Mark Ripley tests the living daylights out of the NV007 from Pard
It’s very much the case with most things in life that you get what you pay for. However every now and again you get what you pay for – and a whole lot more.
This was the case when I recently tested the Pard NV007 night vision add-on. This little unit has become very popular, almost overnight, with not just airgunners and rimfire users but also centrefire rifles too. The device has been rated for use with up to .308 calibre rifles.
This lightweight and compact little unit is a rather well thought out bit of kit, mounting on to the rear of a standard day scope via a supplied bayonet style mounting collar.
The forward ring of this collar can be left in place on the rear eyepiece of your scope enabling the unit to be simply pushed and locked on with a quarter turn.
The Pard NV007 is also fitted with its own infrared torch which is actually surprisingly powerful and is, in fact, one of the most powerful onboard IRs I’ve used on an add-on unit.
For your eyes only
The NV007 is fitted with a rubber eye cup so, despite the device protruding from the rear of the scope, it’s short enough not to really affect your eye relief and you can put your eye comfortably against this cup.
The unit can be used at night – in black and white – and also by day with a colour screen. There’s also a built in laser which could be useful for closer range rabbit shooting or ratting.
Although the laser is not something I would really bother with, a feature I will use is the built in recording function which allows you to record direct to a mini SD card at the touch of a button.
The controls on the Pard are very straightforward, which is just as well as the instruction manual has obviously been translated from Chinese, but unfortunately still doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Without going into the details of which button does what, you can record, use a laser, select the use of the IR in several different power settings, adjust the screen brightness, change language and centre the screen all at either the touch of a button or from the main menu.
The screen itself is at 1x magnification which is ideal with a variable mag scope as you can select the lowest mag on your scope (say x4) and this will give you a x8 image. You can then digitally increase the magnification to x3 although this is simply increasing the size of the pixels so the image becomes increasingly grainy.
You can also increase the magnification on your scope but you will lose field of view and to be honest I found it worked best on the lowest mag on my Nightforce of x5.5, in effect giving me a zoom at x11 magnification.
The unit is switched on by a power button located sensibly away from the other control buttons and comes alive after approximately three seconds. It’s powered by a single 18650 battery which lasts about three hours with normal use – when not using the onboard IR which quickly drains battery life. There’s a battery indicator on the screen to keep an eye on this so you can quickly change batteries when required.
Pard act to follow
So why has the Pard suddenly become so popular? Simply put because at under £400 it’s cheap and works surprisingly well, add to that the fact that the unit is quick and easy to attach and is small enough to drop into a pocket and you have a winning combination.
First impressions are that it looks pretty well built, although I’m not sure it would withstand any really hard knocks or how it will last over time but at less than £400 you can’t really grumble. Supplied with the kit are collars to fit most scopes although bear in mind any scope such as a Swarovski that incorporates illuminated reticle controls on the eye piece won’t be compatible with the Pard.
The ultimate question is how well does the Pard perform? Like most night vision units the Pard works best with an additional IR giving a clearer, brighter image at extended ranges. When testing the Pard I also tested a new IR torch from Lightbuilds, the Sirius XT.
This torch proved extremely good and very well built giving a bright and clear image at extreme ranges using not only the Pard but also with other night vision units putting this IR squarely amongst the best I’ve used.
The performance of the Pard varies depending on the light transmission of your day scope, often working slightly better with cheaper scopes due to their lens coatings.
Realistically even with the in-built IR the unit is good for over 150+yards and at least 250-300 yards with a good additional IR source – and that should be more than enough for most night time shooting.
For a deer stalker sat in a high-seat that decides he wants to hang around after dark for a fox, this device is a brilliant addition to his kit – and certainly for the keen airgunner or rimfire user, the Pard will be a game changer simply because of the onboard IR.
Taking the kit out attached to my Nightforce, I was confident enough to head shoot a rabbit at 140 yards and went on to shoot foxes out to similar ranges with surprisingly good clarity, once I’d become accustomed to focusing the set up.
I found it best to set up the focus on the Pard then use the scope’s parallax to fine tune the image at various ranges although the instructions suggest fine tuning the image on the unit itself. Trial and error will find what works best for your setup.
Overall for the money this unit is surprisingly good value and certainly worth a look if you’re after a budget night vision add-on to quickly add to your day scope without the need to re-zero.
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