Thermal Rifle Scopes

Thermal rifle scopes are becoming increasingly popular as the price decreases and the performance increases. The 2023 updated deer management legislation in Scotland permits the use of thermal and digital scopes (day and nightvision) for the shooting of deer. This brought the law in line with the use of thermal and image intensifying (digital scopes) for shooting deer in England. Over the years the sensitivity of thermal sensors has increased massively, the size of the thermal sensors have increased and the algorithms that produce the picture we see have improved. Many thermal scopes have the option of an in-built Laser Range Finder (LRF) enabling distance to target to be accurately determined. Most LRF models also feature built in ballistic calculators which will display the holdover for your calibre rifle at different ranges.

Pulsar are the market leaders when it comes to thermal scopes and have held this position for many years however the latest generation of products from their main competitor, HikMicro, offers thermal rifle scopes which are similar in performance in terms of image quality and detection range at around 75% of the price. The start-up time of HikMicro products has been reduced, the stability of the software is much improved and the ease of use of functions and connectivity to the HikMicro sight app also improved. The overall quality and feel of HikMicro products has also been improved. This has closed the gap between Pulsar and HikMicro sales. Both Pulsar and HikMicro have a 3 year transferable warranty allowing their units to be sold on with the remainder of the manufacturers warranty provided the receipt is kept with the unit.

Thermal rifle scopes can be used on air rifles, rimfire rifles, centerfire rifles and we have even sold thermal scopes for airsoft applications. Most thermal scopes have a similar shape to a standard day rifle scope making them easy to mount on most rifles. There are a few models on the market that are shaped differently and these are usually sold with a picatinny rail mount allowing them to be mounted onto a picatinny rail. Mounting these on some rifles can be a little more difficult and sometimes adjustable combs and different picatinny rails would need to be fitted to ensure comfortable use; these types of units are however cheaper and easier for thermal manufacturers to produce so are cheaper to buy.

Thermal technology and the difference between devices can be a little difficult to understand online, it is much easier comparing units in-store which is why we advise shooters to ideally pop in and look through them in person however there are several aspects that make the difference in performance between different models and manufacturers. Each manufacturer has their own algorithm that converts the data collected by the thermal sensor into a picture and this does make the image to your eye look different between different makes and models.

What To Look At When Buying A Thermal Rifle Scope

The NETD value; the lower this number, the more sensitive the sensor, allowing lower changes in temperature to be detected. This allows the sensor to provide a more detailed image of the landscape and quarry you are looking at and is especially important in poor weather conditions where there is moisture, mist and fog in the air. NETD value is measured in millikelvins.

The size of the thermal sensor; The more pixels a sensor has, the more details it can show to the user.

Pixel pitch; Measured in Microns, is effectively the space between each pixel in the thermal sensor, if two thermal sensors are the same size ie. 640 x 512 but one has a lower Micron value then the one with the lower Micron value would provide a clearer and higher detailed image at higher magnifications.

Screen resolution; also important as there is no point in having the largest thermal sensor and a brilliant algorithm if that data cannot then be displayed at its highest resolution to the end user.

Our best selling thermal scopes on centrefire rifles are generally the higher specification models as most shooters like to be as confident with quarry identification as possible. The Pulsar XP50 Pro Thermion 2 LRF is our best selling thermal scope followed closely by the HikMicro Stellar SQ50. Shooters often opt for a cheaper scope when fitting thermal scopes to rimfire or air rifles as the shooting distance is much closer so the higher levels of sensitivity and resolution are not required for quarry identification; rats, rabbits and other similar quarry are easy to identify and not easy to confuse with other species. We find Pulsar Talion XQ35 and HikMicro Stellar SH50 and Thunder thermal scopes are popular as they are perfectly adequate at around 50% of the price of top end scopes.

If you have questions or would like any advice on picking the right thermal scope for you please call us and we can go through the advantages and disadvantages of the models you are interested in and find the right scope for you.

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hikmicro stellar thermal rifle scope sh 50
£1999.00
In-Stock

hikmicro thunder th35
£1999.00
Out Of Stock

hikmicro thunder 2 zoom th50
£2159.00
In-Stock

pulsar talion xg35 scope
£3269.00
Out Of Stock

Pulsar Talion XQ35 Pro
£1989.00
In-Stock

Pulsar Thermal Zeroing Targets
£19.95
In-Stock

pulsar thermion 2 lrf xg50
£4549.00
Out Of Stock

pulsar thermion 2 lrf xl50
£6229.00
Out Of Stock

pulsar thermion 2 xp50 pro lrf
£4979.00
In-Stock

pulsar thermion 2 lrf xq50 pro rifle scope
£3159.00
In-Stock

pulsar thermion 2 xp50 rifle scope
£3899.00
Out Of Stock

pulsar thermion 2 xq35 pro thermal
£2439.00
In-Stock

pulsar thermion 2 pro xq50 thermal scope
£2729.00
In-Stock

pulsar thermion duo dxp55
£4539.00
Out Of Stock

used pulsar thermion 2 xp50 pro
£2499.00
Out Of Stock

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