These are the best thermal scopes on the market today.
When it comes to hog and predator hunting, the night is usually going to be better than the day. Of course, human eyes are not equipped by nature for hunting in the dark. That means we need a little extra help with either night vision or thermal optics.
Today we're going to focus on the latter. A good thermal imaging rifle scope will often cost more than night vision, but it will also make zeroing in on your target easier. Plus, you can use a thermal scope during the day, so you'll get dual use out of it. Many of these scopes also incorporate a rangefinder and video recording as a bonus.
We've done the research on the latest in thermal sights and these are ones you can't go wrong spending your hard-earned money on.
Pulsar Core RXQ30v
This 22mm scope offers a detection range that can pick up the heat signatures of animals out to over 900 yards, making it perfect for most hunting applications. It offers a generous field of view and up 10 different electronic reticle options. You can change the viewing mode from white hot to black hot depending on your preference in seconds. The 50Hz refresh rate means you'll always be on target with the AMOLED display which outputs a 640x480 image. This scope gets solid reviews from online users who use it for both hunting and as a hand-held monocular or spotting scope.The Pulsar offers a 2X/4X digital zoom and a 1.6-6.4 magnification to dial in on those remote targets while hog or coyote hunting.
The FLIR name is synonymous with seeing through the dark of night. This scope will help you do just that even where there is no visible light around to illuminate things. This high-tech thermal vision system works to detect an animal's heat energy, meaning you'll be able to spot animals much faster than your buddies using night vision devices. A lithium-ion battery pack gives up to four hours of life. FLIR offers a couple different models including a 4-16X power and a 2.25-9X power. A built-in shock reduction system helps you get quick follow up shots for up to .308 caliber rifles. That means that sounder doesn't stand a chance on your next hog hunting expedition!
ATN Thor LT
Finding a budget thermal scope is rather difficult, but this 30mm scope is a good option. These start around the $1,100 mark and go up to about $1,300. The Thor LT supports up to 10 hours of use before it needs recharging. At 1.4 pounds, it is also very manageable on weight when compared to many other thermal night vision scopes on the market. This is for the hunter who wants a simple scope that will get the job done. You can select either white hot or black hot mode and it has ATN's "one shot zero" system to help get it sighted in at long range quickly. This scope gets high praise in user reviews online. Many of them from hunters who never thought they would have the chance to own a thermal scope like this.
ATN ThOR HD 640
There is a lot to like about ATN's thermal scopes for the price point. This 1-10X power thermal riflescope gives great clear images that help with quick target recognition, but it offers much more functionality than that. It has a ballistic calculator and a smart rangefinder that will give a distance reading quickly. One less piece of gear to lug afield, you can leave the laser range finder at home. This high-quality scope also uses a recoil activated video system to record all the action for later. Another extra feature is that this scope is also Bluetooth and Wi-Fi compatible. That means you can synch it up to your smartphone to record and store the high resolution 1080p footage there or on an SD card. You can even live stream your hunt if you so desire! Oh, and the rechargeable battery offers up to 18 hours of use, almost twice that of other brands. The price tag of $4,000 is steep, but the battery life, image quality, color modes and crosshair options make it all worth it.
When it comes to top of the line, this thermal scope is it. It has a huge price tag but is absolutely packed with features. This one is intended more for law enforcement and security specialists, but there's no reason you can't use it for hunting too. This scope has a 60 Hz frame rate which Trijicon says makes for better clarity when you're trying to sight down a moving target. That should mean fewer pixels in the image while trying to discern the hide of a hog from the brush in front of it. This unit uses a powerful 12um micro LWIR thermal core for a smaller overall package when compared to other thermal scopes. This scope offers five different reticle patterns and the ability to save the positions of the reticle for each weapon you use it on. That's so you can swap it back and forth between rifles in a pinch.