HANDS-ON: ATN ThOR 4 4-40x Thermal Rifle Scope

    HANDS-ON: ATN ThOR 4 4-40x Thermal Rifle Scope

    HANDS-ON: ATN ThOR 4 4-40x Thermal Rifle Scope

    Last month in Texas I had a chance to try out the ATN ThOR 4 4-40x Thermal Rifle Scope.  Thanks to the facilities at Mellon Creek Outfitters I had access to plenty of distance, and the opportunity to shoot both day and night with this optic.  I mounted the ThOR 4 atop an M16A4 post-sample machine gun I brought to see just how well this optic would hold up.

    Disclosure: This Texas event was sponsored by Crimson Trace and ATN Corp.

    ATN @ TFB:

    HANDS-ON: ATN ThOR 4 4-40x Thermal Rifle Scope

    HANDS-ON: ATN ThOR 4 4-40x Thermal Rifle Scope

    HANDS-ON: ATN ThOR 4 4-40x Thermal Rifle Scope – M16A4 Mounted

    The ThOR 4 is a big piece of glass, but strangely enough, its large stature fits rather nicely on this M16A4.  With the optic weighing 2.35 lbs, it’s not like I’d be doing a lot of running and gunning anyway.

    HANDS-ON: ATN ThOR 4 4-40x Thermal Rifle Scope

    HANDS-ON: ATN ThOR 4 4-40x Thermal Rifle Scope – Objective Lens

    The biggest difference in the ThOR 4 lineup is the sensor size.  Depending on the model, you’ll either get the Gen 4 384×288, 60Hz sensor, or this larger Gen 4 640×480, 60Hz, <25 mK sensor.  This larger sensor does shave a couple hours off your battery life but gives you a farther target identification.  Exactly what you’d want from a thermal optic.

    HANDS-ON: ATN ThOR 4 4-40x Thermal Rifle Scope

    ATN ThOR: 4 4-40x Thermal Rifle Scope – Controls

    The controls on the ThOR4 are located in the central housing and are fairly straightforward.  I say fairly straightforward as there’s a lot of settings in this optic, from color modes to Wi-Fi connectivity.  It’s best to start with a full charge and get comfortable with the optic before heading out to the range.

    HANDS-ON: ATN ThOR 4 4-40x Thermal Rifle Scope

    ATN ThOR 4 4-40x Thermal Rifle Scope – Magnification

    The magnification knob for the ThOR 4 is located on the left-hand side of the housing (typically where you’d find your parallax adjustment).  It seemed counterintuitive at first, but this location does make it easier to adjust magnification while you’re looking through the rubber eyeshade at the rear.

    HANDS-ON: ATN ThOR 4 4-40x Thermal Rifle Scope

    ATN ThOR: 4 4-40x Thermal Rifle Scope – Eyepiece

    Attached to the focus ring at the rear of the optic is an included eyeshade.  You can remove this, but it’s easier to zero the optic during the day without any ambient light.  Additionally, it helps your eye to stay adjusted to the display at night.

    HANDS-ON: ATN ThOR 4 4-40x Thermal Rifle Scope

    ATN ThOR 4 4-40x Thermal Rifle Scope – SD Card and Charging Port

    The right-hand side of the optic has a USB-C charger and a Micro SD card port that supports 4 to 64 Gb memory cards.  Luckily supported my Samsung 256Gb EVO as well. Installing and removing the SD card was simple enough, while I accidentally pulled a little too hard on the charging port cover leaving it permanently exposed.  No fault of the optic, that’s my bad.

    HANDS-ON: ATN ThOR 4 4-40x Thermal Rifle Scope

    HANDS-ON: ATN ThOR 4 4-40x Thermal Rifle Scope – Waiting For Sundown

    I took the ThOR 4 out during the day and got it zeroed with the help of some Thermal IR targets provided by Nick C.  Now it was time to wait for the sun to set before heading back out.

    Range Time

    HANDS-ON: ATN ThOR 4 4-40x Thermal Rifle Scope

    HANDS-ON ATN ThOR 4 4-40x Thermal Rifle Scope

    With the sun now set it was time to send some round downrange under the moonlight.  While the hog guides were on vacation, the steel targets certainly weren’t.  So with the help of a propane torch, the targets were heated up and I got to work.

    HANDS-ON: ATN ThOR 4 4-40x Thermal Rifle Scope

    HANDS-ON: ATN ThOR 4 4-40x Thermal Rifle Scope – 100 Yard Steel

    At 100 yards, a steel IPSC silhouette stands out like a sore thumb with the THoR 4.  I was having so much fun banging away on this steel, I almost forgot to record my shots.  Lucky for me the Recoil Activated Video RAV was turned on, and I was able to pull these images from the video.

    HANDS-ON: ATN ThOR 4 4-40x Thermal Rifle Scope

    HANDS-ON: ATN ThOR 4 4-40x Thermal Rifle Scope – 300 Yard Steel

    The smaller 300-yard steel plate is where things started to get dicey.  By yourself, I could see how it’d be near impossible to spot your misses.  At a minimum, you’d want a friend spotting for you using the app and built-in Wi-Fi, but even then it can be a challenge.

    Final Thoughts

    HANDS-ON: ATN ThOR 4 4-40x Thermal Rifle Scope

    HANDS-ON: ATN ThOR 4 4-40x Thermal Rifle Scope

    With an MSRP of $4,799, the ATN THOR 4 640 4-40X is cheaper than other thermal optics on the market, but still far from cheap.  The learning curve is steep and you should be prepared to spend a few hours going through the settings.  Overall I was impressed with the ThOR 4 but wouldn’t want to push it much further than about 300 yards I shot it at.  Within that distance, it has an incredible advantage and it’s easy to spot prey.  Past that distance and I found myself wanting just a few more pixels.

    More information on the ATN ThOR 4 640 4-40X can be found below, or by visiting the product page here.  Special thank you again to ATN Corp and Crimson Trace for sponsoring this trip.

    Product Specs

    • Model: ATN THOR 4 640 4-40X
    • SKU: TIWST4644A
    • MSRP: $4,799
    • Sensor: Gen 4 640×480, 60Hz, <25 mK
    • Magnification: 4-40x
    • Field of view, degrees: 8.3×6.2
    • Core: ATN Obsidian IV Dual Core T
    • Micro-Display: 1280×720 HD Display
    • Eye relief: 90 mm
    • Video Record Resolution: 1280×960 @ 60 fps
    • Ballistic Calculator: Yes
    • WiFi (Streaming, Gallery, & Controls): iOS & Android
    • Bluetooth: Yes
    • 3D Gyroscope: Yes
    • 3D Accelerometer: Yes
    • E-Barometer: Yes
    • Smart Range Finder: Yes
    • RAV (Recoil Activated Video): Yes
    • Electronic Compass: Yes
    • Smooth Zoom: Yes
    • Reticles: Multiple Patterns & Color Options
    • Microphone: Yes
    • Micro SD card: 4 to 64 Gb
    • Micro USB, type C: Yes
    • Mount: 30 mm Standard Rings (included)
    • Waterproof rating / IP rating: Weather resistant
    • Smart Mil-Dot Value Range: 1.0-10
    • Human Detection Range: 3300
    • Human Recognition Range: 1450
    • Human Identification Range: 800
    • Dimensions: 14.8″x3″x3″ / 375x76x76 mm
    • Weight: 2.35 lb / 1.06 kg
    • Warranty: 3 Years


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    Austin R

    The author is a military contractor who enjoys conducting independent firearms research and reloading. Article inquiries and suggestions are welcome at austinjrex at gmail.com


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