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Author Topic: Thermal vs. Night vision??  (Read 3466 times)

Offline jrebel

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Thermal vs. Night vision??
« on: November 26, 2023, 11:20:13 AM »
Pros and cons for both....from the folks that have experienced on or the other. 

I'm looking to outfit a 300 blackout that is suppressed.  16.5" barrel with 101 grain bullet....with max affective range of 250-300 yards.  Figure most shots will be under 100 given the place I will be hunting the most. 

Which is better for brushier country in the NE corner? 
What is the effective range of both...meaning how far / how well you can identify coyotes?
Which has better clarity / definition on game?? 

Anything else I'm missing??  Any recommendations of actual scopes? 

Thanks

Jrebel

Offline ASHQUACK

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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2023, 11:43:46 AM »
I just bought a ATN LTV 3 night vision. For my 300blk. I haven't shot it much yet and haven't hunted it. But I'm finding that it isn't nearly as clear in the brush as I'd hoped. The big thing I see is that in total darkness (timber) I have to use the ir illumination to see anything at all. My starry eyed purchase isn't all that I'd hoped for shooting yotes at night. Just not all that impressed as of now.

Offline Alchase

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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2023, 11:51:38 AM »
Here you go, coyote hunting at night with gear needs.

Most of the night hunters here use Thermal.

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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2023, 11:54:21 AM »
I just grabbed this one while on sale:

https://www.cabelas.com/shop/en/sightmark-wraith-hd-digital-rifle-scope

Waiting on an extended scope base as it is going on a Bolt action.  I think it is meant to work out of the box on an AR platform, as the eye relief on my Savage is too far forward just mounting directly on the rail.

First impression just powering it up and playing with it a little off gun, it does have a smaller field of view since the base is 4x mag.  The IR illuminator is definately needed.

I watched several Youtube videos on this particular model and several others both IR & thermal, seemed to get a decent review for the price and as a starter night site.

My wallet is not currently big enough to go thermal, but if I like how this one shakes out or if I can't stand it, it was at a price that seemed reasonable for a beginer like myself to give it a go.

Once my extended base arrives and I get it mounted, I will probably do a follow-up post on how well or not it works. 
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Offline jrebel

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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2023, 12:09:52 PM »
I just grabbed this one while on sale:

https://www.cabelas.com/shop/en/sightmark-wraith-hd-digital-rifle-scope

Waiting on an extended scope base as it is going on a Bolt action.  I think it is meant to work out of the box on an AR platform, as the eye relief on my Savage is too far forward just mounting directly on the rail.

First impression just powering it up and playing with it a little off gun, it does have a smaller field of view since the base is 4x mag.  The IR illuminator is definately needed.

I watched several Youtube videos on this particular model and several others both IR & thermal, seemed to get a decent review for the price and as a starter night site.

My wallet is not currently big enough to go thermal, but if I like how this one shakes out or if I can't stand it, it was at a price that seemed reasonable for a beginer like myself to give it a go.

Once my extended base arrives and I get it mounted, I will probably do a follow-up post on how well or not it works.

Can't wait to hear a review.  I am a beginner and plan on hunting yotes on the property.  I have a couple places that would offer cross draw shots (200 ish yards) but most will be under 100 yards.  My biggest concern is the brushy nature of the property (not wide open farm land) and would love to see them critters as they are coming. 


Offline Thermal Predator Control

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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2023, 08:12:03 PM »
Whatís your budget?  Donít waste your $ on night-vision. Thermal is the only was to go.  The best bang for your buck thermal that I sell right now is the SightMark Wraith Thermal Scope 35mm for $1799. The price goes up from there.  Just remember, you get what you pay for with this stuff
I provide a service to cattle ranchers year around that have problem coyotes.  I also provide guided night hunts year around. I sell Night Vision and Thermal optics. The scopes I use are the NVision Halo XRF and Pulsar Merger XL50 LRF HD Binoculars

Offline Pnwrider

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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2023, 10:11:09 PM »
Thermal hunting is a great way to feel poor. I have no experience with night vision, but have spent time looking through thermals ranging from sub $2k up to $15k and every price jump was very noticeable in terms of you get what you pay for. I donít think Iíd want to try and hunt with any of the entry level thermals. That said, technology keeps improving and Iím hoping thermals go the way of tvs, computers, etc and we start seeing less expensive ďdecentĒ options.

Offline birdshooter1189

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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2023, 08:08:07 AM »
Iíve used digital night vision (Sightmark photon and wraith, and DIY scope mount kits), and some thermal.  Digital night vision can work well in some conditions.  Thermal is more versatile, and in some situations, it completely outshines digital NV.  Sometimes thermal struggles too.  (Thick fog, or right after rain (the rain makes everything the same temperature. Animals will stand out, but landscape will all blurr together).

Example:
With Digital NV you are looking at a coyote at 150 yds. Its head is behind a bush so you donít see a reflection from its eyes.  At 60 yds, there is a tree that is 5í to the side of your line of sight to the coyote.  Your IR illuminator lights up the tree so bright that everything behind it is lost in the shadows. You move your scope to the side to get the tree out of the screen and then the darker background gets brighter and you can make out the body of the coyote.  You move the scope back over to put the crosshairs on it, but now the tree gets bright and you lose sight of the coyote. Very frustrating. 2 days later you post your Digital NV for sale on HW forum.

Now imagine the same setup, but you donít know the coyote is there. You are scanning back and forth with the NV.  You will probably never see the coyote unless it moves and looks at you and you see its eyes light up.

Now imagine the same situation with thermal.  The coyotes warm body stands out like a sore thumb. The tree at 60 yds is just a dark shadow in your viewfinder.  It doesnít matter if the coyote is looking at you or not, itís body is hot and very visible.  The only struggle is that you might not know if itís a coyote, wolf, deer, skunk, raccoon, or deer.  It depends what angle it is at, and whether itís bedded, standing, sitting, etc.  You will likely need to wait until it moves a little bit to be confident on ID. (The quality of your thermal will also impact how long you have to look at it to determine ID)

Iíve been running thermal for about 6 months now. I rarely use my digital NV anymore.  I have a 384 resolution scope and scanner.  3.5x base zoom on both. Both have LRF. Both pulsar.  Iím happy with the scope.  I wish I had a scanner with wider FOV and more clarity.  Pulsar Helion XP50 or Telos XP50, 640 sensor, or similar. LRF is a great feature.  Probably not necessary to have on both scanner and scope.  If shooting a 300 blackout, knowing your range will be more important.

Offline birdshooter1189

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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2023, 08:34:56 AM »
I "window shopped" thermal for several years.  I finally met a person who is a thermal distributor and had a couple different thermal scopes and scanners. I went hunting with him a couple times and that's what helped me decide what I wanted and then I purchased from him.

I suggest reaching out to Thermal Predator Control and see if you can meet up and look through a few different thermal options.  Looking through it yourself in person is far more helpful then watching youtube videos. (Though those are fun and helpful too)

Offline wadu1

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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2023, 08:54:49 AM »
I used one like this while in the Army back in the day (AN-TVS-2B). Mine was mounted on a 20mm, very good out to about 1500m.
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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2023, 06:52:15 PM »
Whatís your budget?  Donít waste your $ on night-vision. Thermal is the only was to go.  The best bang for your buck thermal that I sell right now is the SightMark Wraith Thermal Scope 35mm for $1799. The price goes up from there.  Just remember, you get what you pay for with this stuff

With Shot Show coming up after the first of the year have you heard if there is anything new coming out from anyone that'll get your attention?  Usually by now you hear of some cool new thermal/s that's coming but I haven't read much about anything new that'll be out. 

You being a dealer I'm guessing you hear about things that are coming a lot sooner than the rest of us do.

Offline Thermal Predator Control

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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2023, 07:51:21 PM »
Whatís your budget?  Donít waste your $ on night-vision. Thermal is the only was to go.  The best bang for your buck thermal that I sell right now is the SightMark Wraith Thermal Scope 35mm for $1799. The price goes up from there.  Just remember, you get what you pay for with this stuff

With Shot Show coming up after the first of the year have you heard if there is anything new coming out from anyone that'll get your attention?  Usually by now you hear of some cool new thermal/s that's coming but I haven't read much about anything new that'll be out. 

You being a dealer I'm guessing you hear about things that are coming a lot sooner than the rest of us do.

Honestly I havnt heard anything new coming out at SHOT 2024.  Only thing new thatís out is the Thermion XL50 LRF, itís a 1024 resolution, but the base magnification is only 1.75. This caters more towards hog hunter because of the wide field of view.  Itís unfortunate because I had high hopes for it since Iíve been running the Merger XL50s since spring. The Merger has the same sensor as the Thermion so I knew what the image was going to look like. They screwed up coyot hunters on this one.  The other scope a lot of people are talking about is the IRay Rico Hybrid 640 50mm, itís a 3.0 base magnification.
I provide a service to cattle ranchers year around that have problem coyotes.  I also provide guided night hunts year around. I sell Night Vision and Thermal optics. The scopes I use are the NVision Halo XRF and Pulsar Merger XL50 LRF HD Binoculars

Offline huntingfool7

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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2023, 05:11:51 AM »
@Thermal Predator Control   How does the image from the Merger compare to the Halo?  Does the 1024 resolution offer a significantly noticable step up?   Considering an XL50 but wish they'd gone with a 2.5 base mag.  Weird that Pulsar didn't at least match the base mag of the XP50.  A 14 degree FOV would be awesome if most of your shooting is under 100 yards on large groups of pigs.

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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2023, 08:18:05 AM »
Only thing new thatís out is the Thermion XL50 LRF, itís a 1024 resolution

How would you compare the image of the Thermion and Merger HD 1024 res to N-Vision Halo's 640 res.?  Is the Pulsar's HD 1024 noticeably better then the N-Vision Halo's or not really as big a difference as it may sound on paper??  Appreciate you feedback and insight on this stuff.

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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2023, 08:44:41 AM »
Only thing new thatís out is the Thermion XL50 LRF, itís a 1024 resolution

How would you compare the image of the Thermion and Merger HD 1024 res to N-Vision Halo's 640 res.?  Is the Pulsar's HD 1024 noticeably better then the N-Vision Halo's or not really as big a difference as it may sound on paper??  Appreciate you feedback and insight on this stuff.

N-Vision is still king in my book, but not by much.  On a low humidity night the Halo XRF shines.  But with that said, high humidity/fog nights,  I have been able to see coyots with the Merger and not the Halo XRF out at further distances. I receive the Thermion in the mail today and will do side by side comparisons out in the field.  The base mag between the Thermion and Halo XRF will be considerably noticeable
I provide a service to cattle ranchers year around that have problem coyotes.  I also provide guided night hunts year around. I sell Night Vision and Thermal optics. The scopes I use are the NVision Halo XRF and Pulsar Merger XL50 LRF HD Binoculars

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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2023, 04:58:17 PM »
How would something like a set of Merger LRF XL50s work during daylight ? Would you be able to see heat signatures ?
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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2023, 09:40:58 PM »
How would something like a set of Merger LRF XL50s work during daylight ? Would you be able to see heat signatures ?
Works great during the day.  If itís super sunny light will get into your ocular lens and the reflection can mess with ya.  Also, if its warm outside objects like trees and rocks will carry as much heat as animals.  Fall, winter and spring are ideal times to use thermal
I provide a service to cattle ranchers year around that have problem coyotes.  I also provide guided night hunts year around. I sell Night Vision and Thermal optics. The scopes I use are the NVision Halo XRF and Pulsar Merger XL50 LRF HD Binoculars

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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2024, 03:50:02 PM »
How would something like a set of Merger LRF XL50s work during daylight ? Would you be able to see heat signatures ?
I have a set of these coming and a pulsar thermion xp50 scope. I will give a report after I get them dialed in.
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Offline KFhunter

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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2024, 03:58:26 PM »
Pros and cons for both....from the folks that have experienced on or the other. 

I'm looking to outfit a 300 blackout that is suppressed.  16.5" barrel with 101 grain bullet....with max affective range of 250-300 yards.  Figure most shots will be under 100 given the place I will be hunting the most. 

Which is better for brushier country in the NE corner? 
What is the effective range of both...meaning how far / how well you can identify coyotes?
Which has better clarity / definition on game?? 

Anything else I'm missing??  Any recommendations of actual scopes? 

Thanks

Jrebel

With a $500 ATN I can see coyotes eyes well past 500 yards, and easily identify 150 or up to 300 in optimal conditions - but - Iím using a high power 1850nm bulb in a coyote night hunting flashlight I hook to the scope, it will NOT work in brush, the bloom is horrendous

If I use the supplied illuminator I can barely see 100 yards, it just doesnít punch through


The only time I donít need an illuminator is a full moon on crisp white crusty snow, 99% of the time I have the illuminator on


This setup works very well over bait, any real hunting use the best thermal you can afford, for my own property the budget ATN has done well, Iíve gotten quite a few coyotes and kept them off claves, my dogs and barn cat, my rabbits etc

Offline jstone

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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2024, 04:04:08 PM »
I hunted Ireland this last fall. Shot 4 fox at night using a regular scope.
The guide had a thermal monocular and a red flashlight. He would call them in and once they got close he would shine the red light on them. It was hard at times finding the eyes before they took off. Once I learned the technique it was light out on those fox. First time hunting predator at night

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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2024, 04:10:08 PM »
Iíve got an amazing light that has red, green and clear illuminationÖ.but that would require two people.   

Leaning hard to thermal, just getting the finances in order so I can buy the best I can afford.  Talked to a friend that has a thermal and he said a handheld is a must.   He said scanning with his rifle sucks.  This kind of makes senseÖ.but two thermals is gonna get super pricy. 

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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2024, 04:36:49 PM »
I canít remember the guides brand name but he said it was about 1800 bucks

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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2024, 04:46:09 PM »
https://www.streamlight.com/products/detail/waypoint-400

This is the one I have in the truck.  It is a true spotlight...with a narrow beam.  On high, it will easily light up a hill 800-1000 yards away.  I bought it after being stalked by a cougar this year.  It is compact and relatively lightweight.  It will be on all pack missions when the sun goes down. 

I also bought the red and green lenses with the thought of yote hunting with it. 

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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2024, 05:06:15 PM »
@jrebel   Which thermals are in the running?

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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2024, 05:15:35 PM »
@jrebel   Which thermals are in the running?

I'm still not really sure.  Based on my research....mostly on youtube....I really like the pulsar scopes.  Still trying to figure out my budget as I have a lot of moving parts right now in my life and need to prioritize a few items. 

One of the scariest parts of purchasing a high dollar thermal is... I know nothing about them.  Literally never looked through one and no idea what I'm doing.  Lots of advise online and research being done to gather as much info as I can....but 5+K for a scope scares the hell out me.  Funny how I have no problem dropping 2-3K on a nightforce scope....but I know what they offer. 


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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #25 on: January 03, 2024, 07:43:45 AM »
Whatís a good place to buy the thermal? Website or store

Offline birdshooter1189

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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #26 on: January 03, 2024, 08:44:43 AM »
Whatís a good place to buy the thermal? Website or store

I'd check out amazon.com, europtic.com, nightvisionoutfitters.com.  I have a friend who is a distributor/sales rep for nightvisionoutfitters.  I went through him.  He is on the west side, kitsap county.  Thermal Predator Control (who has posted on this thread) is also a distributor/sales rep for nightvisionoutfitters I believe and is on the east side near Okanogan.  I'd check out the website for general prices.  If you contact a sales rep they may be able to offer a better price that is not posted on the site.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2024, 08:52:03 AM by birdshooter1189 »

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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2024, 09:25:42 AM »
Thank You Birdshooter1189

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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #28 on: January 04, 2024, 03:02:47 PM »
Whatís a good place to buy the thermal? Website or store
Give me a call, I work for Night Vision Outfitters, I live in Washington state and can get you fixed up with what ever you need for thermal hunting.  Brad 5093086551
I provide a service to cattle ranchers year around that have problem coyotes.  I also provide guided night hunts year around. I sell Night Vision and Thermal optics. The scopes I use are the NVision Halo XRF and Pulsar Merger XL50 LRF HD Binoculars

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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #29 on: February 02, 2024, 02:54:16 PM »
ATN Thor LTV ultralight Thermal

Video-recording capability
1280x720-pixel video resolution
Advanced 12-micron thermal sensor
60Hz refresh rate
One-shot zero technology
Mount to a variety of platforms
Internal rechargeable lithium-ion battery

Is this a good deal for a beginner....$850 before tax. 

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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #30 on: February 02, 2024, 05:46:54 PM »
Tagging
Go hawks

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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #31 on: February 04, 2024, 05:30:40 PM »
@jrebel   Which thermals are in the running?

I'm still not really sure.  Based on my research....mostly on youtube....I really like the pulsar scopes.  Still trying to figure out my budget as I have a lot of moving parts right now in my life and need to prioritize a few items. 

One of the scariest parts of purchasing a high dollar thermal is... I know nothing about them.  Literally never looked through one and no idea what I'm doing.  Lots of advise online and research being done to gather as much info as I can....but 5+K for a scope scares the hell out me.  Funny how I have no problem dropping 2-3K on a nightforce scope....but I know what they offer. 



Go with Pulsar.  They have a reputation for being the best at cutting through high humidity and fog.

Offline Luna butte

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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #32 on: February 04, 2024, 10:13:06 PM »
So I chose digital night vision a few years ago. I just couldnít convince myself that Iíd be able to tell the difference between a coyote and a border collie with thermal. I think having a thermal monocular for scanning and a nv scope is where Iím heading though.

Offline birdshooter1189

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Re: Thermal vs. Night vision??
« Reply #33 on: February 05, 2024, 06:29:50 AM »
Good friends don't let their friends buy ATN brand thermal.  Mediocre/poor image quality and a reputation for not working right.

If you want budget thermal, look at AGM.

Luna, yes you have the right idea getting a thermal monocular for scanning and then use NV for the scope. 

I'd recommend a Pulsar Axion XQ35 Pro.  They are $1500.  $2000 if you get the LRF model.

 


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