While the trending uptick today is in extreme long-ranging rangefinders and rangefinder binoculars, the Bushnell Bone Collector 850 LRF takes a different path.
This path is one of affordability and performance without compromise.
It’s often the path that acquires more popularity because more people can justify the cost.
But do these entry-level rangefinders hold up in the field?
Is it an accurate enough rangefinder for bow hunting or shooting at an incline?
It wouldn’t be a Bone Collector if it wasn’t.
What We Like: Simple rangefinder
What We Don’t Like: Not as grippy as it seems
Best Uses: Hunting, Bow Hunting, Target Shooting
- Yard Range: 5-850
- Magnification: 6x
- Objective Lens: 24mm
- Display Type: LCD
- Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.3 x 2.9”/6.3 oz
- Waterproof/Fogproof: Water-resistant
- Angle Compensation: Yes
Our Verdict: The Bone Collector 850 LRF Realtree Edge performs, it’s cheap, it’s simple, and it looks great. It’s hard to believe for the price, but this entry-level unit has it all. If you’re looking for the distance while from a treestand or from an ethical distance to shoot, you need nothing more than the Bone Collector.
Who is the Bushnell Bone Collector 850 LRF Realtree Edge Best Suited to?
For hunters who only need the distance to their whitetail, the Bone Collector 850 will get ‘er done. This isn’t the type of rangefinder that you will want for glassing extreme distances or attaining ballistic info for elevation adjustments. You’ll need to consider a budget upwards of $1000 for that.
However, this is the type of rangefinder that hunters and bow hunters need for reasonable distances that they will take the shot from.
There are those who consider higher magnification, illumination, selectable reticles, multiple target modes, etc. as non-essentials. When you’re in range, you just need to know the distance to get on target – bow or rifle, incline or flat terrain, 50 yards away or 400 yards away – they’re keepin’ it simple.
How Does the Bushnell Bone Collector 850 LRF Realtree Edge Perform?
The Bone Collector 850 is a decent unit for its very low price point. It’s right in line with the standard that Bushnell is trying to establish within the industry for affordable rangefinders.
What is worthy of review is its ability to provide accurate angle compensated distances. While it’s a feature that’s not unheard of on rangefinders under $300, it’s really good to have it with a rangefinder under $150 with 850-yard ranging and very few, inconsequential compromises.
There are a few things that it lacks such as a multi-position eyecup, accessories that we would consider standard, and tripod mounting. The lack of tripod mounting is less of a concern because its effective range is shorter, and it only has 4x magnification – it’s a whole lot easier to handle than an 8x or 10x rangefinder.
Affordability, simple operation, and rapid use is what the Bone Collector offers. It’s designed to keep things simple.
Features & Benefits
The flashiest things about the Bone Collector 850 are its Realtree Edge finish and ARC technology. The finish is certainly more desirable than a plain, black finish, and the built-in algorithms for compensating for angles is a must-have feature.
Besides that, things are deliberately streamlined for ease-of-use and a low price point. It has one-button operation, so yes, there will be multiple presses of that button. Fortunately, there’s not a whole lot to toggle through as the angle (decline/incline), ARC distance, and LOS distance are simultaneously evident on the display.
With the LCD display, there is no illumination bleed, no toggling between brightness settings, or power hogging of the battery. But then again, there is no illumination…
The Bone Collector may have a simple setup and is basic in design and operation, but it’s accurate, short-range, and effective for rifle and bow hunters. It’s exactly what you need with nothing more and nothing less.
In line with the simple motif of the Bone Collector, you have one display that shows both the ARC and LOS distances simultaneously. You don’t need to toggle into a different mode which is especially convenient when you tend to forget what setting you’re in when that trophy walks into sight.
Depress the “Fire” button and you activate Automatic Scan mode that provides real-time distances up to four times a second on moving targets or on stationary targets as you pan the terrain.
Unfortunately, there is no toggling between target modes or reticles. There is only a circle with outer crosshairs and center dot as the reticle. It’s designed for rapid target acquisition. The Bone Collector does not allow for toggling between first and second target modes depending on conditions or where the target is located.
Angle Range Compensation with Ballistics Intelligence – this is ARC. The newer model #202209 features a beefed-up microprocessor and laser tech to improve infrared energy pulse speeds and algorithms.
What this means for you is faster target acquisition and accuracy you can depend on. It’s starting effective range is 5 yards. On deer, the Bone Collector maxes out at 350 yards, on trees at 450 yards, and highly reflective targets at 850 yards.
These distances are appropriate for hunters as they’re within shooting range and accurate enough for long-range target shooting. For bow hunters, you have both accuracy and ARC to get the distance you need to prevent overshooting on your target.
You got it. The cheap laser rangefinder is covered by the Ironclad Warranty. It doesn’t matter if you bought it from someone else, if damage was your fault or not (excluding deliberate damage), or when the Bone Collector 850 was purchased.
It has Bushnell on it, so it’s covered under the Ironclad Warranty. Boom, that’s what a quality warranty looks like today.
Not as Grippy as it Seems
The Bone Collector is incredibly lightweight at 6.3 oz and that is owed to the aluminum and plastic conglomeration housing. Even though it’s gone under the knife with a new ergonomic design, the black “rubber” grips are not textured any more than the actual housing with the Realtree Edge finish.
While it can be tethered to a lanyard, no protective case is included. If you’re already wearing a bino harness, then this is a pocket optic and is prone to accidental drops and falls in between.
If you’re wearing gloves, this can improve grippier handling on the rangefinder, but you may find that the Fire button is somewhat difficult to find. It would be nice to see it a little oversized for future redesigns – especially if it’s going to maintain its plastic construction.
The included goods are slim with the Bushnell Bone Collector 850 laser rangefinder. It comes with a lanyard tether and pre-installed CR2 battery. Lens cap and carry case must be purchased separately.
The Bushnell Bone Collector 850 Realtree Edge is accurate to +/- 1-yard from 5 to 850 yards.
The Bone Collector 850 does not have a dedicated Bow mode. It automatically calculates and adjusts for angles. When acquiring a distance, the angle compensated distance that would be used for bow hunting will be the number displayed at the bottom of the field of view.
With this in mind, there is no way to disable or deactivate ARC. It’s always calculated when you need it, and you can ignore it when you don’t.
The Bone Collector 850 has three measuring systems: Yards, Meters, and Feet. You cannot “toggle” between each mode while the unit is on. You must shutdown the rangefinder and power it up again to be given the option of choosing the measuring mode you want.
The Bone Collector 850 has an LCD display. Information including the reticle will be displayed in black, and it’s easily visible. There is no illumination.
The Bone Collector 850 is an unassuming fish in today’s swimming pool of long-ranging, high-tech rangefinders.
It’s a rangefinder that almost anyone can justify pulling the trigger on and is in every way suitable for the hunt just as one that costs 10 times the price.
Though entry-level, it’s accurate and it performs. There’s not a whole more you need than this.
Get the distance. Scoot on closer. Get the distance. Make adjustments if you need to. Pull the trigger or nock the arrow. This is the process most of us follow through with. Why pay more for features you don’t need?
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Simon is an avid outdoor enthusiast and the owner of Target Tamers. He is passionate about bringing you the most up to date, accurate & understandable information on sports optics of all kinds and for all applications. When not glassing the local wildlife, you can find him in the garden with his German Shepherd.