Optics, in one form or another, have been around for a few centuries. Scientists and astronomers first used such devices to study objects up close and look at the stars. Since those days, technology has exploded to what we have today; telescopes that can see other galaxies and the smallest electron.

We also have scopes, binoculars and monoculars that provide crystal-clear viewing for both hunting and tactical situations. Most recently, thermal technology has jumped onto the scene with scopes such as the FLIR Scion.

Available in two models — Professional Thermal Monocular and Outdoor Thermal Monocular — these scopes provide six different thermal palettes for assigning color and shading to image pixels based on heat. These palettes provide control over vision for the circumstances, whether scanning for intruders or game, and even search and rescue. The palettes choices include the standard White Hot, but also comes with five additional settings. These includes Black Hot, Ironbow, Lava, Rainbow and Graded Fire. Each provides different looks for specific scenarios, whether urban or rural.

Rainbow helps users pinpoint objects in area with minimal heat differences, while Graded Fire puts bursts of color to the warmest areas in gray-scale images. Both great help users quickly find people when absolutely necessary.

PTM & OTM Features

While the thermal palettes might be the most interesting feature, these monoculars also come with the ability to take pictures and record video, both of which are geotagged. In fact, the PTM can even stream live footage of pursuits and rescue searches. Both also have internal storage and micro SD slots for later playback.

Additional features include picture-in-picture zoom, as well as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for simple file transfers. The size and weight make both easy to pack so the unit is always available for use, especially with up to 4.5 hours of battery life. Also, the controls are easy to use, allowing users to quickly change between palettes and functions.

“The FLIR Scion is FLIR’s most feature rich commercial thermal handheld monocular available, bringing a new level of technology to public safety agencies,” said Jim Cannon, President and CEO for FLIR Systems. “Additionally, the Scion PTM’s integration with FLIR TruWITNESS makes this an invaluable tool that will help provide public safety professionals with more information for real-time decision making in the field.”

FLIR Scion PTM & OTM Specs

  • Eye Relief: 16mm
  • Size: 9 x 3 x 2.4 inches
  • Optical Magnification: .7X (PTM); 1.5X (OTM)
  • Core Technology: BOSON 12 µm Vox Microbolometer
  • Digital Zoom: 1X/2X4X/8X (PTM); 1X/2X/4X (OTM)
  • Field of View: 32 x 24 degrees (PTM); 16 x 12 degrees (OTM)
  • Focus: Infinity
  • Weight: 452 grams
  • Battery: 6x CR123A 3V Lithium Battery
  • Battery Life: Up to 4.5 hours
  • Display: Quad-VGA (1280×960) High definition
  • Temperature Imaging Modes: White Hot; Black Hot; Iron Bow; Rainbow; Graded Fire; Lava
  • MSRP: OTM starts at $2,495; PTM starts at $3,295

For more information about the FLIR Scion Thermal monoculars, please visit

Up Next

Ruger Goes Patriotic With New Ruger Flag Series of Firearms

Just in time for Independence Day, the new Ruger Flag Series, featuring a patriotic...