Considering ditching PVS30 for a MK3 60mm or Halo LR

dang472

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Hey guys, I think I’ve made up my mind for my coyote setup but need to talk it through a bit. I’ve been running a 30 in front of a NF ATACR 4-16 with a Luna for illumination. Radius on top for ranging and it’s been a good rig. Heavy as shit with a 26” varmint barrel but whatever.
I use a Pulsar Axion for scanning and have gotten good at IDing coyotes, deer, skunks, etc with thermal. In other words, I’m comfortable with making the shot without the more positive ID of NV.
Routinely I’m locating potential targets with my scanner and then taking longer than I should to find it through my scope. Last night we had 3 coyotes just peeking out of a corn field and I couldn’t get a decent shot. I literally had the Pulsar in one hand on top of the scope hoping to guide me. It was almost a full moon and had a little snow on the ground. About the best NV scenario.
I like running my day scope because there’s no question that it holds zero and I’ve shot plenty of coyotes with the pvs30. I just feel I’m leaving some on the table. I know guys like Killswitch have killed 100s with a similar setup. He actually inspired me to run this rig.
Prior to this rig, I ran a Pulsar XP38 Trail for a season. I had decent luck but handicapped myself by shooting a 6.8. My range estimation wasn’t the best and the 6.8 isn’t exactly flat.
In summary, I think I’m at a point where I could shed some weight going full thermal and keeping the Radius for range help.
 
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jcoolhand5

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Currently run a Mk3 60mm and a Simrad K203. Definitely prefer the capability of thermal to just NV but it is more challenging to judge distance with the Mk3 depending on how far you are engaging. I am mostly going for hogs and coyotes. I'll sometime just spot with thermal and engage with NV/day scope. All depends on how I'm hunting. If I'm stalking I'll run the mk3 on the gun but I'm still using NV on my head. I'll flip the NV up when I get ready to shoot. Hunting from a stationary position I'll scan with thermal and typically have two setups to engage with. Anything further then 250-300 yards I'd prefer to engage with my scoped rifle with K203. Can't tell you how many times I've tried engaging yotes at over 200 yards with the Mk3 and missed. Lol.
 

dang472

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I’m using dual tube pvs14s for walking and driving to our sets. No stalking for us. Mostly my shots are 125-300 yards. Currently running 6-8x in my day scope. A lot of bean and corn fields with grassy fence lines and waterways. Some of our hunting fields weren’t planted this year so the thicker grass is making NV more challenging.
Ultimately I’m building a Desert Tech 22 Creedmoor and will probably go with a MK3 60mm or Halo LR. I just don’t know if I should part with my pvs30. I honestly can’t see myself taking it over thermal but I don’t like selling things.
 

jcoolhand5

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I definitely hear you. I've accumulated quite a bit of gear I'll prob never end up using. Lol. The Mk3 is great especially since it is 2.5x from the start. Identifying the difference between a bedded dear or calf and the round back of a hog in high grass is much easier. Still has issues looking through foliage of course. Not sure any other unit can though.
 

jcoolhand5

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Have you ever used a Simrad K203? Just wondering how it compared to a pvs30? The image quality on the K203 was much better then by buddies PVS 10.
 

wigwamitus

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Well, you now have TWO choices for a long distance thermal clipon that will really work ... so u can use your day scope
LWTS-LR
and
UTC-xii
Though it will take a lot of cash and patience to actually get one in your paws.
But we havent ever had options like this for thermal clipons that will support 10+ mag on the day scope and deliver no POI shift.
 

Shifty6BR

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You should buy the thermal and keep the 30!

Yes, this is what I ultimately decided. I had a 3p co mr as well but let that go after picking up a 30 and a mk2 35mm a bit back. I just couldn't part with the 30 since I have a few uppers differing in calibers from rimfire to centerfire. Got a Manners on the way for a Vudoo build with an efr up front as well looking forward to play with that and the 30.


The thermal sits on a dedicated upper in .224 val that's about it...no day optic of sorts, no bells and whistles just the ir hunter. I just recently sent it in for the mk3 60mm upgrade and should be getting it back this week up looks like.

Eventually I see my hunting kit lineup from all I2 to pretty much thermal weapon sight, spotter with either my radius or a spotter with a type of lrf (leaning towards a trail xp38 as possibly a multi role unit) and the good ole I2 duals for navigating. This seems to favor the terrain.
 

dang472

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Dammit guys! I know I should keep the 30. It’s a solid piece of mil spec hardware that I could throw on another gun in a pinch. I’m a big fan of dedicated hunting setups so I plan on leaving my thermal scope on one rifle all season.
Question: Do any of you guys see a replacement for the PVS30 in the next 3-5 years that could match the cost/performance of the refurbs? Meaning when these refurbs dry up, will there be anything that could replace them for $4,500? Thermal technology has advanced a ton since I got into this 5 years ago.
There’s just not many NV products on the market that can be strapped on a 338LM or 50 and survive.
 

Frog05

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Dammit guys! I know I should keep the 30. It’s a solid piece of mil spec hardware that I could throw on another gun in a pinch. I’m a big fan of dedicated hunting setups so I plan on leaving my thermal scope on one rifle all season.
Question: Do any of you guys see a replacement for the PVS30 in the next 3-5 years that could match the cost/performance of the refurbs? Meaning when these refurbs dry up, will there be anything that could replace them for $4,500? Thermal technology has advanced a ton since I got into this 5 years ago.
There’s just not many NV products on the market that can be strapped on a 338LM or 50 and survive.
PVS-27's have been starting to show up here and there close to that price range in the last couple of months.
 

jcoolhand5

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I'm not sure if the Mk3 can handle either 338LM or 50BMG. Lol. I typically run it on either my 5.56 DM setup or LMT MWS 6.5CM/308 setup. Just depends on what's on the agenda. I'd still recommend the Mk3 60mm if going the thermal route.
 
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dang472

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Yeah I was talking about the PVS30 on a 338 or 50. I should hold on to it in case the coyotes get so tough that the Barrett is necessary.
 
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wigwamitus

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... Do any of you guys see a replacement for the PVS30 ...
I sold both of my PVS-30s and replaced them with PVS-9s ... the two PVS-9s cost less and one PVS-30 ... and have a clearer image ... and are easier to use, since the focus knob is on the rear of the units.





 

wigwamitus

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But two plusses for the 30s over the SIMRADs to think about.

01 - The SIMRADs need to be adjusted when moving from rifle to rifle.

02 - We witnessed CBDRs recent experience of having his 30 power switch break, but between NVD and KAC, they were able to repair it for a cost. So not a "warranty repair" ... but a repair non-the-less. The SPI US based entity for the SIMRADs, seems to no longer exist. So any serious SIMRAD issue could be fatal. So could a 30 issue, but not necessarily and we saw an example of such.

Are are those differences worth $3k - ish ?? The buyer must determine !!
 

Killswitch Engage

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ive had no less than 10 simrads. they are excellent piece of kit but unsupported and if they go tits up youre screwed. I have seen some go down and I have repaired probably 5-6 failed battery housings on the simrad which are the weak point on them.

to say the simrad has a better image then a 30. I don't know that I think it does. is it on par, yes. ive had plenty of them side by side.

the caveat of the simrad is obviously the form factor and mounting solution. are they a excellent unit especially for the cost. hell yes

to the op...I have tossed around the idea of moving to thermal on the rifle and many times when we are hunting as a group I have been more then happy I was running nv. I cannot tell you times my crew running thermals and radius miss ranged open field coyotes because the lrf isn't even close to being zero'd. either from coming out of alignment or due to the shape of the beam and pinging inadvertent shit. I can see the beam and knew what was going on.

the other times of taking out unseasoned dudes and they nearly kill fox, bedded deer etc etc because they cannot ID it. even seasoned guys come close plenty.

that led me to purchasing a reap-ir 35. I primarily use it as a scanner. but have many times ran it weapon mounted depending on the crew and area. I feel every thermal scanner should be able to pull double duty to be useful tool in my arsenal. that said for now I will be keeping my 30. never know when we get our hong kong or Venezuela....:confused:
 

NorTexShooter

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Hey guys, I think I’ve made up my mind for my coyote setup but need to talk it through a bit. I’ve been running a 30 in front of a NF ATACR 4-16 with a Luna for illumination. Radius on top for ranging and it’s been a good rig. Heavy as shit with a 26” varmint barrel but whatever.
I use a Pulsar Axion for scanning and have gotten good at IDing coyotes, deer, skunks, etc with thermal. In other words, I’m comfortable with making the shot without the more positive ID of NV.
Routinely I’m locating potential targets with my scanner and then taking longer than I should to find it through my scope. Last night we had 3 coyotes just peeking out of a corn field and I couldn’t get a decent shot. I literally had the Pulsar in one hand on top of the scope hoping to guide me. It was almost a full moon and had a little snow on the ground. About the best NV scenario.
I like running my day scope because there’s no question that it holds zero and I’ve shot plenty of coyotes with the pvs30. I just feel I’m leaving some on the table. I know guys like Killswitch have killed 100s with a similar setup. He actually inspired me to run this rig.
Prior to this rig, I ran a Pulsar XP38 Trail for a season. I had decent luck but handicapped myself by shooting a 6.8. My range estimation wasn’t the best and the 6.8 isn’t exactly flat.
In summary, I think I’m at a point where I could shed some weight going full thermal and keeping the Radius for range help.
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