These range-finding binoculars are guaranteed to provide you the straight dope to make the long shot.
What Are The 5 Top Range-Finding Binoculars:
- Sig Sauer KILO3000BDX
- Vortex Fury HD 5000
- Nikon LaserForce
- Swarovski El Range
- Bushnell Fusion 1 Mile ARC
What is a gun without ammunition? Or ammunition without a gun? Not a lot, other than some shiny metal and a bit of nice walnut … maybe fiberglass-reinforced polymer. Each is essential to the other, like engine and gas or martini and gin. Someday, the same might be said about a range-finder and binoculars.
A bit of an overstatement, to be sure, yet the two indispensable pieces of shooting gear have a natural and effective symbiosis. After all, if you’re going to identify a target, you should have the capability to range it as well. It only makes sense, especially nowadays. As average shooting distances leap toward the horizon, the marksman is tasked with toting more gear into the field to ensure a hit. Given these circumstances, consolidation is a logical goal.
Thankfully, the industry has responded with a slew of high-power, ultra-precise range-finding binoculars. Less gear, better dope, more hits … what’s not to like about the proposition these nearly obligatory shooting instruments bring to the table?
Sig Sauer has been on its game when it comes to optics. Look no further than its KILO3000BDX range-finding binoculars for proof. In addition to absolute top-shelf glass, the 10x42mm binos have the technological edge on nearly everything out there. It only starts with precise LightWave DSP range finder, a unit powerful enough to take readings out to 5,000 yards (nearly 3 miles!) on reflective targets. Where the magic happens is Sig’s linkable technology. Like many of the company’s optics, its binoculars have a brain—your smart device. It links up with this ubiquitous equipment and Sig’s Ballistic Data Xchange app, crunching the number of that next zip-code target and spitting out a rock-solid shooting solution. Heck, if you happen to run a Sig BDX scope, it goes a step further and precisely plots the proper holdover on the reticle. It’s hard to miss running that sort of system.
MSRP: $1,440 www.sigsauer.com
Vortex fans are fiercely loyal to the brand. Looking through a set of Fury HD it’s little wonder why. Crystalline images and gnat’s ass focus capabilities, it has legs to stand on as binoculars alone. Tack on a range finder that gives you exact readings out to 5000-yards (again a 3 miler) on reflective targets, and you’ve got a piece of shooting gear that’s a sin to forget at home. Designed with hunters in mind, the 10x42mm binos have several features that make them second nature in the field. Chief among these, streamlined push-button controls located at the top right, where your fingertips naturally rest. This makes toggling between its three modes a one-handed ordeal—a godsend when you’re dealing with a load of backcountry kit already. And it offers plenty of measurement modes: Horizontal Component Distance for angle compensation, Line of Sight range and a scan feature. If you’re looking for an edge this elk season, you’ve just found it.
MSRP: $1,600 www.vortexoptics.com
Yeah, 1,900 yards readings on a reflective target (think 600 yards or so on a deer) might sound pedestrian next to range-finding binos that take things to the extreme. But honestly, unless you’re Carlos Hathcock (and you’re not) Nikon’s LaserForce will cover 99.9-percent of the shooting situations you’ll run across. And it will do so extremely accurately, no matter your vantage. The edge the LaserForce brings to the game is more angular compensation than you can shake a stick at. Nikon lists it at +/- 89 degrees; harken back to grade-school geometry, that’s nearly straight up or down. A definite advantage if you happen to chase game in some of the more rugged corners of the country. Per usual with Nikon, the design is clean, the construction is tight and the glass is good on the 10X42mm binoculars. Outfitted Extra-low Dispersion glass, the LaserForce has excellent edge-to-edge clarity, rich, deep images, and offers exceptional light transmission for dawn and dusk operation.
MSRP: $1,200 www.nikonsportoptics.com
Scope Out More Optics Info:
- 8 Revolutionary Reticles For Long-Range Accuracy
- Buying the Perfect Precision Scope
- The Best Tactical Red-Dot Performance-to-Price Option?
- Shifting Winds: SIG BDX Changing Shooting For The Better
One thing you can expect when you put a Swarovski to your eyes is the industry’s best image. Truthfully, they’ve the clarity to count a fly’s nose hair at 100 yards. The El Range is no exception and worth the money as stand-alone binoculars. However, its range-finding capabilities take the optics to an entirely different level of functionality. Admittedly, the 10X42mm (also available in 8X42mm) binos leave a little to be desired in ranging ability, relatively speaking. Precision shooters might scoff at its 1,500-yard limit. For the rest of the shooting world, it encompasses nearly every ethical field shot in the books. Especially given its powerful angle compensation function. The El Range does, however, have a somewhat strange Achilles heel when it comes to ranging—it won’t take a reading closer than 33 yards. No big shakes for rifle hunters, but disconcerting if you also head out for bow season.
MSRP: Starting at $3,632 www.swarovskioptik.com
Honestly, there’s a reason range-finding binoculars cost so much—from lenses to laser, there’s a lot of technology packed in them. Given this, Bushnell’s pulled off the seemingly impossible feat of making the precision optics/measuring device fit nearly any shooter’s budget. And they deliver. As its name suggests, the Fusion 1 Mile ranges out 1,760 yards, which is plenty powerful enough for deer, elk or antelope season. Furthermore, it’s not specifically designed for rifle-season trophy shots, though it’s more than capable of doing so. With separate bow and rifle modes, the Fusion 1 Mile delivers readings specific for each tool, such as holdover for rifle and true horizontal distance for bow. The 10X50mm (also available in 10X42mm) binoculars also have the eminently useful scan function, providing constant readings on a moving target or as you scan the geography. Fusion binos are also proportioned right for the field, weighing you down with only 31 ounces. Not bad for a two-way threat.
MSRP: Starting at $840 www.bushnell.com