Thermal Imaging Rifle Scope Hunting
Technologies behind thermal scopes used to be prohibitively expensive. Thermal Imaging Rifle Scope Hunting. They were only available to those with big pockets and large budgets, such as the military and the larger law enforcement agencies. But with all the advancements of technology, price point of thermal scopes has dropped significantly and they’re now more readily available than they have ever been.
The growing accessibility of thermal scopes has led to an increase in demand for night-time hunting activities like coyotes and hogs. This increasing demand from consumers has prompted dozens of companies to enter the market and provide thermal scopes available to a larger group of shooters and hunters as never before. Whether you’re looking to get your first or upgrade to an more advanced model, we’ll present to you some options for the best thermal scopes so that you too can get in on the action.
The Best Thermal Scopes For 2022
- Best Value for Money: OPMOD Thor LT 3-6x
- Best Over $5000: Trijicon IR Hunter MK3
- The Best Thermal Scope for Under 500 dollars: AGM Secutor TS25-384
- The best thermal scope under $2000: ATN Thor HD 384 2-8x
- The Best Value Thermal Scope: ATN Thor 4 384 1.25-5x
- Ideal for hunting: ATN Thor LT 160 3-x
- The best thermal scope for hunting hogs: Sig Sauer Echo 3
- Best Clip-On Thermal Scope: Burris BTC 50
- Best for Surveillance: Trijicon IR-Patrol IRMO 300 Rifle Kit
Things to Consider Before Buying a Thermal Scope
It’s likely that you’ve figured out already it’s true that best thermal scopes aren’t cheap. The majority of people won’t go out and drop large sums of money on a thermal scope on a whim. There are some things that you should think about first before making a decision on what thermal scope is the best choice for you. (Or really whether you really require one or that money is better spent elsewhere.)
Naturally, the decision lies with you, but if you decide that your next big gun-related purchase is going to be a thermal scope, then here are some of the things you need to consider before spending your hard-earned cash:
There’s a great deal of technology packed into the thermal scope, and it’s got to have some type of battery that can power it. There aren’t all batteries in the same way, and you want to be sure that your thermal scope will stay powered up for as long as you need it. This means you’ll want to take into consideration how long you plan to be using the scope for in one period, how long does it take to charge, and how much do spare batteries cost.
Some thermal scopes come with WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, and more. These are all really cool features to have however, you must think about what you’ll use this thermal scope for and whether these extra features are worth the cost or not. For instance, do you really need to be able to stream your scope image to your mobile device?
Price And Budget
The best thermals are going to exceed $5000. While they’re often the most expensive scopes that you can purchase but you’ll also get useful applications from the $2000-$5000 range. If you’re searching for a bargain thermal scope under $1000, you’ll not find one. There are some thermal scopes under $2000, but they must be specific to the brand in order for a high-quality assurance of warranty and money-back guarantee since quality control issues are to be expected in this price range.
Size And Weight
Thermal imaging scopes are large and heavy. The average weight of a thermal rifle scope is around 2 pounds. The light thermals weigh around 1-1.5 pounds, which is equivalent to regular morning rifle scopes. While thermals may be around the same size as traditional rifle scopes, and even smaller but the internal components required to create thermal imaging makes them wider. Their weight and size can affect your hunting or tactical weapon and sight system.
An option that is lightweight and compact may be to consider an attachment system that clips onto your scope. In addition to reducing the weight and size, but they’re specifically designed to be placed in front of your daytime scope and are easily removed and attached.
Thermals can provide more than 1000 yards of range of detection on targets regardless of the day or night conditions. However the distance that you can identify and recognize what you are looking for will be considerably shorter.
The ranges of these will differ between manufacturers, models, and quality. The thermal detector’s sensitivity is the prime factor you will want to research. An increase in magnification may help quickly detect and recognize an object that is far away, but it may also lead to low pixel density, which can result in a pixelated image. Display resolution is also a factor in the quality of the image. Thermal Imaging Rifle Scope Hunting.
Which is Better Thermal Or Night Vision?
Instead of looking at whether the night vision scope can be superior than thermal or vice versa, the real problem is:
Which option would work best for your needs and budget?
By the end of this guide, you’ll know precisely the answer.
Let’s get started!
Night vision works by taking light or reflections of light and intensifying them into an image that is crystal clear.
Thus, it requires some type of ambient light for it to work.
If you shoot at night the moon’s light and stars usually provide enough light. Modern models have infrared illuminations that function as flashlights to illuminate the scope but aren’t visible the naked eye.
If you’re browsing the market to purchase night vision optics there are three rating for these — Gen I, II, or III. The simpler the definition, the higher the generation, the better the quality.
There’s also a newer class of night vision scopes called Digital Night Vision.
The standard night vision shows the standard green and black and the modern digital night vision is typically displayed in black and white on the LCD screen.
- Night vision offers a superior image.
- It lets you distinguish between the finer detail. Additionally, night vision scopes are cheaper and more smaller in dimensions. It’s not subject to cold weather.
The night vision technology is in use more in comparison to thermal optics. Night vision scopes are commonly used for be mounted on rifles and are overall more robust, stable and absorb recoil like a champ.
- The need for ambient light is what makes night vision limited.
If you don’t have an infrared light source that isn’t in use, it’s unusable in dark areas. It’s not recommended to use it in sunlight as it could is permanently damaged when exposed to high-intensity light.
Thermal scopes detect radiation or heat released from any living thing. Thermal imaging uses a special type of lens that concentrates upon infrared light and creates an image known as a thermogram. The thermogram is later converted into electrical signals that form a picture displayed on screen. Thermal Imaging Rifle Scope Hunting.
- The thermal vision is a little more versatile since it is able to be utilized in any kind of lighting situation. In reality, one of the most significant advantages to thermal imaging scopes is that they are able to function properly in daylight and night and do not need infrared light. On top of that, you’ll be able to see through dust, smoke and fog easily. That’s why firefighters employ thermal technology.
- The main disadvantage associated with thermal imaging can be that it is quite heavy to transport. It is also costly and may require you to undergo training to be able to read the images correctly. The battery life is often short while the overall quality of an image may be negatively affected by temperatures that are colder.
How Long does the Thermal Scope last?
In the an average thermal scopes can last for around eight hours on one charge. The various models can last between 2-10 hours. Recently, ATN has managed to manufacture ultra-low consumption thermal scopes that provide more than 10 hours of continuous use.
Why do Thermal Scopes cost so much?
In general, thermal scopes can be expensive because of the advanced technology components. There are also cost differences with various features such as Bluetooth connectivity and palette modifications or ballistic applications, and more. Be that as it may, thermals start at a sensible price of $1000.
How Far can Thermal Rifle Scopes See?
How far thermal rifle scopes can see will depend on the resolution and the magnification setting. Generally, even entry-level thermals will detect heat signals up to 1,000plus yards. The most advanced thermals can detect past 4000 yards, however target identification is another matter.
Can You Make Use of Thermal Scope for Daylight?
Contrary with night vision scopes however, you can also use the thermal scope in the daytime without harming components. Instead of increasing light, thermal scopes read heat signatures. The dual-use functionality is an important benefit of opting for thermal instead of night vision and making the most of your investment. Thermal Imaging Rifle Scope Hunting.