use it, and record the action, right around the clock.
I have used the Wraith for everything from backyard plinking by day to farmyard ratting and pony paddock rabbit shooting by night. It is a great all-rounder and has performed brilliantly during all of my testing. Image quality is very impressive – better than on some units costing twice as much, in fact.
Aside from the fact that it creates a sharp, bright picture whether by day or night, the thing that has impressed me the most about the Sightmark Wraith is just how user-friendly it is.
The menus are really intuitive and clear to follow, and the result is that it’s incredibly easy to use – all you need to worry about is getting on with the shooting. Apart from being a great choice for anyone who feels uneasy about overcomplicated digital tech, it will be a breath of fresh air for all of us who would rather just get on with the job in hand, and not have to scroll through endless arrays of confusing setup menus.
Solidly constructed and really simple to use, I think that the Sightmark Wraith can easily do just about everything that you could ask of from an infrared night vision gunsight.
Combine that with the fact that it is extremely competitively priced and I think it’s very hard to beat when it comes to a reliable and affordable optic for day and night hunting.