Hunting & Shooting, Scopes, Thermal Scopes

Best Thermal Rifle Scopes

Last Updated on September 11, 2020

Thermal Rifle Scopes with Thermal Imaging are some of the best scopes you can buy for hunting and defense. If you can justify a price tag in the $3,000 – $10,000 range, you will be rewarded with a rifle scope with the most clear and defined images available in a scope and be able to see in perfect contrast hundreds of yards away. As long as there is a temperature difference, a thermal imaging rifle scope can see people and game hundreds of feet away, depending on the scope used.

Thermal Imaging develops images by reading heat energy instead of using visible light like night vision does. The benefits are numerous but at the top of the list is the effectiveness during the day or night, ability to perform in all weather conditions, see through total darkness, and ignore visual camouflage.

*NOTE: When purchasing a Thermal Imaging Rifle Scope, you must be in compliance with International Traffic in Arms (ITAR) regulations. As a US person you must agree not to export these rifle scopes.

Trijicon REAP-IR 35mm Mini Thermal Riflescope

Trijicon makes the best thermal imaging rifle scopes on the market. We’ve chosen the REAP-IR 35mm Mini model as the best thermal imaging rifle scope for sale. At a price of over $7,000, you’re paying for what you get with this rifle scope. It is top quality all around. The Black Hot displays body heat in an extremely clear, lifelike image. Besides the quality of image, if you’re looking for a lightweight, compact thermal imaging rifle scope and are willing to spend the money, this is your best option.

The Trijicon REAP-IR® mini thermal riflescope is a small, light, powerful thermal riflescope that lets you engage targets in any light. It’s trusted by the most demanding shooters and hunters who require speed and accuracy for night‑time use. Choose from multiple magnification levels and field of view to fit your specific needs. The REAP-IR optimizes the S.W.A.P. mindset (Size, Weight and Power) with its small packaging combined with lightweight, rugged features. When you need a thermal weapon sight that lets you move from rifle to rifle with ease, look no further than the REAP‑IR.

Features and Included Accessories:

SUPERIOR IMAGE QUALITY
640×480 resolution – 4 times as many pixels as competing 320 systems
12 micron pixel pitch – smaller footprint and increased magnification over competing 17 micron systems
60 Hz Frame rate – improved clarity for moving images
INTUITIVE CONTROLS
New “Easy Zero” method greatly simplifies getting rounds on target
Simple thumbstick control navigates menu functions
RUGGED, RELIABLE, AMERICAN MADE
Designed, constructed and tested to MIL-STD-810G
Made in Auburn, California

Includes:

  • Mini Picatinny Rail Mount
  • User Manual
  • Quick Reference Guide
  • 2 CR123 Batteries
  • Trijicon Logo Sticker
  • Shuttered Eye Guard
  • Warranty Card
  • LENSPEN
  • Hard Case

Trijicon IR-HUNTER MK3 35mm Thermal Rifle Scope

Our next Trijicon thermal rifle scope is the IR-Hunter MK3 35mm. Specifically built for hunting, the IR-HUNTER MK3 includes ENHANCED TARGET RECOGNITION (ETR): Simply select the area of interest in the field of view to increase contrast and prevent washout. The other really nice feature is the 8X E-ZOOM DIGITAL ZOOM: Which is a digital electronic zooming system comes standard on the IR-HUNTER® series. This lets you achieve various magnifications quickly. And with the advanced, built-in sighting system, the reticle will maintain boresight and even increase its MOA accuracy.

Take advantage of a 640×480 resolution sensor featuring 12 micron technology, a 60 Hz frame-rate system, Enhanced Target Recognition (ETR), 8x digital electronic zoom and a MIL Spec digital OLED micro display for crisp, precise imagery. With similar turret knob controls as your day optic, the IR-HUNTER lets you take your shot with confidence, even in complete darkness.

Features and Included Accessories:

640×480 Thermal Sensor: Offers clear, crisp imagery through smoke, dust and complete darkness Enhanced Target Recognition (ETR) Get enhanced, detailed target images that avoid washouts
8x Digital Zoom: Advanced built-in sighting system maintains boresight and increases accuracy
12 Micron Technology: Reduced size and weight without compromising image quality or magnification
Crisp, Detailed Reticles: Clear reticle and symbols for speed and accuracy
Turret Knobs for Superior Ergonomics: When you’re in the dark under pressure, you’re still confident
Full Digital Video: Take advantage of full digital signal processing for pristine video quality
Made in the USA: Built for shooters by shooters right here in America

Includes:

  • Dual Levered Mount
  • User Manual
  • Quick Reference Guide
  • 3 CR123 Batteries
  • Trijicon Logo Sticker
  • Shuttered Eye Guard
  • Download Card & Cable
  • Warranty Card
  • LENSPEN
  • Hard Case

Pulsar Trail 2.1-8.4×38 LRF XQ38 Thermal Rifle Scope

The Trail LRF features an integrated laser rangefinder capable of capturing and displaying target distances accurately, within ±1 m, up to 1000 meters. The laser rangefinder can take measurements in two modes: Single Time Measurement and Scanning. Scanning mode allows the shooter to adjust quickly to changing distances for better shot placement.

The Trail LRF thermal riflescope delivers all-night precision heat detection for demanding hunters and tactical uses up to 1475 yards away. Its 384 x288 sensor, combined with a variable 2.1-8.4x magnification provides a richly contrasted wide field of view and quick target acquisition for precise shot placement. Thirteen useful variable electronic reticles ensure repeatable, accurate performance.

Features:

  • Integrated Laser Rangefinder
  • High Resolution 640×480 Thermal Imaging Sensor
  • Fully Waterproof IPX7
  • High Recoil Resistance Rating: 12 Gauge, 9.3×64, .375H&H Shock Resistance
  • Mobile-Friendly with Remote Control and Live Internet Streaming
  • Built-In Video & Sound Recording
  • 3 Types of Zeroing Parameters Memorization
  • Detects up to 1800 Meters Away

What’s in the box?

  • Battery pack charging unit.
  • Carrying case.
  • User manual.
  • Cleaning cloth.
  • Hex wrench.
  • Weaver rail.
  • Remote control with encode.
  • USB cable.

Pulsar Trail 1.6-12.8×42 LRF XP50 Thermal Rifle Scope

A step up from the XQ38, the Trail LRF XP50 features an integrated laser rangefinder capable of capturing and displaying target distances accurately, within ±1 m, up to 1,100 yards away. The laser rangefinder can take measurements in two modes: Single Time Measurement and Scanning. Scanning mode allows the shooter to adjust quickly to changing distances for better shot placement.

The Trail LRF thermal riflescope delivers all-night precision heat detection for demanding hunters and tactical uses up to 2,000 yards away. Its 640×480 sensor, combined with a variable 1.6-12.8x magnification provides a richly contrasted wide field of view and quick target acquisition for precise shot placement. Thirteen useful variable electronic reticles ensure repeatable, accurate performance.

Features:

  • Heat signature detection range up to 2,000 yards
  • Integrated laser rangefinder accurate up to 1,100 yards
  • 640×480 resolution
  • 17 m pixel pitch core
  • 640×480 AMOLED display
  • Built-in video/sound recording

What’s in the box?

  • Battery pack charging unit.
  • Carrying case.
  • User manual.
  • Cleaning cloth.
  • Hex wrench.
  • Weaver rail.
  • Remote control with encode.
  • USB cable.

ATN ThOR 4 384 2-8X Smart HD Thermal Rifle Scope

Despite some bad reviews, we still highly recommend the ATN ThOR 4 Rifle Scopes. As an entry thermal imaging scope, the traditional optic design makes the transition easy. These are the cheapest thermal imaging rifle scopes to make our list, but if you are looking for a really solid choice for your first thermal rifle scope, this is a great pick. It has a great set of features including one shot zero, video recording, recoil activated video recording, a profile manager, and a ballistic calculator.

The ThOR 4 looks and feels just like your more traditional optic. Standard mounting rings. Long eye-relief. Easy to pick up Thermal signature of hidden targets and fast viewing. Higher thermal sensitivity, improved contrasts, near silent shutter, and improved resolution make the new ATN ThOR 4 Smart Thermal Riflescope the sight to own. Easy to use and quick to learn but with all the features you need.

Features and Included Accessories:

Features:

  • Gen 4 384×288, 60Hz Sensor
  • Records Video on to a 4 to 64 Gb MicroSD card and has a microphone for sound
  • Wifi (Streaming, Gallery & Controls) compatible with iOS and Android and Bluetooth
  • Recoil Activated Video
  • Smart Range Finder/Auxiliary Ballistic Laser
  • Smart Mil Dot Reticle – program the variance between hash marks in Mils
  • Ballistic Calculator
  • Profile Manager
  • GPS for geotagging and tracking elevation
  • 3 Year Limited Warranty

Includes:

  • Eyecup
  • Standard rings (2 pcs.)
  • L-shape Ring
  • Scope Cover
  • USB-C Cable
  • Lens Tissue