Spent some time Saturday night doing a little pig hunt in Grayson County with a buddy of mine, who works for Pulsar. We had the new Trail XP50, Helion XP50, Helion XP38 and the Core FXQ50 Clip-On out with us. We also had a Trijicon branded Reap-IR, an IRD branded Reap-IR, an Armasight Zeus HD 75mm 640, an Armasight Zeus 42mm 640, a Pulsar Quantum XD38A, a Pulsar Quantum HD50S and a FLIR Vue Pro 640 equipped drone.
I spent the most time with the Helion XP50 scanning and was thoroughly impressed with it. Controls were super simple to operate and it fits your hand well. The camcorder type strap is pretty handy and keeps it secure in your hand. Also, itís fairly skinny and fits in a pocket if need be.
Image quality was excellent. Iíd say about 80% as good as the Reap-IR, which is saying a lot. Especially considering the fact the Helion/Trail line is close to half price of what the Trijicon stuff goes for. The image was evenly on par with the Zeusí but seemed to have a little better background contrast. The recording feature is a super simple, one-button operation about like any camcorder. Focus worked well and the menu system was simple, intuitive and easy to work with one hand. All in all itís an awesome unit for the money.
I didnít spend as much time with the Trail but itís the same image quality as the Helion and with similar button and menu operation. Mount seemed pretty solid and the scope balanced well on the rifle (suppressed 300 blackout). Iíve got an XP50 on order for myself now and will run it on the rifle going forward with the Reap doing spotter / backup scope duty.
The onboard recording and battery pack are amazing features on both the Trail and Helion. According to my buddy at Pulsar, the pack should give about 8 hours of run time and they have other expanded packs that can be purchased thatíll run even longer. Iím all for that cause I hate a bunch of stuff hanging off the rifle. The self-contained setup is going to be great.
The clip-on Core is a very cool little scope. It takes up very little room on the front of the optic and the green image is pretty easy on the eyes. Clarity was slightly better than the previous Pulsar products, due to the new 17 micron core. Itís a simple, no-frills clip-on that doesnít add much weight or bulk to the rifle. Price point is very fair for a clip-on unit as well.
We spent most of the night scanning our fields and then ultimately got called to another buddyís pasture where they had located a good sounder of pigs working their way through an oat patch.
We had a heavy south wind and were able to work our way right to the edge of the sounder, within about 40 yards. We had 7 guys, all with suppressed rifles in mixed calibers of .308, 6.8, 300AAC and 5.56, lined up firing squad style, and it was a blood bath.
One pig got several right in the face and it took most of his jaw off. We probably laid down 6-8 total not counting footballs, but due to the height of the oats we had a hard time recovering all them. We did pick up 4 good ones for some pictures but there were more laid out to feed the coyotes.
All in all, we had a great time and the new stuff from Pulsar will be great. Thereís a big backlog of orders on them though so if you want to get into one, I'd probably go ahead and get an order in somewhere.
If yíall have any questions, holler at me.