Hot and trending is the Pulsar Trail 2 LRF.
It won’t be trending just on paper for too long as it’s a scope that will tempt the most demanding hunters and shooters who need the latest technologies in the top thermal scope in the market.
Tech like an 1800-meter detection range, PiP, One Shot Zeroing, integrated 1000-meter laser rangefinder, 4 thermal operating modes, 8 color palettes, and more is why it’s priced so steeply.
Is it worth it?
We can say it is, but since you’re flipping the bill, you tell us…
What We Like: Built-in laser rangefinder
What We Don’t Like: Price
Best Uses: Night Shooting, Day Shooting, Tactical Use, Hunting, Scouting, Varmint Control, Long Range, Rangefinder
- Thermal Resolution: 640x480
- Pixels: 17 microns
- Refresh Rate: 50 Hz
- Display Resolution: 1024x768
- Eye Relief: 50 mm
- Color Modes: 8
- Battery: Li-Ion 8 hrs
- Dimensions: 13.66 x 4.02 x 2.99”/1.76 lbs
Our Verdict: The Pulsar Trail 2 XP50 is a very expensive thermal rifle scope, but aren’t they all? For the money, you’re reining in a heck of a lot of high-performing features with a couple that only Pulsar provides. With their reputation of customer service and state-of-the-art technologies, the Trail 2 LRF is a scope worth buying if you can flip the bill for it.
Who is the Pulsar Trail 2 LRF XP50 Best Suited to?
If you have the budget and the demands to afford the Trail 2 LRF XP50, this is for you. It’s incredibly high-tech, feature-packed, and yet user-friendly.
Only the most adamant of shooters will spend this amount of money on a thermal rifle scope. But when you have a high-performing laser rangefinder, 4 operating modes, 8 color palettes, connectivity, and more in one, lightweight device, it’s a thermal rifle that won’t disappoint – for the price, it better not!
This is one of our favorite coyote hunting thermal scopes and is featured on our best thermal scopes for coyote hunting post.
How Does the Pulsar Trail 2 LRF XP50 Perform?
The Trail 2 LRF XP50 is one of the most extremely effective thermal scopes in the market. It has everything from 2-16x (8x zoom) magnification, a very long 1800-meter detection range (that’s 1968.5 yards!), and WiFi connectivity.
It has the works, but does it perform out in the field?
Well, with all the operating modes, reticle options, and a built-in laser rangefinder, it’s built to perform. The thermal scope uses a NETD 40mk imaging sensor that can provide highly identifiable HD detail in low and high contrast conditions and difficult weather conditions such as fog, cold, and rain.
Waterproof, made from magnesium alloy, and is shock and recoil proof for high calibers with a lot of kick like 12-gauge shot guns, .375 H&H, and 9.3x64, the new thermal rifle scope from Pulsar is a high-end workhorse.
If you like this thermal scope you may also like its sister scope the Pulsar Trail LRF XQ50, its worth taking a look at also.
Features & Benefits
Built-in Laser Rangefinder
When you marry a highly sensitive thermal imaging detector with a fully-functioning laser rangefinder, you have the Trail 2 LRF XP50 as the result. You won’t need to pull out a separate rangefinder as you already have one with the tech built into the rifle scope.
The laser rangefinder has two ranging modes: line of sight distance which Pulsar calls Single Time Measurement and Scanning Mode. Either aim and shoot on a target for a range or scan the field for an update of distances on various targets.
Interestingly and conveniently, you can access the rangefinder settings and take advantage of TPA (Target Position Angle) and THD (True Distance) features to make the most accurate ballistic calculations in the field.
The rangefinder’s max ranging distance is 1000 meters, and it’s accurate up to +/- 1 meter. You can choose between three reticles for the rangefinder.
Full-Color AMOLED Display
Thermal technology is truly shown in all its glory in this rigged-out rifle scope. You have four operating modes that are designed to provide the best image quality for the environmental conditions. You have Forest (for low contrast), Rocks (for high contrast), Identification (for high detailization), and a User mode for the user to set the brightness and contrast parameters.
Furthermore, you have detail enhancement technology known as Image Detail Boost. It cleans up the image so that you don’t have grainy, blurry pixels during use. It can be turned off but is activated as a default setting.
You also have eight color palettes to use within any of the thermal operating modes. They are White Hot, Black Hot, Red Hot, Red Monochrome, Rainbow, Ultramarine, Violet, and Sepia.
It’s also worth mentioning that the Trail 2 XP50 has a Defective Pixel Repair function that corrects for any dead pixels seen on the display to provide optimal image quality. You can also reset and delete any corrections you’ve made.
Sighting-in is easily done with the One Shot and Freeze features. One Shot is self-explanatory with aiming at the bull’s-eye and taking a shot. Enter the Zeroing profile to move the auxiliary cross reticle to lineup with the POI of the shot using the directional buttons. Save the coordinates and you have your correctly aligned reticle. Aim for the bull’s-eye again and you will be on mark.
What’s with the Freeze function? After you take your first shot and enter the Zeroing program, you need to “freeze” the image with the Freeze function. This is so that you don’t have to keep your reticle steady on the bull’s-eye as you make the elevation and windage adjustments to put the auxiliary crosshair on the POI of the first shot.
You can save up to 10 zero distances in each profile! By the way, you can save up to five profiles – that is essentially 50 zeros. Pretty impressive.
Picture-in-Picture mode is a very convenient feature that many shooters quickly become accustomed to. It shows an enlarged image scale at the top center of the display so that you can see what’s going on with the target while you simultaneously keep your eyes on what’s happening in the rest of the field of view.
You can use digital zoom in discrete mode to change the magnification of the magnified window without it changing the main window that shows the rest of the field.
There is no doubt that the price is steep. While you may be able to do without some of the features it offers, can you do without the high-quality build, precise accuracy, and the long detection range?
The Pulsar Trail has long been a favorite alternative to another competing brand, and Pulsar tends to have less firmware and quality issues. With the Trail 2 LRF as a new and hot thermal scope with the works, it makes sense that something this good will be out of our budgets.
If you have deep pockets to pick one of these up, you may be the envy of every hunter and shooter in the field.
Yes. The reticles on the Trail 2 LRF scopes are in the first focal plane as they are scalable reticles. They will increase and decrease in size as magnification/zoom is changed, however subtension will remain the same allowing you to preserve ballistic properties. If you have PiP activated, the reticle will also change within the magnified window.
With the Trail 2’s WiFi connectivity, you can connect to any Android or iOS smartphone or tablet. You can share and upload videos, stream live, perform firmware updates, and more.
The Trail 2 LRF comes with a B-Pack Power Supply that is rechargeable and provides approximately eight hours of operation. You must charge the power pack before use with a USB cable.
You can also operate the Trail 2 with an external 5V power bank as another power source.
You can! You must download the Stream Vision app to have this compatibility. You can stream in real time what your scope is seeing through a device such as a smartphone. You can also record video and take photographs with the scope that is an independent function separate from Stream Vision.
Pulsar warranties the Pulsar Trail 2 LRF for a period of three years from the date of purchase. If you didn’t keep your proof of purchase, the warranty starts from the manufacturing date.
It’s crazy to see how much these features cost when it’s combined with thermal imaging detection technology.
Whether it’s the thermal sensor or the addition of the smart features that drives up the price, neither part is cheap in and of itself. Any combination of features with thermal is going to be expensive.
But you knew that already right?
You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t.
The best thermal scope is rarely the best if it didn’t have the latest high-tech features with a price tag that matches.
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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.