Thermal - worth the cost?

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Thermal - worth the cost?

#1 Post by NFHunter »

Hi everyone.

I've been shooting for 20+ years and recently treated myself to a thermal spotter (Axion XM30 Key from Pulsar). If you're in two minds about buying one of these gadgets then here are my thoughts on the matter......

Cost - Yes they are all expensive but starting from around £500 an getting cheaper all the time. They are typically built to last and should give 10 years worth of use as a minimum if you look after it.

You can spend £1000+ on a decent bit of glass, wont make you shoot straighter though.

Does it really give that much of an advantage over an IR spotter? Yes, most definitely.

Will you see more? Yes, most definitely.

Will you have the potential to shoot more? Yes

Can you shoot more safely? Yes, because you can be sure of what's around and beyond your target.

If you buy a decent one (I've been very happy with mine, definitely recommend it) then you'll wonder why you waited so long.

Happy to answer any questions on it.
Shoot safe, shoot straight.
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Re: Thermal - worth the cost?

#2 Post by Christel »

NFHunter wrote:
You can spend £1000+ on a decent bit of glass, wont make you shoot straighter though.
lol lol

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”

- George Orwell, 1984

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Re: Thermal - worth the cost?

#3 Post by shoppe »

Hi i bought the axion 38, after much thought and find it really really good. I have spotted deer behind bushes that I could not see with binoculars. It also allows me to scan an area to see if there is vermin etc on the go, if nothing there I move on yo another bit of the land, I would not be without it now
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Re: Thermal - worth the cost?

#4 Post by J4mes »

They're highly impressive bits of kit for sure. Some videos of people foxing with them are great, serious clarity.
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Re: Thermal - worth the cost?

#5 Post by Ballistol »

I recently bought an Axion Key XM30, and have reached a few conclusions.

Even though the thermal is at the cheapest end of the scale, it has definitely allowed me to identify deer that I would have ordinarily missed, even with very good binoculars.
A friend has a much more expensive sight, which in turn produces a better image but is more unwieldy to carry in the field. Consider how you intend to use the sight and how you will carry it.
Try to have a go of as many different units as you can before making your choice.
Of course, having spotted them with the thermal, you still have to get to a position where you can identify your target with conventional sights.
One thing I never considered before purchase, is just how useful a thermal is in identifying the location of shot game.
Overall, I wonder how I managed without one.
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Re: Thermal - worth the cost?

#6 Post by Dorset_shooter »

I will say after years of doing it the old fashion way, if you simply want to get a job done then thermal is the way to go, you have the upper hand that nature does not.

However, for anything “normal” I would not use one, fox’s are easily taken without.

It removes too much of the sporting nature for my liking.
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Re: Thermal - worth the cost?

#7 Post by RDC »

If I could afford to drop the cash on thermal, I would in a heartbeat.

I've used older gen coloured stuff and newer monochrome when I've been handed it, and I can safely say it was a game changer compared to the night vision I had used otherwise. Being able to identify that movement in a treeline is animal X or animal Y, and not a bigger concern is great.
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Re: Thermal - worth the cost?

#8 Post by kennyc »

I have replaced an old Flir unit with a key30, the picture is far better and the range better, although in half light and drizzle in the morning when everything is cold, I still find some Deer easier to find with binos than the thermal, although thats not 100% of the time, thermals are not always plug and play , they do take a bit of adjustment and interpretation to get the best out of them.
all things considered I don't want to go back to not having one :good:
as to the XM30key, yes by modern standards its not the top dog, by the standard of a couple or three years ago, its almost magical! picture quality at 10 mag is poor especially in contrast with my shooting buddies £2.5K+ unit, although on 2.5 or 5 mag its pretty much the same and as his has a minimum 5.5 mag its actually better for scanning , especially close in :good:
so do you need one ? nope
can you shoot Deer without one ? absolutely
do they aid in finding Deer in the dark or shade ? yup
would I hand mine in ? no-way ! shakeshout
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