IR Hunter Thermal Sights


IR Defense Corp. launched a new website:  The site discusses the benefits of using thermal imagins technology for hunting and offers a number of comparison photos between third gen light amplification technology and thermal imaging.

Thermal imaging develops a picture based on temperature variances.  It can help spot animals, people or other heat sources through light brush, smoke and fog.


The company sells a number of IR scopes with resolutions of 160×120 to 640×480.  Some models allow for a 5x optical and 20x digital zoom.  Pricing runs from $3,999 – $8,999 depending on model.

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is


  • JumpIf NotZero

    Airsoft AR?

    Not sure what other AR would be made in Taiwan. Even if it’s not (or if it is) whoever chose that AR to show their optic off on needs some consulting.

    Thermal is cool and I look forward to the price coming down, but same with the night vision scope in the last article, I’m curious about actual range. I had FLIR/thermal on a vehicle and the range really wasn’t great. Maybe 50-75y with any degree of confidence

    • Anonymouse

      The rifle pictured is a KWA M4. (a Taiwanese airsoft gun manufacturer).

    • Ryan

      Can’t really fault them for using Airsoft as props they are based in CA. Logistically Airsoft rifles are x100 cheaper and easier to deal with, especially in CA.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        Honestly my contention wasn’t about the Airsoft… It was about the terrible looking AR-shape presented…

        – MOE stock
        – Old style quad rail
        – Grip-pod
        – 80s looking suppressor
        – Low profile gas block uncovered (although it’s at least fake-pinned on the fake-gun)

        None of that tells me they are a company that really knows firearms.

        • iksnilol

          Why would they know firearms if they build scopes? As long as it is solid and uses a common mount then all is ok.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            Three years ago, FLIR is nod, nod not necessarily FLIR.

          • Justin William Officer


          • iksnilol

            Lots of uses for thermal optics that isn’t firearm related.

            Does it really bother you that much that they didn’t use a real gun to model it on? Does it bother you when you go to a clothing store and they don’t have real people modeling the clothes?

        • tincankilla

          In my best Joan Rivers voice: “What is she wearing? That MOE stock is so 2012! Did she get those quad rails from her grandma’s closet? And having her gas block hanging out for everyone to see is just classless, don’t you think? Darling, even I don’t wear grip pods anymore, I don’t care if Frank Sinatra loved pulling on them!”

  • guest

    As soon as those systems gets cheaper… hell yes. Nothing beats the ease of recognition, detection range, night time detection etc of a FLIR scope. The price however puts even the most expensive S&B scopes to shame. The day a VGA-resolution scope with at least 60 hz scanning freq drops below 2000$ it’ll really start selling, until then it’s a toy for the connected and the rich.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Ease of recognition? Uh huh… How much FLIR time do you have? Because I could look at myself in a FLIR camera and not know it’s me.

      If you are talking overall human shape, yea, excellent, which human? No not at all. Likewise in a bunting application it could be VERY hard to tell a dog, coyote, wolf, and even a fox if you got confused on the distance apart with a FLIR.

      I sort of question the statement, having used FLIR in vehicles. Maybe these scopes are far more advanced than the ones I used (640×480 @ 30) but I don’t think that’s the case. I could be wrong though.

      • iksnilol

        When did you use your FLIR and nod? That would help.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          Three years ago, FLIR is nod, nod not necessarily FLIR…

      • Justin William Officer

        Well digital zoom is the real problem here . Optical not bad but digital zoom should always be a last resort .

  • IXLR8

    What someone needs to make is a blend scope. A thermal imager with an overlay from a CCD or CMOS sensor. Fluke sells a handheld unit that does that. I have used it and it is amazing.
    There will be places that one or the other technology will not be effective, but it would be spectacular in other uses. It is amazing how a 160×180 microbolometer enhances the image from a much higher resolution visible light sensor. Game would stand out and be easier to reconize.
    Please send me a test unit when it is done….

    • Julio

      Spot on. Thermal transforms the speed/consistency/ease with which you can scan/spot “targets” but struggles to provide detailed images and offers inadequate magnification unless you have very deep pockets. CCD/CMOS images cover these last two bases but not the first. I currently spot with a thermal then switch to a conventional tubed NV weapon sight by night, and a conventional riflescope by day. Doing so inevitably involves briefly losing sight of the target, and then having to readjust to a different image (definition, brightness, magnification, f.o.v.), a process which slows, and sometimes prevents, requisition of the target. I can live with that, of course, but it would be nice if I didn’t have to, and especially if this was made possible by an “affordable” optic.

      • Julio

        Surely that’s not too much to ask! ; )

  • john

    Sure are a lot of whiny bitches on this blog.

    • hydepark

      Just wait till that James O Donnell guy shows up. When he’s done with his homework and his mom let’s him get on the computer then you’ll see what a whiny little bitch can really get done.

      And tincankilla that shit cracked me up.