AGM Rattler TS35-384 Thermal Scope Review
The AGM Rattler TS35-384 2x16X Thermal Rifle Scope is new for 2021. Is it worth 2500 of your hard-earned dollars? Let’s take a look. The AGM Rattler uses a 384×288 17-micron thermal core with a 50Hz refresh rate. It has an OLED, 1024 × 768 resolution display screen, and an adjustable 35mm/F1.0 Germanium front lens. The 2.14X base magnification is suitable for most types of night hunting, and with a weight of about a pound, it won’t weigh you down on long hunts.
The AGM Rattler TS35-384, with 2X native magnification and 35mm lens is designed for medium-range hunting. It provides clear thermal images under harsh environmental conditions like darkness, fog, smoke, dust, and rain. The device can be used as a thermal rifle scope or handheld monocular and is mainly applied to scenarios such as hunting, security, or police.
Thanks to Jason Roberton, owner of Outdoor Legacy, we were able to get our hands on one in late July 2021. Let’s see if this snake bites.
AGM Rattler TS35-384 – Compact & Lightweight
The AGM Rattler TS35 is compact and lightweight which is one thing we are all concerned about when buying a thermal riflescope. The scope is only 8.9″ long × 2.4″ tall × 3.2″ wide and weighs less than 18 ounces. Weight and size are critical factors when comparing thermal scopes which gives the Rattler a definite advantage. In fact, this weapons mountable scope is smaller than many thermal monoculars. It can easily be used as a thermal riflescope or a handheld thermal monocular for scanning.
Another plus for this thermal riflescope is the mount. It comes from the factory with the excellent American Defense Manufacturing single lever quick detachable mount at no extra charge. This alone is a $200 value. This single lever configuration is not only secure but makes reattaching the scope to the rifle quick and easy without a need to re-zero.
The ADM quick-release (QR) mount attaches to any firearm or crossbow equipped with a Picatinny rail. A QR mount is essential if you plan to use the scope on multiple firearms or want to use it as a combination scope/scanner. It has only one locking lever but it worked well and kept the scope secured to the rifle in our testing and hunting. It returned to within one MOA during our range test swapping it between rifles.
If you can not afford a separate thermal scanner, you can remove the Rattler from your rifle to scan for hogs or varmints, and quickly pop it back on the rifle when animals are spotted. It may not be ideal, but it works when you are on a budget.
AGM Rattler TS35-384 – What Sets It Apart
At first glance, the AGM Rattler TS35 looks a lot like some of the other scopes on the market but there is one thing that sets it apart from the competition – It is EASY TO USE!
First, it has the best button layout of any scope on the market. A separate power button, and a group of control buttons that are easy to use at night. The buttons are laid out in a common-sense, intuitive pattern to make them easy to find in the darkness and easy to use during zeroing or other menu operations.
The top-mounted button layout and menu make the zeroing process very easy. When zeroing the scope, the right button moves the reticle right, and the left button moves it left. Up and down buttons correspond to the front and rear buttons. Each click moves the reticle about 1 inch. It is so easy to zero, even an Old Deer Hunter can do it. The rest of the menu is just as easy to use and the top-mounted buttons make it easy to use by right or left-handers.
The battery compartment door has a large thumb screw that holds the door very securely. Not only is it easy to use, but it will not pop open in the middle of the night like some scopes are prone to do because they have a little spring-loaded button closure.
If you use an auxiliary power bank, the power port on the Rattler uses the USB-C connector which is much easier to connect in darkness than a USB micro connector, and also much stronger.
And as I mentioned before, the ADM QD mount makes it easy to move from one rifle to another without losing zero. You have five rifle profiles that can be pre-set for different rifles. Each profile has a choice of several reticle patterns and colors.
Video recording is also very easy with 16 GB of internal storage. You can use a cable to download your videos or use the T-Vision App for mobile devices. The app is easy to use and the wifi connection works much better than some other more expensive brands of thermal scopes.
AGM Rattler TS35-384 Features
In addition to ease of use, you get a great image for a $2500 thermal rifle scope. The 384×288 17-micron thermal sensor along with a 1080 OLED display screen and excellent 35mm Germanium lens provide excellent image quality for an entry-level thermal scope.
The Rattler has a fully adjustable objective lens for a sharp image at any distance and an adjustable ocular lens for adjusting the focus to your eye. It works equally well for people who wear glasses.
It also has photo capturing and video recording. Although it does not record sound, it has good video recording capability with just the push of a button. It also streams through the T-Vision App to your smartphone. It has 16 GB of internal memory and you can download recordings and photos through the App or with the provided cable. The download of videos is much faster using the cable. Videos are recorded in .mp4 format so you can upload them directly to Youtube without having to edit the video format.
The Picture-in-Picture function provides you a 2X multiplied window that can be set for the center or either top corner of the screen. It allows you to have most of the fullwidth screen at base power and a 2X magnified image with a reticle in the smaller view at the top. It is much easier and faster to have that small window at the top of the screen for precise aiming without fumbling with buttons to magnify the image right before the shot.
The Rattler has a Stradiametric Rangefinder function to estimate the distance to the targets of known size. Using a series of presses of the control buttons, you can bracket a target to get a rough estimate of the range. It is a pretty slow process and will take some practice if you plan to use this feature in the field. There is no laser range finding option available.
The scope has a power standby setting to save power and turn off the display screen. It takes about 10 seconds to power up the Rattler if it is turned completely off, but when the scope is in standby mode, it powers up instantly with a short push of the power button. This feature will help you get the most from a pair of CR123 batteries that usually have only about 3-4 hours of run time. Turning off the display will keep the bright light of the screen from being seen by game from your rear, or the light reflected off your face or glasses.
You can save five zero profiles in the Rattler. It gives you the capability to set up profiles for different rifles or different loads for the same rifle. Doug and I set up two profiles, one for his rifle and one for mine. That way we could move the scope between our rifles without having to re-zero. You may need to set two profiles for the same rifle if use two different loads or different bullets. Regardless of how you use the multiple profiles option, it will come in handy.
The AGM Rattler lets you easily change the brightness and contrast for different weather conditions. It also has 5 different reticle designs and 4 reticle colors (red, green, black, white).
It has onboard Wi-Fi for live video streaming plus video and snapshot capability with 16GB of internal storage. Download videos with the included USB power cable to your PC or Mac. You can use the T-Vision App with the Rattler but you can not use the App to download videos to your mobile device. You can use the App to connect your phone to the scope using WIFI and record with your phone.
Scroll to the bottom for a complete list of AGM Rattler specifications and what comes in the box.
Zeroing The Rattler
Caution: AGM does not have “Rifle Profiles” on the menu. Instead, the menu name is “Reticle”. So when you go into the menu to set up what most people refer to as a rifle profile and set zero coordinates, you start with the menu heading “Reticle”. This is where you will move the coordinates when zeroing your rifle.
When you click to enter the “Reticle”, you will see the first profile and you can set the coordinates and choose a cursor (reticle design). AGM refers to a reticle pattern as a cursor. The profiles have numbers and if you have a different profile for each rifle, you have to remember which profile number goes with which rifle. If you have one rifle, you can copy the coordinates to each profile and set different cursors (or reticle patterns) for each profile.
Remember, if you set only one profile, you can not go in later and scroll through the other reticles without changing the zero coordinates. You have to change the cursor within a Reticle profile to maintain your zero.
Rattler TS35-384 Power Options
Power is provided to the Rattler TS35 via two CR123 batteries. Batteries are installed by unscrewing the battery compartment lid on the left side of the scope. The battery compartment lid is Hinged to the scope body to prevent loss and has an o-ring seal to make it waterproof. It is secured by a thumbscrew and I think it is one of the best-designed battery compartments available.
A pair of quality Lithium batteries will power the scope for about 4 hours. Run time may be shortened if you are capturing a lot of videos or the weather is very cold. You can sometimes stretch the battery life by using the power standby mode. CR123 batteries are expensive and have a relatively short run time. I prefer to run an Anker 10K power bank.
The Rattler TS35 has a special menu setting if you want to use rechargeable 3.7V accumulators (rechargeable batteries). Use a high-quality charger that prevents overcharging.
The Rattler TS35 uses the USB-C power connector. The weakest and most vulnerable part of a thermal scope is the little USB connector used for the charging port, so I am glad to see that AGM uses the best connector available. If you run a power bank most of the time, I would suggest using a 90-degree or magnetic connector to prevent accidental damage to the port.
As with any electronic device, remove the batteries during extended periods of non-operation to prevent damage that could be caused by battery leakage.
Rattler TS35-384 Great For Hog or Coyote Hunting
The Rattler TS35 is a great choice for any type of night hunting. The light weight makes it easy to carry for hunters who cover a lot of ground on a hunt. The 2.0X base magnification is enough for most varmint hunters and not too much for hog hunters where ranges are relatively short. It has a whopping 52 ft field of view at 100 yards, so you can see a lot of territory in front of the scope. My hunting friends and I hunt a variety of species and our hunting areas range from woods to wide-open hayfields. Everywhere I used the Rattler TS35, it did a very good job.
In those situations where you need more magnification to take longer shots, the thermal processor provides adequate resolution to bump the power up to 4 or 8X. But remember, this is a medium-range, entry-level thermal scope, so it is best used at ranges under 200 yards at the base magnification of 2X.
Hunting With Rattler TS35-384
The Rattler TS35 is great for hunting coyotes and hogs. It is so lightweight and easy to use, all you have to do is concentrate on the hunt. It took only a short time at the range for zeroing and we were successful from the very first hunt. The Rattler TS35 is simple to set up, and deadly in the field. The image may not be quite as good as more expensive scopes, but it is about the best I have seen in a <$2500 scope.
I tried to keep my shots in the 100-yard range, because that was where I felt very confident, and I wanted good videos to show you the image quality. But out to 200 yards, this scope will do the job just fine, especially on larger species like hogs. It is probably better for hog hunters with the 2X base magnification, but coyote hunters won’t be too handicapped either.
Even though I almost always use white hot, It seems to me that the black hot palette shows better heat separation and sharper images than white hot, but all the colors work well. Check the coyote video above and you can see how well it does at 100 yards. The scope has a very bright image and good heat separation around the target. I believe I could have made the shot way past 100 yards.
I think the AGM Rattler TS35-384 is a winner. I do think it is worth $2500 of your hard-earned dollars when you consider the image quality, the features you get, and the ease of use. The only other feature I wish it had was audio recording capability, but that is only because I have a youtube channel. For hunting, it does not matter. I like the 2X base magnification, quality image, the button layout, the menu, and the ADM mount.
It is great for your first thermal scope, a scanner if you already have a thermal scope, or a buddy scope if you already have all your other thermal optics. The price is right and the 3-year transferable warranty makes it easy to trade if you want to upgrade later.
After using it, I am surprised it only costs $2495.
Rattler TS-35-384 Features
• 384×288 thermal resolution, high sensitivity detector
• Image processing technology: Adaptive AGC, DDE, 3D DNR
• 1024×768 resolution 0.39-inch OLED display
• 8x digital zoom
• Lightweight and compact design
• Easy to operate control panel
• Automatic or manual (silent) calibration
• Video recording and snapshot
• Built-in EMMC memory (16 GB)
• Supports distance measurement
• Adjustable color palettes
• Wi-Fi data transmission
• Waterproof, shockproof
• Powered by two standard CR123A or RCR123A rechargeable batteries
• Up to 4.5 hours continuous working
• External power supply capability
• Limited 3-year warranty
- AGM Rattler TS35-384 384×288 17µm Thermal Scope
- Video-out or external power supply Type C USB cable
- QD Weapon Mount
- Two Lithium CR123 batteries
- Front lens protective cap
- Eyepiece rubber eye guard
- Soft Carrying Case
- Instructions manual
Shop Pulsar Thermal Optics at Outdoor Legacy
I am writing this in August of 2021. Right now, the AGM Rattlers are in stock at Outdoor Legacy Gear. If you want a new AGM Rattler thermal scope, call Jason at Outdoor Legacy at (877)350-1818. If the AGM Rattler is out of stock you can get on the waiting list or pre-order on the website for $100 deposit. Jason will take the time to help you decide what thermal scope or other night vision optic is best for your hunting needs.
For the latest news about Night Vision Optics, subscribe to the most informative show on Youtube, the Late Night Vision Show. Hosts Jason Roberts and Joel Miller will keep you up to date on Night Vision Optics and entertain you with some great hunting videos.
Also please visit our featured Youtube channels Outdoor Legacy on Youtube, HansETX, and The Old Deer Hunters for great hunting videos and thermal optic reviews.
- Chester Cupp