Becoming the Dark sounds like a corny scary movie, but it is actually possible. I recently had the privilege of using the ATN ThoR LTV 640 3-9x thermal scope, and it really has opened my eyes to the realm of possible hunts and opportunities that I had never considered.
I had a birthday delivery in late April that held inside an ATN ThoR LTV 640 3-9x thermal scope. I had an upcoming Axis hunt in Texas that allowed for a hog hunt, and the thermal scope provided me with an incredible chance to not only hunt at night but also record the experience.
What is a thermal scope?
A thermal scope takes heat signatures and can detect the most subtle differences in heat radiating. The technology inside the scope translates this into a shockingly clear picture of your surroundings. Thermal scopes work best with absolute darkness. They differ from a “night vision” scope in that thermal displays heat rather than amplifying light to create a sight picture.
ATN ThoR LTV 640 3-9x Thermal Scope Specs
I mounted the ATN ThoR LTV 640 3-9x thermal scope to my 300 Blackout. I predict a long and fun-filled relationship with this scope. It surely packs a punch with capabilities such as a 9+ hour lithium battery life and a one-shot zero.
The ATN ThoR LTC 640 3-9x is an ultra-light thermal scope. It weighs a minimal 1.4 lbs. but has the power to withstand impact. This allows it to be mounted on large caliber rifles all the way to air rifles, crossbows, etc. This is the lightest weight thermal in the ATN lineup of scopes, but it boasts many more highlights.
There are two modes of vision on this scope. White Hot reveals the objects giving off the most heat as bright white. Black Hot mode shows the heat signature as black. I personally did not find that either one was superior to the other. It will likely be personal preference or might even change depending on the terrain or objects that you are hunting.
This thermal scope offers the ability to take still-shot photos or even record your hunt in detail. Everything that you see saves on a micro SD card. The scope can house a micro SD from 4 – 64 GB in size.
The scope has a flat top on the frame. The buttons are large and easy to learn. This comes in handy mostly since you will be in complete darkness while using the scope. You want to remain hidden and concealed, so feeling your buttons to control the scope is the fastest and most efficient way to operate the scope.
Seeing in the dark with the ATN ThoR LTV 640 3-9x
My ability to see in the dark is quite pitiful, so I was excited to see that I was able to discern every detail of a scrub brush, weed, tree, and even the animals as they walked past each of these. I must say that I thought I had gone blind the first night the scope went out on a hunt with me. I had been watching through the eye cup and playing with the various modes and color palettes for several minutes.
When I looked up from the scope I had ZERO vision in my right eye! I panicked for a few seconds before I realized that my pupil had reacted to the light of the screen and did their job to protect my eye from too much light. When I looked away, it took a moment for my pupil to figure out what was going on and dilate enough for me to see again. This could be detrimental on a hunt if you weren’t prepared or incapable of giving your eye time to accommodate the darkness again.
The incredible mountains of Utah made a playground for the scope. I laid out one night and searched a vast mountainside. It was much too far away and large for the 3-9x magnification, but I still had a clear shot of two very bright white objects walking across a meadow 600 yards away.
On another stake-out, I found myself in the company of three mule deer grazing 100 yards from me. I had no idea they were there and never would have without the ATN ThoR LTV 640 3-9x thermal scope. It was really fascinating to watch a doe, spike, and buck graze and snack their way across the side of the mountain while I stood beside the truck.
Other Uses for Thermal Scopes
As I did research on the ability of thermal scopes, I was surprised to learn that bird watchers use them to count and observe birds at night. Construction crews use thermal to detect heat and energy leaks from structures that need repair, and weather chasers use thermal imagery to find volcanic heat flow or even locate a source of a hot spring.
Night Hunting with a Thermal Scope
Have you ever considered a night hunt? A thermal scope is really a chance to take the leap. If you need a thermal scope option, look up ATN. They have a range of scopes, binos, and reticles that can fit any need and budget. Where will your next adventure in the dark take you?
Personal review of the ATN ThoR LTC 640 3-9x
I truly enjoyed the ATN ThoR LTV 640 3-9x scope. I had never given thought to being able to hunt at night, so this intrigued me. I learned to allow my pupils to return to normal after looking through the screen and not get melodramatic that I had gone blind! I really enjoyed seeing animals on a clear path and not losing them in the terrain. I always had some sort of heat signature on them, and it made such an impact on how many animals move at night.
I had some mild difficulty with the one-shot zero. But, this was my fault because I took out a brand-new rifle without testing how the ammo fed or how it shot. The first several shots were squirrely, but that was not the fault of the scope.
I love the eye relief and eye cup that seals out any interference of light. It made the screen seem like a cinema big screen. The clarity of the picture is incredible at 1280×720 resolution. My only regret is not getting to record a takedown shot. Nothing was in season in Utah during my review and I did not get any night hog action while in Texas.