I recently read a magazine article about hunting feral hogs with thermal imaging rifle scopes. In the accompanying photo's the hogs appeared amazingly lit up, and easy to see at night, much better than any night vision unit I have used. Maybe not so sporting, but the hogs can be very destructive to crops, land and landowners, and the extra meat would be donated to feed the poor.
Anybody know anything about this? What is a good commercially available brand? Are they affordable? Priced similarly to the good night vision? They look expensive. Any info or suggestions would be helpful. Thanks, Mick
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November 23, 2011, 08:34 AM
I do know that they are very expensive, in the multi-thousand dollar range. but they do work, and work well.
November 23, 2011, 08:36 AM
Anybody know anything about this?
Above my pay grade.
What is a good commercially available brand?
ATN makes thermal. I've used their NV and it seems to be really good product.
Are they affordable?
Not for me.
Priced similarly to the good night vision?
You can get a good NV for around $2,000. I think thermal starts at about 5 times that.
November 24, 2011, 12:37 PM
Are they affordable?
If you consider $10,000-$20,000 affordable for an optic, then yes.
For most of us who work for a living? Not hardly.
Thermals are really neat, got to play with them a little. But definitely not needed for pig hunting. A $500 gen I+ NVRS will do just fine; I went with the ATN Mk390. You don't need to be able to see the individual hairs at 50 yards to hunt pigs, and it's not like they're stealthy animals. Skittish and mostly noctournal, yes, but easily detected when present (unless you're stone deaf).
Double Naught Spy
November 24, 2011, 03:34 PM
The cheapest thermal rifle scope I have seen runs about $12K. That doesn't mean that it is one of the better ones, however. I read a neat review sometime back noting that for hunting purposes, the detection range of the scope runs 2-3 times the sighted shooting range.
The problem with buying NV gear and thermal gear is that there really aren't too many places where you can go and try out the gear before you buy it. Sales folks will show you images from what things look like in the scopes and you can see some vids online, but these usually don't include any problems and the situations are favorable to the scopes. Also, nobody talks about misidentifying animals with thermal vision which can be a problem.
Where thermal will be superior to regular night vision is in the woods. Running Gen I-III will often require using an IR illuminator and every branch and leaf will reflect light back into the scope. Think of it like trying to take a picture of your dog at night with a flash camera and your dog is hiding in the bushes. You will get a great shot of your bushes in the foreground and the overexposure of the leaves will hide the dog behind them. This isn't a problem for thermal. On the downside, however, is that thermal may cause you to not realize that there are obstructions between you and the prey that your shot may impact first. Things like tree limbs that are ambient temperature become virtually invisible except for when the prey is behind them and essentially backlighting them to show that there is as obstruction.
I have two ATNs, one Night Optics, and now one Pulsar Digiscope N550. My initial testing of the Pulsar puts it at better than my 2 Gen II+ scopes and it is not as recoil sensitive and many less expensive NV riflescopes. None of my scopes will handle anything over .308 other than the Pulsar and it is on my .45-70. The nice thing about it over other night vision is that it will work in the daytime. It isn't a great daytime scope, however, but will work nicely from predusk to post dawn lighting. Of course, a thermal scope will as well.
November 24, 2011, 04:25 PM
+1 on the Pulsar Digisight.
I think youll see digital more and more in the future. If you are used to NV then digital takes a little getting used to .but for the money you get a lot.
Digital Main Menu
Manufacturing Employs Carbon Plastic and other Modern Technologies
Flip up Objective Lens Cover
Self contained and External Power Supply
Video Input / Video Output
Built in IR Illuminator with Shield Blind
Separate Adjustment of Brightness and Contrast
User Choice of the Display's Glow Color
Low Battery Indication
Fine Image Quality and Resolution
Highly Sensitive CCD Array
User Choice of the Reticle Shapes
Switchable Sum Light Signal Processing Program
Mini USB Slot for Downloading into the Devices Memory Additional Aiming Reticles of User's Own Configuration
One Shot Zeroing
Large Eye Relief (67 mm)
Built In & External Power Supply
Built in Clock
High Contrast Function
Resistant to Bright Light Exposure
Accurate Internal Front Lens Focus Adjustment
Ergonomic Design and Intuitive Easy to Use Interface
Remote Control with Secure Attachment
Additional Weaver MIL STD 1913 Rail for Accessories
November 24, 2011, 10:13 PM
Also, nobody talks about misidentifying animals with thermal vision which can be a problem.
On the downside, however, is that thermal may cause you to not realize that there are obstructions between you and the prey that your shot may impact first. Things like tree limbs that are ambient temperature become virtually invisible except for when the prey is behind them and essentially backlighting them to show that there is as obstruction.
Thermal isn't FLIR; You don't just see blurry outline images of things with temperature differentials like the predator; The image resembles NV, but B&W instead of green. It is quite easy to tell what you're looking at, and whether or not there are small obstructions.