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Burris 4-12x42 laser rangefinder riflescope

The name of Burris is well known in the shooting world and has a great reputation for the fine optical quality of its products. An American company based in Colorado, they make a full range of scopes for all types of shooting from air rifles to full bore hunting.

They are one of three companies up to now that have come up with a package incorporating a laser rangefinder and a riflescope all in one. The benefits for the hunter are obvious when shooting over terrain at unknown distances and negates the need for a separate rangefinder and all the extra time that this entails. The Burris shares a lot of its bits with the Bushnell version (which I tested last month in these pages), such as the scope body and function buttons, but there are also differences and the Burris comes with a three year warrantee.

Build and features

At just under 13 inches long without the sunshade and weighing around 25 ounces its dimensions are pretty much the same as many standard scopes, although a bit on the heavy side. The finish is a non-reflective matt black which, along with its unconventional shape, give it a rather meaningful look.

In the box with the scope comes a set of mounts that fit onto the rail under the scope body and are designed to fit Weaver or Picatinny type mounts. The rear of the scope base is in segments which allows the shooter to position and lock the scope in a set position to obtain the correct eye relief, whilst allowing free movement when positioning the forward mount. The strange thing is that although the Burris and the Bushnell laser scopes appear to share the same scope body, this ribbed block is set on opposite ends. On the Bushnell it is set on the front mount.

Burris recommend the use of their XTB bases which were designed with this scope in mind. Included in the package are small spanner used to tighten the mounts, a sunshade, and the remote infra red unit for mounting forward on the forend of the rifle without the need for wires.

Ballistic Plex

Also included is ranging information to be used with the Burris ‘Ballistic Plex’ reticule used in the scope. This system is a tried and tested one, working well over a variety of different calibres once the shooter has matched it to his particular set up.
It is particularly quick to assess bullet drop and aim accordingly. Pair this up with the built in range-finder and the shooter has a very quick acquisition, range, and shot time.

The scope is a 4-12x42. The zoom magnification feature is operated from a ribbed power ring just behind the scope’s main body and is marked off in power settings accordingly. Parallax is set at 100yds. The reticule is in the second focal plane and remains the same size regardless of power setting, so it is important to use the recommended power setting of 12x mag when matching up to the charts provided. The shooter can select his own optimum power setting and make up his own range table to fit the Ballistic Plex reticule if he chooses, but 12x mag will match with the ballistic charts supplied by Burris.

The reticule can be seen in the photos and each substension line will correspond with a known calibre at 12x mag.

Optically, the Burris continues its reputation for fine optical quality with a clear crisp image ‘edge to edge’ and natural colours. Definition is good, making it easy to pick out small detail at 300yds plus. Eye relief is around 3.5 inches but as Burris do not provide a spec sheet on this scope - other than its operating temperature range - I cannot give an exact distance.

Operation

In use things are pretty much as any other scope, except for the laser ranging system. I can only guess that the MOA click lines on the turrets are in quarter increments, as there is no information provided that confirms this. In the booklet provided it states that the click value is indicated on a sticker under one of the turret caps but upon investigation, no info was present. I found that the turret markings are very small and I had to really search for the marking which denotes which way to turn the turret for up/down/left/right.  Except for an initial ‘0’ mark, there are no further reference numbers, only lines. I suppose that Burris expect the shooter to use the Ballistic Plex reticule, and indeed these are not target type turrets, but it would be nice to have each minute of angle clearly marked with a 1, 2, 3, etc.

The remote activation button straps on to the forward part of the stock on the left or right side, catering for left or right handed shooters, and sends an infra red signal to one of two receiver ‘windows’ positioned on each side of the scope body. The first press powers up the system and the second press activates the ranging system.
This shows up in a red Y or M through the scope in yards or meters, depending on preference, and this can be altered by pressing the top third of the power button.

As the scope calculates it shows three, two, or one horizontal bar to the left indicating battery strength. The unit should be good for at least 5000 ‘pings’. Once the range has been established, usually within a second, the bars disappear and the range appears top left.

As with the Bushnell I recently tested, the Burris has a ‘scan’ facility which is particularly useful on moving targets or on something that the shooter is having difficulty with, such as small game.

Just hold the power button down and it will continually assess the range, reading out every second or so, giving the shooter time to decide his range. The booklet provided states that it is accurate +/- 1yd under 100yds, +/-2yds between 100 and 550yds, and +/- 3yds over 550yds.

In practice I found that it will read from 25yds and consistently give readings out to 580yds on any sort of object, either reflective or non-reflective provided that the angle of the object was not ridiculously steep, causing the signal to skip off and away instead of back to the scope. The booklet states that it operates from 50 to 550yds generally and 50 to 800yds on reflective targets. I was not able to verify the latter distance, but who is going to take a shot over 600yds anyway? So it’s a bit academic really.

The sunshade will come in useful on occasions but during my time with the scope I found little need to use it, even when pointing towards a very bright sky with the sun low and to the side. Such is the quality of the package.

Conclusions

As with the Bushnell alternative, the Burris would be an ideal tool for the stalker or foxer looking to cut down on his carrying kit when out in the field, but always remember that binoculars can be used in instances where it would be totally inappropriate to point the rifle.

With some front end parallax adjustment, the scope could be set up to focus within air rifle ranges and would prove to be an excellent addition to the air rifle hunter’s armoury.

Is it worth the price?  It’s all relative really! I have paid out more than this on a couple of occasions for FT scopes with half the technology offered here. It is well built, from a company with a good reputation, and the optics are superb. No doubt it will come down in price as time moves on. Shooters have a knack of always acquiring what they see as the answer to their prayers, and one man’s meat is another man’s poison.

Once again, my thanks to MacAvoys gun shop (tel. 01257 426129) for the loan of this equipment for evaluation. You can see all the currently available laser scopes if you pay him a visit in Standish.

Technical Specifications
Manufacturer Burris
Weight Approx. 25ozs
Length Approx. 13 inches without sunshade
Ranging accuracy +/- 1 yd to +/- 3 yds depending on range
Min/ max ranging 25yds to 550 (none reflective) up to 800 reflective
Magnification 4-12x zoom
Power source 3v Lithium battery (supplied)
Field of View N/A
Operating temp -10 to 50C (14 to 122F)
Parallax 100yds set
Guarantee 3 years
RRP £995

All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates

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User Comments
  • Recently bought one of these for an fac airrifle because the article said it would be excellent when the parallax was adjusted to a more suitable range . Sent scope off to an optics shop but they say it's not possible to adjust !!! Is this correct ? Does anyone know of one that's been adjusted to 45/50 yards and if so where it was done ? Thanks Paul

    Comment by: P Schofield     Posted on: 26 Apr 2012 at 10:12 AM

  • Can't say I know on that one. But I would imagine it was made primarily as a firearms scope with a set paralax of 100-yards, which is normal. With some scopes it's possible to reset the paralax by screwing in the objective lens, like the old Simmons 1.5-5x24, which is what an optics shop would do.

    Comment by: pete moore     Posted on: 26 Apr 2012 at 10:24 AM

  • I have one as well and it is hopeless for air rifles with the parallax set at 100 yards! Did you managed to get the parallax readjusted? If so how or by whom?

    Many thanks,

    Christian

    Comment by: christian bailes     Posted on: 01 Sep 2013 at 08:32 PM

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Burris 4-12x42 laser rangefinder riflescope
Burris 4-12x42 laser rangefinder riflescope
Burris 4-12x42 laser rangefinder riflescope
Burris 4-12x42 laser rangefinder riflescope
Burris 4-12x42 laser rangefinder riflescope
Burris 4-12x42 laser rangefinder riflescope
Burris 4-12x42 laser rangefinder riflescope
Burris 4-12x42 laser rangefinder riflescope
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