Trijicon IR-Hunter MK3 60mm Thermal Rifle Scope Review


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One way to be disappointed in cheaper optics to justify buying a high-end one is to read all about the more expensive ones first.

Seriously though, once you’ve experienced what real thermal imaging through a rifle scope can look like, it’s hard to go back to cheap buys.

But when cheap buys are a few grand and the great quality thermal scopes are twice that, it’s still hard to pull the trigger when it leaves a significant dent in your bank account.

Surprisingly though, the IRMK3-60 is the most popular buy within the series. 

There must be a thing or two about it that makes it worth spending more!

Quick Overview…

What We Like: ETC & Edge Detect

What We Don’t Like: Price

Best Uses: Night Shooting, Day Shooting, Tactical Use, Hunting, Scouting, Varmint Control, Surveillance

  • Thermal Resolution: 640x480
  • Pixels: 12 microns
  • Refresh Rate: 30 Hz/60 Hz
  • Eye Relief: 1.06”
  • Color Modes: White Hot/Black Hot
  • Battery: 3x CR123/6 hours
  • Dimensions: 7.6 x 3.3 x 3.1”/37 oz
Trijicon IR Hunter Mk3 60mm Thermal Scope
Image Credit - Trijicon

Our Verdict: If you’re a hunter that absolutely must have thermal for unobstructed visibility in either daylight or night conditions, you must have the Trijicon IR-Hunter MK3. It’s no affordable buy, but you get what you pay for - in this case, the best of what Trijicon IR has to offer.

Who is the Trijicon IR-Hunter MK3 60mm Best Suited to?

If the model name wasn’t any indication, the IR-Hunter is best suited to, well, hunters. It’s the ultimate hunting device, not just because it’s thermal, but because you can use it in absolute pitch-black conditions. No daytime scope can provide this type of performance.

With an identification range of 400 yards, no hog, coyote, or skinwalker will get past you. While you may not be taking these kinds of long shots in the dark, at least you have the clarity and sharpness to do so. Close the gap and make your hunt a successful and productive one. This is one of our favorite coyote hunting thermal scopes and a favorite of many others as well.

How Does the Trijicon IR-Hunter MK3 60mm Perform?

We get it – everyone says about a product they love that it’s the most advanced system in the market. However, in this case, it’s absolutely true about the IR-Hunter MK3. If price isn’t indication of that, let us tell you that you get what you pay for and it couldn’t be truer.

The IR-Hunter’s price tag isn’t for everyone, but then again, dropping hogs and coyotes night after night isn’t for everyone either. Trijicon has taken advantage of the best of what the thermal imaging industry can give right now, and this hunting thermal scope has it.

If size is a problem and you want something smaller, I recommend taking a look at the Trijicon Reap-IR 35mm thermal scope. You could also take a look at the great clip-on thermal sight Trijicon has, its the SNIPE-IR 35mm Thermal Sight and is worth taking a look at.

That is to say, it has the highest 640x480 thermal resolution which is the leading-edge tech for thermal optics. It also has a 12-micron sensor pitch which is even better than 17-microns and is the leading-edge tech for thermal optics. It has 8x E-Zoom which maintains image integrity throughout the entire digital electronic magnification range while maintaining your MOA accuracy – is it leading-edge tech for thermal optics? We’d say so.

Long story short… it performs – impressively so.

Features & Benefits

Trijicon IR Hunter MK3 60mm Thermal Rifle Scope
Image Credit - Trijicon

ETR & Edge Detect

Enhanced Target Recognition. This is an incredibly helpful feature when low-contrast conditions tend to washout the image quality. Activate ETR and you’ll have an enhanced picture to boost contrast to see and hunt more.

Another feature that should be advertised but is not is the Edge Detect Mode. Once you’ve experienced Edge Detect, there’s no going back. This feature tones down the overall brightness of the display so your location won’t be compromised, night blindness is minimized, and fatigue is reduced. Obviously, it also outlines the edge of the target, so your eyes have an easier time staying focused.

Good Build Quality

For a thermal that will see several, possibly several thousands, of rounds in its lifetime, it’s got to hold up. The IR is made from 6061-T6 aluminum and is military approved. How do you know? It’s been MIL-STD-810G rated which means it’s been through quite the number of harsh tests to determine that it’s strong, rugged, and recoil-proof. Just shoot some high-caliber rounds with it – the proof is in the pudding.

Furthermore, the small details like tethered dustcovers, LaRue dual lever mount, and dust caps are all features that adds to the feeling that there are no loose ends. At this price point, everything is high-end.

Versatile Features

It wouldn’t stand out as a hunting scope if it didn’t have some variable magnification. The MK3 has 8x digital zoom with 4.5x power as the base magnification. That’s a whopping 36x digital magnification to take advantage of. Be careful here as you could close the gap between you and the hog before realizing how close you actually are.

It also has dual refresh rates. It’s best to operate at 60 Hz to ensure zero lag especially when you have fleeing targets in the distance. But you can also conserve battery life by switching into 30 Hz which is perfectly acceptable for most hunting situations. And, you’ll be able to squeeze out a little more battery life to reach the 6 hours its capable of providing. Some rechargeable batteries or a battery pack may be in order here.

The Trijicon thermal scope also has a stadiametric rangefinder that can come in handy when a target size is known. Set the range parameters of the target and let this feature give you a distance. The rangefinder reticle will also change to encompass and outline the target.

User-Friendly & Simple

IR Hunter Mk3 60mm Thermal Scope
Image Credit - Trijicon

Don’t get this wrong – just because the IR Hunter has an intuitive interface and does away with the distractions of additional features that are really just annoyances, it doesn’t mean it’s not high-tech and complex.

The whole idea is to bring forefront technology into a practical and usable platform for a hunter to use without unnecessary fussing and fiddling. Shooters who need thermal tech don’t have time to mess around with finding buttons, setting video and streaming recordings, or even dialing through multiple color palettes that don’t get used anyway.

The turret dial on the left is the main control interface to navigate your way through the menu. The turret on the top takes control for the next set of setting parameters. The turret on the right makes further adjustments.

One confusing thing that might get you caught up is the windage and elevation turrets are reversed for zeroing. Check your Quick Reference Guide – it’ll help you out.

Limitations

Price

There’s already been enough said about its high price point. If you understand that Trijicon is a brand that specializes in night vision and thermal imaging in weapon sights for everyone from the civilian market to LE and the military, you’ll know their products are worth their salt.

If you still grunt at the cost, go with an alternative. No one will judge you for it until you can’t see through all the dead pixels and you miss your shot…

Popular Questions

What Accessories are Included with the Trijicon IR Hunter Thermal Sight?

The IR-Hunter MK3 thermal rifle scope comes with a quick-release dual levered mount, shuttered eye guard, and a hard case. It also comes with the necessary paperwork that includes the user manual, Quick Reference Guide, Trijicon logo sticker, and warranty card. Additional accessories include a Lenspen, first set of batteries, and download card with the cable.

What Accessories are Included with the Trijicon IR Hunter Thermal Sight?

The IR-Hunter MK3 thermal rifle scope comes with a quick-release dual levered mount, shuttered eye guard, and a hard case. It also comes with the necessary paperwork that includes the user manual, Quick Reference Guide, Trijicon logo sticker, and warranty card. Additional accessories include a Lenspen, first set of batteries, and download card with the cable.

What is the Detection Range of the IR-Hunter MK3 60mm?

The larger 60mm lens and GASIR thermal optics is a huge benefit here as you can acquire detection distances on human-sized targets over 1200 yards away. The identification range is impressive at 400 yards.

Can the IR-Hunter be Mounted to a Helmet or Head Gear?

The IR-Hunter thermal rifle scope is not compatible for use with head/helmet gear.

Where is the Trijicon IR Hunter MK3 60mm Made?

All thermal scopes within the IR Series are all made in the USA. In fact, all Trijicon products save for select riflescopes made in Japan are all manufactured in the USA. They are designed, engineered, manufactured, and assembled in the many facilities owned by Trijicon in the US.

What is the Warranty on the Trijicon IR-Hunter MK3?

The IR-series of thermal scopes from Trijicon are covered with a non-transferable warranty for the lifetime of ownership only on the optics and metal housing. The electronics are only covered under the warranty for the first three years from the date of purchase.

You must be sure to register your IR scope with Trijicon to take advantage of warranty repairs or replacements. You can also authenticate your newly purchased IR-Hunter on their website.

Conclusion

Long-range, military-tested, high-performance – all descriptions of the IR Hunter MK3 60mm thermal scope.

Sure, Trijicon is more expensive than most other competing brands in the civilian market, but the best usually is.

See the theme? You get what you pay for – the absolute best.

Further Reading

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