Over the last few years I have been in love with the Yukon Photon,
I have used all of the available ones from the 5×42 Turret Zero version to the New Yukon 6×50 RT.
I do have my favourites between them all and, to this day, I still think the Yukon Photon is still the best budget Nightvision scope on the market and the results I get from them are phenomenal.
The effectiveness of the Yukon at such a low price proves that professional work can be performed at a high level without costing the thousands that some other products demand.
Not everyone out there agrees with me and I have seen on social media a growing number of people complaining that they are unable to zero their Photons properly.
I personally have never had an issue so I thought I would do a small article to help those trying to set up their model of Yukon Photon.
For all the digital zero Photons (XT and RT) it is important that you mount the scope properly on your rifle as they do not have an unlimited windage and elevation.
The 5×42 original zeroes very much like a normal day scope using turrets so this is a lot easier to mount.
It is important to mount the Photon correctly, I successfully mount my Photons on both Dovetail and Rails using standard scope rings.
The main thing to remember is NOT to mount it too high, many of the custom rails I have seen installed on rifles have left the Photon terribly high, this will cause elevation issues when trying to zero.
With both the Rail and the Dovetail mounting I use medium scope rings, unless you have a low rail on your rifle try stay away from the cantilever mounts, these mounts really do elevate the scope to be quite high on the rifle which may cause issues.On the Dovetail the scope sits at 0.5cm above the barrel and the rail it is 1 cm above the barrel
A lot of guys use adjustable mounts, good ones are expensive and cheap ones lose zero very quickly, but you really should not have to change your rifle mounting system as the Yukon is designed just like a normal scope and that is the beauty of them.
Essential Set up before Zero
You would not believe how many people ask what the best way to set up for zero is regarding the Photon, but, they are right to ask as with the XT and RT models prepping before that shot is essential.
For Zero I suggest White target board with a black Shoot N C target on it or a two inch piece of black Duct Tape and a roll of Duct Tape ( I will explain later).
Bore sighting for all scopes is a must, a manual boresight is not hard to do and can be very effective, the easiest way how to explain manual boresighting procedure is as follows but remember this can only work on bolt action rifles if you have a Semi Auto or Gas gun then you have to use Bore sighting tools guides:
- Fix your rifle and remove the bolt to a position where you can see your target down the barrel.
- Adjust your crosshairs to match up with the centre of the target without moving the rifle. On the RT and XT models you will have to put it in zero mode and with the 5×42 just use the turrets.
Now you should be ready to shoot and your first shot SHOULD be at least on paper if not close to your target, the more you use this technique the better you become at it and it is great because you do not need any other special sighting tools.
5×42 No need to fix the rifle into position but all the other procedures are the same, you can fire this as normal from your bipod or rest.
XT and RT Models , it is best to keep these set ups on the fixed position where you boresighted, the reason for this is because they use the one shot zero set up, now this is probably more so important for the XT other than the RT as the XT does not have the second zeroing crosshair allowing you to see your point of original aim before pulling your reticle to the actual impact hole.
Setting up the Target and making that first shot.
This is where you need your duct tape,
How I do it is simple, on a white back board place a single Shoot n C 2 inch target in the middle. This is completely visible on all Yukon models. Place your target at the desired zero range, usually 50 for .22lr and 100m for centrefires.
Set your rifle in the fixed positions as explained before and take a shot.
Go to your target and place a piece of duct tape over the impact hole so you can see the impact area when you go back behind the Photon.
The rest is easy just adjust the crosshair to the piece of tape you placed over the impact hole.
On the XT models the fixed position of the rifle is important and you place your crosshair on the centre of your target then withour moving the scope and rifle you move the Cross hair to the tape that is covering the impact hole.
On the RT you do the same procedure but you will have a visible green crosshair that will remain static at the centre of the target and you drag only the main crosshair to the tape that is covering the impact.
Then you take another shot to make sure zero is fine and if need be adjusting in the same manner as you go.
On the 5×42 you just work it like a normal day scope calculating per click on adjustment.
The Yukon Photons are very easy to use and work once you get used to them and becuase the XT and Rt models do not work like traditional scopes they can be a little confusing but in fact they do work the exact same it is just that everything you do has to be done through the scope and not by working out physical clicks on a turret system.
I hope this helps over come some of the issues found while setting up for a new Yukon Photon.
When using custom rails etc. I do have to add there will be a need for shims and adjustments but standard mounts and rails rarely have any issues.
I have done a video showing the procedures i do while zeroing the Photons and I hope it helps.
On the video you will see everything I have explained here and how effective the Photons can be.
Any questions do not hesitate to ask for help. I genuinely still believe the Photon is well worth its weight in gold.
Here is my video in regards to this