Leupold LTO Tracker Hand Held Thermal Monocular | SHOT 2017

After seeing the article by Adam on the Leupold LTO, I was immediately thinking it would be great on a gun. I have read some people say it is not rated for firearm recoil. On the Press sheet it says “NOT INTENDED FOR MOUNTING ON A FIREARM”. Well, after fiddling with the settings I some how unlocked a reticle crosshair on the screen.

I spoke with a Leupold rep and asked them why can’t the LTO be mounted to a firearm. He said it is due to the recoil tests they perform. It has to handle an obscene number of shots from a .375 H&H. Ok, whoa that is a big cartridge. I asked about smaller calibers like .22LR or possibly varmint rounds. They said “no comment.”

hmm, I think I need to test it!


Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


  • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

    Ok so there’s a reticle.

    How do you adjust the zero?

    • Nicholas C

      You cannot. But I am not worried about that. I could put a small red dot behind the thermal and co-witness.

      • Aurek Besh

        Unfortunately, you can’t simply have a red dot (or other non-thermal optic) in front of the thermal camera, the red dot’s glass will completely block the medium/long-wave infrared light the thermal camera sees. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f05cf83a795c11e3d5a314dbba64f0ef563778d8de72b4bf8496a35a2d675632.jpg

        • Machinegunnertim

          He said behind the thermal, not in front.

          • Aurek Besh

            I think I may have misread that.. however, that still doesn’t make functional sense. Looking through the red dot sight at the camera just puts a dot on the screen of the thermal camera, it does not provide any meaningful sighting any more than the optional reticle in the first place since the thermal camera isn’t guaranteed to be aligned with the bore, nor is it readily adjustable.

        • iksnilol

          You put regular optics behind magic optics (NV or Thermal).

          • Sam

            you only put regular optics behind NV designed as a clip on. If you throw your PVS14 in front of your regular scope, your zero will be off due to how the lenses interact. There are devices available to counteract that, and there are dedicated Clip on NV optics, but normally, a non-clip on would go behind the regular optic. Thermal is obviously a different story.

          • iksnilol

            Not how we rolled in my operative operational circles.

            But yeah, of course you go with clip ons. You ain’t just gonna zip tie a monocular to your rifle. Goodness gracious, we ain’t savages here.

          • Sam

            Clip-on doesn’t refer to the attachment method. “Clip-on” is a specific designation for “magic optics” designed to be mounted IN FRONT of regular optics. For example, a PVS14 is not a “clip-on”, regardless of how you attach it to the rifle. Feel free to do some research. TNVC’s website has a lot of good info.

            To be fair, even the special units I worked with in Afghanistan didn’t know much about their equipment other than it was issued to them and they just used it. Technical details outside of basic operations were often complete mysteries to most of the guys that weren’t specifically interested in them, including weapon systems, this “magic” tech, etc. So yeah, just because someone DOES attach a PVS14 in front of their scope doesn’t mean there aren’t significant shifts in POI from the POA of the day optic at anything beyond IR laser engagement distance. Obviously a 5MOA shift, for example, isn’t going to mean much difference at 50 meters, which translates to about 2.5 inches. Try to push that out to 500 meters and now you’re off by 2 feet.

          • iksnilol

            True, I just never have bothered with getting a monocular that isn’t clip on.

            I mean, I am dropping the money that I dropped on my car. So I sorta want the most capability.

      • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

        Wait… Then why are we making a big deal about the reticle?

  • Treyh007


    • Nicholas C


      • jim

        Leupold,com lists it at $874. Where did you see it for $699?

        Wonder what the diameter of the tube is?

      • Mystick

        That’s not an obscene number… I’m impressed.

  • SerArthurDayne

    OK LONG QUESTION — So on the first season of The Unit, the Delta Force boys get a mission to snipe some gov’t guy but at the last minute the CIA bossman says “Cancel the mission and get out, the Spanish gov’t has disavowed the plan” — but of course the shot gets taken anyway and the team must (separately) escape and evade… Bob Brown winds up in trouble, on the run, and he whips out a device very similar to this that I have tried Googling for off-and-on for years, can never seem to find something like it. It’s basically like this – a small, circular night-vision and thermal optic that either screws on or snaps on ONTO a riflescope. (on the FRONT of the scope) In other words, you have your scope on the rifle, this fairly thin, circular optic goes on over the ocular lens/eyepiece area, so you get night-vision and thermal on your scope you already have, and it’s very small and very portable etc. Bob Brown describes it like, “absolute top of the line, state of the art military technology that isn’t even known on the market yet… ” and then turns the smuggler (he’s dealing with a smuggler for a way out of Spain) words against him by saying “For $10 Grand you can’t even touch it… but I’ll let you have it for a ride home”. I am wondering if anyone here knows what I am talking about, because it seems like this Leupold device (while not exactly the same thing) is pretty close to that device. Thanks much.

  • Wow!

    I’m not sure how great that would be mounted to a firearm as you don’t get much detail to identify your target. Personally I think it might be better mounted to the side of a headset to quickly scan your surroundings for heat sources, then focus on the heat source with regular IR night vision mounted on your firearm.