A top-tier thermal scope loaded with purposeful, easy-to-use features, iRay USA’s Bolt TL35 V2 Thermal is a must-have rifle topper for anyone looking to jump into the nighttime predator-hunting ocean.
by Jace Bauserman
I’m a predator hunter. I love calling fur and teeth close; however, I’ve never been much for night hunting.
It’s too much work. I hate fumbling around in the dark with green and red lights. Plus, part of the thrill of calling song dogs and other critters is watching them come to the call. I didn’t get this thrill using weapon-mounted lights.
After unscrewing what would be the left/right windage turret on a standard scope and using the included USB-C charging cable to give this thermal scope some juice, I stepped out my backdoor.
I wanted to see what the thermal rave was about, and night was closing in. I followed the easy-to-understand Quick Start Guide on page 8 of the included user’s manual, pressed the power button for three seconds on the multi-functional control panel, and just like that, I could see at night.
We live in the country. We have chickens, horses, and dogs, and agriculture fields surround us. Hearing coyotes howling is a nightly occurrence.
I told my son Hunter to run downstairs and grab our Hunting Made Easy Eichler Dual Game Call. We tossed on some warm garments and took a westerly walk. The wind was in our faces, and from my daily jogging ventures, I knew coyotes were frequenting a cut hay grazer field near a patch of standing corn.
We sat down and turned on the caller. The scope wasn’t on a rifle. We wanted to play. While the caller serenaded the night with dying bird music, I scanned my surroundings.
The scope’s system is user-friendly, even for a non-tech-savvy idiot like me. A short press on the top control turret allowed me to scan six reticle options, and in this menu, I could also swap between reticle colors of white, black, red, and green. I quickly discovered I liked the white-hot color palette, which is the default color.
After three minutes, a white object appeared. It was a coyote. The image was so clear it was almost like watching a coyote during daytime hours. I was amazed.
Hunter was mad. After looking in the scope, he said, “Dad, we should have got one of these years ago. And we shouldn’t have wasted a calling session. We need to go mount this scope and sight it in.”
Mounting & Sighting-In
The Bolt TL35 V2 Thermal Weapon Sight has a 32mm tube and will mount to any rifle platform. I wanted to mount the rifle to my Browning X-Bolt chambered in .22-250, but I needed the proper bases. The front bell of the scope contacted the barrel. I could have ordered the right bases but didn’t want to wait, so we swapped the scope to a Picatinny rail mount on Hunter’s custom AR-15.
The Bolt TL35 V2 Thermal Weapon Sight has three zeroing profiles — A, B, and C — and toggling between them is a breeze.
You can set custom zeroing distances between 1 to 999 meters or yards. We made it easy and set ours at 100 (Profile A), 200 (Profile B), and 300 yards (Profile C).
Sighting-in is elementary. I took a shot from a bench at 100 yards. Then, while in Zeroing Profile A (100 yards), I centered the reticle on the aiming point and long-pressed the Photo and Palette Buttons simultaneously. After doing this, I saw the image freeze icon below the X/Y coordinates.
Next, I selected the X-axis and used the control turret (positive clicks are felt) to walk the X-axis and then the Y-axis until the reticle matched my point of impact. Rotate the control turret counterclockwise to move in a positive direction and clockwise to move in a negative direction.
Lastly, I long-pressed the control turret to save my reticle position. And, just like that, I was dialed at 100 yards.
This scope is one of the easiest I’ve ever sighted in. After six rounds of Hornady Varmint Express 223 Rem 55 gr V-MAX, Hunter and I shot dime-sized groups at 100 yards.
I appreciate how easy the scope is to zoom. From the home screen, rotate the control turret clockwise to zoom in and counterclockwise to zoom out. The BOLT TL35 V2 Thermal Weapon Sight increases base magnification from 3X to 12X by digitally enlarging the image from 1 to 4 times. This is an especially handy feature when calling critters.
Focus control is a must, and this scope delivers it in spades. I appreciate the manual focus on the bell of the scope’s exterior near the ocular lens. The focus wheel provides a positive grip, and gives the shooter ultimate control.
Wait, There’s More
There’s a lot I love about this scope. Mostly, it’s the simplicity found in a purposeful, technology-rich device. Then there’s the fact that if you take the time, read your instruction manual, and play around, you will find many feature options that further sweeten the pot.
I love the status bar above the scope’s reticle. This bar is your intel center for the scope. In the status bar, you get up-to-the-second information about the zero profile selected, the current color palette, battery life, time, compass, et cetera.
Because I’m a tinkerer and not a reader, I noticed while playing with the scope that the status bar showed Bluetooth and Wi-Fi features.
The Bluetooth pairs with the iRay-AC96 ILR-1200-1 Bluetooth Laser Rangefinder Module. This is an optional feature and is not included with the scope.
I’m not an app guy, but many reading this are. Those who are will love that the TL35 V2 will connect to your smartphone or tablet via the InfiRay Outdoor App. You can manipulate all the TL35 V2’s settings when paired with your smart device without using the onboard multi-function control panel.
What About A Rangefinder?
I had used a thermal scope once before in my life before putting the Bolt TL35 V2 to the test. It was a lesser thermal. Furthermore, it didn’t have the features of the TL35, and was more challenging to operate. Still, I was able to harvest a few coyotes with it.
What I needed help with was the range. The scope didn’t have zooming power like the TL35, and it was hard to know the distance of each coyote.
Besides the scope’s digital zoom, which does help determine range once you use the scope multiple times, the TL35 V2 showcases a stadiametric rangefinder.
Long press the brightness button on the multi-function control panel to use the rangefinder. You will see a pair of horizontal lines in the center of the screen. These lines allow you to measure the size of your target. This takes some time. This feature would work well when shooting hogs over bait.
The feature I prefer is the icons and sistances. On the right-hand side of the reticle, you will see a deer icon, hog icon, and rabbit icon. Select the pre-configured object and you’ll get the accurate range. For coyotes, I suggest using the hog icon. Hunter and I used it on five different coyotes, and we killed each of them.
Photos & Video
I like scrolling Instagram and Facebook and watching hunters harvest animals at night through their thermal scopes.
The good news is that you can be that hunter with the Bolt TL35 V2. This scope has image capture and video with audio capabilities. Videos and photos live in the scope’s internal 32GB memory storage.
Getting videos from the scope to your computer is straightforward, like everything with the Bolt TL35 V2. Connect the scope to your computer via the included data cable and it acts like a USB drive. You can also download images and save them from the InfiRay Outdoor App.
Short-press the photo button on the multi-directional control panel to take a photo. To record a video, long press the photo button. It’s that easy.
I won’t be sending this thermal scope back to InfiRay Outdoor. I will be purchasing it. The benefits of the scope are too many to count, and it has changed how I view thermal scopes and nighttime predator pursuits.
If you’re in the market, and you should be, InfiRay is running a current fall online special on this scope. Once marked at $3,299, this scope now wears a sticker price of $2,699.
From hogs to coyotes to other predators, this scope is worth its weight in gold, and I can’t give it a bigger stamp of endorsement.