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Bering Optics Super Hogster Review

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Bering Optics Super Hogster Review

The Bering Optics Super Hogster 2.9-11.6x35 Thermal Weapon Sight is one of the worst kept secrets of 2021. The internet is buzzing about the Bering Optics Super Hogster's great image quality and great price. What makes this scope Super? The Super Hogster uses a 384x288 thermal core like many mid-priced thermal scopes, but unlike all the others, it has a 12-micron thermal core with a NETD rating of <40 MK. The 12-micron core provides a sharper image than the Hogster R35 or other brands of scopes using a 384x288 17-micron core. Not only that, but the 2.9X base magnification is suitable for all types of night hunting in any terrain, and all of this power comes to you in a very compact, lightweight package for $3120.

Thanks to Jason Roberton, owner of Outdoor Legacy, we were able to get our hands on one in late December 2020. Let's see if it lives up to the "Super" name.

Bering Optics Super Hogster - Size Matters

The first thing you notice about the Super Hogster right out of the box is how compact and lightweight this thermal riflescope is compared to other scopes on the market. The scope is only 7.7" long x 2.83" high x 2.36" wide (195x72x60mm) and weighs less than 18 ounces. Weight and size are critical factors when comparing thermal scopes which gives the Super Hogster a leg up on the competition. In fact, this weapons mountable scope is smaller than my thermal monocular. It can easily be used as a thermal riflescope or a handheld thermal monocular for scanning.

The scope came with a single-lever, quick-release (QR) mount that 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 only has one 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.

This single lever configuration is not only secure but makes reattaching the scope to the rifle quick and easy, even in total darkness. If you can not afford a separate thermal scanner, you can remove the Hogster 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.

Super Hogster's Technology Makes It Unique

The Bering Optics Super Hogster is unique because of its thermal core. Most midrange and mid-priced thermal optics use a 384x288 17-micron thermal processing core. The thermal core of the Super Hogster uses 384x288 12-micron thermal processing core with a NETD rating of <40 Mk. As far as I know, this is the only thermal scope on the market with a 384x288 12-micron core. You can definitely see the difference when you compare it to a scope with a 384x288 17-micron thermal core, like the Bering Optics Hogster R35.

Other companies make scopes with the larger 640x480 12-micron core or smaller 320x240 12-micron cores and as you would expect, the image quality of the Super Hogster falls right in between these higher and lower resolution scopes.

Bering Optics has used this advanced 12-micron Vanadium Oxide (VOx) thermal core and combined it with a top-quality 35mm Germanium optical lens for outstanding image quality. This new thermal processor also makes it possible to raise the base magnification to 2.9X with a 35mm lens and physically short scope body. The field of view at 100 yards is 40 feet. On paper at least, this new Bering Optics thermal weapons scope seems to have what it takes to be "Super".

Super Hogster Notable Features

So what does all this great technology give us as useable features?

In addition to the great image quality of the Super Hogster, you get a host of useable features. Let's start with the 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 excellent video recording capability with just the push of a button. It also streams through the Bering Optics App to your smartphone. It has 16 gigs 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 on the top center of the display. 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 Super Hogster 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. Do not confuse this feature with a laser range finder.

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 Super Hogster 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 four zero profiles in the Super Hogster. It gives you the capability to set up profiles for different rifles or different loads for the same rifle. I know that my Ruger 243 rifle point of impact shifts quite a bit between 100-grain bullets I use for hogs and 70-grain bullets I use for coyotes. Multiple profiles help me with that problem. For our tests and hunting, we were able to set up a suppressed and unsuppressed zero profile for two of our rifles. Regardless of how you use the multiple profiles option, it will come in handy.

Other handy features include an inclinometer to help you keep the scope level, a digital compass, and a battery status indicator on the display screen. If you encounter a bad pixel on the screen, it has a blind pixel repair tool.

The Super Hogster lets you easily change the brightness and contrast for different weather conditions. It also has 8 different reticle designs.

Scroll to the bottom for a complete list of Super Hogster specifications and what comes in the box.

Super Hogster Power Options

Power is provided to the Super Hogster 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 tethered to the scope body to prevent loss and has an o-ring seal to make it waterproof.

A pair of quality Lithium batteries will power the scope for 3-4 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 am not a fan of scopes powered by CR123 batteries, but the Super Hogster does have the option of using rechargeable batteries or power banks. I used an Anker 10K power bank with no issues.

The Super Hogster has a special menu setting when powered by rechargeable 3.7V accumulators (rechargeable batteries). Be careful if you decide to use rechargeable CR123 batteries because Bering Optics will not repair your scope under warranty if damage to the scope is caused by overcharged rechargeable batteries. Use a high-quality charger that prevents overcharging. As far as I know, this is the only thermal optics company that has special 3.7V settings for rechargeable batteries.

I am very happy to see that like Apple, Bering Optics uses the USB-C connector on their scopes. 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 Bering Optics 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.

Super Hogster Scope Controls

Super Hogster Review

The Super Hogster uses only three control buttons, located on the top of the scope. You have a power button at the front, the menu button in the center, and a record/calibration button in the rear. All the functions and menus are accessed through these three buttons with a series of long and short presses. Some features like zooming the magnification require pushing two buttons at the same time. I have been told by Bering Optics that the newest models have an upgrade that allows zooming with the power button.

Operating the front adjustable objective lens is very easy. The adjustment ring has a raised area on the ring to make it easier to turn and locate at night. It turns smoothly and resistance is just enough to keep it set during recoil so it does not move until you physically turn it. The same is true with the ocular lens adjustment. Just set it and it stays put.

The control buttons and focus adjustments have a clean layout and everything you need during the hunt is one push of a button or turn of the focus ring. Zoom, power, power standby, NUC and video recording are can be done with a push of a button.

Super Hogster Palettes & Reticles

The Super Hogster has four color palettes - White Hot, Black Hot, Red Hot & Colored Hot. I am glad they just have the four. Like most people, I will only use two of these while hunting and play around with the other two now and then. I do think the Colored Hot is useful to rest your eyes on long hunts.

The Super Hogster has four color palettes - White Hot, Black Hot, Red Hot & Colored Hot. I am glad they just have the four. Like most people, I will only use two of these while hunting and play around with the other two now and then. I do think the Colored Hot is useful to rest your eyes on long hunts.

The scope has 8 reticle patterns including 3 ranging reticles for those long shots at stubborn varmints that hang up at long range. Each of the reticle patterns has four color options; red, green, black and white. The ranging reticles work at any magnification level.

When the digital zoom is changed, the ranging reticle that is displayed is scaled, i.e. its view will change (increase or decrease) in proportion to the variable magnification. This function is similar to a conventional front focal plane scope with a ranging reticle, ie, it ranges properly at any power. I do not have the measurements of the reticles so I do not know if they are sized in milliradian increments or inches.

Super Hogster For All Types of Hunting

The Bering Optics Super Hogster 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 2.9X base magnification is enough for most varmint hunters and not too much for hog hunters where ranges are relatively short. Even with the 2.9X base magnification, it still gives you a wide 40' field of view at 100 yards. 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 Super Hogster, it filled the bill.

In those situations where you need more magnification to take longer shots, the Hogsters 12-micron <40Mk thermal processor provides adequate resolution at higher magnification. When you have to double or even quadruple the base magnification, there is still a good image for precise aiming.

Bering Optics Super Hogster 2.9x11.6

The photo above is zoomed to 11.6X and as you can see, the background image is pixelated pretty badly, but the star of the show is not. Doug was able to take this coyote at over 300 yards because the image quality of the heat source is still quite good. With most scopes in this price range, you would be aiming at a group of faded squares at that distance when zoomed to the scopes max magnification.

Notice also that since the base magnification starts at 2.9X you have a relatively large target at long distance. The Super Hogster lets you identify targets at longer ranges and makes it easier to precisely aim at targets at longer ranges.

Hunting With The Super Hogster

The Bering Optics Super Hogster is great for hunting coyotes and hogs. The video above was captured on Doug's first couple of hunts with the Super Hogster. As you can see, the image is sharp and dogs were falling left and right. It took only a short trip to the range for setup and we were successful from the very first hunt. The Super Hogster is simple to set up, and deadly in the field.

The Super Hogster's image improvements over their 17-micron models are heat separation and sharper images. Everything in the picture is sharper, but where the Super Hogster shines is in the sharp contrast of the animal against the background. It is really noticeable in the black-hot pallet. In the video with the cattle, the black-hot lines are sharply defined and clearly visible even at maximum magnification. It does not pixelate badly at higher magnification. A little blurry at 11.6X yes, but still good enough to identify coyotes and accurately aim at 300+ yards. That is quite an accomplishment for such a compact, reasonably priced thermal scope.

As I have said before, when I am hunting, I really do not care how great the details of the background appear. I am concerned about detecting and identifying the target, and then being able to see a bright and defined target so I can make the shot. I do not want everything in shades of gray, I want defined heat separation between the target and the background. The Super Hogster gives me just that.

I like the 2.9X base power of the Super Hogster. It makes aiming easy and the 40-foot field of view at 100 yards is adequate for my needs. I use a thermal scanner for locating game, so the field of view works for me. Using this scope to scan while mounted on your rifle may be more of a challenge.

The biggest challenge I had while hunting with the Super Hogster was the control buttons. Trying to push two buttons simultaneously with cold fingers to zoom the magnification sometimes resulted in unintended consequences. Newer models of the Super Hogster have single button zooming. If you have an older model, you can send it back to Bering Optics for updated firmware. You will then be able to zoom the magnification with a short press of the power button.

The Super Hogster Is Bolt Action Friendly

Super Hogster on Bolt Action Rifle

The location of the single-lever mount makes the Super Hogster bolt action friendly. The mount is located at the front of the scope, so you can mount it far enough back on a bolt action rifle for proper eye relief. Many thermal riflescopes must be mounted on a special mount to be used on bolt action or conventional semi-auto firearms, but not the Super Hogster. I used it on a CZ 455 rimfire rifle during raccoon season and it worked like a charm. This should also apply to the entire Hogster series of thermal riflescopes.

Overall, hunting with the Super Hogster was great. The image is sharp and clear, the compact size makes it a pleasure to carry on long hunts, and making accurate shots was easy. It can be used on any type of rifle with a Picatinny rail mount. We had zero issues during our tests and I would definitely recommend it for any type of night hunting.

Bering Optics Super Hogster Likes & Dislikes

Excellent Image Quality – The image quality of the Super Hogster is the best available in a 384x288 mid-priced thermal riflescope and knocking on the door of scopes using 640x480 thermal cores. The 12-micron core really is a cut above the competitions' 384x288 17-micron models. The Hogster's image at twice the base power (5.8X) rivals the clarity of the other brands' image at base power magnification.

Base Magnification - The Super Hogster's base magnification is perfect for me. I seldom hunt over bait or feeders that are less than 50 yards away. I usually hunt powerlines, cut cornfields, and hayfields for coyotes and hogs. I have hunted with thermals with 1.5-2.5X base magnifications and I always felt handicapped. I presently hunt with scopes that have 3-3.5X base magnification level and the Super Hogster fits right into my preferred magnification range.

Wide Field Of View - Field of view is very important when choosing a thermal scope. If you have a thermal monocular for scanning, a very wide field of view in your riflescope is less important. The Super Hogster's field of view at 100 yards is 40 feet wide. A 40-foot field of view is good for most hunting situations but is the minimum I want in a riflescope for follow-up shots on a sounder of hogs.

Easy To Use - The Super Hogster is a great thermal riflescope for first-time buyers. You can go into the menu and easily set it up for hunting. You may need to check the manual for some unfamiliar menu icons, but you can be ready to hunt with it in a very short time.

Batteries & Power Banks - I like that the scope is designed for use with rechargeable batteries and power banks. It has a special setting for rechargeable batteries and a strong USB-C cable port. I used an Anker power bank and it worked very well. Be sure when are setting up your scope to turn the scope off before you disconnect the power bank to save your changes, and change the power setting to 3.7 volts when using rechargeable batteries.

What I Would Change - The only thing I would change about the Super Hogster is the zoom button. You should be able to zoom the magnification by pressing one button. I think this has already been corrected so I guess Bering is a step ahead of me.

Bottom Line - No matter what you hunt at night, the Bering Super Hogster Thermal Riflescope will get the job done. Compact design, perfect base magnification, and very sharp image. I do not think you will be disappointed with it if you are looking for a mid-level thermal rifle scope or if you buy it for a scanner. After using it, I can see why it is called Super. It is a mid-level scope with an entry-level price!

Bering Optics Super Hogster Specifications

  • Magnification: 2.9x-11.6x
  • FOV @100 yds: 40 feet
  • Objective Lens: 35mm
  • Resolution: 384x288
  • Pixel Pitch: 12 microns
  • NETD: <40 Mk
  • Display Resolution: LCOS 1280х960
  • Refresh Rate: 50 Hz
  • Dimensions: 7.7" long x 2.83" high x 2.36" wide
  • Weight: 17 oz without batteries and mount
  • Power Supply: 3V CR123 (two)/ 5V Type C USB port
  • Estimated Battery Life: 4 Hours
  • Superior for hogs and predator control at medium- and long-range distances
  • Picture-in-Picture function- 2X multiplied image on a top of the display
  • Automatic shatter based thermal VOx core with Auto- or Manual calibration
  • Switchable image polarity: White Hot / Black Hot / Red Hot / Colored Hot
  • 8 reticle patterns including 3 BDC reticles
  • 4 color options for each reticle pattern
  • Manual control of the image sharpness and screen brightness
  • Ability to save 4 profiles of zeroing calibration data
  • Stradiametric Rangefinder function to estimate the distance to the targets of known size
  • A precise lens focusing mechanism
  • Option to power by rechargeable 3.7V accumulators
  • 5V DC external power supply option via a Type C USB port

In The Box

  • 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
  • Lens Cleaning Cloth
  • Instructions manual

Shop Pulsar Thermal Optics at Outdoor Legacy

The Bering Optics Super Hogster models are flying off dealers' shelves. If you want a new Super Hogster thermal scope, call Jason at  Outdoor Legacy at (877)350-1818. If the Super Hogster 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 shows 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 YoutubeHansETXand The Old Deer Hunters for great hunting videos and thermal optic reviews.

 

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