Category Archives: Night Hunting

What is the difference in the Sightmark Photon XT 6.5S and Photon XT 6.5L?

Whats the difference in the Photon 6.5S and the Photon 6.5L?

There are 2 different versions of the Photon XT 6.5. The only difference between the 2 models is the type of infrared illuminator on each unit has on-board.

The 6.5S model has an LED IR illuminator, the 6.5L has a laser IR Illuminator, and the 6.5L model is $50 more than the 6.5S. The laser IR on the 6.5L throws farther than the LED IR on the 6.5S, but the laser is much more grainy than the LED IR illuminator on the 6.5S which throws a nice smooth circular beam pattern. Both on-board IR illuminators offer less than enough beam throw and distance to allow the operator to advantage of the Photon XT 6.5(S and L) impressive range capabilities. Both on-board IRs also have a fixed beam pattern, meaning there is no option to focus the beam pattern smaller or in a different direction. If you don’t plan on using any type of external IR illuminator, it is best to choose the Photon XT 6.5L. The IR laser on this model consumes less battery power and offers better range.

There is, however, an external IR illuminator option that offers incredible throw distance, a focusable beam pattern, and better battery life – the UNV 20-IR Long Range LED IR Illuminator. If you are considering the use of an external IR, then there is no need to spend the extra $50 for the 6.5L model. Go with the 6.5S, and add a UNV 20-IR.

Using an external IR with the Photon 6.5
There are a few benefits to using an external IR illuminator like the UNV-20IR vs the on-board illuminators on the Photon XT line of scopes. First, the 20-IR will dramatically increase your usable range. Second, any external IR will dramatically increase your battery life since the onboard IR is not pulling any power from the Photon XT’s battery supply. Lastly, the UNV 20IR is focuable, dimmable, and uses a rechargeable battery making it versatile and easy to use with other night vision devices.


First Hogs Spotted and Killed with the NEW IR Patrol Thermal Monocular!

Check out these pictures from our recent hunt with The Hog Hitmen using some new gear. The new IR Patrol from IR Defense was run helmet mounted and offered superior detection ability.  If you are interested in a thermal hog hunt check out the Hog Hitmen’s website. 

IR HUnter MK II Hog HUnting
5 hogs taken out with the IR Hunter
First hog spotted with the IR Patrol, and shot with the IR Hunter MK II
Hog hunting with the omega suppressor
Big boar hog killed with the IR Hunter MK II Thermal Weapon Sight


bass fishing lake
Taking some time to cast a line in one of many lakes on the property before the night hunt.

PVS-14 vs Thermal Weapon Sight for Hog Hunting

If you are trying to decide on a PVS-14 or a thermal imaging weapon sight for hog hunting, this video is for you.
We put this video together to answer common questions about Generation 3 – PVS-14s for night hunting and illustrate some of the technology differences between gen 3 and thermal. Another good piece of information in this video is the important role of a magnified optic vs a 1X optic for night hunting. These hogs were all under 50 yards, with some under 30 yards and as you can see in the video there is a crucial difference in positive ID and usable range for a 1X vs 2.5X-20X(digital zoom) optic.
The PVS-14 was mounted simply for video purposes, so you wont see the reticle or a laser. It was a dark night when this video was captured with only 18% illumination from moonlight. We decided to not use an IR illuminator or a laser for this video to truly show the differences in technologies. Next time we hunt a dark night we will use an IR illuminator and a laser and throw a 3X magnifier on the PVS-14 to show how much better of an image you can get with IR Illumination and magnification. Hope ya’ll enjoy the video.


Edge Detect Mode on the IR Hunter MK II

Check out this screenshot from a recent hunt using “Edge Detect” on the IR Hunter MK II. ​The IR Hunter MK II has an Edge Detection feature that produces an entirely different new way of viewing your target. Edge Detect mode is also a fraction of the brightness of other modes so your eyes are not as prone to night blindness after coming off the scope.

ir hunter edge detect mode
Edge Detect leaves 90% of the screen black, which reduces night blindness after coming off the scope.