The Laser Rangefinder You Need in 2020

Bushnell brings accuracy and precision for a price you’ll love with the Bushnell Prime 1300. Learn why you need this laser rangefinder in your hunting toolkit.

Just how far away is that buck? This question is a challenge that every hunter has encountered. Or an even more daunting problem, how far away is my shot from this tree post? Any experienced shooter will already have a rangefinder handy in their pack, and any novice is wishing to get their hands on one. The Bushnell Prime 1300 5x 20mm is essential for taking the perfect shot. Bushnell products are world-renowned for being high-performing and increasing target acquisition. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, an archer, or a rifleman, you can say goodbye to overshooting and hello to accuracy.

While Bushnell manufactures superior products, it’s essential to understand the properties of a high-quality laser rangefinder before you purchase. Check out this article to learn about the qualities most important in a rangefinder. You’ll then understand why the Prime 1300 is our first choice for ranging.

What Makes for a High-Quality Laser Rangefinder?

Laser rangefinders are an impressive combination of ground-breaking technology and remarkable optics. Older versions were clunky, imprecise, and expensive, but today’s rangefinders are sleek, tech-savvy, and deadly accurate. Rangefinders work by projecting small beams of infrared energy onto a subject. These infrared beams then reflect off of the object and back to the rangefinder. Modern laser rangefinders come with sensors and a computer chip that receive the data and calculate the object’s distance. The result – you have instant information about your target’s yardage at your fingertips. Not every rangefinder on the market will offer you this high-tech approach, so it’s important to know what matters most for high-quality.

Magnification

Just like an optical tool for hunting or target acquisition, you’re going to want optimal magnification to meet your needs. The laser rangefinder market typically ranges from 4 – 8x magnification, and the Bushnell Prime 1300 comes in at 5x. While you might think more is better, this isn’t necessarily the case for rangefinders. Higher magnification is going to limit your field of view, or the area of observable landscape you can see at one time. The increased magnification can also make for blurrier images. Most experts seem to agree that 5 – 6x magnification is plenty for the job while still providing a crisp picture.

Objective Lens Size

The other dimension to look for is the size of the objective lens, the primary light-gathering lens of the optical tool. Most rangefinders come with objective lenses that range in size from 18 – 22 mm. A larger objective lens allows more light to pass through the rangefinder, leading to a brighter image. Increased light-gathering capacity is especially essential since dawn and dusk are prime hunting times without the advantage of sunlight. A vivid image with high contrast allows you to distinguish species and gender and helps you stay compliant with your state’s hunting regulations.

Yardage for Reflective Versus Non-Reflective Surfaces

The maximum ranging measurement may confuse some first-time buyers. Laser rangefinders will list the maximum distance that their rangefinder can detect an object with accuracy. However, the yardage listed in the product’s name is typically for reflective surfaces such as glass, steel, massive rock faces, and other flat, reflective surfaces. A long ranging distance for reflective surfaces is impressive if you’re aiming at an old barn or glassing the flat side of a cliff, but the length of your rangefinder’s ability to read an object is going to drop in the event of textured terrain, trees, and animals. A better indicator of a rangefinder’s quality is to look further at the product’s specifications. Most will list the distance at which the rangefinder can detect trees and animals. As a general rule, the larger, brighter, flatter, and more reflective the object is, the better accuracy and further out your rangefinder will be able to provide information.

Regardless of the quality of your rangefinder, the environment will play a substantial role in its ability to range. The distance of possible ranging will increase on overcast days or in shaded areas. The key is less light, which will allow for better ranging. Weather conditions, such as rain and snow, can also throw a wrench in the accuracy of a rangefinder’s reading.

Weight

Expert hunters probably have this property top of mind when selecting any item for their pack. While a few ounces might not seem like much, imagine the difference after hiking, climbing, and glassing for several hours. Most laser rangefinders today are made with weight in mind. They strive to balance technology and durability to create the best optical systems that are light but still able to endure the elements.

Targeting Modes

Each rangefinder manufacturer will have different targeting modes that let hunters range in different environments and conditions. It’s standard for most LRFs to come with a scan mode, which is excellent for glassing and surveying a large area of land. Scan mode will give you readings on objects in the foreground and the background. More advanced range finders will have their proprietary modes that help hunters range efficiently. This becomes important when you need to take a bullseye shot, hunting small game, or in a densely vegetated area. We’ll talk more about what the Bushnell has to offer in terms of targeting modes – but I guarantee you’ll be a fan.

Bushnell Prime 1300 For The Win

Bushnell Prime 1300 For The Win

The Bushnell Prime 1300 5x20mm is an elite rangefinder that delivers optimal precision and accuracy for both archers and riflemen. Bushnell combines ground-breaking technology, advanced optics, and durability at a price point that turns the head of any hunter. This brand is well-known in the hunting world for producing world-class products, all aimed at improving target acquisition. Although Bushnell discontinued this model of the Prime 1300, you’re going to want this rangefinder on Amazon before they sell out.

Technologically Advanced

Bushnell moves laser rangefinders into the 21st century with their advances in proprietary technology, changing what’s possible for the modern hunter. The Prime 1300 emits small, invisible pulses of infrared energy that are tested and eye-safe users. Bushnell installs a premier, calculating microprocessor in the Prime 1300 to provide instantaneous and exact readings.

A unique aspect of the Prime 1300 is its trademarked Angle Range Compensation (ARC) technology. This built-in inclinometer takes into account terrain and angular data and solves a problem as old as humanity – how to shoot accurately from a defensive position. Whether up or downhill, the Prime 1300 will read your target and provide the true horizontal distance. Bushnell describes it with the example that if a hunter is in outlook and aiming at a deer 32 yards away, their true horizontal distance is 23 yards away. This technology is a game-changer and puts a nail in the coffin of overshooting.

Another exclusive feature of the Prime 1300 is the BullsEye and Brush targeting modes. In addition to Scan Mode, these two modes are designed to offer maximum flexibility for a variety of shooting conditions. The BullsEye Mode is best for precise target acquisition and hunting small game. As previously mentioned, the larger and denser an object, the stronger its signal strength, making it challenging to range smaller, less dense objects like animals. BullsEye Mode solves this problem by blocking out background distractions and homing in on your smaller target. BullsEye Mode ensures that the closer, but smaller object can be ranged. This mode works well for hunters needing to range a specific target or drills that involve multiple targets. The other mode option is Brush Mode which excels in densely vegetated areas.

In contrast to BullsEye Mode, Brush Mode allows you to range objects that might be partially obscured by a tree branch or bush. The rangefinder will give you the distance of the further out object, like a deer, rather than the closer object, like a tree nearby. Shooters have the flexibility to switch between these modes as needed for efficient and accurate glassing.

The Prime 1300 also has a Standard Mode with Automatic SCAN and is best for getting a lay of the land. Just as the name implies, this feature gives you the ability to scan a landscape for ranges on multiple objects. In this setting, most objects can be ranged up to 800 yards and as close up to 10 yards.

This rangefinder comes with a high-speed microprocessor so that you receive instantaneous and continuous readings as you glass. The Prime 1300 ranges reflective surfaces as far as 1300 yds and deer as far as 400 yards. Bushnell is confident in their accuracy +/- .5 yards, making these the kind of stats you can bet on with reliability.

Optimal Optics

The Prime 1300 offers 5x magnification, the right amount of power needed for ranging while maintaining your field of view. This magnification power will provide you with larger-than-life images that still retain crystal-clear quality. These sharp images are especially possible with its 20mm objective lens. The larger objective lens size is going to offer premium light-gathering capacity so that hunting is possible at dawn and dusk. Bushnell lives up to their reputation by crafting the Prime 1300 with a top-notch optical system. The lens is fully multi-coated, which increases the light-gathering ability. Even when the last rays of golden sunlight are dipping behind a bluff, you’ll still have full command of this rangefinder.

Accessible and Durable

Accessible and Durable

The Prime 1300 design is accessible and durable with the needs of hunters in mind. The range readings are highly visible due to the sleek, LCD. The Prime 1300 lenses are also manufactured with Bushnell’s superior EXO Barrier Coating. This coating fully protects lenses and provides security and confidence against the elements. It’s a rather impressive process too. Bushnell applies the EXO Coating to the lens at the end of the design process and seeps into the glass’s microscopic pores to seal them from any unwanted particles. EXO technology guards Prime 1300 lenses and creates a sleek barrier from water, oil, fog, dust, rain, snow, fingerprints. The Prime 1300 also comes with a micro-fiber cleaning cloth, so if your lens collects dirt or debris, you can easily wipe it away with a gentle rubbing motion.

You can also depend on the Prime 1300 in a variety of weather conditions. Whether it’s rain, snow, or high winds, the Prime 1300 is built to last. Bushnell has tested the Prime 1300 to ensure it’s water-resistant; however, it should not be submerged in water. Even with its durable design, the Prime 1300 retains its lightweight at just 5.8 ounces. The Prime’s easy to use design is ideal for users at all levels of experience and in any climate.

Get This Laser Rangefinder

The Bushnell Prime 1300 5x20 mm is often overlooked despite being one of the top products in the laser rangefinder market. This tool is easy to use and will increase efficiency and accuracy in your hunting or target practice. No other brand is going to offer these advanced, high-tech features at this low of a price point. Newer versions of this model will give you more bells and whistles, but at a much higher cost and without a ton of benefit. The Bushnell brand also guarantees quality and satisfaction. Although you can't purchase this version from Bushnell directly, it's still available for purchase on Amazon.

Key Features - Why This Product Stands Out

  • State-of-the-Art Angle Range Compensation (ARC) technology so you never overshoot from a tree post again
  • Exclusive BullsEye and Brush Targeting Modes for ranging objects surrounded by higher signaling objects
  • Maximum range is 1300 yards; range to deer is 400 yards with precision +/- .5 yards
  • 5x magnification power, 20 mm objective lens
  • EXO Coating protects lenses from fog, rain, dirt, dust, and debris
  • LCD
  • Lightweight build

Our take – The Bushnell Prime 1300 5x has superior technology and optics, but with a reasonable price tag attached.

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