Teledyne FLIR's HISS-HD Lets Shooters Track Regular Rifle Rounds Like Tracers

Zac K
by Zac K
Teledyne’s new thermal scope augments a standard optic and allows the shooter to trace a non-incendiary round the same as a tracer. [Teledyne]

Tracer rounds have some very important uses in tactical/military applications … and some very big drawbacks. As their name suggests, tracers allow you to “trace” the incendiary bullet’s path visually, as it burns a bright path through the sky. But that path leads directly back to the shooter, revealing their position. Enter Teledyne FLIR Defense, with a new thermal scope that allows you to “see” normal bullets just like tracers!


This winter, Teledyne FLIR Defense revealed its new ThermoSight HISS-HD riflescope. The name may sound like something dreamed up by Larry Hama for the G.I. Joe comics series, but it’s very real.

The extra four pounds of weight on your rifle will be... noticeable. [Teledyne]
The HISS-HD sight is an accessory meant to augment the performance of another riflescope—Tangent Theta, Bushnell, Zeiss, Leapers, whatever. The HISS-HD attaches in front of a standard scope via an STD-1913 rail, offering thermal vision capability once it’s in place. It’s supposed to work with “various day scopes,” according to Teledyne’s PR, but it’s definitely one of those things that you’d want to think through and be sure it worked with your rifle and optic before buying.

Teledyne says it “delivers exceptionally clear imagery” for snipers as well as machine gun crews. It’s supposed to allow the shooter to hit man-sized targets out to 2,200 yards. If that’s true, it’s more than enough for almost any rifle or machine gun engagement.

Teledyne doesn’t say much about this optic’s design. We know that the focal length is 146 mm. It comes with a 1280×1024 sensor. The HISS-HD runs off a CR123 battery (for 3 hours, 6 hours with hot-swap). It can also be connected to a 9-24V DC power input, and Teledyne also makes an adapter to use 110V or 220V AC power.

Aside from that, Teledyne says the HISS-HD gives “exceptional thermal sensitivity and clarity with a mid-wave imager (MWIR) featuring a High Definition (HD) and High Operating Temperature (HOT) cryo-cooled focal plane, providing a fixed 4-degree field of view with motorized focus.” In other words, an advanced cooling system chills the sight so much that the shooter can watch a hot bullet burning its way toward a target. Keep your muzzle flash under control, and you’ve got the benefits of tracers without the downfalls.

Teledyne says this thermal sight is good for everything from sniper rifles to machine guns. [Teledyne]
The HISS-HD is supposed to hold up to stiff recoil; it’s been tested on SIG Sauer’s MG338 and also .50-cal machine guns and sniper rifles. It will work in operating temperatures in the -32 to +49 degree Celsius range, and it is waterproof, immersible to 3-foot depth for two hours. Auto-focus, auto-gain and auto-gain display functions are all standard; the optic has continuous digital zoom to 4X. A remote control can turn it on or off, and control its functions.

Along with delivering an HD thermal display, this optic also offers video recording downloading footage to a removable micro-SD card. It can also deliver real-time video output via a USB-C cable.

What does it all cost? If you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it… and even if you could, you might not be the kind of customer that Teledyne is looking for. They are looking to sell this optic to military and law enforcement customers. Find more details on their website here.

Zac K
Zac K

Professional hoser with fudd-ish leanings.

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2 of 11 comments
  • Jonathan Hoyt Jonathan Hoyt on Mar 04, 2024

    But seriously, how much does it cost?

  • Andrew Andrew on Mar 11, 2024

    If you shoot subsonic 9mm hollowpoints or anything with a jacket covering the bullet base, try a Modlight OKW. It turns them into tracers at night very effectively. Much fun. No tactical benefit, of course.