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#3290573 - 01/10/22 11:28 AM Thermal Scopes (your advice needed)
Tonester Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 04/20/13
Posts: 442
Loc: SE Nebraska
Howdy,

I am looking into buying a thermal scope. I have about $2k to spend. I have looked at Trijicon, ATN, Flir, Pulsar, and Burris. I want the following:

1. Minimal reticle
2. White/black hot
3. Lightweight
4. Clear picture
5. Reasonable Battery life

I have seen that guys say wait and save another $1k to spend. Does anyone have recommendations for the $1800-$2000 dollar mark?

Thanks!

TC
_________________________
There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you--who are you to judge your neighbor?

James 4:12

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#3290578 - 01/10/22 11:53 AM Re: Thermal Scopes (your advice needed) [Re: Tonester]
gr8fuldoug Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 08/13/12
Posts: 1150
Loc: NY, USA
Have you considered the Pulsar Thermion XM30. It is lightweight and has 10 different reticle options to choose from. It does have black hot and white out along with 6 other options. Recording capability and is a good unit for 150 yards and below. Battery life is about 7 hours on average.

Pulsar’s Thermion XM30 3.5-14x Thermal Riflescope is a harmony of advanced technology, smart convenience and rugged reliability. Boasting 12 µm pixel pitch with 320x240 resolution, the Thermion XM30 detects heat signatures of adult-sized objects up to 1,400 yards away and displays them on a pristine 1024x768 AMOLED display. With 3.5-14x magnification and rock, forest and identification modes, the fixed-focus XM30 is the ideal scope to locate your target. Its Wi-Fi connectivity, Stream Vision app compatibility and built-in recording with sound mean the XM30 will capture and preserve all your hunting memories. Notoriously durable, the XM30 is housed in a metal body with IP67 dust- and waterproof rating, operating temperatures from -13F to 122F and can withstand recoil up to .375 H&H. Other features include 5 rifle profiles with 50 zero saves, 13 variable electronic reticles, color viewing modes and a stadiametric rangefinder with detection capabilities up to 1475 yards. The XM30 is powered by a B-Pack Mini Li-Ion battery with up to 5 hours of life.

Features
320x240 resolution
12µ pixel pitch core
1400 yd detection range
8x digital zoom - continuous zoom and stepped zoom
Picture in picture digital zoom
Built-in recording with sound
Stream Vision app connects scope to smart device
External power supply adaptable
5 rifle profiles with 50 zero saves
13 variable electronic reticles
One-shot zeroing with freeze function
Color viewing modes
High resolution AMOLED display
Stadiametric rangefinder
Rock / forest / identification viewing modes
Manual / automatic / semi-automatic calibration modes
Defective pixel repair feature

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#3290588 - 01/10/22 01:10 PM Re: Thermal Scopes (your advice needed) [Re: Tonester]
Kino M Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 10/16/04
Posts: 1074
Loc: Southern Indiana
Tonester, what type of rifle do you intend to use it on, that can make a huge difference in scopes because the vast majority are designed for ARs.

On ARs in that price range I recommend the Bering Hogster 35r or save until you can get a Super Hogster or Iray Rico Bravo.

For a bolt action I recommend the Iray Bolt or a Pulsar Thermion XM30.


Now I'm really going to through you a curve ball, buy a scanner FIRST and shoot with a red light until you can afford a scope also. You spend 99% of your time behind a scanner and 1% shooting, you will thank me later, trust me!
_________________________
Been there, done that many times and have the DD214 to prove it....

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#3290597 - 01/10/22 01:45 PM Re: Thermal Scopes (your advice needed) [Re: Tonester]
Tonester Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 04/20/13
Posts: 442
Loc: SE Nebraska
I like that idea. A scanner first - with red high powered light.

TC
_________________________
There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you--who are you to judge your neighbor?

James 4:12

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#3290603 - 01/10/22 02:23 PM Re: Thermal Scopes (your advice needed) [Re: Kino M]
Erie660 Offline
New Member

Registered: 02/17/21
Posts: 24
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: Kino M
Tonester, what type of rifle do you intend to use it on, that can make a huge difference in scopes because the vast majority are designed for ARs.

On ARs in that price range I recommend the Bering Hogster 35r or save until you can get a Super Hogster or Iray Rico Bravo.

For a bolt action I recommend the Iray Bolt or a Pulsar Thermion XM30.


Now I'm really going to through you a curve ball, buy a scanner FIRST and shoot with a red light until you can afford a scope also. You spend 99% of your time behind a scanner and 1% shooting, you will thank me later, trust me!

What scanner would you recommend? I’m using the red lights at the present time. Thanks

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#3290704 - 01/11/22 10:33 AM Re: Thermal Scopes (your advice needed) [Re: Tonester]
Gman757 Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 1703
Loc: FL
Everything I see in this thread so far is good advice. You should consider a scanner as your first purchase but there is a solution to that decision.

Pulsar, Iray, and Bering Optics are all good units.

The one thing that's not mentioned is Field Of View. When you are using thermal at night you are basically blind beyond the FOV of the unit you are looking through. Generally FOV is determined by lens size but when shopping always check the specs because pixel pitch can affect FOV also.

You need to determine the ranges you hunt at and get a unit that suits your needs. I hunt hogs which means a lot of running shots so FOV is critical for target tracking so I use a unit that provides the FOV I need. If you are a one shot one kill type of hunter you can get by with less FOV in your scope.

FOV should be considered with a scanner also. A bigger lens gives you better long range ID capability but means you must move your head constantly in order to not miss anything in your peripheral areas.

All things considered I will suggest a few units I have field tested for a dealer. They are both made by AGM and I have to say when it comes to bang for your buck they meet that criteria. I have owned at least 10 or 12 units over the years and I currently have 4 I am using so I have a fair amount of thermal experience.

The least expensive scanner I would buy is the Taipan TM19. It has a 12 micron core, adjustable objective and high res screen which is very good for the price point. The 19mm lens gives a decent FOV and even though you can get a higher resolution core and wider relative FOV the point here is cost vs performance.

https://www.agmglobalvision.com/thermal-imaging/thermal-monoculars/agm-taipan-tm19-384

The scope I would look at is the Rattler. They make a 25mm or 35mm so check the FOV and get the one that suits your needs. One point that you can consider is that these units are light and small enough to be used as scanners also so consider the FOV for that application as warranted. They also come with single lever ADM mounts which are high quality mounts with very good POI repeatability.

https://www.agmglobalvision.com/thermal-imaging/thermal-weapon-sights/agm-rattler-ts25-384

https://www.agmglobalvision.com/thermal-imaging/thermal-weapon-sights/agm-rattler-ts35-384

If you shop the web you will beat the retail prices listed at the AGM website.

NOTE: I don't want to get into a tit for tat exchange about how somebody's else's unit is better because I know there are a LOT of good thermal units out there and certainly there are better ones available. I own several expensive Trijiicon units and a few others. I am making these choices based on "Bang for your Buck" for the guys that want to get into thermal units without breaking the bank.



Edited by Gman757 (01/15/22 07:59 AM)

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#3290734 - 01/11/22 02:08 PM Re: Thermal Scopes (your advice needed) [Re: Erie660]
Kino M Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 10/16/04
Posts: 1074
Loc: Southern Indiana
Originally Posted By: Erie660
Originally Posted By: Kino M
Tonester, what type of rifle do you intend to use it on, that can make a huge difference in scopes because the vast majority are designed for ARs.

On ARs in that price range I recommend the Bering Hogster 35r or save until you can get a Super Hogster or Iray Rico Bravo.

For a bolt action I recommend the Iray Bolt or a Pulsar Thermion XM30.


Now I'm really going to through you a curve ball, buy a scanner FIRST and shoot with a red light until you can afford a scope also. You spend 99% of your time behind a scanner and 1% shooting, you will thank me later, trust me!

What scanner would you recommend? I’m using the red lights at the present time. Thanks


Gman gives some good information and options. FOV in a scanner is suoer important for most styles of night hunting and IMO something with about 2x base mag is perfect for coyote hunting use. Guys that are looking at feeders for hogs down south probably want something different however. I'm not a hog hunter so I can't speak from experience.

Don't be afraid to spend money on your scanner, IMO its the single most important part of the equipment as in all honesty you simply don't need a 640 scope to kill with.

Pulsar makes solid scanners at various price points. AGM makes extremely good scanners, I own an AGM ASP TM35-384 that is rock solid and can be had for around 2k. I also have a Bering Phenom 640 thats nice and can be had for a little less than 3k. Its a step up from my AGM but not drastically. I have two buddies that bought Bering Prodigy Pros and they are completely garbage, stay away from them!

Hope this helps but as I stated earlier, start with a scanner and build from there.


Edited by Kino M (01/11/22 02:09 PM)
_________________________
Been there, done that many times and have the DD214 to prove it....

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