texashuntingforum.com logo
Main Menu
Advertisement
Affiliates
Advertisement
Newest Members
RANGER94F, LeftHandStan, reicemann, RumTex, bmicek
69433 Registered Users
Top Posters(All Time)
dogcatcher 109,577
bill oxner 90,052
SnakeWrangler 62,542
stxranchman 59,352
Gravytrain 44,694
RKHarm24 44,585
rifleman 44,461
BMD 41,232
Forum Statistics
Forums46
Topics606,588
Posts11,339,427
Members84,433
Most Online19,184
Feb 5th, 2020
Print Thread
NV or Thermal Scope #8467071 12/05/21 02:58 PM
Joined: Dec 2021
Posts: 4
D
Danny L. Weems Offline OP
Green Horn
OP Offline
Green Horn
D
Joined: Dec 2021
Posts: 4
Hey guys this is my first post on here, been on the TFF for years but just getting back into hunting and looking to thin out some of the hogs that have been tearing up my pastures.
Im looking for recommendations on something to shoot at night up to 300 yards off an AR-15.
There are so many options for nv or thermal and I have zero experience with any of them.
A friend has a ATN Thor 4 640 but I’m not sure that is the best for what I’m looking to do.
I like the idea of having an add on thermal so that I can have a 1x6 or 1x8 for daytime hunting and home defense then add the thermal for nighttime.
Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Danny


Danny L. Weems
Re: NV or Thermal Scope [Re: Danny L. Weems] #8467107 12/05/21 03:56 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 7,523
Double Naught Spy Online Happy
THF Trophy Hunter
Online Happy
THF Trophy Hunter
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 7,523
Just my opinion, but ATN isn't a brand that anybody should want to use.

Clip-ons have their place. I am not a fan of them in general. People often think that a clip-on thermal will allow them the best of both worlds between a daylight optic and a thermal and it is something of a compromise on the thermal side. You can zoom your daylight scope to 8x, but your clip-on image will be a 1x image magnified 8 times, sort of like holding a magnifying glass up to your TV screen. The process does work, but not as well as a dedicated thermal rifle scope.

With that said, I would suggest you look into a Bering Optics Super Yoter-C (C for clip-on) as being the best bang for your buck if you go the clip-on route. For 300 yard shots, you are definitely going to want a 640 resolution clip-on and not anything less.


Hogdalorian - Si vis pacem cum sus, para bellum.
My Videos https://www.youtube.com/user/HornHillRange
Re: NV or Thermal Scope [Re: Danny L. Weems] #8467220 12/05/21 06:17 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,713
S
syncerus Online Content
Extreme Tracker
Online Content
Extreme Tracker
S
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,713
As mentioned above, whichever direction you go, it's best to avoid ATN. That out of the way, the first thing to do is to define your budget and to understand how you want to hunt. There's no doubt that thermal is always the "best" choice, but there's also no doubt that it's the most expensive. To be blunt, it's crazy to pay thermal prices if you're only going to hunt three or four times a year. There are a couple of nuances with thermal, or any other NV for that matter. The first is the trade off between field of view and magnification. To simplify, you don't usually get both in the same device. Finally, most of us end up shooting 90% of our hogs somewhere between 40 and 80 yards away, as a sneak is possible most of the time. My suggestion is this: if you aren't entirely sure what you need, then buy a Sightmark Wraith 4K in either the Min (2-16x) or Max (4-32x) version and a good 800nm illuminator. Hunt with it eight or ten times, and see how you feel then. The device has pretty good resale value, so you won't lose that much in the transaction which is chickenfeed compared to thermal.

Conventional NV can be **much** better than digital, but the good stuff is fairly expensive, into the thermal range, and you're better off hunting with thermal, at least in my opinion. FWIW, I own three conventional NV scopes, and a couple conventional NV spotters of greatly varying quality and capability.

I'm hardly an expert on thermal, having only recently purchased my first thermal scanner, but I've used conventional NV for perhaps ten years, and it's really all that you need if you're hunting over feeders. Now for spot and stalk across a large property, there's no substitute for thermal, but even there you can use a thermal scanner for spotting and conventional or digital NV for shooting.


NRA Patriot Benefactor & DSC Lifer
Re: NV or Thermal Scope [Re: Danny L. Weems] #8467253 12/05/21 06:49 PM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 7,903
Greg Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 7,903
I got into the thermal game last week and did some looking before I did. You know how sometimes you make a purchase and have buyers remorse the next day? That’s NOT the case here. I went with the rattler TS35-384 and it seems like a real solid scope. Loads of features, great reviews, and the price was right. Even came with a free ASP Micro monocular. Here is a video of me after I stepped off 120 yards. (Also…this was at the lowest power setting and held in hand/not mounted on a gun).

video:youtube]https://youtube.com/shorts/RpYhI32y93E?feature=share[/video]

Bear in mind this video was screen copied off my iPhone and then uploaded to YouTube. Looks even better in real life.
welcome to THF

Re: NV or Thermal Scope [Re: Danny L. Weems] #8468162 12/06/21 08:22 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 3,935
CharlieCTx Online Content
Extreme Tracker
Online Content
Extreme Tracker
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 3,935
Skip the Night Vision step and go straight to a nice used Thermal to start. No ATN.

A quality quick detach will allow you swap in/out whatever you want.

Good luck!
Charlie


Kel-Tec RFB + Griffin Sportsman Ultra Light 300 + Pulsar Apex XQ-50
M&P-10 + AAC Cyclone
Remy 700 + Leupold VX3 3.5x10x50 CDS
Re: NV or Thermal Scope [Re: Danny L. Weems] #8470845 12/09/21 07:31 PM
Joined: Nov 2020
Posts: 202
D
Dzhitshard Online Content
Woodsman
Online Content
Woodsman
D
Joined: Nov 2020
Posts: 202
Thermal is by far the easiest to use in a lot of environments. There is a learning curve to NV and the equipment is usually more expensive than thermal unless you are willing to accept the limitations of digital NV. NV it will rarely be as good of a tool for detection outside of using a TV monitor.

That said, depending on your primary environment you'll have to choose. If you have a lot of taller weeds or thick brush in your primary hunting area thermal may not be the best rifle mounted tool. Analog or even digital NV is often a better tool there. A lower priced digital NV, supplemental IR light with adjustable output and focus, and a lower priced hand held thermal scanner is pretty effective if you learn to use it.

This is an example of how easy even the best thermals can be defeated by something as minimal as dried up broom weed. Once the pig flopped over there was absolutely no view of him with thermal. He was easily seen laying there with night vision.



That video was put together as a joke so it's not the best but does demonstrate what I'm referring to pretty well. doublenaughtspie has a bunch of VERY good videos shooting pigs in open pastures and love grass and quite often at points a lot of the hog anatomy is not viewable to thermal where it would be with NV. He also occasionally shows the difficulty of finding down hogs in that environment with thermal and white light. He's done a great job taking field video that is educational. I'd recommend you check them out scanning through & seeing if any of his provided video matches your potential night hunting environment and then make your choice.

Re: NV or Thermal Scope [Re: Danny L. Weems] #8471213 12/10/21 02:19 AM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 7,523
Double Naught Spy Online Happy
THF Trophy Hunter
Online Happy
THF Trophy Hunter
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 7,523
Quote
doublenaughtspie has a bunch of VERY good videos shooting pigs in open pastures and love grass and quite often at points a lot of the hog anatomy is not viewable to thermal where it would be with NV.


Not exactly. I have never pointed out hog anatomy not visible on thermal that would be visible with NV. I used to hunt with NV, LOL. I hunt with thermal because so much more animal life is detectable and visible with thermal than it would be with NV.

A hog in high grass with parts hidden by the grass is NOT more viewable with NV than thermal. NV usually has worse issues than thermal in vegetative situations because NV tends to see what is out in front and does not see well into the shadows where thermal can see.

The reason why folks like to search for downed hogs with thermal is because they can easily detect hot spots through breaks in the vegetation that even if observed in NV would not necessarily even be recognized as being critter.


Hogdalorian - Si vis pacem cum sus, para bellum.
My Videos https://www.youtube.com/user/HornHillRange
Re: NV or Thermal Scope [Re: Danny L. Weems] #8471293 12/10/21 03:18 AM
Joined: Nov 2020
Posts: 202
D
Dzhitshard Online Content
Woodsman
Online Content
Woodsman
D
Joined: Nov 2020
Posts: 202
My apologies for the lack of clarity
.

I didn’t intend to say that you pointed it out. I intended to convey that you do a good job at videoing animals and that situation can be seen in some of the environments.

I did caveat that there is a big learning curve with NV and that you really need a focusable variable output illuminator to maximize the potential. When you have the proper tools, understand what they are capable of, and have the experience to use them in the most efficient manner for the given environment they are highly capable.

I primarily use thermal for hogs but I don’t hunt much high grass pasture. If I were I’d be using my NV more often than I am. I brought up NV in that context because the OP mentioned night hunting his pasture and he could be pretty disappointed with his purchase if he wasn’t aware of some of the limitations of thermal if he has high grass pastures.




Last edited by Dzhitshard; 12/10/21 03:19 AM.
Re: NV or Thermal Scope [Re: Danny L. Weems] #8471369 12/10/21 04:50 AM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 7,523
Double Naught Spy Online Happy
THF Trophy Hunter
Online Happy
THF Trophy Hunter
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 7,523
No problem.

There is often a lot of misunderstanding as to what thermal can accomplish and how it compares with and departs from NV. Each has their strengths and each has their weaknesses.


Hogdalorian - Si vis pacem cum sus, para bellum.
My Videos https://www.youtube.com/user/HornHillRange
Re: NV or Thermal Scope [Re: Danny L. Weems] #8472239 12/11/21 04:25 AM
Joined: Dec 2021
Posts: 4
D
Danny L. Weems Offline OP
Green Horn
OP Offline
Green Horn
D
Joined: Dec 2021
Posts: 4
Thanks for all the information guys. I stopped in my local pawn shop/ gun store and picked up an AGM TS35-384.
I also went ahead and picked up a Sig 716i Tread in .308 to put it on for a dedicated night gun. I figured that if I have any trouble with the scope it will be good to have a local dealer for support.
Got in my stand just after dark yesterday and watched deer for about 2 hours before the hogs made there way to the feeder.
Shot 3 or 4 and recovered 2 of them. I do have a boar light set up on the feeder but the TS allowed me to shoot as they scattered and was running across the pasture.
I still have a lot to learn but so far I’m liking the scope. The quick release is nice and allowed me to remove it to scan then quickly attach it when needed.
I didn’t learn to record video until after I got home. Lol


Danny L. Weems
Re: NV or Thermal Scope [Re: Danny L. Weems] #8472475 12/11/21 04:56 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 2,143
D
der Teufel Online Content
Veteran Tracker
Online Content
Veteran Tracker
D
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 2,143
Welcome to the Poor House!!! hammer banana grin


You can never have too much ammo � unless you're swimming.
Re: NV or Thermal Scope [Re: Danny L. Weems] #8474301 12/13/21 03:03 PM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 6,471
M
mikei Offline
THF Trophy Hunter
Offline
THF Trophy Hunter
M
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 6,471
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

While slowly but surely stuffing my piggy bank with enough money to go thermal, I'm finding that my Wraith is working pretty well for me. These deer were chowing down under one of the feeders at 108 yards from my blind. The motion detecting hog lights certainly give the NV scope an assist, but even without them I get a "shootable" image of what's ever under the feeder at that range.

Re: NV or Thermal Scope [Re: Danny L. Weems] #8500165 01/10/22 04:36 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 632
F
floresrsr Offline
Tracker
Offline
Tracker
F
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 632
WOW! So much great information here. Thanks for sharing your experiences,


Once we have a war there is only one thing to do. It must be won. For defeat brings worse things than any that can ever happen in war.
Ernest Hemingway

Re: NV or Thermal Scope [Re: Danny L. Weems] #8502565 01/13/22 04:27 AM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 340
V
VAFish Offline
Bird Dog
Offline
Bird Dog
V
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 340
I know a lot of people around here like to talk bad about ATN.

But I bought one of the original X-Sights seven years ago for a hog hunting trip to my cousins place down in TX. I'm still killing hogs with it. My son has an X-sight and my nephew has an X-Sight II. Both of them are still killing hogs with them. We also have a Sightmark Wraith, a Sightmark Photon, and a Sig Echo 1 Thermal in our group of hunters.

Back just before Black Friday ATN had an awesome special price on their Thor LT thermals. I picked up a 320 3-6x, I haven't got down there to try it out on hogs yet, but just playing around with it watching the dogs and deer I'm pretty impressed with it.


Back to the OP's question, night vision or thermal?

If you can afford thermal, get it. Next best is the real night vision like Gen III or the WPT. But it is just as expensive as thermal these days.

If you have a $500 budget, get the Sightmark Wraith. One of my son's has one and the last time we were out he was killing hogs I couldn't see with my ATN X-Sight.

Digital night vision works pretty well for hunting hogs at night, and the scopes work in the daytime too. The down side I have found with digital night vision is in the thick stuff or if there is grass or tree branches between you and the hogs. The digital night vision needs an infrared light source, the grass and tree branches reflect back so much of the IR light that you can't see past the grass and branches. The up side of the digital night vision is that for the price you get very high resolution compared to the lower end thermal stuff.


"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: NV or Thermal Scope [Re: Danny L. Weems] #8502851 01/13/22 03:46 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 7,523
Double Naught Spy Online Happy
THF Trophy Hunter
Online Happy
THF Trophy Hunter
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 7,523
Quote
I know a lot of people around here like to talk bad about ATN. But I bought one of the original X-Sights seven years ago for a hog hunting trip to my cousins place down in TX. I'm still killing hogs with it. My son has an X-sight and my nephew has an X-Sight II. Both of them are still killing hogs with them


It isn't that ATN can't built a good scope. It is that if you have something go wrong which seems to happen more with ATNs than other brands, ATN's customer service has proven to be a challenge for many users.

If you bought an X-Sight, then you know that ATN never got all of the features fully working on it at the same time and often would disable a given feature in one upgrade to make another feature operable. Then, they just gave up on the X-Sight, screwing over a lot of THF members and the ATN rep who was on the site, disappeared.

Quote
Digital night vision works pretty well for hunting hogs at night, and the scopes work in the daytime too. The down side I have found with digital night vision is in the thick stuff or if there is grass or tree branches between you and the hogs. The digital night vision needs an infrared light source, the grass and tree branches reflect back so much of the IR light that you can't see past the grass and branches. The up side of the digital night vision is that for the price you get very high resolution compared to the lower end thermal stuff.


Problem with IR illuminator reflectivity off of near objects (branches, leaves, etc.) isn't limited to just digital night vision, but traditional night vision as well. It is sometimes a problem when shooting as well. The smoke/powder particles ejected from the muzzle create a smoke cloud off which the light is reflected and you are blinded. The only question is how long it will happen. On a night with a decent breeze, it won't be more than a flash. On a really calm and humid night were moisture is just hanging in the air, the cloud can sit in front of you for several seconds. The shots I hate most are when there is little breeze and you shoot a hog and are blinded for maybe just 1 second and it is like a magic act. The hog is there before the shot. There is a bright flash and smoke and then the hog is gone and you don't know which way or where it went.

Generally speaking, open fields, low vegetation, and a decent breeze and digital NV works very well. Right now it is about perfect for the winter wheat fields.


Hogdalorian - Si vis pacem cum sus, para bellum.
My Videos https://www.youtube.com/user/HornHillRange
Re: NV or Thermal Scope [Re: Double Naught Spy] #8503180 01/13/22 10:32 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 3,935
CharlieCTx Online Content
Extreme Tracker
Online Content
Extreme Tracker
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 3,935
Originally Posted by Double Naught Spy
The smoke/powder particles ejected from the muzzle create a smoke cloud off which the light is reflected and you are blinded. The only question is how long it will happen. On a night with a decent breeze, it won't be more than a flash. On a really calm and humid night were moisture is just hanging in the air, the cloud can sit in front of you for several seconds. The shots I hate most are when there is little breeze and you shoot a hog and are blinded for maybe just 1 second and it is like a magic act. The hog is there before the shot. There is a bright flash and smoke and then the hog is gone and you don't know which way or where it went.


DNS is spot on. My first foray into night hunting was the original X-Sight. It did have all of the ATN issues discussed, but the scenario above was the biggest problem. It was tough to get a second shot off as you had to relocate everything. I tried mounting my illuminator on the scope, in front of the scope, etc, no difference. Save your nickles and find a good used thermal, that's what I did when I moved up. Lots of folks get wound up on thermal hunting but stop going after a few hunts.

Charlie


Kel-Tec RFB + Griffin Sportsman Ultra Light 300 + Pulsar Apex XQ-50
M&P-10 + AAC Cyclone
Remy 700 + Leupold VX3 3.5x10x50 CDS
Previous Thread
Index
Next Thread

© 2004-2022 OUTDOOR SITES NETWORK all rights reserved USA and Worldwide
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3