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For many years, thermal imaging was a myth, and only a select few knew its existence. Now it is publicly available and popular in various fields of activity. On this basis, many devices are created that open up new opportunities for a person. With their help, it is possible to see in the dark and perform many tasks of varying complexity. Modern models of such optics have become less expensive than their predecessors. This circumstance opened up access to thermal imaging for everyone and made purchasing models with optimal characteristics and the necessary set of functions possible. The most demanded product from this category of optics is thermal scopes (TS). It is these devices that we will talk about in our guide.
Various military operations, night hunting, and dozens of other events held at night would be inaccessible without modern thermal scopes. These devices can uniquely form a thermal image of the examined area, which people use to detect and identify animals, people, various equipment, and surrounding objects. Thanks to this, the user receives valuable information, which he uses to achieve his goals. Despite their popularity, thermal scopes are relatively simple devices. At the same time, simplicity can be traced in everything, including the principle of action.
The work of thermal scopes begins with collecting infrared radiation from all the objects surrounding the user. This work is done by the lens of optics, which is one of the critical elements of the design. Based on the received information, a thermal image is created. To do this, infrared rays are focused and fall on particular detectors. The latter always has a high sensitivity, so they do not let through even the most subtle radiation. These design details help the sight form the so-called thermogram. After that, it is transformed into electrical impulses sent to the electronic system of optics. There they are subjected to various influences, which makes it possible to obtain a thermal image visible to a person at the output. It is sent to the sight display, often built into the eyepiece. The final shot makes it possible to see the boundaries of various objects and the degree of heating of their areas. The higher the temperature, the brighter the color will be. Strongly heated regions are distinguished by warm shades (for example, red, orange, and various variations of yellow), and less hot areas are characterized by cold ones (green, blue, and others).
TI technology has many applications. At the same time, in a situation with sights that support this technology, the choice of operating options is significantly narrowed. This is due to the specifics of such optics and their relevance only in certain situations.
The primary users of thermal scopes are military personnel. They actively use these optics while working out interactions between soldiers, simulating combat operations, and searching for enemy soldiers and military equipment. Naturally, in war, such optics become an indispensable assistant. Due to the ability to trap heat through various obstacles, such sights will be most helpful in fog and during dust storms or heavy smoke. They will become just as effective without lighting when the classic NVD fails to form a bright and clear image.
TS often becomes an element of police equipment. Thanks to the abilities of optics, law enforcement officers quickly find hidden criminals at night and eliminate terrorists with sniper shots. The efficiency of such devices must be high, regardless of the surrounding conditions (for example, in bad weather). In some cases, scopes will be great helpers for security guards. They will allow timely identification of the violator and, if necessary, neutralize him.
Another use case is night hunting. This popular pastime bears little resemblance to classic daytime hunting and therefore gives hunters unforgettable emotions. Thanks to the combination of scope capabilities and TI technology, detecting even well-hidden animals and accurately determining their species quickly is possible. Also, these optics will help you aim better and avoid inaccurate shots.
TS rifles are also available to wildlife defenders. They take them while bypassing the protected area to detect unauthorized persons (poachers). In addition, such optics make it possible to accurately shoot tranquilizer darts at night, thereby quickly putting large animals that need human help to sleep.
Since the advent of thermal scopes, users have fiercely debated how effective this optic is and whether it can compete with similar night vision models. It is impossible to make a 100% choice in favor of one of the technologies. Each will show itself better under certain circumstances and help people cope with their tasks.
If the main criterion for the buyer is cost, then TS is inferior to NV optics. The price difference has recently become much smaller, but it still exists. In connection with this feature of the devices, people with limited finances should choose night vision. If large sums of money are allocated to purchase night optics, thermal imaging models will remain a priority. Some design features and lower performance in all situations explain the lower price of NV sights. If there is a lack of illumination, the NV scope will not be able to create a good image, but thermal models will give the expected result even in dense fog, heavy snow, or rain. The picture will be more precise, even with heavy smoke or the operation of thermal optics in places with a high probability of sandstorms.
Almost all thermal scopes models will be a good option for the warm season. At the same time, NV optics will be an excellent assistant in severe frosts. Both types of sights will become equally effective for the transitional spring and autumn periods. Another essential criterion one can choose in favor of a particular technology is the peculiarity of the territory where night optics are operated. In open areas, both TI devices and NVDs will perform well. However, the latter will only be helpful in places with dense vegetation. Under such circumstances, using thermal scopes would be the ideal solution. This optic will allow you to see through foliage and tree branches, making any hidden or camouflaged objects visible.
NV models work ideally only in the presence of lighting (for example, emitted by various celestial bodies). However, they will become useless in dense thickets in caves and similar places on a cloudy nights. TS will be able to form an image in any light. Even without light, the heat map will be as clear and accurate as possible.
From the preceding, NVDs will be a good option in some conditions and others - TS. In this regard, it is recommended to buy both types of optics. Together they will provide the user with excellent visibility at night under all environmental conditions.
Thermal scopes from AGM are ideal for all possible applications of this optic. They combine high quality, excellent ergonomics, reliability, and performance under external conditions. The secret of such success lies in the details. To achieve it, AGM makes exceptional efforts and spends many resources. The result is thermal scopes that, by all criteria, are ahead of similar optics of competitors. Among the many manufactured devices, special attention should be paid to several of the most successful models that have become popular with customers and received positive feedback.
This thermal scope is one of the leaders in terms of popularity. It is ideal for hunting and other night activities. The device has an ergonomic design. Its body is made of a special aluminum alloy, which is of excellent quality and is often used in the aviation industry. This material is resistant to various mechanical stresses and copes well with the strong recoil during firing from large-caliber rifles. In addition, it is lightweight, which positively affects the entire structure's mass. The case of AGM PYTHON TS50-336 is completely sealed. Thanks to this feature, the sight can be safely operated even in extreme conditions without fear of dirt, dust, or moisture getting on internal parts.
This scope is elementary to use. At the same time, it has many settings, which makes it possible to adapt the optics to any operating conditions. Each owner of such a TS has access to manual adjustment of the eyepiece and objective and the freedom to choose a reticle from the many available options and several color palettes. It becomes even easier to control the sight with a wireless remote control that easily connects to the device. AGM PYTHON TS50-336 also has an external Wi-Fi module, which makes its possibilities almost limitless. As a power source, two ordinary CR123A batteries are used. Their energy is enough for nearly 8 hours of continuous use of optics. An alternative option would be to operate the device from any external power source connected via a micro USB cable. In this case, the number of hours of battery life available in stock will be even more significant.
The sight has excellent performance characteristics. Among them, a high refresh rate (60 Hz), range (more than 750 meters), and optimal display resolution (800x600) stand out. Also, experts and ordinary users note a wide field of view, 4x digital zoom, and 3x optical zoom.
This TS is one of the most compact AGM models. It is perfect for long-term use, as it is not only small in size but also light in weight. This combination simplifies the process of its transportation as much as possible. It does not create an additional load on the user's hands if it is necessary to conduct a long aim. The case of the device is made of high-quality material, which has increased strength and resistance to various external factors. This makes the sight ideal for operation in low or high temperatures, rain, snow, and fog.
AGM SECUTOR TS25-384 is mainly used for short-range shooting. It is characterized by simple and convenient operations, which can be understood after a few minutes. The process of adjusting the various parameters of the sight takes only a few seconds, which makes it possible to quickly adapt the optics to changing tasks and environmental conditions. This model is equipped with an external Wi-Fi module. It makes it as versatile as possible and contributes to the expansion of the capabilities of each user. This sight has become in demand among beginners and experienced shooters thanks to this and many other factors. AGM SECUTOR TS25-384 is powered by 2 CR123A batteries. Their economical energy consumption makes it possible to use the optics autonomously for 5 hours. If this is insufficient, you can connect an external power source. The manufacturer provides this possibility, a massive plus for this product.
In terms of a set of characteristics, this TS is not inferior to the larger and more functional AGM models. It has a 50Hz refresh rate, 1300 meters detection range, 1.5x optical zoom, and up to 4x digital zoom. Complements all this high-resolution display (1024x768) and the ability to record excellent quality video.
This TS is an improved version of SECUTOR TS25-384. Outwardly, it is very similar to a simpler model but differs significantly from it in the width of the functionality and the set of characteristics. This makes it the most versatile and sought-after riflescope in the SECUTOR line. The case of this device is made of high-quality materials that protect the internal parts of the structure from various mechanical damage. It is entirely waterproof so that the optics can be operated even in terrible weather conditions.
AGM SECUTOR TS75-384 is compact and lightweight. This makes it as convenient as possible and does not create problems during transportation and storage. The control process of these optics is simple, so even people who hold this sight in their hands for the first time can adjust the settings or change some parameters. An essential feature of the model is the possibility of self-selection of the type and color of the reticle. This allows you to choose the best option for each specific situation. Like other AGM models, SECUTOR TS75-384 has an external Wi-Fi module. It makes the possibilities of optics almost limitless, which most buyers like. The device's autonomy is provided by two CR123A batteries, the resource of which is enough for 4-5 hours of active sight operation. In addition, users can connect an external power source via a micro USB cable.
Studying the characteristics of this model, we can conclude that sight is perfect for solving most tasks. In many respects, it is equal to more expensive devices from other manufacturers; in some, it even far exceeds them. Among the most significant characteristics are a wide field of view, a range of up to 3000 meters, a refresh rate of 50 Hz, and optimal digital and optical zoom (4x and 3.6x, respectively).
This site is the most compact among all models of the PYTHON line. It is ideal for hunters, as it is easy to use and has good features. These optics will be no less valuable in other areas of activity. The device has a shockproof and waterproof case. Thanks to this, it is not afraid of mechanical influences and endures any weather surprises. The body and all components are made of high-quality materials, which makes every detail of the structure as reliable and durable as possible.
AGM PYTHON-MICRO TS35-384 is excellent for beginners. To control this sight, the user can study the instructions briefly and has experience with such optics. All settings are performed quickly, so adapting the device to changing conditions will take little time. An essential feature of the model is the ability to record videos and take high-quality photos. The presence of the option of data transfer via Wi-Fi allows you to send the created materials to various gadgets instantly. Power is supplied by the energy of CR123A batteries (2 pieces). They provide uninterrupted operation of the sight for 5 hours. For situations requiring more extended use of the optics, connecting an external power supply is possible.
The compactness of the device slightly affects its capabilities. However, this slight drawback is fully compensated by excellent characteristics that make the scope versatile. Most experts note the optimal refresh rate of 50 Hz, the presence of optical and digital zoom, the high resolution of the OLED display, and the detection range of more than 500 meters. An additional advantage is a wide operating temperature range, allowing the optics to be operated even in hot or cold weather.
This TS is one of the most sought-after models in the PYTHON series. It is characterized by versatility, thanks to which it perfectly copes with tasks of any complexity. Its body is made of lightweight modern materials that can withstand even the strong recoil of weapons. It has increased water resistance, allowing the sight to be used in all weather conditions. All internal design details are of excellent quality, making it possible to count on the optics' high reliability and durability.
The AGM PYTHON TS50-640 is an easy-to-use sight. This makes it a good option not only for experienced shooters but also for beginners. The manufacturer also provided the ability to connect a wireless remote control, further simplifying selecting settings. This model also has a Wi-Fi module, the hallmark of all modern AGM sights. To ensure autonomous operation of the optics, standard CR123A batteries are used, the resource of which is enough for 4 hours of continuous operation. If necessary, users can increase this figure. It is enough to use spare batteries or connect an external power source to do this.
It is difficult to find flaws in the characteristics of the AGM PYTHON TS50-640. Most of the indicators are at a high level, and some of them even surpass those of other AGM models. Particular attention should be paid to the zoom capabilities. 8x digital zoom is added to the standard 2x optical zoom without significantly degrading image quality. In addition, experts distinguish an even more comprehensive operating temperature range than other manufacturer models, as well as compact dimensions and relatively low weight.
Modern thermal scopes cost $2000-$3000. To save them, it is recommended to responsibly approach the process of choosing optics. Finding the most suitable model to meet the requirements and effectively cope with any job will be possible. When buying a TS, you should consider all the basic parameters that determine the capabilities of optics. It would be best to view additional options to make the device as versatile as possible and expand its scope.
Key parameters considered during selection:
All thermal scopes are sold as standard. It may not be enough for some buyers, so various accessories will come to the rescue in this case. All of them will help improve the device's efficiency and the operation's safety and expand the user experience. You can find options perfect for rifle scopes among the many thermal imager accessories.
Most popular accessories:
Why buy a thermal scope when you have an ordinary night vision scope?
An ordinary NV sight can only work effectively with at least some lighting. It is advisable to use thermal scope if it is absent or insufficient for optics operation. It will create a thermal image on the display, on which various objects and objects of the environment will be visible. In addition, TS will be able to make most of the masked and hidden objects visible, which the classic NVD cannot give the user.
What determines the quality of the resulting image?
First of all, the quality of the image depends on the characteristics and capabilities of the sight itself. The better the various indicators are, the more precise the final result will be. Also, the quality is affected by the operating conditions of the optics. Some defects may appear in the picture due to various natural obstacles (for example, rain or snow).
Under what conditions will TS work most efficiently?
The more significant the temperature difference between cold and hot objects, the more efficient TS will work. Such conditions can be obtained on a cold winter night. At higher air temperatures, so-called thermal noise will appear in the image, which will slightly reduce the quality of the result. A similar effect will be observed during the operation of optics during daylight hours.
What can't the thermal scope see?
Thermal imaging can detect heat through various obstacles. However, there are some obstacles that it will not cope with. These include thick walls, solid objects, and glass. In addition, TS may not notice a person in places where the ambient temperature will be approximately equal to the temperature of the human body.
How to choose the right TS?
To choose TS, you need to carefully study the characteristics of the proposed devices and pay attention to their functionality. Researching customer reviews and expert opinions and watching video reviews of specific models are also recommended. It is essential to remember to evaluate your financial capabilities in advance. This will help narrow the search and reduce the time spent choosing suitable optics.
Buying a thermal imaging sight for a rifle is always a difficult and responsible task. To cope with it qualitatively, it is necessary to be well-versed in all the nuances of this matter and consider the recommendations of specialists. Only this approach will make it possible to find the optimal model that meets your needs and financial capabilities. In most cases, buyers prefer AGM optics. It is of excellent quality, always has good features and functions, and offers unlimited opportunities for the user to develop the shooter's skills. By choosing one of the models and adding various accessories to the package, you can achieve the perfect combination that will help you cope with any job and get absolute pleasure.
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