Field test: Pulsar Krypton FXG50

The Pulsar Krypton FXG50 is a thermal monocular that fits on to the front of your daylight riflescope, converting it into a thermal riflescope. It is also supplied with a monocular eyepiece for use as a spotting device.

It is aimed at hunters who don’t want a dedicated thermal scope/rifle set up but want the flexibility of retaining their day rifle/scope set up, while doing a spot of night shooting as well.

Essentially a thermal camera that slides onto the front objective lens of your scope—using an attachment with appropriate size interchangeable sleeve—and locked into place with a tension lever, the Krypton FXG50 is not sighted in like normal thermal scopes but utilises the crosshairs of the optical scope. Providing your scope is zeroed for the distance you shoot and you attach the Krypton correctly and square it by looking through the ocular lens or eye piece as you centre the crosshairs, it should be pretty much on the money. There is an adjustment mode in the menu you can use to fine tune the point of impact, if required.

I found the unit straight forward to attach to my Swarovski 1.7—10×42 scope, although a little fiddly to align by eye—it could do with a screen marker or reference point to align the crosshairs and take out the guesswork. However, once at the range, it grouped as expected but fractionally left of centre—not enough to affect point of impact significantly out to 200250m.

In the field

First time out, I had the unit already attached and set up for an evening hunt. While I could have used the optical scope, I wanted to see how the thermal performed in daylight through to twilight and dark. I sat in a good shooting position and watched as six red stags and 10 fallow fed out into the clearing from 250m away. Intending to take a red, I was prepared to wait until they fed closer, comfortable in the knowledge I didn’t have to make a hasty shot as shooting light faded because the Krypton FXG50 transformed the day scope into a night scope.

The Krypton FXG50 and clip on thermal scopes in general seem to polarise people; I had heard wildly opposing opinions before trying it, and have to confess to not feeling confident due some of the negativity (interestingly, some of the most negative comments came from people I later learned had never used them!). There seemed to be a question mark over whether they would hold the point of impact consistently when re-attached and there was an argument that they were knocked out of alignment easily when ‘bounced around in the ute or on the quad bike’. Still, that gave me a reference point to test from.

My initial plan went awry when a dopy fallow spiker made a rapid beeline for where I was sitting—a quick glance still pegged the closest red at 160m. I had to whistle when the spiker got within 20m and a quick neck shot dispatched it instantly. By the time I changed position, the red stag was moving off. A loud bark halted it at 175m and it was two deer down—first outing. Autopsy showed both bullets impacted precisely on target.

Subsequent hunts in Timaru foothills, Marlborough back country and around Nelson produced consistent results, with 10 deer to one-shot kills and no misses. On one hunt I was able to take a fallow yearling at 80 with a neck shot one evening, then in the dark on my way out, shot a red yearling at 250m, comfortably.


First of all, the image quality is excellent: very crisp, high definition and precise focus. I had read mixed reviews about what scope power it was effective on, some arguing it was only effective at 4x and one suggesting 12x. In my experience with the Swarovski, it was no trouble out to the full 10x; in fact, very crisp.

I didn’t have any issue with the accuracy, which held true over multiple reattachments. I have huge confidence in my Swarovski scopes, which translated to this Pulsar product, once I could see its efficancy. For the majority of meat hunting situations, the results speak for themselves.

The attachment fitting with tension lever was very secure and practical use in the field didn’t show any indication of it knocking out of alignment—under normal care.

As a handheld, it works very well and the image quality is excellent. I like the dual unit concept of being able to spot game with the handheld and quickly convert it to a riflescope but, to be honest, the reality didn’t match the theory. Sometimes it slotted on perfectly but in the field, at night, in less than ideal conditions, it proved difficult to seamlessly attach and

align. It helped when I marked the unit and scope once in the correct position but this was still impractical in the dark. I had the best results when I attached the unit prior to hunting. Pulsar are introducing a bayonet attachment to future Kryptons, which should alleviate this issue.

While it does have some limitations, they can be overcome. Overall, I was very impressed with the Pulsar Krypton FXG50 and think it definitely has appeal for the hunter who wants the flexibility and versatility of optimising the day rifle.

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