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Infrared: Rifle sight / monocular?

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by hq, Nov 7, 2012.

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  1. hq

    hq Member

    May 24, 2011

    I've made a decision to buy an infrared scope, mainly for nocturnal pest control as well as observation device for hunting at dusk/dawn. As far as legalities are concerned, the latter is perfectly legal around here as long as the thermal sight isn't mounted on the hunting weapon.

    FLIR is priced way out of my reach by local importer and having imported some items (guns, scopes) from the US, I really don't want to go through all the red tape involved in getting an export license again.

    So... I've searched a bit and there's seems to be an abundance of thermal monoculars, binoculars and rifle sights available from Chinese suppliers. Many of them are branded as FLIR, ATN etc. while they most likely aren't the real deal. Prices are extremely attractive, $700-850 buys just about any of them.

    Does anyone have experience with these chinese thermal sights? My expectations aren't particularly high and I might order one just for the heck of it, but $700+ is still quite a lot of money if the scope turns out to be an useless toy. Sellers like to let you believe they're selling the real thing, something that came from the same assembly line as ten times more expensive ones instead of them being cheap knock-offs, but I find that very hard to believe.

    I've had a couple of russian gen1/2 night vision (not thermal) scopes and 1PN51 isn't that bad, especially for $70 a local army surplus store sold them a few years ago. I might still use it, but the drawback is POSP/PSO side mount. I have a few AK:s and it works well in my .308 Saiga, but unfortunately I don't have a suppressor for it. And I really don't want to wake up neighbors at 2am, shooting a fox or a raccoon dog that are somewhat of a nuisance around here. I'll really need a weaver/picatinny mount for versatility.

    All comments and ideas are very welcome. I might be able to afford the real thing directly from the US, but the amount of export paperwork is staggering and waiting a few months instead of one week DHL delivery from China isn't tempting at all.
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