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Link Posted: 11/27/2018 2:19:58 AM EST
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Originally Posted By DefenderAO:

Tmm has or had almost all of them and will give an objective view. These threads are always sprinkled with a mix of limited experience and purchase justifications. It’s good to hear from someone who has hours of real action behind almost everything to then make your decision.
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Tmm is truly a great asset to this forum. He also always says that his experiences are his own, which is the best part of his posts. This isn’t an entirely objective process. Probably if you hunt a lot, you’ll end up buying a scope you researched and hunted with......that you shit can. Lots of people hunt a lot but honestly until you experience yourself in your ao it’s a gamble.
Link Posted: 11/27/2018 10:44:48 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Tacosis:
Tmm is truly a great asset to this forum. He also always says that his experiences are his own, which is the best part of his posts. This isn’t an entirely objective process. Probably if you hunt a lot, you’ll end up buying a scope you researched and hunted with......that you shit can. Lots of people hunt a lot but honestly until you experience yourself in your ao it’s a gamble.
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Originally Posted By Tacosis:
Originally Posted By DefenderAO:

Tmm has or had almost all of them and will give an objective view. These threads are always sprinkled with a mix of limited experience and purchase justifications. It’s good to hear from someone who has hours of real action behind almost everything to then make your decision.
Tmm is truly a great asset to this forum. He also always says that his experiences are his own, which is the best part of his posts. This isn’t an entirely objective process. Probably if you hunt a lot, you’ll end up buying a scope you researched and hunted with......that you shit can. Lots of people hunt a lot but honestly until you experience yourself in your ao it’s a gamble.
Exactly. I had seen a couple Pulsars but no extensive hunting with one. I then connected with Tmm, talked a bunch with a lot of questions, and then had a chance to get some field time with them (he quite literally has used or owned almost everything). After using a Trijicon MKII all night I was sold on them. Bought a REAP (different housing, joystick vs button, same 35mm) and am very pleased with the purchase.
Link Posted: 11/27/2018 1:45:36 PM EST
Perfect thread for me as this is the boat I'm in. Have a $3k budget with a little play. Already have PVS-14, IR and a can. Can't decide if I want a monocular or weapon sight, please advise.
Link Posted: 11/27/2018 2:02:30 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Loremsk:
Perfect thread for me as this is the boat I'm in. Have a $3k budget with a little play. Already have PVS-14, IR and a can. Can't decide if I want a monocular or weapon sight, please advise.
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What are you using it for? If hunting:

Brand infighting happens more than the scope vs spotter arguments. Most agree scopes are better. Many can double as a spotter. They are more repeatedly accurate than an IR laser.

Perfect world you’d navigate with a helmet mounted NV, have a good thermal spotter for acquisition, and a thermal scope once PID.

Definitely go scope before spotter.
Link Posted: 11/27/2018 2:15:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/27/2018 3:31:13 PM EST by Loremsk]
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Originally Posted By DefenderAO:

What are you using it for? If hunting:

Brand infighting happens more than the scope vs spotter arguments. Most agree scopes are better. Many can double as a spotter. They are more repeatedly accurate than an IR laser.

Perfect world you’d navigate with a helmet mounted NV, have a good thermal spotter for acquisition, and a thermal scope once PID.

Definitely go scope before spotter.
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Okay, that scratches out the Breach. I failed to mention the helmet the PVS is attached to if that is in the calculus anywhere.

ETA: multiple purposes intended, general spotting, hunting, practical demonstrator when teaching about the EM spectrum, etc. Definitely sounds like a scope will cover the most ground for me in one go.

ETA2: thanks to this thread I've decided to pony up for a 640 sensor. Thinking XP38 or XP50 unless someone suggests something better in the same range.
Link Posted: 11/27/2018 3:20:42 PM EST
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Originally Posted By sjcshooter1:
You can set the base magnification to anything you want with the XP/XQ scopes and it'll hold it in that setting until you turn the scope completely off.
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Originally Posted By sjcshooter1:
You can set the base magnification to anything you want with the XP/XQ scopes and it'll hold it in that setting until you turn the scope completely off.
What I meant was: I do sometimes wish the XP50 had a higher base mag at 640 rez. However, now that I say that, what I really would use that for is spotting. Oftentimes I see something way way off in the distance, and have to get closer since the 1.6X mag is so wide. When we get up close to them and start shooting at 30 yards and in, having a nice wide 1.6X FOV is nice.

Originally Posted By sjcshooter1:
Trijis ballistic reticles are FFP, Pulsars are SFP and they are only accurate at 1x.
I've not met a single person who actually needs BDC on a thermal scope. The PBR of a .223 cartridge is 230 yards. How far away are you shooting, and at what? You must be a much better shooter than most people.
Link Posted: 11/27/2018 3:34:54 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Loremsk:
Okay, that scratches out the Breach. I failed to mention the helmet the PVS is attached to if that is in the calculus anywhere.

ETA: multiple purposes intended, general spotting, hunting, practical demonstrator when teaching about the EM spectrum, etc. Definitely sounds like a scope will cover the most ground for me in one go.

ETA2: thanks to this thread I've decided to pony up for a 640 sensor. Thinking XP38 or XP50 unless someone suggests something better in the same range.
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Originally Posted By Loremsk:
Originally Posted By DefenderAO:

What are you using it for? If hunting:

Brand infighting happens more than the scope vs spotter arguments. Most agree scopes are better. Many can double as a spotter. They are more repeatedly accurate than an IR laser.

Perfect world you’d navigate with a helmet mounted NV, have a good thermal spotter for acquisition, and a thermal scope once PID.

Definitely go scope before spotter.
Okay, that scratches out the Breach. I failed to mention the helmet the PVS is attached to if that is in the calculus anywhere.

ETA: multiple purposes intended, general spotting, hunting, practical demonstrator when teaching about the EM spectrum, etc. Definitely sounds like a scope will cover the most ground for me in one go.

ETA2: thanks to this thread I've decided to pony up for a 640 sensor. Thinking XP38 or XP50 unless someone suggests something better in the same range.
Both would be good choices given your budget. Buy with confidence.
Link Posted: 11/27/2018 6:25:50 PM EST
To the guy that asked about a spotter vs scope.... look at it like this. A scope, any scope, can be used as a spotter. Only one spotter that can be used as a scope . Yes it’s less than ideal, but if ain’t the end of the world . My advice is go scope first . Once you get within 100, slap it on the rifle and stop and look every 10-15 yds .

To the rest of the “best for your money “ convo..... I think folks get too hung up on a single spec. Base mag, 12 core vs 17 , rechargeable batteries ect. You have to look at the package as a whole, and how it suits you . I had a LOT of stuff before I had ird/trijicon. It was all awesome, until I used something a little better . Even the sig echo beats a red spotlight. For me personally, image is king . Thats why I like ird. But I’ve got a ton of armasight, and pulsar stuff too . You could argue that if you really learned to use the available adjustments with the armasight 75/100s, you can really find tune the images . But that’s just not something I’m willing to do, so I mainly grab ird when I’m headed out . That being said, ird ain’t perfect either. Reap is lighter, I hate that damn joystick. I prefer knobs on the hunter . Also wish it was a 3x instead of 2.5, but next choice is 4.5x. Wish it had rechargeable batteries like the pulsar, but it doesn’t .....

Now I would go as far to say that flir/armasight and pulsar have way more options of different models. So it’s a lot easier to find one that suits your particular style of killing. So it would be a lot easier for folks to get bang for your buck . My advice is always.....
1. Don’t buy ATN, ever
2. Pick base mag that suits you best
3. Pick a couple features that are important to you
4 . Compare your choices, and then talk to some folks that actually use them

Hope this helps some. As always, all this BS is strictly my opinion, and is not endorsed by anybody even remotely important
Link Posted: 11/27/2018 7:11:32 PM EST
Nice post tmm. I agree the Armasight catalog has something for everyone, but I worry they’re going to wind the Zeus line down. I’m told any Zeus not on a shelf is now a special order at this point. So how much longer will Flir support that line? That leaves the pts line which other than the 223 is kinda weird. A 4x and a 6x? Both seem like niche scopes, not general purpose hunting optics. Try buying either one right now anyway no one hardly has them.

I’m either gonna buy a pts536 or a zeus 336 75mm 5x and given flirs rando behavior I don’t feel great about the long term prospects of either.
Link Posted: 11/27/2018 7:49:40 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/27/2018 7:49:58 PM EST by Tmm1270]
Agree about the pts line being odd. But if/when the put out the 640 stuff, it should be pretty bad ass. I was really impressed with the 300 stuff as far as image quality goes. I think it’s a noticeable jump over the pulsar 300 stuff. But depth of field is shallower, so it’s a different kind of overall quality . I’d like to talk to somebody about f-stop ect, and how all that comes into play with all this fancy stuff. Would be interesting I think
Link Posted: 11/27/2018 8:34:59 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Tmm1270:
Agree about the pts line being odd. But if/when the put out the 640 stuff, it should be pretty bad ass. I was really impressed with the 300 stuff as far as image quality goes. I think it’s a noticeable jump over the pulsar 300 stuff. But depth of field is shallower, so it’s a different kind of overall quality . I’d like to talk to somebody about f-stop ect, and how all that comes into play with all this fancy stuff. Would be interesting I think
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The 640 FLIR should be ridiculous.

I want a Triji, but the bang for the buck for me just ain’t there. Unfortunately i can’t go hunting enough.
Link Posted: 11/27/2018 8:45:43 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/27/2018 8:47:20 PM EST by Tmm1270]
Or shoot that well.....

That was low. I joke weemac, I joke.....
Link Posted: 11/27/2018 9:25:35 PM EST
I wouldn’t wait on a 640 boson Flir with the rate they are trickling out the 320 scopes.
Link Posted: 11/27/2018 10:01:26 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Tmm1270:
Or shoot that well.....

That was low. I joke weemac, I joke.....
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My shots were low! They were short pigs!

Link Posted: 11/28/2018 9:27:48 AM EST
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Originally Posted By tabascobilly:

The Trijicon has one advantage over the Pulsars that really sours the deal on the Pulsars: Trijis ballistic reticles are FFP, Pulsars are SFP and they are only accurate at 1x.

Pulsars may be able to see out okay, but what good is magnification and image quality if you can't use your reticles to shoot after zooming in?
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Maybe I have not noticed that with mine since I zeroed in on a higher magnification setting?

Got a new batch of ammo made from a different powder lot that I will be checking in the near future and I'm curious to see if my scope exhibits this characteristic and I've just simply never noticed it before?

I routinely shoot things on base magnification and the first zoom setting, and I generally always zero in on the second or even third zoom setting.

Have you tested this with your scope? How off is point of impact? Is it still minute of armadillo and hog which is why I have just not noticed it yet?

Thanks.
Link Posted: 11/28/2018 8:12:49 PM EST
The OP asked for a good scope in his price range, just like I was looking for.
While the trail XQ50 scope was a little over my budget, It had everything I was looking for in a thermal and the TNVC payment plan sealed the deal.
In the future I'll be getting another spotter and the pulsar Helion line uses the same batteries as the Trail scope, so it's a win win.
More than 75% of the scopes recommended are twice or three times he would like to spend.
Of course a thermal scope with a 640 core will outperform any 380 core scope, but what good is that, if you can't afford it ?
I've been lucky enough to have experience with using all types of thermals for over 30 years.
The Scopes out now a days are really unbelievable in their technological advances compared to even just 5 years ago.
While it's nice to dream,the pulsar line are really the only scopes available with a lot of usable features in his price range.

SJC
Link Posted: 11/28/2018 11:07:48 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Wildfowler:
Maybe I have not noticed that with mine since I zeroed in on a higher magnification setting?

Got a new batch of ammo made from a different powder lot that I will be checking in the near future and I'm curious to see if my scope exhibits this characteristic and I've just simply never noticed it before?

I routinely shoot things on base magnification and the first zoom setting, and I generally always zero in on the second or even third zoom setting.

Have you tested this with your scope? How off is point of impact? Is it still minute of armadillo and hog which is why I have just not noticed it yet?

Thanks.
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This info came directly from Pulsar about a year ago.

Your POI on the crosshair won't shift, but the subtension on the ballistic reticle won't be accurate anymore after 1x.

Overall I would still say Pulsar has a fantastic unit, just imperfections here and there.
Link Posted: 11/28/2018 11:38:25 PM EST
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Originally Posted By sjcshooter1:
The OP asked for a good scope in his price range, just like I was looking for.
While the trail XQ50 scope was a little over my budget, It had everything I was looking for in a thermal and the TNVC payment plan sealed the deal.
In the future I'll be getting another spotter and the pulsar Helion line uses the same batteries as the Trail scope, so it's a win win.
More than 75% of the scopes recommended are twice or three times he would like to spend.
Of course a thermal scope with a 640 core will outperform any 380 core scope, but what good is that, if you can't afford it ?
I've been lucky enough to have experience with using all types of thermals for over 30 years.
The Scopes out now a days are really unbelievable in their technological advances compared to even just 5 years ago.
While it's nice to dream,the pulsar line are really the only scopes available with a lot of usable features in his price range.

SJC
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The OP wasn’t the only one asking for scope recommendations champ. Other people chimed in with different budgets and situations. Learning and exchange of information happened in a positive way. Go narc to the mods if it grinds your gears so bad.
Link Posted: 11/29/2018 3:47:42 AM EST
I think the convo turned turned into more than jus best for a 3k budget. Was more of a theoretical discussion about what best for one person, maybe isn’t for the next . Hopefully nothing I said was interpreted as recommendations to buy a trijicon on a 3k budget. If it was, I apologize.
Link Posted: 11/29/2018 3:50:11 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Tmm1270:
I think the convo turned turned into more than jus best for a 3k budget. Was more of a theoretical discussion about what best for one person, maybe isn’t for the next . Hopefully nothing I said was interpreted as recommendations to buy a trijicon on a 3k budget. If it was, I apologize.
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I definitely helped muddy it up with my 3k budget that morphed to 5k.
Link Posted: 11/29/2018 4:33:05 AM EST
It’s late, and we only killed 9 tonight. Let’s all regroup and continue discussion tomorrow?
Link Posted: 11/29/2018 6:57:48 AM EST
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Originally Posted By tabascobilly:

This info came directly from Pulsar about a year ago.

Your POI on the crosshair won't shift, but the subtension on the ballistic reticle won't be accurate anymore after 1x.

Overall I would still say Pulsar has a fantastic unit, just imperfections here and there.
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Thanks for the clarification. I didn't understand you were specifically addressing ballistic reticle subtension.

I dont use that reticle on my pulsar or IRD 35mm and didn't even know there was an issue.
Link Posted: 12/1/2018 2:32:06 AM EST
I bought an XQ38 and thought it was very nice, then I sold it to my buddy who didn't want to spend more and I bought an XP50. Every time he looks through my XP50 he whines about how it looks better. Every time I look through the XP50 I wonder how much better it would look with a Trijicon MKIII. It never ends.
I have looked through a Trijicon but not side by side with my pulsar. And it was nice. But what I have noticed is that the conditions vary so much, drastically in some cases, from night to night that I'm not sure that even the mighty Trijicon would solve all the problems and I'm not in a position to spend another $4-5K to find out anyway. Maybe the Trijicons can handle those swings in conditions better than the XP50, I don't know, but I don't regret the money I spent to upgrade from the XQ38.
Having said that, if you live in a drier climate I do think the XQ38 is probably the best bang for the buck thermal out there.
Link Posted: 12/1/2018 2:57:03 AM EST
What are prices expected to do over the next 5 months? I'm being forced to sit and wait for my money on this project so mulling other possibilities.
Link Posted: 12/1/2018 11:03:59 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Loremsk:
What are prices expected to do over the next 5 months? I'm being forced to sit and wait for my money on this project so mulling other possibilities.
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MSRP may not change all that much. Hell, Triji bought IRD and then bumped all prices up by $500. It does seem like Pulsar is innovating the fastest from a features perspective, so that fact could drive more feature innovation; better products could assist driving older models' prices down.

Who knows? You can call any vendor and negotiate prices on BNiB devices. They'll either agree or not. But, count on better features coming out in the near term vs drastic price wars would be my guess.
Link Posted: 12/1/2018 1:28:04 PM EST
Thank you for the replies everyone, they are greatly appreciated.

Lot's of good feedback about the various units. Even the ones more expensive were worth checking into.

At this point, I am stuck between the Pulsar XQ38 Apex/Trail and the Pulsar XQ50 Apex. It looks like the features are similar, but obviously there is the 640 resolution difference. I think I am pretty set on Pulsar due to the many positive remarks about their customer service. I don't want to drop $3k on something and not be able to get it repaired timely.

Is the XQ50 that much better? Prices are not drastically different, so I may go for the additional resolution.
Link Posted: 12/1/2018 2:58:52 PM EST
The xq50 and xq38 have the same resolution, 384. The xp models have higher resolution, at 640.

The 50 , in either resolution will give you a slightly better image, than the 38 . Very slight. You will notice a bigger difference in adverse conditions, high humidity. That being said, pick your model on the base mag that suits you best . You’ll be happy with anything mentioned above.
Link Posted: 12/2/2018 2:19:35 AM EST
Something else to think about is FOV. I have no other night gear than the XP50 so all that I can see is what it can see. If you have other devices for scanning then the higher base magnification of the XQ line is a plus. Like I said, my buddies notice that my XP50 is clearer than their XQ38's but what I notice immeadiately when looking through their scopes is the smaller FOV. The XQ50 would be smaller yet than the XQ38.
It was the combination of a wider FOV along with the 640 resolution that made me spend the extra money and I probably wouldn't have if I was just getting one or the other, smart marketing by Pulsar maybe. I'm not trying to talk you into an XP because it may not be needed at all depending on what you are doing with it, but just mentioning that FOV really matters if you only have one optic.
Link Posted: 12/2/2018 8:44:46 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/2/2018 8:45:25 PM EST by DevL]
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Originally Posted By 35Remington:

I've not met a single person who actually needs BDC on a thermal scope. The PBR of a .223 cartridge is 230 yards. How far away are you shooting, and at what? You must be a much better shooter than most people.
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Yes, but a 300 Blackout or a especially a subsonic 300 Blackout needs a BDC.
Link Posted: 12/2/2018 9:24:55 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Greyhunter:
Something else to think about is FOV. I have no other night gear than the XP50 so all that I can see is what it can see. If you have other devices for scanning then the higher base magnification of the XQ line is a plus. Like I said, my buddies notice that my XP50 is clearer than their XQ38's but what I notice immeadiately when looking through their scopes is the smaller FOV. The XQ50 would be smaller yet than the XQ38.
It was the combination of a wider FOV along with the 640 resolution that made me spend the extra money and I probably wouldn't have if I was just getting one or the other, smart marketing by Pulsar maybe. I'm not trying to talk you into an XP because it may not be needed at all depending on what you are doing with it, but just mentioning that FOV really matters if you only have one optic.
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For y'all that have been in the thermal game for a bit, what do you see as the highest mag/narrowest fov acceptable for stationary hand held scanning?
Link Posted: 12/3/2018 6:03:42 AM EST
This threads title is......
Link Posted: 12/3/2018 5:48:52 PM EST
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Originally Posted By DevL:Yes, but a 300 Blackout or a especially a subsonic 300 Blackout needs a BDC.
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The 0.01% of thermal hunters who try to use 300BLK subs with a BDC do not drive R&D very far.
Link Posted: 12/3/2018 8:09:28 PM EST
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Originally Posted By 35Remington:

The 0.01% of thermal hunters who try to use 300BLK subs with a BDC do not drive R&D very far.
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Thermal reticules are already software based. Write a little program that let's a user program their own custom BDC's with their own data.

Seems like a fix that will serve a lot more people than just a .300 bdc by itself.
Link Posted: 12/3/2018 9:43:53 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Tmm1270:
It’s late, and we only killed 9 tonight. Let’s all regroup and continue discussion tomorrow?
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LOL!!

My jealousy precedes me. Working on a timeframe as I type ;)
Link Posted: 12/4/2018 3:21:59 PM EST
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Originally Posted By DevL:
Yes, but a 300 Blackout or a especially a subsonic 300 Blackout needs a BDC.
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Originally Posted By DevL:
Originally Posted By 35Remington:

I've not met a single person who actually needs BDC on a thermal scope. The PBR of a .223 cartridge is 230 yards. How far away are you shooting, and at what? You must be a much better shooter than most people.
Yes, but a 300 Blackout or a especially a subsonic 300 Blackout needs a BDC.
I hunt pigs with 300 blk subs and a thermal, I don't need a bdc. The first shot is on the money, follow-up shots on running pigs is more experience than anything else. I don't recommend anything but headshots on pigs with anything subsonic if you plan on recovering them. If your going for hog eradication don't waste your time with subsonic.
Link Posted: 12/4/2018 3:29:31 PM EST
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Originally Posted By DefenderAO:

Having used both in hunting scenarios, the Triji is nicer IMO. I prefer the manual controlling of NUC times and the 60HZ doesn't hurt. The picture is outstanding, and the form factor is compact and rugged. Also, money wasn't really a factor in my decision...

If the Triji didn't exist I'd probably go Pulsar. Tmm has probably the most experience with both in real action, so he may be the best voice, and may even let you try each out.

The REAP just came out with an updated model 60mm version which would compete with the MK3. I like the 35mm for the type of hunting I do; good balance of magnification and FOV. The 2.5 native magnification is great in the 35mm.

I may end up getting a Triji dedicated scanner as well. They're that good.
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I can manually set my NUC if I don't want my XP50 to do it for me.
Link Posted: 12/5/2018 8:27:26 PM EST
Best value means different things to different people. Buy once cry once is always a better value than upgrading later and crying a second time. That is how I got a dedicated monocular that was originally marketed as a compact scope (but lacked native mag). I have had a MIII 60mm for about 3 years, and it is still pretty much king. To me that is good value. Your timing and experiance will be different.

as for bds, estimating distance is harder with thermal (and probably nv as well).
Link Posted: 12/7/2018 7:33:58 PM EST
Next year will finally be when I get thermal, leaning hard towards the XP50. Picture quality per dollar, it seems to be a great choice. I also like the picture in picture feature.
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