Best Thermal Scope For The Money

Thermal scopes are one of the most advanced optics on the market. Thermal scopes used to be limited to the most advanced military units. Luckily those days are behind us as the price of thermal optics drops down for the civilian market. Changing the way we hunt thermal scopes are quickly becoming a very popular hunting accessory. With a thermal scope you won’t have to rely on spot lights to protect your farm or kill that massive boar terrorizing your property.


What is The Best Thermal Scope?

1. ATN ThOR HD 384 Smart Thermal Riflescope

Unless your parents live in Wayne Manor the ATN Thor HD 384 Smart Thermal Riflescope like the only thermal scope you’ll get your hands on. The affordable(for a thermal scope) price point makes the ATN Thor HD an excellent choice for you first thermal scope. ATN packed the THOR HD 384 scope with features making this scope an excellent choice for hunters.

The reason this thermal scope is priced so low is due to the low magnification level. With a magnification level of 1.25-5x this is one of the lowest magnification thermal scopes on the market. With a 5x magnification you’ll still be able to reach out a few hundred yards and snag that massive hog. If you really need a higher magnification ATN offers a 2-8x, 4.5-18x and 9-36x 1-10x, 1.5-15x,2.5-25x and 5-50xmagnification levels, but they cost a little more money. You should be able to find a ATN thermal scope for any rifle from your 22 to your long range 308.

The best thing about the ATN Thor HD is it’s image performance. It’s the ultimate night vision scope since your detecting heat energy instead of light. Taking the guesswork out of nighttime shooting you’ll be able to tell exactly what your shooting at out to a few hundred yards. Even in complete darkness you’ll be shocked at all the little critters you see in your own back yard. Imagine you have a pesky raccoon tearing up your chicken coop. With the ATN Thermal HD you’ll be able to pinpoint the racoon in pitch black darkness. You shouldn’t have to deal with nuisance predators for long.

ATN built this thermal scope to be essentially a smart rifle scope. With the built in range finder and ballistic calculator ATN takes all the guess work out of long distance shooting. You’ll be able to calculate the trajectory of your bullet hitting the target every time. By adjusting your point of impact you’ll greatly improve your shot placement. You’ll be able to record your hunts with the recoil activated video system. Nothing will be missed the next time your sharing stories with your hunting buddies. On old thermal scopes battery levels were horrible thankfully ATN figured out a way to fix the battery life. Offering a 22hour battery life between charges the Thor HD should last an entire hunting day without needing charged. Why not save a little money and buy the ATN Thor HD 384 Smart Thermal RifleScope.


2. Armasight Zeus 336 3-12×50 (30 Hz) Thermal Imaging Weapon Sight

Armasight’s Zeus 336 thermal imaging weapon sight is another great option. The Armasight Zeus rifle scope uses the state of the art FLIR thermal sensors. Combining the Flir sensors with military grade germanium objective lenses makes this one hell of a thermal scope. Being one of the best thermal scopes in the world you even have to enter into a International Traffic in Arms Regulation agreement stating you won’t sell the scope to foreign entities.

You really can’t go wrong buying the Armasight Zeus 336. Armasight’s Zeus thermal imaging weapon sight system is perfect for the law enforcement, military and hunting market. Using state of the art technology Armasight gives the user a clear and bright image even in the darkest settings. The Zeus weapon system was designed to be used day or night in any environmental conditions. It’s able to cut through snow, dust, smoke, fog and any other atmospheric obstructions. You’ll be able to detect targets from a distance without them having any idea your there. Be the predator for once stalking up on hogs and wild life without giving them a chance to run.

Armasight designed the Zeus 336 to be one of the smallest thermal scopes on the market. Since thermal scopes are normally massive that’s a much needed design change. Armasight packed a lot of features into the Zeus 336 which are fast and easy to use, but take a little time to figure out. Functions and features are layered between a sophisticated grid of direct button combination adjustments. Believe me when I say you’re going to need to break out the manual and practice before you go hunting. After a little setup and with the help of Armasights advanced digital enhancement systems you’ll have a clear thermal picture. Due to the large digital zoom on the Zeus 336 you’ll notice slight pixelation at max zoom. It’s to be expected and is very common on thermal scopes. Featuring multiple color modes, 5 different reticles in 4 colors, Electronic Zoom with tracking capability and long battery life. You aren’t going to be disappointed with the Armasight Zeus 336 Thermal Imaging Weapon Sight.


3. Pulsar Trail XQ30 Thermal Riflescope

Pulsar’s Trail XQ30 offers advanced features that are unheard of in its class. The XQ30’s 1.6-6.4x magnification makes this scope perfect for hunting game at short to mid range distances. For the price you can’t beat the Pulsar Trail XQ30.

The Pulsar Trail XQ30 boasts advanced user friendly features that are unexpected at this price point. Utilizing a 1.6-6.4x magnification range you’ll be able to effectively target small game out to a few hundred yards. The thermal sensors will be able to register out to 985 yards. Pulsar’s XQ30 eliminates the need for batteries by including a rechargable 8 hr battery pack. Additional longer lasting batteries can be purchased separately giving you a spare in the field. Using only 5 buttons the XQ30 is extremely easy to use.

Designed to be a Trail scope for hunting the XQ30 is surprisingly durable. Utilizing a relatively shockproof body and waterproof construction the XQ30 is the perfect hunting scope. With it’s durable design the Pulsar scope will work when you need it most. Clear sight picture and long range of this scope make it perfect for night time coyote or hog hunting. Switch between 13 variable electronic reticles and Pulsar’s popular white hot and black hot viewing modes to give yourself an advantage over other hunters. Pulsar provides users with fluid imaging , customized thermal mapping and a sharp and easy to see contrasted field of view. Combine that with the advanced accelerometer and rangefinder and you have one heck of a hunting scope. The sight automatically records your hunts and can be transferred to your computer with the included usb cable.


4. Flir ThermoSight R-Series RS64 2-16X Thermal Night Vision Rifle Scope

The Flir Thermosight RS64 thermal night vision rifle scope is by far the most expensive scope on this list. Built by Flir a leader in infrared technology the RS64 is sure to be a hit. With a 2-16x magnification thermal scope you’ll be able to see clearly farther than most people can shoot. With a thermal image out to 355 yards this scope you’ll be able to see everything.

Very few hunters in the world need more than a 2-16x magnification on their thermal sight. Unless you’re a professional sniper the Flir RS64 will more than accomplish everything you need. With a 640×480 Resolution Vox Display this scope is one of the clearest on the market. It’s one of the most effective night vision tools for hunting. You’ll be able to adapt to your environment and hit more targets than ever before with the advanced imaging system. With a clear view of multiple targets out to 355 yards you’ll be sure not to miss that stubborn coyote tearing up your farm. Like all thermal scopes the RS64 detects heat energy and doesn’t require any illumination day or night. You’ll be able to clearly see whatever’s hiding in the shadows or behind a bush.

Using an extremely easy to use 4 button interface you’ll be able to scroll through everything this sight has to offer. Featuring 5 color pallets and multiple reticle options the RS64 is perfect for all your hunting needs. Smoke, snow, ran or fog this thermal scope will work when you need it most.


What’s The Best Thermal Scope For The Money?

Due to the large and varying price tags of thermal scopes it’s nearly impossible to tell you exactly which one is best for you. At the end of the day like everything in life it’s going to come down to price. Once you figure out the best price point you’re going to have to figure out what features you need. These are all very advanced thermal optics so they all have very similar features. The biggest features that differentiates them from each other is magnification, durability and battery life.

Magnification: The first thing you are going to need to decide is what magnification setting you are going to need. Since thermal scopes all have digital magnification systems their ranges are going to vary from 1.2x magnification all the way up to 50x magnification. Realistically most hunters aren’t going to shoot out past 200 yards. Unless you shoot for a living save some money and buy a low magnification thermal scope.

Durability: Due to their very nature thermal scopes are much less durable than traditional scopes. The advanced imaging systems make them susceptible to damage. All the scopes on this list have various levels of waterproofing and water resistance but it’s largely dependent on the price. Even if the scope says it’s waterproof I wouldn’t recommend taking it for a swim. Even though most of these scopes are rated to be safe in the rain I wouldn’t risk having a 3000$ paperweight.

Battery Life: Compared to red dots and night vision scopes the battery life on a thermal scope is horrible. The more features you pack into these scopes the lower the battery life goes. Luckily you can charge up a few spare batteries to extend the battery life on more advanced units. Thermal scopes are one of the few things in life that the more expensive it is the worse the battery life gets.

I’ve personally tried all of these thermal scopes in varying time increments and the best option for most people is going to be the ATN Thor HD 384 1.25-5x Thermal Scope. The clear sight picture, long battery life and low price tag makes this a great optic for the casual hunter. Believe me when I say you’ll spend more time out hunting with a thermal scope than you ever did before. I’m sure my neighbors wanted to kill me the month after I bought my first thermal optic. I was out shooting every coyote and raccoon I could get my hands on. If you can afford it do yourself a favor and buy one of the thermal scopes I listed above.



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