If you haven’t read enough about it by now, there was a plethora of impressive new products at the recent 2018 Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous in Montana. On that list, very near the top, was the Pulsar Trail XP38 Thermal weapon optic.

The Pulsar XP38 is a thermal riflescope with heat detection up to 1,475 yards.

Pulsar Trail XP38 Features

The XP38 is packed with features. Its Stream Vision app connects scope to smart device, which we put to good use in Montana. To go along with it, it has an integrated high definition video and sound recorder. A multi-functional remote control does the obvious. The optic’s onboard video recording is achieved with 8-gb of internal storage and Wi-Fi for wireless video monitoring, streaming and transfers.

The unit runs up to eight hours on the life of the battery, and is adaptable to an external power supply. The internal battery is Li-ion.

Variable magnification of 1.2x-9.6x combined with 2x, 4x and 8x magnification allows for bringing targets up close. Thirteen variable electronic reticles let the user customize the device to their preferred view.

White-hot/black-hot viewing models and a high resolution AMOLED display enhance viewing further. It also incorporates IRIS technology, through increased recognition and detection software. The resolution is 640×480 with a 17um pixel pitch core.

Picture-in-picture digital zoom enhances things further. Three rifle profiles with five zero saves is augmented with one-shot zeroing with freeze function. Adjustment value is 1 MOA.

The unit contains a defective pixel repair feature, and the software package is updatable. Meanwhile, the entire unit is waterproof.

The objective lens diameter is 32mm and eye relief is 50mm. Pulsar’s XP38 has a field of view of 85.6 to 64.5 feet at 100 yards. The unit measures 11.2 x 2.8 x 2.9 inches and weighs 21.2 ounces.

The XP38 comes with a number of accessories, including: Battery pack charging unit; USB cable; remote control with encode; Weaver rail; cleaning cloth; user manual; and carrying case.

Pulsar Trail XP38 Testing

On the second night of the Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous, we gathered after dark to test various night optics, both infrared and thermal.

Mounted on a 5.56mm NATO carbine, the Trail XP38 easily hammered 100-yard steel targets shot after shot.

One of the most impressive features is the Bluetooth sync that allows it to display its viewing screen on a smart phone. It is so precise that I was able to hold the rifle steady with my eyes closed while Athlon’s Editorial Director, Nino Bosaz, gave me voice command adjustments while he stood behind me and watched the video output on a phone.

Once he had me zero in on the target, he told me to “fire.”

We were rewarded with a resounding clang at 100 yards. After recovering from recoil, he repeated the necessary hold adjustments until the target was reacquired. Shot after shot, we teamed up to hammer steel.

We live in an age where technology will only become more sophisticated. The Trail XP38 is a great example of where we’re headed in the firearms world. This is one I plan on testing out a little further next time, say out to 1,4000 yards … and I expect similar results.

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Pulsar Trail XP38 Optical Specs

  • Magnification: 1.2x through 9.6x
  • Digital zoom: 2x; 4x; 8x
  • Objective Lens: F38/1.2
  • Field of View,°, horizontal x vertical: 16.3×12.3
  • Horizontal Field of view (m at 100 m): 28.6
  • Eye Relief: 50mm

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