Bushnell Fusion 1600 laser rangefinding binocular

This new Fusion laser-rangefinder binocular is a practical glass combining fully multi-coated optics with laser for about $1600.00.

Today, a good many riflescopes are equipped with rangefinding reticles, some of which require a degree in advanced maths. The the most accurate Tactical-type are calibrated to match the ballistics and trajectory path of a specific cartridge. These days you can buy several scopes with with fancy circles, Mil Dots and other graduated reticles for help in rangefinding and windage for long range shooting. While these complicated reticles are an aid to estimate distance, they all have one big problem. Even with the fastest, flattest-shooting modern rifles, you have to know the size of the target animal within 10 percent.

A 10 percent difference in size may affect our range estimation by only 30 yards at ranges around 300, but that is much less than most hunters can guesstimate, especially out beyond 300. Even experienced hunters are unable to guess distances well enough to be useful. Once I checked a guy’s guesses and found he often misjudged the range by as much as 50 percent! For big game out to the long ranges of, say 300 to 400 metres, I find that rangefinding reticles clutter up the field too much and hide a clear view of the game. In any case, the flattest shooting rifles, like, for example, the .270 Weatherby Magnum, can be sighted in to enable a dead centre hold out to 400. And that’s about as far as any sportsman should be shooting at game.

Obviously knowing the exact range is an advantage in scoring a clean kill at extended ranges, which is why many hunters carry a laser rangefinder. These instruments don’t require any knowledge of target size and are normally accurate within one metre/yard. If they have a disadvantage it is the need to carry an extra optic in addition to your binocular. Nowadays, however, a more practical option is to have the rangefinder incorporated into a binocular or scope.




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