AR15.Com Archives
 TAM-14
covrtsnpr  [Member]
4/29/2010 10:37:46 PM
Anyone use a Tam-14 and how did you like it?
Paid Advertisement
--
km2006dmax  [Team Member]
4/30/2010 10:25:04 PM
I had the chance to demo one for a few days, and I really liked the unit. I picked up on animals in tall grass that I couldn't detect with my night vision. Housing seemed solid, and the unit functioned well. Very nice unit in my opinion.

You might shoot HTR a IM. I know he has one, and uses it quite a bit hog hunting. I'm sure he could give you a better review than I.
covrtsnpr  [Member]
4/30/2010 10:56:54 PM
Thanks, I'll try to IM HTR.
Papi4baby  [Member]
5/3/2010 3:30:02 PM
Will you be using it on the rifle, or as an actual camera. For a rifle scope it's so so. The setup i seen it mounts is pretty high on an AR because of the special bracket need it. It's a pain to zero it.
hi-tech-rancher  [Team Member]
5/3/2010 11:09:19 PM
Originally Posted By covrtsnpr:
Thanks, I'll try to IM HTR.


Sorry I didn't respond to the IM. I think answering here might benefit others wondering the same things. Here's a brief review :

The TAM-14 is one of the early designs in thermal weapon sights. There are a few things about them that would be considered "quirks" by some. Let's get those out of the way. The "shutter refresh feature" causes the TAM to click and ever so slightly blink when it reassess the temperature differential in the surroundings versus those of targets. It does not affect my ability to scan or even shoot with it.

As for zeroing, yes, it has its challenges. But you have to remember this is a thermal sight, and light does not affect it. Hence, you have to shoot at a hot or cold item. I use drinking water bottles filled with hot tap water. You simply fill them up, and place them right in front of a target. The cap on the bottle looks like an arrow in the TAM, so I just set the crosshair, dot or chevron** right on top of it, so I have a precise aiming point. Bore sighting is very easy, and can be done at 25 yards. Then you shoot a few rounds at 50 and that's about it. Once you think you're dialed in, see if you can hit the bottle at 50 or 75. If so, that is about the size of the brainstem of a pig. If you can hit that, you're GTG.

I don't think that's really difficult at all. ** Better yet, there is a grid in the menu that allows you to find a dedicated zero for each rifle. It also allows you to select one of five reticles and zero each for a different gun! So far, the sight has held the zero for a 7.5 inch barreled Bushmaster carbon 15 upper suppressed, on my SBR lower. That is a "stalk up to within stinking distance" rifle, so precision is not critical... We already have 2 good kills since I put it on the little tiny SBR.

As for spotting, the TAM works very well. I can easily detect cows up to a mile away. I cannot ID them from that range, but with smaller animals, like coyotes and pigs, you can detect them to about 400-500 and ID them at about 200. If you get the 3X magnififer that range would get much greater.

Are there better units? Yes. If price were equal, I would recommend the Skeet IR, because it is a "clip on, thus requires no zeriong, and if you can imagine using that in front of a 4X trijicon, then you have something really awesome.

Prices of all thermal units will very likely come down. There is nothing magic about it. Thermal is common, and made for HVAC people and will very soon be showing up in Cadillacs. So, expect the price to come way down when enterprising companies start to make $3000 thermal units. I just could not wait that long, once I saw how much these things improved m kill ratio on hogs, day and night.

Hope this helps


PIC of the TAM-14 on one of my stalking guns. The mount is high enough for a perfect cheek weld and it clears the BUIS, too.:


fordkicksass  [Team Member]
5/4/2010 12:26:03 AM
Originally Posted By hi-tech-rancher:
Originally Posted By covrtsnpr:
Thanks, I'll try to IM HTR.


Sorry I didn't respond to the IM. I think answering here might benefit others wondering the same things. Here's a brief review :

The TAM-14 is one of the early designs in thermal weapon sights. There are a few things about them that would be considered "quirks" by some. Let's get those out of the way. The "shutter refresh feature" causes the TAM to click and ever so slightly blink when it reassess the temperature differential in the surroundings versus those of targets. It does not affect my ability to scan or even shoot with it.

As for zeroing, yes, it has its challenges. But you have to remember this is a thermal sight, and light does not affect it. Hence, you have to shoot at a hot or cold item. I use drinking water bottles filled with hot tap water. You simply fill them up, and place them right in front of a target. The cap on the bottle looks like an arrow in the TAM, so I just set the crosshair, dot or chevron** right on top of it, so I have a precise aiming point. Bore sighting is very easy, and can be done at 25 yards. Then you shoot a few rounds at 50 and that's about it. Once you think you're dialed in, see if you can hit the bottle at 50 or 75. If so, that is about the size of the brainstem of a pig. If you can hit that, you're GTG.

I don't think that's really difficult at all. ** Better yet, there is a grid in the menu that allows you to find a dedicated zero for each rifle. It also allows you to select one of five reticles and zero each for a different gun! So far, the sight has held the zero for a 7.5 inch barreled Bushmaster carbon 15 upper suppressed, on my SBR lower. That is a "stalk up to within stinking distance" rifle, so precision is not critical... We already have 2 good kills since I put it on the little tiny SBR.

As for spotting, the TAM works very well. I can easily detect cows up to a mile away. I cannot ID them from that range, but with smaller animals, like coyotes and pigs, you can detect them to about 400-500 and ID them at about 200. If you get the 3X magnififer that range would get much greater.

Are there better units? Yes. If price were equal, I would recommend the Skeet IR, because it is a "clip on, thus requires no zeriong, and if you can imagine using that in front of a 4X trijicon, then you have something really awesome.

Prices of all thermal units will very likely come down. There is nothing magic about it. Thermal is common, and made for HVAC people and will very soon be showing up in Cadillacs. So, expect the price to come way down when enterprising companies start to make $3000 thermal units. I just could not wait that long, once I saw how much these things improved m kill ratio on hogs, day and night.

Hope this helps


PIC of the TAM-14 on one of my stalking guns. The mount is high enough for a perfect cheek weld and it clears the BUIS, too.:

http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s233/dkred5854/DSCF9018-2-1.jpg?t=1272942502


I think that is the case on any thermal device w/ a VOx or amorphous silicone microbolometer inside. I know every VOx unit I've used has done this, which is detailed in the manual. It is just a brief half second or so and like HTR said it won't generally interfere w/ normal use. I too can see thermal possibly beginning to come down a little in price, maybe some day soon we will be able to buy a nice clip on sight w/ a 640x480 detector inside for the price of a PVS-14 Haha ok maybe that is a bit optimistic.
covrtsnpr  [Member]
5/4/2010 1:20:34 PM
Originally Posted By hi-tech-rancher:
Originally Posted By covrtsnpr:
Thanks, I'll try to IM HTR.


Sorry I didn't respond to the IM. I think answering here might benefit others wondering the same things. Here's a brief review :

The TAM-14 is one of the early designs in thermal weapon sights. There are a few things about them that would be considered "quirks" by some. Let's get those out of the way. The "shutter refresh feature" causes the TAM to click and ever so slightly blink when it reassess the temperature differential in the surroundings versus those of targets. It does not affect my ability to scan or even shoot with it.

As for zeroing, yes, it has its challenges. But you have to remember this is a thermal sight, and light does not affect it. Hence, you have to shoot at a hot or cold item. I use drinking water bottles filled with hot tap water. You simply fill them up, and place them right in front of a target. The cap on the bottle looks like an arrow in the TAM, so I just set the crosshair, dot or chevron** right on top of it, so I have a precise aiming point. Bore sighting is very easy, and can be done at 25 yards. Then you shoot a few rounds at 50 and that's about it. Once you think you're dialed in, see if you can hit the bottle at 50 or 75. If so, that is about the size of the brainstem of a pig. If you can hit that, you're GTG.

I don't think that's really difficult at all. ** Better yet, there is a grid in the menu that allows you to find a dedicated zero for each rifle. It also allows you to select one of five reticles and zero each for a different gun! So far, the sight has held the zero for a 7.5 inch barreled Bushmaster carbon 15 upper suppressed, on my SBR lower. That is a "stalk up to within stinking distance" rifle, so precision is not critical... We already have 2 good kills since I put it on the little tiny SBR.

As for spotting, the TAM works very well. I can easily detect cows up to a mile away. I cannot ID them from that range, but with smaller animals, like coyotes and pigs, you can detect them to about 400-500 and ID them at about 200. If you get the 3X magnififer that range would get much greater.

Are there better units? Yes. If price were equal, I would recommend the Skeet IR, because it is a "clip on, thus requires no zeriong, and if you can imagine using that in front of a 4X trijicon, then you have something really awesome.

Prices of all thermal units will very likely come down. There is nothing magic about it. Thermal is common, and made for HVAC people and will very soon be showing up in Cadillacs. So, expect the price to come way down when enterprising companies start to make $3000 thermal units. I just could not wait that long, once I saw how much these things improved m kill ratio on hogs, day and night.

Hope this helps


PIC of the TAM-14 on one of my stalking guns. The mount is high enough for a perfect cheek weld and it clears the BUIS, too.:

http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s233/dkred5854/DSCF9018-2-1.jpg?t=1272942502


Thanks that helps alot. I have a PVS-14 and IR laser now. How much would a Thermal sight help with hunting hogs and coyotes?

HogSWAT  [Team Member]
5/4/2010 6:14:40 PM


I bought 4 TAM-14's to start my hog control company. They were all 17 degree models. I had nothing but trouble with them right off the bat. They would fade in and out, they would get really fuzzy and act like the were out of focus, and two of them just went to a white screen and stopped working all together.

I use the more than most folks do I think, 5-6 nights a week I have them in the field. I had 3 on weapons and one used as a handheld spotter. When the two units broke, NIVISYS, sent me an 11 degree unit with a 3x multiplier on it. It has great range for a 160x120 res thermal. I can spot hogs out to 700-plus yards. They traded me my two TAM-14s for their version of the renegade 320, they call it the 'SCORPION". Good scope in my opinion, not GREAT, but good. MUCH better than the TAM. Its not a great scope because it doesn't seem to hold zero, I have to check it before each hunt.

As of now, I still have two units that are not functioning properly, but dealing with the company is less than easy. They don't exactly like returning phone calls and I'm pretty sure they don't like dealing with me, because when I call, its generally because I'm having a problem with their equipment. Still waiting to have the issues with the 2 units resolved.

If I had to do it over, I wouldn't have gone with 4 of them, I would have just bought one in 11 degree and a 3x multiplier. I use it as spotter and I would have bought 3 of the scorpions for mounting on the weapons.

I've killed hundreds of hogs with them but I'm eagerly waiting for anther company to come up with a good long range unit (1000+ yards capable) AND have good customer service.
hi-tech-rancher  [Team Member]
5/4/2010 6:39:37 PM
Originally Posted By covrtsnpr:
Originally Posted By hi-tech-rancher:
Originally Posted By covrtsnpr:
Thanks, I'll try to IM HTR.


Sorry I didn't respond to the IM. I think answering here might benefit others wondering the same things. Here's a brief review :

The TAM-14 is one of the early designs in thermal weapon sights. There are a few things about them that would be considered "quirks" by some. Let's get those out of the way. The "shutter refresh feature" causes the TAM to click and ever so slightly blink when it reassess the temperature differential in the surroundings versus those of targets. It does not affect my ability to scan or even shoot with it.

As for zeroing, yes, it has its challenges. But you have to remember this is a thermal sight, and light does not affect it. Hence, you have to shoot at a hot or cold item. I use drinking water bottles filled with hot tap water. You simply fill them up, and place them right in front of a target. The cap on the bottle looks like an arrow in the TAM, so I just set the crosshair, dot or chevron** right on top of it, so I have a precise aiming point. Bore sighting is very easy, and can be done at 25 yards. Then you shoot a few rounds at 50 and that's about it. Once you think you're dialed in, see if you can hit the bottle at 50 or 75. If so, that is about the size of the brainstem of a pig. If you can hit that, you're GTG.

I don't think that's really difficult at all. ** Better yet, there is a grid in the menu that allows you to find a dedicated zero for each rifle. It also allows you to select one of five reticles and zero each for a different gun! So far, the sight has held the zero for a 7.5 inch barreled Bushmaster carbon 15 upper suppressed, on my SBR lower. That is a "stalk up to within stinking distance" rifle, so precision is not critical... We already have 2 good kills since I put it on the little tiny SBR.

As for spotting, the TAM works very well. I can easily detect cows up to a mile away. I cannot ID them from that range, but with smaller animals, like coyotes and pigs, you can detect them to about 400-500 and ID them at about 200. If you get the 3X magnififer that range would get much greater.

Are there better units? Yes. If price were equal, I would recommend the Skeet IR, because it is a "clip on, thus requires no zeriong, and if you can imagine using that in front of a 4X trijicon, then you have something really awesome.

Prices of all thermal units will very likely come down. There is nothing magic about it. Thermal is common, and made for HVAC people and will very soon be showing up in Cadillacs. So, expect the price to come way down when enterprising companies start to make $3000 thermal units. I just could not wait that long, once I saw how much these things improved m kill ratio on hogs, day and night.

Hope this helps


PIC of the TAM-14 on one of my stalking guns. The mount is high enough for a perfect cheek weld and it clears the BUIS, too.:

http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s233/dkred5854/DSCF9018-2-1.jpg?t=1272942502


Thanks that helps alot. I have a PVS-14 and IR laser now. How much would a Thermal sight help with hunting hogs and coyotes?



First of all, there is really NO comparison to NVD's for spotting. If you are trying to see living creatures, then nothing works better than thermal. IMO, the best overall setup is to use the thermal for spotting and then a D-740 or Raptor on the weapon. Thermal has a serious problem in that, you cannot tell if there are sticks, leaves, or other obstructions in front of your target, unless you first confirm with NV anyway.

Also, several times we have stalked up to a calf (thinking it was a pig) that got away from the herd, only to say "don't shoot!" upon ID'ing the animal with the NVD.
covrtsnpr  [Member]
5/4/2010 10:07:00 PM
Thanks guys for the info it is great to have a place like this where you can get info from someone with first hand experiance. I have one more question for you night hunters.What is the average distance for most of you shots?
fordkicksass  [Team Member]
5/5/2010 10:26:26 AM
Originally Posted By HogSWAT:
http://i816.photobucket.com/albums/zz88/bigreddwon/DSC01624.jpg

I bought 4 TAM-14's to start my hog control company. They were all 17 degree models. I had nothing but trouble with them right off the bat. They would fade in and out, they would get really fuzzy and act like the were out of focus, and two of them just went to a white screen and stopped working all together.

I use the more than most folks do I think, 5-6 nights a week I have them in the field. I had 3 on weapons and one used as a handheld spotter. When the two units broke, NIVISYS, sent me an 11 degree unit with a 3x multiplier on it. It has great range for a 160x120 res thermal. I can spot hogs out to 700-plus yards. They traded me my two TAM-14s for their version of the renegade 320, they call it the 'SCORPION". Good scope in my opinion, not GREAT, but good. MUCH better than the TAM. Its not a great scope because it doesn't seem to hold zero, I have to check it before each hunt.

As of now, I still have two units that are not functioning properly, but dealing with the company is less than easy. They don't exactly like returning phone calls and I'm pretty sure they don't like dealing with me, because when I call, its generally because I'm having a problem with their equipment. Still waiting to have the issues with the 2 units resolved.

If I had to do it over, I wouldn't have gone with 4 of them, I would have just bought one in 11 degree and a 3x multiplier. I use it as spotter and I would have bought 3 of the scorpions for mounting on the weapons.

I've killed hundreds of hogs with them but I'm eagerly waiting for anther company to come up with a good long range unit (1000+ yards capable) AND have good customer service.


Very interesting, thanks for the post.
TNVC  [Industry Partner]
5/5/2010 10:49:40 AM
Originally Posted By HogSWAT:
http://i816.photobucket.com/albums/zz88/bigreddwon/DSC01624.jpg

I bought 4 TAM-14's to start my hog control company. They were all 17 degree models. I had nothing but trouble with them right off the bat. They would fade in and out, they would get really fuzzy and act like the were out of focus, and two of them just went to a white screen and stopped working all together.

I use the more than most folks do I think, 5-6 nights a week I have them in the field. I had 3 on weapons and one used as a handheld spotter. When the two units broke, NIVISYS, sent me an 11 degree unit with a 3x multiplier on it. It has great range for a 160x120 res thermal. I can spot hogs out to 700-plus yards. They traded me my two TAM-14s for their version of the renegade 320, they call it the 'SCORPION". Good scope in my opinion, not GREAT, but good. MUCH better than the TAM. Its not a great scope because it doesn't seem to hold zero, I have to check it before each hunt.

As of now, I still have two units that are not functioning properly, but dealing with the company is less than easy. They don't exactly like returning phone calls and I'm pretty sure they don't like dealing with me, because when I call, its generally because I'm having a problem with their equipment. Still waiting to have the issues with the 2 units resolved.

If I had to do it over, I wouldn't have gone with 4 of them, I would have just bought one in 11 degree and a 3x multiplier. I use it as spotter and I would have bought 3 of the scorpions for mounting on the weapons.

I've killed hundreds of hogs with them but I'm eagerly waiting for anther company to come up with a good long range unit (1000+ yards capable) AND have good customer service.


Give me an IM if I can help "loosen" the screws with your warranty issues. We have a few folk who help us out over there. Hope this helps.

Vic
hi-tech-rancher  [Team Member]
5/6/2010 12:44:31 AM
Originally Posted By covrtsnpr:
Thanks guys for the info it is great to have a place like this where you can get info from someone with first hand experiance. I have one more question for you night hunters.What is the average distance for most of you shots?


That, of course, depends upon the spot we're hunting. In my 1000 acres, there is heavy cover, so most of the shots are under 150 yards....and many are around 50, since we stalk right up to them....in order to get more shots, and kill more at once.

On my other hunting areas, the shots may get as far as 300 yards, so that is when a good Gen III D-740 really shines. I almost never shoot with the Thermal at ranges > 100 yards, because, as I mentioned, ID is not that reliable.
Paid Advertisement
--