Original U.S. Army Vietnam Era AN/PVS-2B Starlight Night Vision Scope with Transit Chest

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The U.S. Army AN/PVS-2 is a first generation night vision device, first developed during the Vietnam war era, which quickly went through several different revisions. This particular scope is version 2B. While very large and heavy by "modern" standards, the 6 pound passive starlight PVS 2s were considered state of the art when it came to the capabilities of U.S. troops fighting at night.

These scopes first entered service at the height of the Vietnam War, and despite their cumbersome size and weight, they did prove its use among Soldiers and Marines in their patrol bases. It was probably too heavy to carry out on many patrols, but as a rifle equipped with one on a post at night where mobility wasn’t an issue, it could be a force multiplier, especially when the Viet Cong wanted to strike or probe the lines at night.

These early design night vision devices were passive, and did not emit any light of their own, relying on incoming light. This was then amplified using a photocathode and an image intensifier tube in order to significantly increase image contrast. As they emit no light of any kind (IR/UV/etc) they are not detectable, however this also means that they are of limited use when there is no ambient light, which is why they are usually termed "starlight" scopes. Clear nights with star or moon light are optimal, while a cloudy night with no moon far from a city renders them ineffective.

The AN/PVS-2B was intended as a rifle scope, and has a standard mount on the bottom for attaching to rails, such as used on the M-16 rifle. A switch on the upper left activates the scope, which can be used during the day with the attached daylight filter. The rubber eyeshield has an internal "flapper" closure that prevents light from escaping the back of the scope, helpful during clandestine operations. There is a focus control near the eyepiece, and there are instructions on the left side of the scope.

This scope was in service for years, and the data label on the right side of the scope gives information regarding the version information, as well as when it was overhauled:

SERIAL NO. S7117001
DATE 93 13


The scope does function, though unfortunately it is missing the battery cap. We were able to test it with a cap and AA adapter from another scope on hand. The image it gave was good, and it emits the characteristic high-pitched "flash" type noise of the photo multiplier tube. Also, the eyeshield is normally glued in place, but over the years the rubber cement has let go.

The original transit chest measures approximately 21" x 10" x 5", and is in very good condition with all latches working, and the internal foam padding in good condition. External finish is nice, with original U.S. Markings. Carry handle works good as well. Comes complete with an original strap and one battery (not functional).

A great chance to pick up an early generation night vision scope. Just needs the right battery adapter and a new battery cover, and it'll be ready to go.

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