DEFINE how you see the game




The LYNX series is a more smaller/lighter compact thermal, ideally suited for carrying on-person and where size and weight are important considerations. The LYNX PRO models use a 12 micron  pixel sensor. The lower the micron number the more efficient the scope is. What that means is that a thermal can have more magnification with the same lens size if it has a lower micron sensor. 12 Microns are newer to the market, and can have more instability, where you may need to use the DPC function more often.  LYNX models range between 6mm lens and 25mm lens sizes.

The OWL models while physically larger, are easier and more comfortable for larger hands or unsteady hands. The larger screen size means its easier to look through for longer periods and also help with identification due to a larger display. The OWL range is also available in 25-35mm lens size.


A thermal rifle scope is a fairly advanced piece of equipment – these tips below will help you get the best out of your scope, and help you set it up for the most accurate shooting. We suggest you get familiar with your THUNDER in a low pressure setting where you can take the time to get the setup right and learn how the features work in the field.

When using the 35mm model as a clip on, it is important to note – that you will need to Zero your thermal to your day scope due to the distance from your scope to the thermal screen. You do this using the using the image calibration function on the Thermal (refer user manual). Use the minimum amount of rubber insert required to achieve a good fit trying to align the Thunder 40A adapter best you can to your day scope. Cup sizes are available to suit 40series, 50series and 60series scopes – contact your retailer to make sure you are using the right size clip on cup to begin with. It is advised to clean the inner surface of the cup, and your scope to ensure no debris compromises the fit – even a small amount of debris can lead to poor accuracy. Use a small amount of rubbing alcohol or sanitiser to prepare the machined surface before clamping down the cantilever lock. Recheck after locking. When dismounting, leave the cup attached and release the THUNDER via the 1/4turn locking mech between the cup and the THUNDER. Periodically check your THUNDER attachment cup for accuracy of fit and clean any debris or moisture.

Ensure the screens on your THUNDER and the dayscope are aligned perfectly when using the dayscope reticle/crosshairs to shoot. The THUNDER screen can be adjusted/moved to account for any correction needed. Some users report good grouping, yet a inch or two deviation from zero at distance. Adjust your screen alignment by following the process on the THUNDER manual under 3.10 CALIBRATE IMAGE on page 12:…pdf

Have your scope power set to a low setting in order not to pixelate the image on the THUNDER when viewing through your dayscope. Remember that through your dayscope, you are looking at the screen of the thermal scope, not a true external view.

How much relevance do I place on lens size for my needs?

Lens size is a common measure of performance and cost. It does cost more to produce a larger lens, hence prices climb with larger lenses. In terms of performance, consider the whole package before comparing solely on lens size. Our lens quality is rated higher than many competing models, hence HIK is known for clarity – especially at distance. Lens size is also a factor to consider for the terrain you are using your thermal on. Lens shape dictates that not all sizes perform the same, other things being equal. A smaller lens has a broader field of view in close, so we find the 15mm lens LYNX models for example, are very well suited to bush country – where heat can be detected on stubborn and well hidden animals such as Sika or Fallow.
When detecting on larger broader country, such as tops or large farms, you will find a model with a larger lens will see more heat at distance. Hence our 35mm OWL and OWL PRO models are the top choice for performance in large country.

What is the importance of F rating on the lens and the NETD value?

These two factors are arguably more critical than lens size. F rating is a measure of the quality of the lens itself. HIK thermals have F1.0 rated lenses. This speaks to the fine manufacturing technology, and to give an example, an F1.0 lens will see 44% more heat than an F1.2 rated lens which is what many competing brands use.
NETD is a measure of the sensitivity of the thermal sensor itself. With HIK’s sub 35mK rating, users can expect much more heat information to make up the image than say for a thermal with a 50mK NETD value. This leads to more detail, more definition and better clarity when the conditions get tough.

Can thermals see through bush and scrub?

A thermal is a very useful tool for detecting heat off animals that permeates from behind cover, such as bush and scrub. You will find sign in places where normal vision would see absolutely nothing. It is very surprising how many animals are missed from behind cover like this. ALWAYS properly identify a target before taking your shot.

How does the 35mm THUNDER scope attach to my day scope?

THUNDER 35mm uses a clip on attachment which has a very fine tolerance machined-fit to line up at the front of your day scope. The clip on attachment is included in all THUNDER 35mm thermal scopes. Rubber packing strips help ensure a perfect fit is obtained. Use the least amount of rubber required to obtain the fit. Ensure the clip on internal surface is butted up perfectly against the leading edge rim of your day scope. The light weight and small size of the THUNDER scope ensures you will still achieve good balance on your rifle. To detach your THIUNDER, simply un do the locking ring and turn your THUNDER 1/4 turn to disengage it from the mounting. When your THUNDER 35mm is attached as a clip on, the software recognises this and adjusts the menu features to cater for screen calibration mode if required.

Does the THUNDER scope charge via the USB port?

No, the THUNDER scope is designed with removable battery ports and therefore does not charge via the USB port. Batteries should be removed and charged eternally in the charger provided, or any suitable charger. DO NOT plug in the USB cable while the batteries are mounted in the THUNDER. Please use the USB port only as an interface to download images or videos, or to update software. The reason for this is that non-rechargable batteries can be used with the THUNDER and these must not receive charge current or damage to them and the unit may result.

Should I look at very hot things through my thermal optics? Why not?

No, it is not a good idea to point your thermal at very hot objects such as fireplaces, bonfires, the sun, heat coils etc. The intense heat can damage the sensitivity of the unit and may result in pixilation of the display. There is a restore mode built in that can restore and rebuild the pixels however long term damage to the sensor will be a result of pointing it at very high heat sources while switched on.

Can I order replacement batteries for the handheld models? Other parts also? 

HUNTSMAN can replace the internal battery in your LYNX or OWL thermal. We offer this service for a fixed fee of $250 for all models. Your battery is good for many hundreds of charging cycles, but if you have used it a lot and find battery life is reducing, we can replace the battery and restore its performance to new again. Other items can be replaced, such as lanyards, eyepieces and buttons. Please contact us for specific advice and prices.

The eyepiece end of my thermal has a little fog under the glass after using it, why is this? 

This is usually the result of a small amount of airborne humidity condensing on the glass when the unit is hot from use, and then exposed to cold ambient temps that meet the glass piece. Exactly the same as a car windshield or window. This small amount of condensation will not harm the unit and it will dry out.

We suggest turning off the unit while it is kept in a zip pocket, or a pouch, when not in use. When it is on, and in a warm insulated place, can cause the unit to heat up more than usual and just the tiniest amount of moisture in the unit will present itself. It will also be more likely to occur if the thermal is stored vertically, when the internal warmth has the chance to rise to the eyepiece end of the unit.

Why cant a thermal optic see through glass or windows?

A thermal relies on seeing heat, not light. Therefore any surface that insulates will not allow heat through enough to be picked up. It doesn’t matter if the surface is translucent or not (in the case of glass). Double glazed or thick glass in particular is near impenetrable to low level airborne heat signals.