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Mar 25th, 2012
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Night Vision or Thermal #7012876
12/27/17 12:52 PM
12/27/17 12:52 PM
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Posts: 19
Jacksonville, TX
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cah2873 Offline OP
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Jacksonville, TX
I currently have a set of ATN Voyager Night Vision Gen 2 Monoculars that I use to spot hogs and coyotes. However once I spot them, I have to turn on a light to shoot them. I have been looking at Night Vision Scopes and also lower end Thermal Scopes. I do not have to have one with all of the bells and whistles and some of them are stating that they have. I just need one to spot and shoot. Do they make one like this?

Also, does anyone have any recommendations on what they are using or a set up similar to mine?

Re: Night Vision or Thermal [Re: cah2873] #7012914
12/27/17 01:35 PM
12/27/17 01:35 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 5,842
Forestburg, Montague Cnty, TX
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I assume that if you are spotlighting, that you are shooting inside 100 yards. You could get by with some thermals that will work well enough for that purpose (and then some) such as the Pulsar Apex XQ38 or (better) XQ50. They are in short supply right now, but the FLIR PTS233 would work for your needs and have more options, but I like the Pulsar units better.

With that said, spotting with your rifle is a pain in the butt and can be a safety hazard, depending on your circumstances.


Si vis pacem cum sus, para bellum.
My Videos https://www.youtube.com/user/HornHillRange
Re: Night Vision or Thermal [Re: cah2873] #7012929
12/27/17 01:47 PM
12/27/17 01:47 PM
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BQM88 Offline
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Pulsar thermals the way to go

Re: Night Vision or Thermal [Re: cah2873] #7012934
12/27/17 01:55 PM
12/27/17 01:55 PM
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New YorK, USA
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Flir really is the brand in thermal imaging gear.
Please feel free to give us a call to discuss which Flir optic would be best for you. They make everything from a simple monocular to riflescopes.


Doug @ Camera Land

gr8fuldoug@aol.com
www.cameralandny.com
516-217-1000

Thanks for the support we receive
Re: Night Vision or Thermal [Re: cah2873] #7013015
12/27/17 03:06 PM
12/27/17 03:06 PM
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 19
Jacksonville, TX
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cah2873 Offline OP
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Are there any other options that may be a bit cheaper?

Re: Night Vision or Thermal [Re: cah2873] #7013030
12/27/17 03:19 PM
12/27/17 03:19 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 483
N. Dallas/Sulphur Bluff
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bronco71 Online content
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ATN makes some less expensive night vision rifle scopes that work fine. I have an older one that is night only and a newer one that is day and night.

Re: Night Vision or Thermal [Re: cah2873] #7013071
12/27/17 03:41 PM
12/27/17 03:41 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 52
SE Texas
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Pootie Offline
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If I understand correctly, you are looking for a scope. Digital is the least expensive route. Photon XT (B&W) can be had for around $400, throw in another $50 for an improved IR source for distance, and you would be very functional to 150 - 200 yds. Thermal is nice (I like it), and costly.

Re: Night Vision or Thermal [Re: cah2873] #7013296
12/27/17 05:49 PM
12/27/17 05:49 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 1,314
Central Texas
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der Teufel Offline
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The Photon digital NV scope should be useful in the circumstances you describe. I have the original model, and I find it's useful range is really about 80-100 yards max. If you had a VERY good IR light with it that range could probably be extended. However, what I believe you'll find is that it's actually just a gateway drug to thermal. If you can swing a thermal weapon sight I'd go that route. As DNS mentioned, the Pulsar XQ38 or XQ50 are definitely good choices. They're (in my opinion) not just an entry-level unit that you'll want to retire in a year or two. They'll do the job for a while. If you find you're getting out 20+ times a year (I just made up that number - it has no data backing it) you might want something higher end.

The above is just my personal opinion, but it's worth at least twice what you're paying for it! smile


You can never have too much ammo — unless you're swimming.
Re: Night Vision or Thermal [Re: cah2873] #7013602
12/27/17 10:36 PM
12/27/17 10:36 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,098
Plano. TX
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I used to use Digital Night vision until I got a thermal monocular. That convinced me to go for a thermal scope. I was spotting lots of animals with the thermal monocular and when I would look for them with the digital NV I could not find them.

If you are looking for a basic but very good entry level thermal, look at the Pulsar Core RXQ30V Thermal Riflescope. You can often get if with a 10% discount from OpticsPlanet with free shipping and no tax. So it will be about $1720


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Re: Night Vision or Thermal [Re: cah2873] #7013706
12/28/17 12:06 AM
12/28/17 12:06 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 52
SE Texas
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Pootie Offline
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As dT and HS above point out, digital is a gateway drug, but it will get you started.

Re: Night Vision or Thermal [Re: cah2873] #7013836
12/28/17 01:40 AM
12/28/17 01:40 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 1,877
Flower Mound, TX
CharlieCTx Offline
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If you only do one thing... get some form of thermal monocular for spotting.


Charlie

M&P-10 + AAC Cyclone
Kel-Tec RFB + Griffin Sportsman Ultra Light 300
Pulsar Apex XQ-50
Re: Night Vision or Thermal [Re: cah2873] #7014086
12/28/17 03:59 AM
12/28/17 03:59 AM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 274
Appleby, TX
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Lots of good advice and opinions expressed in this thread for sure. As you can see there are a lot of different ways you can go. I think a lot of this is going to come down to your budget. I also agree with those that say consider a thermal monocular for spotting. That's a game changer in my opinion.

If you have some time, give me a call and I'll be glad to answer any questions and throw out my 2 cents. No hard sales, no pressure to buy, just free advice. I'm just over in Nacogdoches County. I sold some thermal to a couple guys in Jacksonville over the last 2-3 weeks.

Jason



Night Vision, Thermal & Accessories
Pulsar, Sightmark, FLIR/Armasight, Trijicon & More
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Re: Night Vision or Thermal [Re: cah2873] #7014315
12/28/17 01:12 PM
12/28/17 01:12 PM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 14,987
Murphy, TX Dickens county
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Go thermal if you can afford it. I highly recommend the Pulsar XQ50.


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Re: Night Vision or Thermal [Re: cah2873] #7014591
12/28/17 05:20 PM
12/28/17 05:20 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 5,842
Forestburg, Montague Cnty, TX
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There are 2 XQ50s, the Apex model and the Trail model. The Apex is less expensive and has less features, but I think it is one of the best bang for your bucks (hmmm, maybe that should be 'bang for your hogs') out there.


Si vis pacem cum sus, para bellum.
My Videos https://www.youtube.com/user/HornHillRange
Re: Night Vision or Thermal [Re: Pootie] #7014692
12/28/17 06:55 PM
12/28/17 06:55 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,098
Plano. TX
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Originally Posted By: Pootie
As dT and HS above point out, digital is a gateway drug, but it will get you started.


It is definitely a gateway that will end up having you buy twice if you ever have the opportunity to use a thermal.

Save your money and get thermal. You will not regret it.


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Re: Night Vision or Thermal [Re: cah2873] #7019013
01/01/18 01:15 AM
01/01/18 01:15 AM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,975
McKinney & Pottsboro, TX
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The base level thermal these days is pretty decent and is in the same ballpark in price as gen 2 NV. Thermal really is where it's at in most hunting situations.



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Re: Night Vision or Thermal [Re: cah2873] #7019092
01/01/18 02:16 AM
01/01/18 02:16 AM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,013
Dallas, TX
Bearclaw Offline
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Here is a good read/discussion on NV vs thermal for hunting
NV vs Thermal

Re: Night Vision or Thermal [Re: Pootie] #7021793
01/02/18 08:34 PM
01/02/18 08:34 PM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 327
Fairfax, VA
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VAFish Offline
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Fairfax, VA
Originally Posted By: Pootie
As dT and HS above point out, digital is a gateway drug, but it will get you started.


That's the truth. The digital works and kills pigs, but it leaves you wanting better. Once you try thermal you will be selling plasma and stealing old ladies handbags for the money to buy it.


"If your plan is for one year, plant rice.
If your plan is for ten years, plant trees.
If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children."
-- Confucius
Re: Night Vision or Thermal [Re: Hunter-Steve] #7021803
01/02/18 08:45 PM
01/02/18 08:45 PM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 327
Fairfax, VA
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VAFish Offline
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Fairfax, VA
Originally Posted By: Hunter-Steve
Originally Posted By: Pootie
As dT and HS above point out, digital is a gateway drug, but it will get you started.


It is definitely a gateway that will end up having you buy twice if you ever have the opportunity to use a thermal.

Save your money and get thermal. You will not regret it.



While I understand that sentiment, If the choice is to not buy any night vision at all and wait 2 years (of using a spot light) to save up the money, or buy a $400-$500 digital night vision scope now and save money for 3 years to get good thermal I'll go with the second option and enjoy the digital night vision until I can afford better. Actually that's exactly what I have done. And those $400-$500 digital night vision scopes were $700 a couple years ago. Their price is coming down and the thermal sights prices are coming down so I may only have to save for 2 more years.

Yeah I'll have to buy twice, but I get to night hunt now and when I upgrade someone else (relative, friend, co-worker) can use my old stuff, it will still kill pigs at night.


"If your plan is for one year, plant rice.
If your plan is for ten years, plant trees.
If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children."
-- Confucius
Re: Night Vision or Thermal [Re: VAFish] #7021929
01/02/18 10:01 PM
01/02/18 10:01 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 1,314
Central Texas
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der Teufel Offline
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Originally Posted By: VAFish
Originally Posted By: Hunter-Steve
Originally Posted By: Pootie
As dT and HS above point out, digital is a gateway drug, but it will get you started.


It is definitely a gateway that will end up having you buy twice if you ever have the opportunity to use a thermal.

Save your money and get thermal. You will not regret it.



While I understand that sentiment, If the choice is to not buy any night vision at all and wait 2 years (of using a spot light) to save up the money, or buy a $400-$500 digital night vision scope now and save money for 3 years to get good thermal I'll go with the second option and enjoy the digital night vision until I can afford better. Actually that's exactly what I have done. And those $400-$500 digital night vision scopes were $700 a couple years ago. Their price is coming down and the thermal sights prices are coming down so I may only have to save for 2 more years.

Yeah I'll have to buy twice, but I get to night hunt now and when I upgrade someone else (relative, friend, co-worker) can use my old stuff, it will still kill pigs at night.


This is exactly what I did. I have an original Photon NV scope which I've used for a couple of years. I'll probably still use it on occasion for shooting at a feeder, or maybe for picking off raccoons at night. I just bought a thermal sight. I've only shot one hog with it so far but I'm looking forward to more. Still, the Photon has worked well and I don't regret buying it.

My sequence was to first buy the Photon. The next year I bought a thermal monocular. Then I finally got a thermal weapon sight. I just couldn't swing the entire expense in the beginning. But indeed, the Photon was what got me started!


You can never have too much ammo — unless you're swimming.
Re: Night Vision or Thermal [Re: VAFish] #7022024
01/02/18 10:52 PM
01/02/18 10:52 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 274
Appleby, TX
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Originally Posted By: VAFish

While I understand that sentiment, If the choice is to not buy any night vision at all and wait 2 years (of using a spot light) to save up the money, or buy a $400-$500 digital night vision scope now and save money for 3 years to get good thermal I'll go with the second option and enjoy the digital night vision until I can afford better........


This right here! I've explained this to customers 1,000 times. A $500 Sightmark Photon will get you 10x more hogs than a flashlight duct taped to the barrel of your rifle. grin Seriously though, VAFish is right, buy what you can afford now and go have fun with it. When you have the funds for thermal, make the plunge. I have customers who bought Photons 3 years ago for $500 and they are selling them used for $300-$350 and upgrading. You can use it for 2-3 years, have a ton of fun with it, kill a bunch of hogs and it only ended up costing you $150-$200....that's cheap entertainment if you ask me.

- Jason



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Pulsar, Sightmark, FLIR/Armasight, Trijicon & More
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Re: Night Vision or Thermal [Re: cah2873] #7024836
01/04/18 07:39 PM
01/04/18 07:39 PM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 327
Fairfax, VA
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VAFish Offline
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There is another advantage to buying the Digital NV and dipping your toes in the night hunting pool.

You get to test the waters and see how much night hunting you really are going to do and it gives you an idea how much more effective you can be with night vision. I guess that's kind of the gateway drug part of it.

For me I'm probably not going to buy thermal until I retire in a few years. Currently I'm working full time here in Virginia, In 2017 I was very lucky and got to make 2 trips to Texas for hog hunting, normally I get one trip in a year. One trip a year is hard to justify $3,500-$5,000 for some good thermal, but $500 for a digital NV scope that also works in the daylight I can justify. And if technology prices continue to drop like they have in the past when I'm ready to buy that $3,500-$5,000 thermal it's price will be down to $1,500-$2,500 or there will be something even better in that upper price range.

If I lived in TX, especially on enough land to hunt often, the "Buy Once Cry Once" mantra espoused by Hunter-Steve would be much stronger.


"If your plan is for one year, plant rice.
If your plan is for ten years, plant trees.
If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children."
-- Confucius
Re: Night Vision or Thermal [Re: cah2873] #7026802
01/06/18 02:48 AM
01/06/18 02:48 AM
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Posts: 5,519
Mesquite, Tx
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I have a photon and bushnell Equinox monocular for scanning. My question is how much better is an entry level thermal scope over my current setup? Entry level being Flir PTS 233, ATN Thor or Pulsar Core. I primarily hunt blinds over feeders and a 120 acre wheat field.

I'm really happy with my setup and trying to determine if an entry level thermal is worth 4x price of my current scope. Two disadvantages I see is not being able to find pigs in the tree line, and pigs sometimes spooking when the IR is turned on.

Re: Night Vision or Thermal [Re: cah2873] #7026988
01/06/18 12:14 PM
01/06/18 12:14 PM
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Even the new flir thermal will serve you better than i2. You’ll detect animals that you didn’t even know you should be looking for . It hard to describe until you see it yourself. You have no idea what your missing . If you’d like to come down and see first hand hos the stuff works/performs, give me a shout. We’re always needing another shooter to help out . Got plenty of extra for you to borrow. Let me know

Re: Night Vision or Thermal [Re: cah2873] #7027866
01/07/18 04:39 AM
01/07/18 04:39 AM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 274
Appleby, TX
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I'm not sure what your budget it, but there is no question, thermal is a game changer. Especially if you are hunting 120 acre fields. The biggest challenge my Photon customers have when switching to thermal is getting used to the low magnification of thermal. It's actually a good thing (lower magnification) in my opinion, because the field of view is so much greater. However, the picture in picture option in the Pulsars is a great feature that can help alleviate some of the magnification woes of new thermal users.

My first hand observations, buy the PTS233 only if you want to record video, great scope but that is the only real benefit over the RXQ. Buy the RXQ30V if you want a slightly better image, picture in picture and save $300 to boot. Don't by a Thor for any reason.

Midway is dead on about one thing in particular....you will see animals you never knew existed with the digital. But is it worth 4x as much as the Photon? Great question, only you can answer that. It comes down to your budget and how much you enjoy this hobby or how much damage hogs are doing to your property.



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