Compare Bushnell and Nikon

Optics Planet and Big Game Hunt have interesting rangefinder comparison between the Bushnell, Nikon, and Leopold rangefinders for hunting.

What are your thoughts on these three rangefinders: Bushnell Scout 1000 ARC, Nikon RifleHunter 550 w/ID, and Leupold RX-II w/TBR? They are all in the same price ballpark. My questions would be minimum & maximum yardage detection, glass quality, ease of operation, durability and any other useful info for me to make a purchase decision. The winner will be used predominately for archery and rifle hunting in both treestand and steep mountain conditions.

Optically, all of these are in the same general arena. The Bushnell will have the greatest range, and the Bushnell and Nikon are tied for ease of use. The Leupold has the longest learning curve, especially for someone who is not gadget oriented. If you’re good with gadgets, they will all work very well for you.

The Scout has several advanced modes that help the user. Bushnell has created two modes called "Bullseye" and "Brush" which help the user to assign target priority. After using rangefinders for awhile, a hunter will notice that sometimes the rangefinder picks up objects behind or in front of the target object. More advanced rangefinders use targeting modes to decide whether to display the first or last object ranged. Bullseye mode means that the rangefinder is going to display the distance to the first object it obtained a reading from, conversely "Brush" mode returns the distance to the last object it obtained a reading from. The Scout can also scan objects by holding down the power button and moving slowly from one object to the next. Scanning is a common feature in most rangefinders being manufactured today.

Our test unit had very fine, very small black spots throughout the LED display. The Bushnell manual notes that these are normal and a part of the LED display manufacturing processing. This is true; however the Scout unit we tested seems to have more of the tiny black spots than comparable units we have tested from Nikon or Leupold

The Bushnell Scout with ARC is a worthwhile rangefinder. Keep in mind that the inclinometer adds complexity in order to use it correctly; however Bushnell has done a good job of picking a simpler to use subset of functions than the Leupold RX line. A technically challenged person will probably find the Scout easier to setup than the Leupold RX-II, but you give up some of the features of the Leupold and both are harder to setup than a simple point and click unit (like the Nikon 440 or 550 or Brunton Laser Echo). If you find the inclinometer too difficult on the Scout, it can be set to standard mode and be used as a basic rangefinder.