The Wraith Family (thermal and night optics)

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AJMD429
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The Wraith Family (thermal and night optics)

Post by AJMD429 »

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I finally saved up enough to splurge and get intro-level optics for coyote/raccoon patrol on the 'ranch', and after waiding through the endless nog-snobbery, decided I'll never be able to afford the stuff the internet experts tell me is "the barest minimum if you want decent thermal ($8,000 or so) :roll: or night-vision ($30,000 or so) :roll: :roll: so I should either follow the experts advice and just settle for duct-taping a Mini Mag-light to the barrel of a shotgun.... OR .... say to heck with it and just get 'something' that might be better than nothing, and see if it meets MY needs...

What I found online was that if I couldn't see, identify, and hit, a target at 800 yards or so, I was totally wasting my time. :? So unless I was willing to spend more than the cost of a new car on stuff, I should just give up.

However I seldom shoot over 100 yards, even when deer hunting, and barnyard intruders (regardless of leg-count) are going to be 50 yards or less, I figured I could cut those costs by about 95%, and at least get something 'entry-level'. The nog-snobs will make fun of me now, but that's ok... :D

I haven't had time to mess with them much yet (just got them a couple days ago), but so far I'm impressed with both the 'Wraith' items I've tried -

Their thermal - https://outdoorlegacygear.com/products/ ... ifle-scope
Their night-vision - https://outdoorlegacygear.com/products/ ... riflescope

I found prices fairly uniform on this kind of stuff, and the SERVICE (prompt telephone call return and email responses, with thoughtful answers instead of cut-and-paste knee-jerk snippets) made me decide OutdoorLegacyGear would be where I'd get them. I would HIGHLY recommend them.

"The Late Night Vision Show" episodes they put out are very informative and down-to-earth - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDmKfK ... PyjbvUawcg

A relative owns a 90 acre riverbottom corn field next door to us, and last night I saw 31 deer at the same time just standing around nibbling at post-harvest stubs or whatever. That makes me wonder how many MORE deer were lurking in the trees and brush. Seems like too many to be healthy for the local ecosystem.

Had the thermal, just mounted on an unloaded 300 Blackout so I could easily shoulder it and look through it. The clarity was amazing - even in daylight, with binoculars, I'd have difficulty at 500 yards knowing a deer from a coyote at first, and I"d say the thermal was as good at or better than that.

Here’s a good review of the Wraith Thermal.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Yjz-YkWoT0

In essence it’s a simple unit that doesn’t waste a bunch of your money with Wi-Fi frills, instead putting the money towards a better image. What you see is awesome, but if you want to make fancy movies, you’d want a different scope, because even when you use the SD card to record videos, the resolution is less than what you actually see you when you’re shooting stuff. again, it makes more sense to me too, save money by skipping them movie-making features.

I know there are tons of 'better' units out there, but I'll be so old by the time I would be able to save that much money I probably would be gazing at the nurse's station in some nursing home instead of looking at deer. Plus if I saved enough money for the high-end stuff everyone says is 'minimum', and spent it on 'gun stuff', my wife would kill me anyway. :o
Last edited by AJMD429 on Wed Feb 21, 2024 10:20 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Wraith Family (thermal and night optics)

Post by 2ndovc »

Thanks for the info, Doc.

They have a few models that are even less expensive. Was going to give one a try.
Trying to decide which carbine I'm going mount it on. Probably start with a .22 so I can shoot it in the yard.

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Re: The Wraith Family (thermal and night optics)

Post by AJMD429 »

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To give an idea of the size of these, this is a photo, including a SIG ‘Romeo and Juliet’ pair of red dot and magnifier, the Sightmark night vision Wraith ‘Max’, and (on the gun) the Wraith Thermal.
IMG_1874.jpeg
As I understand it, the Wraith ‘Mini’ night vision is the same size approximately as the thermal, but doesn’t operate as well at low temperatures. I wasn’t particularly worried about size with the night vision, as I can’t really see using it other than at night when I wouldn’t be hiking or moving around all that much and probably would have it on a pistol cartridge levergun or 22 LR.

On the other hand, thermal is easily used in daylight as well, and that unit doesn’t appear to be bulky or awkward, even on the little 300 blackout SBR.

To me, night vision pretty much looks like you're viewing things in a black and white video. So a camouflaged deer is still as hard to see as it would be with regular vision and a bright flashlight at night. Things are going to be difficult to see if they are not moving, although animal eyes tend to shine. Think of the kind of image you get off of most trail cams. But you see things regardless of temperature, so you will see rocks and things as separate things even if they are the same temperature. You could walk around with night vision and not trip, but night vision does need an illuminator ('flashlight', if you will). You can also see a laser in the scope, so could use one for a sighting aid, OR perhaps more usefully, use a visible-laser rangefinder because you could put the dot on the animal and 'range' it then just shoot accordingly (provided your laser range finder is at least lined up well enough that you can see the dot in the scope's field of view). I think to shoot out past 100 yd with any precision I would need a brighter illuminator, so I'm not sure range/trajectory would be much to worry about other than perhaps using subsonic pistol cartridge ammo out of a lever gun or maybe using a 22 LR.

On the other hand, the thermal is going to show things by temperature so things that are the same temperature are not easily distinguished from one another, but things with a different temperature stand out like crazy. It is truly easy to spot a rabbit at 100 yards even if it's not moving, which would be impossible with night vision. The Wraith thermal has a bunch of different color modes, but to me the best are the ones with the darkest screen so white hot on black cold or light green hot on dark green cold is the easiest on the eyes.

I mentioned all this because when you look at the videos online, most of them really don't show things like you really see them because there is a lot of quality loss in the imaging when you transfer it. The videos that show really good images compared to others, are probably pretty truthful from what I have seen. That's because whoever shot them knew how to do lossless transfer. So I'm not going to try to post any pictures or video because I don't think they would do the scopes justice.

The 'Late Night Vision Show' was very informative, in particular.

In general if I could just have one (but I saved $20/week by always packing lunch and only one snack per week for a little over two years and got both), I'd get the Thermal. I mostly need to see living but not-necessarily-moving things, plus it's kind of cool to be able to look at our various farm buildings and figure out where we're losing most of the heat.

I thought about the AGM Rattler and it seems really good, but the Wraith seems as good, and maybe a bit more compact.

The 'clip-on' Rattler is more expensive (not sure why) than the scope version, but looked interesting. Might try my 'Juliet' magnifier just to see if it does anything useful added to the Wraith Thermal.

I think with the limited range of the night vision, at least the entry level kind I got, versus the super expensive stuff, it makes sense to put that on a pest elimination gun like a 22 LR or perhaps a pistol cartridge levergun. The thermal probably makes sense on a 223 or 300 Blackout or something like that. If you wanted/needed to you could sure SEE a hog or deer or coyote out to 800 yards with the Wraith Thermal, so if you could shoot a flat-trajectory cartridge and/or range accurately, there are lots of possibilities. However without being able to see your laser rangefinding dot in the scope I'm not sure how to 'range' an animal that far away, especially at night (how would you know you aren't actually rangefinding some rock or tree 20 ft off to the side and much closer or farther...?)

It would be kind of nice to have the built-in rangefinder on a thermal like the AGM Varmint, but that starts adding dollars really fast. I did try a visible laser rangefinder with the thermal, but there just isn't enough heat on whatever the laser hits to show up at all at night.

By the way, BOTH the night vision and thermal Wraiths work perfectly fine in the daytime. Magnification is minimal, I think 2X or so, but the clarity and color during the daytime on both of them is really good.

Like with all digital scopes, sighting in is basically a matter of two shots.

(Although if you just get a little laser with the mount that goes around the barrel of your gun, usually using different plastic inserts to get the right diameter, you can pretty much sight in ANY gun with ANY sight or scope in two shots. You just get it on a good rest and put your iron sights or scope cross hairs on the bullseye and pull the trigger. Set the gun back in the rest with the sights again on the bullseye, then adjust the laser till it hits your bullet hole. Verify that you're gun didn't get moved and that the crosshairs or iron sights are still on the bullseye. If so, then all you have to do is now adjust your iron sights or crosshairs so that they are right on the laser dot. At this point you just sighted in your gun with two shots... 8) )
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Last edited by AJMD429 on Sun Feb 04, 2024 9:38 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Wraith Family (thermal and night optics)

Post by cas »

I have a Mini 4k NV model. I want to say I like it, but it has a giant problem. I found out the hard way it doesn't want to turn on once the temps get close to 40 degrees. And the two things I bought it for both take place below, or well below that. In order to use it in the cold, I need to use a remote battery pack and keep it inside my coat. Doable if you're sitting, but not handy.
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Re: The Wraith Family (thermal and night optics)

Post by AJMD429 »

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cas - the Mini 4K model is a nice unit, but the temperature issue swayed me to get the Max instead.

From what the folks at LegacyOutdoorGear.com told me, one workaround you might try is to get an external battery pack. Evidently the big weakness and cold temperatures for the smaller unit is the type of battery just can't crank out the amps needed when cold.

Sight Mark makes a 10,000 milliamp-hour battery pack that mounts on picatinny rail, and ATN makes a 20,000 milliamp-hour one incorporated into a cartridge holding buttstock wrap.

They suggested also slipping a sock or other insulating wrap around the unit. Pretty much the only thing you need to have access to is the top button and you can push it through most wrappings.

I used the 'Max' a bit last night and it was about 25 degrees Fahrenheit. But the Max is bigger and bulkier (about like a medium-large traditional scope) so there is that tradeoff.

I have some somewhat waterproof (used in surgery) packs that hold 8 AA batteries. They are wired to deliver 12 volts but I don't know the voltage the ATN or Sight Mark ones deliver; I'm presuming probably three volts since they are replacing a pair of CR-123 batteries. So a bit of internal work and maybe I would have the mAh of four AAs in parallel. Then replacing the connector with a mini-USB, and either fastening a QD rail mount to the battery unit or slipping it inside the zip-up buttstock ammo-carrier like the ATN unit.
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Re: The Wraith Family (thermal and night optics)

Post by piller »

Sounds as if it is plenty good for your needs.
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Re: The Wraith Family (thermal and night optics)

Post by AJMD429 »

piller wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 9:09 pm Sounds as if it is plenty good for your needs.
LOL - yep - used it last night to find a chicken that kept not going in the coop at night... :D

Saw 30 deer in a 90 acre field, too. (previous nights we've seen 31, then one night 44...!)
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Re: The Wraith Family (thermal and night optics)

Post by AJMD429 »

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Interesting podcast on the three types of 'night vision's:

https://youtu.be/UAeJHAFjwPM?si=0iAz8E-lPxFrOLNT
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Re: The Wraith Family (thermal and night optics)

Post by Rimfire McNutjob »

Thanks. Very informative.
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Re: The Wraith Family (thermal and night optics)

Post by AJMD429 »

Rimfire McNutjob wrote: Mon Feb 19, 2024 3:13 pm Thanks. Very informative.
Yeah, even though my favorite guns are leverguns and big-bore revolvers, I like electronic gagets and LOVE being able to see stuff at night.

The Wraith Thermal is awesome.

If I had the extra bucks I'd have gotten the AGM Varmint Thermal though - it is a big ungainly and larger, but has a built-in laser rangefinder, which would be nice if you needed to actually shoot something at night at a distance or with a cartridge, that needs precise ranging. I doubt a 223 at out to 300 yards would be an issue with most mid/large game or with a ranch defense scenario, but I tend to favor pistol-caliber leverguns for 'Night Scout' purposes, or a 300 Blackout, which would limit range to maybe 100 yards. However for me, that is fine, as I can't forsee a coyote/hog hunting or ranch-defense scenario much past that range anyway.
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