LaneC

Thermal Rifle Scopes? Thoughts?

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Interested in information on a Thermal imaging rifle scope. What is a specific Brand/Model/Price that you can recommend? I know there are bargain basement models-prices and then the "real deal" models-prices. Which brands to avoid? Etc. Would rather get informed first then spend the $$. Might install on a .223 or .308 rifle. Thanks. LaneC

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LANE, I tried like you to find reasonable information about thermal night vison and just night vison in general. the problem is those knuckleheads hired the same people to prepare the tech info that do most electronics, because every brand details diff specs so you cant compare them!  I spent 2 years and just gave up and was quite willing to spend up to $12k for the right unit.  a close friend has more than $20k invested in night vison and constantly raves about how great it all is. I invited him to the ranch for a hog hunt and a demo. after 4+ hours he wan not able to get ne of the 3 systems functioning. the ONLY unit we could operate? his low end $800. hand held monocular viewer. I think this is much like finding a car salesman you are comfortable with .  good luck!


I only accept postal money orders. contact me DIRECTLY before sending any funds                                           email  myoldiron@outlook.com        

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I do PVS's on my guns.  I use an MTM handheld thermal for scanning and finding stuff, but you can't see jack with a thermal.  A rabbit looks like a squirrel...etc.  The PVS gives you fine detail that I like to see as well as brush/ trees that are tough to see at distance on a thermal scope.  If it's close in I have a pvs 14 under 250 yds and a pvs 22 out longer since I can go to 8x with it without losing too much image quality.  Last time I target shot with that and a can I was pulling 1" groups at 180 yds before the mosquitoes got me, because I could actually see a 2" dot on cardboard at that distance.  Probably not going to happen with thermal.  I used to think having a pvs was great because that's what I started with, but since I got the thermal I feel there's no way to have one without the other since having one or the other is only 40% capability, vs. both gives you target ID and precision shooting and the ability to quickly locate most anything. 

It's been a few years since I looked at scopes, but when I did it was a 3500 unit with color capability that on paper had higher resolution than the MTM, but in reality resolution was worse and the colors were really nothing more than a distraction.   white/ black is really all you need IMO.  The bad part is I just got lucky buying what I did, and did not waste cash on junk units, so unless you know someone it's tough to compare all this stuff since it's not "off the shelf".  I've most always gone with milsurp stuff since it has a track record and parts are available in the markeplace. I hear horror stories about parts availability for "commercial" units, though admittedly those are second hand since I don't own any.

I have about every US NV unit since the snooperscope since I collect that stuff to go with the MG collection .....and all of it works

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Lane, I bought a FLIR 233 about three years ago for about $1800 with a discount, and I'm really impressed with its features. There are numerous online videos showing its use in the field, and reviews I've read only criticize short battery life from its two CR-123s, but it will accept external power. I've only played with it off the gun,  and the visual quality is amazing. I didn't have a gun that I wanted to dedicate for night-use only at the time, but have now selected one to serve that purpose, plus, it has a side rail that will accommodate a reflex sight for daytime. With the current situation in our country, it makes no sense to have it sitting in the box.

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TNVC seems to be on it's game when dealing with NV and Thermal stuff.. or they appear to be. Maybe call them up and just chat with them about it.

7 years ago I looked through a Trijicon thermal optic mounted on a rifle, at Shot Show. It was pretty good, but lacked the extra functionality you can get in today's Thermal. They probably had FLIR make it for them.  FLIR seems to make really good thermal stuff.

I've only played with Thermal handheld meters such as FLIR and Fluke. They were meant for scanning industrial motors and such for overheating of ball bearings and such. The old models was just thermal and it was hard to figure where your looking at. Fluke had a combination camera and thermal sensor that overlaid on each other so you could tell what you were seeing.. but likely the optics your looking at doesn't do that since there so much that could go wrong.

For my gear I went with a PVS14, PEQ15 laser (got the PEQ before MAWL came out), and a dedicated IR illuminator.  You can see a lot of detail. with the PVS in combination with a good illuminator. Some of the accessories on the PVS 14 are pretty amazing, making stuff more convenient to see things close and far away without having to adjust the aperture of the PVS14 (which is a pain)

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Thanks all for your comments. Very helpful.

I remember a similar situation in 1991 when I wanted an AR-15 and never owned one before. Really was not informed at all on any black rifles. I just kept asking questions and the answer was a COLT for function and resale value, or BUSHMASTER. I bought both over the years and was happy with both of them, but in fact, I liked the BUSHMASTER better.

But, on the Thermal scope, not too much time left to find something that's affordable and functional before the SHTF! ha. Lane

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I have a  trijicon Electro-Optics IR Hunter Mk III 35mm Thermal Scope (640 x 480) which I really like, it has about the best resolution I have seen.

 

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I would second the Trijicon. I have a M300 for spotting and a Reap IR2 mounted  both units resolution are Incredible.And needless to say Trijicon’s warranty is second to none in the industry which is worth all the money on a thermal unit

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