As the summer continues on and the weather warms and nights grow longer it is becoming a better and better time to go on some night hunts. Hunting at night has become more popular as the price of thermal optics, also known as infrared/IR optics, has dropped drastically from what it previously was. This has led many hunters, looking to try night hunting, to ask the question, “What is the best IR scope?” The answer that question comes down to a few things you will need to consider.
Back to basics
Firstly, I should explain what an IR scope is and how it works. In short, thermal scopes detect infrared light to create images. That is, through an IR scope hot things appear brighter and cold things are darker. If you are curious of what the images look like, here are some videos from our X-Vision Optics website to help demonstrate it. Now, with that explained there are some important factors when considering an IR Scope. These include, budget, image quality, detection range, and other special features.
The first thing to consider when on the market for a new piece of expensive gear, such as an IR scope, is your budget. IR scopes can run from anywhere between $999 and $5,000 or more. Our own long range IR scope comes in close to the middle of that range. The bottom line is, whatever your budget is, you want to get the optic with the best features to get the most out of it.
When hunting at night, the ability to see is the number one priority. You can’t shoot what you can’t see. For that reason, the image quality of an IR scope is very important. Image quality is typically measured by resolution. Our own scope’s resolution is 400×300 pixels with a respectable 50 Hz frame refresh rate. With improved refresh rates and resolution your visibility is improved, and you gain an edge during your night hunt.
Another important factor of an IR scope is its range. This can come down more to personal preference, a person who like to be closer to the game will want a shorter scope and someone who likes to keep their distance will want a longer-range scope. Our own X-Vision Optics IR scope offers 2,600-yard detection and 1,100-yard recognition range.
IR scopes will also come with a laundry-list of other various features, some more important and some less, that is largely up to what you want/need and what you can afford. If you have more questions about thermal scopes here are two helpful sources. Otherwise, you can always contact us with any questions or concerns!