Russian 1PN-51 Improved Night Vision Device
The Russian 1PN51 scope is a "second generation" night vision optic that gives a slightly less blurry picture than the first generation of night vision devices and no "fish eye" distortion. 1ПН51 (НСПУ-3 "Казуар") Also known as the NSPU "Kazuar" scope, it is a "passive" scope that does not use any infra-red illumination source.
The Kazuar is a 2nd generation night vision device designed during the Soviet era, indeed shortly before the collapse, and was the flagship of the optical technology of the time. Like the earlier 1pn58, it is still employed by the Russian Federation.
The mount has a cam adjustment for use on all Russian small arms, including AS / VSS and AKSU.
The 1pn51 has 3x magnification and is equipped with both ABC (Automatic Brightness Control) and BLP (protection in case of bright light), both very useful when working because of the sensitivity of the intensifier tube. Tube life is approximately 3000 - 4000 hours.
Powered by a rechargeable 6.25 volt multicell battery, (similar to the 1pn58) the Kazuar is more compact and slightly heavier than the 1PN58, at about 2kg, but with a wider lenticular opening at about 90mm. The controls are almost identical, with a single wheel that controls the brightness of the reticle, to allow the best adjustment from observation to target engagement.
The diaphragm for daytime use is mounted with a rubber gasket secured with two lateral pins, and has two round windows for the entry of light. The window openings are controlled by a lever which ensures precise click adjustments.
The ability of light intensification of the 1pn51 in darkness is very good, as is the reliability, starting from the magnesium alloy body to the systems of electronic protection.
Even the brightness of city lights are too high to allow you to remove the front diaphragm cover, and what can be seen with the 1PN58 without the light filterting diaphragm looks the same on the 1PN51 with the diaphragm fitted. Of course, being a second generation system, there is no lens distortion or fisheye effect as in the 1PN58 scope.
WillyP's Russian SVD with 1PN51 sight.
Image brightness adjustment knob. The reticle is illuminated by an LED bulb.
A quote found on a discussion forum from a Russian member:
"The Soviet army for the most part was an extremely mobile force. The infantry fought by the side of their tanker comrades, though a scope like the 1PN51 would never be issued to your lowly infantry marksmen. The 1pn51 has primarily been used by the "elite" for most of its service time. Now it is slowly coming into the hands of less elite forces like VDV etc. The scope itself I find balances out the SVD because its design does not make it too front or back heavy. There are cheaper Soviet scopes out there but they are only Gen 1+ and lower. But they are really fun to use and I am sure would serve you better than the naked eye. I have one called the NSPU or 1PN34 I think it is a great scope."
The 1PN51-2 night vision scope has an improved scope mount which allows a better fit to the RPG rail (as well as the standard Russian dovetail optics rail on the usual rifles, LMG, etc). The 6 volt battery is now mounted horrizontally which gives it a lower profile. There is also a diferent range-finding reticle.
Brightness adjustment knob is now on the front of the scope body where it is less likely to be turned accidentally.
The new reticle on this version has hold over chevrons for ranges out past 400 meters.
Reticle adjustment cams.
This Russian 1PN51-2 was offered for sale by Spooky130 who says,
"I have recently learned it is a rare variant not typically found in the US. It is actually made for the RPG-29.
I got all this info from Doug Ford, aka Tantal over the course of an email conversation…
It is the 1PN51-2, which is a variant of 1PN51 redesigned for proper fitment on the RPG family, specifically the RPG-29. It is fully offset to the left and has no overhang to the center of the rifle, like the regular 1PN51 made for the AK/RPK and SVD series rifles. The reason for this is that the new RPG-29 has so large of a tube that the standard 1PN51 would not fit without hitting the tube. A collector of RPG accessories would love to have your sight, and to be honest it is quite rare!
Well, when the RPG-29 came out, the existing 1PN51 would not fit it, so there was a need to design a variant. They may have decided that the new -2 model could still be issued for the other rifles and MG's, but I note they do not list them for anything except the RPG-29 in official manuals and literature, or on the official factory web sites I can find. There is scant information at all on the 1PN51-2. In other words, the original is still in production and issued with the rifles, so I do not think it was replaced by the -2, but simply augmented by the -2 for certain applications.
It has the same scope body, and the same cams will fit it, so I guess they issue the same set of cams.
The newer models cannot be exported. The 1PN58 is made for both domestic and export, but it is a much cheaper model over 1PN51 and thus still in front line service with CIS forces for many applications. "