What Represents Value in Thermal Imaging?

The Armasight Contractor hits the sweet spot between performance and price for discerning thermal-riflescope shoppers.

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What Represents Value in Thermal Imaging?

As thermal imaging becomes less of a novelty and more of a common, helpful tool used by hunters all over the country, more customers are in the market for a thermal riflescope than ever before. Because thermal optics “read heat,” they’re equally effective day and night, and they allow hunters to find game through fog, brush and the dark of night. Options abound in a variety of price points — some tantalizingly low, some jaw-droppingly high. As is the case with many products, the best value for the money lies somewhere in the middle, where innovation and functionality meet practicality.

The Armasight Contractor line of thermal weapon sights lies in that middle-of-the-range sweet spot, offering an advanced sensor, a robust processor and must-have (as well as many nice-to-have) features without going so over the top that the price is stratospheric.

Armasight built the Contractor around its ArmaCORE 12-micron sensor, and it offers extensive detection capabilities, onboard image processing, wireless communication interface, GPS and internal memory. And it all fits in a single housing that’s noticeably more compact and lighter weight than conventional thermal scopes.

Hunters can expect increased resolution and pixel size reduction, which leads to rich, detailed pictures viewable in multiple color palettes. Despite the fast, quality processing, power consumption has been reduced, and the Contractor will run continuously for up to four hours on two easily swapped CR123 batteries. This represents a 50% longer run time based on low power consumption when compared to similar units on the market.

The turret controls are easy to use, even with gloved hands, and the menus are intuitive, allowing you to navigate quickly and easily to adapt to changing conditions and environments. Choose from eight reticle types, turn the reticle off when you don’t want it, and even enjoy picture-in-picture mode.

Armasight Contractor
Armasight Contractor

In the social media age, everyone wants to film their hunts, and the Contractor scopes have you covered here, too, with video recording and image capture. Shot-activated video has your back in case you forget to hit the record button. You can also stream video via Wi-Fi or USB, or connect to an external device via USB-C if needed.

Hunters who are new to thermal might not realize just how many features are packed into a digital optic compared to their old traditional scope. The Contractor includes features like a digital compass, levelometer, integrated stadiametric rangefinder and inclinometer that help calculate distance, direction and angles for the shot. No need to carry a separate rangefinder! And it’s all packaged in a rugged alloy metal body with an ergonomic design, mil-std compliant for reliable use in all conditions. In fact, the Contractor is rated for up to a .50-cal and will operate from -40 to +122 degrees F.

The Contractor comes in five variants: 320 3-12x25, 320 6-24x50, 640 2.3-9.2x35, 640 3-12x50 and 640 4.8-19.2x75. Prices start as low as $3,299, and the detection range on human-sized targets starts at 932 meters and goes as far as 2,797 meters depending on the model chosen.

Thermal imaging is an investment, and the best value for most shooters is found in middle-of-the-pack price points in riflescopes that offer all the features hunters want and none that they don’t; no one wants to pay for complicated options they don’t plan to use. Armasight’s line of Contractor thermal weapon sights falls right in the sweet spot of price and performance, representing value for hunters who are ready to step into thermal with a “buy once” mindset or for anyone who has already tried very basic thermal models and is ready to upgrade.


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