Pulsar Thermion Thermal Scopes Review 

 March 26, 2019

By  Randy Angwin

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Last updated on January 8, 2022

Ever since 1994, Pulsar has been well known for their state-of-the-art designs and utilizing the latest technology in manufacturing products. As a result, it’s no surprise they’re one of the leading thermal scope manufacturers today. Pulsar’s newest thermal scope line that’s due to be released late this summer is the Thermion series. 

So what’s unique about their latest product offering? 

Pulsar took everything that made their Trail thermal scopes a success and added new & improved features. But we’ll look into the specifications shortly as we discuss what’s likely to make this line yet another resounding success.

Key New Features

We’ll start off with aesthetics. The design of the new Pulsar Thermion line strongly resembles traditional rifle scopes. But the end products will still be a thermal scope - only with less ”boxiness”.   

These thermal scopes are covered in all-metal housings that guarantee durability and reliability. Though sturdy, the material is lightweight and allows for optimum performance.

Thermal scope with high refresh rate

Models in the New Range:

Within the new range, Pulsar decided to design two models; the Pulsar XM and XP. Let’s have a look at the unique features for each model below.

Pulsar Thermion XM:

Thermion XM50

Under this model, you’ll find the XM30, 38, and 50 depending on the lens size. But regardless of the lens size, all Pulsar XM models have the following features in common:

  • A 320 x 240 thermal resolution
  •  12um thermal sensor
  • Varying degrees of magnification depending on the type of product

Pulsar Thermion XP:

Thermion XP50

The two main types of thermal scopes under this model are the XP38 and XP50. Both have the following specifications:

  • A thermal resolution of 640 x 480
  • 7um thermal sensor
  • They also have varying degrees of magnification

But what’s important to note is; though the two models offer fairly different functionalities, they share a few similar features. First, both models have a high image refresh rate of 50Hz. Also, both scopes can detect heat within the 1350m to 2300m range.

Recoil Resistance:

Hunters are likely to be impressed with the Hi-recoil resistance rating on this model. It provides up to .375 H&H cal. This means you can use this model on high powered firearms and still expect flawless performance. The thermal scope can also be used with a 12 gauge and 9.3 x 64 caliber guns. 

Fast Start Up:

Unlike the older thermal scopes that take ages to start up, that’s not the case with this new line of devices. Thanks to the advanced technology utilized in the making of these units, the thermal scope will start up almost instantly.  

Apart from saving you time, the quick start-up functionality also saves energy, meaning you can use the device for longer before battery power runs out. 

Standard 30mm Mounting Rings:

The scopes come with standard mounting rings with a diameter of 30mm. These rings are best suited for medium-sized thermal scopes. And you don’t need specialized tools to set the unit up. 

Video and Still Image Capturing:

The Pulsar Thermal line of thermal scopes gives you the option to either capture a still image or record a video depending on your intended purpose. Both functions allow you to share the thermal action quickly and easily. 

With an internal memory of 16GB, you can store hours of videos and countless photos. You can also handle recoil flawlessly. 

Stream Vision App:

Pulsar ensured that this product provides you with digital convenience. The thermal scopes are supported by a Stream Vision App that allows you to stream to your tablet and phone via Wi-Fi.

The same app also allows for the following functionalities:

  • Smooth transferring of recorded files 
  • Easy adjustment of settings 
  • Effortless upgrading of firmware  

Dual Battery System:

A dual battery system is convenient for enhancing the thermal scope’s performance. This thermal scope holds a second battery that allows you to effectively power the unit for even longer hunting trips. 

Additional Color Palettes:

Pulsar added more colors to the new range of thermal scopes to allow for more customized display options. Some of the colors allow you to use the thermal scope for hours without straining your eyes. Most thermal scopes offer the white hot and black hot palettes but Pulsar included the following:

  • Red hot
  • Rainbow
  • Ultramarine highlight
  • Violet
  • Sepia
  • Red monochrome

Additional Features:

Other additional features you’re likely to be impressed with in this new range of thermal scopes include:

  • IPX7 waterproof rated: You can use this model in wet conditions without damaging the unit. Even after immersing the thermal scope in water for 30 minutes, it’ll start functioning without any problems.
  • Variable digital zoom: With these new thermal scopes you can now zoom into images up to 8x, providing you with more focus.
  • High definition image: The device produces sharper images. This high definition functionality ensures clear identification of images including small details like leaves.
  • Customizable recital options: The unit offers a wide range of color customizable reticles. Common color options include green, black, red and white.
  • User-friendly controls: Operation of these Thermion scopes is now simple and intuitive thanks to the three function buttons which allow you to manage all device menu options & systems.
  • Picture-in-picture: This functionality allows the device to display a clear magnified image of the general field of view. This, in turn, allows for precise shot placement.
  • Zeroing profile management: The thermal scope can store up to 5 zeroing profiles and also offers 10 distance coordinates you can opt to use depending on the situation.
  • Full-color HD AMOLED display: Thanks to the AMOLED technology, the thermal scope provides high-resolution imaging and power saving capabilities.
  • Upgradable Function: The new thermal scope has the ability to upgrade the firmware as soon as updates are released to enhance performance and potentially add additional features.

Pulsar Thermion XM38 Thermal Scope Review

With regards to setting up, this Thermion Riflescope is designed to mount easily onto the 30mm standard mounting rings provided. The end result is a rugged but reliable unit which is well secured for optimum performance. Setting it up is almost instant thanks to the advanced technology used in the development of this unit, so you’re guaranteed more operating time. The XM38 comes with 4-16 lens and 4x digital zoom 

Operating the device will be a breeze thanks to the simple user interface. You’ll find the controls quick and intuitive. Like all Pulsar thermal scopes, this unit allows for an extended heat detection range. This means you can spot images from afar with ease. 

The riflescope offers a wide range of color customizable options; 15 reticles with up to four colors. This allows you to see the images with clarity. With a 16GB internal storage, you can store many videos and over 1000 pictures.

By connecting the device to Wi-Fi, you can stream the images onto your phone using the Pulsar’s Stream Vision app. The unit has an IPX7 waterproof rating, so feel free to venture out in rainy or snowy conditions without risking damage.  

The Pulsar thermal riflescope has a 320 x 240 resolution which allows pictures to be displayed with clarity and a 50hz refresh rate. And the 4x digital zoom ensures the same image clarity. The detection range is 1700 which is not the highest but more than enough for most hunting situations.

  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Built-in recording
  • Expensive 
  • Lower detection range

Pulsar Thermion XM50 Thermal Scope Review

This Pulsar XM50 model offers more or less the same functionalities as the model reviewed above. After all, Pulsar is very consistent in designing quality products. The biggest difference are the optics with the XM50 having 5.5-22 lens and 4x digital zoom for longer range shooting. 

This Thermion riflescope comes with a number of accessories you’ll find useful. You don’t have to worry about making additional purchases to get the unit in working order. A few examples of these accessories include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Battery charger
  • USB cable
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Protective carrying case
  • Three rechargeable batteries

As mentioned earlier, these riflescopes are mounted onto 30mm mounting rings including this model. Most of the features are the same as found in the XM38 model. This includes the IPX7 waterproof rating and customizable reticle options. The unit will still function even after 30 minutes of water immersion. 

The Thermion XM50 also features a dual battery system where you’ll find two batteries inside the unit; on the internal and external front. The external battery gives you more operation time and the best part is it can be replaced in only a few seconds.

With this device, you can record videos and capture still images depending on your preference. And it also has a 16GB internal memory capacity so you can store hours of videos. 

The main difference compared to the XM38 model is that this unit has a larger detection range of 2300 meters. 

  • Large storage capacity
  • Wide detection range
  • Clear pictures
  • Pricy 
  • Lower magnification

Final Thoughts:

Pulsar's newest line of thermal scopes incorporate the latest 12um thermal sensors which makes them smaller, and more efficient. With their latest design your thermal scope will look just like a regular daylight scope.

The Thermion line also contains all of Pulsar's industry leading features and rugged build quality. The XM38 is great for short to mid range or if your looking to purchase your first high quality thermal scope while the XM50 is perfect for the serious hunter who needs the longest detection range.

If you still can't decide which thermal scope is best for you checkout our real-time thermal scope selector where you can choose your needed options and price range and see which thermal scope is best for you.

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About the author 

Randy Angwin

Randy Angwin holds a master of science degree from University of Florida. He is an expert in infrared and night vision technology. His knowledge helps us staying on top of the latest trends in the thermal industry. When not working, Randy likes to hunt and spend time with his two German shepherds.

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