What Does Value Really Mean in Thermal Imaging?

When it comes to thermal riflescopes, Armasight’s Contractor offers tremendous value on a premium, made-in-the-USA product.

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What Does Value Really Mean in Thermal Imaging?

What do your customers ask out of their gear? For most of us, the top priority when buying new hunting gear boils down to one thing: Value. We want gear that does what it’s supposed to do without delay or failure. It has to be dependable, because shot opportunities are often few and fleeting. It has to be tough, because we don’t have time to baby our equipment in the field, but most importantly, it has to perform when we need it to without requiring any fumbling, tweaking or extra manipulating.

For most buyers, price is a serious consideration, but value is the top priority — and value is a measurement of quality for the money. Most hunters have been burned by inferior products we bought because they were the cheapest item on the shelf, only to find out that you get what you pay for. We’ve learned our lesson. We know what we want and what we don’t, and we make careful value judgements about our gear before we buy it.

And when it comes to ever-advancing technologies like thermal imaging, value is even more of a consideration. There’s a huge spectrum of prices in thermal riflescopes, for example, and the highest price tags don’t always correlate with the most features and best value. “You get what you pay for” is a major factor when shopping for thermal optics.

Value is what Armasight does best. Since coming back into business after a few-year hiatus not too long ago, the company has operated on a simple philosophy: Build thoughtfully designed premium products that just plain work. The company’s flagship thermal riflescope, the Contractor, is a perfect example.

Designed and built in the USA, the Contractor uses Armasight’s ArmaCORE 12 micron thermal core, offering excellent detection capabilities and a rich, detailed picture in a package that’s more compact and lighter weight than conventional thermal scopes. It’s mil-std, of course, and like all Armasight products, it’s rugged and durable for use in all weather conditions (and waterproof with an IP 67 rating). Much thought went into the design of this scope, from the high-grade OLED screens to the germanium front ocular lenses for maximum light transmission. Oversized, rugged turrets are easy to use with intuitive operation and controls.

It wouldn’t be a great value if it wasn’t packed with features, and the Contractor delivers in this regard. One such favorite feature is Picture in Picture mode. When activated and the zoom is increased, a small window pops up with the target zoomed in on, giving you both a full field of view and a magnified image of the target. A digital compass and inclinometer help provide direction and angles for your shot. Multiple color palettes, digital zoom and eight reticles give you plenty of options to adjust your sight picture based on conditions. The Contractor can record video and stream video via USB or WIFI and will run for up to four hours on two CR123 batteries — a 50% longer run time compared to similar units on the market. If more run time is needed, an external power bank can be used via USB-C port, giving you hours of additional run time.

In addition to offering premium products that work for a fair price, Armasight also emphasizes careful design and testing. Their products, including the Contractor, are created and built by people who actually use them regularly, using high-grade materials. Extensive testing is conducted before a new Armasight product is released to the market, because the company understands that law enforcement officers, civilians and hunters rely on their gear to work reliably and consistently in the harshest of environments and conditions. As such, they’re backed up with a three-year warranty.

The Contractor comes in five configurations based on your magnification and field of view needs, starting at an MSRP of $3,299. Depending on the model, detection range on human-sized targets is up to nearly 2,800 meters, and it’ll operate in temperatures from -40 to 122 degrees F. You can put on one just about any firearm you like, as they’re recoil-rated for up to a .50 cal.

You won’t find Armasight selling its gear at bargain-basement price points. They’re not in a race to the bottom, but rather a race to the top when it comes to features and the amount of value offered for the money. You’ve heard the expression “Buy once, cry once?” Your shoppers won’t be crying after trying an Armasight Contractor, but they will be glad they invested in a thermal riflescope that offers top-of-the-line features and punches well above its paygrade.


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