There has always been somewhat of an argument out there as to the need for a rangefinder as a police marksman. For most, the ranges are 60 yards and in — with an occasional deployment around 100 yards. If that is the case, not much need for ranging. But for others, 100 yards may be the norm, with the occasional need for longer ranges. On an immediate action team, the difference between covering an open space of 20 yards and 50 yards can be huge, and those distances can be hard to judge — especially in low-light. A switched-on sniper team can use that rangefinder to map out the area of operation for the rest of the team, providing a tremendous advantage.
The Fusion 1600 makes use of the now-prolific C123 batteries found in most flashlights and many of today’s combat optics.
The problem has always been the need to carry a pair of binoculars for observation (or a spotter) and a laser rangefinder, not to mention the cost of buying both. Generally I see guys buying the best set of binoculars they can and foregoing the range finder. Some opt for a spotting scope, but often that can just be too much. They are bigger, more difficult to deploy and can be even more expensive. For most, a set of 8 or 10 power binoculars is really the way to go. They are easier on the eye relief, smaller, lighter and fit much better in a drag bag or kit bag. Although you can certainly spend a ton of money on either, binoculars are typically less money. They are also items that often fit into various grants. What is really needed is a set that does both.
Binoculars / rangefinder combination units are really not a new idea — the military has had such devices for years. Most of those were quite large and, if even available to the public, were in the $25,000-range. As time went on these became smaller and smaller and there are a few out there currently offered. Most of these are European (in name at least) and current prices are in the two to three thousand dollar range. Again, very few police officers or even departments are going to drop that kind of money on a device like this. What we really need is a set that is a bit more reasonable, and it seems Bushnell has come through again.