Hunting with thermal optics became popular in Europe well before it took off in the U.S., but with its growth here we’re now seeing some Euro brands becoming available on the U.S. market. One of these brands is Germany’s Liemke, which is announcing their new Luchs-1 and Luchs-2 thermal clip-on optics available through importer/distributor Blaser Group USA.
Given the substantial investment required to get into a good thermal optic, the utility provided by a clip-on is certainly nice. Instead of being a dedicated scope itself, which is typically the only optic on a firearm and must be sighted in for that firearm, a clip-on like the Luchs models simply mounts to the front of a daytime optic. It can be mounted at night and removed during the day as well as moved from gun-to-gun without requiring re-zeroing of the daytime optic. Additionally, the Luchs models work as a hand-held monocular.
Blaser Group USA’s press release follows . . .
Liemke Introduces German-Made Luchs-1 and Luchs-2 Thermal Optics
San Antonio, Texas (May 9, 2023) – Liemke, a leader in high-definition thermal imaging for hunting, is pleased to introduce the premium Luchs line of thermal optics. Made in Wetzlar, Germany, the Liemke Luchs (or Lynx as translated in English) incorporates the latest in thermal technology in these versatile devices that can be clipped onto any daytime riflescope or used as a handheld monocular.
Fast and quiet with a startup time of only five seconds for both Luchs models, and a standby mode for immediate activation, the Luchs-1 has a 35mm lens with heat signature detection range of up to 1,750 meters while the Luchs-2 has a 50mm lens with heat detection up to 2,500 meters.
Luchs thermals have a whisper-quiet calibration procedure with a rapid refresh rate of 50 Hz and are easy and intuitive to operate. Both models feature a 1024×768 OLED color display and a 640×512 12 µm VOx sensor for high contrast and detailed images. The Luchs-1 delivers a large field of view of 22 meters at 100 meters and an image that completely fills within the daytime riflescope at 2x magnification. The Luchs-2 has a field of view of 15.4 meters at 100 meters. Two image modes provide optimal detail rendition in varying weather conditions and there are five color modes, including an Extra Dark mode setting for glare-free images at night.
Easy and intuitive to operate, the Luchs thermal units have internal memory of 32 GB and a Wi-Fi function for live streaming via an app. Users can capture photos and videos of their hunt on the internal memory even while streaming live, and these can be transferred later via USB-C port. The built-in rechargeable battery has a run time of up to 9 hours and the three-position switch – On/Standby/Off – can be used to extend battery life in the field.
“Liemke is the top thermal optics brand in Germany, and the new German-made Luchs line raises the bar even higher when it comes to quality and performance,” said Jason Evans, CEO Blaser Group USA. “American hunters will recognize and appreciate the premium Made in Germany construction, advanced thermal technology, and high-definition performance the Luchs thermal optics deliver. Aptly named after the lynx, the Luchs-1 and 2 models deliver outstanding thermal night vision for hunters.”
Settings are easily adjusted on the Luchs units, and the hunter’s preference is saved when the device is turned off and available every time the device is restarted. The tough, shock-resistant aluminum housing is rain and dust protected in accordance with IP67, and the objective lens is protected by a scratch-resistant Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) coating for extra protection in the field. The Luchs-1 weighs 20.5 ounces and Luchs-2 weighs 22.4 ounces.
For more information, visit LUCHS-1 (liemke.com).
About Liemke Thermal Optics
Headquartered in Bielefeld, Germany, Liemke is the dominant thermal imaging brand in Germany trusted for its optical quality, reliability, outstanding customer service, and unsurpassed price-performance ratio.
Liemke is at the forefront of thermal technology, and its optics are prized by hunters for their high-definition images with fast refresh rates and smooth viewing. For more information, visit: Liemke Shop
About Blaser Group
The Blaser Group is the official U.S. importer for iconic German firearms brands Blaser, Mauser and J.P. Sauer; English gunmaker John Rigby & Co.; Minox optics and Liemke Thermal Optics. Established in 2006, the company which is based in San Antonio, Texas works with distributors, wholesalers, and over 200 authorized Blaser Group dealers across all North American states, with this figure continually growing. Today the Blaser Group’s industry-leading product portfolio includes bolt-action, combination rifles and over-and-under shotguns designed specifically for game hunters and competitive target shooters. Its custom shop offers exclusive engravings, design work and custom finishing for bespoke guns. With recent innovations, Blaser Group has gone on to expand its product portfolio into cutting-edge optics and accessory lines. For more information about the company and product lines, visit: www.blaser-group.com.
But alas, this item is verboten here in Kalifornia. Our freedom-hating overlords in Sacramento have decreed that you, plebe, may own a thermal or IR optic, but you may not (NEVER!) attach it to a gun. If you do, the gun becomes a “sniper rifle” that our overlords have decreed may be possessed only by LE or military. You, plebe, have only nefarious intentions if you wish to attach that thermal optic to your gun. To avoid the wrath of the freedom-hating scurble, you must hold the device in one hand and operate the rifle with the other.
lame. ain’t y’all got hawgz?
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Doesn’t that infringe upon the ability of the people, aka the militia, to maintain the security of a free state?🤔
How can people effectively protect California from an invading foreign army without thermal scopes?
Where did you get the idea that CA is a free state?
If you’re a migrant, everything’s free.
California hasn’t been a free state for a long time. That was kinda my point.
I thought it was just a hunting regulation that prohibits thermal hunts. Maybe that will change when we have as many hogs as Texas.
CA P.C. 1, Title 13, Ch 3, § 468
“Any person who knowingly buys, sells, receives, disposes of, conceals, or has in his possession a sniperscope shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
As used in this section, sniperscope means any attachment, device or similar contrivance designed for or adaptable to use on a firearm which, through the use of a projected infrared light source and electronic telescope, enables the operator thereof to visually determine and locate the presence of objects during the nighttime.
This section shall not prohibit the authorized use or possession of such sniperscope by a member of the armed forces of the United States or by police officers, peace officers, or law enforcement officers authorized by the properly constituted authorities for the enforcement of law or ordinances; nor shall this section prohibit the use or possession of such sniperscope when used solely for scientific research or educational purposes.”
That’s a bullshit law.
Damn that also gets NIR……. nitpicking question but it mentioned projection of infrared does it cover passive sensors elsewhere or did they get lazy and not cover advances in technology?
I Haz a Question,
My reading of the law which you copied/pasted is that it only prohibits infrared scopes which rely on an infrared illuminator–and does NOT prohibit ambient light-amplification scopes nor thermal imaging scopes. (Note that thermal imaging scopes are simply using ambient light–albeit infrared wavelengths of ambient light–for imaging.)
Here is the relevant verbage:
“… sniperscope means [optical device which uses] a projected infrared light source and electronic telescope …”
That key word “and” means that, in order for something to be a “sniperscope” under that law, that optical device must be an optical device AND use “a projected infrared light source”. That word “and” requires BOTH elements of the definition to be true. If either element of the definition is not true, then the device does not meet the definition. Therefore, since a thermal imaging scope does NOT use a projected infrared light source, it does not meet California’s legal definition of a “sniperscope” is therefore legal (at least under that particular section of California law).
Disclaimer: I am NOT an attorney and the above is NOT legal advice.
You may be correct, but I don’t want to be the test case in court here in CA. The law can be argued, and charges can be dropped, but arrests nevertheless remain on your record forever. A friend of mine was arrested years ago on a bogus and unsubstantiated accusation of a former associate, and after spending three weeks in jail (he didn’t have money for bail) that person dropped the accusation. Though the charges were dropped and he was released to his freedom, my friend nevertheless has experienced issues since then because any background check continues to show the arrest, which is part of public record. In fact, he was denied a certain promotion at his place of employment because the background check revealed the arrest, which was used to introduce doubt into his character.
It’s well known here in CA that any optic that enhances low-light visibility is not to be attached to a gun.
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Infa-red sensors are *expensive* puppies.
Bonus for those who fly with guns, Deviant Ollum has had TSA problems :
Which more affordable thermal scopes are recommendable?
10+ years ago basically nothing. Now check the chans/redd1t and you should be able to zero in on functional/budget.
kind of amusing that the display has a higher pixel count – by a factor of 2.4 – than the sensor.
but, seems like a nice piece of kit.
No one of Consequence,
The display resolution is likely a very common resolution and thus less expensive (due to economies of scale) than a legacy 640 pixel resolution display which is probably far less common and therefore more expensive.
Furthermore, if the thermal sensor resolution increases without a cost increase, the manufacturer could drop the new thermal sensor with increased resolution right into the existing design with minimal engineering costs.
And, there may even be a thermal sensor with higher resolution that matches the display resolution (a higher-end model) which the manufacturer sells in what is otherwise the exact same system–thus minimizing engineering expense.
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Yikes! Several grand. Deutchland uber allis🙄
The devil said my soul was only worth 86cents
That can get you 10-12 rounds of 22lr
…I was ready to believe it was real, until I saw that it was made in Bielefeld.
We had to cross rivers filled with alligators and snakes he said.
Where do the migrating brownies get their cell phones? How do they charge them up?
What carrier do they use?
We had to cross rivers full if alligators and snakes he said.
a lot cheaper and works well too. I love mine.
Digital NIR using illuminator?
That’s not a thermal scope. Thermal is MUCH better and more useful for hunting than conventional IR NV stuff.
If Holosun manages to bring it’s thermal / red dot hybrid to market in Q4 as planned (it was debuted at SHOT and won the “Best New Product” award; similar in design to the Sig Echo 3 but without as many bells and whistles), *then* we may see decent thermal for under a grand, street price. But right now, to get anything decent in the thermal scope space, you’re looking at at least two grand; and several times that to get MiL spec quality stuff. (I know, there is some cheap Chinesium low res stuff out there for a bit more than one large, but anything with a thermal sensor under 384×288 resolution probably isn’t worth messing with.)
Sightmark has a thermal scope too > Wraith Mini 2-16×35 Thermal Riflescope > https://sightmark.com/products/wraiththermal
Its $2,099.97 – but still cheaper than this thing from Liemke Luchs.
Sightmark just announced that last week. So far, I haven’t seen specs that list the refresh rate. If it’s 50 Mhz, then it would on paper be comparable to the Luchs 1.
But like comparing a Trijicon ACOG with a Chinesium knockoff, I have a feeling that the German-made Luchs unit is gonna be a lot more robust than the Sightmark. But I’d be happy to be proven wrong — YO DAN, how’s about a review of it?
More importantly, it appears that the Sightmark unit is a standalone rifle scope (2x magnification). That’s *very* different from a clip on unit like the Luchs that’s designed to be used with your existing glass.
well sure the Luchs unit is different. but if you’re going to set up for night hunting anyway the Sightmark is cheaper.
Well, a cheap optical scope can be had for $100. Good Vortex, Bushnell Elite, or Leupold glass will run you $1000. High-end Nightforce, Zeiss, S&B, etc. glass starts at several times that. You get what you pay for.
If you just want cheap thermal, AGS Global has thermal scopes for about a grand (like the Sightmark, these cheap ones are not clip ons) . Again, I’ll be pleased to see if AGS or Sightmark can actually deliver decent thermal at a sub-$2k price point, but I suspect there’s a good reason they are a fraction of the cost of comparable Mil spec equipment. Caveat emptor.
Good clip on thermals have been prohibitively expensive (>$7k) until fairly recently. (AGM Global Vision has clip ons with specs comparable to the Luchs models for a couple of grand less ($3k for 384×288, $4k for 640×512), but the reviews on them so far have been spotty.) But clip ons are great because you can use them with your existing glass, or remove it from the weapon and use as a monocular, or in some cases even put it on a helmet mount.
Hopefully, we’re going to see decent thermal at prices comparable to good glass scopes in the near future.
Forget the optics, what’s that rifle? I’m trying to figure out how that action operates. Is the pic missing some details?
It’s a Blazer straight pull action. Same idea as the K31 Swiss: just straight back and forth, with radial lugs rotating the bolt to lock/unlock the bolt.
Blazer rifles are superb . . . but have a price to match.
Blazer => Blaser
Hmm, thanks for the info. That’s a pretty slick design, a long ways from Killdeer to be sure.
Other lower cost options for thermal…
Pulsar Thermion 2 XQ35 Pro — ~$3,000.00 > https://www.eurooptic.com/Pulsar-Thermion-2-XQ35-Pro-Thermal-Riflescope-PL76541.aspx
ATN ThOR 5 — ~$2,000.00 > https://www.atncorp.com/thermal-scope-thor-hd?avad=194130_c307618b5
Accufire Incendis ‘clip on’ — ~$3,000.00 > https://www.opticsplanet.com/accufire-technology-incendis-clip-on-1-4x-30mm-thermal-imaging-rifle-scopes.html