Product review Pulsar Thermion

The all new Pulsar Thermion thermal vision rifle scope coming summer 2019.

(Update  Now that this is has been released, be sure to check out the newer, more personal and in-depth review of this product.  June 2019 Pulsar Thermion Review)  

The world of thermal riflescopes is about to change with the introduction of the Pulsar Thermion series of scopes. There literally has never existed a more "scope" like aesthetic design on the world of digital scopes. Combing the functionality of a game changing traditional scope design with the inclusion of several new intuitive features, an all new power system, superior Pulsar thermal 24 hour round the clock image performance, and you will see why we think Pulsar continues to stay ahead of the competition.

Let's take a closer look.

For 2019 Pulsar brings 5 new models of Thermion sight, sure to dispatch anything from the occasional short range back woods hog to the long range coyote double.   The new models and a few quick specs follow.

Thermion XM30 3.3-13.2X 320x240@12 micron sensor

Thermion XM38 4.2-16.8X 320x240@12 micron sensor ( In Stock NOW!)

Thermion XM50 5.5-22X     320x240@12 micron sensor (In Stock NOW!)

Thermion XP38 1.5-12X    640x480@17 micron sensor

Thermion XP50 1.9-15.2X    640x480@17 micron sensor

All units have a 50HZ refresh rate, IPX7 Waterproof rating, -13F to 122F standard operating range and a 3 year warranty.


So what's new?

  1. The traditional 30mm scope like design with aluminum magnesium alloy sub frame combines lightweight, rugged, precision with technologically advanced components. The blend of new and old allows the sight to be adaptively mounted via the 6" plus tube mounting length with short center "turret" separation using your choice of favorite 30mm ring or mount components. Other devices on the market either don't mount traditionally, lack the centered design, or have a wide center control/battery module that severely limits fore and aft adjustment and/or the choices in mounting hardware.
  2. Power redundancy, simplicity, and thought. The dual internal with removable design (B-Pack mini) power system in my opinion lends some functionality and reliability improvements that I believe time will prove a solid choice. I believe the durability improvement in the single cell design coupled with the seamless uninterrupted ability to change the new external APS power packs in the field will mitigate any runtime loss over the current Trail IPS battery system. To put it simply the single cell design appears less complex and I would assume will be more reliable over time. I am also a big fan of the ability to change packs with no power interruption. The packs will only go in one way and the oversized "caps" twist lock very easily and solidly. Just to make sure you understand, The new system it works as follows. The internal and non removable cell allows approximately 4 hours run time to the device. The second removable battery is housed under what appears to be the elevation turret were this a traditional riflescope. The sight draws primary power from the removable power source anytime it is present. When the removable battery dies and onscreen warning comes on alerting the user that the sight has seamlessly switched to the internal battery which provides an additional 4 hours operation time. (The switch is preformed uninterrupted like a backup power supply on a computer.) The notification allows either completing the hunt as setup. Provided you determine the internal battery should last the remaining duration or you would then have the ability to install another rechargeable cell without shutting off the device when time permits. Time should easily permit inside the 4 hour operation window of the internal cell.
  3. Instant Start-Up Thanks to a change in internal power components the new Thermion now boasts an almost instant start time. This allows for power saving with the comfort of knowing there is little to no time delay when starting the unit.
  4. Bring on the color. In 2019 Pulsar adds a full color HD AMOLED display you will see why in the next two improvements.
  5. Color pallets. The new Thermion units will now include 6 additional color pallets on top of the traditional White hot and Black hot. Sepia, Violet, Ultramarine, Rainbow, Red Monochrome, and Red Hot.
  6. 2 additional reticle colors. In addition to the Black or White reticle choices Thermion also adds Red and Green to the mix. There is also the handy option of mixing combinations of one with the other in reticle parameters. This allows for example the center dot to be green while having the legs of the reticle white. This effect can help isolate the center of the reticle over the target while providing an opposite contrast for moving targets with an inverse background color. Black center with white bars for example is handy in white hot with an average cold background. This allows the center black portion of the reticle to starkly contrast on the white target. When stuff starts moving the white plex bars stand out against the cold dark background this helps both tracking and "leading" follow up shots. I believe the ability to add red or green to the center will improve the usefulness of this in some situations.
  7. Even more user friendly controls. Thermion takes a new approach and further simplifies the design layout. This now operates using a combination of a 3 button control on the eyepiece and a rolling selector wheel (Encoder) with and additional center button on the left side of the scope. The majority of active hunting situations will only require use of the round 3 button control this should make manipulation of the device easy for all. Admittedly the left side encoder wheel operation and button will be a little difficult for left hander operation , but that's what the remote control is for.
  8. 16 GB of onboard flash memory gives the ability to hold hours of mp4 format videos or jpg still images directly on your device
  9. 12 Micron 320x240 sensor replaces the original 384x288 17 micron sensor on base models. This allows further magnification detail in images when using the same native magnification as previous base models. The flagship XP series holds the 640x480 17 micron sensor.
  10. Reticles: In the Thermion we should see the addition of 6 additional reticles on top of the current 13 selections. They offer many stadia metric bullet drop compensating varieties plus some old favorites like Mil-Dot, Duplex, and Cross Bow.
  11. Thermion adds 2 additional zeroing profiles as well as gaining 5 extra aiming distances per profile. This allows for a total of 5 gun or load profiles with up to 10 verified aiming points under each profile. This allows for some tack driving precision at varying distances. It is also a big benefit to those running multiple suppressed and un-suppressed loads through a single rifle and or when switching via an optional return to zero QD mount such as the Pulsar PL34000.

Quite a bit of new stuff to take in however let's not forget some of the Pulsar features that Thermion carries forward. These continue to be some of my favorites.

PIP: This Pulsar feature is a main reason the hunting community loves their devices so much. The ingenuity of combining precise and customizable magnification in the upper PIP window with wide field of view in the larger main portion of the screen is amazing. Coyotes, Hogs, and Fox's beware. Using the precise shot placement of the magnified PIP's reticle for still or longer range shots. Then dropping your eye into the wide FOV of the base screen with the versatility to be back to magnification in an instant, soon becomes second nature and could have you capitalizing on doubles like never before.

Wi-Fi: Streaming via Pulsar's Stream Vision application can genuinely add a level of excitement to your new thermal device for you and a partner. Stream Vision is the most reliable application of this type that we have tested. StreamVision also allows an additional way to manipulate device features wirelessly on you smart device. The Thermion contains a Wi-Fi antenna. When turned on, this allows it to connect to peripheral devices up to 15 yards away from the scope itself. The sight puts out a receivable WiFi signal and requires no additional computer or internet connections, just a phone or tablet compatible with the application. This feature can be used even in extremely remote locations. A great feature, especially when hunting with a partner, it allows them to view exactly what is being seen through the device simultaneously.

Recoil ratings:   Yes we realize a lot of Thermal scopes end up on a .223 or .308 platform rifles. With the new traditional tube mount design opening the door to a wide variety of new bolt action rifle applications. It seems fitting to remind everyone that Thermion is Recoil rated up to 6,000 joules. The Pulsar line of sights will flawlessly handle the recoil of large calibers up to .375 H&H, 12 Gauge shotguns and 9.3x64. Brush off that 30-06, 300 win mag, or 270 and turn it into a 21st century predator or pig hunting machine.

Image quality: Pulsars ever impressive "Image Quality" remains a constant reason we find Pulsar to represent the highest cost to value hunting thermals on the market. With high quality sensors tuned to the optic components, combined with an ultra high quality display and you can literally see the difference.

To summarize this review, I was very impressed with the new Pulsar Thermion series thermal night or day vision sight. I expect it will continue to impress based on my past experience with the Pulsar products, I imagine the reliability and attention to detail will continue to be the absolute top of the line. If you have held reservation putting a thermal on a bolt action or more traditional application, look no further, this is the thermal for you. The new design will also impress the AR and Precision rifle guys as well. This thing will literally take about any readily available 30mm mounting option.  

As always, feel free to call and speak directly with me, text or email anytime.




Travis Fox

Fox Optic