The 21st century is the age of technologies and modernization. Scientists come up with new ideas every day, and then manufacturers take these ideas to create something new, something better. Regarding optics for shooting and hunting, the progress is significant in this niche. Thermal scopes are one of the techiest and accurate scopes on the market.
If you are looking for such a sight and you can’t choose the most suitable one or if you haven’t heard about them yet, we’ve prepared a little guide. This top 14 will answer the most popular question about thermal scopes, what their peculiarities are, and where you can find what you need. So, get ready to make yourself familiar with the best models.
TOP-14 Best Thermal Scope
#1 ATN ThOR 4 640 2.5-25x Thermal Smart HD Rifle Scope
The first thing you have to realize is that these scopes are pricey enough, and the more you pay — the more you get. For example, this model has a decent range of features and great characteristics that will satisfy all your needs, but the price is rather high. It’s a 640×480 pixel dual core thermal sensor of the 4th generation that allows you to view and record HD videos at the same time. The magnification here is insane and it’s up to 25 times, meanwhile, the detection range is 1950m. Moreover, this model is compatible with iOS and Android devices and can be connected using wi-fi or Bluetooth. It also offers the ballistic calculator feature, gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer, smart range finder, GPS tracking, and e-compass. The product comes with a 3-year warranty.
#2 Pulsar Trail 1.6-12.8×42 LRF XP50 Thermal Riflescope
Another great model with a lot of useful features and nice parameters. This scope with an HD thermal sensor has a heat signatures’ detection range of 2,000 yards and 1,100 yards of possible pinging distance. Plus, you can record 640×480 videos on the internal 8GB memory or connect to streaming apps via wi-fi. Customize your scope with 13 different reticle options and 3 profiles with 5 zero saves. The magnification here is weaker but it’s still good, so you can zoom up to 12.8x. Purchasing this model, you get a great complete set with all necessary accessories, a 3-year warranty, and, of course, an amazing scope with many useful features that works for 8 hours from one charge.
#3 ATN ThOR 4 384 1.25-5x Thermal Smart HD Rifle Scope
For those who don’t need such expensive models, there is a solution called ATN ThOR 4 384. This model has the same range of features as the first on the list, but its characteristics much lower, and the size is a bit smaller. Thus, you can still record or stream videos while aiming and enjoy features, such as the accelerometer, ballistic calculator, and so on. But the thermal sensor resolution is only 384×288 pixels, range detection is 750m, and magnification is from 1.25x to 5x. The good news is that this model has a durable battery with 18 hours of lifetime.
#4 ATN ThOR LT 3-6x Thermal Rifle Scope
Can you find an even cheaper model? Sure, but it’s complicated to find a good one. That’s why we want to tell you about this scope that is still rather efficient for such a price. ATN thermal scopes offer a few things that do not differ from model to model. For instance, it’s a 1280×720 HD display with 2 viewing modes: a black-hot and a white-hot mode. The thermal sensor resolution here is only 160×120, and it’s not possible to record or stream videos. The magnification range is from 3x to 6x. However, it’s a light, compact model with 10+ working time that can be easily mounted on crossbows, air rifles, and other weapons that is not compatible with heavy optics.
#5 ATN ThOR 4 640 1.5-15x Thermal Smart HD Rifle Scope
You must take a look at this model if you are looking for a good balance. It has great value for money because it offers top characteristics for a reasonable price. This scope is equipped with a 4th gen dual-core ultra-sensitive thermal sensor and it provides a 15x magnification with a 1050m range detection. Besides, it works for up to 18 hours from one charge. In addition to this, you can enjoy all the features of the best ATN scopes: ballistic calculator, wi-fi, Bluetooth, recoil activated video, and so on. View a crystal clear image with the help of a 1280×720 display and record Full HD videos on a micro SD card.
#6 ATN OPMOD ThOR LT 4-8x Thermal Rifle Scope
This model will suit hunters because it’s cheap, easy to install, and compact. The scope uses standard 30mm rings to mount and can be mounted onto crossbows and air rifles. This model offers a 4-8x magnification, custom reticle for hog haunting, white/black hot viewing modes, 160×120 thermal sensor resolution, and a 1280×720 display. With the help of the QD mount kit, the scope is super easy to install. Plus, you can enjoy the following features: 10 hours of battery lifetime, 3D accelerometer, multiple reticle colors, various reticle patterns, weather resistance, and recoil resistance.
#7 Pulsar Thermion XM50 Thermal Riflescope
For those looking for something advanced for a rather reasonable price, XM50 is a good choice. This is a scope that offers an amazing detection range of 2300m, great magnification from 5.5x to 22x, a 340×220 pixels thermal sensor with video recording and streaming, IP67 waterproof rating, and durable materials. Besides, you can customize the sight as you wish: 13 reticle options, 5 rifle profiles with 50 zero saves, black-hot / white-hot viewing modes. HD AMOLED display ensures a great picture and 2 Li-Ion batteries allow you to use this scope for a long time.
#8 Pulsar Core RXQ30V 1.6-6.4x22mm Thermal Imaging Riflescope
This is a very balanced model with basic features to satisfy basic shooters’ needs. It’s easy to install and compact, which is great because the scope is compatible with the majority of weapons. This model is equipped with a 384×288 thermal sensor and it can detect heat at a distance of 985 yards. With the help of this scope, you can view and record 640×480 videos simultaneously. The magnification here is quite good — from 1.6x to 6x. The weak side of this model is battery life because it’s only 4 hours. There are no many features or outstanding functions in the scope, but you should take a look at it.
#9 ATN ThOR-HD 1.25-5x Thermal Smart HD Rifle Scope
One more inexpensive solution for haunting down your targets. It’s a great thermal imaging scope by ATN with a 384×288 thermal sensor resolution, 1.25x to 5x magnification, about 8 working hours, RAV feature, wi-fi and Bluetooth compatibility, accelerometer, magnetometer, gyroscope, e-barometer, weather resistance, smart range finder, and more features. Control the scope remotely and enjoy your shooting experience without complications. In addition to this purchase, you will obtain a 3-year warranty.
#10 IR Defense IR Hunter MKII 640×480 Multi-Use Thermal Weapon Sight
In the 10th place, there is a durable, professional, high-quality scope equipped with a 640×480 MicroIR Thermal Sensor. It uses the MicroIR 12um Micron technology designed by IR Defense. This technology is more efficient, compared to a 17um system. It provides 35% more magnification, lower power consumption, and a crisp, sharp image that you can view with the help of an OLED display with a 60hz frame rate. The magnification type here is fixed, battery life is about from 4 to 5 hours. This is not a cheap device, moreover, there are not many features. But the reliability and quality of this model are very high.
#11 Pulsar Trail LRF XQ50 Thermal Riflescope PL76518
A very strong and confident competitor that has a lot to show is LRF XQ50. This scope uses a 384×288 thermal sensor with a 640×480 AMOLED display to detect and view targets at a 2,000 yards distance. The scope also has a laser range finder that works for up to 1,100 yards. From 2.7 to 10.8 variable magnification makes it possible to obtain a crisp image of any object at any distance. The working time of the device has a pretty standard value of 8 hours. To make it even more efficient, you can choose one of 13 reticle options to adjust color, brightness, and patterns. Plus, this model offers the following features: recoil-operated video and audio recording, IPX7 waterproof rating, accelerator, gyroscope, temperature stabilization.
#12 ATN OPMOD ThOR LT 3-6x Thermal Rifle Scope
Let’s go back to the low-budget segment and choose one more cheap thermal scope. This is a light and compact scope that is incredibly easy to install, thanks to the 30mm standard rings system. This means you can mount this model on crossbows and air rifles. Change magnification level from 3 to 6x to view all necessary details on a cool 1280×720 display, use the white-hot or black-hot mode to make the image clearer, depending on the situation. You can also customize reticle patterns and colors. The scope is waterproof and it lasts for 10 hours from one charge. However, such models are mainly created for hunting.
#13 ATN ThOR 4 640 4-40x Thermal Smart HD Rifle Scope
We have already reviewed thermal scopes by ATN that are equipped with 4th gen dual-core thermal sensors. This sensor ensures incredible accuracy and detection range. The outstanding parameter of particularly this model is the range because the scope supports up to 40 times magnification with a detection distance of 3300m. Other characteristics are standard for this type of scopes, so you can enjoy a lot of useful features mentioned above and record full HD videos of your shooting.
#14 ATN ThOR 4 384 4.5-18x Thermal Smart HD Rifle Scope
And the last one is also a representative of the 4th gen dual-core technology. It also has an integrated laser range finder. The rest of the features are the same, so there is no point in listing them one more time. Regarding characteristics, this scope provides 18x magnification and a 1800m detection distance. What makes this model a good choice is its battery life that is 18 hours and a reasonably balanced value for money.
In the end, we want to pick a few best representatives of expensive models and cheap models to facilitate your search as much as possible.
- №2 Pulsar Trail 1.6-12.8×42 LRF XP50 Thermal Riflescope
- №10 IR Defense IR Hunter MKII 640×480 Multi-Use Thermal Weapon Sight
What scope did you like more? Choose it and buy it!
My articles are precisely analyzed technical information and equipment specifications that allow a real hunter to assemble a decent set of weapons for multi-day outings in the wild. From the tents to the well-oiled gun, everything should meet the demands of the extreme entertainment enthusiast. Technically perfect weapons can greatly facilitate hunting even in the wilderness — choosing only the most qualitative, modern optics and other accessories for weapons, hunting efficiency will be maximum.
When choosing a weapon for hunting, pay attention to its specifications, and, above all, to the convenience for yourself — using high-quality equipment, you will discover the wonderful world of accurate shooting and successful hunting even in those weather conditions that don’t imply hope for the shooter's eyes. Yury Alexeev - weapon and hunting expert, CEO of Silencer.Systems
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