First Look: Burris Thermal Optics

First Look: Burris Thermal Optics

Owning the night with Burris Thermal Optics.

Cutting edge electronic optics, nothing new for Burris. Long before every lens grinder and their mother turned to outfitting their scopes with a range-finder/bullet-drop compensator the Colorado company was churning them out. Despite being a handful size-wise, the Eliminator has become legendary for its ability to help hunters fill their tags. Now Burris has a new set of electronic optics in its sights—thermal scopes.

Night hunting has exploded in popularity in recent decades, right alongside hog and coyote numbers. And with improvements on low-light imaging and aiming solutions, thermal optics have upped hunters' success rates way beyond the days of spotlighting. Burris has gone big in outfitting these shooters with the tools to bag their game with three thermal optics, each coming in at a relatively competitive price. On the slate for 2021, the Burris Thermal Handheld, Thermal Clip-On and Thermal Riflescope. Each offers a different approach to finding game, but all are equally on target.

Burris Thermal Handheld

Burris Thermal handheld

As its name suggests, the optic is Burris’ off rifle option, giving hunters the ability to scan and identify game quickly and efficiently. Available with 35mm and 50mm objective lenses, the optic is capable of hot tracking targets past 750 yards, offers an incredibly smooth 4x digital zoom feature and excellent magnification. The 35mm model is 1.7-6.8x and the 50mm 2.9-9.2x. Additionally, the picture quality is excellent, with a 400×300 resolution screen with 17μm pixels and 50Hz frame rate. The device also has plenty of bells and whistles enhancing its overall usefulness, including 5 color palettes, stadiametric ranging and picture-in-picture. It also connects to smart devices via wifi, allowing more than one set of eyes to scan the horizon or giving hunters the ability to record what they find.
MSRP: $1,999-$2,999

Burris Thermal Clip-On

Burris Thermal Clip On

Dual purpose, the Clip-on can be used either as a handheld thermal or attached to a traditional scope, via a quick disconnect adaptor, to give it thermal imaging capabilities. Pretty slick. Find your target, draw a bead and follow a blood trail all in one handy device. Like the handheld optic, the Clip-On is available 35mm and 50mm objective lenses, both with 1x magnification. It also has a 400×300 resolution screen with 17μm pixels and 50Hz frame rate, for clear images with no lag. Additionally, it offers up to 4x digital zoom, 4 color palettes, picture-in-picture, stadiametric ranging and hot tracking capabilities.
MSRP: $2,999-$3,199

Burris Thermal Riflescope

Burris Thermal Scope 1

A dedicated night hunting optic, Burris’ Thermal Scope not only offers a way to find game in the pitch dark but get on target. This is hastened on by 10 digital reticles and 7 color palettes, allowing hunters to fine-tune their hunting experience for the best results. In addition to stadiametric ranging, picture-in-picture, hot tracking, and brightness and contrast controls the scope presents a crisp and clear image. In part, this is thanks to the choice of 35mm and 50mm objective lenses, a 400×300 resolution screen with 17μm pixels and a 50Hz frame rate. Similar to the other optics, it offers 4x digital zoom and 1.7-6.8x and the 50mm 2.9-9.2x options to get hunters up-close and personal with their quarry.
MSRP: $2,749-$2,999

For more information on Burris Thermal optics, please visit

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Elwood Shelton is the Digital Editor for Gun Digest. He lives in Colorado and has provided coverage on a vast spectrum of topics for GD for more than a decade. Before that, he was an award-winning sports and outdoors reporter for a number of newspapers across the Rocky Mountains. His experience has consisted of covering the spread of chronic wasting disease into the Western Slope of Colorado to the state’s ranching for wildlife programs. His passion for shooting began at a young age, fostered on pheasant hunts with his father. Since then, he has become an accomplished handloader, long-range shooter and avid hunter—particularly mule deer and any low-down, dirty varmint that comes into his crosshairs. He is a regular contributor to Gun Digest Magazine and has contributed to various books on guns and shooting, most recently Lever-Actions: A Tribute to the All-American Rifle.


  1. It would be nice if I could just add the thermal riflescope in front of my day scope on my RUGER Precision Rifle.
    That would mean the thermal scope’s reticle could be “removed” digitally.


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