Bushnell Fusion X 10x42 binoculars with integrated laser rangefinder – Rangefinder test

With the Fusion X in 10x42 presented here, the well-known US optics company, a part of the large Vista Outdoor group of companies, celebrates its own 25th anniversary of the first market launch of a Bushnell laser rangefinder. As a hunter and shooter you could cheer along, because the binoculars with LRF are unbeatably inexpensive, especially in comparison to the well-known competitors from German-speaking countries, which often go for two or three times the price over the counter. By the way, a pioneer in this field is Leica, a company that first presented a binoculars/LRF combination device 30 years ago with the Geovid. Why should one choose a combination device consisting of binoculars and rangefinder? For most sport shooters, except for the booming PRS long range shooting sport, measuring distance is less interesting because shooting distances are usually known. For hunters, it's a different matter. You know your home hunting ground like the back of your hand, but on hunting trips or invitations in unfamiliar terrain, for example, you quickly feel how difficult it is to estimate distances correctly without familiar fixed points. Especially for long shots, an LRF is then necessary. In practice, combined devices, i.e. binoculars and LRF in one, are easier to handle than monocular rangefinders, especially since the entire equipment package of a hunter shrinks somewhat

Bushnell Fusion X: the Rangefinder 10x42 – Functions in detail

So much in advance: the device is so packed with technology and useful functions that we cannot explain it in full here. The "Status display and symbols" graphic (see below) shows what information the display can show. Most important for the rifle shooter is the rifle mode. Before this, the target acquisition can be selected. The mode button, when pressed briefly, functions as a switch button for standard, bullseye, and lightbrush modes. If the brush mode is selected, then the device ignores tree branches and brush during the measuring process, which only takes a fraction of a second, and displays the distance to the target behind these light obstacles. What we like is the bullseye mode, which can be used to acquire small targets. In all modes, if the start button is kept pressed, the distance can be scanned continuously.

Bushnell Fusion X Binoculars with Rangefinder Illuminated Status Indicator and Icons: Angle Distance Compensation Modes: 1. Bow Mode 2. Rifle Mode 3. Battery Level 4. Aiming Circle/Dot 5. Active/Scan Laser Indicator. Targeting modes: 6. BullsEye mode 7. Brush mode 8. Primary numeric display line-of-sight distance holdover/bullet-drop horizontal distance indicators for rifle mode 9. MOA (minutes of angle) holdover units selected 10. MIL (milliradians) holdover units selected 11. IN (inches) or CM (centimeters) holdover units selected 12. SD = variable sight-in distance 13. Range (distance): Y=yards, M=meters 14. Secondary numeric display (holdover/bullet drop for rifle mode, true horizontal distance for bow mode) 15. SETUP mode 16. Angle indicator 17. Power/height meter.

In the setup menu, the mode switch is pressed and held down. The setup menu appears and the Rifle icon is selected. Then the display in yards or meters, MIL or MOA, cm or inch can also be selected. The measured distance to the target is shown in the display. In addition, the amount of bullet drop at the target is calculated at the same time, and ARC (Angle Range Compensation) is also taken into account in the calculation. The result is shown in the secondary display below the range display. Now the shooter knows how to adjust his/her scope. The bullet trajectories of different calibers can vary greatly. Therefore, the Bushnell Fusion X has eight ballistic groups for centerfire calibers (and two groups for muzzleloaders) stored. A bow/crossbow mode is available tpp. There is a 40-page BDC A-J ballistics chart (in .pdf format) on the Bushnell website. Nearly 2,000 calibers will probably be there, which are divided into the respective groups. You will surely find your cartridge there. Of course, this division into groups is always only an approximation. Rarely will your gun deliver the same bullet velocity specified by the ammunition manufacturer. For this reason, you should always check the results and settings in practice. What we like is that the Fusion X's sighting-in distance is also adjustable: 100 meters/yards is set as default, but 150, 200 and 300 meters/yards can be selected optionally.

Unlike conventional binoculars, binoculars/LRF combos like the Bushnell Fusion X often have two adjustable eyepieces. The right eyepiece is used to focus the display. The left eyepiece adjustment is used to adjust the left optics so that both partial optics have the same setting. 
A CR2 battery feeds the electronics of the Bushnell Fusion X 10x42. The battery compartment in the center hinge shaft is opened or closed with a suitable coin. 

Height mode: measurement with the Bushnell Fusion X 10x42

Operating the Bushnell Fusion X 10x42 with two push buttons is not difficult. On the left is the mode switch, on the right is the start switch. The focusing wheel is easy to reach, turns with sufficient friction and has a good grip.

The height mode was already available on the Nikon Forestry a good decade ago. When the Fusion X is set to "HEI" mode, it is easy to measure the height of an object, such as a tree. "HEI" in the display indicates readiness. Aim at the bottom of the trunk, press the start button and press again to start the measurement process, then measure the highest point (crown). The display then shows the distance to the crown in the primary display and the calculated height of the tree in the secondary display.

Rangefinder Bushnell Fusion X 10x42 in practice

The Bushnell Fusion X proved to be easy to use. The user's manual was always helpful, although you have to invest a bit of time to be able to use all the options of the binoculars/LRF combination device due to the wide range of functions. The reticle can be selected as a dot, circle or circle with dot. The innovative "ActiveSync" display, which can be set to four brightness levels, automatically changes the display color from black to red depending on the background, allowing it to be used even in difficult contrasts or at dusk. At 972 grams, the Fusion X is about 50 grams heavier than the manufacturer's specification, but as binoculars they perform well in terms of image quality (resolution/contrast). It is designed primarily for daytime use, although the exit pupils of 4 mm still allow it to be used at twilight. However, it is not suitable for use as a raised hide binocular for late twilight.

Overview: All technical specs and price of the Bushnell Fusion X 10x42 at a glance

Bushnell Fusion X 10x42
7.1”/177 mm
35 oz/922 g
Eyepiece Outer Diameter:
1.79”/45.5 mm
Objective Outer Diameter:
2.26”/57.5 mm
Objective Diameter:
42 mm
Exit Pupil:
4 mm
Field of View (at 1,000 yd/1,000 m):
305 ft/102 m
ARC Modes:
Standard, Bow, Rifle
Diopter Adjustment Range:Not specified
Eye Relief:16 mm
Close Focus:21 yd/6.4 m
Measurement Accuracy:± 1 yd/0.91 m
Max. Ranging:1,760 yd/1,609 m
Max. Ranging Tree:900 yd/900 m
Max. Ranging Red Deer:700 yd/700 m
Prism Type:Roof
Hydrophobic Coating:Yes, Exo Barrier
Price:859 euro (German RRP incl. VAT)
This photo illustrates the rich performance of the Bushnell Fusion X. The house is at a distance of 1,527 meters. At these distances, the reflection and angle of the object are important. If you aim at the sloped surface of the roof, then you'll get no reading.

Our test conclusion on the new rangefinder from Bushnell

The Bushnell Fusion X is a tempting all-rounder in the sum of its features. The significantly over 700-meter measuring range for roe deer or red deer is more than enough, although from a hunting ethics point of view, such long-distance shots would be questionable anyway. However, the performance level promises a large reserve that provides safety in poor conditions. The only downer is that the binoculars are not 100% universal. As a pure optic for late twilight hide hunting, it is less suitable. While there are more powerful devices from the usual suspects in terms of optics and electronics, when it comes to the price/performance ratio, the Bushnell Fusion X should be hard to beat at the moment for a price of 859 euros.

 What we liked:

 What we liked less:

- Good complete offer of binoculars and rangefinder
- Very good price / performance ratio
- More than sufficient measuring range for hunting
- Enough performance  reserve
- Less suitable for late twilight hunting

For more information on Bushnell products please visit the Bushnell website

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