Friday Night Lights: iRay MH25 Thermal Monocular AKA China Skeet

    In the world of night vision hunting, thermal monoculars have become indispensable. For a long time, the BAE SkeetIR has been the monocular of choice for many serious hunters. Recently a Chinese thermal company has come out with a monocular to rival the SkeetIR. The iRay MH25 has been colloquially dubbed the “China-Skeet”. I got to borrow one and check it out.

    iRay MH25

    MH25 3/4 view

    The BAE SkeetIR cost around $13,000 when it came out. The price has gone down now to around $8,000. The MH25 is only $4,500. Not cheap, no. But much more affordable considering the resolution, detection and image quality rivals a device that costs almost three times more.

    The iRay MH25 is rather small. It is similar in size to a PVS-14. It is powered by a single CR-123 but it has a USB-C port as well as a battery tube extender. The objective lens comes with an adjustable aperture lens. While this is helpful for increasing depth of field for traditional photography, I did not find it useful for seeing more with the MH25 thermal image.

    This version of the MH25 has been modified by Ultimate Night Vision. They imported the MH25 and started making an adapter ring that allows the use of a PVS-14 eyepiece. The factory eyepiece is much smaller and while usable as a handheld monocular the eye relief is not great, see photo above. It is like using a handheld laser rangefinder, you need to stick your eyeball into it. But with the PVS-14 eyepiece, you can now see the thermal image while helmet mounting the MH25.

    The MH25 comes with a small rail that is compatible with MUM-14 style accessories. You can use the dovetail adapters like the ones for the Flir Breach.

    With the KVC K-Clip, I can mount the MH25 to my Wilcox bridge and pair it up with a SiOnyx Aurora or a night vision device.

    As mentioned above, the MH25 has a USB-C port that allows the use of a remote battery.

    The cable that comes with the MH25 is bent 180° so the cable does not stick out forward.

    Below you can see how I routed the USB-C Cable through my NVG mount, over my helmet and around the TNVC remote battery positioned on the side of my helmet.

    The USB-C port has a rubber cap but it is not well designed. It does not snap in place so it is easily bumped out of place.

    If you do not want to add bulk to your helmet and avoid snag hazards with the USB-C cable, you can use the battery tube extender. This is so you can use rechargeable 16650 batteries. The MH25 will run for 3 hours on a single 16650 battery.

     Using The iRay MH25

    There are two positions to mount the MUM-14 style rail however if you mount the rail so the body of the MH25 is horizontal then the thermal image will be portrait orientation. You have to mount the MG25 vertically to get a landscape orientation for the image.

    The image of the iRay MH25 is fantastic. The resolution is one of the best I have seen.

    The only problem I have is there is no onboard recording for photos or video. Positioning my trusty iPhone behind the eyepiece did not yield satisfactory results.

    This is the best I was able to capture with my iPhone.

    I removed the PVS-14 eyepiece and discovered the rear display is tiny. This could be why it is hard to take pictures of the display. Also, I had a difficult time reading the onscreen display.

    When the MH25 first came into the US, it had a built-in laser. This was used for designating targets using the thermal device. However, customs found out that the lasers were not eye-safe and pulled the shipments. So Ultimate Night Vision had to get iRay to delete the laser function. See the hole near the front of the housing? That is where the laser emitter would have been.

    Final Thoughts On The iRay MH25

    After using the AGM ASP Micro, I was a little bit let down by the MH25. I think the buzz of its capabilities set my expectations a little high and it fell short. Don’t get me wrong, the image quality and detection are amazing. But the difficulty to see the on-screen menu and the lack of any recording of said image is a huge detractor for me. Most thermal devices have the ability to at least take stills or silent video. The N-Vision Halo takes screenshots while the FLIR Breach does silent video. It is hard to beat the MH25 for its size. It can be helmet worn in conjunction with night vision. Some people are running dual MH25 like A.Amantine in the youtube video above. However, you do not have the ability to aim with thermal. Thermal lasers are not commercially available at the moment. So you would have to flip the dual MH25 out of the way so you can aim with traditional methods like a red dot, laser or night vision system. For more information check out InfiRayUSA.com.

    Nicholas C

    Steadicam Gun Operator
    Night Vision & Thermal Aficionado
    Flashlight/Laser Enthusiast
    USPSA competitor

    Any questions please email him at [email protected]


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