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Any Thermals on Shotguns? #8490313 12/30/21 02:47 AM
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Any of you using thermals on shotguns? I do a lot of stalking and a shotgun would be better a lot of times but need the thermal side of things. Just wondering what had worked well for anyone. Thanks.

Re: Any Thermals on Shotguns? [Re: bassfishinglawyer] #8490354 12/30/21 03:43 AM
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Thermal is fairy horrible in thick areas where there would be any benefit of most people carrying a shotgun over a centerfire rifle.

Re: Any Thermals on Shotguns? [Re: bassfishinglawyer] #8490411 12/30/21 05:33 AM
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SapperTitan ran a Pulsar thermal for years on his shotgun

He is pretty much the only Dude I know that did it seriously well….


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Re: Any Thermals on Shotguns? [Re: Dzhitshard] #8490671 12/30/21 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Dzhitshard
Thermal is fairy horrible in thick areas where there would be any benefit of most people carrying a shotgun over a centerfire rifle.


So what is better in thick areas than thermal?


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Re: Any Thermals on Shotguns? [Re: Double Naught Spy] #8490701 12/30/21 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Double Naught Spy
Originally Posted by Dzhitshard
Thermal is fairy horrible in thick areas where there would be any benefit of most people carrying a shotgun over a centerfire rifle.


So what is better in thick areas than thermal?



Dogs.....


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Re: Any Thermals on Shotguns? [Re: flintknapper] #8490802 12/30/21 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by flintknapper
Originally Posted by Double Naught Spy
Originally Posted by Dzhitshard
Thermal is fairy horrible in thick areas where there would be any benefit of most people carrying a shotgun over a centerfire rifle.


So what is better in thick areas than thermal?



Dogs.....


How do you mount a dog on your rifle or shogun? Curious minds want to know.


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Re: Any Thermals on Shotguns? [Re: Double Naught Spy] #8490894 12/30/21 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Double Naught Spy
Originally Posted by flintknapper
Originally Posted by Double Naught Spy
Originally Posted by Dzhitshard
Thermal is fairy horrible in thick areas where there would be any benefit of most people carrying a shotgun over a centerfire rifle.


So what is better in thick areas than thermal?



Dogs.....


How do you mount a dog on your rifle or shogun? Curious minds want to know.


Yeah, I might even pay $5 to see that…


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Re: Any Thermals on Shotguns? [Re: Double Naught Spy] #8490932 12/30/21 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Double Naught Spy
Originally Posted by Dzhitshard
Thermal is fairy horrible in thick areas where there would be any benefit of most people carrying a shotgun over a centerfire rifle.


So what is better in thick areas than thermal?


a, head mounted high spec gen3 NV with weapon mounted aiming laser/designator.
b, the NV in combo of weapon mounted white light and a sighting option for quick shooting.
c, weapon mounted high spec gen3 nv sight
d, green headlamp and an activated white light on weapon with sighting option

The noise of reflected radiation in thick cover tends to compound with the higher humidity that those areas naturally have over open areas just a few yards away. NV is far more effective in thick areas in almost all conditions.

With anything thermal that runs auto brightness and contrast algorithms they can turn $6k nearly useless in thick shrubby areas.

My REAP was really clear 15 minutes earlier in open timbered areas but turned nearly useless in the overgrown (bee brush/blue thorn/mesquite) pastures I hunt. I actually had a much more positive experience using my Hogster35 in any areas that were slightly thick than I had with the REAP.
The HaloX is pretty poor at it. The Rico is markedly better than both but it is still not usable IMO and it has nothing to do with base magnification. The best performing thermal I have in the thick brushy bedding areas is the MH25. At night I keep it rotated up most times and rely on a PVS14 and a rifle mounted laser or white light to shoot in the thick areas.

I would caveat that my idea of "thick" areas are places that regularly have less than 5-10yds of open line of sight. I still prefer a rifle with a solid performing intermediate caliber myself but have several people who hunt with me that would prefer they had a shotgun in those areas. Personally, I feel a lot of it is misguided being they'd be just as likely to miss with a shotgun in fast shooting scenarios in those tight confines as they are to miss with a rifle. With a shotgun they'll have slower shot recovery from the heavier recoil and fewer rounds

Re: Any Thermals on Shotguns? [Re: bassfishinglawyer] #8490941 12/30/21 09:12 PM
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Some Rough references of places I wander into where thermal isn’t so hot on its own.

Re: Any Thermals on Shotguns? [Re: Dzhitshard] #8491427 12/31/21 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Dzhitshard


a, head mounted high spec gen3 NV with weapon mounted aiming laser/designator.
b, the NV in combo of weapon mounted white light and a sighting option for quick shooting.
c, weapon mounted high spec gen3 nv sight
d, green headlamp and an activated white light on weapon with sighting option

The noise of reflected radiation in thick cover tends to compound with the higher humidity that those areas naturally have over open areas just a few yards away. NV is far more effective in thick areas in almost all conditions.



That is some interesting consideration, but pretty much the binary opposite to why most people use thermal.


A) Let's see, while Gen 3 is good, it loses considerable ability under tree canopy of thick areas and then you need to use a IR light and you have to deal with reflectivity issues. The laser designator will light up on every branch it touches and cause a bloom of reflected light. NV by itself just does not see well in the shadows at all.
B) White light will be reflected off of all vegetation in the foreground
C) Same as A
D) Same as B

One reason why police helicopters search with thermal now instead of white light or NV is because criminals and such can hide under vegetation from white light and NV quite readily.

The last sentence there is paticularly interesting because thermal does not typically seen "noise of reflected radiation" in thick cover.

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Re: Any Thermals on Shotguns? [Re: Double Naught Spy] #8491630 12/31/21 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Double Naught Spy
Originally Posted by Dzhitshard


a, head mounted high spec gen3 NV with weapon mounted aiming laser/designator.
b, the NV in combo of weapon mounted white light and a sighting option for quick shooting.
c, weapon mounted high spec gen3 nv sight
d, green headlamp and an activated white light on weapon with sighting option

The noise of reflected radiation in thick cover tends to compound with the higher humidity that those areas naturally have over open areas just a few yards away. NV is far more effective in thick areas in almost all conditions.



That is some interesting consideration, but pretty much the binary opposite to why most people use thermal.


A) Let's see, while Gen 3 is good, it loses considerable ability under tree canopy of thick areas and then you need to use a IR light and you have to deal with reflectivity issues. The laser designator will light up on every branch it touches and cause a bloom of reflected light. NV by itself just does not see well in the shadows at all.
B) White light will be reflected off of all vegetation in the foreground
C) Same as A
D) Same as B

One reason why police helicopters search with thermal now instead of white light or NV is because criminals and such can hide under vegetation from white light and NV quite readily.

The last sentence there is paticularly interesting because thermal does not typically seen "noise of reflected radiation" in thick cover.





With the utmost respect, you are incorrect on several points. I hope it doesn't come across like I'm trying to be some gi joe big brain because it is absolutely not my intent.

heat radiates. that "radiation" travels in a straight line and is either absorbed or reflected off of surfaces it strikes. Thermal absolutely picks up that reflected heat in crowded environments depicted in the photos above as signal noise, and it especially effects the thermal's image quality if it's being used on ground level.

Thermal image from the ground on the top reference hog photo leaves the screen virtually whited out and the hog was barely visible from 30' with one of the top performing 640 core devices while the rear half of the carcass was entirely visible in clear detail with my pvs14.

From the air wasn't much better until I dropped to 30' AGL. At that elevation I turned on the white lights to get positive ID of the carcass and that is the screen shot depicted. On thermal at 100' AGL I could not make out most of the rocks to the left of the carcass but under white light at 30' you can see there is no canopy covering them. That is because of the noise caused from the reflected radiation. Again, that is the best 640 drone camera commercially available without buying it on an agency letterhead.

I understand the points you're making about NV and low light tactics are likely based on your previous use.

They may be accurate in the context of how you used them but they aren't necessarily truths across all use. There are a number of ways to keep the reflectance issues you alluded to down. Umbrella lighting under low (ceiling height) canopy, lower or focusable flood output, different wavelengths and on. Laser reflectance isn't much of an issue because you should only fire the laser when your'e getting ready to work the trigger and you should have an appropriate diode output for your task. IE, you don't need full power restricted lasers for this environment. Because one is unaware of the techniques or unequipped to perform them doesn't mean that the techniques aren't effective.

I can assure you that exactly zero professional end users are going into palm groves, deltas, or thickly shrubbed areas like the ones displayed in the pics above relying on ground based thermal imaging systems. They primarily will use i2 NV or low light patrol and engagement techniques at the ground level because they work better than thermal.

These techniques also work better than most thermal applications for hunting hogs in these environments as well. I've taken a number off them between 10-30' in this manner within the past few months just to test the utility of the technique in pressured areas since the start of rifle deer season. I also have used a cheap $40 amazon red laser pointer and white light but forgot to include that in my examples.

The comments you made about FLIR for aerial search aren't entirely accurate in my experience either. Rotary wing assets normally use FLIR hand in hand with i2 NV and often use all 3 search tools in combination for many of the same reasons I touched on above. Additionally the majority of the FLIR units being used across all aerial platforms are cooled units & the capabilities they have cannot reasonably be compared to anything we are buying off the web.

Re: Any Thermals on Shotguns? [Re: bassfishinglawyer] #8493046 01/02/22 06:39 AM
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I’ve killed a few hundred hogs using my grandpas 1970 870 wingmaster with a rifled barrel. Not bc I wanted to but bc I had no choice as Ft Hood only allows rifle on guided deer hunts. Can get off 5 accurate shots very quickly with some practice and the Hornady SSTs are very accurate out to 100 yds.


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Re: Any Thermals on Shotguns? [Re: Dzhitshard] #8493368 01/02/22 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Dzhitshard

With the utmost respect, you are incorrect on several points. I hope it doesn't come across like I'm trying to be some gi joe big brain because it is absolutely not my intent.



Well, with all due respect, my opinion is not unique to me. Thermal is the clear winner in thick brush.

https://opticsmag.com/night-vision-vs-thermal-optics-whats-best-for-hunting/
https://huntingmark.com/night-vision-vs-thermal-scopes/
https://airsoft-milsim-news.com/night-vision-vs-thermal-scopes-whats-the-difference/
https://www.grandviewoutdoors.com/predator-hunting/shoot-hogs-thermal-night-vision-2
https://discussions.texasbowhunter.com/showthread.php?p=13956385

Harkriscar was able to spot things in brush that he would have missed with binos in daylight, LOL.
https://texashuntingforum.com/forum...46/thermals-for-deer-hunting#Post8435846

And yes, radiated heat may be absorbed or reflected, but we don't see much in the way of reflected heat from thermals which is why you don't see the ground glowing underneath animals as they walk around. They aren't "illuminating" the environment around them through with their radiated heat that you then see reflected back to you. If that is what you are seeing with your thermal and it is confusing you, then you have some messed up settings. Off of shiny surfaces like mirrors and water, sure, you will see a reflected image. Otherwise, the image you see from an animal is pretty much only straight line radiation.

None of your images show this problem of 'reflected' heat confusing the image. None of your pics are a comparison of NV versus thermal.

Todd Huey has a pretty good video demonstrating moving in and out of thick cover between Gen 3 NV with and without an illuminator and with thermal. Thermal just does better at spotting him, plain and simple. The only problems with 'reflection' that show up are with the IR illuminator and none with thermal.



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Re: Any Thermals on Shotguns? [Re: bassfishinglawyer] #8493378 01/02/22 07:05 PM
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Here is another example with some side by side comparisons from UNV.



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Re: Any Thermals on Shotguns? [Re: Double Naught Spy] #8493432 01/02/22 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Double Naught Spy
Originally Posted by Dzhitshard

With the utmost respect, you are incorrect on several points. I hope it doesn't come across like I'm trying to be some gi joe big brain because it is absolutely not my intent.



Well, with all due respect, my opinion is not unique to me. Thermal is the clear winner in thick brush.

https://opticsmag.com/night-vision-vs-thermal-optics-whats-best-for-hunting/
https://huntingmark.com/night-vision-vs-thermal-scopes/
https://airsoft-milsim-news.com/night-vision-vs-thermal-scopes-whats-the-difference/
https://www.grandviewoutdoors.com/predator-hunting/shoot-hogs-thermal-night-vision-2
https://discussions.texasbowhunter.com/showthread.php?p=13956385

Harkriscar was able to spot things in brush that he would have missed with binos in daylight, LOL.
https://texashuntingforum.com/forum...46/thermals-for-deer-hunting#Post8435846

And yes, radiated heat may be absorbed or reflected, but we don't see much in the way of reflected heat from thermals which is why you don't see the ground glowing underneath animals as they walk around. They aren't "illuminating" the environment around them through with their radiated heat that you then see reflected back to you. If that is what you are seeing with your thermal and it is confusing you, then you have some messed up settings. Off of shiny surfaces like mirrors and water, sure, you will see a reflected image. Otherwise, the image you see from an animal is pretty much only straight line radiation.

None of your images show this problem of 'reflected' heat confusing the image. None of your pics are a comparison of NV versus thermal.

Todd Huey has a pretty good video demonstrating moving in and out of thick cover between Gen 3 NV with and without an illuminator and with thermal. Thermal just does better at spotting him, plain and simple. The only problems with 'reflection' that show up are with the IR illuminator and none with thermal.



I'm not arguing that cart blanche NV is better for all hunting than thermal. I obviously use thermal as a primary hunting optic myself. It's just in the thicker areas I provided as examples above where I'm saying it is lacking. I may have made a mistaken ASSumption that it's those environments where someone may prefer a scattergun. Sapper's post brought it to my attention that some people may be looking the shotgun/thermal route not because of the close confines but because of regulatory restrictions and my assumptions wouldn't necessarily apply to all of those cases.

It's a difficult typing conversation. Much easier to demonstrate in person or even get across over a diner table drawing on napkins and spilling coffee.

None of the videos linked above are in what I was considering the "shotgun" range that I specifically outlined. All of that is footage at distance and that is the difference in results. In a thick vegetated area when you close that distance between your receiver and reflective surfaces of the vegetation that the radiation is bouncing off of you get the noise. It has little to do with device settings but depending on the algorithms they run some devices are much worse than others.

It is not a question that the humidity effects displayed image from scattering and reflecting radiated signal. Why would it not be the same thing happening when you step into thick brushy areas except instead of billions of tiny moisture particulates doing it over distance you have thousands of exponentially larger surface area leaves at different angles acting similarly as the moisture particulate & causing the same effect? It's also amplified to different extents given the specific plant types present because anywhere you have vegetation in a tight area you're going to have a higher percentage of humidity than an open area.

You can have a respectable image 30 yds away in the open & then step into the bee brush in my top photo example and your thermal signal is going to become garbage.

This is a short clip I took just outside of the really thick stuff after I bumped the pigs out of their beds in it. I had high tailed it back to my tripod and got back into them as they fed to water. This video is less than 100yds away from the 1st pig carcass photo example I provided. In the first 20 seconds you can see some of the washout on my rifle thermal as it completely loses pigs and shows very little of others even with a relatively clear line of sight less than 15yds away. I had my goggles (one thermal one pvs14) down the majority of the time and the rifle video is just "instinctively" sighted in on targets because it's at the ready. I'll often click the pressure pad to get a laser on one if they're close and I'm still deciding if I want to lift the goggles and get behind the gun and try to record a good clip. The trailing boar finally caught me <20yds when I decided he was going to come in too close & I rotated my goggles up to take him and attempt to get a good crumpling pig clip. The detent clicks of unlocking and then stowing the goggles up caught his ear.

Please excuse the production. I threw this together one morning for the land owner. It was intended to be more educational than for entertainment value. I am not a very good editor and definitely not going far as a youtuber.



Last edited by Dzhitshard; 01/02/22 08:49 PM.
Re: Any Thermals on Shotguns? [Re: bassfishinglawyer] #8493626 01/03/22 02:20 AM
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More than I bargained for bolt

I was wondering something like a thermal reflex sight like the Sig Echo or something similar??

Re: Any Thermals on Shotguns? [Re: bassfishinglawyer] #8493672 01/03/22 03:45 AM
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Sig Echos certainly have the capability to withstand the recoil. I tested one with a .50 Beowolf and it worked fine in terms of durability. The Echo and then the Echo II were largely a marketing flop. Unlike reflex sights, they tend to have a fairly narrow FOV. They are now up to the Echo 3 and the technology and resolution have improved, but some of the features are pretty much just useless. For example, it has a shot computer that will adjust the zero to the correct point based on the distance to the target via a non-NV/thermal rangefinder that will be all but useless in the dark. The Echos all produce a goodly amount of light, so your face is lit up when you use it. The narrow FOV isn't going to be a benefit for you in short range thick brush areas.

These are really more of a reflex sight in terms of style than function. Once you go beyond 1x, you are now dealing more with a 'scout rifle' thermal with a long eye relief low magnification image.

Occasionally, people will find that the Echos meet their needs, but to date, I never have met anybody that hunts who purchased one that kept it.

Sig has been producing these since about 2016 and you virtually never hear about anyone using them. It is a well made product, but not one that fits common niche, but more of one where you need to find a niche to fit it. Maybe your shotgun problem would be it?


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Re: Any Thermals on Shotguns? [Re: bassfishinglawyer] #8494044 01/03/22 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by bassfishinglawyer
More than I bargained for bolt

I was wondering something like a thermal reflex sight like the Sig Echo or something similar??



Well, that's a much quicker answer.

No.

Like Sus said, the Echo line is reflex in appearance only.

The only reflex worth spending the ammo to zero it is $10,000.00 and it's still not highly thought of by the couple guys I know who have access to one. It would probably work better for your needs than theirs though.

Occasionally I see the Echo1 come up for sale in the $500 range and the 2 come up between $700-$1k. I almost bought a 2 just to have a sub $1k thermal to throw on a rifle and sit someone in a box blind over a feeder with. Then the seller fired it up and the backlighting lit up his head like a prison spot light. Thermals throw backlight as a design across all models but normally that light is 3" from your eye while you have the gun up. These "reflex" offerings project it from 10" or so from your head. It doesn't exactly blind you but it sure cuts down both of your eye's ability to see much detail of anything in front of the sight that wasn't in the display. Not something I wanted in an optic with a narrow (5degree?) fov for someone sitting over a feeder that was likely to have deer around it at the same time with the hogs.

The 3 did increase the fov but the promo videos hide the projector lighting issue by primarily showing reviewers using the rainbow palate with brightness turned all the way down. And it's still shining bright.

Re: Any Thermals on Shotguns? [Re: bassfishinglawyer] #8495998 01/05/22 11:27 PM
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Consiglieri

Speak of the devil. Steiner decided the reflex CQT was a commercial flop so they're blowing them out starting today and they're marked down to $6k

Re: Any Thermals on Shotguns? [Re: bassfishinglawyer] #8496129 01/06/22 01:57 AM
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Sadly, Steiner has a history of thermal flops.

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Re: Any Thermals on Shotguns? [Re: Double Naught Spy] #8496213 01/06/22 03:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Double Naught Spy
Sadly, Steiner has a history of thermal flops.


No lies detected here
roflmao

Re: Any Thermals on Shotguns? [Re: bassfishinglawyer] #8507329 01/18/22 08:23 PM
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Was in the middle of a bunch of piglets in an open field last night, but even with the moonlight I needed a thermal and I could have had 6 - 7 in one shot I think.

Have to figure out something on this.

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