We have brought together the top 3 best thermal scopes reviews. These reviews detail the stand-out features of the shortlisted scopes and our final verdict towards the end.
Thermal scopes can significantly improve the accuracy of rifles and other firearms, especially in dark and unclear conditions.
The best among them can deliver a thermal imaging range of as much as 2000 yards, with great accuracy. Thermal scopes are great for military and law enforcement uses, hunting expeditions, and for a variety of other uses.
That being said, it isn’t exactly an easy task to choose one given the sheer range available in the market. To make the task easier, we have brought together the top 3 best thermal scopes reviews. These reviews detail the stand-out features of the shortlisted scopes and our final verdict towards the end.
Best Thermal Scopes 2020
|#1. Armasight by FLIR Zeus 640 2-16x50mm Thermal Imaging Rifle Scope|
|#2. Pulsar Trail XQ Thermal Riflescope|
|#3. Armasight by FLIR Predator 336 2-8x25mm Thermal Imaging Rifle Scope|
Armasight by FLIR is an entire line-up of quality thermal imaging rifle scopes. The Zeus 640 is our favorite from this line-up as it comes with a good balance of performance, features and price.
Armasight is known for producing some of the best thermal imaging devices and accessories.
The company’s commitment to stellar quality can be seen in Zeus 640 scope. The scope carries a high-performance thermal imaging camera.
It is highly functional and practical, suitable for use during both the day and the night. For hunters and law enforcement personnel alike, this means added convenience and ease of use.
The high-performance thermal imaging camera on this scope can easily pierce through haze, dust, smoke and other visual obstructions to create accurate heat maps.
It features Active Contrast Enhancement which creates multiple colour contrast levels to display temperature differences in a given scene. You can view the heat map on a 800 x 600 AMOLED SVGA display.
Zeus 640 is incredibly light-weight and compact, sitting easily on top of your rifle. At the same time, it has a sturdy and durable aircraft-aluminum alloy construction. It fits perfectly with any MIL STD 1913 and Weaver rail systems. The quick mount release ensures that you are able to install and remove this scope without wasting any time.
Pulsar is another company that needs no introduction when it comes to thermal and night vision devices. The company’s products are preferred by hunters, law enforcement personnel and enthusiasts around the world.
The Trail XQ Thermal riflescope from Pulsar has also made it to our top 3 list. This high-performance scope offers an exceptional heat detection range, delivering accurate heat maps over up to 1970 yards.
The thermal imaging camera on this scope has a refresh rate of 50Hz which ensures that the heat maps are delivered with great clarity.
Trail XQ scope works with a wide temperature range, from -13 to 122 degree Fahrenheit. It comes with a high-definition video recorder, allowing you to record the view through the scope while on the go.
With 8GB of internal memory, you have plenty of space to capture videos.
The sturdy make of the scope is dustproof, waterproof and fog-proof. It also comes with a built-in accelerometer and rangefinder. The magnification of the scope comes with variable options, from 2.7x to 10.8x.
Another great thing offered in Trail XQ is the picture-in-picture mode. This mode lets you view a magnified image of the reticle overlapping the field of view. As a result, you are able to discern the relative position of a target as well as its specific details.
Trail XQ also features Wi-Fi connectivity. You can easily streams videos and views from your scope over smartphone and other devices using this feature. It offers up to 8 hours of battery life which is perfectly sufficient for most outdoor excursions.
Predator 336 is another excellent thermal imaging scope from Armasight. This scope is incredibly light-weight, making it a perfect rifle companion for hunting, law enforcement and other uses.
The light-weight profile makes it easier to use this scope for extended hours without tiring your arms.
Predator 336 comes with a 30Hz refresh rate which is slightly less than the Pulsar Trail XQ but still delivers a good enough image quality. The scope starts up fairly quickly and is ready for use within seconds.
The easy-and-intuitive interface of the scope makes it easier for you to toggle between different options. It comes with 1x, 2x and 4x digital zoom options.
The optical magnification of the scope is 2x and Armasight has used uncooled FLIR core technology in creating this scope.
Predator 336 comes with a variety of color modes. You can choose a mode to achieve a contrast that gives you the best view of the target and the greatest clarity with respect to the details. The heat map generated by the scope’s camera is displayed via a 640 x 480 LED VGA.
Purchasing the right thermal scope can be a tough choice. Following are some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) when it comes to choosing the right thermal imaging scope.
Can thermal scopes be used in daylight?
A thermal scope essentially detects various levels of heat in a given view. It includes a thermal imaging camera which senses the heat within a view or a scene, and then generates a heat map to display various levels of heat it detects. This means that it does not rely on the presence or absence of light, but instead on the degrees of heat. So it works perfectly through both the day and the night.
What does a thermal scope do?
A thermal scope is a thermal imaging device that is often used with a rifle or as a standalone tool. The scope is able to detect the heat emitted by various objects. All objects essentially emit heat, although the amount of this heat varies considerably. The heat signature of humans and animals, for instance, is more vivid and clear compared to the heat signature of plants, trees or fields. Using this difference in the amount of emitted heat, a thermal scope creates a heat map which provides a contrast between various objects and is able to detect them in this way.
How much does a thermal scope cost?
Thermal scopes vary wildly when it comes to their price tags. The more basic models that deliver the basic and essential features of a scope can usually be found in the $1000 to $3000 range. These scopes offer quality thermal imaging but may not be very suitable for critical uses such as in law enforcement activities. More advanced scopes can cost above $5000, with the upper limit goes into the tens of thousands of dollars depending upon the range of features.
What’s the best thermal scope?
We have shortlisted three of the best thermal scopes in the list above. Of these three scopes, our favorite is the Armasight by FLIR Zeus 640 scope. This scope belongs to Armasight’s flagship line-up of thermal scopes. Among the line-up, it is one of the best-performing scopes offering all the basic features as well as advanced capabilities. With a good range, a great display and a decent refresh rate, this scope is very effective for multi-purpose use.
The right thermal scope ultimately depends on your intended use.
If you are looking for a scope to use in time-sensitive situations, you may find the Predator 336 useful because if its rapid startup feature.
If you want a long-range scope that offers greater image clarity over a long distance, the Pulsar Trail XQ is a good choice.