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Thermal Scopes

rowjimmy

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Looking to "buy once, cry once" but don't need a Mercedes if a Lexus will do.

Looked at the Steiner S35 at Optics planet and it was discounted to 3k for 4k with an additional 9% off but I let it go. supposedly, one of the reviews said the zero shifts with the zoom setting so you have to save multiple profiles. Who wants to dick around with shit if you change your magnification?

Looking at something good for predators of all varieties. Likely put it on a 5.56 rifle but could use 7.62. I got a PulsarAxion XG35 LRF monocular and am still learning the ins and outs of it but am relatively pleased (it got good reviews but annoyingly takes a "picture" under movement pretty frequently.) I'll need to read the manual thoroughly.

So, any of you guys use thermal extensively for pleasure or work and have an informed opinion to help me out? Think liking a 1x8 would cover out to 500 yds as that's what a magnified optic in the visible spectrum will do. I'm willing to reconsider this though if you have better information.

Price point is negotiable... so I'll consider all options.

TIA.
 

Gary Harwell

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Rattlers( not the snake) pretty popular in Texas.have the AGM TS25 but only use for obversation. As good as high end pvs14 but no stargazing. TA3500 maybe better.
So 1 nv and 1 thermal youre in about 5-6k.
 
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rowjimmy

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Went to euro-optic today and got this: https://www.eurooptic.com/Pulsar-Thermion-XG50-3-24X-Thermal-Riflescope-PL76529.aspx

I really liked the clarity of the image in the store. It's deeply discounted too as they're making room for a new model. Pulsar is one of those companies that they want all retailers to charge the same price, I noticed this when I bought my monocular.

I looked through one of the N-vision Nox: https://www.eurooptic.com/N-Vision-...-60hz-12-um-35mm-Lens-Thermal-Monocular-.aspx and while it's cool they take CR123's, I did not think the image was any better, maybe not even as good, as the Pulsar. They have a mount for a helmet attachment like a PVS-14.

I'll give a range report when I have time. But, as an FYI, that whole "picture taking thing" is a feature of all thermals from what the girl said, its not just my monocular. Also, the "bullet profile" (where you need to save zeroes at different magnifications, is also a common feature. I asked if anybody made a thermal optic that stays zeroed at all magnifications and she said no. The only way to get around that is to buy a clip-on mounted style in front of a regular variable optic.

Good people. I highly recommend.



@brunop
 

rowjimmy

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I'm in the market as well. My reasons for not blowing 10k are dwindling everyday. Rumble is full of poor souls getting wasted via thermal these days. I would go with something made in the USA because they do exist and why give the Chinese more money to develop this technology.

https://www.hueyoutdoors.com/product/n-vision-halo-lr-50mm/
The Pulsar I linked is made in Europe. I held it side by side with the Nox. While one may be slightly less pixilated under magnification and the Nox is a 60 Hz refresh, the XG50 is currently $2400 off it's normal price of $6k.

By all means, spend a much as you want, and buy American! But if you want a killer deal on a top tier thermal, the XG50 is it.
 
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tac-40

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I bought an AGM Rattler TS35-384. Really nice and if the buy the rifle scope version, it comes mounted on an ADM QR RTZ pic rail mount. The nice thing about the Rattler line is you can purchase the scope adapter so that it mounts to the front of your optic already on the rifle and use it to hit things at night. It is a true thermal and not an IR or low light camera. Since it is a thermal optic, which means you can use it in the day, just don't point it at the sun or you will fry the optics. AGM also has an app that allows you to control the scope with your cell phone and record pictures and videos while shooting.
 

STG_58_guy

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There are two other recent threads on this. Lots of great info.

I looked through an ATN ($1000?) at Scheels a month ago and I was impressed. Not much of a test but still. Some kind of thermal optic is a must have.


 
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tac-40

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Just remember that there are 3 types of night vision optics out there. The most common is a low light camera. These magnify existing light to where it is viewable on the screen. These don't work well without some source of light - stars moon, streetlight etc. The next common is the Infrared optics. These display a picture of the infrared light emitting from surfaces. The IR is a form of light caused by heat. The are often called thermal optics, but they are not true thermal optics. They receive and display a form of light. Poor IR lighting conditions are often supplemented by an infrared illuminator. This can be an LED emitter in the optic, or external source such as an IR flashlight and glow sticks. The true thermal optic only sees the heat differences between various objects. There is no external illuminator you can use to see better. This is why thermals don't work well on night fire courses with steel and paper targets. The steel and paper targets rapidly cool to the outside air temperature and thus don't show up on thermal scopes. Thermals work best on living things because they generate a distinct heat signature that is easily picked up.
 

rowjimmy

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Got a chance to zero the Thermion Tuesday and got a "decent" 100 yd zero. This wa using 55 gr M193 but will double check with 55 gr vMax.

I didn't have any hand warmers sop tried a piece of aluminum foil at the target center but this was completely useless (which I should have anticipated, but, you know, the internet.

I made hits on IPSC torso steel out to 200 yds. Hopefully, I'll get a better zero when I get some hand warmers.

I'm please so far. It seemed relatively consistent given my targets were just solid grey with no clear aiming point.
 

starbuck

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Got a chance to zero the Thermion Tuesday and got a "decent" 100 yd zero. This wa using 55 gr M193 but will double check with 55 gr vMax.

I didn't have any hand warmers sop tried a piece of aluminum foil at the target center but this was completely useless (which I should have anticipated, but, you know, the internet.

I made hits on IPSC torso steel out to 200 yds. Hopefully, I'll get a better zero when I get some hand warmers.

I'm please so far. It seemed relatively consistent given my targets were just solid grey with no clear aiming point.
What do you think about the battery system? Is it good long term? I'm concerned about buying something that the batteries are junk in 6 years and aren't supported anymore.
 

tac-40

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I used the aluminum duct tape cut into half inch strips to make cross hairs, and put it on a cardboard box. Tilted the box about 20 degrees back letting the tape point up toward sky. Was very clear target out to 100 yards. Used aluminum tape pieces as pasters.

Worked well using my Rattler thermal scope.
 

L Haney

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I used the aluminum duct tape cut into half inch strips to make cross hairs, and put it on a cardboard box. Tilted the box about 20 degrees back letting the tape point up toward sky. Was very clear target out to 100 yards. Used aluminum tape pieces as pasters.

Worked well using my Rattler thermal scope.
Who told you about this? This is low budget sneaky stuff that has a very good pedigree.
 

tac-40

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Saw it on the inner web. Guy said the tape picked up the cold of space which made it stand out. Don't know nuthin bout that, but it definitely showed up as colder than the cardboard on a bright sunny December day that was in the 30's.

Started at 25 yards to get on paper, then out to 100 yards. 3 shots for zero and two followups to confirm. Everything inside 1½ MOA at 100 yards using M855 LC.
 

rowjimmy

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What do you think about the battery system? Is it good long term? I'm concerned about buying something that the batteries are junk in 6 years and aren't supported anymore.
No idea. It has an internal; battery and then a removable one (APS2). If you charge the scope via Usb it will charge both, integral scope battery first, then removable battery. When you use it, it will drain the removable battery first, then the scope/ There is a counter for both. I bought 2 additional APS3 batteries which fit with extended cap and have longer life. I have not had it out hunting yet to see duration under use.

Pulsar seems to have a good rep, but I don't know long term concerns.
 

rowjimmy

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Saw it on the inner web. Guy said the tape picked up the cold of space which made it stand out. Don't know nuthin bout that, but it definitely showed up as colder than the cardboard on a bright sunny December day that was in the 30's.

Started at 25 yards to get on paper, then out to 100 yards. 3 shots for zero and two followups to confirm. Everything inside 1½ MOA at 100 yards using M855 LC.
Sub 2 MOA with 2 MOA ammo... nice.

This was a windy day and the entire target backer looked like a solid dark rectangle. No temperature difference to note.

I'm skeptical of "the cold of space" claim. The aluminum foil may radiate heat at a lower rate than brown cardboard (lower emissivity) but they're both in thermal equilibrium with their surroundings. aluminum is a much better conductor but lower emitter than the cardboard, so it seems a wash.
 

Bama Steve

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They take CR123's which is nice, but no price... o_O
He said they were $pendy and not just anyone can have one but I see nothing on the website that says not for civilian use - an inquiry might be in order.
He's on the road right now but says he is putting out a request to his connections for suitable/affordable units so I'll let you know what else he comes-up with.
 

tac-40

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Pretty impressive given the fact that M855 isn't 1.5MOA ammo.

Good shooting!
Well, it was only a 5 shot group. I built this rifle using a locally sourced upper. The company makes everything but the barrels. And the lower was a first for me, polymer and not aluminum. It is an ATI lower (made just down the road from the shop). Since this rifle was going to be for hog eradication, I wanted something light weight and handy. Dropped in a LaRue MBT trigger and mounted the Rattler optic. Since hog have about a 4 MOA target area, that is what I was looking for. Doing the research on line about what ammo, the LC M855 got pretty high marks for eradication. Different ammo is needed if hunting for meat. Down here in the Low Country, these are mostly swamp hogs. Anything over 125 pounds has a really nasty taste and can carry all sorts of diseases. DNR requires processors to use separate facilities for feral hogs from other game animals because of this.

Now, I just have to wait for turkey season to be over so I can go out and test it at night on some hogs.

Upper manufacturer: https://cbcpfa.com/
 

skeeterbay

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I finally broke down and bought a thermal rifle scope. I figured the longer I put it off the less time I would have to use one. I went with the Bering Super Hogster A3. UPS shows its to be delivered today. We will see how it works on yotes later next week.
 
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