5 Best Thermal Scopes For AR15

Here are 5 best thermal scopes for AR15. They are good for tactical applications such as target detection in harsh weather conditions, and use for property protection.

We have narrow down the options based on overall performance, thermal detection range, scope weight and cost. 

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Trijicon REAP-IR

Trijicon reap IR

Trijicon REAP-IR is a great thermal scope for AR15 to hunt and to detect hard to see targets in the wild life that night vision scopes can't.

  • Runs on CR123 lithium battery and lasts about 2 hrs on continuous use
  • Thumb controlled joystick gives the user quick access to Black Hot, White hot and Edge detect capabilities
  • Detect targets up to 150 to 2000 yards with 640X480 resolution
  • Zoom up to 8X to target ID 


  • High resolution
  • Greater resolution at 450 yards
  • Lightweight
  • 60 hz without lag


  • Expensive
  • A bit of learning curve



The ATN ThOR 4 384 is a high-end hobby and commercial grade thermal scope for AR15 with a 384x288 sensor and 4.5X optical magnification, offering a clear image with a fast refresh rate and long battery life. 

However, it may be heavy and have occasional image freezing. The optic also has a digital magnification option and smart features, but connecting to phone may be difficult.


  • High resolution
  • Long battery life
  • Multi color options
  • Intuitive smart zeroing technology


  • Can lag sometimes
  • A bit heavy
  • Digital magnification may not be favorable

Pulsar Trail 2 LRF

pulsar trail 2 lrf

Pulsar's Trail Thermal Imaging Sights are the perfect solution for normal civilian users who want to enhance their hunting experience with their AR15s. These sights allow the shooter to see through obstacles and detect targets in both nighttime and inclement weather conditions, without the need for an external light source. Unlike traditional image intensifier tube night vision riflescopes, Pulsar's sights are not affected by bright light exposure.

Not only are these sights ideal for hunting, but they also have a wide range of applications including observation, terrain orientation, and even search and rescue operations. As an industry pioneer, Pulsar designs cutting-edge products with the best optics, software, and features available on the market. Trust Pulsar to bring you the best in hunting technology.


  • Long range thermal detection up to 1600 yards
  • Durable for outdoor use
  • Good image resolution


  • Expensive
  • Short battery life
  • Limited FOV

Sig ECHO 3

sig sauer echo 3

Experience cutting-edge technology with the Sig Sauer Echo3, now available for just $3,299.

This advanced rifle scope delivers unparalleled performance, with improved features and a thermal imaging system that sets it apart from the competition. With the SIG BDX system, you'll be able to reach your target with ease, even when shooting calibers with a high ballistic drop.

Zeroing in is a breeze, simply adjust the reticle to the point of impact. While the lack of a rear eyepiece and eyecup may pose a challenge for some, these minor drawbacks are outweighed by the Echo3's advanced features and performance. 


  • Quick detach
  • Very compact for AR15
  • Works with Sig BDX range finders for holdover and calculation
  • Effective up to 300 yards shooting accuracy


  • Eye piece too close to user's face
  • Complex weapon pairing procedure
  • Overwhelming user menu design

Steiner CQT

steiner CQT thermal scope

The Steiner CQT is a thermal red dot sight with two modes, red dot and thermal imager with an overall body profile like an EOTECH holographic sight. It has a five-button directional pad for adjusting settings and three thermal overlay modes (full thermal, patrol, and outline).

The CQT requires two CR123 batteries and has a sunshade to reduce light when used in daylight. However, the thermal sensor cannot be obstructed by any equipment or the user's thumb. The device can detect heat signatures from a distance of 400 meters, but its high price ($9,999) is a drawback.


  • Quick detach
  • Very easy to switch between red dot and thermal
  • Sunsades built in
  • Detects heat signature regardless of lighting conditions


  • Expensive
  • Odd windage and elevation adjustment angles
  • Top rail accessories or C clamp grip can interfere with the thermal optic