Despite its premium price tag, the ATN Thor HD 384 Thermal Scope is still among the best options out there if you want to go all-in on a night vision scope. It comes from a brand that has specialized in making these kinds of optics and features a thermal sensor instead of a light one that is generally found in cheaper models. For the price you are going to pay there shouldn’t be any downsides. This is exactly what I am about to go through in this full review. Is it as great as it looks on paper? Or is it just another overpriced scope relying on its brand name? We are about to find out!
The Thord HD384 is absolutely crammed with premium features resulting in a scope that can literally do everything. It is perfect for long-range shots, it records in full HD and has a thermal sensor that can pick up a target at night at more than 1000 yards. What’s more, is that you are getting a mile-long list of extra features that take your experience to the next level. Among those are the smart range finder, ballistic calculator, GPS with geotagging and elevation, Bluetooth 4.1, streaming capabilities, multiple reticles to choose from, and much more. All that packed into a single scope is surely going to amount for a price tag similar to one of a small car but for hunters that want the best of the best, it won’t get much better than this.
Find out more about these kinds of scopes at my Guide on some of the best night vision scopes on today’s market! Now, let’s check out some of the most important features of this scope now and see what makes it stand out from the rest of its competitors.
Right off the bat, I want to say that we can fully ignore the night vision aspect of the Thor HD 384 and it will still be one of the best scopes out there. As good as it is for dim conditions, it is just as good for daytime hunting.
The Thor line from ATN is vastly popular not only because it just has some great models but because it has a scope for everyone’s needs. Whether you want a close-range one or one that can give you a clear image at 700 yards, ATN has got you covered. The current model I am reviewing is the 9-36x one which isn’t very practical for close-range hunting but truly excels at long-distance shots.
Starting at 9x, this scope’s intentions are more than clear right from the get-go. It is meant for shots at more than 100 yards. The 36x magnification is digitally and optically combined resulting in an HD picture of targets as far as two thousand yards.
ATN take pride that this model has the ability to:
- Detect a target at 2000 yards
- Allow target recognition at 1000 yards
- Allow target identification at 500 yards
The 384×288 thermal sensor inside works by detecting heat signatures instead of light. That allows it to work better in any type of weather conditions and any level of brightness.
The objective lens is a 100mm one, making it the biggest I’ve reviewed on my site. The size helps in day time conditions by allowing in as much light as possible and making your image vivid, bright, and crystal clear.
The Thor HD 384 uses an obsidian core which is a computer which is specialized in gathering information from a big number of sensors. It does a billion cycles per second and is pretty much the fastest chip you can get for any type of technology today.
That computer is directly responsible for the fast UI, razor-sharp HD image, trajectory calculating, and video recording capabilities of the scope. It also allows for the thermal sensor input to be processed and shown to you in 30fps. That is a very good frame rate, although some scopes such as the Pulsar Trail XP50 Thermal Scope have a much higher refresh rate at 50fps (50Hz).
The UI itself is designed to be very easy to use but at the same time offers a ton of adjustability. There is a profile manager that will allow you to save all your ballistics information (as well as the zero-in data) for the weapon you are using your scope with. Later on, if you swap weapons, you can just toggle between profiles in the UI and your information will be there.
If you want to learn about other types of night vision scopes and the different generations behind their technology, head over to my full article on the topic!
This scope recording resolution is 1280×960 (@30 fps). This is HD but not full HD for everyone that is taking notes. The videos coming out of the “Thor” are more than good enough and resolution isn’t the determining factor of their quality – the sensor pixel density is.
Videos can be either manually initiated or you can use the patented Recoil Activated Video system (RAV) of ATN. They’ve pioneered this technology and even though some other brands use it as well, it doesn’t get close to the accuracy of this one. If you set your scope to RAV it will automatically save the 10 seconds leading up to your shot which activated the system. Afterwards, you can wait for as much as you like and the recording will still go on in the background. That way you don’t have to worry about pressing a record button every time you aim at your target.
You can either download the videos via the micro SD card or micro USB, stream them via the HDMI cable, Bluetooth 4.1 or the wi-fi connection.
The microdisplay inside the scope has great color accuracy and is sharp enough for your eye to see everything important. The eye relief of 65mm (2.5 inches) is good enough even for more powerful rifles, although the scope is best rated for the 223 Remington.
The layout of the whole UI is fairly simple and allows you to work your way through the menus with ease. On your main screen, you will see the connectivity hub in your top right corner along with the battery life, the wind speed in the bottom right, corrections in the bottom left, distance to target at the top left, and magnification right below the battery life in the top right corner.
Materials & Durability
In terms of durability, this scope is just okay. It won’t dazzle you with a rock-solid body, nor will it disappoint you with a weak construction. There are no moving parts that feel cheap, nothing wiggles, and the buttons on top feel sturdy and tactile. As a whole, it is ideal for coyote night hunting, no matter the conditions.
It has an IP rating (65) of being weather resistant. It can withstand water up to 3 ft for half an hour and is dustproof thanks to its sealed body. It can also fairly shock resistant. Still, if something happens to it, there is a 3-year full warranty to cover you.
Surprisingly enough, the battery life on this scope can last you up to 8 hours, which is more than twice what a normal night vision scope would do. That is if you are using Lithium-ion batteries, of course. ATN recommends using 1.5V Li-ion ones and there are a total of 4 AA batteries inside. You can either bring an extra few batteries or buy the additional ATN Power Weapon Kit. It is a 20,000 mAh battery with a USB to micro USB cable, and a buttstock pouch for you to attach it to your rifle. With it, your scope can last a full day of usage.
The abundance of additional features has to be one of the strongest selling points of the Thor HD 384. I won’t go through all of them but I wanted to show you that ATN means business with this scope by giving you the full list:
- Picatinny quick-release mount
- Smart range finder
- 3D magnetometer
- 3D accelerometer
- 3D gyroscope
- GPS with geotagging and elevation capabilities
- Bluetooth 4.1
- Option to stream via wi-fi
- Micro HDMI and Micro USB
- Micro SD card slot
- Multiple reticle types
The magnetometer, accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, and GPS are all there to provide you with an accurate reading of your environment. They all help the smart range finder carefully measure the distance between your rifle and your target. The other part of the features list is more tech-oriented. The newest Bluetooth connection capabilities, wi-fi, micro USB and HDMI ports are all meant to aid with streaming and transferring of data. The SD card slot can fit a maximum of 64GB which is more than good enough to store days worth of videos and kill shot compilations.
All these features eliminate the need for extra purchases and additional money spent on gear. For instance, instead of spending a few hundred bucks for a ballistics calculator and/or a rangefinder, you get them right inside your scope and they work just as good.
The only thing that is slightly disappointing is the microphone inside but I might give it a pass since sound isn’t the most important part of the video when it comes to hitting a 500 yard shot in the night.
Lastly, the reticles here are more than just customizable. You can literally change them in any way shape, form, or color. There are tons of reticle types embedded in the software that you can choose from and what’s great is that you can get more in the future when updating your scope UI version.
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Huge magnification range
- Ultra-fast processor
- Smart UI with tons of adjustability
- Packed with extra features
- Multiple reticle types to choose from
- Not too heavy
- Has a relatively long battery life
- Ergonomic design
- Durable construction
- Very expensive
- Video recording resolution isn’t full HD
- Audio recording isn’t perfect
Conclusion & Rating
In conclusion, I can only say that models like the ATN Thor HD 384 Thermal Scope set the standard for the industry and really pave the way for future generations of night vision scopes. No other scope on the market is so feature-rich and the ones that compete with ATN’s Thor line of scopes are usually much more expensive. What the company has done here is nothing short of amazing and is worth my praise. Still, I have to acknowledge that the steep price is a reason enough for most hunters to not consider this over some other budget options and the fact that it doesn’t record in full HD is somewhat disappointing from such a premium device. Nevertheless, this is as close as it will get to a complete package when it comes to multi-purpose scopes.