Hey! Recently I got invited to be pro staff for a new vendor, Third Coast Thermal. This is one of the first units I have been sent for evaluation. It is the Armasight Predator, a new, entry level thermal scope. Entry level is by today's standards, but a scope with these specs would have been three times the cost and considered high end for the civilian market 3-4 years ago. It is a 1.6x magnification, 335x256 resolution, 25 mm lens, 30 hz scope. They run just under $3K.
I was hoping to start off with a first kill, but no hogs so far. Instead, you will see various critters at stated distances. From what it looks like so far, it should certainly handle hogs out beyond 200 yards.
So far, I like the scope. I have gotten sighted in for 100 yards with a Rem 788 in .308. Now it is just a matter of time before getting some applied use of the scope!
Excellent question. On paper, you change up the target slightly by adding something that is not paper. I have used both chemical hand warmers and various sizes of aluminum foil. Obviously, the handwarmer is much hotter. On hot days that I have used foil, it is cooler than the paper (outside) and so contrasts quite well.
Folks also use thinks think various types of duct tape, insulating and/or metalized tape, and even a piece of metal such as a section of aluminum can. You just attach the material to the paper target and make your corrections as you would normally do.
I generally start of shooting at a steel target. I have some silhouettes and just use the body to get an approximate zero and then the head to refine the zero.
On a hot day drink the soda, cut a small piece of aluminum from the can and staple it too your target. You'll enjoy the soda, and the aluminum gives off a different heat signature just like 00spy said. You'll still need a larger backstop too see where you are impacting until you get close to zero.
Good question. I have not handled the Apex XD38a, but did the Apex XD50. The problem with thermal scope offerings is that comparisons are very tough to make. You can compare some features fairly directly, but other features make similar scopes by different manufacturers something of an apples to oranges comparison.
For picture quality comparison, I have used the Pulsar HD38 which is a handheld with the same 384x288 pixel thermal core and same 38mm lens size as the Apex XD38. I would have to say that the Pulsar has a slightly better image with the 38mm lens. At 50mm, the difference is more noticeable, but that will cost you a few hundred more. The Apex XD50 I used zoomed in smaller increments (IIRC) and had an adjustable objective focus. It ran on 2 AA batteries. The Armasight Predator runs on 2 CR123 batteries, has a 25mm lens, 336x256 pixels, fixed focus, and zooms in 2 large steps. In this regard, the Pulsar has the upper hand in the comparison. However, the Pulsar has a polymer housing, is VERY long, and has a bothersome battery compartment that if you don't get it shot correctly, will pop open during recoil. The Armasight has a more robust aluminum housing (same as the Zeus and with Zeus controls), is much more compact, and the battery compartment housing screws shut. So in regard to the size and construction, Armasight has the upper hand. In short, the Pulsar Apex XD38a should be a little clearer, much bigger, but not nearly as robust. From there, the question is, which would better suit your needs?