Best Thermal Scope for 200 Yards & Long Range in 2022

cover photo for article showing a thermal optic mounted on a rifle with logo

Choosing the right thermal scope at 200 yards could mean the difference between buying a scope that just doesn’t fit your needs or worse…

Greatly overpaying for the wrong optic.

But don’t worry, here you’ll find the top choices for reaching out past 200 yards. We guarantee you’ll find the perfect optic for your needs.

Best Thermal Scopes for 200 Yards

1 – Top Pick Best at 200 Yards: Iray Rico MK1

Iray Rico MK1 IR sight shown mounted on a rifle from the side

The iRay Rico Mk1 offers a massive 2,400-yard detection range. With that, you should be able to identify a man or deer-sized target at around 1,000 yards. 

Under 500 yards, the scope should allow you to see even the smallest varmints. This means you get even better image quality on large varmints at 200 yards and you’ll be able to tell a real trophy from a suspected one.

The refresh rate is 50Hz, which is a step below the very high-end models. However, you do get a NUC correction that is manual, semi-automatic, or automatic.

screen shot showing a pack of hogs
Showing The White Hot Color Setting

Few other scopes offer that, and with this function, you’ll avoid the after-image effect that can mess with your accuracy. You’ll always stay on the target instead of missing your shot on a ghost image.

With 3x optical magnification and 4x digital magnification, you’ll have very few problems reaching far-off distances for any long shots. You also get 7 reticle choices to switch between for the best accuracy for different targets. 

screen show showing a single hog
Seen Here With The Basic Center Red Dot Reticle

iRay also steps up in the service department with a 5-year warranty, while most thermal scopes only have a 3-year warranty, giving buyers better peace of mind. So rest assured, when everyone else has to buy a new optic, you’re sitting pretty. 

Not to mention…

The scope records video and takes still pictures so you can enjoy reliving your hunt for a long time. The onboard memory is 32GB, which means you will need to dump video more often than if you had a 64GB chip, but that should still be plenty for 99% of hunters. 

screen shot with red hot showing a group of hogs
Mmmm, Bacon

Video and pictures have to be downloaded via USB, so if you want to stream, you must connect your handheld device.

It does use a proprietary li-ion 3.7 V, 4400 mAh battery pack that promises 6 hours run time and 10 hours on standby. That’s industry-leading battery time folks… so when everyone else is going home empty-handed, you’re sitting ready for the perfect shot. 

And it gets better.

You can also power the scope with an external pack through the USB port, giving you even more battery life. 

All and all, this is the one scope to rule them all, and is the top choice on the market today.

***Dec, 2022 Update***

The Rico MK1 is currently on sale through our certified supplier until December 9, 2022. If you’re interested in picking one up, make sure to use the link to ensure you’re getting the sales price:

screen shot of review of the Iray Rico MK1

2 – Best Long Range Thermal Scope for 1000 Yards: AGM Rattler TS50

AGM Rattler TS50 infrared optic shown from the back mounted on a rifle

At 2 pounds, the AGM Rattler TS50 is a heavy one compared to some other thermal scopes. However, it does offer one of the longest detection ranges, 2,500 yards, available in thermal rifle scopes today. 

screen shot of the AGM Rattler TS50 showing cows and a few hunters
Screen Captures Showing the Image Quality

You can identify a coyote-sized target at around 1,000 yards if you have a clear line of sight, and at 200 yards, you can ID rats.

The refresh rate is 50Hz (how fast the image refreshes in a second) with a zoom of 2.5x, also coming with a digital zoom of 8x. That’s generally considered sufficient as an 8x digital is about the max you want because as you enlarge the image digitally, you start losing resolution and details.

screen shot of the AGM Rattler TS50 showing a pack of hogs

This scope also retains the ability to record videos so you can replay and enjoy your successful hunt later.

The battery life is 4.5 hours maximum, using 2 CR123 or 2 RCR123 (rechargeable) batteries, which can be replaced in the field. AGM also sells external power packs.

With an IP67 rating, it is completely sealed against dust and high-pressure water jets and is waterproof to a depth of 1 meter. So no need to worry about your electric scope short-circuiting because of environmental conditions; the Rattler is one that’ll endure it without problems.

screen shot of the AGM Rattler TS50 showing a single hog
Shown With The Black Hot Setting

Also, the scope has a built-in rangefinder, which makes dialing in for precise shot placement easier than making a guess. We know that all bullets drop after being fired, but with a range finder and a good ballistics chart, you’ll know exactly where the bullet will impact out to the max range.

Bottom line, if you’re looking for a long range hunting pick, this is the one for you.

3 – Best Thermal Scope for 500 Yards: N-Vision Halo XRF

N-Vision Halo XRF product image shown with name of written on top

300 yards is too much for some guns and may be too much for some shooters too. For others, that is a sweet spot. If that is you, here is an excellent choice for this distance.

N-Vision optics produces the Halo-XRF, a thermal scope that is also a handheld monocular for added versatility. This scope offers a level of detail on the screen you will not find in cheaper models. 

screen shot of the N-Vision Halo XRF showing a group of hogs

It also has a blazing-fast 60Hz refresh rate, so if you’re tracking a wild hog scooting across a field, the screen won’t freeze. While some other thermal devices with a lower refresh rate won’t keep up and will freeze, you can rest assured the Halo-XRF is going to precisely follow your target until it’s taken down.

screen shot of the N-Vision Halo XRF showing a single hog running
The Halo XRF Has Superior Clarity Of Moving Targets

Also retaining a built-in laser rangefinder, it has a 1,000-yard range, with an effective range of around 500 yards. If you know the bullet’s drop, you can accurately place the crosshairs on the target with no guesswork meaning you can actually be accurate at long ranges.

Plus, with 8 reticle options, including a minute of angle hash marks, you can be extremely precise and also customize to your preferences.

screen shot of the N-Vision Halo XRF showing a single hog in white hot
Seen With The White Hot Setting

Additionally, it records video, transferable via USB cable. You can also use the WiFi connection to broadcast your hunt in real time over social media, an excellent way to bring your friends with you in real time.

***Dec, 2022 Update***

The N-Vision Halo XRF is also currently on sale through our certified supplier until December 9, 2022. Just make sure to use the link on this page to get the all time low price:

4 – Best Thermal Scope at 300 Yards: N-Vision Halo LR

N-Vision Halo LR product image shown with name written on top

N-Vision is back on this list with the HALO-LR. Consider this scope as the little brother of the XRF – nearly all the specs are the same.

The biggest difference for a shooter is the resolution on the viewing screen. The LR resolution is lower than the XRF but the price is cheaper too. 

Does this matter? Well, if you plan to shoot past 500 yards, it does. At 300 yards and under, you will notice some difference between the two, but it shouldn’t affect your shot.

The Halo LR Has Lower Resolution at a Lower Price Point

At 28.2 ounces, the LR is a lot lighter than the XRF, which matters if you plan to move around a lot. However, the LR also doesn’t retain WiFi abilities, and you’ll need to download your video and pictures via a USB cord.

But if you’re on a budget and like the features on XRF, the LR is the next best option.

5 – Best Budget Scope at 200 yards: iRayUSA Rico Bravo

iRayUSA Rico Bravo hot optic show mounted on rifle

With a detection range of 1,750 yards, the iRay Rico Bravo is best considered the little brother of the Rico Mk1. It is also lighter, a scant 21.2 ounces, through having a glass-filled polymer body instead of aluminum like its big brother.

The Rico Bravo Offers Incredible Resolution for the Price

Otherwise, the scope’s features are the same, with a 3x optical zoom and a 4x digital, a 50Hz refresh rate, the available option between manual, semi-auto, or automatic NUC, and a more affordable price too.

6 – Best Clip On Scope for 200 Yards: Pulsar Proton FXQ

Pulsar Proton FXQ clip on thermal shown mounted on a rifle from left side

If you have a regular scope and want to give it thermal sensing abilities, the Pulsar Proton FXQ is something to consider.

The advantages:

  1. You won’t need to change anything with your current scope setup.
  2. If you head out to hunt and thermal optics are not allowed, just take it off.
  3. It is lightweight at 10.23 ounces without the batteries.
  4. You can remove it to use it as a monocular for tracking.

However:

  1. You’ll have this piece of electronic stuck on the end of your gun scope. 
  2. It won’t mount as securely as your regular scope.
  3. You may have to change the rings on your current scope to fit it.
  4. You must have an adapter to attach it to your scope. It fits 40mm and 56mm front bells.
Pulsar Proton FXQ clip on thermal shown mounted on a rifle from right side

If a clip-on and its versatility is something that interests you, here are some things you need to know about this scope. With a 50Hz refresh rate and a 17μm sensor, it’s not the best you can get but it provides good-quality images and reliable tracking abilities for the average hunter.

The detection range is 985 yards, so if you’re varmint hunting, then you can expect to identify a coyote-sized critter at 200-250 yards.

Pulsar Proton FXQ clip on screen shot showing two people standing

What’s more, it will record video, but with 16GB of internal memory, it might not be enough for someone looking to regularly record.

It uses a proprietary Pulsar APS5 B-Pack (Li-ion) battery pack, which should give you 6 hours of run time, and you can power it through a USB cord too.

And if you’re worried it’s not as durable as a standard scope, don’t worry. It’ll stand up to a .375 H&H, 12-Gauge, and 9.3×64, and is also waterproof down to a meter, so hunting in the rain won’t be a problem.

7 – The One To Avoid: Steiner eOptics Close Quarter Red Dot Thermal

Steiner eOptics Close Quarter Red Dot Thermal seen mounted on a rifle with American flag in background

Steiner makes some of the best scopes in the world, and their thermal offerings are also great, except for one particular model if you need to reach past 200 yards. 

The Steiner CQT is a thermal red dot scope, and up close, this is hard to beat. But at a distance, well…

This scope functions perfectly well as a red dot and can be used during the day or night. It’s in fact a great choice for a handgunner, and the thermal that overlays on the glass screen can be turned off to leave on the red dot function when required.

At 2 pounds, it’s certainly a hefty scope, but it needs to be to support the thermal imaging technology. That extra weight can help tame the recoil of magnum handguns, but that also means some shooters will need a brace to help support the gun during firing. If you want to put this on a shotgun, this scope works perfectly well on one too.

However, the one drawback to this scope is the limited distance it can be utilized.

At 100 yards, the 2.5 MOA red dot covers 2.5 inches. At 200 yards, that dot covers 5 inches. Now, that may not seem like much, but that’s enough to completely hide the chest on a small coyote standing broadside. With a straight-on shot, especially if the body is hidden by bushes, you won’t see the animal’s head.

So, although this thermal red dot is very useful at closer ranges, if you’re looking for a 200 yard thermal scope, we wouldn’t recommend this one for the task.

What to Look For in Thermal Scope for 200 Yards

If 200 yards is your maximum distance, you won’t need to have a scope capable of reaching 1,000 yards or more. However, being able to reach out that far also means as the target gets closer, you can see more details.

This is important for someone who is hunting for a trophy or something specific. Technically, the more info you have before dropping the hammer, the better. (1)

If you are new to thermal scopes, here’s a good primer video:

It’s all down to your task. Our recommendations in this article will get you crisp and clear images when targets are 200 yards away and will help you get the job done. 

The top things you need in a 200-yard thermal scope are:

  • Decent magnification. 4x is the minimum for most shooters. More magnification is better.
  • Good refresh rate. The higher the number, the better, as this means the scope’s image will not freeze as much when you scan from side to side.
  • Replaceable batteries or an external power port. Running out of juice mid-hunt is not fun.

What Is a Scope for 200 Yards and Who This Is For

A 200-yard scope is one that gives you a clear image at 200 yards, one where you’re able to take an ethical and reliable shot with the scope. (2)

It is usually low to medium magnification but can be higher. A scope that is good at 500 yards is equally reliable at 200 yards. However, a rimfire scope is good to about 100 yards and does not provide enough of an image for consistently reliable shots at 200 yards.

So, a 200-yard scope is for the shooter who knows their limits and the limits of their chosen gun.

Infrared vs Thermal Scopes

It is commonly asked what are the differences of thermal vs infrared scopes. In short, there is a difference, but not what you might think. Make sure to read the full article to learn more.

Further Reading on Thermal Scope Range

If you’re interesting in learning more about the range capacities of thermal optics, make sure to check out our article on thermal scope range. We explain exactly what scope range is perfect for every hunter.

More On Infra Red Sights

This article we just focused the the scopes who are best at 200 yards, but that’s just scratching the surface. For more reading, make sure to check out article on the best infra red sights. We cover the top picks on the market today.

FAQS

What thermal scope has the longest range?

The thermal scope that has the longest range currently available are the high-end scopes from Pulsar, AGM and ATN. The ranges of these scopes is just under 3,000 yards (2743.2 meters).

How far can I shoot with a thermal scope?

How far you can shoot with a thermal scope is based more on the gun and the shooter than the scope. For instance, the 300 WinMag is capable of 1,000 yard (914 meter) shots. The 22 Hornet is 200 yards (183 meters) at best.

What is the best thermal scope for 500 yards?

The best thermal scope for 500 yards (457 meters) is the iRay Rico Mk1. Among other features, It has a detection range of about 1000 yards (914 meters) meaning that it can reliably identify targets at the 500 yard (457 meter) range.

What is the best thermal scope for long range hunting?

The best thermal scope for long range hunting is the AGM Rattler TS50. It has a detection range of at least 2,500 yards (2286 meters), which means you can identify a deer-sized target at 1,000 yards (914 meters).

What is the best thermal scope for 1000 yards?

The best thermal scope for 1000 yards (914 meters) is the AGM Rattler TS50.

What is non-uniformity correction (NUC)?

Non-uniformity correction is when you leave your scope aimed at one scene for more than a few minutes and the image temporarily burns into the sensor. It’s not harmful to the scope, but it does create a ghost image that’ll continue to show up if you move the scope to see something else. 

References

  1. The Ledger, NANCE: There’s little to be done in the long run for controlling coyotes, retrieved from https://www.theledger.com/story/sports/outdoors/fishing/2022/07/29/nance-theres-little-done-long-run-controlling-coyotes/10157758002/
  2. Teledyne FLIR, Can Thermal Imaging See Through Fog and Rain, retrieved from https://www.flir.com/discover/rd-science/can-thermal-imaging-see-through-fog-and-rain/

Our Top Pick: Iray Rico MK1

Iray Rico MK1 IR sight shown mounted on a rifle from the side

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