Western Hunting Journal, Premiere Issue whj001_premiere - Page 36

GEAR REVIEW Simmons VOLT 600 Tilt $149.99 Redfield Raider 650A $249.99 6 x 23mm WEIGHT: 6.1 OUNCES MAX REFLECTIVE RANGE: 650 YDS ILLUMINATED DISPLAY: NO Accuracy VVVV Clarity/Brightness VVV+ Features VVV Construction VVV+ Overall VVV+ The Raider 650A by Redfield™ may seem like a bit of a no-frills, simplistic rangefinder, but is exactly the beauty of its design; a nice six point bull on my wall that will attest to the effectiveness of its ranging capabilities. Designed for one-button easy use with an effective range covering the majority of hunting situations, the Raider 650A turned in solid, accurate readings on elk sized targets at ranges beyond 400 yards. In fact, when I spotted my bull, it was still too dark to even see antlers. I clicked on the yellow dot on the dark, pre-dawn hillside and was amazed to get a reading of 594 yards on my first try. Closing the distance, the next range I received was all I needed to fill my tag. During testing, the maxi- mum yardage read was 749 yards. While the Raider 650A automatically adjusts for slopes and provides the shoot-to distance in the dis- play, it also shows the reading for the slope in degrees, so you can double check drop charts or other info you may have. Holding the activation button down allows scanning for quick ranging of multiple objects, or a moving animal. Overall brightness and clarity was good in daylight, but degraded a bit with low light. The black LCD display is also a bit difficult to see in low light and on dark backgrounds. The plastic body keeps weight down, but dimin- ishes durability a bit and is not waterproof. redfield.com 34 WESTERN HUNTING JOURNAL 4 x 20mm WEIGHT: 6.3 OUNCES MAX REFLECTIVE RANGE: 600 YDS ILLUMINATED DISPLAY: NO Accuracy VVV Clarity/Brightness VVVV Features VVV Construction VVV Overall VVV The desire for accurate, well placed shots reaches far beyond the world of long range shooters. Bowhunters and those hunting with shotguns or muzzleloaders are just as dependent on knowing the range to a target; they just don’t need quite the firepower in a rangefinder when it comes to doing so. Enter the VOLT600 Tilt from Simmons®. This no-fuss no-muss simplistic rangefind- er does just what hunters need it to do: mea- sure yardage, and adjust for slope. There isn’t a bunch of features to set up, or modes to choose from. Just point, click, measure and shoot! The 4x magnification is great for thicker, brushy conditions and allows for good image brightness in low light. TILT technology cor- rects for slope and shows shoot-to readings as THD (True Horizontal Distance) out to 99 yards on the non-illuminated LCD display. The use of a 9v battery saves a few bucks over CR2 styles when it comes to replacing batteries. Accuracy on smaller targets, targets par- tially obscured by brush, and in rainy/foggy conditions was a bit limited at longer ranges, however in situations inside of 200 yards, performance was good. The average variance in a twenty-reading group at 200 yards was 8 yards, which will still keep you on target with a slug or muzzleloader. The VOLT600 Tilt is not waterproof, and the diopter does not ad- just to increase clarity. The Velcro closure on the carry case can also be a bit noisy in close range bowhunting situations. simmonsoptics.com Athlon Optics Midas 1200Y Grey $419.99 6 x 23.5mm WEIGHT: 6.8 OUNCES MAX REFLECTIVE RANGE: 1,200 YDS ILLUMINATED DISPLAY: NO Accuracy VVVV Clarity/Brightness VVVV Features VVV+ Construction VVVV Overall VVVV The combination of multi-coated lenses and a generous 23.5mm objective allows the Mi- das 1200Y rangefinder from Athlon Optics to provide good clarity and target contrast, even in low light. A plastic housing helps to cut overall weight, and is waterproof for peace of mind on even the wettest of hunts. Tex- tured rubber exterior is secure and comfort- able when wet and a protective case further guards against wear and tear. Accuracy was good, especially on targets from 200 to 600 yards, with an average variance of less than three yards at all rang- es tested. The longest target ranged during testing was 1,021 yards. Overall operation is relatively easy and straight forward. Pressing the range button will display the true distance on top of the viewfinder and the bottom of the viewfinder will show the elevation, slope angle, or slope correct shoot-to distance, depending on what mode the unit is set to. Scanning is also possible by holding down the range button. While the field of view was quite bright, the dark readout of the LCD display was dif- ficult to see on dark backgrounds. The mode button is located on top of the unit near the range button. A single click of the mode but- ton will change the settings, so if accidentally pushed when ranging, the wrong data could be displayed. It would also be nice if the carry case had a belt loop. athlonoptics.com