The first laser rangefinder that interfaces with your smart phone, the Elite 1 Mile CONX is a huge technological leap for long-range shooters.
Once your smart phone is connected via CONX you can set up the Rangefinder from the phone and set up to 3 different custom ballistic curves (or select one of the pre-set curves). Get holdover values from the Laser Rangefinder in centimetres, inches, MOA or mm on your smart phone or the Rangefinder's display.
With the use of approved Kestrel® Windmeters, advanced environmental data can be incorporated into holdover values for superior ballistic data.
Note that for maximum compatibility, range, battery life and reliability the latest version of Kestrel's weather meters, such as the Kestrel 4500 Sportsman Ballistics Weather Meter, that employ Bluetooth® Smart hardware (also known as Bluetooth Low Energy) are required for thisfeature. The Bluetooth Classic models are not compatible.
Bushnell have been making rangefinders for years now, and their Fusion 1 Mile ARC binoculars are the most affordable and best value for money rangefinder binocular with the TBR type feature on the market (ARC is what Bushnell call their TBR)
They are now offering a new stand-alone rangefinder which offers simple ballistic correction to the average hunter, but also something pretty trick to the long range crowd who are interested in minimising human inputs and therefore opportunities to introduce errors into their ballistic solutions.
The new Bushnell Elite 1 Mile ConX is an all new range finding unit that can Bluetooth to either your smart phone or to a Kestrel Sportsman or 5 series weather station.
Simply, this allows the unit itself to give you your come-ups for any custom rifle or load for the range it has just acquired, ie, you range your target, the display then gives you the angle of inclination, and also the MOA (if that's the unit you choose) correction for that range and angle.
No more having to go to a drop chart or ballistics calculator to work out your comc-ups after you've got the range; it's all there in the rangefinder's display, able to be instantly dialled into your scope!
Firstly to cover the Elite ConX's features. Its powered by a generation 2 ESP processor and the already mentioned Bluetooth connectivity. It is rated to 1 mile in good conditions. From my investigations it seems the beam divergence is a vertical 3mxl.5m, the same as the 1 Mile bino version, which is a little larger than its European competitors.
It has the usual Brush and Bullseye modes to ensure you are getting the reading off your intended target, not the bush in front or the hill behind. Brush mode reads out the furthest of any readings that come back, whereas Bullseye reads out the closest. The optics are a very good 7x monocular with the usual LCD aiming mark and readout display, the brightness of which can be adjusted.
There are a range of modes - Regular which just gives you the line of sight (LOS) range; Rifle which shows the drop or come-up for 8 different ballistic groups; HD which gives you the LOS, the inclination angle and the TBR (the mode to use if you have a custom turret in yards); AB which allows bluetoothing to a smart phone or Kestrel; and Gun 1, 2 or 3 which allows you to enter 3 custom ballistic curves for 3 different loads/ environmental conditions.
This last is pretty essential, as the supplied ballistic groups are all fairly slow to moderate loads with poor to average ballistics not ideal for longer range work anyway. These custom curves must be entered via Bluetooth from your smart phone. In all modes you can choose yards or metres, drop in inches or centimetres, and come-ups in MOA, 1PHY or MILs.
To use the neat custom load features in this unit you need to download the Bushnell ConX app into your phone, or use the compatible Kestrel.
You also need to know your loads ballistics, which is easy with the Kestrel as it includes Bryan Litz's AB ballistics calculator in it. If using a phone you'll need a ballistics calculator, and again, the obvious one to use is to download Bryan Litz's AB app on to your phone.
Then simply follow the instructions to set up Gun 1, 2 or 3 custom curves to match either three different environmental conditions for your main load, or three different loads for the same rifle, or three different rifles.
Choose which ever load/ condition matches what you are shooting that day in the Mode function, and then when you acquire the range, the hold over or come-up for the TBR will appear in the display. If you are still connected to your phone, you'll also see the information show up on there as well.
Now if you've got the optional Kestrel to go with it, you can get the most complete firing solution possible.
Again you need to input all your load and gun information just as usual with AB, or load it via Bluetooth off your phone if you already have AB with all your load data stored on it.
Then acquire the range and the Kestrel allows for all the environmental conditions which it measures itself, and the other advanced variables such as spin drift (horizontal drift due to the spin of the bullet), coriolis (the spin of the earth), and aerodynamic jump (the vertical component of a cross wind).
You can input the wind manually, or if you set up the Kestrel and wind vane etc on a tripod, it will read the wind strength and direction.
It then gives you your complete firing solution, giving you your elevation and windage correction after taking into account all of the above.
SO AS YOU CAN SEE IT'S A PRETTY TRICK SET-UP!
Again, this firing solution appears not only on the Kestrel Display, but the elevation solution also appears in the Bushnell's display. Of course the Kestrel unit can only read the wind where you have it situated, and if the wind isn't constant all the way to the target you'll have to use experience judging from what you see across the range to correct flip windagp solution.
We tested both the Bushnell and the Kestrel extensively in the field, and overall we were pretty impressed.
Optically the Bushnell was bettor than I expected and really quite good. The ranging capability is very good, and on a par with the best 1 mile claimed rangefinders available.
The beam divergence does mean you need to think about what you are getting readings back off, and use the correct mode to ensure it's your target you're getting, not something nearer or beyond.
At $1275 RRP for the Bushnell unit alone, it's pretty price competitive with other quality rangefinders of the same specs, but does offer the extra advantage of providing an accurate elevation firing solution.
If you want the complete firing solution including windage you can buy the package deal including the Kestrel from the Bushnell agents for $2500 RRP, or you can just buy the rangefinder and add a Kestrel Sportsman when you can afford it for $1000, or step up to the latest 5700 model for $1275.
ABOVE LEFT : This is the Bushnell app page on a smart phone, showing a range of 472 yards, 1.4° uphill and a come-up of 4.8 MOA
ABOVE TOP RIGHT : This is the initial range display from top left- rifle mode, aiming mark, battery, LOS range, brush mode, + 7.3 MOA come-up.
ABOVE BOTTOM RIGHT : Every second it swaps to this alternate display showing the angle of 2°, then back to the come-up display.