Tactical Night Vision

Predator Masters using UBB.threads ™ Infopop Corporation.
PM Gear Moon & Weather

Welcome to the Predator Masters Forums
Be sure to visit the main Predator Master website at





PM Gear
PM Gear
PM Gear
The Official Predator Masters Search Engine
Search Predator Masters

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#3209325 - 08/05/19 10:13 PM Night scope - looking for experiences & suggestions
sbranden Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 10/02/09
Posts: 445
Loc: MD, USA
I would like to get a feel for what anyone is using to help them 'see' better at night time. Fur season is fast approaching and I'm thinking about trying to up my game on coyotes specifically with a new scope. Night Vision, Day/Night digital scopes, Thermal.

I saw ATN introduce some new day/night scopes last year, and this year of course SightMark answers with the Wraith. But if I do this, I'm thinking of taking a real 'buy it once' type approach.

The thing with where I hunt is that the ranges can be extreme. So I'd like something that could pick up potential targets out to 1,000 yards, then be able to crisply ID out to say 300 yards. Most shots then will probably be in the 100-250 yard range.

ATN I see also makes Thermal scopes (ThOR 4 I believe they call it). But I've heard some not so great things about ATN too. What about Pulsar, Flir, ?

I wear glasses, so I'm not sure how anything but a traditional style rifle scope would work for me. I see these eyepieces on Thermals, and well - like I say, not sure how I would get along with one of these. Anyone else with glasses using one?

This scope will also be going up on a bolt gun, either a Tikka 243 with EGW rail, or I might even just dedicate an old Rem 700 BDL in 222 rem and put a rail on it if need be.

I'd love all the features possible of course, but then again - my family won't ever want to watch any of these hunt videos, and I won't be live streaming to anybody's iphone in the field with me, so the most important thing is warranty (given the high cost), customer service, rock solid dependable, durable operation that isn't overly complex or cluttered, that gives me hot white and hot black imaging, good zoom/focus capability, great battery life, and like I say the ability to ID small targets as far out there as possible. This is not for hunting wild hogs at 40 or 50 yards, this is for foxes and coyotes... where the coyotes around here are real good about hanging up in finger woods and in fence rows versus coming out in the nice wide open fields where I literally would have 1,000 yard unobstructed views in the day time.

Ease in zero'ing, buttons layout that makes sense and is easy to use in the dark, a range finder would be a nice addition, I've seen Pulsar's Pic in Pic and that seems pretty straightforward and helpful (zoom with a wider field of view then also for any quick follow-up shots).

$2-4K is what I am thinking for this, where on the very low end maybe even something like the ATN ThOR LT 3-6x would be OK (ATN ThOR 4 384x288, 2-8x would probably be better though), and then on the high end, well... I don't know. XQ38 I've heard a lot of good things about, or could I get into an XP or something like the PTS 536? What about the XP Trails, or the really new XM series? (XM30, XM38... don't think I need or could afford the 22 power of a XM50), and I'm never crazy about being the first one to trial out some new design even though these look really great at first glance!

I think I am definitely leaning (right now anyway) in the direction of Thermal, but tell me what would be a better option or maybe some combination play that you've found that works great on coyotes. I know there are a lot of folks on her with wayyyy more experience than I have. Thanks in advance for your insights.

Top
#3209327 - 08/05/19 10:24 PM Re: Night scope - looking for experiences & suggestions [Re: sbranden]
Mr. Poppadopalis Online
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 06/25/13
Posts: 3030
Loc: Metro Denver
You will need 2 thermal units!

1. Scan
2. Shoot

Top
#3209406 - 08/06/19 08:42 PM Re: Night scope - looking for experiences & suggestions [Re: Mr. Poppadopalis]
sbranden Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 10/02/09
Posts: 445
Loc: MD, USA
Yeah I was afraid somebody might say that. What are you using?

I thought I could just start out with my coyote light to see if I could catch eyes, then go dark and work the caller, the wind, whatever might be necessary from there.

Top
#3209410 - 08/06/19 09:08 PM Re: Night scope - looking for experiences & suggestions [Re: sbranden]
Mr. Poppadopalis Online
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 06/25/13
Posts: 3030
Loc: Metro Denver
I use a IR Hunter M250 for scanning and I have the following
Scopes - ATN Thor
IR Hunter Mark3 60mm
Pulsar Trail XP50
D740 Gen3 NV scope

Scanning
Flir LS 64
PVS14 Gen3 monocular
M250 IR Hunter w/ 2x and 3x magnifier.

Top
#3209412 - 08/06/19 09:27 PM Re: Night scope - looking for experiences & suggestions [Re: sbranden]
Brownie Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 2213
Loc: Walla Walla, Washington, U,S,A
Running lights defeats the purpose of being blacked out by thermal or NV. I had the photon RT and it was good out to 200ish. But I was still scanning with lights. If I had to do it with only one unit I'd scan with the thermal or NV and shoot with lights so you take em by surprise. Theres a guy on YouTube lonestar boars who just did a review on the thor's and recommended others due to the poor customer support and product quality.
_________________________
HELP PRESERVE THE WOLF, TAKE ONE TO A TAXEDERMIST!!


Top
#3209413 - 08/06/19 09:38 PM Re: Night scope - looking for experiences & suggestions [Re: Brownie]
sbranden Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 10/02/09
Posts: 445
Loc: MD, USA
Interesting approach - that's kind of the reverse of what I was thinking, but it makes complete sense. Like you, I won't be taking the plunge on 2 thermal devices if I even can pull off 1. But this makes me think maybe I should be looking harder at the scanning devices more where I already have great scopes on my rifles, including a firedot duplex VX-5HD that is fantastic.

And wow, what a collection of high tech toys my first responder has - dang! I think the XP50 is out of my league, and I know the IR Hunter is. Heard some others say the ThOR 2-8 wasn't worth it because the image was too grainy at the higher magnification anyway, but had heard pretty good things about that first one I listed.

Keep it coming guys, this is exactly the type of feedback I am looking for!

Top
#3209424 - 08/07/19 08:45 AM Re: Night scope - looking for experiences & suggestions [Re: sbranden]
old cat Online
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 03/16/14
Posts: 1085
Loc: wv
IMO the first thing you need is a thermal scanner. It won't be long before you tire of scanning with your rifle.

I just got the Wraith If you adjust it properly, it will easily work
200 yards.

To see as far as you want to see is going to cost you big bucks.

When I started this I bought NV, then pvs-14, then thermal. Nothing beats thermal.

Buy the best thermal scanner & thermal scope you can afford.


Edited by old cat (08/07/19 08:55 AM)

Top
#3209425 - 08/07/19 09:45 AM Re: Night scope - looking for experiences & suggestions [Re: sbranden]
cmatera Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 12/15/08
Posts: 2249
Loc: CO
There are basically two schools of thought here. Almost everyone agrees that it's best to scan with thermal, either helmet mounted or handheld, (detection). I too have an LS64 with Instalert that detects in red. Makes it easier.

From there we digress. Some say use a thermal scope, some say use a night vision scope. While thermal is great, you generally get a more positive ID with night vision. You can get good at ID with thermal, but it takes practice. I like Mr. P, have both, a Trail XP38 and a Night Optics D740.

Be mindful of FOV (field of view). When transitioning from scanner to scope, you want enough FOV to "re-find" the target to take the shot.

Other than that, more resolution and a faster rate refresh is better, buy the best you can afford, from a company with a good customer service record.

Top
#3209428 - 08/07/19 10:15 AM Re: Night scope - looking for experiences & suggestions [Re: sbranden]
Kirsch Online
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 10/13/09
Posts: 1435
Loc: North Dakota
From what you've described for a thermal scope, you have described either an ATN Thor series or the Pulsar Thermion series. You mentioned ATN ThOR LT. The resolution is too low and it won't be a buy once type of scenario for most coyote hunters.

Agree with everyone, thermal scanner is very important. Some people will scan and shoot with the same device (scope). I don't want to be looking through my rifle scope constantly on every stand, pointing and swinging constantly. However, some people do this. For scanners, it is hard to beat the Pulsar Helion line. Model depends on FOV and detection desired. A good dealer can help you through those choices.

For the scope, if you think you want to go thermal eventually, then I wouldn't lay down a ton of cash on Night Vision. The Wraith could be a day or night scope, so you could still use it even if you eventually go with a thermal scope as well, and the investment isn't huge at around $500. Based on everything you said, I believe you will end up most likely with a Pulsar Helion monocular and eventually a Pulsar Thermion scope.

The big decision is thermal and night vision or thermal and thermal. Once that decision is made, then the brands and models should be based on FOV, base mag, and budget.

I prefer thermal for shooting, but for people who absolutely need 100% positive ID on Coyote vs Fox for instance, then Night Vision would be a better choice.

On glasses, there are 3 main options. Buy a scope/monocular with really good eye relief, on some units take off the rubber eye pieces, or some will take off their glasses. Once you get to your calling spot, you are in the dark anyway with limited visibility, so take along a case and take off your glasses. You will be able to see just fine through your scope/monocular, just adjust the diopter.
_________________________
Korey Kirschenmann
Night Goggles - Pro Staff

Top
#3209431 - 08/07/19 10:49 AM Re: Night scope - looking for experiences & suggestions [Re: Kirsch]
G Anderson Online
Seasoned Member

Registered: 11/16/01
Posts: 421
Loc: Clinton, Indiana
I wear glasses for Astigmatism and have no-line bifocals...I use a Helion scanner and an XQ38 thermal scope and have never had an issue with wearing glasses. I have taken the rubber "boot" eyepiece off of the scope and tried it both ways...no problem either way so I keep the rubber boot on. On the scanner, I fold the eye cover flap back and use it that way. Never had a problem.

Gene

Top
#3209449 - 08/07/19 02:36 PM Re: Night scope - looking for experiences & suggestions [Re: sbranden]
Burnsome... Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 11/24/18
Posts: 377
Loc: GA
What everyone above said....

I use an old FLIR thermal for scanning, and when something comes in, the ATN 4K digital is on the gun.

Like Kirsch said: "for people who absolutely need 100% positive ID on Coyote vs Fox for instance, then Night Vision would be a better choice"

I'm in that category since fox isnt on my target list. In fact, the fox takes off like a bullet when a yote is approaching....my early warning system so to speak.

Works well for me out to about 120 yards at night. Most my shots are 50-75 yards
_________________________
I think my dog joined the Taliban

Top
#3209476 - 08/07/19 08:25 PM Re: Night scope - looking for experiences & suggestions [Re: sbranden]
Kirsch Online
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 10/13/09
Posts: 1435
Loc: North Dakota
As far as fox vs coyotes, I would say if you have enough time to watch them, 95%+ of the time with a decent thermal you will be able to tell. However, I have had a few instances where a large fox came busting in on coyote vocals and I thought it was a small coyote, and was surprised when I walked up to find a fox.

Thankfully, I haven't ever shot a farm dog thinking it was a coyote. I have had plenty approach the call, but have always been able to tell by their approach, or seeing a collar, or even hearing them. However, if you have ranchers with a lot of medium sized dogs, good night vision could be beneficial. For me, shooting a fox isn't a huge issue, and have never shot a farm dog, so the pluses of thermal are too strong for me to consider Night Vision.
_________________________
Korey Kirschenmann
Night Goggles - Pro Staff

Top
#3209626 - 08/09/19 09:48 PM Re: Night scope - looking for experiences & suggestions [Re: Kirsch]
sbranden Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 10/02/09
Posts: 445
Loc: MD, USA
Wow, tons of great feedback. I'll have to pull up some of these options and check them out, and see what examples I can find out on YouTube then.

I feel like I may be headed toward one of the new Thermion more traditional looking rifle scopes but that may make me postpone this purchase another year based on delivery schedules and $$ requirements. Would like to see some better feedback and comparison of the various different models of these before I jump in. I may consider picking up a cheaper thermal scanner though still for this season. I'll be taking both fox and coyote, just can't afford to make any mistakes when it comes to ID'ing targets.

The glasses consideration is real for me - very bad eyesight without them, so I don't think I could take these off and have much hope of seeing/hitting anything through any scope, day or night. I know I had a harder time even picking out binoculars because of this. Good to hear the eyepiece was no problem for one shooter on the XQ38.


Thanks everyone and keep the product preferences coming please, I don't want to overlook anything good that's out there.

Top
#3210659 - 08/22/19 08:54 PM Re: Night scope - looking for experiences & suggestions [Re: sbranden]
sbranden Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 10/02/09
Posts: 445
Loc: MD, USA
Still trying to figure out my options. I've seen comparison videos of the photon versus the new sightmark wraith, and other than the wraith being able to work in the day time as well, it almost looks like the earlier photon model is superior. Then I saw a photon being used with a coyote reaper IR and the distance was amazing. maybe this would be the better way for me to go for something affordable, that covers my effective range and that meets my MUST HAVE of being able to plainly ID my targets before sending the shot. What am I missing here? a $400-500 scope coupled with a $150 IR light, seems like a better deal than spending thousands on thermal right now... so maybe start with something like this (where I have the gun I can definitely dedicate to night time use only), and just wait for the thermal technology to keep improving and coming down in price.

Again, this is strictly for fox and coyote hunting. Not wild hogs at 30 or 50 yards. I need solid 200-300 yard ID capability, where I'd love to be able to know where stuff is at in a field as far out as possible, in order to figure out wind then and to decide where to maybe set up the caller, etc. I think I'm going to just have to be OK for right now with scanning with whatever scope setup I have. There's no way I can afford an expensive thermal scanner, and then an expensive scope also. So what say ye?

Any of you who have had the Photons, what's the best model to have if I decide to go this route?

Or do IR lights spoof stuff just like a red light can if you don't keep things more in the halo?


Edited by sbranden (08/22/19 08:56 PM)

Top
#3210663 - 08/22/19 09:27 PM Re: Night scope - looking for experiences & suggestions [Re: sbranden]
Burnsome... Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 11/24/18
Posts: 377
Loc: GA
That'll get you in the game sbranden. Dont have experience with the Photons - only the ATN 4K. I recently upgraded my digital set up by adding the IR850 Pro light to my rifle. Just put it on the other side of the gun. I'd say it just about doubles my ID range capability so perhaps mayb 200-225 yards or so. Need more time behind the scope to determine how much though. I cant recall which IR light is considered the best for long distance but there are more powerful ones that would probably reach out to your distance requirements.

So now I find myself with two IR lights on the gun. Looks goofy, but this yote hunting is serious business so who cares right? I guess I've got about $650 in scope and IR lights.

Turning the IR lights on and off many times at deer, fox, yotes, coons, possums in my experience does not spook the animals.
_________________________
I think my dog joined the Taliban

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >



Moderator:  220_Swift, Infidel 762, Redfrog 

© Predator Masters™, All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.