With so many rangefinders out there in the market to choose from, it can get overwhelming trying to decide which one deserves to be your next hunting companion. You want one that’ll stand up to the elements, be dependable for those long hunts, and will never let you down when you’re lining up your soon-to-be trophy.
Good thing for you, I’ve got the info on how much of a buddy it can be when you’re ready to hit the open field again. So where to start? How about with the first sports optics company that brought laser rangefinders to the retail world? Here we review the Bushnell hunting rangefinders:
Bushnell Tactical Rangefinders Review
Bushnell is another house-hold name that every outdoor enthusiast is familiar with, and they’ve earned it. They’ve won over their consumers with distinction-awarded products, quality optics, their pursuit of leading technology, and importantly, providing affordability too.
For over 65 years, they’ve been competing in the big pond to deliver some of the best optics you can have to make sure you fill your tag this season. If you haven’t bought from them before, you can trust that they’ve got your needs in mind.
I won’t ask if you’re a repeat customer, because if you’ve hit this page, then you already know that these Bushnell rangefinders might just be for you.
Both the Bushnell Bone Collector and Tactical Elite rangefinders are excellent units for their price. You’re getting first-rate quality without breaking the bank for weatherproof features, crisp optics, serious yardage, and the Bushnell stamp of approval.
After field testing, review revisions, and some significant eye-balling scrutiny, here’s what I have to say about how Bushnell has delivered again.
Bushnell Michael Waddell Bone Collector Review
The Michael Waddell Bone Collector is exactly where you want it to be in price range and ease of use. It has a 600 yard distance range with a Mossy Oak finish that appeals to hunters who appreciate compact, affordable, lightning-fast results with accuracy to -/+ 1 yard.
The Bushnell Bone Collector is actually a good and dependable entry level rangefinder. For hunting or bow shooting, you’ll be able to get plenty of yardage to make it exciting and with bright and crisp optics to help you hone in on your target. It’s keeping a steady rating with plenty of consumers putting in their input. Many consumers saying that it does exactly what they need it to.
Michael Waddell Bone Collector Rangefinder Q&A:
Q. How well does the magnification perform against the maximum yard range?
A. The Michael Waddell Bone Collector Edition sports 4X magnification and 21 mm objective diameter lenses to give you bright and clear images for anywhere between the 10 to 600 yard range.
At such long distances, the low power magnification can actually make target acquisition much easier, making sure that you can lock the distance on your target for a clean and spot-on shot every time.
Q. How is this laser rangefinder powered?
A. Many rangefinders these days are powered by a CR2 lithium battery. However, the convenient aspect about the Bone Collector is that it’s powered by a 9 volt battery. This is a bonus since not only is it available at almost any retail store, it’s also going to be more commonly found at a rural gas station than a lithium battery.
Why the rural gas station? It’s probably going to be the only convenience store around when you’re out for your hunt in some secluded woods and your rangefinder needs a new battery. Although the battery port holds the 9 volt a little snug and it might seem a little difficult to get it in and out, that actually works in your favor.
There’s less wiggle room for the battery to fall out of place during use or accidental abuse, and therefore less likely to cause problems for you.
Q. How big is the Michael Waddell Edition rangefinder?
A. The Bone Collector 4×21 rangefinders dimensions are 1.4 x 3.8 x 2.9 inches. Now this is exactly the measurements you want if you’re looking for a compact rangefinder that can fit in the palm of your hand comfortably and in the front pocket of your shirt. It’s even smaller and more compact than the comparable Simmons LRF 600 rangefinder.
Q. How good will it perform for an elk or deer hunt?
A. The Bushnell Bone Collector has a maximum 600 yard range for reflective objects which is great for hunting of all kinds. But if you’re thinking specifically for large game like elk or deer, you’ll looking at getting average ranges between 200 and 300 yards. You could probably get a further reading in the right lighting and weather conditions and if the elk is directly ahead of you in a field.
Q. How clear are the readings in low light conditions?
A. The readings show up on the LCD display in black. Although it’s still good to use in low light conditions, it might be a little tricky to read when measuring dark objects. A down side is that there’s no self-illuminating light to make reading measurements at low light a breeze.
Q. Is the Bone Collector weather-proof?
A. This entry level laser rangefinder is water resistant and can stand up to light rain and some unfavorable weather conditions. But, it is about as weather-proof as you can expect for the price. It doesn’t have any waterproof resistance if it were to be submerged under water, and it’s not fog-proof either, so you wouldn’t want to accidentally drop it in a duck pond.
Q. Does it calculate Angle Range Compensation (ARC)?
A. No. This awesome, but basic rangefinder doesn’t include this feature. It only calculates your line of sight distance to the target. If you’re trudging mountainous terrain or you’re needing inclination and declination calculations, you might want to consider the Nikon Prostaff 3i laser rangefinder for less than $100 more.
Bushnell Michael Waddell Bone Collector Features:
- 4X Magnification
- 21 mm Objective Diameter for great eye view
- Realtree Xtra Camo Design
- 10-600 Yard range
- Accurate readings within +/-1 yard
- Single button operation for ease of use
- Compact size 1.4 x 3.8 x 2.9 inches
Bushnell Tactical Elite 1-Mile ARC Review
The Bushnell Tactical Elite 1-Mile ARC is the parent of its kind for the tactical rangefinder family, so if you’re a long range shooter, you’re going to more than appreciate the 2nd Generation E.S.P. (Extreme. Speed. Precision.), VSI (Variable Sight-in), Rifle Mode, the magnetic attachment system, and the built-in tripod mount.
For a true 1760 yards of clarity and sharpness, you have a diopter adjustment, 7X magnification, and VDT (Vivid Display Technology) on your side.
The Tactical Elite 1-Mile rangefinder has had some pretty awesome feedback from its consumers. It’s high rating is reflective of its features, capability, and its competence to hold its own out in the field.
As far as price goes, you’re actually getting a quality unit that’s typically sold for double the price in the current market.
The several available targeting modes, the ARC system, the maximum yard range, and the high performance optics you’re getting with this rangefinder speaks volumes for itself. For the price, it’s almost impossible to beat.
Tactical Elite 1-Mile ARC Rangefinder Q&A:
Q. What’s the maximum the Tactical Elite 1-Mile rangefinder can range?
A. As part of its name, it can range up to one full mile with accurate readings every time. That’s about 1,760 yards which is definitely up there with much more expensive rangefinders, but honestly for about half the price. These dimensions pushes trees and the like to be ranged around 1,000 yards and non-reflective objects like elk and deer at 500 yards.
Q. How powerful is the zooming capability on this Bushnell Hunting Rangefinder?
A. The Bushnell Tactical Elite 1-Mile rangefinder has powerful lenses that has 7X magnification so you can get even better close-ups of your target. In addition the 26 mm diameter lenses allow are adjustable so you can focus better to get sharp and fine details of the visual scene.
As most hunters know, these specs along with accuracy, is the difference between making a clean shot or having to regrettable track down a wounded target. With bright, crisp, and clear images, making your shot should be a non-issue.
Q. Will bad weather like rain and snow affect readings?
A. The Bushnell Tactical rangefinder is equipped to withstand all sorts of weather conditions, from rain and bright sun, to hail and snow. Typically “falling” elements like rain and snow can interfere with accurate readings, but many quality rangefinders have built-in technology to adjust for things like precipitation.
This rangefinder has the Rain-Guard HD feature that provides the best optics to compensate for precipitation so that you can still get that accurate reading whether it’s raining cats and dogs or showering down with snowflakes. Needless to say that this rangefinder is weatherproof all the way.
Q. Is the Elite 1-Mile rangefinder tripod mountable?
A. Yes! This rangefinder not only can be mounted to a tripod for still and long use, but is also compatible with magnetic attachment systems.
Q. How accurate are the readings of the Tactical Elite?
A. The Tactical Elite 1-Mile laser rangefinder can get spot-on readings within +/-0.5 of a yard. That’s pretty impressive for the price you’re getting this rangefinder for. It’s done with Bushnell’s 2nd Generation E.S.P. (Extreme. Speed. Precision.) technology to give you as close to perfect as possible.
You’re also getting within +/-1/10 of yard display precision to see all the fine details of your target.
Q. What is Rifle Mode on the Bushnell rangefinder?
A. The Rifle Mode is the ARC system that calculates bullet drop and holdover in CM, IN, MOA and MIL, whatever your preference. Within Rifle Mode, you’ve also got the Variable Sight-In (VSI) program that lets you use pre-set sight-in distances of 100, 150, 200, and 300 yards. Talk about doing all the work for you!
Q. What modes are available on the laser rangefinder?
A. There are three selective targeting systems available for you to use. The Automatic Scan Mode allows you to scan across your visual scene while keeping updated measurements on the distance between you and your target?
The Bullseye Mode is for closer ranging, say on small game. It’ll take the measurement of the closer target versus looking into the background. The Brush Mode is really handy since it filters out brush, grass, tree branches, and boulders to hone in on objects only.
Q. How easy is the rangefinder to read in low light conditions?
A. The in-view LCD screen is more than just mediocre. It’s backed by a Vivid Display Technology program that allows for screen enhancement in all light conditions.
Q. Can you input custom ballistic information into the Elite 1-Mile rangefinder?
A. No. Unfortunately the rangefinder only has some pre-loaded generic ballistic information. You can certainly pick from the selected ballistic curves to come close to matching your firearm and ammunition to get the correct holdover and bullet drop info.
But this could be a set back since you can’t compensate for elevation or specific velocity. But, if you did want a pretty fancy gadget that let’s you input your user-defined ballistics that also has barometer, thermometer, and inclinometer features, then close your eyes to the price and check out the Leica Geovid 10 x 42 HD Laser Rangefinder Binoculars.
Bushnell Elite 1-Mile ARC Features:
- High performance 7X Magnification
- 26 mm Objective Diameter
- 1 mile/1,760 yards Maximum range
- ARC Ballistics
- 2nd Generation E.S.P. (Extreme. Speed. Precision.) for precise accuracy
- VSI (Variable Sight-in) at ranges of 100, 150, 200, and 300 yards
- VDT (Vivid Display Technology) to enhance light-up features on LCD display
- BullsEye, Brush and Scan mode
- Tripod mountable/Magnetic Attachment compatible
Which is the Best Bushnell Rangefinder For You?
Bushnell’s rangefinders are really made for any outdoor enthusiast that wants some serious optics for some serious fun out in the field. For a starter rangefinder, the Bone Collector is a great unit to begin with.
Unless you eventually want to range even further than 600 yards and you want some extra fancy features to maximize your hunting game, it’ll probably only be then that you’d start looking for an upgrade.
Otherwise, this rangefinder really should take care of you for as long as you want it to. But, if you are wanting that upgrade the Bushnell Tactical Elite 1-Mile ARC rangefinder is quite a leap as far as advancements go, but without the hefty price you’d typically see for the same quality. There again, Bushnell delivers on affordability.
The Final Verdict
Bushnell has been in the optics business for a long time now, and they certainly know what they’re doing. Their rangefinders consistently live up to their claims and you know that they’ll just keep getting better and better.
With various features on both rangefinders to brag about, there’s really no excuse not to buy, pack up, and go hunting this week. From a beginner rangefinder to one that’ll equip an avid and serious outdoors-man, Bushnell has you covered.