Best Night Vision Scope for under $2000

JimFromTN

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Feb 19, 2020
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83
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TN
Really need to stick with thermal. Most if not all shots under 100 yds back in swamps. The reflection of the IR off of trees in thick cover renders ir night vision useless. It would be totally different if I was hunting open fields.
 

renagde

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May 4, 2020
Messages
21
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Somewhere in Paradise
Really need to stick with thermal. Most if not all shots under 100 yds back in swamps. The reflection of the IR off of trees in thick cover renders ir night vision useless. It would be totally different if I was hunting open fields.
Pulsar Core should do the trick then....if you can find one in stock.
 

mongo4567

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Joined
Feb 27, 2020
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14
Location
Pflugerville, TX
I have a pvs4 with gen 3 tube. Love it! It is big and heavy for sure, but it is awesome. I was thinking about something smaller and lighter and asked a local volume dealer about the atn. He said pulsar was the way to go in that price range.
 

JamieFoxx

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Joined
Jul 19, 2020
Messages
2
Location
Texas
ATN has the worst CS reputation of all the companies. When their scopes work, they work well. When they don't, it can be a nightmare to get serviced. The Thors have more features than the RXQ30V, however, but Pulsar has a reputation for excellent customer service. The problem with all three is that they are lower resolution and the images typically look perpetually out of focus except at exceptionally short distances, and even then, sometimes.

One of the major problems with using thermal is confusing animals. A deer in belly high grass with its head down can look like a hog. On occasion, a calf can look like a hog. Coyotes can be confused with deer. There is a property we used to hunt where guests commonly confused jackrabbits for coyotes. Distinguishing between the landowner's dog and a coyote can be difficult. You don't want to shoot the wrong animal.

The scopes you have listed are what I call 'barnyard' thermals. When I worked with Third Coast Thermal, we had folks that would buy low end thermal and usually within a few months were looking to sell it off for something better due to frustration of use - except one guy. He needed the cheapest thermal he could get his hands on to shoot varmints raiding his barnyard. He wasn't interested in hunting, but extermination and it was all short range shoot. His farthest shot would only be 75 yards and much of his shooting was inside of 20 yards. He got an RXQ30V and loved it. It did all he needed to do in his barnyard. He could tell the difference between a chicken and a fox/coyote, opossum, and raccoon or any of those vermin and his cattle. If it wasn't cow or chicken, it was getting shot.

My suggestion to you is that if you are only hunting with them only once or twice a year, rent quality, higher end thermal from some place like UNV https://www.ultimatenightvision.com/Rentals-s/1820.htm You will have the benefit of using a quality product and being able to identify properly and shoot at greater distances.

If you are dead set on buying something at this time, get a Sightmark Wraith night vision scope to hold you over until you save up enough money for a decent thermal scope.

Really, thinking about it, renting sounds like the best idea.
Thanks for sharing the rental info
 

HBoothe

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Joined
Aug 12, 2020
Messages
20
Location
Texas
This has probably been covered in the past but I am seriously considering purchasing a night vision scope for pig hunting. I haven't been able to justify in the past because I only go once or twice a year. Last year one of the guys I hunt with bought a leupold lto tracker so of course I bought one. I saw more pigs this last time than I have ever seen before because I was able to see them off in the woods. Unfortunately, all I had on my rifle was a scope with a green light. The lights seem to work great if the hog has his head down and eating. Every time I put the light on a hog that wasn't eating, it spooked and ran off. I missed probably a half a dozen opportunities because of this. As a result, I am now convinced myself that I must have a night vision scope on my rifle. I really like thermal after seeing what a relatively cheap thermal can do. Gen 1 is pretty much out of the question. I have only been able to find 3 that are in current production

atn thor 4 384 1.25-5x
atn thor lt 160 3-6x
Pulsar Core RXQ30V


Armasight used to have one in that price range but for some reason have discontinued them.
FWIW...this isn't the Gospel.

I had a Sightmark something or another. I liked it fine and it was about $700.

I had an ATN XSight 2...it sucked something awful and the company didn't care to hear about the problems I had when I called them so I sent it back supah quick.

I have thermals now, one of them a Pulsar. I lost a piece (the button shroud, plastic thing). They replaced it for free. They were pleasant to deal with.

Based on my limited experience I would choose the Pulsar over the ATN products just because of the interactions I've had with each company's customer service.

A friend has an ATN XSight 2 HD. I had a Pulsar XP38 a kid was carrying. I had a Trijicon IR-Hunter 35mm Mk III on my rifle. We all looked at a deer feeder about 75 yards away. The kid saw a deer under the feeder. I could read its mind. My friend asked, "There's a deer there?" He couldn't see it.

The point is: a quality illuminator is critical. With my friend's illuminator on maximum output I could barely see the eyes of the deer when I took a look through his scope. I never looked hard, so maybe that's why, and I never found a good illuminator for my NV time. You will want one that can be focused. Skip the super-bright and cheap stuff you may see on Amazon (which I bought) which cannot be focused. If you can't focus the light to the distance you want to be looking, the NV will adjust to the splash of light in the foreground, making visibility past about 15-20 yards very difficult. Just the same as you being outside on a dark night and turning on a very bright, un-focused spotlight: your eyes adjust to the splash light (reflected off the ground and other near objects) preventing you from seeing in the distance. So, too, will the NV scope washout if the illuminator is a flood.

--HC
 

Double Naught Spy

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Oct 8, 2012
Messages
329
Location
Forestburg, Montague County, Texas
The point is: a quality illuminator is critical. With my friend's illuminator on maximum output I could barely see the eyes of the deer when I took a look through his scope. I never looked hard, so maybe that's why, and I never found a good illuminator for my NV time.
--HC
If you are using digital NV, there are some that had/have trouble seeing the 940 nm IR illumination. Also, even if they can see 940 nm, 940 produces a shorter throw for the same amount of power than they typical 850 nm that most scopes come with. People want to use the 940 nm because it is nearly or is completely invisible at the source, whereas the 850s produce a noticeable dull red glow that can be observed.
 

JimFromTN

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Joined
Feb 19, 2020
Messages
83
Location
TN
I still have not bought anything. Its hard for me to pull the trigger on spending that much money. It is coming down to the wire. The Pulsar Core RXQ30V is being discontinued which makes no sense to me at all unless they are coming up with something better in that price range which it does not appear that they are. It seems ATN is the only manufacturer who sees a market for that price range of thermals. That does not rule it out by any means. I have also been recommended the Bering Optics Hogster-R 25mm which right now is only $300 more than the pulsar. I found some good reviews on it. The only bad reviews, if you can call them bad, is that they are relatively new and there aren't that many reviews. It has a 25mm objective which is slightly larger than the pulsar which has a 22mm objective so its supposed to have a better image. I wish they would dump the video recording, the blue tooth, and all the other useless bells and whistles that they charge extra for. I am not interested in making a movie or being able to live stream it to facebook. I just want to kill hogs.
 
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Kmccord

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Nov 30, 2016
Messages
641
Location
Reilly Springs, TX
I understand your pain, I to would like a Thermal, but I do not want to pay that price and to get it down to what I am comfortable to pay, the quality sucks to identify objects at distance past 200yds. I ended up just sticking with DNV and hunting 100 to 150 yards out over bait. The price of thermal is just to rich for me to shoot hogs, that 1lb of sausage is expensive..
 

JimFromTN

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Joined
Feb 19, 2020
Messages
83
Location
TN
I broke down and bought the hogster. I like it so far. The menuing is my only complaint. You have to go thru the menuing to zoom in and out. Maybe thats normal with other units but it should be its own button as far as I am concerned but its not a deal breaker. Happy so far.
 
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