Bushnell makes a wide variety of affordable optics. The Bushnell Scout ARC 1000 provides an entry level product for under $250. This range finder has many of the same features as higher end range finders, as it has the ability to provide angle compensation and ranging capability out to a maximum claimed 1000 yards (on very reflective targets).
Available in 2 colour choices, black and camouflage, when you put your hands on the Bushnell range finder, you notice that the exterior is constructed of a soft rubber which quickly feels comfortable in your hand. This provides a easy grip surface in all weather conditions, they have provided a lanyard attachment point, along with a tripod mount for added stability. Bushnell states the unit is fully waterproof, although there is no reference provided to what depth. Weather resistant may be more of an accurate description.
Carrying on we will discuss the limitations and capabilities. Like most of the competition Bushnell states the maximum range is 1000 yards, based on highly reflective targets. The manufacturer states the Bushnell Scout 1000 will range hard objects such as trees to 650 yards, and soft target such as deer or game to 325 yards. As it says in the owner’s manual the maximum distance for most objects is 650 yards. You make the call, what we found in our test is a bit different.
Taking this range finder to the field for some independent testing, under daylight conditions it proved very difficult to even range reflective targets at 600 yards. The ranging difficulty seemed to begin when objects in the 400 yards + range were attempted. This being the case I wonder how it would perform in the rain? It actually has a rain setting. Although we did not field test this function.
The range finder provides 3 modes to aid in obtaining the most accurate distance.
Bow Mode – Displays line of sight distance, degree of elevation, and true horizontal distance from 10-99 yards, able to measure in Meters or yards to a maximum inclination of +/- 90°. In a nutshell if you are shooting up or down the range finder will calculate the actual distance to the target.
Rifle Mode – This feature will calculate the amount of bullet drop to the target based on pre-set parameters in the range finder that are selected by the user. There are several display modes available for this. The user can select to display the bullet drop in inches or centimetres, MOA or MIL. There are 8 identifiable bullet ballistic groups.
Regular Mode – Line of sight distance only. No angle compensation. This allows the user to make adjustments to the shot based on individual ballistic calculations.
Out of all the range finders tested in our comparison, the optics in this range finder are most certainly the least crisp and clear out of all the range finders we tested.
Unlike many of its competitors who have created a colored display, for reasons unknown to me, Bushnell has opted for keep a black LCD display. It was difficult to say the least and more than a little frustrating to range dark objects in low light conditions, nearly impossible is a more accurate description. If you plan on using your rangefinder in low light or dark conditions it would be highly suggested that you consider another model. As I have learned through multiple reviews, black is not the ideal choice for any range finder reticule display.
Brush mode worked surprising well, much to my amazement. This mode setting allows the user to set the range finder to range objects furthest in the distance, so if you’re ranging through brush, trees or grass, this will greatly assist in preventing false readings. Searching around for other reviews on this product, I found many people that have made comments about the battery not lasting, or the unit just stopped working, many reviews say it never worked right out of the box. I didn’t experience any of this myself however there are plenty of reviews with similar complaints.
Warranty is a 2 year limited protection plan based on manufacture defects, the unit will be repaired or replaced at the discretion of the manufacture, with the owner paying return shipping. In this regard some internet search’s will show many people who have complained about the customer service they received. Just another factor to consider prior to purchasing this model.
Overall in our comparison list this range finder comes in last. Based on its poor low light capability, accompanied by its inability to range anywhere close to claimed distances in our opinion you are better off to spend a little more money to get a product that will do all things well. Unless your plan is to use this range finder on sunny days, specifically on a golf course then choose this model. If you think you will be doing anything other than that, consider another model.