Tag Archives: rangefinder

Vortex Optics Fury Range-finding Binoculars

I’ve said it before, I am a huge geek for optics and everything that goes with them. Something about quality and the edge that good optics give you gets me giddy.

Anybody who shoots at any significant distance should be familiar with laser rangefinders, otherwise I take their claims as what they are; hopeful aspirations.

It didn’t take me long to realize the need for a rangefinder in my shooting, and I didn’t want a substandard one. I bought my first rangefinder many years ago, it was a Leica. Over the years I have come to appreciate a good rangefinder, that Leica taught me a lot. It is absolutely necessary to make good shots at distance, and I’ve been lucky to have hands on quite a few of them. One of the first things I noticed when playing with LRF’s was that many of them were at best 80% of what they are rated for. And many of them lower than that. Ive come to find that a good LRF will actually go beyond its rated limits, in good conditions. With optics and rangefinders especially, you do get what you pay for.
With so many new and exciting things hitting the market recently, I was excited to get the chance to try out a new prodcuct from Vortex Optics
The brand new Fury Binocular from Vortex incorporates a 1600 yard laser rangefinder into a 10X42 armored binocular.

I’ve never had a rangefinding bino before, I’d mostly used just a plain rangefinder. I never felt much like carrying multiple optics into the field, nor could I afford it, but with the technological advancements we enjoy today there is no reason to. The Fury gives you high a quality ten power binocular, with clear and bright images. And ontop of that, it also serves as a 1600 yard rangefinder. For a hunter, I think it is the best of both worlds. Especially since you dont want to be carrying anything extra with you, unforgiving mountains are not the place to carry extra weight.

The Fury, like most modern rangefinders, allows you to select yards or meters. It also has a slope indicator that allows users to select line of sight distance (LOS) or use a corrected angular compensated distance (HCD).

The display on the Fury has a circle reticle for aiming at your target. Up and to the right of that, is the angle display, shown in degrees. The distance is shown below the reticle, and just off to the left there is a battery level indicator.

I have taken the Fury out many times now, used it in many different settings and places. One of the first times I tried it right out of the box, I managed to hit 1780yds with it. That was a building, and I didnt expect it to hit a deer at that distance. But its good to know that it can reach those kind of distances, even though in the real world of my shooting habits, it wont need to go that far. For me, I think being able to range the animals I hunt in the conditions and places where they live is the overall determining factor for performance. And in those places and conditions, the Fury seems to shine. Like this:

Hitting trees and rocks at thirteen, fourteen or fifteen hundred yards proved to be pretty easy. In the bright daylight of the sun, or in the angled afternoon light of the evening.

Hitting an animal at that distance would be hard, not necessarily because of the rangefinder, but because you cant hold still enough without a tripod. I find myself aiming for the nearest tree or rock in those scenarios anyways.

The beam divergence on the Fury, or the size of the laser beam for lack of a better explanation, is 1.6X.07MRAD. That isn’t bad considering the price-point of the Fury, there are a few better, but surely there are worse. Again I look back to the purpose of the Fury, at least in my case. It wont be often when I am looking at a deer, elk, or any other target that is standing on the horizon some thousand or more yards away, with nothing near it that I cant sink that laser into. So while a tighter beam dispersion might be better in some situations, I think this one will do just fine for my purposes. And I think it will do for most other’s as well, I assume I am not the only person who lases the target multiple times when targeting. Particularly when distances are extended, and critical to making the shot.
At 31 oz the Fury is very comparable to its competitors, it doesn’t feel heavy to me, which oddly enough seems like a bad thing. I know I’m crazy, but for some reason I like to feel the weight that usually accompanies quality. But I certainly wont hold that against the Fury.

The Fury comes with a nice shoulder strapped carrying case, it has a double shoulder harness, and it is secured with a a small hook and elastic strap to close it. I liked it, but honestly the Fury might be a little big/heavy for the case design. It also comes with your standard lens covers, as seen in the above picture. I feel for optics companies when it comes to lens covers, it can be a difficult subject. You can either go with cheap and easy option, knowing that users will likely upgrade to something more to their liking. Or you can invest in some very nice covers for them, and then risk people not liking them and wanting something else anyways. I found that the soft rubber options provided with the Fury are perfectly serviceable, and they are easily removed if not to your liking.
Both barrels of the Fury have a focus ring, the right barrel adjustment is to focus the display, and the left barrel adjustment is for equalizing the focus between the users eyes. I may have gotten a a mismatched set at the factory. Eyes that is, it has always been a challenge for me to get any pair of binoculars to stay in focus for me, probably due to the difference in my eyes. I noticed this problem slightly when using the Fury, but I am quite sure it is my eyes relaxing between uses.
The Fury has adjustable eye cups, with four different depth settings. The cups were easily adjusted to fit my eyes, with or without glasses. It also made it easy to adjust to fit the relief on my phone, so that I could get all these spectacular images 😜
The battery compartment on the Fury is located on the bottom, nice and out of the way. From this angle you can also see the two adjustment rings for focusing the unit.
For many years I have been using some great rangefinders, Leica as I mentioned, Swarovski, Sig Sauer Electro-Optics, among others. While the price of good rangefinders has come down, my budget for shooting accessories has mantained its place on the leger. But I felt the Fury was well worth the splurge, and my money was well spent with Vortex, as it usually is. I still have never had to use their famous no BS warranty, but it’s always nice to know it is there. Look for the Fury in upcoming stories and pictures, I dont see it going away anytime soon.

-CBM


Rangefinder Shootout

 

Rangefinder Shootout

rangefinders
One of the most important tools a marksman can have in his bag, is a good rangefinder. When I first started shooting, I didn’t have the money to buy one, neither did I have the sense to. Interesting how something seemingly insignificant would soon become indispensable. I figured a lot of these things out the hard way, the stupid way you could even say. Despite my hardheaded approach to distance shooting, I got pretty good at estimating range. A skill that was later confirmed by the rangefinder that had done without far too long.
By the time I finally purchased a laser rangefinder, I had at least gained enough smarts to recognize what I needed.
My first purchase was a Leica 1200, a good piece of equipment that served me very well. I quickly learned as I played with other rangefinders that good ones usually reach beyond their limits. While lower end units, wouldn’t even reach advertised distances.
As my skills matured, and distances became longer, I out grew that old Leica, and it’s since been replaced by a newer CRF model. I also stepped up to a Swarovski Laserguide, as with my Leica, the Swarovski reached well beyond its advertised envelope, reaching to 1800+ yards in the right conditions.
These tools have sharpened this shooters abilities, through day to day use, and confirming estimations.
Well, I was recently handed one of the new Sig Sauer Kilo 2000 rangefinders. I have heard many good things about this new line of optics from Sig. And this Kilo seemed like a big winner.
With an advertised range of 3400yds (reflective) I was very optimistic. In my opinion, it fell into that price range where rangefinders always underperformed. But even so I thought, if it reaches half what they advertise, it’d be worth the money.
I quickly made my way to my Rocky Mountain haunt, to put the Kilo against my Leica CRF1200, and my Swarovski Laserguide.
I’m a simple guy, I don’t care much for bells and whistles. So though the Kilo features an angle adjusted range, I switched it to simple range only. I can do field math, I like whole numbers, and percentages. I don’t need my optics to do it for me. Plus I like to know exactly what I’m getting into.
A quick run through the various rock piles in my cold and snowy canyon would tell me how well the Kilo measured up. 12790832_1704415849801909_8589088304493706408_n
At the quarter mile mark, all three rangefinders barely broke a sweat. My first impression of the Kilo was how fast it returned with a reading. Faster than my Leica, and twice the speed of the Swarovski. “This will triple the speed at which I miss my targets.” I thought to myself, “better slow down”.
I soon noticed a slight difference in color while looking through the Kilo, a bluish hue that was quite apparent (see pics). This is certainly not a big deal, at least to me. It was certainly lighter as well, easily placed in a pocket to be carried. The optical field of view looking through the Kilo was almost exactly the same as my CRF1200, the quality was comparable as well. Both of them were narrow compared to the Laserguide, which also had a better image I might add. But for twice the price of the others, it ought to.
I pushed all three RF’s one after another out to 1050yds, all three of them working flawlessly. And returning ranges to within +/-1 or 2 yards. Perfectly acceptable for a guy who’s targets are +/-2 or 3 yards wide right?
Up to this point I had to say I was pretty happy about the results. Simply because For most people I know, a good rangefinder that will reliably hit 1,000yds plus and cost under 500$ is a pretty good deal.12321320_1704415956468565_4349457969971441508_n
Well I had to push them further. The sunlight was fading somewhat as it hid behind the evening clouds to the west. I thought surely I could push the Kilo further, but to my surprise I couldn’t get it to read on anything further out.
I thought that perhaps maybe this Kilo couldn’t hang with my “higher end” RF’s. So I pulled out my Leica, and the Top hat it came with, and tried to hit the same rock. To my surprise, it wouldn’t read either. I suppose the light and conditions weren’t good enough for either RF to read. But before I put shame upon the two smaller units, I figured I’d check to see how the Swarovski would fair.
Sure enough, as usual, the Laserguide came through. Showing 1300yds. My suspicions about light angles and conditions were confirmed, as my Swarovski would reach no further in the cold quiet canyon. Leaving me scratching my head.
Further testing is warranted, and no doubt I will get more info. I’d like to see how far this Kilo will really go, I am skeptical that it will actually reach advertised distances due to my experiences, as well as those of others. None the less, I am very impressed that Sig has produced this RF for less than 500$ and that easily hits to 1000 yards and beyond. If I could go back to the beginning of my shooting career and sell myself this Kilo, it may have been one of the best purchases made.
I won’t be replacing my Swarovski anytime soon, but if I was in the market for a new rangefinder, for hunting, or practical shooting, the Kilo 2000 would be top contender.