ATN has been busy pumping out upgraded and new optics to the civilian market, but one in particular is their hot new thermal clip-on.
The TICO LT is stripped down without the bells and whistles that often makes thermal scopes tedious and difficult to use while out in the field.
Say goodbye to time-consuming features that don’t often get used and say hello to a high-functioning clip-on with the exact features that you actually need in a thermal.
Our future prediction about the ATN thermal clip-on?
It won’t be long until it’s seen as one of the top quality thermal scopes you can buy for both affordability and performance!
What We Like: Price
What We Don’t Like: Weather resistant
Best Uses: Night Shooting, Day Shooting, Tactical Use, Hunting, Scouting, Varmint Control, Surveillance
- Thermal Resolution: 320x240
- Pixels: 12 microns
- Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
- Eye Relief: 19 mm
- Color Modes: White Hot/Black Hot
- Battery: 8+ hours
- Dimensions: 5.9 x 2.9 x 2.5”/1.2 lb
Our Verdict: The TICO LT is a new thermal scope that is a true clip-on in every sense. It has quality, a low price point, and new features that makes it a winner. This is a thermal scope worth buying if you’re on a budget, need a clip-on, or just because.
Who is the ATN TICO LT 320 35mm Best Suited to?
For the price – everyone! The TICO LT 320x240 35mm thermal is an affordable clip-on, and every model in the series is priced under $3000.
It’s excellent for hunting, surveillance, tactical use, and search and rescue and is a very popular coyote hunting thermal scope.
But why a clip-on?
You can turn any day scope into thermal. Use your day scope’s zero, reticle, and magnification and just add thermal vision with the TICO LT.
If you can only afford one thermal scope but you need to have it with various weapon systems, get a clip-on. Does this sound like you?
How Does the ATN TICO LT 320 35mm Perform?
There are plenty of shooters that like the souped-up bells and whistles of digital optics that usually comes hand in hand with thermal technology. However, the TICO LT takes another route with simplicity and affordability in mind. This is what makes it an exceptional and solid-performing thermal scope at its core.
It’s incredibly small and lightweight and is designed to mount directly to the front end of your day scope. The special adapter mount is included with the thermal and dismount and remount couldn’t be easier – honestly.
With a proven, high-performance thermal core and sensor, the imaging quality is exactly what you would expect it to be – crisp, sharp, bright, and clear.
Features & Benefits
It’s hard to imagine that you can find an extremely clean, lightweight, and truly effective thermal clip-on for the price the TICO LT is going for. ATN has brought some real competition to the thermal game by offering the TICO LT series at under $3000.
Although this model has 320x240 resolution, it’s not a drawback. It’s still really, really good thermal with a 12-micron sensor and 60 Hz refresh rate. For the price, the average Joe can afford this. Heck, it’s worth it to buy another as a backup or as a gift just for the price - you’d definitely earn the best bud of the year award.
This clip-on doesn’t have no mediocre thermal core just because it’s smaller and less expensive. It has ATN’s Obsidian Core LT that is also in their new Thor LT 320 thermal scopes.
The TICO LT has 320x240 resolution 12-micron sensor with a 60 Hz refresh rate – top of the line seeing as there is no 640x480 TICO LT that is being made by the company. The thermal quality is top-notch, and for the price, it’s going to be extremely tough to beat if it can be beat at all.
It offers both White Hot and Black Hot palettes – who needs more when these are all you need? You can adjust both contrast and brightness through the interface and zoom when the conditions call for it.
As a true clip-on, you can use it with any daytime scope. You don’t need to zero the scope at all since you’re using your day scope for that. All it takes is collimation of the thermal reticle to the day scope reticle. This is comparable to the No Shot Zero of other competing clip-on thermals from alternative brands.
You will likely need to adjust if you’re consistently dismounting and remounting or moving it to another weapon system in order to maintain boresight with the day scope. Although it may not need it if you’re using the same weapon all the time, it’s better to do it than be sorry. POI shift should be under 1 MOA if it happens at all.
Clip-On & Mounting
As a clip-on, the whole idea is to make the mounting process a breeze. This design concept remains true with its versatile mounting build. The TICO essentially mounts directly to the objective lens bell of the day scope and can do so without issue because it’s extremely lightweight at 1.2 lbs.
What makes this happen is the adapter that is included with the clip-on. It’s a single-lever quick detach-type ring mount that makes for incredibly fast and easy mounting. So fast that ATN claims it’s under two seconds. After the initial assembly of the special tube-like mount, dismount and remount is literally that quick. The adapter fits 45.5-50 mm objective lenses. To get a different size adapter, you’ll need to purchase it separately.
You can also purchase a separate mount that attaches to the long rail of the upper receiver to mount the TICO LT that way too. Why get one? Keep the adapter on one weapon system and use the AD-170 QD mount on another – just an idea. Versatile, right?
While there are other thermal scopes that can provide extreme clarity and sharpness at extended ranges, the small and otherwise unassuming TICO LT is pretty impressive.
The 320 35mm thermal provides positive detection on targets at a max of 1510 m with a recognition range at 680 m. You will be able to identify that target at 340 m.
With its specs, this makes for an excellent hunting and surveillance thermal scope. It will more than do for hunters who are shooting within 400 yards – day or night.
This isn’t really a ding but still something to take note of. The TICO LT is not waterproof – only weather resistant. To protect the electrical components, you won’t want more than a drizzle to adorn the thermal. To date, none of the thermal optics offered by ATN are waterproof as they are all water resistant.
In most cases though, whether or not you have waterproof optics, it’s the hardships of inclement weather that makes things difficult to see and shoot accurately. For example, while wind will not affect your optic, it will affect the accuracy of your POI. While rain may be fine, it’s poor vision and discomfort that makes it difficult.
The ATN TICO LT has an internal lithium-ion battery that provides 8+ hours of operation. A USB charging cable is included in the package to recharge the thermal clip-on.
The TICO LT 35 mm thermal clip-on comes with the Adapter 1 ring mount, light suppressor, soft carry case, USB cable, and lens tissue.
The TICO LT 35mm clip-on offers 1-2x magnification. However, you will likely be using your day scope’s magnification to change power.
If you’re considering using the TICO LT as a standalone thermal scope for dedicated use without a day scope, you’ll need to think again. The thermal clip-on offers 19mm eye relief which is not sufficient or safe to use on a weapon system.
If you mount the clip-on far forward, you will be out of the eye-box range to take advantage of the entire FOV to adequately see and make accurate shots.
For handheld use, the eye relief is considered medium to long and is even forgiving enough for those who wear glasses.
The TICO LT thermal clip-on is covered by a 3-year warranty by ATN. Because ATN only offers a 10-day window for returns or refunds, you should consider an authorized dealer for buying the clip-on that offers a longer or better return or refund window.
Clip-ons should be easy to use, easy to mount, and must not affect the zero of the day scope. ATN checks off this list with their new and upgraded TICO LT.
We love that it’s stripped down so that you can judge the new TICO only for its foundational quality and performance. With no bells and whistles muddying the waters of its integral functions, this thermal clip-on is true to its design – to turn your day scope into thermal vision when the need arises.
At a price point that will be difficult to beat, the ATN thermal clip-on is a value buy.
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Simon is an avid outdoor enthusiast and the owner of Target Tamers. He is passionate about bringing you the most up to date, accurate & understandable information on sports optics of all kinds and for all applications. When not glassing the local wildlife, you can find him in the garden with his German Shepherd.