When hunting at night or in less than ideal enviromental conditions, it is almost impossible to see your game without a quality thermal scope. There’s no need to worry — our team of experts has updated our list of the best thermal scopes under $2000 that were personally tried and tested.
Table of Contents
- 1 Top 3 Thermal Scopes Under $2000
- 2 Buyer’s Guide
- 3 and the #1 Thermal Scope Under $2000 is...
Top 3 Thermal Scopes Under $2000
1. ATN ThOR 4 384 1.25-5x Thermal Smart HD Rifle Scope
The ATN ThOR 4 384 1.25-5x Thermal Smart HD Rifle Scope is packed full of features typically found on thermal scopes costing much more. Three color palettes (Black Hot, White Hot, and Color) make this thermal scope useful day or night in many weather and environmental conditions.
It is fairly easy to use with a spin-to-zoom wheel and tactile buttons that make it easier to operate without taking your eyes off the target. Mounting on most rails is simple with the included 30mm rings. An L-shape ring is also included if you need extra eye relief for certain setups.
The most useful features for hunting are the ballistic calculator, rangefinder, and programmable mil dot reticle which all work together to help you get the shot. Based on ballistic information picked up by the Smart Range Finder, the scope automatically adjusts your reticle POI for bullet drop.
This Wi-Fi enabled scope allows you to simultaneously record video and sound at high resolution and live stream using your phone or tablet. When a shot is fired and your scope experiences recoil, Recoil Activated Video (RAV) automatically records video prior to the shot being taken and some time after. Those settings are adjustable. This feature isn’t perfect as some air guns may not provide enough recoil for RAV to be activated. Bluetooth allows other ATN smart accessories to communicate with your scope, furthering its usefulness.
This pick has the longest battery life of all of the options we tested. On the other hand, it’s also the largest, so expect a scope loaded with all of these features to add a bit of heft.
2. ATN ThOR LT 2-4x19mm and 3-6x30mm Thermal Scope
The ATN Thor LT Thermal Scope has all of the essentials you need in a thermal rifle scope without all of the extras. That equates to an affordable thermal scope with the quality features you need in a lightweight package. In fact, this is the least expensive option on our list at the time of publishing.
Even at 320 resolution, the Thor LT delivers a clear picture with the two most commonly used color options, white hot and black hot, which will cover most situations for the average hunter. Built from hardened aluminum alloy, this sturdy scope is built to withstand recoil from higher caliber weapons.
It’s low power consumption means one charge lasts for 10 hours. The Thor LT offers 90mm eye relief and is easy to mount to most standard rails. Mounting requires 30 mm mount rings that are not included. The compact Thor LT also features 4 reticle options, One Shot Zero, and water resistance.
3. AGM Rattler TS25-384 Thermal Imaging Rifle Scope
This versatile pick can be used as a thermal rifle scope or handheld thermal monocular in many different lighting and weather/environmental conditions.
This is one of just two picks under $2k that have 384 resolution and the picture is excellent. One reviewer was impressed with the distinct separation at the edges, and the excellent contrast between the orange and purple. Plus this option features video recording and an onboard wi-fi module for live video streaming and recording via an app. The functions are well-defined and large padded buttons are easy to find and operate in low lighting.
The Rattler comes fully-assembled with a Picatinny/Weaver mount. One drawback are the large boresight adjustments which may take some getting used to.
Magnification of the Thermal Scope
Most thermal scopes have a range of 1x to 16x digital zoom, and are reliable at up to 300 yards. The range you often shoot at will determine which thermal scope is best. Some rifle scopes offer high-quality captures, clip on thermal capability, high res video recording capacity, easy to use Wi Fi function, and other features (iOS and Android apps) that provide a better hunting experience.
You should always go for a thermal scope with a clearer display resolution . Preferably, it will be best to go for a thermal scope with built-in pixel smoothing software.
Thermal Imaging vs Night Vision
Thermal imaging and night vision scopes have something in common: they can both be used to “see” your environment at night. However, they vary in many other aspects.
Thermal imaging uses heat radiation to detect a target, and requires no ambient of light. Thermal imaging also has a longer reach and can be used even in daylight. You’ll also want to check if it’s legal to use thermal scopes in your state.
and the #1 Thermal Scope Under $2000 is...
According to our experts’ verdict for the best thermal scopes under $2000, the ATN ThOR 4 384 1.25-5x takes the top spot. This thermal scope has a simple design but it has a pretty good range and a quality resolution to back it up.