Bushnell Fusion Laser rangefinder Binos
- 0 Comments
- Last updated: 25/11/2016
The concept of combining a laser rangefinder with a set of binoculars is a boon to the modern hunter, as it’s one less item to carry and easier to use too. European makes are not cheap, but Bushnell have bought out a range called the Fusion 1600 Arc that offers good value for money and great performance. Two modes are available the 10x42mm (on test) and the larger 12x50mm. All in all a lot of features in a small compact, waterproof set up and at a good price.
Effective ranging is dependent on the reflectivity and size of the target. Yes, you can range 1600 yards but that’s on a highly reflective object like a building or rock outcrop. Whilst most other objects can be ranged to 1000 yards with an accuracy of +/- one yard dependent on the lighting conditions. Strangely the more light the less effective whilst over cast days gives the best results.
The layout is pretty standard with x10 magnification coupled to the 40mm objective lens. This means the Fusion is compact at only 6.5”long and weighing 31ozs. It’s rubber-coated for grip and protection has a forward-mounted battery compartment between the barrels that holds a Lithium CR-123 cell that should be changed every 6 months.
On top are two, small (too small really with gloves) red buttons, a bit that operate the functions, which are many. If you are like me, I have enough trouble with the TV remote let alone modern technology! First you need a few one-time-only set up adjustments before you start. Look through the right barrel and switch on, a red display will appear and adjust the right eye cup ring until sharp. Whilst still looking through the right side only adjust the central main focus until sharp. Now look through the left barrel only and adjust left eyecup ring until sharp to compensate for eye diopter difference.
To operate the display press the right button, which brings up an aiming mark, press again and the range and data is displayed for three seconds. You can also set up the features next. Selective target mode for fine tuning targets that are ranged. Press the power button and then mode button on left barrel to select standard mode, ranges up to 1600 yards/metres and when the power button is held down you can scan multiple and moving targets.
The Bulleyes mode lets you accurately range smaller objects without interfering with background obstacle. I.e. by holding the button down and moving the cross hairs over the deer and tree`s the closer object i.e. deer will only be displayed and the bullseye LCD icon now has a cross hairs surrounding it.
Third mode is Brush, displayed by three trees in the view finder. Here the furthest distance is displayed i.e. deer, so that closer intervening branches and foliage are ignored. Brightness can also be changed as it’s important to see in all conditions. There are four intensities accessed by holding down the mode button and then toggle through options.
Now you need to set your rifles ballistics so the ARC angle system can be operated correctly for your ammunition. Press the power then mode buttons and after the brightness display you can cycle through the rifle or bow ARC options. There are 10 ammunition settings that cover the most popular calibres from 22-250 to 30-06 but there are over 2000 calibre listings on www.bushnell.com to choose from! Failing that there is a useful chart with trajectory drop for the 10 drop options so you can best match your rifles ammunition ballistics.
Now set up, when you spot a deer from an elevated position you push the red button on, then down for two seconds and the display will show range and below this the range of shot and corrected distance setting i.e. inches or cm compensation. It works for -90 to +90°. All these instructions are clearly stated in the booklet and after a bit of practise and set up its done and just ping the target as you wish.
The Fusion is just the right size around the neck with the padded strap and eye cup rubbers fitted you hardly notice it. The Bak-4 glass roof prisms are phase corrected with Bushnell’s PC-3 coatings to give a sharp picture. Actually they have a bluish tint to them and in use seem to pop the target from the background. This is also helped by the additional XTR anti reflective coatings to maximise light transmission.
In use at dawn and dusk the Fusions worked very well defining objects but at last knockings you notice they are not as good as some European competitors, but these are a third of the price! I was impressed with the range and accuracy of the Fusions though as I sat up to on a hill in Scotland and ranged sheds, sheep, tree`s, granite outcrops and distance stags on the hill side.
They are fast to get an accurate range and I had very few ‘no readings’, which is very impressive considering the price. The furthest range I managed was 1541 yards on a distant outcrop and that was in good lighting conditions. The scan mode worked well and after a bit of practice I managed to flick between the brush and bulls eye mode to set furthest or closest target ranged, although standard mode worked fine for me.
Whether you use the ARC system or not, the inclination angle is handy to know as you can use the settings displayed for your bullet compensation or apply it to you own data. I used the Fusion for long range shooting with the new .22-284 Wildcat Sako I was testing and the range information was spot on although I did not need the ARC system. They are waterproof and come with a limited, 2-year guarantee and have a padded strap and lens and eye cup rubber covers.