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Durkin Tactical Franklin Armory
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Posted: 11/17/2010 9:48:59 AM EDT
So I'm pretty set on getting a thermal optic to swap between a couple rifles. I've been looking at them for about a month now comparing and contrasting features and prices.

Looked at so far:

Specter IR
FLIR ThermoSight
Insight IWNS series
ATN Otis 17
Nivisys Scorpion 320

So far the one I like the best is the Otis 17.  Its got the lowest resolution but the longest battery life. Its also the size of a normal night vision optic and not the size of a large sub sandwich which means you can easily use it like a monocular or mount it to a helmet. According to ATN the 2011 models will be available with a color screen for $1k upgrade. Its not the standard false color thermal but its not B&W either. They havent seen one yet so they're comparing them to the other models with color screens.

I still need to get further info on the FLIR sight before I make any decision. Its similar in size to the OTIS 17 but I dont know much else.  It doesnt nearly look as rugged as the ATN either.

Another reason I was leaning hard toward the ATN involves a local dealer doing a group buy who's price is way cheaper than any of the online prices. Plus I like the fact that I have someone to look in the face when making a large purchase like this. He said he may be able to get the FLIR unit but it wont be until after he's done with the ATN group buy which he's doing early 2011 so people can get the color model when it becomes available.

So what do you guys think? Things I need to be wary of? Something I missed?
Link Posted: 11/17/2010 11:54:03 AM EDT
[#1]
Link Posted: 11/17/2010 12:22:10 PM EDT
[#2]
Quoted:
What about the UTAM-32 with a 3x lens? In your price range? Several of those units you are looking at have a history of issues with calibers above .223

Karma


I'll check it out now.

Which units have known recoil issues?
Link Posted: 11/17/2010 1:58:42 PM EDT
[#3]
Got some more info.  FLIR discontinued their "budget" scopes. All they have left are $20k+ so out of my price range.

Nivisys is really pushing their new TAWS system. Its similar to a UTAM but much more scope focused.  They're in the $11k range so its on the high side.

I can get an OTIS 17 B&W for about $7.5k and next year a false color one for about $8.5k.  They also have the THOR 2 model which does both false color or B&W for about $9k. It also has double the screen resolution of the OTIS 17 models. I guess the THOR line is older and they're not pushing it as much.
Link Posted: 11/17/2010 2:23:22 PM EDT
[#4]
What about this one that Vic posted here a while back

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=2&f=209&t=191612
Link Posted: 11/17/2010 2:25:16 PM EDT
[#5]
ATN sucks.  I wouldn't buy anything they make.  I made that mistake once.  Some things are cheap for a reason.    

Theres a thread about TAM14s for $5K if you need decent thermal for a good price.

-dan
Link Posted: 11/17/2010 2:34:24 PM EDT
[#6]
I typed in TAWS in a goodle search and found some PDF from Nivisys. They show what I guess is a future product that will be a day sight, NV sight, thermal as well as thermal overlay on NV.
Sorry I never figured out how to copy and paste a PDF
Link Posted: 11/17/2010 5:21:52 PM EDT
[#7]
Quoted:
ATN sucks.  I wouldn't buy anything they make.  I made that mistake once.  Some things are cheap for a reason.    

Theres a thread about TAM14s for $5K if you need decent thermal for a good price.

-dan


Do you have any specific examples?

That TAM14 looks pretty decent. I'll have to see what they go for.  

Link Posted: 11/17/2010 5:55:34 PM EDT
[#8]
Not knocking a thermal weapon site by any means, but have you thought about going with a NVD for a weapon site and a hand held viewer for thermal?  Depending on what your hunting and the range some animals are very hard to identify using thermal.  Believe me some calf's have looked just like a dam hog at extended ranges.  Using a NVD for positive ID and shooting works very well when using a thermal viewer.  

Just throwing out ideas.

Flir -307  paired with a 760 will run you in the 11k range. The flir unit will give you a 1,000 yard detection range with a 320x240 sensor.
Link Posted: 11/17/2010 6:02:55 PM EDT
[#9]
Although it's at the top end of your price range and I don't know what your affiliation is with LEO or government agencies, there is also the Oasys SkeetIR Mono Sight.

I've not seen any user comments on this or any other of the Oasys line up so don't know how the compare to those you've listed. I would be nice to hear from anyone who has used some of the Oasys stuff and had a chance to compare it with other units in it's category such as the Insight MTM.

I personally would like to know how it compares to the MTM.

The ATN unit might be a good buy but I'd like to know who makes the sensor and DSP. However, if they have a good return policy without the restocking fee ripoff, give it a try.

Here's a short video clip of the SkeetIR VO; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OutTgkhKv4I


The following links are for informational purposes, I have no affiliation and have never done business with any of the companies listed below, there's no Shilling or Pimping implied or otherwise and no ulterior motives.

Some nice pictures of the SkeetIR;http://www.morovision.com/morovision_specials.htm

Knesek Guns has a collection of the various units available; http://www.knesekguns.com/commercial/Thermal-Optics/c40/index.html?osCsid=f7476eeedb46ebd4ea171dfffd0c6cdf

NIVISYS the makers or the TAM-14 and other thermal products; http://www.nivisys.com/en/products/category/thermal_systems/

Insight also now makes a weapons hardened MTM; http://www.morovision.com/thermal_imagers/MVP-WTM-000-A14-16.htm

Unknown scope; http://www.secgru.com/Thermal-Weapon-Sight-SG-TH-320X-SGT.html

As a user of an MTM I can attest to it's outstanding performance as at least one other member here can as well
Link Posted: 11/18/2010 2:49:53 AM EDT
[#10]
Quoted:
Not knocking a thermal weapon site by any means, but have you thought about going with a NVD for a weapon site and a hand held viewer for thermal?  Depending on what your hunting and the range some animals are very hard to identify using thermal.  Believe me some calf's have looked just like a dam hog at extended ranges.  Using a NVD for positive ID and shooting works very well when using a thermal viewer.  

Just throwing out ideas.

Flir -307  paired with a 760 will run you in the 11k range. The flir unit will give you a 1,000 yard detection range with a 320x240 sensor.


I already have an ITT PVS14 that I treat like a faberge egg because I'm afraid of burning out the tube.  I know I probably dont have to worry about it nearly as much as I do but its not like I do it on purpose.
Link Posted: 11/18/2010 5:38:15 AM EDT
[#11]
Check out OWN THE NIGHT, seems to have better pricing then the link above

http://www.ownthenight.com/id86.html
http://www.ownthenight.com/catalog/i218.html
Link Posted: 11/18/2010 8:38:34 AM EDT
[#12]
I got a great deal on a TAM-14 so I jumped on it. I need to find a 3x magnifier now.
Link Posted: 12/17/2010 8:15:01 PM EDT
[#13]
Scorpion's are nice. Good resolution, they take pictures and video. I had a Renegade and it wouldn't hold zero, the Scorpion's have with over 500 rounds of 308 x2 rifles. I have three and am very pleased with them. Got them from NIVISYS.
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