Thursday, July 21, 2011

Essential Gear - Nikon Prostaff 550 Rangefnder

Few items are more important to the archery, muzzle loader, or shotgun hunter than a quality range finder. This past Christmas my Dad gave me a Nikon Prostaff 550. It is a rugged, affordable, and accurate piece of equipment.

Almost as important as a gun or knife

The first time I used the Prostaff 550 I was amazed by its accuracy. The eye piece is clear and the 6x is handy. I discovered how bad I am at guessing ranges. Everything is much farther than I believed it to be. There is a tree in my neighbors yard, I've always guessed it was 50 yards from my porch. Nope, its 82 yards. I've always thought the street sign down the road has got to be around 200 yards. Its 276.

I know, sucky picture. Cameras are just not made for looking through rangefinders.

During turkey season last year I had a Jake come into what I thought was 40 yards. I ranged him and he was over 60 yards away. He never came closer and I never got a shot, but I sure am glad I had my rangefinder. When I focus on prey I get tunnel vision and they seem so much closer than they actually are. If I had shot at that turkey he probably would have been wounded and gotten away.

Range finders are essential to archery, muzzle loader, and shotgun hunters. The projectiles from these weapons shed energy so quickly the difference in 5 yards can mean the difference in a clean kill and cripple. Some people can judge distance very well, but most cannot. Pick up a rangefinder and you will probably be amazed at how bad you are at it!

Here is a quick tip. As soon as you get set up in your stand range a few landmarks to get a bearing on how far away things are. If something pops out and you don't have time to range it, you then have an approximation of how far away it is.

Here are the specs on the Nikon Prostaff 550 from the manufacturer:
  • Finish: Green
  • Measurement range: 11 to 550 yards
  • Increment reading: 0.5 to 1 yard
  • Viewfinder display: meters/yards
  • Magnification: 6x
  • Angular field of view (real): 6 degrees
  • Angular field of view (apparent) 34.9 degrees
  • Eye relief: 18mm
  • Diopter adjustment: +/-4
  • Power source: 1 CR2 lithium battery
  • Objective diameter: 21mm
  • Exit pupil: 3.5mm
  • Dimensions: 1.5 by 2.7 by 5.1 inches (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 6.3 ounces (without batteries)
The only negative thing I have to say about this rangefinder is that the digital readout can be hard to see in low light. Its a minor thing, but worth noting.

You can pick up a Prostaff 550 for about $200 on Amazon, or if you shop the local sales you can find them for much lower. Any rangefinder is better than no rangefinder, but the Prostaff 550 is a great choice!

No one paid me to do this review I just really like this rangefinder!
Enhanced by Zemanta

DreamHost Promotional Code