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Double Naught Spy

Field Tests on Pulsar Apex XD50 Thermal Rifle Scope

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I got to test this on my 6.5 Grendel AR15 for several nights last week and got 2 chances to hunt with it and have two videos to share as a result. This scope was loaned to me and is a pre-release scope. These will supposedly be out for sale in May. Here is the manual that has a specs page for those of you who are interested.

http://www.pulsar-nv.com/upload/iblock/09e/instr_apex_thermal_sight.pdf

 

In short, this is an entry level thermal scope. The Apex line is preselling for $3000-4000 (this one being as low as $4K, but lists for $4500). It is a 384x288 resolution, 50 hz, 2x (optical) with 4x digital zoom capability. Sportsmansguide has the XD50a for $3K for members, but I do not know what the difference is between the XD50 and XD50a. Sorry. The scope is basically a little long, but relatively thin, and comes in at 1 lb 9 oz. The scope I used only runs black hot or white hot, which is all I think most folks will normally use. Scopes like my Armasight have the psychedelic bizarre color palettes, but aside from toying with them, you don't see hunters really ever using them. They use black hot or white hot.

 

Amongst other more normal features, the scope does something I have not seen elsewhere and did not originally like, but now have decided it is really cool. You can run the scope as full screen and jump to zoom to 4x by pressing a button or use the roller wheel to incrementally increase zoom. That isn't the unique part. When in Picture in Picture (PiP) mode, you can view as full screen at regular 2x resolution or press the zoom button and you get a little popup screen in the top center that is the PiP and the PiP is the 4x view. It takes some getting used to, but what I discovered in the second video, it is really useful. Sometimes you need more magnification to make a longer range shot, but you don't want to have to much magnification or you lose your field of view (FOV). With PiP, you basically get both. You have the wider FOV at 2x for things like searching or trying to get on running targets, but you have the tiny zoomed PiP for more precise shots.

 

In this first video, we were coyote hunting and set up with a caller and wiggler at 70 yards when a hog appeared at 220 yards at the feeder. I had zero'd at 100 and shot at 200 and knew the approximate bullet drop for the range. While I hit the hog, the hog did not go down, so the video sheds some light on what may be the near functional limits for this scope on a target that size and orientation. You can certainly still spot and recognize targets at much greater distances, however.

 

https://youtu.be/yLurdf917VE

 

While the above video was shot in black hot mode, the next was shot in white hot. I prefer black hot, but this will give some contrast.

 

I was able to go along with Glenn and Michelle Guess of Hog Zombies for the evening. We came upon a sounder on both sides of the road. We stopped over 100 yards out and were getting out and I set up with the thought we were going to be shooting from there, but Glenn suggested we close the distance. We got down to within about 60 yards of the closest hog. Two of us set up to shoot, but I ended up being the only one shooting. Glenn gave the okay to start and I shot a bigger sow at about 60 yards and she went down. I then picked up two runners in the commotion and confusion that followed. You can see all this in the video. However the key points here are that I was able to make the first shot quite nicely with the PiP zoomed image and then picked up, tracked, and shot at the moving hogs using the bigger screen unzoomed 2x image. It is a nice feature.

 

The third hog should have been head/neck shot as she was just standing there, but in my adrenaline fueled state of mind, I put the shot on the shoulder and she ran, of course, the exit wound creating a racquetball-sized cavity and the bullet striking and breaking the opposite leg. The second hog also was similarly hit, but was dropped with a followup shot as well. In all, the shot distances ranged from 40-80 yards and the scope performed very well.

 

https://youtu.be/AA2ePTCbQcw

 

This may turn out to be a pretty nifty entry level thermal scope for those that don't have the funds for more expensive gear or who don't have as much need and don't want to spend more. I wish the native resolution would have been 3x instead of 2x and that is probably my biggest complaint.

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I would sure like to take a closer look at that scope what rifle was you using

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