How to choose a thermal rifle scope

How to Choose a Thermal Rifle Scope – A Beginner’s Guide

As a hunter or outdoorsman, you’re likely familiar with the term “thermal” when it comes to firearms. A thermal rifle scope is a type of optic that uses a heat-sensitive lens to provide clarity in low-light conditions. 

While there are many different thermal scopes on the market, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. In this guide, we’ll help you choose the right thermal rifle scope for your needs. 

Things to Consider Before Choosing a Thermal Rifle Scope

Choosing a thermal rifle scope can be a daunting task, especially for those who are new to the world of thermal imaging technology. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a thermal rifle scope:


Thermal rifle scopes come with various magnification levels. Choose a scope with a magnification level that suits your shooting requirements. A higher magnification level can help you identify targets at a greater distance, but it can also decrease the field of view.

Type of Lens

The second is the type of lens. A fixed lens will stay put on top of the rifle’s telescopic sight while an adjustable lens can be adjusted to fit different barrel lengths and calibers. 

Field of View

A wide field of view allows for better peripheral vision and makes it easier to keep track of multiple targets. Fourth is Eye Relief (ER), which is the distance from the shooter’s eye to the eyepiece. A longer ER gives the shooter more comfortable viewing angles and eliminates any need for adjustment during firing.

Resolution of the Scope and Sensor

The resolution of the scope refers to its ability to accurately display targets at a certain distance. A high-resolution scope will allow for more accurate shots at longer distances. The resolution of the sensor refers to the device’s ability to capture heat signatures. 

However, a good thermal rifle scope will have a high-resolution sensor that can capture small targets and identify different types of targets, such as human beings or animals, with accuracy.

How to choose a thermal rifle scope

Battery Life

Another most important factor to consider is the battery life. Many scopes offer long battery lives and can be used for extended periods without having to be recharged. However, not all scopes have long battery lives and it is important to research which one will fit your needs the best. It is also important to take into account how often you plan on using the scope, as some scopes may require more frequent charging than others.

Scope Detection Range

When choosing a thermal rifle scope, it is important to understand the detection range. This ranges how far away an object will show up on the scope as heat. A good rule of thumb is to choose a scope with a detection range of at least 100 yards. However, if you plan on hunting small game or targets closer than 100 yards, consider investing in a telescopic sight instead.

Refresh Rate

The refresh rate of a thermal rifle scope refers to the number of times per second that the image is updated. A higher refresh rate can provide a smoother and more fluid image, which is crucial when tracking moving targets.


You need to decide on your budget. While all three factors are important, they don’t necessarily need to be prioritized in the same way. You can find thermal rifle scopes with good resolution and magnification at a lower price than scopes with better refresh rates but smaller magnifications.

Thermal Imager Accessories

While considering the factors of the thermal scope you must also need to consider the imager accessories of the thermal. Some of the most common thermal scope accessories include a tripod, lens cap, and filter set.

  • A tripod ensures that images are stable and can be taken at a consistent angle.
  • Lens caps protect the lenses from dust and debris, while a filter set helps to reduce noise in the image.
  • Other necessary thermal scope accessories include an SD card reader and cable for transferring data to a computer or other devices.
  • An SD cardReader allows users to save images onto their own SD cards, making them easy to access and share with others. 

By considering these factors and doing thorough research, you can choose the right thermal rifle scope for your needs and enhance your shooting or hunting experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a thermal scope worth it?

A thermal scope, also known as a night vision scope or NV scope, is a device that allows the user to see in low light conditions. Some people believe that a thermal scope is worth investing in because it can help them identify targets and enemies at a distance. 
However, there are some people who say that thermal scopes are not worth the money because they are not accurate enough. Ultimately, it depends on the individual’s needs and preferences.

How much does a good thermal scope cost?

Thermal scopes can range in price from around $200 to over $5,000.

How far can you shoot with a thermal scope?

You can shoot a thermal scope out to about 800 yards, but the resolution will start to decrease after that.

Can you see deer antlers with thermal imaging?

Yes, you can see deer antlers with thermal imaging.


So to conclude the article about How to choose a thermal rifle scope. It is important to consider when choosing a thermal rifle scope. The most important factor is the shooter’s needs, which may vary depending on the type of shooting they plan on doing. Other factors we have described in the above article that I hope may help you in selecting the best thermal night vision scope.

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