February 27, 2023
The PVS-14 night vision monocular became hugely popular due to the performance it offered in a small package. It can be handheld, head mounted or mounted onto a weapon. Plus, there are a host of accessories available allowing it to fill a variety of roles. The InfiRay Rico Micro 640 1x 25mm monocular seen here is a similarly flexible device, but for Thermal. This extremely compact Thermal device can be handheld, helmet mounted, weapon mounted and used as a clip-on in front of a day optic.
The first thing you notice about this model is its small and light, weighing less than a pound. The unit is powered by an 18650 battery and the top mounted controls are intuitive and easy to use. Thermal units tend to pack a lot of features into them, but actually accessing what you need, especially in the dark, can sometimes be difficult. This InfiRay unit was easy to learn and use in the field. Plus, it’s a simple matter to set the unit up with a helmet mount or a weapon mount.
Performance wise this model features InfiRay’s latest high-performance 640x512, 12 μm sensor technology, MATRIX III processing, and a manual-focus f/1.0 objective lens. It has 1x optical magnification and 4x digital magnification. As you would expect, you can select from white hot, black hot, red hot and color pallet. When weapon mounted you can choose from seven reticles. You can record video and photos, but not audio. Run time is 4 hours, the battery is rechargeable and it is designed to handle the recoil of a 300 Win Mag.
Why would you want a Thermal unit over night vision? As much as I respect the PVS-14 and passive night vision devices in general, there are some applications where a different technology, namely Thermal imaging, would be a better option. While passive night vision devices allow you to see in the dark, things can still hide from you. You might not see something or someone in the shadows. With Thermal imaging though, the body heat of an animal/man makes it jump right out from the background. There have been times I was able to easily spot an animal with a Thermal unit when it was invisible to a PVS-14 passive night vision unit. In my mind, Thermal compliments night vision.
The image quality of this device on 1x is very crisp. Comparing it to other Thermal units showed its performance to be very impressive. You can easily see detail, the image is sharp and you can easily detect even small animals trying to hide from you. I used it handheld, weapon mounted and as a clip-on in front of a Nightforce 1-8x24mm day optic. I was really impressed by how well it worked in conjunction with the Nightforce. You just need to mount the optic and Thermal unit so they align properly. But, once accomplished, the results are very impressive with little weight and bulk added to the rifle. The detection range of the device is listed as 1,375 yards and it has a 17.5 degree horizontal angular field of view. If you don’t wish to run it as a clip-on you can use it as a dedicated optical gun sight by selecting one of seven available reticles.
While Thermal units have become much more economical in recent years, they are still expensive. Having one high quality unit which can be utilized in multiple ways is appealing to many. Performance for its small size is very impressive. If you are considering a Thermal unit which is flexible enough to be used in multiple ways, the InfiRay Rico Micro 640 1x 25mm monocular is definitely one to consider. MSRP is $5,999. If that is a bit too expensive, they do have a Rico Micro 384 unit for $2,999.
Infiray Rico Thermal Monocular Specs
- Type: Thermal Imaging
- Sensor Type: InfiRay MICRO II
- Sensor Resolution: 640x480
- Spectral Response: 8-12 Microns
- Sensor Frame Rate: 50 hz
- Sensor Pixel Size: 12 μm
- Thermal Sensitivity: <50mk
- Manufacturer: InfiRay
This article was originally published in Be Ready magazine. You can find the original magazine on the OSG Newsstand. If you have any thoughts or comments on this article, we’d love to hear them. Email us at FirearmsNews@Outdoorsg.com.