Tag Archives: thermal

Andres Industries TigIR-6Z+โ„ข Thermal Sight

I am lucky to often play with military grade weaponry, but today we will be talking about military grade optics, thermal optics to be exact. Today we will be looking at the Andres Industries TigIR thermal sight. The TigIR is a compact clip-on thermal sight meant to be used in front of your day optic.

The TigIR-Z

I tested the TigIR on one of my SRS M2 rifles chambered in 338LM, on top of the rifle was a Steiner M5 riflescope.

The TigIR has some very convenient features that make it rapidly deployed and easily adapted to your application. Things like a quick power-up when opening the front lens cover, assorted mounting options, and offset adjustment to remove optical offset. I really enjoy some of the nerdy tech side of shooting, so lets get tucked into this review.

Target hangers as seen from 200 Mts at zero fahrenheit

The TigIR comes in a very nice little polymer carry case with a detailed instruction booklet in both German and English, which came in very handy. One of the first things that surprised me about it was for an optic so filled with functions and features, it only had four buttons. There is a fairly complex menu that is navigated using only the four buttons, using either quick presses or holding the button depressed until selected. But first I had to install the four CR123 lithium batteries.
The TigIR has several filter options that allow different views of different landscapes, each one having a strong-point. The different filters are easily toggled through to see which one best presents your target in any given place. There are also several different brightness settings you can use to adjust to your purposes. The waterproof housing also has a connection for video output and remote control.
In addition, the TigIR allows you to create several profile offsets within the device for different rifles or calibers. When you add a thermal sight to your rifle, or anything to your rifle for that matter, it can affect the way the rifle recoils and change your point of impact. In addition, when you put an additional device infront of your day scope that is zeroed to the rifle, you can also cause an optical offset (sorta like a shallow prizm). The TigIR allows you to correct for this offset, so that your point of impact remains the same with or without the thermal installed. And as I mentioned you can save up to six different profiles to use with the TigIR.

The front lens cover is held shut by two bungees, the unit powers-up when you open the cover. The bungees then hold the cover firmly in place to avoid unwanted movement. It can also be used for rapid recalibration, by simply closing and opening again it will cause the unit to reset. After startup you can select a power setting from .8X up to 6X, this is handy for various viewing purposes and are easily toggled with the zoom button (#2).
You can select one of the fifteen or so different filters, each of them have strong points such as looking for a person vs. looking at a vehicle. Some of the filters are much better than others depending on what you are looking at, so make sure you try several different options.

The TigIR is easily mounted using a clip-on picatinny rail clamp, but there are other options such as scope-bell clamps as well as observation eyepieces to use the unit alone. The four batteries should power the unit for ten hours according to the manufacturer, though in my experience I would not expect it to last near that long in this kind of cold.


I must admit that the lionshare of my time was spent learning how to operate the TigIR, which is no surprise as it is a complicated device. It took some trial and error for my captain caveman brain to get everything figured out. But after some time I was ready to make some noise.

To the rifle range

The TigIR mounted to my SRS

Having already ensured my rifle was zeroed at one-hundred meters, I clamped the TigIR into place to see what happened next. It’s not often that I play with thermals, and I always forget to bring something warm to use as a target. But to my surprise I didn’t really need one this time, targets and details show so clearly through the TigIR that it was almost unnecessary. I could even see the differing colors of the paper target, as long as the sun was shining on them. As temperatures changed so did my perspective of the targets. It was actually easier to shoot into the snow, where the fresh holes in the snow would show up quite clearly through the thermal. After confirming the offset, I entered the offset data into the profile for my 338. This would ensure that with or without the TigIR installed I would be on target.

Observing target handlers, note “WH” denotes selected IR filter, and 0.8X denotes selected zoom

The images portrayed through the TigIR were quite impressive, making an incredible amount of detail possible. I pushed it out a little further to see how well I could see things at six-hundred meters, and it was still very useful. I continued to shoot and to my surprise I could even see sticks moving behind the target as they were hit by the bullet after passing through. It was actually quite impressive until thick fluffy snow began to fall, and as the air filled with frozen snowflakes the magnified image became unclear with or without the thermal installed on the rifle. I did try some of the other thermal filters and did get some improvement, but not enough to make it worth spending expensive 338 Lapua rounds. I’ll also add that the images shown here don’t show the quality as well as your eye does in real time.

You can also select one of several reticles from the TigIR menu, different reticles with differing values that can be used either independently of you day scope, or in conjunction with it. And if using the TigIR as spotting device, you can use the reticle values to call corrections for your shooter.

Conclusion

I was thoroughly impressed with the TigIR-6Z, it was very compact compared to other units, and it performance was better than those I am more familiar with. Yes it is a complex piece of tech so there is definitely a learning curve, but I think once you figure out how to use it properly, you will be very happy with it. The price is just shy ofย  โ‚ฌ10K, which is certainly not cheap, but it much more affordable than comparable units I have used. I would definitely get one of these units if you’re in the market for a thermal, its an outstanding little device.
-CBM

ATN THOR Riflescope

Being in control, or at least feeling like you’re in control of a situation seems to give us satisfaction in our outdoor adventures. Being prepared with weapons and the tools needed to go where we want, and do what we chose are a large portion of that feeling of authority over our immediate surroundings. Until the sun sets, when much of our dominance goes out the window.
Today we are going to take a look at some equipment you can add to your arsenal that will keep you on top of things in pure darkness.

ATN Corp has been in the business of manufacturing low light sport optics for nearly 30 years now. They have been innovating night vision and thermal devices in every imaginable way.
Today we are going to speak about one product in particular, ATN’s THOR 4 640 2.2-25X thermal riflescope.

The THOR

The ATN THOR 4 is much more than just a low light thermal imaging optical sight. It also has an incredible array of smart functions like built in GPS, blue-tooth connection to apple and android devices, video and photo recording, and even ballistic solver built into the riflescope.
There are other more simple features that will enhance your experience with this scope as well. Rings to mount it come included with the scope, low battery consumption make the power last longer than anticipated. And you can even get it in one of your favorite camouflage coatings. There is much more to get into on the features, so I’ll move along.

Unboxing

When I opened the box to see the scope inside, I was a bit surprised. The THOR appeared to be a complete unit, sealed and ready to go. I pulled out the instructions because I’m an idiot when it comes to tech. The directions were easy enough to figure out, but for added help for those of us who struggle they even added some stickers in various locations indicating the purpose and function of each control.

Control panel on top of the housing, note charging port and SD card slot

There was also things such as a charging adaptor and the mounting rings to install the scope on your rifle. After a few hours good charging time, I took the THOR outside to see what I was missing in the darkness. I have used other thermal optics before, and I was perhaps expecting a little bit more because of my previous experience. But to be fair, the units I was comparing to this ATN cost three to four times as much. So there is certainly a grain of salt to take with my expectation.
The THOR was excellent for identifying small animals around the neighborhood inside 300 yards. I zoomed the power in and out using the power wheel on the left side of the housing, and then focused using the rotating objective housing. The resolution was more than adequate for identifying and targeting potential animals.

In the field

I wanted to get this scope mounted and into action as soon as possible. Using the provided rings, I mounted it up on my Desert Tech MDRX 308winchester.
It took some getting used to, but after a bit I had the THOR figured out. I managed to get it zeroed, though it took me more shots than it should have. The “Nuc” feature was an important one to figure out quickly. As far as I can tell, it seems to calibrate the sensor according to the current field of view. I found that significantly changing your field of view would cause some of the resolution to vary some, and by cycling the Nuc feature on the new viewing area would bring back the image. There is also an “Auto-Nuc” that you can set in the controls to have the device re-Nuc itself every so often.
The display was full of information, possibly more than some folks may want to see. It kinda made me feel like I was looking through the heads up display of an F-18. Angles on both vertical and horizontal plans are displayed, as well as a compass heading. There are an assortment of reticle choices you can choose depending on your needs, as well as a simple menu that can be cycled through quickly using the buttons on top of the housing. I had already installed a micro SD card that is used to store images and video clips recorded through the scope.

The Obsidian 4 Application

It was time to get the Obsidian 4 application connected and running, this app is made and offered by ATN for the owners of their products. It allows details entry and customization for some of the more tedious bits of data you definitely want right.
It took a minute to figure out how to properly get it connected to my phone, but after watching a helpful video on ATN’s website I was in business.

The Obsidian 4 app allows you to customize the data used in the ballistic solver that comes in the scope. You can change calibers, bullet weights, velocities and other pertinent information used to calculate the corrections for distance. You can also watch through the scope remotely which is also pretty cool, there is a slight delay in transmission but you can see everything you need to see and record it to your phone if you like.

The app was easy to navigate, and update the information. To be completely honest I found it to be an incredible amount of customization, I am barely smarter than most primates and I was beginning to worry I was going to screw something up faster than anything. But in a short time I had it setup to my liking, and ready to shoot. Continue Reading Here…

ATN Thermal Binoculars THOR 4 2.5-25X

Thermal weapon sights have become extremely popular over the last decade or so, I’ve had the good fortune to play with a few of them. Today we are going to talk about a supplemental thermal device, one I think is just as useful as a weapon sight; the ATN BinoX 4T 2.5-25X binoculars.
I say just as useful because whenever I find myself in the dark looking for potential animals to hunt, looking around through my riflescope is not only cumbersome but dangerous. The BinoX binoculars allow the user to safely scan the surrounding environment to identify potential targets, and it also gives you additional information that will help you make a better shot when the time comes.
The ATN Binox incorporate a rangefinder, variable power settings, video recording and image capture, and even GPS location that can be used to keep track of fellow hunters in the area. An IR illuminator is also part of the device, which allows you to illuminate targets when using in conjunction with night vision optics. It also incorporates wifi that can be paired to your ATN riflescope through the ATN Ballistic Information Exchange (BIX). Using the connection you can also stream to a paired device for additional viewing while recording the stream to the SD card inside the unit.
The ATN Binox uses an armored housing with a control pad on the top with various buttons to cycle through the menus and activate the different functions of the binoculars. At the rear of the binos you have an adjustable diopter to focus the image of the display inside. The front of the sensor lens can be rotated to focus the thermal image of the target, the right side is for the thermal sensor, the left side houses other sensors and needn’t be adjusted for image focusing.
The Center button doubles as a “Nuc” button that resets the sensitivity of the sensor based on the current field of view, as far as I can tell anyway. You can adjust the power magnification of the binoculars by using the arrows on the control pad, and the power button doubles as a rangefinder trigger when the unit is powered on.
The display inside gives you quite a bit of information, with actual readouts of both incline and cant as well as a compass bearing. You can select to use different widgets such as compass and angle displays, or if you like you can keep it simple and see just the image. There are many different settings that you can adjust to better fit your needs such as different shades for showing heat, you can select different colors or shades of black and white. There are different reticles you can use for measuring targets and distances and such, and of course you can change the units from yards to meters and MOA to MRAD if you like.
The Binox come with an extended life battery, which I was happy to hear. Most thermal devices I have used in the past burn through batteries far too fast. There was also a neck band to carry the BinoX with, it was also easy to adjust the two ocular lenses to fit your particular eye width.

Into the darkness
After confirming a bunch of settings around the yard and making my dog uncomfortable with shouting commands into the dark corners of the yard, I decided it was time to take the BinoX into the hills and see what I could find. It took a few minutes to find a contrast setting that I preferred, but I settled on the “Glowbow” setting. As you’ll see from my pictures I neglected to set the time and date.

a deer as seen at around 20X magnification from approximately 250 yards

Once I got into the mountains I began scanning where I figured I would be able to find a deer or two, or perhaps even a unsuspecting hiker. I did find something that quickly became frustrating. There were plenty of rocks in the hills that appeared to retain a bunch of heat, this inevitably gave me too many false ID’s of potential life. When I actually did see something that was clearly alive and warm, it was pretty clear. But often times I would have to watch at some of the more distant targets to see if they moved before I could confirm their identity.
I spent some time getting used to the imagery through the binos, and testing out the different functions. It did take me a minute to get used to some of the controls and understand everything, but soon enough I was finding things and measuring their distance with the rangefinder and even snapping pictures and videos of them.

Much like properly viewing an ultrasound image, it seems there is a bit of a learning curve with looking at images like this. Oftentimes it is easy enough to make out trees, rocks and so forth. You can even make out sunny spots and shadows in the images taken during daylight. I have seen better imagery from other thermal units, but to be fair they cost significantly more than this one.
Finding animals in complete darkness turned out be be everything I hoped it would be, it reduced the eiriness of the darkness. Thermal optics have the benefit of being useful in the daylight just as complete darkness, which is a leg up over night vision optics. I found that using the BinoX during the daytime was also helpful in finding things that were alive in a sea of ambient temperature trees and hills. Continue Reading Here…