What’s the Best Thermal Scope to Use For The AR-15?

Commonly thought to be a military exclusive firearm, the AR-15 has a polarizing reputation as both one of the most beloved semi-automatics and of the most threatening. Regardless of how one may personally feel about the firearm’s existence, nobody can deny that these guns have their perks. They are beautiful, easy to shoot, and cheap to reload.

With this being said, the AR-15 is still a firearm that is more than capable of missing its mark if shot aimlessly.

So it most certainly wouldn’t hurt to invest in some sort of night vision tech to bring with you on your evening hunts.

Might we suggest a handy dandy thermal scope?

What Are Thermal Scopes and How Do They Work?

Thermal imagery, or thermography, is the science of infrared imagery. Much like typical night vision, thermal images are formed by collected energy particles. Of course, the big difference is that night vision picks up on light while thermal imagery picks up on heat and radiation. Basically, these devices sniff out body temperature, which is arguably better than standard vision.

I mean, think about it.

One captures light and provides as good of a picture as it can muster.

Another picks up on heat, which is much easier to read!

How does it collect heat, you ask? Well the simplest way to put it is that thermal imaging technology (such as fancy scopes) utilize special lens that are engineered to zone in on infrared radiation. When the lens “capture” the image, the heat data is translated into electrical impulses, thus popping up the picture you wish to see. The utilization of thermal imaging can be found in several different fields, such as surveillance and security, law enforcement, medical and science fields, construction, and, of course, hunting!

What’s the Best Thermal Scope For the AR-15?

Now that we know how useful thermal imagery truly is, how can we apply it to find out best thermal scope for our AR-15s? By shopping around, of course! And by coming to this article today, you’ve probably come with questions. What brands do you guys recommend? Are they compatible with my firearm?

Scroll down to see our top three picks!


Let’s turn our attention firstly to the ATN ThOR HD 384. This thermal scope comes with four different styles that are all unique in their functioning. This scope produces clear pictures even on the darkest nights. Of course, this isn’t to dismiss its other great functions such as its WIFI capacity, GPS system, image stabilization function, and rangefinder.

Oh, and did I mention that this thermal scope has a 20000mAh battery?

Because it does!

ATN X-Sight II

With the ATN X-Sight II, there’s so much more than just a durable case and beautiful design. The smart optics technology behind it allows its user to use the scope at any hour of the day and still provide the clearest imagery imaginable. This scope’s recoil activation makes it the ideal tech to record videos for both hunting or security purposes.


Another option for your AR-15 is the Bestguarder. This lovely thermal scope takes ultra-clear photos and videos up to 350 meters in distance. This baby utilizes a CMOS sensor that is infrared-sensitive but also uses fully-coated optics to help regulate glare and light transmission. Best of all is how inexpensive this bad boy is!