2021 night/ thermal vision opinions

Discussion in 'Long Gun Accessories and Optics' started by crestoncowboy, Dec 22, 2021.

  1. crestoncowboy

    crestoncowboy Member

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    I've read threads but due to the age of many and the price constraints many OPs queries place I thought I'd make my own .

    What currently made is the better options in both thermal or regular night vision in different cost brackets, say sub 1k, and sub 2500. Possibly sub 500 if anything is usable in that bracket. Must be compatible with a rifle optic (dedicated or not doesn't matter but id almost rather have a removable piece or bino/goggles) My personal experience is limited to gen 1 or 2 consumer Options And ten thousand dollar military thermal units which were amazing but not practical for home users. The consumer models i used circa early 00s were abysmal.... at best. Pretty much conversation pieces that were useless in anything less than a full moon or 30 yards, hell on batteries, loud, eye strain was terrible..... etc etc

    What do you guys have
     
  2. Mike J

    Mike J Member

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    I don't really know anything about this but I am another that would like to learn so I thought I'd give it a bump. A relative has been having coyote issues. I'm thinking a night scope on an AR could help clean things up a little.
     
  3. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

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    I have a Sightmark Wraith on my DPMS Panther for hog control. I upgraded the illuminator and it works very well:

    upload_2021-12-25_10-12-21.png

    Under $500 at MidwayUSA:

    https://ads.midwayusa.com/product/1020830235



     
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  4. hq

    hq Member

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    I got a chance to test HikMicro (Hikvision) Thunder Pro TQ50 a few weeks ago and it was genuinely impressive. Price range is somewhat over the $2.5k bracket but IMO that's money well spent. It's more or less a coin toss between that and Pulsar Thermion XP50, my current yardstick for consumer/prosumer thermal sights.

    I sold my FLIR some time ago and been keeping an eye out for a replacement. These are the top contenders right now.
     
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  5. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    I looked thru my neighbor’s Burris. It’s in the +/- $3,000 range, so exceeds your price range, but I thought it was pretty impressive. He can pretty easily pick out deer bedded in tall grass behind his house.

    I have zero experience with anything else.

    I did watch a couple YouTubes on the Wraith. The reviews were pretty impressive FWIW.

    As a complete aside, I bought a pair of Nightfox 100V binos on a whim. They were around $100 IIRC, maybe a little more. I have five acres and can pretty easily see anything such as a cat anywhere on my property at night, maybe 200’ anyway
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2021
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  6. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Given your overall budget, your best option is to buy a Sightmark Wraith and put the rest of the money into a handheld thermal spotter. That way, you aren't waving your rifle around all over the place trying to spot targets. First, it is a safety issue. Second, rifles tend to be large, cumbersome, and heavy. It gets pretty tiring pretty quick waving a rifle around to look for hogs, coyotes, etc.

    For hog hunting, your best digital NV option close to your price range is the Sightmark Wraith HD 2-16x. You can get the 4-32x, but you will lose a lot of FOV and most people don't like that when it comes to trying to shoot running hogs. I personally like the higher magnification, but most folks don't. This is digital night vision. That means you will be able to use it in the day time. It also means that you are going to need in IR illuminator for use during at least half of the month, if not 3 weeks (given cloudy days, etc). The moon simply won't be bright enough. If you are looking for NV where you don't need an IR illuminator most of the month, you want wanting Gen III which is amazing stuff and way out of your price range.

    Not to be a thermal snob, but given current prices for new product, I would not suggest buying a thermal weapon sight that lists for $2500 or less. Chances are, you won't be very happy with it and you will struggle with making good identifications. The lower end scopes tend to be more difficult to use because the picture isn't as nearly up to par. With thermal, depending on things like humidity, dust in the air, height of the vegetation, you can confuse a deer with a coyote, deer with a hog, hog with a calf, coyote with a ranch dog, etc. I use much higher end thermal and it can be difficult for me at times. I have tested a variety of lower end thermal and the problem is more common at much shorter distances.
     
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  7. crestoncowboy

    crestoncowboy Member

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    I'm not really looking. I've used high end thermals that were powered directly from the Humvee (they were binoculars though, no rifle capability) and ive used "night owl" gen 1 from Walmart 20 years ago which were pretty bad. I know how tech changes, I was simply wondering what its done for consumer models over the past 20 years. Sounds like not a lot. A 2500-5k bracket and a 5k-10k bracket can be added. I didn't add those because I've used 10k dollar units and knew what they were. I should have added those though
     
  8. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Oh, a looky loo. Okay.
     
  9. BigBL87

    BigBL87 Member

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    Sub $500, the Sightmark Wraith HD (2-16 or 4-32 depending on what you want) would probably be your best option as has been mentioned. If you are active military or a veteran as it sounds like you may be, you can get a discount if you go directly through Sightmark. My Wraith cost me $375 shipped.

    If you bump up to $1000, there are the Wraith 4K's which are a big bump up in resolution (from 1080 to 4K).

    In either case on those, you'd want an aftermarket illuminator to see any farther than 150-200 yards. I had a Sniper Hog Lights 66LRX and could see pretty clearly to 400+ yards with a Wraith HD 4-32x50.
     
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