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GUNS Magazine Digital February 2011 - Page 22
• J A C O B G O T T F R E D S O N • This 4X-12X scope ranges and tells you where to shoot! came across the most innovative and revolutionary I solution for hunters I have seen in many years—maybe ever seen—maybe ever will see. It was something scope Burris eLiminator manufacturers have been trying to accomplish for years. Burris has done it. Walking the halls of 2010’s SHOT Show, I was amazed at the new riflescopes, binoculars and spotting scopes, representing myriad price ranges, from those for the budgetminded buyer to the best of glass with class. Then, quite by accident, I stumbled on it. I was visiting with Pat Beckett, an old friend, at the Burris booth. We talked for a moment and he steered me to a display near the corner of his area and handed it to me. But let me back up a moment. Let’s review the past 50 years for a bit. In my youth I began hunting with a 4X Weaver. It had a very fine crosshair and a dot at the intersection of the crosshairs. The wire was so fine I often could not see it. It worked OK, and I took a lot of game with it. My next acquisition was a Plex reticle with somewhat thicker wires and it was a little more useful. In the military I was introduced to the Mil-Dot reticle, which was even more useful. About 15 years ago, a man named Tom Smith approached me with a new reticle incorporating holdover bars below the main horizontal crosshair, designed to take advantage of the ballistic flight of bullets with a factor designation. Quite ingenious, it was used in both Swarovski and Kahles scopes for several years and has since been emulated by more than one manufacturer. The chase to design holdover bars of various configurations was on. While they greatly improved the ability of hunters to put game on the ground out to 600 yards and more, there were The Burris eliminator Laserscope is shown here on one of Rock River’s ARs. The standard mounting system that comes with the scope required a high mount on the AR platform. still drawbacks. The typical scenario went thus: The hunter sees his target, ranges it with some rangefinder or his stadia bars. He then looks at a table taped to his rifle or residing in his pack or pocket… or maybe he was gifted with a memory to remember it all, even in 10 of his different rifles and calibers. Once he decides on the appropriate holdover bar, he reengages the target and fires away. While this capability is far and above that of my old Weaver with the fine wire and dot, and also the plex, it still presents some problems: First, you have to put your rifle down and use the rangefinder. Next, you have to look at a table or ballistic software on your iPod. Finally, you take the rifle and begin aiming, using the holdover bar the table designates for that range. During this time, the animal might have moved out of the range taken or disappeared altogether. And it all took valuable time. About three years ago, maybe longer, Zeiss, Burris, Nikon and Bushnell introduced rangefinding riflescopes that allowed the hunter to range the target while still holding it in the scope’s image. They went a step further and included holdover bars on the horizontal crosshair. The speed with which a hunter could take the shot was greatly improved. But one step remained unsolved: The hunter still had to take his eyes from the target to find out which holdover bar to use. Granted, the Zeiss has numbers on the holdover bars, but they vary according to conditions, so a card with an appropriate holdover chart was still needed. Wouldn’t it be great if…. So, back to the Burris booth. Pat handed me a rangefinding riflescope and stepped back. I looked through it. It ranged alright, but that was not new. Then I saw a small yellow/red dot appear below the main vertical crosshair. Was this what I thought it was? In the evolution of riflescopes several things remain to be solved. First, after ranging, a red or yellow dot or some other easily readable color would appear, representing the holdover required. Burris had done 22 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM•FEBRUARY2011