It has been a while since I reviewed any kind of optics. It’s almost Christmas, so I figured I could go and buy myself a new riflescope. I am taking it up a notch and get thermal imaging, something I’ve never tried before. From my initial reading, these riflescopes are advantageous over simple optics with night-vision options with their thermal imaging. Of course, I need to look through several products to get to my conclusion.
Listed below are the top ones I found by searching through the internet. They can be on the pricier side of optics, but that’s what you get for wanting a hi-tech scope with all the bells and whistles. It will probably be the most expensive scope in my collection right now, so we’ll see how this goes.
Best Thermal Scopes Evaluated
- White Hot/ Black Hot/ Rainbow/ Various Color modes
- Digital E-Zoom: 1x, 2x, and 4x
- Water Resistant, CNC machined aircraft-aluminum alloy construction
Our Best Thermal Riflescopes List
The pros are that it has a lot of promising features and that it can be operated using a remote. I also like the various reticles. Most of my optics are MOA dots, and I have not ventured out of them. It would be nice to try new reticles.
The one con is that the product has been discontinued. I also do not like the fact that it uses round batteries. It can be a real hassle when buying some on your way to the range then picking up the wrong ones. It’s also priced a little above my reach.
FLIR created Armasight in 2011 as an innovative company that produces top-notch thermal riflescopes. FLIR Systems or Forward Looking Infrared Systems, on the other hand, has been in the industry since 1978. Armasight extends a one-year warranty for its products. With its new warranty, however, this period can be extended to three years if the product is registered within 60 days after purchase. The new warranty is not retroactive.Show more
The Armasight comes in black and tan. It is 291 mm in length, 89 mm in width, and its lens is 75 mm in diameter. It weighs 2.4 pounds. The magnification ranges from 5 to 20 with a resolution of 480 to 640 pixels. The eye relief is 45 mm. The angle for the field of view is 3.3 degrees, and its focus range is 10 meters to infinity.
Two CR123A batteries operate the riflescope. The battery compartment is on the left side of the optic from the shooter’s point of view. Two batteries can last anywhere from 4 to 12 hours, depending on the conditions and use. The riflescope can withstand -40 to 50 degrees Celsius. According to one question and answer item, this scope is not for guns above .308 caliber.
The riflescope can be operated by remote. It displays important information like battery status and numeric temperature readings. It has six reticles including a no reticle option. The other five are 4 MOA dot, line dot, cross-center dot, cross, and crosshair.
The riflescope fits any Picatinny and Weaver rails with a quick-release mount that can be adjusted to one’s needs. The inside of the lens is filled with dry nitrogen to prevent fogging. It is water-resistant. Purchasers may opt to buy a video recorder for the Armasight Zeus 5.
Every purchase comes with a battery cassette, a lens cap, an eyecup that is adjustable to the user’s preference, batteries, the manual, and a video cable. The remote needed to operate the riflescope is called Advanced Wireless Remote Control or AWREC. It comes along with a Picatinny rail for the remote. Every purchase also includes a hard container/storage case and a soft carrying case.
Most of the reviews online had been nothing but praises for this riflescope, and that sounds promising, considering that it is a discontinued product. However, one review stood out by stating that their riflescope failed to operate after being used in cold temperatures. It was sent three times for repair until it eventually could not be switched on.
The pros for this scope is the detachability of the scope. I also count its resolution as a pro, like a really good Youtube video without the pixelation problem. I also like the black-hot and white-hot modes. Most of all, I like the idea of a rechargeable battery for my scope.
The cons, however, is the fact that ATN no longer produces it. Another con is the detachability. I know I said that it is a pro, but it can also be a con, especially for those who don’t know how to secure it just right.
Founded in 1995, ATN is now a leading company in the optics race with its 4K Resolution Digital Smart Optics for both day and night hunting along with its Smart Thermal Imaging Optics for a different night vision experience. ATN boasts of its innovative Obsidian 4 Core with Dual Processor that guarantees faster imaging capabilities and sight performance. For this particular scope, ATN offers a Lifetime Warranty.Show more
The OPMOD ThOR is 2.2 inches or 56 mm wide and in height, while it is 11.5 inches or 292 mm long. It weighs 1.4 pounds. The lens diameter is 30 mm. The sensor resolution is 160 by 120 pixels, while the display resolution is a clear 1280 by 720 pixels. Eye relief is at 90 mm. The refresh rate is 60 Hz. The diopter needs only to be adjusted once for each user of the scope. It also has a distance focus adjustment ring. With its One Shot Zero focus, zeroing in on your target is easier by just taking a shot and adjusting your reticle.
The scope runs on a rechargeable battery and can be continuously used for 10 hours. Charging time from an empty battery to full is approximately 6 hours on a 2A USB charger. The wall charger is not included in the purchase. It can operate from -12 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or -28 to 48 degrees Celsius. The controls for the scope are found at the top. The port for charging the battery is on the left side from the rear.
It has Black-hot or White-hot modes, whichever is much more preferred by the user. It also draws attention to the fact that it has a 68 MOA reticle which gives faster target acquisition over long distances. It has multiple reticle colors and patterns. It is also resistant to recoil.
Every purchase comes with the scope itself, ATN ThOR LT Thermal Rifle Scope, a quick detach mount, lens tissue, eyecup, a USB-C cable for charging the battery, and a scope cover.
The mount is a pair of 30 mm standard rings designed to fit around the scope nicely. First, determine your eye relief adjustment. Then, the bottom half of the mounting ring should be mounted first before the scope is placed. Screw the top half of the rings and apply equal torque to all eight screws.
Being a budget scope does not prevent the OPMOD ThOR from gaining a lot of positive reviews online. However, there are a few reviews that beg to disagree, though these stem mostly from shipping delays. One irate review reveals that the product is discontinued and thus not covered by the lifetime warranty.
The pros are that it is remote controlled and uses rechargeable batteries. It is also made for civilian use which is nice.
The one thing I’m not sure about this purchase is that it is a Weaver rail. All my optics are Picatinny or at least Weaver/Picatinny, and I don’t have to worry about the adjustments. That is just my opinion, of course.
Pulsar is affiliated with Yukon Advanced Optics, which was founded in 1998. While Pulsar is described as a professional line of optics, Yukon produces optics only for civilian use. This particular model I am reviewing is covered by Sightmark Limited Lifetime Warranty – Pulsar 3-year warranty.Show more
The Pulsar Thermion XP50 is 11.22 inches long, 4.01 inches in height, and 2.99 inches in width. It weighs 25 ounces. The lens diameter is 42 mm. The video record, sensor, and display resolution are all 640 by 480 pixels. Magnification ranges from 1.6 to 12.8. The refresh rate is at 50 Hz.
The reticle is variable electronic on the second focal plane. Eye relief is 2 inches with 1 MOA adjustments. The field of view angle is 12.4 degrees while the linear is 65.4 to 48.9 feet at 100 yards. The range of heat detection sits at 2000 yards which is impressive. The minimum focus distance is 16 feet.
It operates on two 18650 lithium rechargeable batteries. They are slotted through a compartment on the left side of the scops. It can run for 8 hours with each pair of batteries. It can withstand extreme temperatures from -13 to 122 Fahrenheit.
The attachment this scope uses is Weaver rail. The scope is made from glass-nylon composite with a matte finish. Every purchase comes with the battery pack and charging kit, a USB cable, a remote control, a fixed Weaver or Picatinny rail, a cleaning cloth, a carrying case, and a hex wrench.
There are a handful of reviews online about the Pulsar Trail. Most of them hail the scope as great and that it does work properly; however, one says that it won’t hold zero for him. Even the likes and dislikes for that particular review are split, with the majority claiming the review to be unhelpful.
With all the things above considered, I would have to say that the ATN OPMOD ThOR is the best of the bunch. Though it is detachable, it has longer battery life and has rechargeable batteries. It also has a 68 MOA reticle. Best of all, I can get 1280 by 720-pixel resolution for less than a quarter of the price of the other two. I just have to be patient with my purchase and know that good things come to those who wait.
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Which is the Best Thermal Riflescope?
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Armasight Zeus 336 Thermal Imaging Riflescope