thermal scopes


May 31, 2010, 09:27 PM
i know they are very expensive, but i figure it's worth asking. has anyone used a thermal scope before? are they as good/useful as they appear to be?

these are some of the ones i'm looking at:

If you enjoyed reading about "thermal scopes" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
May 31, 2010, 11:29 PM
The only hunting I've read about using thermal optics was Hog and Coyote hunting ... not sure if its that thermal optics is just best for that application or if its a matter of legality (since hogs and coyote are varmints in most states and not game animals you have less restrictions when hunting them. In many states sound suppressors are illegal for game animals but not for varmint animals so I don't know if there are similar restrictions for thermal optics).

Seems like a lot of expense just to shoot varmints ... but if you can afford it, hell go for it! No reason every decision one makes has to be 100% practical ... what fun would that be? :p

Double Naught Spy
June 1, 2010, 02:05 AM
Hogs may be considered varmits by some and thermal (FLIR) may be an expensive way of sighting them in, but killing 10-20 hogs would offset the cost of the scope relative to the damage the hogs would do.

There are several videos on youtube and some hunting sites that show FLIR scopes being used quite successfully for hunting.

June 2, 2010, 01:26 AM
I went on a paid hog hunt last year were the guide provided NV & thermal gear just to see what the deal was. I've got a farm with a hog problem and I wanted to know the ins and outs before spending money on something that didn't do what I needed it to.

Thermal is awsome for seeing through fog, light brush, etc... Regular night vision devices have the same limitations as day optics when smoke, fog, brush, etc... are encountered. The problem with thermal scopes are their performance is severely degraded when it get's really hot. They see differences in heat so if everything is 100 + degrees you are in a pickle. All the civvy available sights are passively cooled as well. That means the sensors sensitivity is dependant on how much heat it can exchange with the air around it. You also have to be careful with thermals as weapon sights because you may not notice or see the light brush or other stuff that can deflect your shot.

The sight I got to use was an L3 renegade 320 with a 12 degree FOV lense. It was pretty awsome but for $13,000 it out to cook dinner and make coffee.

June 2, 2010, 08:56 AM
As above thermal is good to locate targets but not always better than IR if stuff gets in the way. Not to mention you are bottom barrel at $9-14k on thermal but you could get a nice IR for that coin.

June 2, 2010, 09:41 AM
Thermals are really cool- I've only used military PAS-13s, but still, really cool. As mentioned already, you won't always see things like brush... or trees... or anything with a low ambient temperature that can deflect or stop your bullet, though.

June 4, 2010, 03:25 AM
We had them mounted on our 240's... makes target acquisition a breeze, but there is some lag in the units we had, they make an annoying sound, and after a while you really get a headache from them.

Of course when you use them, you feel like the predator.

June 4, 2010, 04:26 AM
We had thermal sights on our TOW II systems that was out of this world. Good in day or night, rain, and just about any condition, although it was degraded somewhat in freezing fog.

Military grade thermals (ie vehicle or tripod mounted) has an external source to either power the cooler or provide the actually coolant gases, which give it better quality and last longer between cool-down periods, but rifle mounted thermal scopes give you portablility and unheard of target aquisition capabilities.

The price is the major draw back. My PVS-14 cost $3000 (and I actually got it at a discount), which really put a dent in my bank account. But if you have that kinda money laying around, then go for it.

If you enjoyed reading about "thermal scopes" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!