How to Sight in a Thermal Scope

Table of Contents

How to see in a thermal imager

Your favorite rifle has gotten the cherry on top of the cake with a thermal imager. We are happy with you! But, do not rush to shout “bingo,” as there is an obligatory but straightforward process of setting up the thermal imager ahead. Of course, it is impossible to bypass or miss this moment if you intend to shoot without a miss. It is necessary to adjust the operation of the thermal scope for your bullets and the caliber of the weapon, so to speak, to zero the thermal sight. It doesn’t take much time and doesn’t require any special knowledge.

Steps to sight in thermal imaging optics

Explore the thermal imager menu and learn how to control the reticle.

To understand the process, you need to realize that a thermal imager is not a telescopic sight. It has an electronic grid instead of the traditional one. To successfully control the mesh, you need to open the user manual for your thermal imager. It is advisable to devote some time to this while at home in a comfortable environment. And by the time of zeroing, you should be pretty brisk to navigate the thermal imager menu. We do not see any reason to describe how to manage the menu of the thermal imager because there are a considerable number of models, and descriptions may vary.

Choose your standard ammo, weapons, and equipment

It is essential to grab for zeroing in exactly those cartridges and guns you plan to work with in the future since a different weight of ammunition affects how the bullet falls on the target. We recommend that you bring a bipod or tripod or a rigid backpack with you to create fixed support for the weapon. The weapon must be firmly secured for optimal performance.

Set up heat targets

We highly recommend using thermal targets instead of regular paper targets. The thermal imager will not see the paper target as it only reacts to temperature. Special heat targets are available. They are somewhat expensive but very comfortable. If you don’t have a heat target at hand, you can replace it with a few hand warmers. They are cheap and are always within walking distance. As an alternative to heating pads, you can use a bottle of warm water.

Zero target 50 yards away

At the range, fix the target at a distance of 50 yards. Get into a comfortable shooting position and fire three test shots. Then put the weapon aside and check the target. Notice the vertical and horizontal differences between the bullet point of impact and the bull ‘s-eye point. Measure the distance vertically and horizontally, write down the values.

Go back to the weapon and adjust the thermal imaging reticle for these values. Put, move the reticle to those distances. Do not change the weapon’s position – this is important for the correct zeroing of the thermal imager. Then fire three more shots and recheck the results. If the bullets still do not hit the center of the target, repeat the process. It’s simple: record the result, move the grid, and fire three shots. For convenience, mark old shots, then there will be no confusion with adjustments. After the successful result of shooting the bull’s-eye, you need to make three more shots and make sure that the bullets hit the target. After that, you can move on to the second step, the 100 yards setting.

Reticle adjustments on a target of 100 yards

To do this, set the target at 100 yards and do all the same manipulations until an excellent result is achieved. This must be done to exclude a small error. If the firing error at 50 yards is an inch and a half, this isn’t very important. But if the mistake in a hundred cores is one and a half inches, then this is equivalent to a miss. The accuracy of shooting depends on how carefully you zero the thermal imaging sight.

It should be noted that when changing cartridges or weapons, zeroing must be done again. We recommend that you take a responsible approach to set up your thermal imaging sight – this will pay off with calmness and excellent shooting accuracy during the weapon’s operation. Then you will focus on tactical actions and be sure of the result.

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