By David Lake
Rangefinders can be hard to shop for. There are top brands that promise good value; there are value brands that promise good performance, and there are some premium brands that cross well into the 4 figure price column that almost promise world domination. Now, the decision has been made for you. The Bushnell Elite Tactical 1 Mile ARC laser rangefinder is as good as a rangefinder gets. The unit asks $599 at retail, half that of other brands offering similar performance. Its capabilities were well proven in our field tests. Bushnell claims this rangefinder will read up to 1 mile on a hard target. That’s 1,760 yards. We were able to get a read at 1,759 yards. So we took one big step forward, and got a read of 1,758 yards. Amazing enough by any standard. We tried this rangefinder on trees, cars, brush, rocks and livestock at the maximum ranges claimed by Bushnell. It passed our tests, upheld the claims, and exceeded our expectations.
The Bushnell 1 Mile ARC rangefinder replaces the 1600ARC line and includes Bushnell’s latest technology suite, called “ESP2” ranging technology. This system uses Bushnell’s second generation laser and receiver tech to send and analyze multiple measurements from every “shot” and then employs a logic filter to display the best result. This ranging tech actually analyzes air conditions to detect and compensate for dust, rain, or snow that could diffuse the infra-red laser and skew readings. This new unit features a high contrast “Vivid Display” that shows the reticle and information display in bright red figures. The display is adjustable for brightness. The 1 Mile ARC offers 3 ranging modes; a target mode for ranging easy fixed objects, a brush mode which ignores vegetation, and a constant scan mode to follow moving targets. The ranged results can be displayed in yards or meters to the target along the line-of-sight or actual horizontal distance to the target, which compensates for incline. This unit goes a step further by including a bullet drop mode so you don’t ever have to know distance to the target; it just tells you where to hold to make a hit. This “rifle mode” includes 10 ballistic groups that cover the average downrange performance of over 2,000 caliber and load combinations. Bushnell suggests that these average trajectories are close enough to make a hit on a medium game animal. The display can show holdover in inches, centimeters or MOA values at the target’s distance. So it’s not just a rangefinder–it’s a firing solution.
The 1 Mile ARC features rubber armored construction, a fast adjust eye cup, and an ocular focus to adjust for an individual’s eyesight. There are only 2 buttons, one to “fire” and one to access the menu. Bushnell has kept the menu options well organized so it’s easy to navigate. The battery cover unscrews without the need for a coin as they have in the past. There’s a flip-open tab on the cover that makes battery install quick and easy. The only complaint we had is that the battery cover is not tethered to the unit and thus could get lost. A tripod can be attached to the threaded boss on the bottom surface. The belt pouch has done away with plastic snaps and Velcro for a closure. Instead it uses magnets within the pouch’s flap. It’s fast, secure, and quiet. Bushnell continues to impress with an outstanding product at a winning price.
Bushnell Outdoor Products
20 Constitution Blvd. South
Shelton, CT 06484
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V19N1 (January 2015)|
and was posted online on November 21, 2014