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Thread: Zeroing a Pulsar Apex Thermal Riflescope - Best Target?

  1. #1
    SD Regular Mr. Gain's Avatar
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    Zeroing a Pulsar Apex Thermal Riflescope - Best Target?

    As per the title.

    I've got a Pulsar Apex XD50 thermal riflescope to use for a while -- and am racking what little brain I seem to have left to devise a good zeroing target.

    Black shoot-n-see roundels on a white backer seemed like a good idea, but only as long as the sun was on the target face: as soon as the sun went in the heat differential -and the roundels- disappeared.

    So I really want something that (1) holds its thermal signature independent of its surroundings, (2) is large enough to see at 100m (3) is small enough to allow a precise point of aim, (4) bears a sufficiently constant relation to a backer so that misses can be seen and corrected for easily and accurately, (5) is readily available, (6) is easily portable, and (7, 8 9 & 10) is cheap!

    At the moment I'm thinking of filling some old 12g cartridges with water, freezing them, taking them into the field in a Thermos, and poking them into pre-prepared holes in a cardboard backer...

    But then I have been at the whiskey!

    As ever, all helpful suggestions will be much appreciated, and I await the wisdom and wit of the SD with eager anticipation!
    Last edited by Mr. Gain; 24-05-2015 at 08:06.
    "Docendo discimus" - Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC – 65 AD)
    “Comodidad, tranquilidad y buena alimentacion” - A Spanish recipe for contentment that oddly omits hunting.
    "I'm off to spend some time at the top of the food chain..." - (after) Tulloch
    "Oh [dear], they probably heard that in the village!" - RickoShay

  2. #2
    A 3" round disk of tin foil

  3. #3
    Heat up some metal drawing pins, probably kept in pocket heat would do

  4. #4
    Bake bean lid tacked to target , heat up with blow torch

  5. #5
    Ive found its best to pick a sunny day with a 150 mm black Birchwood Casey deer target. Sighting in thermals for the average Joe can be a pita.
    Blaser K95 Stutzen - the ultimate deer stalking rifle

  6. #6
    Don't know about 100m in the summer, but maybe disposable chemical hand warmers would be of use in some situations?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by jthyttin View Post
    Don't know about 100m in the summer, but maybe disposable chemical hand warmers would be of use in some situations?
    As above just use a hand warmer patch stuck on with tape.

  8. #8
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    Thermals are very sensitive to heat changes - anything using direct heat will give a heat signal that is not actually very useful/precise. I tend to start with a coke can with some tepid water in it with a larger white paper background at 30-50m. Get it in the vicinity and then move back to the main distance. Once I can hit the coke can, I use the brass end of a (spent!) shotgun cartridge pushed into the paper for the final true up.

    HTH
    Nooooooooooooobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!! Our main weapon is.........

  9. #9
    a lit cigar or cigarette will show up on the thermal at 100 yards in the dark.
    • Do not be seduced by the marketing-men....

  10. #10
    SD Regular Mr. Gain's Avatar
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    Thankyou for the suggestions, gentlemen!


    • I hope to pick up some heat patches this P.M.
    • Cigarettes/Cigars sound great. I'm a non-smoker myself, but as I understand that one doesn't (yet) need to present a licence to buy, that's certainly viable, and I'm not likely to hit enough of them at 100m (see user name) to make it expensive! My better half may even have some incense sticks tucked away that would work as well.
    • I've used spent shotgun cases already, and got fair results with at 25m but they were only any use whilst warmed by the sun.
    • Metal targets of other types (drawing pins, bottle tops, tin lids, etc.) warmed in a fist, pocket, etc. are likewise fine at first, but quickly radiate away their heat, so by the time you're back from the target they're already cooling, and once you've shot a group and are trying to adjust the cross-hairs they've usually faded to match the background grey. It's really frustrating to see them disappearing before your eyes as you hurry to shoot the next group.
    • I did use some small plastic bottles filled with hot water from a Thermos too. These were readily visible, but didn't allow me to adjust zero accurately since I wasn't able to set them close to the backer. I now plan to cut some holes in a sheet of ply that I can insert the necks of the bottles into, so that they present their bases as round targets.


    I should add that I've already shot 3 foxes with the Apex, but these shots -all under 50m- have been based on a 50m zero that was OK but by no means precise enough for me to feel it could be reliably extrapolated much beyond that range, even though the combined cross-hair/target image looks good enough for 125m shots. I want the inherent limitations of the image provided by the sight to set my range boundaries, not the reliability of my zero!
    "Docendo discimus" - Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC – 65 AD)
    “Comodidad, tranquilidad y buena alimentacion” - A Spanish recipe for contentment that oddly omits hunting.
    "I'm off to spend some time at the top of the food chain..." - (after) Tulloch
    "Oh [dear], they probably heard that in the village!" - RickoShay

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