IR Defense: Break-through, state-of-the-art thermal imaging scope for hunters—SHOT Show 2014


IR Defense: Break-through, state-of-the-art thermal imaging scope for hunters—SHOT Show 2014IR Defense Corporation
http://www.irdefense.com/
http://www.irhunter.com/

Thermal imaging scopes have helped our military own the night. Although the cost was peanuts to the government compared to the advantages they offered, it was out of reach for most individuals. Now we’re getting closer to the point where you and I can own the night for our own hunting needs. One of the advantages of thermal imaging, of course, is that it’s entirely passive; you don’t have to emit any light or IR energy. The coyotes and hogs will never know you’re there…not until you reach out and touch them, that is. Another advantage is the ability to see through dust, smoke, rain and foliage, day or night. It’s far superior to night vision scopes, which rely on a light source like the stars, the moon or IR lights. Among the limited offerings in the consumer market, the IR Hunter from IR Defense appears to be a break-through product. It doesn’t look like an electronics box with buttons that can be difficult to identify in the dark. It looks like a scope, right down to the turrets for elevation and windage. IR Defense has teamed IR Defense03up with NightForce, so it has the NightForce IHR and MOAR reticles. Variable power on the scope we examined was 1-4 times; it uses a state-of-the-art FLIR core and mil spec display. The IR Hunter can identify a man-sized target at 1,000 yards. It’s still not cheap, starting at $4,995, but that’s a lot less than you could get a comparable thermal imaging scope for even last year. You can bet we’ll be doing a complete review, just as soon as we can get our hands on one.

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{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Rick Hammill February 3, 2017, 6:08 am

    Can we all at least agree it is ‘feral’ and not any other ‘spelling ‘ ?

  • Fred Jenkins April 18, 2014, 7:00 pm

    The IR Defense scopes strike me as an epic lame concept, Go with a real scope like the FLIR thermosight RS series. Id stick to buying a quality scope from a billion dollar company as opposed to a garage shop type.

    http://www.flir.com/thermoSightR-Series/

  • Robbie February 21, 2014, 1:50 pm

    Hasn’t anyone seen the real potential for these yet? Wild kangaroo harvesting in Australia is done at night. God I wish they had that option at career day when I was a kid.

  • Mark February 20, 2014, 8:01 pm

    The SHOT show was just a sneak peak and showing the tie-in with Night Force. The actual introduction is actually scheduled to be at the NRA show in April.

  • Dusty January 24, 2014, 11:53 pm

    Oh- also- not really a city boy- and I see the feral hog problem can be serious, and applaud landowner efforts to control them. We can only shoot coyotes at night around here- but rustling problems tend to draw a lot of attention to shooting after dark.
    I have used some state of the art night vision, and it works as advertised- Probably a lot better than a weapon mounted scope, AND I wouldn’t be pointing presumably loaded weapons at people I suspect could be poachers. I also noted the review mentioned 1-4 power and can ‘distinguish a man-sized target at 1000 yards’- thus my suggestion it might not be intended for ‘hunters’…
    Also, some may want to discuss civilian arrest powers and use of deadly force in making same with their local prosecutors. They may come away enlightened, and save themselves a lot of grief.

  • John January 24, 2014, 11:11 pm

    What is the second rifle he is showing..the one with the nightforce on it??

    • Mike Settles October 19, 2014, 10:28 pm

      The second rifle is a Bushmaster Adaptive Combat Rifle (ACR); the “Standard” version with non-adjustable stock and polymer front handguard. It has a receiver-top picatinny rail, onto which they mounted a Night Force day-scope, then clamped the IR scope on in front. The upshot is that you look through your day scope, then through the night scope, at the target. Remove or attach the night scope without upsetting the zero on the day scope.

  • Dusty January 24, 2014, 10:27 pm

    OK if I wanted to shoot hogs and coyotes at night, I could mount a heavy, $5000 piece of gear on my $1000 Winchester. As for watching poachers…? I do not point any firearm at people unless there is a deadly threat. That is a basic safety rule as I learned them long ago. In daylight hours I have kind of an issue with people using their rifle scopes to ‘glass’ me as well- Obviously some of the posters here don’t feel the same. Oh and in case any are wondering, the last time a hunter ‘glassed’ me thus, it was a young man (a stranger) who hadn’t been trained any better. I GAVE him an older binocular after I mentioned it to him. He leaned something, and he was better equipped to not have to do it again.

  • Leo January 24, 2014, 2:09 pm

    Hey Dusty. It seems that you are unaware of the Wild Ferel Hog problem in the Southern USA. The Feral Hogs cause $ Billions $ in crop damage. The Hogs are hunted day and night (Night vision) and trapping pens are used. The USA Department of Agriculture estimates there are 5 Million Ferel Hogs (numbers are growing) that need to be eradicated. Check out Web Site – http://www.jagerpro.com – for some good info on Hunting and Trapping.

  • Dave January 24, 2014, 10:41 am

    The IRHunter website has no information, specifications, etc., most menu items say ‘under construction’, why would you release at shot show, yet not even be ready? Other units out there like the FLIR stuff has all their specs, prices, etc., which I would go with first since they seem prepared.

  • barry powers January 24, 2014, 9:21 am

    some of the old nv scopes had tubes that with age and use will wear out , do thermals have life spans likewise , if so , the price is very burdensome then indeed. let us know , and how is the quality when the image is magnified , are accuracy issues produced under magnification when significant distances are involved?

  • LJK January 24, 2014, 8:55 am

    YES!!! ( REALY FOR HUNTERS) MOST OF US VALUE GAME LAWS! & STOCK & PROPERTY OWNERS LOVE THIS TYPE OF TOOL TO CATCH POACHERS & PIG’S! THEY DO NOTHING DESTROY WHAT YOU HAVE WOKED HARD TO KEEP!! IN TEXAS SOME OF US WORK WITH OUR GAME WARDENS TO STOP THESE PROBLEM !! FERREL HOGS & POACHERS DON’T GIVE DAM WHAT THEY SHIT ON !! THEY LIKE FREE MEALS AT YOUR EXPENSE. WE LIKE TO PROTECT OUR GAME & PROPERTY SO PEOPLE CAN HUNT LEAGEALY. JUST BECAUSE I USE THERMAL IMAING-NIGHT VISION OR SUPPRESSORS MAKE ANY OF US CRIMNALS!!!! BUT I DO LIKE TO CATCH THEM . SO YOU POACHERS & PIG’S NEVER KNOW WHO IS WATCHING YOU!! HAVE A NICE DAY LJK SANDMAN

    9REALY FOR HUNTER’S

  • Mike January 24, 2014, 7:48 am

    It is legal to hunt hogs….anytime!

    Never mind things that go bump in the night

    • ABQRat January 23, 2015, 9:14 am

      Not in New Mexico. No night hunting, it doesn’t matter what the target is.

  • Dusty January 24, 2014, 6:12 am

    For ‘hunters’? Really? Most of us hunt from half hour before sunrise to half hour after sunset. And $5000 ?!!! for what amounts to a enabling a poacher to better ply their ‘craft’ ? Sorry- if this is a solution- what was/is the problem?

    • Dan January 24, 2014, 7:55 am

      Dusty, there is more to hunting than that, there are a number of animals that are hunted at night (historically coyotes). Additionally hog hunting with MSR’s and thermals has grown significantly in popularity; this is their target market. Also Fish and Wildlife departments would love a cheap alternative if they are hunting poachers, or nuisance animals after-hours.

    • Biff Blendon January 24, 2014, 1:10 pm

      I guess Dusty is a city-boy.

      Those of us that live on something we like to call a “farm” and have serious nocturnal predators and feral animal infestations know that thermal scopes are the absolute most-effective tool available to combat these critical issues. A $5,000 scope that saves us $50,000 in lost revenue is a bargain.

      Also, thermal can spot trespassers and / or poachers where night vision wouldn’t have a chance. So, in reality, thermal is more useful as preventing poaching than it would be assisting them.

      See! Simple logic.

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