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#3214070 - 10/04/19 11:19 AM Need help picking first thermal
NEHunt Offline
New Member

Registered: 09/24/16
Posts: 8
Loc: Nebraska
Hey guys, i feel like i've read everything i can but i still cannot decide on a unit or i will change my mind every 3 hours. Ive had my hands on an older unit and have been saving up ever since. I havent had any in field experience but hopefully thats where you guys can help.

I have been back in forth between the Pulsar products as i like the idea of the PIP but have a few questions. Most of my indecision are between the XP38 XP50 and the Thermion 38, or if i should get into a XQ model with the rangefinder. It seems like alot of the people i talk to in the area say determining distance is one of the more frustrating tasks.

Mostly ill be setup in flat corn country calling out tree lines, grassy areas, and some thick wooded pasture. I would imagine most shots would be outside of 50yards and more consistently 80-125 range but the occasional 200 wouldnt be uncommon. This would all be on a 204 but if i have a long walk or get into some river ground with closer shots, id switch to a lighter carry 223. I would be using this as a scanner as well and set up on a tripod.

so questions..
1. Is the stadiametric rangefinder useful or are the LRF models well worth the $.
2. I know theres no best for all distances but being fairly wide open farm ground does anyone regret not going with a higher native mag over FOV.
3. Trail XP38 or Thermion 38, the price i got is pretty similar neither LRF. Trail has been out, is easier to get and ill likely only be using black/white hot anyways.
4. Dead horse XQ vs XP
5. Ive also been suggested the FLIR PTS536, open to other brands so is there another company i should be looking at?

I know some of these are beat to death as im even tired of reading through it all, so apologies in advance. Budget is $4500 which covers most of what ive looked at. Thanks.

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#3214091 - 10/04/19 02:50 PM Re: Need help picking first thermal [Re: NEHunt]
Kirsch Online
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 10/13/09
Posts: 1002
Loc: North Dakota
Originally Posted By: NEHunt

so questions..
1. Is the stadiametric rangefinder useful or are the LRF models well worth the $.
A Stadiametric rangefinder is not really useful for coyotes. How often when calling coyotes do you have time to open up a menu, measure the top and bottom of the coyote, and then estimate range? If you hunt at night long enough with the same scope, you will begin to learn how big the coyote looks in your scope to help with distance. A good rule of thumb is once you can see color variations on the coyote due to heat differences, it is close enough to hold dead on.

Originally Posted By: NEHunt
2. I know theres no best for all distances but being fairly wide open farm ground does anyone regret not going with a higher native mag over FOV.
For open country hunting, I like a higher native mag, but I am probably in the minority. However, you mentioned scanning and shooting with the same gun, so in that scenario I would recommend a lower base, and bigger FOV. My thermal scanner is the best piece of equipment I have ever purchased. For me, it is a game changer, so you may be adding this to your arsenal soon.

Originally Posted By: NEHunt
3. Trail XP38 or Thermion 38, the price i got is pretty similar neither LRF.
Trail has a longer lasting battery, thermion fits on a bolt gun better. I would go Thermion if price was the same.

Originally Posted By: NEHunt
4. Dead horse XQ vs XP
XQ or XM if you want to save money and tend to always be wanting higher base mag.

Originally Posted By: NEHunt
5. Ive also been suggested the FLIR PTS536, open to other brands so is there another company i should be looking at?
If you are looking for high base mag, then either the Thermion XMs or the Flir PTS536 are great options. For the money, you might be able to get into an XM or PTS536 and a low-end scanner as an option as well.

I would highly recommend talking to a dealer like Tom Austin at Night Goggles, as he can help you get into a great setup vs having buyer's remorse later. Tom Austin PROGRAMS DIRECTOR 909-312-5424 X531

_________________________
Korey Kirschenmann
Night Goggles - Pro Staff

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#3214105 - 10/04/19 04:57 PM Re: Need help picking first thermal [Re: NEHunt]
Rookietjx2 Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 01/14/18
Posts: 78
Loc: IN
Most of my shots are in the 100-200 range, so, like Kirsch, I prefer the higher native magnification. I started with 2.5 and quickly went to 4.5. Stadiametric is worthless. A small dog close and a big dog further away would measure the same. When I first started, I measured every shot from my tripod to the coyote which gave me a general idea of what they looked like at distances. It also led to some humorous "where did my tripod go?" but that's another story.

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#3214121 - 10/04/19 08:10 PM Re: Need help picking first thermal [Re: Rookietjx2]
P&Y Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 02/04/19
Posts: 118
Loc: ND
Originally Posted By: Rookietjx2
It also led to some humorous "where did my tripod go?" but that's another story.


Good to know I'm not the only one!

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#3214130 - 10/04/19 10:23 PM Re: Need help picking first thermal [Re: NEHunt]
varminter .223 Online
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 2123
Loc: south central Illinois
Always go 640 core to gain the bigger fov. I would go xp50 and plan on eventually adding a 640 handheld such as the helion xp28. If I knew I would never own a handheld I would go with xp 38 Trail or thermion version in 640 to gain fov.


Edited by varminter .223 (10/04/19 11:11 PM)

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#3214170 - 10/05/19 12:29 PM Re: Need help picking first thermal [Re: NEHunt]
NEHunt Offline
New Member

Registered: 09/24/16
Posts: 8
Loc: Nebraska
Thanks for clearing some things up for me guys, I'm pretty sure im gona bite the bullet a little harder and go with the XP38 LRF. Id rather have the 640 and LRF than regret it later.

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#3214174 - 10/05/19 12:46 PM Re: Need help picking first thermal [Re: NEHunt]
cmatera Online
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 12/15/08
Posts: 2121
Loc: CO
You will be very happy with the xp38. As for the rangefinder, why not (if you can afford it). Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

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#3214175 - 10/05/19 12:59 PM Re: Need help picking first thermal [Re: NEHunt]
varminter .223 Online
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 2123
Loc: south central Illinois
I have 2 radius rangefinders so I dont need the lrf but without those the lrf would be dang handy.


Edited by varminter .223 (10/05/19 12:59 PM)

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#3214188 - 10/05/19 06:54 PM Re: Need help picking first thermal [Re: NEHunt]
capitol Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 09/03/04
Posts: 500
Loc: U.S.A.
What would be perfect for you is a XP38 Thermion with an LRF. Now were talkin! And while Im at it the range finder displays the yardage on the reticle display too.

Maybe Pulsar will have one at Shot Show.
_________________________
I worked all week, it's Saturday and I wanna kill something - Byron South

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#3214432 - 10/07/19 11:41 PM Re: Need help picking first thermal [Re: NEHunt]
g Bo Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 04/20/14
Posts: 561
Loc: Utah
I am selling a radius rangefinder. I just put it on the classified forum

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#3214449 - 10/08/19 08:30 AM Re: Need help picking first thermal [Re: NEHunt]
iowayotehunter76 Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 01/12/17
Posts: 183
Loc: IA - Iowa
Originally Posted By: NEHunt
Thanks for clearing some things up for me guys, I'm pretty sure im gona bite the bullet a little harder and go with the XP38 LRF. Id rather have the 640 and LRF than regret it later.


Sorry to muddy it up again, but I would think twice about the xp38 in open country. I think base mag is too low and I think you will shoot better with the xq38 in open country. Double the mag on the xp model and your resolution is below the xp models because they are actually 384x288. Don't get me wrong, I like the 640 resolution and have a xp38 hellion which is perfect for scanning, but the targets are a lot bigger in a xq38. If you are still set on scanning with the scope, just jump to the xp50. Or better yet go xq38 and a scanner if possible. IMHO.

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#3214471 - 10/08/19 12:39 PM Re: Need help picking first thermal [Re: NEHunt]
NGI_TOM Offline
PM Sponsor

Registered: 04/15/16
Posts: 722
Loc: Utah
Hey OP. Lots of great info here. Just FYI, I have a Trail XQ30, XQ38, XP50 and XP50 LRF in stock that I would make you a great deal on if you're interested. I also have Axion Key XM30 and CORE RXQ30V in stock if you want a great little scanner for a good deal. Just shoot me a PM.
_________________________
Tom Austin PROGRAMS DIRECTOR 909-312-5424 X531

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#3214546 - 10/09/19 02:49 PM Re: Need help picking first thermal [Re: iowayotehunter76]
NEHunt Offline
New Member

Registered: 09/24/16
Posts: 8
Loc: Nebraska
Originally Posted By: iowayotehunter76
Originally Posted By: NEHunt
Thanks for clearing some things up for me guys, I'm pretty sure im gona bite the bullet a little harder and go with the XP38 LRF. Id rather have the 640 and LRF than regret it later.


Sorry to muddy it up again, but I would think twice about the xp38 in open country. I think base mag is too low and I think you will shoot better with the xq38 in open country. Double the mag on the xp model and your resolution is below the xp models because they are actually 384x288. Don't get me wrong, I like the 640 resolution and have a xp38 hellion which is perfect for scanning, but the targets are a lot bigger in a xq38. If you are still set on scanning with the scope, just jump to the xp50. Or better yet go xq38 and a scanner if possible. IMHO.


I was under the impression the xp at 2.4 plus be relatively close to the base xq at 2.1? Thinking the 1.2 would be nice scanning then zoom in if I had to, or am I deeply mistaken?

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#3214549 - 10/09/19 03:12 PM Re: Need help picking first thermal [Re: capitol]
NEHunt Offline
New Member

Registered: 09/24/16
Posts: 8
Loc: Nebraska
Originally Posted By: capitol
What would be perfect for you is a XP38 Thermion with an LRF. Now were talkin! And while Im at it the range finder displays the yardage on the reticle display too.

Maybe Pulsar will have one at Shot Show.


That would be ideal! I was wondering if they would update something later on with the thermion, I’m sure they will, but I’d like to have something proven and available for this season.


Edited by NEHunt (10/09/19 03:16 PM)

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#3214637 - 10/10/19 07:59 PM Re: Need help picking first thermal [Re: NEHunt]
iowayotehunter76 Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 01/12/17
Posts: 183
Loc: IA - Iowa
Originally Posted By: NEHunt
Originally Posted By: iowayotehunter76
Originally Posted By: NEHunt
Thanks for clearing some things up for me guys, I'm pretty sure im gona bite the bullet a little harder and go with the XP38 LRF. Id rather have the 640 and LRF than regret it later.


Sorry to muddy it up again, but I would think twice about the xp38 in open country. I think base mag is too low and I think you will shoot better with the xq38 in open country. Double the mag on the xp model and your resolution is below the xp models because they are actually 384x288. Don't get me wrong, I like the 640 resolution and have a xp38 hellion which is perfect for scanning, but the targets are a lot bigger in a xq38. If you are still set on scanning with the scope, just jump to the xp50. Or better yet go xq38 and a scanner if possible. IMHO.


I was under the impression the xp at 2.4 plus be relatively close to the base xq at 2.1? Thinking the 1.2 would be nice scanning then zoom in if I had to, or am I deeply mistaken?


Relatively close yes. Xp at double base mag is 320x240. Xq at base is actually 384x288 so a little better but a little less mag so they are close to the same. I just think the xp38 is set up for close range work.

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