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The Best

Thermal Rifle Scope

ATN ThOR-HD 384 2-8x, 384x288, 25 mm, Thermal Rifle Scope w/...
  • Excellent Image Performance with 384x288 Sensor - it is the...
  • Ballistic Calculator - the system allows you to calculate...
  • Build-in Smart Rangefinder - will make your life easier than...
  • Angle of view: 12 x 9.5. Smooth Zoom - lets you magnify to...

Buyer's Guide: Thermal Rifle Scope

What You Should Look For in a Thermal Rifle Scope

If you are hunting in any weather, you must have the proper thermal rifle scope on your side. Thermal riflescopes can help you get that important shot and maximize your camouflage, no matter the conditions outside. If you do not have one of these valuable pieces of equipment, then you could spend hours trying to find it under a pile of leaves or a pile of snow only to come up empty-handed.

Thermal scopes offer day and night use; they also bring along extra benefits during harsh weather conditions. Fog is just one such example. Like all other thermal imaging scopes, thermal rifle scopes and other weapon sights read out thermal signatures of various objects and then present the user with an accurate image showing a high-resolution color map of the incoming thermal signature.

There are two types of thermal rifle scope currently on the market. There is the wet eye design which is more like an optical glasses scoped scope. The eye is mounted over a thermal magnifier lens which has a convex lens inside. This allows the user to focus on small details such as a small animal or tree ahead. The wet eye design eliminates most of the reflected glare. However, because of its lower magnification, the thermal magnifiers might not resolve small irregular shapes.

The second type is the monocular scope. This type of scope uses an eyepiece and a fixed mirror to transmit an image to the scope housing. Because this design offers an obvious image, it is often used for nighttime hunting. The drawback is that this scope type cannot provide a good night vision capability because there is no eyepiece.

Because accuracy is so important with a thermal rifle scope, owners of these firearms should take care in selecting the best one for their needs:

  1. The resolution of the scope needs to be high.
  2. The field of view needs to be precise.
  3. The internal crosshair of the scope has to be adjusted appropriately.

Ensuring that all three of these requirements are met will ensure that the hunter receives an accurate shot.

When testing a thermal rifle scope, the first thing to look for is how accurately it can provide a line of sight. Because of the thermal nature of these scopes, seeing through them at extended distances is difficult. The best way to test this is to place the scope in various conditions so that the crosshairs show up as dots on the screen. If the crosshairs are challenging to see, likely, the scope is not optimized for thermal conditions. This same testing can be used to test the distance at which the scope can be used effectively.

Another important feature to look for in scope is eye relief. When a person holds a thermal rifle scope in their hands, it can be very uncomfortable. This is because of the way that the scope must be held. Some models allow the hunter to keep the scope in an up and down motion, which increases comfort.

Finally, a thermal riflescope is most effective if it is waterproof. While hunting does not require hunting in the rain or water, moisture can build up over a scope. A waterproof scope will eliminate this problem. The best scopes for hunting are made from high-quality materials and are optimized for different hunting scenarios. These scopes may cost more, but if you are looking for a military-grade weapon that is easy to use and comfortable to hold, a thermal scope might be just what you're looking for.