Testfire: Bushnell Nitro 1800 RangefinderBy Hayden Sturgeon
- 14th Jul, 2020 Jul 14, 2020, 2:29 PM
- 1 Comment
Rangefinders are considered an essential piece of kit for most hunters around the world. The ability to be able to accurately range and apply the ballistic corrections to insure a good clean kill at extended ranges, make it a must have for any rifle/bow hunter.
Rangefinders have come a long way over the last few years and have been refined into light weight packages that you can rely on no matter the weather or application. Bushnell’s latest addition, the Nitro 1800, is one such rangefinder. One which you could call a one-stop-shop.
Removing it from the box, it's light weight of just 161 grams was immediately apparent. The armoured exterior of the device is made from a polymer rubber and includes contrasting textured grip surfaces on the top and bottom of the unit. This combination results in a snugly fit while in use.
Bushnell use EXO Barrier on the lenses which works to protect from water and fogging issues while also helping to keep the lenses dust and smudge free. The lenses are quality glass with excellent clarity. Magnification is set to 6x and focusing is performed via the adjustable monocular eyepiece.
Bushnell's laser rangefinder utilises an infrared pulse that is processed instantaneously providing a quick and accurate range. The infrared pulse is invisible to the naked eye which also makes it safe to use.
“Bushnell are using EXO Barrier on the lenses which works to protect from water and fogging issues while also helping to keep the lenses dust and smudge free.”
The microprocessor within the Nitro has been set up with Bushnell’s patented applied ballistics as well as Bluetooth compatibility. Sounds good, but what does all that mean for the hunter?
It means you have the option to download a Bushnell ballistics program and pair the rangefinder with your mobile device. The Ballistics app is both iOS and Android compatible and is available on both Google's Play Store and the Apple App Store.
This allows you to upload any ballistics data you have for a variety of rifles under a user profile that can be adjusted at any time. If you happen to have a Bushnell scope with a different reticle, this can also be selected for more accurate shooting if for example you opted for hash tags over MOA/MIL dial-up.
The app can link the rangefinder, your mobile device as well as a Kestrel wind meter/ballistics program. It can also be upgraded via Bushnell to get you from the standard 875yrds to over 2000yrds, if you’re a serious long range shooter. The app and rangefinder combination has plenty of features that should be able to meet most requirements.
This rangefinder has the ARC Angle/range compensation where it will give the range the angle in degrees thus ensuring a true ballistics range for those steeper angles. This is ideal for the bow hunter who may require a little information when selecting the correct range pin.
IN THE FIELD
I took the Nitro 1800 on a recent tahr hunting trip to the West Coast where I was able to test it in typical NZ conditions. Overall the rangefinder worked great and it compared well to other range finders that we were using on the trip.
I was able to range tahr at differing ranges throughout the week with the furthest being 770 yards. This was around 30 yards shy of the 800 yard effective range that Bushnell says it offers.
“The Nitro 1800 is a tidy package with a lot of modes and applications that could be used by someone starting out, to the serious shooter or bow hunter.”
I found the app was somewhat limited in terms of adding your ballistics within the rifle profiles, but if your happy to pay the extra cash for the two upgrades then it opens it up for more detailed ballistic charts where more information can be added and updated.
The Nitro 1800 is a tidy package with a lot of modes and applications that could be used by someone just starting out to the serious shooter or bow hunter.
Like I have said before in my reviews, do your homework and check out the features that suit you and the type of hunting you prefer to do.
Bushnell has put together a great product that might just be what you’re looking for. And, due to it's light weight and small size, it’s a rangefinder that won’t be left out of the hunt.