Night Vision Intensifiers - visible or IR illuminators?

I've recently acquired a Gen 1 intensifier, and after a bit of metalbashing have fashioned a bracket and mounted it on my .22 (yes, it's bulky and heavy but for under £50 I'm not complaining).

Last night was, for once, clear, dry and with a good moon so I went out to see how I got on with the bunnies. A nice walk, and with the recent rain the winter crops are sprouting so the fields are getting well nibbled.

Visibility was very good, clear definition up to 50m and, in the moonlight, I'd have seen any deer/fox that were out there well up to 200m. However, in monochrome it was much harder to see the bunnies except when they're moving. I have a LED torch on my rifle, and with that on it was like bright daylight (to be honest way too bright for the intensifier) with the added bonus that the bunnies' eyes lit up and I could see them even when static.

My question is - would I be better off with an IR illuminator, or a gentler visible light torch? Can bunnies / foxes even see IR? I certainly think that some form of additional illumination is the way ahead, just to get the eye glow.
Some snakes can see in IR, but not rabbits and foxes!

You would be much better off with an IR torch. You can get cheap LED ones off ebay, or IR filters for ordinary torches. If you're only shooting at short range, these should be adequate and your quarry would never even know it was coming.
Lee Filters in Andover have IR sheets in gelatine form; 100mmX100mm sheets. The last time I sold them they were about £16 a sheet.


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Always got for the IR illumination - it's must less disturbance to the animals around you plus I'm not aware of anmals getting 'IR-shy' like they get 'lamp-shy' after too much whacking with a red or white lamp on them.

The difficulty with some of the cheaper IR lights and filters is the amount of photons that come out in the red rather than near infrared, and are thus visible to all and sundry. Not to much of a problem if you are static, but if you are waving it around as you scan, it has the same effect as visible movement.

You've got to spend a few bob to get decent IR lamps that have much less visible light, even if it is only a 'dull red glow'.

In either case - yes, it's a good idea to use IR for night-shooting of rabbits as their eyes do indeed light up, and they don't bugger off when you lamp them up.
My five eggs:

For bunny-popping, mail order yourself Kodak Wratten No.87 IR gel sheet filter, cut to shape and fix in place over your high-power white light torch with black nasty. There's a tiny amount of visible light if you look directly at it in total darkness, but your bunnies won't be close enough to see it.

Until the rabbits arm themselves and get night vision, No 87 is probably your cheapest way out of it. Unless you're an ultra-cheapskate, in which case black nasty alone across the torch, then pick a tiny hole with a pin, keep enlarging the hole (pinhole is generally fine) until you have a balance between what you need to see and what you don't want rabbits to see. E.G. a pixie-light on a key ring will illuminate an entire double garage even with a GenI tube. MK
or, for bunny bopping add an IR laser!

I found this odd looking laser in my cage in Iraq, didnt seem to work, black lens, hmm, turn on the HMNVS, oooh IR laser! (now sat in my bag waiting for a chance to mount it)
armr617 said:
or, for bunny bopping add an IR laser!
Hmm yes, IR laser sounds just the job. I don't have a reticle in my intensifier so am using the existing under-barrel red laser for aiming with (saves re-zeroing when I take the visible optics off to mount the intensifier, and can use it to re-align them when I put them back).

Have found that shining a red laser in the bunnies' eyes spooks them a bit, but it's bright so all I have to do is zap some empty space, then turn off and the phosphor has enough persistence to leave me a nice aiming dot for a few seconds with which to get a point of aim on flopsy.

Got a few last night, no moon so quite dark. Very satisfying all the same, now waiting for my IR illuminator to come from HK (fleabay special).

Once it's all tidied up will pop some photos on the gun porn thread
Dont the IR lamp bods give the wavelength of their lamp

715 nM is the standard which gives the red glow

Higher wavelengths 830 and 1180 nM lamps produce no red glow

Geek mode off now :lol:

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