Everyone is always claiming that they only shoot at 100 yards, or other such perfectly even ranges. At a shooting range Iíll agree that most people are shooting at a given range but I prefer shooting on public land where my practice sessions are not limited by range rules like one bullet in the rifle at a time and no double taps.

Previously I had a measured length of paracord that I would string between my shooting area and target. Not the most accurate but a darn sight better than guessing by eyeball. I purchased a Bushnell Yardage Pro 500 with a range of up to 1000 yards on highly reflective targets to allow me to quickly range targets and to better train my eye.

In use the rangefinder is quite simple to use with just two buttons - one to fire the rangefinding IR (invisible) laser and the other to change the modes. There is a rain mode which permits distance measurement in inclement weather which we get a bit in Seattle. The ZipThru mode enables distance measurement to a target through foreground clutter like brush and branches which again we have a bit of here. The Scan mode provides continuous distance measurements as multiple targets in field of view are scanned allowing the user to jump from target to target while the laser continuously scans and displays the range. The last mode is the Reflector mode distancing to special reflectors is enhanced. I use small bits of reflective safety tape on the frame of my targets to allow ranging beyond the normal 500 yard mode.

The rangefinder is accurate to within +/-1 yard and displays the range in clear LCD numbers at the bottom of the screen. It has a bar graph across the top of the screen that lets you know the strength of the return laser signal and thus how good the target is reflecting the laser. The laser is eye safe and automatically shuts off between measurements. The optical viewfinder is a six power system with a crosshair diamond in the middle to help finding the proper target. The rangefinder is made of some pretty strong looking plastic and comes with a nice padded case that allows heavy duty field use without taking off the cover.


(Photo from the Bushnell web site)

Bushnell Rangefinder