Thermal imaging optics have been a staple of special forces and operators for quite some time, and now the residual effect is quality thermal and night imaging now hitting the civilian market.

    Contrary to alarmist claims, there are legitimate applications for thermal imagery in the private sporting market. Optics heavyweight Leupold has answered the call with the LTO Tracker, a 1-6 power thermal imaging monocular.

    Leupold LTO Tracker Termal Viewer Black 172830

    Is It Worth Your Money?

    LEUPOLD LTO-TRACKER

    • I think that the best application of this unit is in detecting larger game in the bush, and tracking blood trails
    • It is a very compact unit which seems to have an awful lot to offer if the end user understands its limitations and uses it within the parameters of the unit
    • The most common negative comments which I found were regarding the realistic usable range versus the advertised range. Customers continue to say that 100-200 yards is the most you can expect to get out of it
    • This is not a weapon sight! Strangely enough, though, it is equipped with reticles even though Leupold very clearly states that it is not to be mounted to a firearm
    • The best you can expect to get out of this unit is as an aid. Picture clarity is a common complaint, which is not surprising with a resolution of 240x204
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      A number of users complained that it struggled to pick up even large animals in the open, although other users stated the opposite. The truth probably lies somewhere in between and depends a lot on the user

    It is time for me to opine on this model. I am strangely kind of un-opinionated on this product. As a landowner, it does pique my interest to some extent, but honestly, if I had around $700 in discretionary spending to throw at a rifle optic, I think I would throw it at the Leupold Carbine Optic instead. It just seems to be too limited in terms of range, and the reviews are mixed regarding how well it picks up heat signatures.

    Now, if I were a hunter, my tune would be a lot different. I can certainly see where this product would be immensely valuable in not losing game. The verdict seems conclusive that it is well-suited for short distance work like following blood trails and finding recently killed game.


     

    Scope Review and Breakdown

    • Features
    • Specifications
    • Ease of Use and Reliability
    • Battery Life
    • COST

    This unit is absolutely not to be used on a firearm, and it will void the warranty. That being said, it is a solid little monocular which provides a lot of capability into a really small package. It has adjustable power settings from 1x – 6x.

    The cool thing is that it has two zoom settings: it is equipped with smooth zoom, and also has incremental zoom which stairsteps up from 1x to 6x.

    It is rated out to 600 yards, although reviews indicate that this distance is not very realistic. The magnification is not so much an actual zoom magnification but is instead a magnification of the resolution on the screen.

    The display resolution is 240×204, which is apparently not going to win any awards but that is hardly the point of this device. For tracking a blood trail through thick undergrowth in the Appalachians, or picking up blood trail from an antelope in western Kansas in those vast open landscapes (it does have a unique beauty).


    Who is this scope for?

    Type of Shooter

    Type of Gun


    Our Opinion

    LEUPOLD LTO-TRACKER

    Leupold LTO Tracker Termal Viewer Black 172830

    It is time for me to opine on this model. I am strangely kind of un-opinionated on this product. As a landowner, it does pique my interest to some extent, but honestly, if I had around $700 in discretionary spending to throw at a rifle optic, I think I would throw it at the Leupold Carbine Optic instead. It just seems to be too limited in terms of range, and the reviews are mixed regarding how well it picks up heat signatures.

    Now, if I were a hunter, my tune would be a lot different. I can certainly see where this product would be immensely valuable in not losing game. The verdict seems conclusive that it is well-suited for short distance work like following blood trails and finding recently killed game.

    Other Options Worth Looking At

    The first that comes to mind is the FLIR Scout TK. The reviews are great, the price point is even a little lower (sub-$600), but there is a downside: the battery is integral and not easily acquired, or priced. You can go to Lowes and pick up a whole slab of CR123s to feed this product for not a whole lot.

    If you want to go with night vision which is intended to be mounted to a rifle, the American Technologies Network (ATN) X-SIGHT II may be a viable option. For a price-point of less than the tracker, the X-SIGHT II is impressive. It has too much to list here, to be honest. You do not get the thermal imaging component, but the rest of the scope more than makes up for it.