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GUNS Magazine October 2011 Digital Edition - Page 20
• J A C O B G O T T F R E d S O N • This bino does it all (except squeeze the trigger). was quite excited when I first heard about the Bushnell I Fusion 1600 arc. My first encounter with it was at a sniper match. Tom Fuller, Bushnell’s National Military BUShNELL FUSION 1600 ARC Sales Manager, had brought it along. I immediately began badgering Bushnell that I needed one — stat — for evaluation. So what was the catalyst for all my excitement? Little by little, the glass makers of the world feed us small bits of fruit. “This is great, but if I just had…” A sentiment that keeps us buying the next generation of technobabble shooting gear. I keep waiting for that last innovation that fills my needs. Is the Bushnell Fusion 1600 ARC it? Nobody wants to carry several pieces of gear to solve a problem. For example, a binocular to see it, a rangefinder to know how far it is, and finally a chart or iPhone App of some sort to know how high above the target to aim. Alternatively, we might want to know the MOA or mil come-ups, to turn on the elevation turret or which bar to use. Would it not be significantly better to have it all in one package? Now you know my excitement: Bushnell has it all in one binocular; and they brought it out in the most popular power and objective lens size to boot: 10x42mm. The Bushnell Fusion 1600 ARC has two red buttons on top of the chassis. The one on the left (as you look through the binocular) is used to program the computer chip to your needs. For example: Yards or meters, the ballistic flight of your bullet, which gives inches required above the target to make a hit, or the MOA come-ups on the turret. So, you look through the bino to see what it is, push the button on the right to find out how far away it is, and then, looking in the lower, left-hand corner, note the MOA come-ups you need on the scope to make the hit. This still leaves two problems: You have to lower the bino to bring the rifle up and either aim high, or put the necessary comeups on the turret and aim dead center. Still, it offers a significant advantage over previous years and different ways to solve the same problem. But Wait! There’s more! (Do I sound like a TV commercial?) There is also a The Bushnell Fusion 1600 ARC’s red buttons are used for ranging, and to program it for either a bow, a muzzleloader, or the flight path of the bullet in your rifle. The functionality of the unit is quite amazing. The knurled knobs in front, between the barrels, houses the CR-123 battery. The Fusion is also heavily armored and waterproof. bow version that is programmed using the button on the top, called the mode button. And get this, the algorithms incorporated in the on-board chip also tells the shooter the angle to the target and makes the necessary adjustments in the holdover or MOA setting to put on the scope. The range finder is also relatively powerful. I have ranged objects as far as 1,745 yards. Unfortunately, the unit will not tell me the comeups required at such a range, but it will at 1,000 yards or so. That is where I found a small rub. Instead of having a computer on board that would take any data I entered and then give me the ballistic information I needed, Bushnell has chosen several popular ballistic curves based on what they believe are often used hunting cartridges and designated them with letters. The letters A through H designate the bullet’s fall at 300 and 500 yards. For example, F would describe the following bullet drops: 300 yards = 10" to 12" and 500 = 47" to 55". Using a place to test the fall of your cartridge at those ranges, giving that it was sighted in at 100 yards, might tell you to use the letter F when programming the bino. As you can see, this leaves a significant gap. A drop of 47" to 55" at 500 yards is an 8" difference. But, there are ways around that. The letter H is anything less than a 39" drop at 500 yards. And by the way, you can program the unit to be sighted in at four distances: 100, 150, 200 or 300 yards or meters. Letters I and J are used for muzzleloaders. The bow mode is good for 10 to 99 yards with a maximum angle of +/-90 degrees. The unit incorporates scan mode, allowing the shooter to note the distance as the bino is passed over objects. It also has a bull’s-eye feature, which tells the shooter the distance to the closer object, say a deer standing in front of trees. Like many other rangefinders, it will disregard brush that might be in front of the target, which is opposite of the bull’s-eye mode. I used the binos on several occasions, ranging objects from about 1 mile. These were, of course, large objects, some reflective and some not. The unit hit them without problem. The laser information in the image has four levels of brightness. At level four, I still found it a bit difficult to see the information on certain objects without moving to some other object. My 7mm SAUM Surgeon Razor is loaded with a 140-grain Barnes TTSX BT bullet. At 7,000' elevation, 50 degrees F to going 3,160 fps, the 20 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • OCTOBER 2011