Bushnell Elite 1 Mile ARC
One of the most affordable long distance rangefinders currently on the market; the Bushnell Elite 1 Mile ARC is an upgraded and improved version of the popular Bushnell Elite 1600 series. But do these new features and updates add up to make a good long distance rangefinder?
The Bushnell Elite 1 Mile is a horizontal (flat) style rangefinder that features a 7x magnification and is capable of ranging highly reflective targets out to a maximum distance of 1760 yards which equals 1 mile thus the name. This rangefinder is equipped with angle compensation and both first and last target priority modes which Bushnell calls Bullseye and Brush. The unit reports ranges in either yards or meters on its red LCD display. Next, this rangefinder has three primary modes of operation: Regular, Rifle, and Rifle HD with each processing range data in a different way. Finally, this unit is powered by one CR123 lithium battery, comes with a carrying case, and is covered by a 1 year limited warranty.
Like most long distance rangefinders, the Bushnell Elite 1 Mile is designed to be held with both hands much like a set of binoculars; this solid two handed grip aids in keeping the display still while targeting small or distant targets. On the top of the unit is a large rectangular power/fire button that is the primary control button used to range targets. Moving to the rear of the unit is a square Mode button that is only used to change modes or settings. Next, and also at the rear of the unit is an eyepiece that has an adjustable diopter which is used to focus the unit’s reticle to the shooter’s eye. Finally, the bottom of the unit is equipped with a tripod mount, and the battery compartment is located on the opposite end of the unit at the front next to the lenses.
Generally LCD displays are black, while LED and OLED displays are red; however, the Bushnell Elite 1 Mile is unique in that it uses a red LCD display. Bushnell calls their display VDT which stands for Vivid Display Technology; the brightness of the display can be manually adjusted to one of four different intensity settings. The display on this Bushnell rangefinder not only has a reticle for aiming the device and a yardage readout for displaying distance, but also includes various icons to let the user know which target priority setting is selected, which mode the rangefinder is in, what unit of measure is active, and how much battery life remains.
The Bushnell Elite 1 Mile can be operated in one of three modes: Regular, Rifle, or Rifle HD. Regular mode is the simplest in that it ranges the target and returns the line of sight distance without any consideration of the angle to the target. Next is the Rifle mode, which has the user select from a preprogrammed selection of both sight in distances and ballistic curves; once these selections are made the rangefinder will return the line of sight distance to the target, the angle to the target in degrees, and the appropriate angle compensated holdover data in either inches, cm, mil, or MOA. It is worth noting that while in Rifle mode, holdover information is only calculated from 100-800 yards. Finally, there is a Rifle HD mode that reports the line of sight distance, the angle to the target in degrees, and angle compensated distances from 10 yards out to a maximum of 1000 yards; this is the true horizontal distance to the target and can be displayed in either yards or meters.
The biggest improvement over the previous model Bushnell Elite rangefinder was the addition of the Rifle HD Mode that now provides users angle compensated distances in yards or meters out to 1000 yards. Next, a tripod mount should be mandatory on a long distance horizontal style rangefinder, and Bushnell did not disappoint. Also, the Elite 1 Mile is rated as waterproof vs. water resistant; and while you should always try and keep both optics and electronics of any type dry, having a little added insurance against an unexpected plunge into water is a good thing. Finally, while we would definitely categorize the Bushnell Elite 1 Mile as a long distant shooting rangefinder, it is equipped with both angle compensation and a last target priority setting both of which are desirable hunting features and will appeal to those who want their rangefinder to pull double duty.
This unit comes with a 1 year limited warranty that protects against defects in workmanship and material and starts on the purchase date; this is a little disappointing considering the industry average generally seems to be a similar limited warranty but for 2 years. Next, the depending on the modes and settings selected the screen can get a little cluttered with all the icons, indicators and range data, but this is the flip side of having a full featured rangefinder; however, we can’t help but wonder if there isn’t a more efficient way to display all this information and free up some display space.
Bushnell started their Elite series of long distance rangefinders several years ago with the Elite 1500 model, and have continued to improve, update, and evolve the line to where it is today. While the Bushnell Elite 1600 had a lot going for it; the Elite 1 Mile finally got rid of the Bow mode which was just an additional unnecessary mode to toggle through on a rangefinder like this, and replaced it with the significantly more useful Rifle HD mode that measures angle compensated readings in yards or meters. Many of Bushnell’s hunting rangefinders lack the ability to display angle compensated ranges in yards or meters while in Rifle mode, and this has been a disappoint for many who don't use holdover date and just want the true horizontal distance; so we were really glad to see the Elite 1 Mile get this upgrade.
With a full set of features and one of the most affordable prices of any long distance rangefinder, the Bushnell Elite 1 Mile ARC is a good blend of capability and cost. Its ability to provide angle compensated range data in a variety of different formats should cover the majority of long range shooting styles and work well for those who will use this rangefinder both at the range and in the field. Currently, the Elite 1 Mile rangefinder is selling for around $540. Update: The new Bushnell Conx is basically the same as the Elite 1 Mile ARC, but the Conx offers the ability to connect to a smartphone or certain Kestrels so should also be considered especially for long and extreme range shooting.
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