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#5612844 - 02/22/15 11:23 AM Thermal or NV
Jojo4711 Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 11/27/12
Posts: 192
Loc: Forney
If you can only buy one, which is it? I am wanting to start doing some hog hunting at night but not sure which I want to get. I am thinking thermal. Also, what is a good entry level unit for either? I want the best bang for buck I can get.

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#5612867 - 02/22/15 11:37 AM Re: Thermal or NV [Re: Jojo4711]
Double Naught Spy Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 4175
Loc: Forestburg, Montague Cnty, TX
If you want to get into thermal and need the best bang for your buck, the new Pulsar APEX scopes may be the best entry into the market. They are not out just yet, but should be soon and will be offered around $3000.

The only problem with getting a rifle scope, however, is that you have to do a lot of searching/looking with your rifle which many feel is an unsafe practice. If you agree, then you may want to go with a less expensive thermal handheld and then an inexpensive rifle scope such as a digital scope for actual shooting (not searching).

Maybe some salient questions at this time might be, how much can you spend? How far do you plan on shooting? What sort of environment will you be hunting?
_________________________
Kill a Hog and Save the Planet
My Videos https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCG6la_HDvAobPBTDtj5B-lQ

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#5612886 - 02/22/15 11:49 AM Re: Thermal or NV [Re: Jojo4711]
Capt Craig Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 339
Loc: Corsicana, Texas
You can get into NV a lot cheaper than thermal. You will get great results from both. What you have to decide is whether the gun will be a dedicated night time hunting rifle only.

Thermal is horrible to try and use during the day. It just won't work. But if you have a rifle that you only want to shoot at night that's perfect. I own thermal and 2 NV and much prefer the NV. I have the ATN PS28-CGT. It fits on the front of your traditional scope and turns it into a NV scope. No need to sight it in or anything. You can then use it on any rifle that you own instead of dedicating it to a particular gun. Runs about $2000.00.
_________________________
Thanks - Capt. Craig


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#5612905 - 02/22/15 11:57 AM Re: Thermal or NV [Re: Jojo4711]
603Country Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 07/03/12
Posts: 4873
Loc: Central Texas
Capt Craig, you say it fits on the front of a regular scope. I need more info. Does it fit onto the scope itself or does it have to be mounted on a rail in front of the scope?

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#5612919 - 02/22/15 12:03 PM Re: Thermal or NV [Re: Jojo4711]
Capt Craig Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 339
Loc: Corsicana, Texas
You can do it either way. I prefer to mount directly on my scope for both bolt action and AR. No extended rail system is necessary
_________________________
Thanks - Capt. Craig


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#5612926 - 02/22/15 12:07 PM Re: Thermal or NV [Re: Jojo4711]
Capt Craig Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 339
Loc: Corsicana, Texas
There is a cup that you slide over the front of the scope and tighten. it securely holds the add-on up to 308. If you are shooting anything bigger a rail would be helpful but not required
_________________________
Thanks - Capt. Craig


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#5613005 - 02/22/15 12:43 PM Re: Thermal or NV [Re: Capt Craig]
dfwroadkill Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 09/15/09
Posts: 3260
Loc: D/FW, TX
Originally Posted By: Capt Craig
Thermal is horrible to try and use during the day. It just won't work.


This just isn't so. I don't know what you have, but I've used a lot of different thermal products during the day and they all work well.

All modalities have strengths and weaknesses, but in general, on most days, thermal is excellent.

For the OP, your budget determines your options. If you can make it at least $2,500.00, many folks opt for a handheld thermal spotter and digital scope.

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#5613028 - 02/22/15 12:56 PM Re: Thermal or NV [Re: Jojo4711]
Capt Craig Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 339
Loc: Corsicana, Texas
I own the ATN ThOR color thermal. When the weather is warm the trees and ground and animals all put out a almost identical heat signature. In winter on cold days you can pick up an ok body temp off an animal in the daytime.

It is not nearly as accurate as shooting a traditional scope in the daytime. You say you have used a lot of Thermals, which one do you own? In the daytime, especially warmer days the only way to sight in a thermal is to shoot at bottles of frozen water, you can't use a standard temp/air temp item it won't give you a unique temp signature that stands out. We use the water turned on it's side looking at the base of the bottle to get an approx 3" circle in order to establish a fairly tight zero.

I can promise you that no thermal will do in the daytime what a traditional scope can for accuracy.

At night with cooler ambient air temps and depending on really cool weather, the thermal will pick up heat signatures at 1000 yards depending on the size of the object. At 300 yards you can generally tell what the animal is.

The night vision is best at 150 yards or less and needs either ambient light or a feeder light or a IR light mounted on the scope to assist in brightening the target.

I spend 3 or 4 nights a week every week in the field hunting or guiding a client. My use of these items is extensive in the last four years.
_________________________
Thanks - Capt. Craig


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#5613079 - 02/22/15 01:26 PM Re: Thermal or NV [Re: Jojo4711]
cabosandinh Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/12/13
Posts: 1155
Loc: Dallas, TX
you can hunt just fine with thermal during day, just switch to white hot or black hot

ATN PS28 that clips on the scope didn't seem to work well for one of my customers;
scope falls off after second shot, he was shooting a Winchester 70 Stealth .308
Too much recoil for the slippery plastic clamp. He is buying a Ruger AR-10, Zeiss 4x12
to use with his clip on

you can pick out 'hot' targets hiding behind trees/leaves that normal night vision can't.
I shot a hog this way that my night vision was not able to pick up. So, if you have about
$3000+ to spend, get a Thermal.


Edited by cabosandinh (02/22/15 02:02 PM)

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#5613103 - 02/22/15 01:40 PM Re: Thermal or NV [Re: Jojo4711]
Capt Craig Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 339
Loc: Corsicana, Texas
If the PS fell off, he didn't have it adjust correctly. We have used it up to 7mm mag without it falling off. The various size rings have to be chosen correctly. The clamp is metal with a plastic liner ring that fits between the mount and the scope to prevent scratches.

Cabo, which thermal scope do you own?
_________________________
Thanks - Capt. Craig


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#5613120 - 02/22/15 01:48 PM Re: Thermal or NV [Re: Jojo4711]
mnsherick Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/28/10
Posts: 1587
Loc: Texas
I would say depending on the terrain you hunt...

Wide open fields vs wooded/thick

We run guided hunts on a wide variety of terrain. We have both but thermal is king for all night hunting, you don't have to shoot with the thermal scoped gun, just use it for spotting.

We use a thermal scope (Thor 336) as a hand held spotting scope but it's zeroed in for a gun sitting in my gun rack on the back of the ATV, that way we can clip it on and shoot or let clients shoot with another weapon/scope setup and/or light (Depending on preference)

Thermal is no good in high humidity or rain, it still works but it can be really bad.

I don't use my thermal (or NV) during the day at all, we have several other weapons with scopes/eotechs etc for daytime hunting. I think the quality is pretty poor during the day.

Most of our weapons are 223 or 300BLK but we do have a few 308s. 5 of them are ARs. Some I have a zeroed scope or eotech AND a zeroed Thermal/NV so I can swap for day vs night hunts.

-Matt

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#5613147 - 02/22/15 02:01 PM Re: Thermal or NV [Re: Capt Craig]
cabosandinh Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/12/13
Posts: 1155
Loc: Dallas, TX
Originally Posted By: Capt Craig


Cabo, which thermal scope do you own?


ATN Thor 3x 30mm , 4.5x 50mm

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#5613248 - 02/22/15 02:59 PM Re: Thermal or NV [Re: Jojo4711]
Double Naught Spy Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 4175
Loc: Forestburg, Montague Cnty, TX
Quote:
Thermal is horrible to try and use during the day. It just won't work.


I know what you mean. I could barely make out the hogs here at 4:30 PM earlier this week...



This hog was taken right at sundown. You can't hardly see it.



The first hog here was also just about invisible at two hours before sundown.



Despite having such handicaps, I have managed to get a few hogs. I guess I just got lucky. bang


Edited by Double Naught Spy (02/22/15 03:02 PM)
_________________________
Kill a Hog and Save the Planet
My Videos https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCG6la_HDvAobPBTDtj5B-lQ

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#5613258 - 02/22/15 03:11 PM Re: Thermal or NV [Re: Jojo4711]
Capt Craig Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 339
Loc: Corsicana, Texas
"When the weather is warm the trees and ground and animals all put out a almost identical heat signature. In winter on cold days you can pick up an ok body temp off an animal in the daytime."

Thanks Double, that proved my point perfectly. Thermal is horrible in the day time (as I said) when the trees and ground and animals all share nearly the same temp. Which is why I said it is better when temps are cooler. Your video was taken in February and it was cool enough that you were wearing a heavy jacket. The video was not taken in summer.


_________________________
Thanks - Capt. Craig


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#5613279 - 02/22/15 03:24 PM Re: Thermal or NV [Re: Jojo4711]
Double Naught Spy Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 4175
Loc: Forestburg, Montague Cnty, TX
Well then, your statement that thermal is horrible is daytime is just plain wrong. It isn't a day/night issue, now is it? When you make sweepingly absolutely statements, they are usually wrong, as in this case.
_________________________
Kill a Hog and Save the Planet
My Videos https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCG6la_HDvAobPBTDtj5B-lQ

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