iRay Rico Pro RH50 Thermal Weapons Sight: Feature-Packed By: Iain Harrison

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Photos by Kenda Lenseigne

Zooming in to take a better look at a potential target is intuitive when you’re dealing with day optics. When it comes to thermal sights however, it’s different. The user usually has to step through various levels of digital magnification, each more grainy and pixelated than the last, until the image looks more like an 8-bit video game than the crisp black-and-white picture you started out with. Enter the RH50 from iRayUSA.

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The main feature that differentiates this thermal optic from its peers is the ability to zoom from 1.5 to 3x, through optical rather than digital means. Just twist the objective lens, and you can go from a wide field of view for target detection to a narrow, more magnified FOV to take the shot — without any loss in image quality. 

We found that depending on the range, it was necessary to refocus when zooming, but this is easily handled by the separate focus knob on the objective bell (which falls naturally under your hand). Its 640 resolution is more or less industry standard these days, and its category-leading 17.5-degree FOV on the lowest magnification setting covers plenty of real estate when scanning for a thermal signature. 

We found the control buttons to be intuitive and easy to find with a bare hand but didn’t experience the environmental conditions necessary to warrant donning thick gloves. Still, the sight is easy enough to zero using chemical hand warmers taped to the target. 

While thermal weapons sights are still very expensive, the RH50 Pro offers a decent cost-to-value ratio within this category and has more features than most of its competitors. 

Our main criticism in this regard concerns its rechargeable battery pack — at $6,500, we’d expect a spare to be included in the package, rather than having to shell out another $170, but with a 6-hour life, it should cover most of your nocturnal activities. 

iRayUSA RH50 P

  • Objective lens diameter: 50mm
  • Resolution: 640×512
  • Magnification: 
  • 1.5-3x optical, 4x digital
  • Weight: 30 ounces
  • Battery Life: 6 hours
  • MSRP: $6,500

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