Hello and welcome to another episode of Optics Trade Debates. Today’s topic of discussion will tackle a very exciting and new field of optics. We will talk about clip-on adapters and everything that pertains to this topic.
First, we have to stress that these devices are allowed in only a couple of European countries. They fall under different law restrictions than most sport optics and this video mainly aims to be of informational value.
In the video, we gathered 7 different analog clip-on adapters so better showcase basic characteristics of these small pieces of optical prowess. They can be purchased on our webpage.
These devices connect the NV device with the scope. They attach the two pieces in a way that allows for a quick detachment of the scope. As a result, the scope can be used as a stand-alone optic in a matter of seconds. Not only that, but the scope can remain in the same position throughout.
This type of adapter has to be installed at the back of the clip-on. Not every type of adapter is compatible with every scope on the market. For example, we know that the Kahles K318i 3.5-18x50 model used in the video has a 56-millimetre diameter of the objective bell (not the objective lens diameter). That means that it is only compatible with a scope that has its objective bell of the same diameter.
Using the clip-on adapter, we are able to transport a daytime scope into an NV device in a matter of seconds. No tool is needed to perform this task and it can be done with bare hands, without a problem.
There are numerous clip-on adapters in use all over the world. The majority of initial solutions that were provided by Dedal and Jahnke were not of the best quality. Rusan was the first company that really revolutionized this niche of NV products, producing high-quality adapters that worked without a hitch. Rusan Q-R adapters for Pulsar DFA75 and F135/155 are a very popular choice.
Most users that first tried out Jahnke and Dedal NV adapters now use Rusan adapters, as they simply performed better. Smartclip entered the competition a little bit later and offered a slightly different solution.
Smartclip adapters use a clamping lever. They are high-quality and dependable pieces that always guarantee the same clamping force and will remain in position.
Recoil is definitely something that has to be taken into account. If the build quality of the adapter just isn’t there or the device isn’t set correctly, you’ll get some movement and the adapter may even slip out of position. That won’t happen with this kind of adapters, made by reputable manufacturers.
Next, there were produces who designed clip-on adapters with shims (spacers) on the inside. They look like small, ring-shaped pieces of plastic. With this method, the user is theoretically able to use the same clip-on adapter on different scopes. But in actual use, this approach was proven unsuccessful. Since the fit between the two devices was never 100% correct, the clip-ons moved along the scope.
It’s important that you pick a clip-on adapter of the same width as the outer diameter of the scope you’re using.
Interestingly enough, most NV powerhouses like Dedal and Jahnke do not produce the adapters for their scopes in-house. Instead, they purchase them from other top-notch brands like Smartclip and Rusan that specify in this sort of additional equipment.
Rusan and Smartclip basically monopolized the production of clip-on adapters as other manufacturers could not match this level of excellence. Overseas, there are some competing brands but their selling point is a cheaper price and not a comparable quality.
Here, at Optics Trade, we do not suggest opting for those lesser known brands. It makes no sense to compromise the functionality of a €6,000 scope to save €50 on a clip-on that costs maybe 1/30 of the scope’s price anyway.
As far as the design is concerned, Rusan and Smartclip offer their models in various forms. For example, some of their clip-on products offer the possibility to attach a Picatinny rail to them (so that an IR illuminator can be attached directly onto the adapter and not the clip-on).
Next, let’s talk about the different sizes of these adapters. Which are the most common? The clip-on sizes are always specified for the outer diameter of the objective.
Many people fail to make the distinction between the objective lens diameter and the objective diameter.
Above all, be extra careful before purchasing a clip-on, Make absolutely sure that you’ve measured the objective - not just read the scope configuration that’s written on the housing. That’s a really common mistake that we encounter time and time again.
Take any riflescope with 56-millimetre lens for example. A 56-millimetre clip-on adapter just won’t fit on a scope like that since the diameter of the objective is always bigger than the one of the objective lens. In the case of the Austrian Kahles, the objective diameter is 56 millimetres and 57 when it comes to Schmidt & Bender.
This difference can be even much, much bigger. With Leupold and some American brands, it’s 58 millimetres and it can go all the way up to 60 - as shown by certain Japanese brands. So really, do not be mislead by the lens diameter. Always double-check if you’ve got the right measurement.
Rusan caters really well to every customer’s need. Their clip-on adapters start at 30 millimetres, then 30, 34 and 36 .. all the way up to 80 millimetres. The 30-millimetre example shown in the video is used for scopes with rails. The number of variants Rusan offers is about 50 or 60. An amazing selection that ensures you’ll be able to find the perfect fit.
Similarly, Smartclip uses 40-, 48-, 56-, 57-, 58-, 62-, 64- and 65-millimetre clip-ons. Altogether, they sell about 10 size variants which is none too shabby but not yet on Rusan’s level.
Now, let’s say that you own a riflescope and an NV device but don’t want to use an adapter to connect the two. Is there another way of joining the NV device with the scope?
There’s an anecdote that when Dedal was developing their clip-on, the company used a Swarovski Z6i 2-12x50 riflescope for testing (or some other magnification, who knows). The company chose the same thread that is inside Swarovski and Kahles scopes (since the latter is Swarovski-owned).
So there IS a chance you’ll be able to attach a Kahles or Swarovski scope directly onto the Dedal/Jahnke NV device. We demonstrated that in the video. Note that both devices operate smoothly without the use of an adapter. As fun as it is to see, this is only possible with these two riflescope makers.
What is more, the removal of the NV device from the scope can be problematic. If the scope is mounted on a rifle, it’s impossible to unscrew the attached NV device without the barrel getting in the way. The removal without a clip-on also takes time.
With clip-on adapters, you’ll be able to detach the NV device from your riflescope in a matter of seconds, even when the scope is mounted on a rifle.
In conclusion, clip-on adapters are the best choice for every riflescope owner with an interest in night vision.
This brings us to the end of today’s discussion. Thank you for your attention, we hope that we answered most of your questions. If there’s anything else you’d like to know, send us an email or leave a message in the comment section below. We love to help. Please like and share this video if you found it useful. Subscribe to our Youtube channel for similar content and we’ll see you next time!
is a writer keeping the readers up-to-date on the latest developments in the world of sports optics.