Pulsar - Core FXQ38 Thermal Rifle Scope Forward

Pulsar - Core FXQ38 Thermal OpticRifle Scope Forward


This item was on loan and provided by Pulsar for review.

It all started in 1991 in a basement in Lisa, Belarus. There they started making wooden spotting scope that would eventually lead them to working with an American group in 1998. The following year they made their first night vision device. In 2008 the finally became PULSAR and in 2009 they officially launched in Europe too. The first thermal optic they produced was in 2011 and they’ve been making it, night vision, range finders and all sorts of technical advances since.

This review is about the PULSAR Core FXQ38. It can be used as a scope forward(clip on) and also a standalone monocle. It is the less expensive thermal optic forward of the two they offer. If you're in the market for a thermal optic, unless you have a dedicated rifle for one, I’d suggest getting a scope forward as I’m sure you already have a scope on your rifle.

The Core FXQ38, debuted in 2017 and is among the most versatile optics out there. It can help you to identify target at almost 1,500 yards and even offers a 2x digital zoom. Although the digital zoom doesn't make the image any clear it allows you to better identify the small blip you can see at over ¾ of a mile. With the ability to change between an monocle and a scope forward you can easily use this for spotting, and then take a few seconds to take the eye piece off and attach it to your rifle to shoot the target. Whether you're in snow or rain or heat or gloom of night, the fact that this can operate in all of those won't stop you from going postal on some big game. It’s waterproof, can withstand temps from -13F to 122F, and can be used during the day or night. It weighs just over a pound without batteries(2xCR123), which can be a lot on the end of a gun. However they also include an external power supply adapter, with that you can mount a battery to your buttstock or lay in on the ground next to you.

It has a few different operating modes(rocks, forest, identification) for wherever you’re hunting at, as well as calibration settings(manual, automatic, and semi-automatic) which adjust and make the image more clear and allow you to view things you didn’t see before. When it calibrates it freezes the image for a split second so I would recommend not using the automatic setting. It’s not specified but using the calibration feature allowed me to clearly view through a window screen, thus allowing me to peer out from behind concealment. If you’re worried about having to hit the buttons while you’re aiming at something they also include a remote and a piece of velcro tape so you can mount it near your thumb so you can operate it with ease. The display is a frost resistant green OLED and offers either green hot or black hot feature.

Unfortunately there are some feature this doesn't have that other models do, such as video output for recording, and picture in picture digital zoom so you don’t lose your target as easily. Also I had to try different rifles until I found one that had enough room to mount the scope forward without it contacting the barrel.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

Leading edge thermal and night vision  

Target Market :

Hunting, law enforcement, outdoor adventure, and security


Three Sides.png
  • Waterproof

  • Easily calibrate to changing conditions

  • Versatile (scope forward or handheld monocle)

  • Easily spot game

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

Black on black on black

You can always rattle can it

What others are saying?

Price point :

$3,999.97 MSRP

$4,399.99 Amazon

$3,999.97 OpticsPlanet.com

$3,999.97 NightVisionGuys.com

I need it now! Availability : 

Amazon Prime (free shipping)

Our Rating


  • Clip on(use with many rifles and scopes)

  • Monocle Attachment(for handheld use/tracking)

  • Pretty much weatherproof (waterproof, -13F to 122F, the day or night)

  • Multiple power options(CR123a or external battery supply)

  • Remote control (mount anywhere)


  • Lacking Features (no video or pictures, full color heat index, picture in picture)

  • Requires adequate height over barrel for attachment

Score: 8.5 Great