Pulsar Core RXQ30V vs ATN Thor 4 and LT: Which Thermal Rifle Scope to Buy?

Pulsar Core RXQ30V vs ATN THOR LTPulsar and American Technologies Network are two leading thermal imaging product manufacturers, with their thermal scopes are particularly popular in hunting world.

While Pulsar Core RXQ30V has been a highly popular budget friendly thermal rifle scope in the past few years –

many people would like to know how does it compared to other (newer) options like ATN Thor 4 and ATN Thor LT.

Let’s jump right in:

Pulsar Core RXQ30V Thermal Rifle Scope Overview

Pulsar Core RXQ30V features uncooled micro-bolometric thermal sensor with 384×288 resolution, and 17 µm pixel size.

It has 50Hz frame rate, which refers to the frequency of image creation and refresh by infrared detector. The 50Hz frame rate here does so 50 times per second, which is better than the 30Hz specification of many mid-range thermal scopes – because higher refresh rate gives smoother motion transition and better visual experience.

Pulsar RXQ30V features a base 1.6x magnification, with adjustable magnification up to 6.4x. Stepped digital zoom of 2x and 4x are available.

Watch this video and find out what the experts say:

As mentioned in the video, Pulsar Core RXQ30V is a basic thermal riflescope without bells and whistles.

While it does NOT have advanced features like built-in video recording and Wi-fi, this thermal scope has the ability to detect a man size target from 900m (985 yards) away.

It combines such detection capability with picture in picture feature that allows you to keep an eye on the field and zoom in on your target point.

HansETX shares more insights about this thermal rifle scope in this video:

This exceptional budget friendly thermal riflescope is equipped with 640×480 AMOLED display, allowing black hot or white hot viewing modes to display the thermal images.
Check out user feedback on Pulsar Core RXQ30V >> here to see what they say
Besides, Pulsar Core RXQ30V also offers one-shot zeroing with freeze function, alongside 3 rifle profiles with 3 zero saves.

The thermal technology used in this riflescope allows you to see things that you can’t see with your naked eye. It broadens your horizon by aiding you in detecting and locating your target hiding behind the obstacles such as bushes and trees.

It does not need an external light source to function, which is why it is not affected by the bright light exposure. This means that you can use the Pulsar Core RXQ30V both at night and during the day.
Pulsar RXQ30V uses a green sapphire tint to display the picture. The color green is easier on the eyes and allows you to focus more on the target without facing any kind of eye fatigue.

The video below demonstrate more examples on what users see through Pulsar Core RXQ30V at various distance range, using different modes like white hot and black hot.

Since this thermal scope does not have video recording function, the video footages below were captured using separate recording camera/tool. The actual image that you can see on the Pulsar RXQ30V thermal rifle scope itself is definitely much better than the following:

The box of the Pulsar Core RXQ30V contains a carrying case, torque screwdriver, 2 x CR123A batteries that can be recharged with the help of the power external cable, hand strap to hold the riflescope, wireless remote control, cleaning cloth and a user manual to help you with the functions of the riflescope.
While Pulsar Core RXQ30V was widely known as the best least expensive thermal rifle scope when it was launched, the prices of thermal imaging products have been gradually going down over the years, and more thermal scope models like the ATN ThOR 4 / LT were introduced as alternatives.

Pulsar Core RXQ30V vs ATN ThOR 4 and ThOR LT

We’ve covered the differences of various ATN ThOR thermal scopes in this >> post.

In short:

  • ATN ThOR 4 features 17 µm Gen 4 thermal sensor at 60Hz frame rate. The sensor resolution of ATN ThOR 4 640 is 640×480, whilst ATN ThOR 4 384 comes with 384×288 resolution. Both models offer four magnification options respectively, so there are a total of 8 different ATN ThOR 4 variants to choose from.
  • ATN ThOR LT offers different thermal sensor configurations; ATN ThOR LT 320 features 12-micron 320×240 sensor and available in 3 magnifications, whilst ATN ThOR LT 160 features 17-micron 160×120 sensor and available in 2 magnifications. So total 5 different ATN ThOR LT variants to choose from.
  • ATN ThOR HD comes with 17 µm thermal sensor, with ThOR HD 384 features 384×288 resolution and ThOR HD 640 features 640×480 resolution. Total 8 different ATN ThOR HD variants, with both models offer 4 magnification options respectively.

As ThOR HD smart thermal rifle scopes have been discontinued by the manufacturer –

we compared 3 different variants of ATN ThOR 4 / LT with Pulsar Core RXQ30V in below, whereby you’ll get a good understanding on your options – for purchase decision.

#1 – Pulsar Core RXQ30V vs ATN THOR LT 160 3-6x

We’ve chosen the ATN THOR LT 160 3-6x to start with, as this entry level thermal rifle scope with the lowest configuration/cost share a key commonality with Pulsar Core RXQ30V:

Both scopes are without bells and whistles, and both do not have video recording function.

The main differences between these 2 scopes are the thermal sensor resolution, display resolution, detection range, battery life, and their price:

  • Pulsar Core RXQ30V is equipped with 384×288 sensor and 640×480 display, alongside 985 yards detection range and 4 hours battery life.
  • On the other hand, ATN THOR LT 160 3-6x features 160×120 sensor and 1280×720 HD display, alongside 519 yards detection range and 10+ hours battery life.

It is important to note that a high resolution display screen can only be as good as the resolution of thermal detector. In this aspect, the relatively higher resolution of Pulsar Core RXQ30V 384×288 thermal sensor is more crucial, although it has a relatively lower display resolution vs ATN THOR LT.

Check out user reviews of ATN THOR LT 160 3-6x >> here to learn more.

Most notably, there is a significant price difference between these 2 thermal rifle scopes, with the price of ATN THOR LT 160 3-6x is much lower than Pulsar Core RXQ30V – as you can check out via below.

So if you are simply looking for the absolute cheapest thermal rifle scope available on the market, then the entry level ATN THOR LT 160 3-6x is the one you can go for.

  ATN ThOR 4

384x288, 1.25-5x

384x288 Gen 4 sensor

60 Hz Frame Rate

1280 x 720 HD Display

1.25 - 5x Zoom

90mm eye relief

750m (820 yards) Detection

18+ hours Battery Life

Video Recording function

Recoil Activated Video

WiFi and Bluetooth

One Shot Zero

Smart Mil Dot Reticle

Ballistic Calculator

Smart Range Finder

... etc

  Pulsar Core

RXQ30V, 1.6-6.4x

384x288 sensor

50 Hz Frame Rate

640 x 480 AMOLED Display

1.6 - 6.4x Zoom

50mm eye relief

900m (985 yards) Detection

4 hours Battery Life




One Shot Zero






160x120, 3-6x

160 x 120 sensor

60 Hz Frame Rate

1280 x 720 HD Display

3 - 6x Zoom

90mm eye relief

475m (519 yards) Detection

10+ hours Battery Life




One Shot Zero





#2 – Pulsar Core RXQ30V vs ATN ThOR 4 384×288, 1.25-5x

Next in the list is ATN ThOR 4 384×288, with the lowest magnification option of 1.25-5x.

While both of these two thermal scopes feature 17 µm 384×288 thermal sensor with comparable pricing, ATN ThOR 4 384×288 is equipped with a lot more functions.

The main differences between them are the display resolution, detection range, battery life, and advanced features:

  • Pulsar Core RXQ30V with 640×480 display has 985 yards detection range and 4 hours battery life, whilst it does not have advanced features like video recording function.
  • ATN ThOR 4 384×288 1.25-5x with 1280×720 HD display has 750m (820 yards) detection range and significant longer battery life of 18+ hours; This thermal scope is equipped with many advanced features like video recording function, Recoil Activated Video (RAV), WiFi, bluetooth, etc.

Check out user feedback on ATN ThOR 4 384×288 1.25-5x >> here to see what they say
If you have a budget of $2000, you can compare the ATN ThOR 4 384×288 1.25-5x vs Pulsar Core RXQ30V with similar pricing, check out their user reviews, and choose one that meet your preferences.


#3 – Pulsar Core RXQ30V vs ATN ThOR 4 640×480, 4-40x

Of course, if your budget allows, you can always consider ATN ThOR 4 640×480 4-40x model with the highest specification –

including high resolution 640×480 thermal sensor, 4 – 40x zoom, and a magnificent detection range of 3300 m (3609 yards).

You can learn more about all ATN ThOR models in this >> comprehensive guide, including hunting videos and image quality comparison.

Pulsar Core vs ATN ThOR: The Verdict

Pulsar Core RXQ30V has been a highly popular budget friendly thermal scope that received countless positive reviews, and it remains an excellent choice today.

The emergence of ATN ThOR offer more alternatives to hunters –

whereby you can save hundreds of bucks by choosing ATN THOR LT 160 3-6x as the cheapest thermal rifle scope available on the market now,

or you can spend similar amount of money on ATN ThOR 4 384×288 1.25-5x to own a thermal rifle scope with more features (such as video recording function).

It is recommended to compare their differences, check out the user reviews and latest price, then choose one that best meet your preferences and budget.

All these 3 thermal scopes represent excellent value at their respective price point, so you should be happy with any one of them.

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