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FarmerJohn

Need recommendation on Night Optics

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Birthday is coming up and every year my wife supports my favorite pastime by letting me upgrade or add to my collection. This year instead of purchasing a rifle i want to find a good night scope for my 30-06. Originally i was looking at some of the gen 2s but btwn materials for projects ive been working on and the new shocks i had to put on my jeep and the ammo i bought since i thought gander was shutting down ( the sneaky bastards are actually just selling all their stock and staying open, still as gander mt only with new management) anyway... Its going to have to be gen 1 or nothing. How does the gen 1 equipment hold up and function compared to gen 2 or 3? What brand/models should i look for and which ones should i avoid? What kind of effective range can i expect? Help here would be greatly appreciated. Want to set the budget limit around $300, maybe a little more if its decent equipment.

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For what your doing u would save your $$$ for a really good purchase down the road. Gen 1 and 2 are junk. I've driven a Humvee at night with 2 and it was actually easier without. It's way out of that price range but look at PVS -14s with the full kit that let's you attach to a rifle. There are some companies that let you finance them. Before you yell,"Gucci Gear Ass!", Remember the idiom,"Buy once, cry once." It is better to save that $$$ and get something good then to buy the junk and then have to replace it down the road with quality.

Think about this too, if your getting it to fight bad guys then you want good stuff. It's not an all seeing eye that detects every enemy. If I have good camoflague and pick a good hide spot the guy with gen 1,2,3, Etc. Will never see me. I've seen this proven time and time again.

If your interested still I can point you in the direction of financing.

P.S. your wife rocks!

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For what your doing u would save your $$$ for a really good purchase down the road. Gen 1 and 2 are junk. I've driven a Humvee at night with 2 and it was actually easier without. It's way out of that price range but look at PVS -14s with the full kit that let's you attach to a rifle. There are some companies that let you finance them. Before you yell,"Gucci Gear Ass!", Remember the idiom,"Buy once, cry once." It is better to save that $$$ and get something good then to buy the junk and then have to replace it down the road with quality.

Think about this too, if your getting it to fight bad guys then you want good stuff. It's not an all seeing eye that detects every enemy. If I have good camoflague and pick a good hide spot the guy with gen 1,2,3, Etc. Will never see me. I've seen this proven time and time again.

If your interested still I can point you in the direction of financing.

P.S. your wife rocks!

Yeah definately interested. I dont like to buy junk equipment. Budget gear is one thing if its dependable and works good enough, some stuff your better off holding out for if you cant afford it. Im buying the scope mainly for predators that come around the animal pens looking to for an easy meal but if i found myself in hostile territory its my first pick and that dept too. And yeah, my wife is pretty kick ass. She picked out a 12g double barrel home defense model for her birthday last year. had a pic. Rail with a cqb light and magna ported barrels. She doenst mind me filling my gun safe with neat stuff as long as she gets to fill hers too

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One thing I'd look at as far as the buy once idea is a good thermal sight. FLIR makes a nice rig, as does ATN. I have a FLIR RS32 and it's really darn good. The ATN Thor HD 384 is a darn good one for the price, around 2k but if you shop around you can find it cheaper.

 

One good thing about thermal - even in the daytime things hiding in bushes, etc. still show up.

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One thing I'd look at as far as the buy once idea is a good thermal sight. FLIR makes a nice rig, as does ATN. I have a FLIR RS32 and it's really darn good. The ATN Thor HD 384 is a darn good one for the price, around 2k but if you shop around you can find it cheaper.

 

One good thing about thermal - even in the daytime things hiding in bushes, etc. still show up.

Been thinking about buying thermal for a while. Last bow season my wife had gut shot a 10 pt buck and we tracked him for two days before losing his trail. That first night we came within 30 yards of him in thick brush and didnt even know he was there til he got up and ran. If we had a FLIR he wouldnt have gotten away. We lost the trail when it started to rain heavily and never did find him. How much did you pay for the RS? And whats the minimum price tag for a decent one?

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I paid around $3200 for my RS. The ATN Thor (which has tons of bells and whistles and runs on regular AAs) can be had for around $1999 from optics planet.

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I think you mean Thermal and Image Intensifiers (II), FLIR is another class of system entirely and the name of a night vision manufacturer.. I'll put the reasons I went with thermal rifle scope:

1. It works during the day as well. Concealment can often be defeated by thermal.

2. At night you can still blend in pretty well against bushes and conceal yourself against the gen3 image intensifiers (i.e. PVS-14s). Against thermal you have to hide your heat, and often even when you're behind cover the heat difference in breath vapor rising is visible within a hundred yards.

3. The price point in the last year on GOOD thermal sights has gotten to be at or lower than the gen3 night vision sights.

 

I don't use night vision at night for navigation, I've found it actually slows me down once my natural night vision is acclimated. HOWEVER if you're going to buy one to use for driving as well as moving around it's probably a better idea to get an Gen 3 II. Glass in front of a thermal system can create problems and in general it's a little rougher on the eye during longer uses.

 

When does thermal suck? In heavy fog (the water vapor acts as an airborne insulation blanket), same thing with driving rain. In extreme heat they can also require a lot more fine tuning to get a good picture.

 

Here's a good rundown vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIhFupwqOU4

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Are their any scopes available that can switch between thermal and night vision? And ah, didnt know that. Buddy of mine had thermal and he kept calling it a flir. I made the wrong conclusion about it. And whichever i buy its primary use will be hunting and tracking nocturnal predatory game

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Okay here's a down and dirty explanation.

What people normally call night vision works off of an image intensifier and amplifies naturally existing infrared (IR) light. Military night vision (PVS-7s, 14's etc.) fall into this category. When there's little to no light they may require an IR illuminator which can become a big freaking honking "hey guys here I am shoot me" beacon. This type of night vision comes in "generations" with each generation being better than the last. Gen 1 is the stuff you see that's pretty cheap but it's generally considered a waste of money. The military uses gen3, which provides a much better picture, and has a correspondingly higher price tag.

Thermal sights generate a picture by contrasting the differences in temperatures, often to within +/- 1 degree. As such anything that is generating heat (or being cooled) will show up as contrasted.

FLIR is Forward Looking Infrared Radar and it uses a thermographic camera that generates a digital picture. FLIR is pretty standard on fighting vehicles and helos.

There is also a company named FLIR systems which makes all kinds of night vision, so you could have any of the above and call it a "Flir", although that's the manufacturers name.

 

For predator hunting thermal is currently the rage, as it can detect an animal (or human) concealed by hiding in heavy brush, etc. If you noticed in the video the guys footprints showed up on the thermal, fresh blood rails and other spoor will show up in thermal as well.

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Ive got a gen one monocular now that was my uncles. Its a huge improvement over nothing but its effective range to see clearly seems to be around 30 yards unless im viewing something metalic or with eyeshine. unless conditions are "perfect" it its useless though.

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