Best Flir Thermal Rifle Scopes

best flir thermal rifle scopes

Flir Armasight is a US-based company and a subsidiary of FLIR Systems Inc. as of June 2016. The brand has a reputation for producing advanced thermal imaging and night-vision solutions among other illuminating products. Being a global leader, the company produces thermal imaging products for the military, law enforcement, hunters, and outdoor enthusiasts. 

The Predator, Thermosight and Zeus lines of thermal imaging scopes are among the top of the line models in this industry. 

Thermosight, Predator and Zeus Lines of Thermal Scopes

The Predator line of thermal imaging scopes was introduced in 2015. This line targets hunter’s who do not need high magnification. The line consists of scopes with a pixel array of 336×256 pixels as well as 640x512 and LED display of 640 x 480 pixels. Predator scopes are available in both 30Hz and 60Hz refresh rates. The 60Hz scopes are designed to offer smoother images of moving targets. The Predator line has small scopes with fixed focal lenses which means it is simple to operate.

The Zeus line is a newer line compared to the Predator line and offers a large selection of powerful optics. The viewer has been upgraded to AMOLED  with 800x600 pixels providing sharper more contrast images. 

FLIR's Thermosight line is their newest line of thermal scopes. These scopes use the newly developed Boson thermal sensor which has a 12um pitch and is an uncooled thermal detector that comes in two  resolutions, 640x512 and 320x256. The detector is made out of Vanadium Oxide. FLIR's Thermosight line has a variety of models aimed at everyone from beginnings shooting at short distance targets to experienced hunting taking down their prey from far distances.

ThermoSight® PRO PTS233

Thermosight PTS233
Specifications:
  • Thermal resolution: 320 x 256
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz
  • Optical magnification: 1.5x
  • E-zoom: 2x, 4x
  • Battery life: 4 hours

The FLIR Thermosight Pro Series sets the industry benchmark when it comes to high-performance thermal detection devices. And you can expect the same high standard from this PTS233 model. This is thanks to the 12µm pixel pitch sensor coupled with the 19mm lens and 320x256 thermal sensor. The lens allows for clear thermal imaging in high definition. The 60Hz refresh rate makes tracking fast moving targets a breeze

With this unit, you’ll enjoy clear image detection whether you use it day or night.

The FLIR Thermosight has an impressive 12° x 9.5° field of view which allows for a wider field of view during hunting. You can capture images using multiple palettes and reticle patterns. The wide field of view and 1.5x optical magnification are ideal for shorter range targets. With a digital zoom of 2x or 4x you can zero in on your targets easily.

Other impressive features found on this unit include the uncompressed video signal and shot activated video recording. The internal memory allows you to store up to 2.5 hours of recorded videos or 1000 pictures.

The solid construction of this FLIR Thermosight matches its superior performance. It’s constructed using aircraft grade aluminum which makes it very durable. Accidental drops in the field won’t damage the unit. Though it’s durable, you’ll appreciate how aluminum is lightweight making the unit easy to carry and handle.

This FLIR Thermosight PTS23 weighs only 1.44lbs so transporting it will be hassle-free. The unit is powered by 3V lithium batteries and has a battery operating life of up to four hours.

PROS:
  • Durable
  • Long battery life
  • Clear images
  • Plenty of storage space
CONS:
  • Not good for long range targets
  • Lower optical magnification

ThermoSight® PRO PTS536

FLIR ThermoSight® PRO PTS536
Specifications:
  • Thermal resolution: 320 x 256
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz
  • Optical magnification: 4x
  • E-zoom: 2x, 4x
  • Battery life: 4 hours

Like the Thermosight PTS233, this model also has a 12µm pixel pitch sensor. The 50mm lens larger than other models allowing you to view clear images at much further distances. This PTS536 model is designed to create high-quality images which allow for better detection; be it day or night. The 320x256 thermal sensor also delivers clear thermal images.

The compact but powerful unit is available in a black casing. Like most Thermosight models, this PTS536 is also made of aircraft grade aluminum so you won't have to worry about taking almost anywhere with you.

This is the thermal scope to pick if you want to concentrate on a more focused image thanks to the 4.5° x 3.5° field of view and 50mm lens. The 50mm lens and 4x optical magnification are ideal for longer range compared to the PTS233. The digital zoom also allows you to zoom in at 2x and 4x.

Other impressive features on the unit include the activated video recording functionality and image capture. The thermal scope uses multiple palettes and reticle patterns made up of the following colors; black, white, red and cyan.

This FLIR thermal scope allows storage of up to 2.5 hours of recorded video footage and 1000 pictures. It weighs slightly below 2lb making it compact and portable enough for easy handling. Carrying it around on your rifle while hunting will be hassle-free.

The Thermosight PTS536 needs two 3V lithium batteries and can operate up to four hours before the next charge.

When you purchase this model, you get a spare battery, type C USB cable, lens cloth, and an instruction manual. The manufacturer included a hard carrying case which not only allows for easy carrying but the protection of the unit.

PROS:
  • Longer range lens
  • 4x Optical magnification
  • Protective casing
  • Clear imagery
  • Compact size
CONS:
  • Narrow field of view

ThermoSight® PRO PTS736

FLIR ThermoSight® PRO PTS736
Specifications:
  • Thermal resolution: 320 x 256
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz
  • Optical magnification: 6x
  • E-zoom: 2x, 4x
  • Battery life: 4 hours

This Thermostat PTS736 also features a 12µm pixel pitch sensor like all FLIR thermal scopes reviewed above. The model has an even longer range lens which measures 75mm. Combined with the 320x256 thermal sensor and 2x & 4x digital zoom targets are clearer than ever. Finally, the 60Hz refresh rate means you will never have blurry images even when tracking fast moving targets.

This model has a 3° x 2.5° field of view and is ideally suited for detecting long-range targets. Your images will be very clear whether you view them during the day or night. The 75mm lens coupled with the 6x optical magnification makes this FLIR's longest-range scope currently in the PTS line.

The Thermosight PTS736 is made of aircraft grade aluminum making it very strong and durable. With this model, you can capture the moment thanks to the recoil-activated video recording and image capture.

The units within the Thermosight Pro series range come with sizeable internal storage and the PTS736 isn’t exempted. You get to store up to 2.5 hours of recorded video footage and 1000 images.

It’s the heaviest thermal scope on our list and weighs 2.14lb. Though it’s heavy, it’s still a compact and portable unit that can be mounted to your rifle.

This model allows you to capture images and videos using multiple palettes and reticle patterns. Reticle colors included in this model are red, white, black and cyan.

The unit is powered by two lithium batteries and the manufacturer included a spare battery case. The battery has an operating life of up to four hours.

You’ll find the thermal scope relatively easy to use thanks to the control panel buttons. You can use them to control many functions such as image brightness, digital zoom, and general on-screen navigation.

PROS:
  • Clear images
  • Strong optical magnification
  • Ideal for long range targets
  • Durable
CONS:
  • Slightly heavy

FLIR Predator 336 2-8x25

Flir PREDATOR 336 2-8X25
Specifications:
  • Thermal resolution: 336×256
  • Refresh rate: 30/60Hz
  • Optical magnification: 2x
  • E-zoom: 2x, 4x
  • Battery life: 4 hours

The Predator 336 2-8x25mm thermal imaging scope is a perfect choice for the avid hunter. It produces excellent images thanks to its uncooled, 336x256 thermal sensor. The 2x optical magnification and 2x & 4x digital zoom make spotting targets easy.

It can cut through snow, fog, dust, haze, and all other atmospheric obscurants easily. Day or night, this scope is unaffected by light, and it remains undetectable as it emits no RF energy or visible light.

Speaking of Versatility:

You not only get to use this scope as a weapon sight, but you can also use it as a handheld thermal imager or a magnified spotting scope. Whether you are a military marksman or you like to stay out hunting, you will get help from a versatile scope that will get you through tough situations.

You get to see images on a high-resolution LED display. It also gives you the chance to view your images through the video output port. This way, you can view images on a monitor or use the port to import files from other sources.

This scope has a 30Hz refresh rate which makes it a good choice for still images but not so much for moving targets. If you are in the wild tracking a deer, you are better off with the 60Hz model. It prevents blurry images so you can track better and have better chances at taking down your target. 

Built to Last:

This scope has an aluminum alloy housing. It remains a lightweight model that you can carry alongside other gear. You will like that you can use it in adverse weather environments because it is O-ring sealed and is nitrogen filled. It can withstand water and fog as well as the harshest of conditions.  Read our FLIR Predator 336 detailed review here.

PROS:
  • It uses an intuitive drop-down menu 
  • It has six digitally controlled, onboard reticle patterns 
  • It uses Digital Detail Enhancement (DDE) and Active Contrast Enhancement (ACE) for image enhancement 
  • Enhanced contrast by the Information-Based Histogram equalization and Smart Scene Optimization (SSO) 
  • Mountable to a wide array of hunting equipment
  • Supports remote control 
CONS:
  • It has only 4 hours running time 

FLIR Zeus 336 3-12x50

flir ZEUS 336 3-12X50
Specifications:
  • Thermal resolution: 336×256
  • Refresh rate: 30/60Hz
  • Optical magnification: 3x
  • E-zoom: 2x, 4x
  • Battery life: 4 hours

This scope is also a dedicated day and night thermal scope that you will not need to switch or re-zero. It has the famous FLIR Tau 2 VOx, uncooled microbolometer that showcases incredible performance in harsh environments.

The 336x256  thermal sensor combined with the 3x optical magnification and digital zoom of 2x & 4x make this scope a favorite. 

With its thermal imaging technology, it can see in fog, dust, smoke, and haze. You will like that it is not laser-based, so you do not need to augment its presence with other devices. Instead, you get a device that does not produce visible light or RF energy. 

Resolution and Imagery:

This scope uses advanced digital imaging tools to provide the most highly-contrasted images no matter your environment. From Active Contrast Enhancement (ACE) which allows contrast optimization in a particular scene to Second Generation Digital Enhancement (DDE) that provides clearer imagery, it is a remarkable scope to look through. 

It is complemented by Smart Scene Optimization (SSO), Automatic Gain Control (AGC), and a manual non-uniformity correction (NUC) as well as a silent shutterless NUC. It also has six reticle colors and an electronic zoom reticle tracking capability. 

This is a high-performance thermal imaging scope. The features are exciting from the adjustable filtering tools to the high resolution and the simple installation, it’s going to be a blast with this thermal scope. Read our FLIR Zeus 336 detailed review here.

PROS:
  • The menu is layered perfectly for quick controls 
  • Nitrogen-filled for fog proofing 
  • Installation is repeatable on PAL or NTSC formats 
  • It has various imaging filter algorithms 
  • Available in both 30Hz and 60Hz refresh rates
  • High-resolution thermal imaging
  • It has an optional digital video recorder
  • AMOLED SVGA 060 with 800 x 600 pixels
CONS:
  • Isolated complaint about the images being grainy at the highest magnification

FLIR Zeus 640 2-16x50mm

flir ZEUS 640 2-16X50
Specifications:
  • Thermal resolution: 640×512
  • Refresh rate: 30/60Hz
  • Optical magnification: 2x
  • E-zoom: 2x, 4x, 8x
  • Battery life: 4 hours

This Scope represents versatility. It has a bigger objective lens that makes it more capable in no light conditions. The scope will sit low on your weapon so that it can be used every single day with a high-recoil rifle. 

The 640x512 thermal sensor delivers high quality images and when combined with the 2x optical magnification and digital zoom spotting far off targets is easy. The Zeus also comes in 30Hz and 60Hz models.

Performance Features:

The FLIR Zeus 640 also uses the latest thermal imaging technology. The uncooled microbolometer works great in all forms of obscurants, and it can also take on immersion for 2 hours in water that is 20 meters deep. It has a wide array of transmission properties and a 640 x 480 pixels thermal sensor that allows it to give fine details in every thermal image that you see through the scope. Now you don’t have a reason to miss a target because of poor image quality. 

When it comes to controlling and operating this scope, you will be dealing with a layered menu and direct button controls that are simple and effortless to master. This gives you an advantage when you need rapid changing of different functions in a high-stress environment. 

PROS:
  • 50mm Germanium objective lens 
  • Generous eye relief
  • It has an optional battery pack for extended use 
  • Selection from six reticles 
  • It has 13 color palettes
  • Adjustable imaging tools
  • It has options for 30Hz and 60Hz refresh rates 
CONS:
  • It needs expert hands to utilize all the functions 

FLIR Zeus-Pro 336 4-16x50

flir ZEUS-PRO 336 4-16X50
Specifications:
  • Thermal resolution: 336×256
  • Refresh rate: 30/60Hz
  • Optical magnification: 4x
  • E-zoom: 2x, 4x
  • Battery life: 7 hours

FLIR wants to give you 24/7 operation, and that’s what the Zeus-Pro 336 4-16x50mm is all about. It boasts a superior design that showcases what the company has to offer. This thermal scope comes with an uncooled microbolometer designed to face off in the worst circumstances. 

Built to Last:

When we talk about the worst, we see a thermal scope that can withstand immersion in a depth of 20 meters for 2 hours. If you ever dropped it in the river, be sure it’s going to come out working as new. We like that it has also been built to be used with weapons with 50BMG level recoil and shock. This means you can take consecutive shots without re-zeroing.

Resolution and Imagery:

The Zeus-Pro uses a 336 core which indicates it will showcase thermal images in 336 x 256 pixels. It is offered in both 30Hz and 60Hz refresh rates, so that you can choose your sight according to your targets and environment. This scope has a 50mm Germanium objective lens that you get to use with 4x optical magnification and 2x or 4x digital zoom. Your images will appear clear whether at the lowest or highest magnification. The OLED display and video output options are also an excellent addition to this thermal sight. 

PROS:
  • It uses all of Flir's imaging filter tools
  • It has an electronic compass, ballistic drop reticles, and Inclinometer 
  • Supports video-in imagery 
  • Color reticle pattern 
  • Tracking electronic zoom
  • It has wireless and Bluetooth connectivity with smartphones
  • It can be remotely controlled 
CONS:
  • The price is on the higher side 

FLIR Zeus-Pro 640 2-16x50

flir ZEUS-PRO 640 2-16X50
Specifications:
  • Thermal resolution: 640×512
  • Refresh rate: 30/60Hz
  • Optical magnification: 2x
  • E-zoom: 2x, 4x, 8x
  • Battery life: 7 hours

With a 60Hz refresh rate and a 640 core, the Zeus-Pro has a wide array of applications. It has a long range of magnification which makes it ideal for both short and long range shooting. Whether you are in shooting sports, law enforcement, or the military, you will definitely want a flexible scope that you can use with most of your weapons. 

Performance Features:

This scope provides outstanding imagery. Not only because of the Germanium objective lenses, but also because of the 640 x 480-pixel thermal sensor. It keeps you in the clear when going after moving targets thanks to the 60Hz refresh rate that makes it easier to focus and zero in on a target even when its not still.

The 2x optical magnification and 2x, 4x, or 8x digital zoom help you spot even the further targets.

We like that there’s also a 30Hz model that will work perfectly for slower moving targets. With the electronic zoom, you can look in closely since it provides an easy way of figuring your target out from its background. It is accurate, and a definite pick for day and night excursions. Battery life is also excellent at 7 hours.

PROS:
  • Accompanied by a 5-button wireless remote switch 
  • It achieves fine-detail imaging on all its images 
  • It allows for long-range shooting owing to the 640 core 
  • It can withstand 2 hours of immersion in 20 meters depth of water 
  • Electronic menu selections
  • Uncooled microbolometer
  • High-end OLED display
  • Supports video output
  • Bluetooth and wireless capability
CONS:
  • It has an upscale price tag yet very few features stand out from the 30Hz model 

Final Thoughts:

Thermal imaging scopes bring to you what you could never see with a night vision scope. FLIR is a top contender in the market so you can be sure that you are investing in one of the best. 

FLIR's new Thermosight line combines the newest thermal imaging technology and their top quality construction. The smaller thermal sensor allows these scopes to be lighter and more compact than earlier generations. The PTS233 is an ideal entry level thermal scope and the PTS536 is great for longer range shooting.

For an avid hunter looking to get an easy to use thermal imaging sight, the Predator 336 2-8x25 (30Hz) Thermal Imaging Weapon Sight might be the ultimate pick for you. It can withstand the harshest outdoor conditions which is what you want in a thermal scope.

If you still can't decide which scope is best for you check out our real-time thermal scope selection page that allows you to select the criteria important to you and automatically shows you which scopes would be best.

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