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The Pulsar Krypton XG50 thermal-imaging unit

The Krypton transforms your rifle scope into an impressive thermal scope. Mark Ripley tests it out.

Pulsar Krypton XG50 thermal-imaging unit

Pulsar Krypton XG50 thermal-imaging unit

Price as reviewed: £4,000

The Krypton XG50 looks almost identical to the popular front-mounted F155 and the later F455 night-vision models, and the button layout and functions are practically the same. The Krypton, however, is purely a thermal unit, working solely on the heat source given off by your quarry.

It comes supplied with a monocular tube that attaches to it by way of a simple quarter-turn bayonet-style fitting to enable it to be used as a conventional thermal spotter. It has a lanyard, so it can be hung around the neck when spotting.

Attach the Krypton XG50

Once you have located your quarry, you simply detach the unit from the monocular tube and slip the main unit on to the front of your standard day scope, securing it in place with a locking lever and turning your usual rifle scope into an impressive thermal scope. Because the unit sits forward of your day scope it has no effect on your rifle’s zero and you can still use its illuminated reticle, if it has one, and dial in for a long-range shot or zoom in, if you have a variable- power scope. The unit does add some weight to the rifle but the benefits, ahem, outweigh this slight disadvantage.

How clear is the image?

Let’s start when the Krypton XG50 is used as a spotter. I was surprised just how good it was. I wasn’t expecting much from it, bearing in mind that it is mainly a scope add-on. I found that it was easily as good as my Pulsar Accolades; dare I say it, even a little better. Attaching it to my Element Titan rifle scope it was much like the excellent Pulsar Thermion rifle scope, giving crisp, clear images. If you are using a variable-power scope, the image will be sharpest on the lowest magnification but you can zoom in to at least 10x magnification while retaining a good image. Do note, though, that the further through the magnification you go, the image will begin to pixelate as you are magnifying an image on a screen in front of your scope.

Sharing footage

Like most of Pulsar’s products, there is a Stream Vision app to enable you to share live footage or record it to the Krypton XG50’s in-built memory to download later. This unit is clearly marketed at the pest controller, gamekeeper or serious enthusiast and at over £4,000 it is by no means cheap. That said, if you look at the cost of purchasing a thermal spotter and a dedicated thermal rifle scope, it’s actually pretty good value.

Field test

Using the Krypton XG50 in the field proved almost too easy. With no infrared light to give you away, any quarry will have no idea you’re there, assuming that you employ basic fieldcraft. With the unit mounted on my .223 I took it out for a test run in far from perfect conditions, with fine rain in the air. This made no difference to the unit’s ability to see heat sources at well over 4OO or 500 yards away, and clearly identified foxes out to 200 yards plus. Within an hour I had shot three foxes with ease, two of which were standing less than 50 yards apart, the second one having no idea what had happened to its mate until it met with the same fate.

The Krypton XG50 is an effective and impressive product that would be a useful addition to the gadgetry of those who require such things.