New to Night Hunting

Revolting Peasant

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 10, 2017
Messages
256
Location
Matagorda, Texas
I haven’t had a thermal fail me yet. But largest I am shooting them on is .300BLK and 6.5 Grendel. I don’t necessarily baby my electronics but I do try to safeguard them where possible. My dealer pointed me to the thermals/NV with the best reputation and factory support. He has taken care of several warranty issues over the years, dealing with the manufacturer himself. My oldest thermal monocular scanner is 10 years old or so.
Others haven’t been so lucky.
Others may chime in with lifespans.
 

kfreeze

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2014
Messages
504
Location
cambridge, mn
So how long do thermal scopes last? Is it because recoil does them in?
I don't know of anyone that had to throw one away because if was worn out. You can send them in to get fixed if they are out of warranty. Except some of the brands like flir that stopped selling to civilians, and smaller companies that have changed hands.
 

kfreeze

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2014
Messages
504
Location
cambridge, mn
Honestly, the best thing to do first is sit down and see how much you can afford to pay. The absolute cheapest set up I would use is a sightmark wraith and a coyote cannon IR illuminator. And those start at $600. Personally I like to use thermal scopes because they are way better for locating, but require you to be more patient and really look at stuff to make a positive sometimes. I hunt pigs in TX and coyotes in MN in more populated areas with my thermal where there are a lot of domestic dogs, so I have to pay close attention. The more you spend the better view you get.
 

Flintlock shooter

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 2, 2018
Messages
98
Location
Spokane WA
I have been hunting with Thermal since 2014. I have taken friends out with NV and they ended up not being able to see nearly as much and had troubles locating prey. I have no NV experience myself. Thermal is exceptional,,,,based on how much you spend. You will certainly get what you pay for. I hunt in mostly open areas of eastern WA, mixed with some timber hunting. Kills have ranged from close to over 400 yards.
All that to say that there is a lot more to night hunting than you think. I won't go into lots of detail here, but if you'd like to contact me I'd be more than happy to answer questions for you. I wish you the best of luck!!! Night hunting bites hard, so be ready for that!!! ;-)
 

Rflshootr

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2008
Messages
414
Location
Baltimore, MD
I haven’t had a thermal fail me yet. But largest I am shooting them on is .300BLK and 6.5 Grendel. I don’t necessarily baby my electronics but I do try to safeguard them where possible. My dealer pointed me to the thermals/NV with the best reputation and factory support. He has taken care of several warranty issues over the years, dealing with the manufacturer himself. My oldest thermal monocular scanner is 10 years old or so.
Others haven’t been so lucky.
Others may chime in with lifespans.
So what brand(s) do you use?
 

Double Naught Spy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2012
Messages
334
Location
Forestburg, Montague County, Texas
So how long do thermal scopes last? Is it because recoil does them in?

How "long" is a little to vague of a question. All electronics will fail eventually. The higher the recoil you put them through, the shorter their lifespan. Most are rated for .308 Win. Some are rated for more. I know a guy that runs his Pulsar thermal on a shotgun. It is rated for the recoil. Eventually, it did fail under warranty and they took care of him.

I have a Trijicon that I have been running for since 2015 (actually, it is a pre-Trijicon IR Defense IR Hunter MKIII). It has lasted well beyond its warranty period. I would estimate that I have more than 1000 hog kills using that optic and many thousands of rounds fired through my rifles using it. I hunt a LOT (3 nights a week, on average) and so the scope has been put through its paces. FYI, I hunt with 6.5 Grendel which is well within the tolerances of the scope.

I have no doubt that for most hunters, their thermal optics will be long out of warranty before they fire enough rounds through them to beat up the scope enough for it to fail. Probably more will fail due to tin whiskers than to recoil battering for said owners. Simply put, most thermal owners really don't use their gear very much.
 

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