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Old 08-01-2017, 02:28 PM   #1
Outdoor Legacy
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Default Another affordable thermal - FLIR Thermosight Pro PTS233

More exciting news in the thermal world and this time it's coming from FLIR. Today they are officially announcing their FLIR ThermoSight Pro PTS233 1.5-6x19 thermal rifle scope. I'll cut to the chase and give you the basic specs and price...

1.5x-6x Magnification
12 Micron Pixel Pitch
30Hz Refresh Rate
FLIRE Boson Core
320x256 Core Resolution
1280x960 FLCOS Display
Built-in Video Recorder - w/Recoil Activation Option
7 Color Palettes

Price: $2,199

I've already got units on pre-order and I expect the first shipment within a matter of weeks if all goes well. I'll post more details later this evening.
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Old 08-01-2017, 03:39 PM   #2
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Any videos out for this thermal?
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Old 08-01-2017, 03:46 PM   #3
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Old 08-01-2017, 03:57 PM   #4
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Gahlee , all this advancement makes me wanna wait a couple years to buy anything else thermal related ...
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Old 08-01-2017, 04:00 PM   #5
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That's pretty low resolution.
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Old 08-01-2017, 05:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabineshooter View Post
Gahlee , all this advancement makes me wanna wait a couple years to buy anything else thermal related ...
The world of thermal imaging is not for luddites, that's for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrastealth View Post
That's pretty low resolution.
I know a guy who has played with every thermal toy there is. I have not seen the Flir Boson but he has. His exact words: "The 320 Boson core image view is as good as most any 640 core out there."

It's important to understand that the 12um Boson pixel size means the sensor has a massive head start compared to 17-micron or even 25-micron images.
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Old 08-01-2017, 05:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 35remington View Post
The world of thermal imaging is not for luddites, that's for sure.



I know a guy who has played with every thermal toy there is. I have not seen the Flir Boson but he has. His exact words: "The 320 Boson core image view is as good as most any 640 core out there."

It's important to understand that the 12um Boson pixel size means the sensor has a massive head start compared to 17-micron or even 25-micron images.
By definition, a 320 is not as good as a true 640. Now there may be some companies that fudge their specs, but, a true 640 has twice the resolution of a 320, and it is noticeable. I have a Flir 320X240 monocular, and I can tell you that it is right at the edge of useable resolution for identifying animals at 100 yards and greater. Now, you get what you pay for, and the new Flir scope is very reasonably priced. I don't think 320 is what I'd want though for my applications.
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Old 08-01-2017, 05:43 PM   #8
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Ya this is big news. The thing to understand is, the 12 microns is a huge jump down. As of today, the least expensive 12 micron optic available on the market is an $6,000 Trijicon MK II. When Pulsar announced multiple 17 micron units in the $1,899-$2,800 range people were shocked.

I've held the (yet to be released) FLIR Q14B handheld unit at the SHOT Show in January and it supposedly has the same core and resolution as the PTS233. I was blown away by the image quality of that little unit, so I'm feeling optimistic that the 12 microns will compensate for the 17% lower resolution. My guess is, the 320x256 resolution isn't going to be noticeably any different than the 384x280 to the naked eye but as you move up in the digital zoom you will probably see it. However, even on a 640 core, I do not use more than 2x digital zoom, so I'm still hoping it's not a big deal. We will see.

No matter what, the message is clear.....the price of thermal is coming down and the quality and features are going up. There is real competition in the market now and as we all know, competition is great for the consumer.

Feel free to ask any questions and while we don't have all the info yet, I'll do my best to find the facts that we do know right now.

- Jason
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Old 08-01-2017, 05:44 PM   #9
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Thanks for the review, still trying to talk myself(and CFO) into one of these.
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Old 08-01-2017, 05:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrastealth View Post
By definition, a 320 is not as good as a true 640. Now there may be some companies that fudge their specs, but, a true 640 has twice the resolution of a 320, and it is noticeable. I have a Flir 320X240 monocular, and I can tell you that it is right at the edge of useable resolution for identifying animals at 100 yards and greater. Now, you get what you pay for, and the new Flir scope is very reasonably priced. I don't think 320 is what I'd want though for my applications.
I think we are going to have to wait and see I'm not comfortable going on the record one way or the other. I will say this though, with 384 17 micron Pulsar I can absolutely identify deer vs hogs at 250-300 yards in the right conditions. Yes it takes experience and yes it might take 5-10 seconds if a deer is standing in 2ft tall grass with it's head down but it is do-able at the upper end of those ranges much of the time. Again, identifying and shooting at those ranges is two totally different things.

I think what is worth noting that the difference in a LCD display vs an OLED/AMOLED or FLCOS can be huge in identification. Last year an upgrade from a Pulsar LCD to an OLED was a $1,000 upgrade on any unit. $1,000! This year scopes are getting better displays and the retail is around $2,000. Technology is improving and changing fast.
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Old 08-01-2017, 06:00 PM   #11
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I have a flir monocular and love it but I run night vision on the rifle because of my concerns with not always being able to tell what you are looking at with thermal.
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Old 08-02-2017, 09:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outdoor Legacy View Post
I think we are going to have to wait and see I'm not comfortable going on the record one way or the other. I will say this though, with 384 17 micron Pulsar I can absolutely identify deer vs hogs at 250-300 yards in the right conditions. Yes it takes experience and yes it might take 5-10 seconds if a deer is standing in 2ft tall grass with it's head down but it is do-able at the upper end of those ranges much of the time. Again, identifying and shooting at those ranges is two totally different things.

I think what is worth noting that the difference in a LCD display vs an OLED/AMOLED or FLCOS can be huge in identification. Last year an upgrade from a Pulsar LCD to an OLED was a $1,000 upgrade on any unit. $1,000! This year scopes are getting better displays and the retail is around $2,000. Technology is improving and changing fast.
There's no question that thermal is getting better and cheaper. The same thing happened with night vision stuff about 10 years ago. IMHO, at similar resolution, thermal has big advantages over night vision. I'm very optimistic that more companies will get into this market, and I'll be very surprised if Leopold doesn't have a flir rifle scope by this time next year that is very affordable.
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Old 08-18-2017, 08:12 AM   #13
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Jaso, I have seen a couple of videos on youtube of this particular scope.
When do you expect they will be in retailers hands and also are they still on track for the last quarter of 2017 for releasing the other 2 versions of this?


Thanks
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Old 08-18-2017, 11:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kbar View Post
Jaso, I have seen a couple of videos on youtube of this particular scope.
When do you expect they will be in retailers hands and also are they still on track for the last quarter of 2017 for releasing the other 2 versions of this?


Thanks
Yes sir FLIR released a couple demo units and the videos from the scope look really nice. The reviews have been good too. I spoke with FLIR last week and they are saying there is still a chance of seeing the first shipment of the PTS233 in August. I guess we will know within a couple weeks if that's true or not. I'll call them next week and get another update.

I'll also check on the other 2 models last week and I was told there might be a delay on them. I'll get some info and report back.

- Jason
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Old 08-22-2017, 02:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kbar View Post
Jaso, I have seen a couple of videos on youtube of this particular scope.
When do you expect they will be in retailers hands and also are they still on track for the last quarter of 2017 for releasing the other 2 versions of this?


Thanks
I just spoke with FLIR and the first shipment of these scopes are in their warehouse and they should be shipping out (hopefully!) this week. My rep said they are short staffed right now and they are overloaded with paperwork and phone calls in the office but they are doing their best to keep everything rolling.

As for the other models, he said he honestly had no information on whether they would make it out in 2017 or not. He made me laugh because he said FLIR doesn't tell the sales reps anything until it's fact and until it's ok for public consumption because they know the sales reps are going to tell their dealers. He did say there was going to be a handheld monocular being released sometime this fall that would be using the same core as the PTS233. He had no details, no pricing and no dates.

I put in 2nd order for more of these PTS233's so if anyone is interested in one, just let me know and I'll be glad to put you on the list.

- Jason
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Old 08-23-2017, 08:01 AM   #16
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Thank you for the updates Jason.
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Old 08-28-2017, 02:24 PM   #17
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Quick Update: I spoke with my FLIR rep again today and it looks like the first shipment of PTS233's is going to be delayed a week or so because they are making a final fix/improvement to the video recording system before they ship out. Best case scenario estimate is that they start shipping late next week.
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:00 AM   #18
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Any word yet?
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Old 10-12-2017, 01:05 PM   #19
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Been watching this thread as well, B&H photo says it will arrive November 13. Don't know if thats true or not.
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Old 10-13-2017, 10:22 PM   #20
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No good word yet on a date. B&H is pulling that date completely out of thin air and if they turn out to be right, it's just because they got wildly lucky....like picked the lottery numbers lucky. The "official" word is actually 2 weeks. Now it's up to you if you want to believe that or not. It was "officially" 2 weeks about 8 weeks ago....then it was 2 more weeks....and then 2 more weeks. Do you see a pattern?

I talked to FLIR about this on Wednesday and honestly, no one knows when this scope is going to be available at this point. I'll be 100% honest with you, if I get a phone call next week that says it's shipping out, I will not be one bit surprised. If I don't get a phone call until the day after Christmas that says it's shipping out, I won't be one bit surprised. Seriously, at this point, no one knows.

I have high hopes for the scope, but at this point, there is no way I'd miss a fall/winter season of hog hunting waiting on this thing. If I was in the market for a thermal scope today and on a budget, I'd buy the Pulsar Core RXQ30V or I'd upgrade to the Pulsar Apex XQ38. The Apex XQ38 is $300 more than the FLIR PTS233 and the image quality on the Apex will, hands down be better than the PTS233, although the Apex doesn't have internal video recording.

But when we come full circle and you want internal video recording on a budget, the FLIR PTS233 is going to be your least expensive option by several hundred dollars and that's what is making is such a hot item! No question, it's going to sell like hot cakes....whenever if finally comes out.
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Old 10-13-2017, 10:30 PM   #21
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I love these "affordable" thermal threads....im so broke i cant pay attention !!
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Old 10-16-2017, 12:08 AM   #22
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I love these "affordable" thermal threads....im so broke i cant pay attention !!
Ha! I totally get that. The thing is, last year entry level thermal was $3,000-$4,000, so when it's $1,899-$2,199 this year, it's much more affordable, even if it's still a lot of money. The good thing is, for guys that still can't swing it for thermal, they can save up for something like a Sightmark Photon for $499 and still get into the NV game. And if that's still too much money, I've seen a few steals on used ones in the classifieds from time to time.

But yep, I get it. $2k isn't "affordable" for everyone but $2k opens up the game to a lot more people than when it started at $5k. The prices are moving in the right direction, that's for sure!
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Old 10-16-2017, 09:37 AM   #23
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I am new to thermal so please excuse my dumb questions. There are two different resolutions mentioned. The core and the display. Just to confirm the display is the screen you are looking at correct? What is the core? The smaller the microns the better correct? Lastly is the microns the size of the pixels?
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Old 10-16-2017, 10:43 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outdoor Legacy View Post
No good word yet on a date. B&H is pulling that date completely out of thin air and if they turn out to be right, it's just because they got wildly lucky....like picked the lottery numbers lucky. The "official" word is actually 2 weeks. Now it's up to you if you want to believe that or not. It was "officially" 2 weeks about 8 weeks ago....then it was 2 more weeks....and then 2 more weeks. Do you see a pattern?

I talked to FLIR about this on Wednesday and honestly, no one knows when this scope is going to be available at this point. I'll be 100% honest with you, if I get a phone call next week that says it's shipping out, I will not be one bit surprised. If I don't get a phone call until the day after Christmas that says it's shipping out, I won't be one bit surprised. Seriously, at this point, no one knows.

I have high hopes for the scope, but at this point, there is no way I'd miss a fall/winter season of hog hunting waiting on this thing. If I was in the market for a thermal scope today and on a budget, I'd buy the Pulsar Core RXQ30V or I'd upgrade to the Pulsar Apex XQ38. The Apex XQ38 is $300 more than the FLIR PTS233 and the image quality on the Apex will, hands down be better than the PTS233, although the Apex doesn't have internal video recording.

But when we come full circle and you want internal video recording on a budget, the FLIR PTS233 is going to be your least expensive option by several hundred dollars and that's what is making is such a hot item! No question, it's going to sell like hot cakes....whenever if finally comes out.
I hope that it is in fact.... "2 weeks"
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Old 10-17-2017, 12:26 PM   #25
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I am new to thermal so please excuse my dumb questions. There are two different resolutions mentioned. The core and the display. Just to confirm the display is the screen you are looking at correct? What is the core? The smaller the microns the better correct? Lastly is the microns the size of the pixels?
Not dumb questions at all, very insightful questions actually.

Yes the display is just the screen you are looking at. While it is very important, no matter how good the display is, it can't make up for a poor thermal core or even a good thermal core with a low resolution. Let's compare this to a digital camera, it's really the same thing. If you have a really low megapixel camera and a high resolution screen on the back, no matter how good the screen is, it can't compensate for the crappy low resolution sensor and the picture will still be grainy and pixelated, especially when you zoom in on the image.

The thermal core is actually called a microbolometer. Without getting all geeky, (and I don't really understand scientifically how it works) the thermal core is what processes the infrared energy (or heat as we can call it) and it turns it into the image you seen on the screen. I know anyone who really understands this process will read that and cringe.lol For our simplistic discussion, it's like the image sensor. The higher the resolution there, the better. Currently 640x480 is as good as it gets for consumers. 384x288 is the standard core resolution and anything much under that starts to get sort of sketchy. There are a decent amount of units in the 336x256 or 320x256 resolution range and they are good for entry level optics but once you get much below that, it's considered very low resolution for thermal.

When it comes to microns, this can get extremely complicated so let's keep it simple, since I'm pretty simple. Microns is actually a measurement, like inches, feet, miles etc. Microns is the measurement of the "pixel pitch". FLIR describes pixel pitch as "spacing between pixel centers". Pixel pitch is often referred to as the size of the pixels. So let's just stop there and say that yes, the smaller the number the better. Currently for consumers, 12 microns is as low as it goes. The Trijicon/IR Defense units are 12 microns. All this year's Pulsar units are 17 microns. The last 2-3 years all the Pulsar units were 25 microns. So we are heading in the right direction. Generally, the lower the micron measurement the better the image quality.

One one hand the 12 microns of the FLIR PTS233 is amazing, it's unheard of in a scope for under $6,000. But on the flip side, it is only 320x256 core resolution which is lacking a little. The thought is, the 12 microns will help make up for the lesser resolution. We will have to wait and see. IF the PTS233 was 384x288 AND 12 microns, that would pretty crazy, but it's not. I still have high hopes for the price/features.

I hope that helps a little bit. It's really confusing when you dig deep but here is the cliff notes that everyone can understand. Generally here is what you want in a thermal optic:

High thermal core resolution
Low microns
High quality and high resolution display (AMOLED/OLED preferred)
30Hz refresh rate is perfectly fine for normal hunting conditions
50-60Hz refresh rate for fast moving hunting like from a Jeep/helicopter etc.

I hope that helps.

- Jason
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Old 10-17-2017, 12:35 PM   #26
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Annnnnnnnd this ^^^^ is why Jason gets my business every time. Show me another retailer who goes that far out of his way to answer a question.
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Old 10-18-2017, 11:47 AM   #27
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Thanks for the information Jason! One last question and if you can not publicly answer this question I understand. In your professional opinion which one has a better image this Flir or the $1,900 Pulsar? If I understand correctly you have not held this Flir but have held one with the same core and display correct? I might be in the minority in the fact that I don't care about being able to record or any other abilities, I am just interested in what it looks like when I look down the scope. AND I don't want to pay a bunch of money for it......... not asking for too much am I? For the record this is sarcasm.
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Old 10-18-2017, 12:06 PM   #28
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I wonder if the wife would buy this for me for christmas
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Old 10-18-2017, 01:10 PM   #29
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I wonder if the wife would buy this for me for christmas
I thought the same thing!!
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Old 10-19-2017, 12:49 AM   #30
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Thanks for the information Jason! One last question and if you can not publicly answer this question I understand. In your professional opinion which one has a better image this Flir or the $1,900 Pulsar? If I understand correctly you have not held this Flir but have held one with the same core and display correct? I might be in the minority in the fact that I don't care about being able to record or any other abilities, I am just interested in what it looks like when I look down the scope. AND I don't want to pay a bunch of money for it......... not asking for too much am I? For the record this is sarcasm.
Great question. Quite honestly, it would not be a very professional opinion if I gave one before I've actually held and used the FLIR. And that's not a cop-out. I'll honestly give you my comparison once I've used the FLIR.

I did hear some news......the PTS233's are going to be shipping sooner than later. Like real "sooner", but that's all I should say. The problem is, it's going to take FLIR another couple months to get through the initial pre-order backlog so it's going to be first come, first serve for awhile. Honestly, unless I'm wrong, I think you'll have to put a back order in with a dealer to get one before Christmas. I just don't think they are going to be sitting on the shelf right now due to supply/demand.

Let me get my hands on my first unit and I'll report back and give you some honest answers.

- Jason
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Old 10-19-2017, 12:51 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Kurdawg View Post
I wonder if the wife would buy this for me for christmas
Quote:
Originally Posted by MedicineMan7 View Post
I thought the same thing!!
She better get on the backorder list if you want it for Christmas. Tell her my number is (877)350-1818.
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:32 AM   #32
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Great question. Quite honestly, it would not be a very professional opinion if I gave one before I've actually held and used the FLIR. And that's not a cop-out. I'll honestly give you my comparison once I've used the FLIR.

I did hear some news......the PTS233's are going to be shipping sooner than later. Like real "sooner", but that's all I should say. The problem is, it's going to take FLIR another couple months to get through the initial pre-order backlog so it's going to be first come, first serve for awhile. Honestly, unless I'm wrong, I think you'll have to put a back order in with a dealer to get one before Christmas. I just don't think they are going to be sitting on the shelf right now due to supply/demand.

Let me get my hands on my first unit and I'll report back and give you some honest answers.

- Jason
Thank you sir.
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Old 10-24-2017, 01:31 PM   #33
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Looks like flir is shipping these out, should be able to review these by weeks end!
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Old 10-27-2017, 06:10 PM   #34
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Well it looks like Christmas came early! Quick glance I'm super happy this thing is small about half the weight and size of my xsight so far so good will get to try it out tomorrow.
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Old 10-27-2017, 11:27 PM   #35
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Quote:
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Well it looks like Christmas came early! Quick glance I'm super happy this thing is small about half the weight and size of my xsight so far so good will get to try it out tomorrow.
Attachment 879524

Attachment 879525
Cool deal. Show us pics when you can.
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Old 10-28-2017, 12:01 AM   #36
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... affordable is open to interpretation I see lol
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Old 10-28-2017, 12:06 AM   #37
pervis
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I'm about to never purchase another flir product...been getting the run around for 2 months about getting my ps32 repaired, which is under warranty. I've been on the phone everyday this week with them. I've talked to so many people there it's insane, and no one is the right person.
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Old 10-30-2017, 11:41 PM   #38
coachwhip
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First let me preface by saying I'm a beginner to the thermal/night vision game so pardon my review. I had 3 days to play with this scope my previous experience was with the ATN X-sight and I'm pleased with the product thus far. After opening the package i was surprised to find no owners manual/warranty documentation (that showed up today via email). I love the size and sighting in with 2 different rifles was a breeze I believe there is up to 3 profiles you can save. Fast forward to last night for a target rich environment below are a few pictures from deer with standard power, 2X, and 4X;
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as you can see it becomes quite pixelated but the field of view and magnification fits my needs that i need for my rifle combination so I'm satisfied. I was able to close the deal on a hog about 9:45 at about 35 yards, thermal is so awesome, they have no clue your around but they are glowing like neon!
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I was disappointed to find my recoil activated shooting failed to record the sequence, but part of that is my fault since a didn't know how to use standard recording. Battery life is great and startup time is about half of what my x-sight is, I also hope they offer some app that can be used as a remote from a smartphone. All in all I'm happy with the scope and know that Flir stands behind their product and are quick to respond with any issues I'v had so far.
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Old 11-05-2017, 10:14 PM   #39
Outdoor Legacy
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Location: Appleby, TX
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Great review Coachwhip and thanks for all the pics. It looks like the PTS233 is serving you pretty well considering that last picture! There is now question, thermal is the game changer. I understand not everyone can afford it and I know a lot of people hear $1,899 to $2,199 and they think "affordable my rear!" I totally get that! But when similar quality optics were $3,000-$4,000 less than a year ago, it definitely opens the market up for a lot more people. I think we are seeing the new pricing of thermal settle in and I think 2018 will bring even more optics in the $2,500-$3,500 range. Hopefully one day we will see a high quality sub-$1,000 unit but I think we are several years from that happening.

If anyone is interested in one of these PTS233's send me a PM. My shipment should be coming in soon and I'm about to announce a TBH deal on them.

- Jason
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Old 11-17-2017, 02:45 PM   #40
Fordnandez
Six Point
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Austin
Hunt In: Junction
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Jason, have you been able to use this scope yet? I am still curious in your opinion on this scope vs the affordable Plulsar.
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Old 11-17-2017, 03:09 PM   #41
Outdoor Legacy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fordnandez View Post
Jason, have you been able to use this scope yet? I am still curious in your opinion on this scope vs the affordable Plulsar.
I have not. From the best I can tell there are only a TINY amount of these scopes that have been shipped.....like maybe less than 15-20 Our very own Coachwhip got one of these prized scopes 2-3 weeks ago and that was the first and only confirmed shipment I've heard of. I spoke with FLIR on Monday and I was told my order should ship in....surprise....2 weeks.

So here I sit, as patiently as possible waiting. I am not seeing or hearing of any other dealers getting their shipments at all either. I only know of two dealers who got (what appear to be) very tiny shipments when Coachwhip got his.

I'll keep you informed, thanks for asking.

- Jason
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Old 11-17-2017, 03:10 PM   #42
Outdoor Legacy
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Oh and if someone is ready to go ahead and pre-order and wait it out, I've got a TBH pre-order list going. http://discussions.texasbowhunter.co...d.php?t=669015
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Old 11-18-2017, 07:41 AM   #43
Texas89
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Following this. Interested to hear some feedback


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