Cold Shoulder.


This is my first experience using Thermal imaging technology for hunting. I have been using digital NV for some years.

SAIM UK supplier


I first received the SAIM – 19 a few days ago from Optical Solutions UK. My intention for this write-up is to do a rolling review, adding to it as my experience and field time grows with the unit.

Inside the box
Carry case + supplied leads
Removable shoulder strap
SAIM 19 unit
Full weaver/Picatinny rail
X2 screws

The Manuel can be downloaded here :

The SAIM SCP – 19

On opening the box I was happy to see a quality carry case, the thermal unit has its own compartment, it is held in securely by a velcro fastener. Other compartments include the supplied wires, a weaver/Picatinny style mount & x2 Allen wrench bolt screws which fix the mount to the unit itself.

The mount has a rear throw setup with a number of different mounting holes – (). This allows the user to place the SAIM 19 in the correct place to achieve the chosen amount of eye relief for there intended purpose.

I am genuinely shocked at how compact and light in weight the SAIM 19 actually is!. At only 370g it is lighter than the majority of standard day scopes and dwarfed in comparison to most dedicated Night vision units of today!.

The SAIM scp 19 has just three buttons as follows, Power sign, C’ cancel and M’ Menu, these are multi functional buttons!. After a short period of playing with the unit in the house, I was able to navigate the menu’s without any problems.

The diopter or “eye bell” has a generous amount of adjustment to set the reticule crisp to your eye, for me I found the lowest setting gave me a pin sharp reticule, the front adjustment or AO is fantastic, this has the right amount of resistance, not sloppy, easy enough to turn with just two fingers.

The front AO focus adjustment ring is smooth and easy to turn but still firm enough that it will not be knocked off during a hunting session in the field. The AO adjustment window is small but precise, there’s really no need to crank on the AO at all, a crisp sight picture snaps into focus with the smallest amount of movement. I like this because it means less time focusing and more time shooting!.

The SAIM scp 19 runs off two () batteries, in my tests I found that good quality branded batteries lasted 4.5 – 5hrs approx on continuous use, on screen brightness setting 2.

Simply hold the power marked button for a couple of seconds to power up the SAIM 19, you are then greeted with a () logo screen. When in use, to preserve battery life, simply press the P button once, this will put the unit into sleep mode.

The SAIM 19 is a Thermal optical hunting scope, it is not a target scope, because if this I hit my niggle with trying to get the scp 19 dailed in on target.
I’m using an airgun, the pellets I use are .177 cal these do not create much of a heat mark on paper targets, if any at all, even less in UK legal sub12 powers, so
from the beginning my shots were never going to burn brightly like they would from a larger calibre bullet rifle!. Zeroing with an airgun for me was always going to be tricky, but nothing is impossible!.
I really only see Airgunners running into this niggle due to the small calibre lead pellets being used. Fortunately there is a way around this, please read on and I will explain my findings.

After achieving a nice sight picture at 15 yards I tried again and even with the increased x2 magnification I could not see any visible pellet holes on paper.
To increase the magnification from 1x to 2x press the “M & C” button simultaneously, hold it, the SAIM 19 will switch to mag setting 2x.

I went through each picture setting and arrive at what I refer to as “predator mode” which is a full spectrum picture filled with blues reds and purples. While in the settings I increased the detail level to max, the brightness level to 3,  and the contrast also to 3. By looking through the scope I was able to find the best level for each setting that would make the darker colours benefit my needs and make the target pop!

Far to much lead was wasted on paper giving no clear feedback of where any of my shots where landing, i grabbed a piece of old carpet from the shed and sat that out at 15 yards.

Sticking with “Predator mode” with the current settings mentioned above, i clicked the ‘C’ button at the rear of the SAIM, this quickly calibrated the screen. Now with everything set up I fired off some more shots, this time at the carpet!.
Finally we had some feedback! quite faint but the heat marks were definitely there. The marks or pellet holes would disappear after only a few seconds though as the heat created from the pellet friction cutting through the carpet dissipated, fortunately for me this was just enough time to get the SAIM SCP 19 zeroed in by using the one shot zero feature, which can be pulled up quickly by holding the ‘M’ button, a extra menu pops up on the left hand side of the screen, by using the “Power” button & “C” button to move updown the menu, use the “M” button to turn on or off your desired feature in menu 2.

I had a squirrel control session coming up this weekend, this would mean that my current zero of 15 yards would need to be increased to 28 yards. I began by setting up a metal knock down  target at 23 yards, I then placed the carpet from the previous session at 28 yards. After slinging some lead down range, I wasn’t getting any heat feedback on the carpet, and very little if any on the knockdown target! This was probably due to the increased range. After a while the wind picked up, this lead to one of my pellets completely over shooting the knocked down target then hitting my concrete back stop, which revealed a perfect crisp heat signature in the form of a 177 pellet, bingo!

I quickly switched the SAIM SCP 19 to one shot zero mode, getting the crosshairs back onto the concrete revealed that the heat signature was still glowing bright! Shooting at concrete clearly had a longer lasting effect over the carpet!. If you are planning to use the SAIM 19 with an airgun, I would recommend you completely by pass paper when zeroing, switch to the full colour mode option in the menu (3rd icon in menu setting 1) with this you will easily be able to pick out the finer details at further ranges as well as the heat POI. Once i realised this, zeroing was a piece of cake and I had the SAIM SCP 19 dialed in perfectly.

I have used this unit as a spotter too, following rats to the bait with the Saim then changing over to NV and whacking on the IR at the very last second, I have taken many rats this way, because… recently they have been spotting the IR glow that is emitted from my torch.

Final thoughts

Even when comparing to some of the well known Dedicated digital NV units the Saim is extremely compact, light weight, it can be used as a spotter or scope this brings added value over others on the market.

Image quality is brilliant, being able to use this unit as a scope or spotter off the rifle really makes the Saim great value for money IMO. through my testing it has been 100 % reliable and has accounted for many rats!

I would like to say thank you to
Optical Solutions uk for supplying the unit for testing