Best Thermal Scope

By: Makosii Olga | 17.10.2022, 13:31
Best Thermal Scope

If you're in the market for a new thermal scope, you've come to the right place. In this blog post, we'll be taking a look at some of the best options on the market, perfect for any hunting situation. Whether you're looking for something budget-friendly or top-of-the-line, we've got you covered. So sit back, relax, and let's find your perfect scope!

BEST CHOICE
ATN Thor 4 Thermal Rifle Scope ATN Thor 4 Thermal Rifle Scope
The ATN Thor 4 is a top-of-the-line thermal imaging scope that offers unprecedented performance and capabilities. It features an ultra-sensitive sensor that is capable of producing crisp and clear images at long ranges with improved resolution. It also features a ballistic calculator to help you make sure your shots are on target, as well as dual-stream video recording so you can record your hunts in HD.
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7 Best Thermal Scopes

Author’s Choice
ATN Thor 4 Thermal Rifle Scope
ATN Thor 4 Thermal Rifle Scope
  • Range 100 yd./ 91m
  • Magnification: 1.25-5x
  • Battery: 18+
  • WiFi/Bluetooth, Video HD
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People’s Choice
ATN Thor LT 160 Thermal Rifle Scope
ATN Thor LT 160 Thermal Rifle Scope
  • Magnification: 4-8x
  • Sensor: 160 or 320 60Hz
  • Charging: USB, type C
  • Lightweight, Easy Mounting
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Premium Choice
Pulsar Trail LRF Thermal Riflescope
Pulsar Trail LRF Thermal Riflescope
  • Resolution Thermal Sensor: 640x480
  • Waterproof IPX7
  • Detects up to 2,000 yards/ 1800 meters Away
  • Magnification range: 1.6-12.8x42
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Best Budget
AGM Rattler TS19-256 Thermal Imaging RifleScope
AGM Rattler TS19-256 Thermal Imaging RifleScope
  • Wi-Fi, USB
  • Digital zoom: 8x
  • Battery: 4.5 hours
  • Resolution:1024×768, OLED display: 0.39-inch
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Hunting Camouflage Scope
ATN MossyOak Thor LT Thermal Scope
ATN MossyOak Thor LT Thermal Scope
  • Magnification: 6 x
  • Battery: 10+ hours
  • 60 Hz refresh
  • HD Display
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Waterproof Thermal Imaging Scope
Pulsar Thermion 2 Thermal Riflescope
Pulsar Thermion 2 Thermal Riflescope
  • IPX7 Waterproof
  • Frame rate 50 Hz
  • Magnification 3.5-14
  • Video and Still-Photo Recording
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High Thermal Resolution
AGM Rattler TS35-384 Thermal Imaging RifleScope
AGM Rattler TS35-384 Thermal Imaging RifleScope
  • Wi-Fi, USB
  • 8x digital zoom
  • Battery: 4.5 hours
  • Thermal resolution of 384x288
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Detailed Overview

Let's look at each sight in more detail and choose the best one for you.

Author's Choice

ATN Thor 4 Thermal Rifle Scope ATN Thor 4 Thermal Rifle Scope
  • Range 100 yd./ 91m
  • Magnification: 1.25-5x
  • Battery: 18+
  • WiFi/Bluetooth, Video HD
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ATN Thor 4 Thermal Rifle Scope is a reliable and durable scope that is perfect for long-range shooting. It features an ultra-sensitive next-gen sensor that is capable of capturing crisp clear images at the furthest ranges with improved resolution, higher sensitivity, and smooth gradations even in total darkness. In addition, the scope comes with a ballistic calculator that helps you determine the exact ballistics for expert long-range shots. Plus, the dual stream video recording allows you to record HD videos to your mobile device and simultaneously record to an SD card inside the scope. And with the RAV (recoil activated video) feature, you don't have to worry about your batteries dying in the field. The ATN Thor 4 scope is perfect for anyone who wants a reliable and durable scope that can handle long-range shooting.

Pros:

  • Eye relief: 90 mm.
  • Range 100 yd./ 91m
  • Ballistic Coefficient 0.371
  • Sensor: Gen4 384/640 60Hz
  • Style: 1.25-5x
  • Battery: 18+
  • WiFi/Bluetooth
  • Video HD
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 13.1 x 3 x 3 inches

Cons:

  • Weather-resistant rather than waterproof

People's Choice

ATN Thor LT 160 Thermal Rifle Scope ATN Thor LT 160 Thermal Rifle Scope
  • Magnification: 4-8x
  • Sensor: 160 or 320 60Hz
  • Charging: USB, type C
  • Lightweight, Easy Mounting
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The ATN Thor LT thermal sight is a sight that uses advanced heat detection sensors that allow you to see in total darkness, through thick fog, smoke and dense vegetation. This scope is also lighter than a conventional scope, making it more maneuverable and balanced on your rifle. Thor LT riflescope has maximum performance with minimum power consumption and batteries that will last for 10+ hours of continuous operation. The riflescope is easy to mount and provides an exceptional observation experience. This thermal imager allows you to focus on what really matters with minimal effort, making your work as easy as possible.

Pros:

  • Magnification: 4-8x
  • Sensor: 160 or 320 60Hz
  • Charging: USB, type C
  • Weather resistant
  • Lightweight
  • Easy Mounting
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 11.5 x 2.2 x 2.2 inches

Cons:

  • For mounting 30mm Standard Rings not included
  • No Video, No WiFi/Bluetooth

Premium Choice

Pulsar Trail LRF Thermal Riflescope Pulsar Trail LRF Thermal Riflescope
  • Resolution Thermal Sensor: 640x480
  • Waterproof IPX7
  • Detects up to 2,000 yards/ 1800 meters Away
  • Magnification range: 1.6-12.8x42
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The Pulsar Trail LRF thermal imaging scope is a top of the line thermal imaging scope that offers unparalleled range and accuracy in detecting thermal signatures. It allows you to see the thermal signatures of targets at a distance of up to 2,000 yards// 1800 meters. It also has an integrated laser rangefinder with an accuracy of up to 1,100 yards and a resolution of 384x288 pixels. The 640x480 pixel AMOLED display provides a crisp image, and the built-in video and audio recording function allows you to capture every movement of the target.The IPX7 waterproof rating ensures that the scope will withstand all weather conditions, and the mobile-friendly design allows you to remotely control the scope and live stream your shooting. It is an ideal scope for hunters, law enforcement and security professionals who need the best thermal imaging technology.

Pros:

  • Integrated Laser Rangefinder
  • Resolution Thermal Sensor: 640x480
  • Waterproof IPX7
  • High Recoil Resistance Rating: 12 Gauge, 9.3x64, .375H&H Shock Resistance
  • Mobile-Friendly with Remote Control and Live Internet Streaming
  • Built-In Video & Sound Recording
  • 3 Types of Zeroing Parameters Memorization
  • Detects up to 2,000 yards/ 1800 meters Away
  • Magnification range: 1.6-12.8x42
  • Battery: Rechargeable B pack

Cons:

  • Some users emphasize that at different temperatures the impact point may change

Best Budget

AGM Rattler TS19-256 Thermal Imaging RifleScope AGM Rattler TS19-256 Thermal Imaging RifleScope
  • Wi-Fi, USB
  • Digital zoom: 8x
  • Battery: 4.5 hours
  • Resolution:1024×768, OLED display: 0.39-inch
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The AGM Rattler TS19-256 thermal imaging scope is a powerful scope capable of detecting even the smallest thermal signals. It has a thermal resolution of 256x192, a highly sensitive 12 micron detector and a 0.39 inch OLED display with a resolution of 1024x768. The scope is mainly used for scenarios such as patrolling, hunting, etc. Powered by two CR123 batteries, the AGM Rattler TS-256 provides up to 4.5 hours of continuous operation. An external 5V power bank (battery pack) can be easily connected via the USB connector to significantly increase the operating time. Built-in Wi-Fi module for live video streaming and recording video/images through the app. With 8x digital zoom, this riflescope is ideal for those who want to get the most out of their hunting or tactical experience.

Pros:

  • Wi-Fi, USB
  • 8x digital zoom
  • Battery: 4.5 hours
  • 1024×768 resolution 0.39-inch OLED display
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 7.4 x 2.5 x 3.1 inches

Cons:

  • Average battery life

Hunting Camouflage Scope

ATN MossyOak Thor LT Thermal Scope ATN MossyOak Thor LT Thermal Scope
  • Magnification: 6 x
  • Battery: 10+ hours
  • 60 Hz refresh
  • HD Display
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The ATN MossyOak Thor LT Thermal Scope is a high-end thermal imaging rifle scope that uses thermal imaging to help you see the heat signatures of animals, making it easier and faster to find targets. The rifle scope also features a White Hot/Black Hot mode to display moving targets in your preferred color palette, and the One Shot Zero feature allows you to quickly and easily aim the rifle scope at your target. In addition, the scope has a classic ergonomic design, user-friendly interface and a wide field of view. It is also easy to mount on almost any platform using standard 30 mm diameter mounting rings. Reliable assistant, camouflage coloring that will help you clearly find and observe targets.

Pros:

  • Magnification: 6 x
  • Battery: 10+ hours
  • 60 Hz refresh
  • HD Display, user-friendly interface and a one shot zeroing ability
  • Rugged, durable, and dependable constructed of a hardened aluminum alloy
  • Recoil resistant to higher caliber weapons
  • Lightweight at 1.4 pounds

Cons:

  • Restricted for Export

Waterproof Thermal Imaging Scope

Pulsar Thermion 2 Thermal Riflescope Pulsar Thermion 2 Thermal Riflescope
  • IPX7 Waterproof
  • Frame rate 50 Hz
  • Magnification 3.5-14
  • Video and Still-Photo Recording
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The Pulsar Thermion 2 thermal imaging scope is a high-end thermal imaging scope that provides a detection range of 1,975 yards with a resolution of 640x480 and a pixel pitch of 17 microns. It also features F/1.0 fast aperture germanium optics and a 1024x768 pixel AMOLED display. This high-tech scope allows you to see in the dark and record what you see. Digital zoom and the ability to record still images make it ideal for sharing your thermal adventures with others. The IPX7 waterproof rating means you can use it in any weather. Finally, it has 16 GB of internal memory.

Pros:

  • IPX7 Waterproof
  • Frame rate 50 Hz
  • Magnification 3.5-14
  • Recoil Rated up to .375 H&H, 12-Gauge and 9.3x64
  • Stream Vision App Supported
  • B-Pack Mini Combined Power System
  • Video and Still-Photo Recording
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 16.2 x 3 x 3.2 inches

Cons:

  • Additional batteries are not cheap
  • Extensive functions require long training to master them

High Thermal Resolution

AGM Rattler TS35-384 Thermal Imaging RifleScope AGM Rattler TS35-384 Thermal Imaging RifleScope
  • Wi-Fi, USB
  • 8x digital zoom
  • Battery: 4.5 hours
  • Thermal resolution of 384x288
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The AGM Rattler TS35-384 thermal imaging scope is a high quality thermal imaging scope that delivers excellent image quality and performance. It features a thermal resolution of 384x288, a highly sensitive detector and advanced image processing technology for clear and sharp images. The OLED display provides 1024x768 resolution and the 8x digital zoom allows you to get closer to the action. AGM Rattler TS-384 is powered by two CR123 batteries and provides up to 4.5 hours of continuous operation. To significantly increase the operating time, an external 5V power bank (battery) can be easily connected via the USB connector. Built-in Wi-Fi module for live video streaming and recording video/images via the app. Built-in EMMC memory card (16GB) provides enough storage space for videos and photos.

Pros:

  • Wi-Fi, USB
  • 8x digital zoom
  • Thermal resolution of 384x288
  • Built-in memory card (16GB)
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 7.37 x 2.46 x 2.33 inches

Cons:

  • Average battery life: 4.5 hours

Best Thermal Scope - Buyer’s Guide

Battery Life

Battery life is an important consideration when choosing a thermal scope. You'll want to be sure that your scope will stay powered up for as long as you need it, which means considering how long you plan to be using the scope in a single session. Battery life also depends on how often you use the scope and how long it takes to charge. Spare batteries can be expensive, so you'll want to be sure to factor that into your budget.

Magnification

Here you should also decide for yourself how far, or rather how much you want to zoom in. For example, the magnification range from 1.25 to 5 times is ideal for hunting wild boar and coyote.If you want to observe or hunt further away, look for a higher magnification. This can be up to 20 times, which is then also suitable for hunting deer. If you want to buy the best thermal scope, you should pay attention to a high magnification.

But what happens if you want to observe something very close? For example, if you want to use the device to look for traces of an animal in short grass. Then you should choose a scope with a low magnification.

For example, scopes with different magnification levels:

1-4x: These include the ATN THOR 4 1.25-5 thermal imaging scope, the Pulsar Trail LRF 1.6-12.8 thermal imaging scope, and the Pulsar Thermion 2 3.5-14 thermal imaging scope.

5-9x: These include the ATN MossyOak Thor LT 6x thermal imager

Resolution

The resolution of a thermal imager is measured in pixels.Generally 384x288 and 640x480 pixels. The saying "the higher the resolution, the better" holds true here--a detailed image will be produced when a high res is chosen. Higher resolutions mean lower optical magnifications though; so while choosing your settings, remember that observation distance isn't affected by this characteristic.
In terms of hunting, a resolution of 384x288 elements is enough. But if you're looking for quality over quantity, go with 640x480 for a more enjoyable experience overall.
Therefore it makes sense to invest in a model with a good resolution to get the most out of your thermal imaging attachment.

Display

The visible information of thermal energy is displayed through a monitor inside the optics, and there are many different types of displays that can be used. For example, LED-based displays were once popular but have now become obsolete. The two most common types of display screens nowadays are LCOS (liquid crystals on silicon) and FLCOS (ferroelectric liquid crystals on silicon).Additionally, thermal devices are organic light-emitting diode displays and active matrix organic light emitting diode displays. These OLED and AMOLED displays offer advantages including more vibrant colors, lessened battery consumption, and increased brightness when compared to other options.

The distance between pixels is known as - pixel pitch, measured in microns from the center of one pixel to the center of another. The smaller this number, the higher quality the image. Early thermal imager displays had a pixel pitch of 25 microns. Today, many experts consider 17 microns to be standard practice while others argue that 12 micron displays are currently, and about as small as, distinguishable by human eyesight.

Refresh Rate

When you use a thermal scope, you're seeing a live feed displayed on a digital screen. Much like the standard "frames per second" used to describe regular video footage, we can think of refresh rate as how often a new image is displayed. Most thermal imaging devices have a refresh rate of 30 hertz, or 30 images shown per second.If you're going to use your thermal scope while in a moving vehicle, though, you might notice some lag. In that case, it could be worth paying more for an optic with a faster refresh rate. Some are rated at 50 hertz and others at 60 hertz, but both rates are too fast for the human eye to detect any difference and will produce equal results.

In order to prevent images from being burned in and appearing as a ghost image later, thermal optics must occasionally clear the core. This process is called a non-uniformity correction. When this happens, you may see the display lock up momentarily and there may be an audible click — but don't worry, that's normal and necessary.Many thermal scope models perform a NUC automatically at set intervals, however manual control may also be an option with some models. This allows you more flexibility to avoid being interrupted at an inopportune time. Some optics require that a NUC be performed manually with the lens cap in place. Refer to your user manual for specific instructions depending on the model of thermal scope you select.

Detection Range

Detection range refers to the extent to which the scope can effectively sense heat signatures from your target. Each thermal scope attachment model comes with a different detection range, with most standard options offering short detection ranges. For this reason, it is crucial to ensure that your rifle's effective range significantly surpasses the range of whichever scope you choose to buy. By doing so, you can be sure that your target will be within the scope’s detection range, regardless of how far away they are. Moreover, you’ll also have a greater margin of error, in case your target moves unexpectedly. Detection range is therefore an important consideration when choosing a thermal scope attachment for your rifle.

Durability

When you're out in the field, you want to be confident that your scope can withstand the elements. Look for a scope that is weather resistant and can withstand being dropped or bumped. A good scope will also have a durable housing that can protect the internal components from damage.

Ease of Use

When you're in the field, the last thing you want is to be fumbling around with a complicated scope. Look for a scope that is easy to use and understand, with controls that are clearly labeled and intuitive to use. A scope with a good user interface will make it easy to find and track your target, even in low light conditions.

Extra Features

Extra features are always enticing, but you have to consider what you'll be using your thermal scope for and whether or not those extra features are worth the cost. For example, do you really need to be able to stream your scope picture to a mobile device? If you're primarily using your scope for hunting, then there are chances you won't need that feature. However, if you're using your scope for security purposes, then streaming footage might be essential. It's important to weigh the cost of the extra features against their usefulness to you in order to make the best decision for your needs.

Benefits of Thermal Scope:

  • Allowing you to see in complete darkness
  • Helping you to spot hidden objects
  • Making it easier to find animals in the dark
  • Providing clear images in all weather conditions
  • Smart integration with weapons 
  • Multiple color schemes
  • Record what you see

Best Thermal Scope - FAQ

How do thermal scopes work?

Thermal scopes are optical devices that measure heat radiation, which essentially causes the object to glow under infrared or thermal imaging. The unaided human eye cannot see on this light spectrum, which is why we need optical aids for better sight at night. Thermal imaging technology allows the human eye to see this particular spectrum of light that we cannot normally see, making it much easier to see things that are giving off heat even in very low or no light conditions. This is because objects that are giving off heat emit infrared radiation, which is detected by the thermal scope and converted into an image that we can see. This image is usually displayed in shades of black and white, with warmer objects appearing white and cooler objects appearing black. Thermal scopes can be used for a variety of purposes, such as night vision, search and rescue, surveillance, and target acquisition.

Can I use a thermal scope in daylight?

Yes, you can absolutely use a thermal scope in daylight. This is one big advantage to using a thermal scope over more traditional night vision devices, which cannot be used in daylight. Additionally, you can use a thermal scope to spot game at greater distances because you can pick up their heat signature even if you might not be able to see them in a more traditional sense. You can even use a thermal scope in conjunction with your regular day optic, which is something that cannot be done with night vision. So, if you're looking for a versatile optic that can be used in both daytime and nighttime conditions, a thermal scope is a great option.

Conclusion

When it comes to thermal imaging scope technology, the amount of bells and whistles that are available on different models is staggering, but the more features, the more expensive the scope will be. For most hunters and shooters, an entry-level or mid-level thermal imaging scope will be more than enough to satisfy both the novelty of thermal shooting and the need for it. Before buying a thermal imager, be sure to carefully consider how you intend to use it to get the most out of your money. And we hope that with the help of this review, choosing the perfect scope for you will no longer be a problem. Thank you for reading.

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