No Apologies Long Range Scope: Burris Eliminator 4-12x42mm LaserScope
The new Burris Eliminator 4-12 power Laserscope is likely the first no apologies, no excuses, long range hunting rifle scope. Its goal is clear: to enable you to place place quick, precise shots on big-game animals out to 500 yards.
It takes the Ron Popeil “Set It and Forget It” approach to riflescopes, automating the process of rangefinding and shooting as a unit with no hesitation or thought. It does so firstly by taking the combined laser rangefinder and scope system as pioneered by the original Burris Laserscope. The notion here is to eliminate the extra component of a laser rangefinder by making the laser rangefinder integral with the scope. You won't fumble trying to grab your laser rangefinder, nor will you be disappointed that your laser rangefinder has dark, dim, low-power optics compared to your scope. The laser rangefinder is your scope in the form of the Burris Eliminator. The second part is illuminating the precise aiming point right on the reticle of the scope itself. No counting, no guessing, no thinking is required as the aimpoint is an orange dot on the reticle that cannot be obscured against a dark background.
As a generalization, hand-held laser rangefinders are low magnification compared to riflescopes. Six power is common, going up to seven or eight power. There are two issues with high-magnification hand-held rangefinders. You won't find a large objective on a rangefinder, meaning higher magnifications grow increasingly dark as the exit pupil shrinks excessively. Hand-held rangefinders get unsteady and wobbly at higher powers as well. With the Burris Eliminator, the 12X view of your trophy is as steady as your rifle is, far steadier than one hand on a laser rangefinder can hope to be.
The well-known Burris templates are now called "drop numbers." You pick the appropriate drop number and whether your original sight-in is going to be 100 or 200 yards. That gets you in the ballpark. To get the most out of this scope requires shooting at 500 yards. After the requisite 500 yard range-work, you fine tune your drop number by one or two increments to get things tuned in for your rifle. Ambient conditions and barrel length of your rifle are of course two large factors in your personal ballistic coefficient, which once discovered becomes automated by the Burris Eliminator. I'd consider the 500 yard range-work a vital step in the use of the scope. If we can't place shots accurately on paper at the range, we simply have no business shooting at an unwounded big game animal at that distance.
The rangefinder of the Burris Eliminator goes a step farther than many rangefinders. It has a built-in inclinometer (or clinometer) that takes into consideration the angle of the shot. Whether shooting uphill or downhill, the scope programs the correct aiming point for you with the user giving no thought or consideration to the angle of the shot.
Here are the Burris factory specifications, essentially unchanged from the original Burris Laserscope.
· Laser Range* (yards reflective) 800
· Laser Range* (yards deer) 550+
· Laser Accuracy +/- 1 yard
· Battery CR-2
· Battery Life 1100 cycles
· Operating Temperature 14F - 122F
· Field of View 25-9
· (Low-High feet @ 100 yards)
· Exit Pupil (mm) Low - High 10.5 - 3.5
· Click Value (Inch @ 100 yards) .25
· Max Adj. (Inch @ 100 yards) 50
· Weight with mount & battery 26 oz
· Optimum Eye Relief (Inch) 3 - 3.5
· Objective End Dia (mm) 60
· Clear Objective Dia (mm) 42
· Ocular End Dia (mm) 39
· Overall Length (Inch) 13
· Mounting Rail Length (Inch) 5.7
At 26 ounces, this is a monstrously heavy scope. What we need to take into consideration, though, is that this weight included what would normally be a pair of rings. Further, we have to allow that no separate laser rangefinder is carried or employed.
For a look at what this means versus the standard maximum point black range type of hunting as set forth by Jack O'Connor in Complete Book of Shooting and other sources, I'll use a versatile big game hunting round, the .308 Winchester. The specific load I've chosen is Federal Premium #P308V, which pushes a 150 grain Barnes Triple Shock at 2820 fps. For a killzone diameter of six inches, the Maximum Point Blank Range is 273 yards (a 233 yard zero).
To use the Burris Eliminator, we would zero at 200 yards. Out to 245 yards, it is center of the body at any power and pull the trigger. The drop from 100 yards to 500 yards is about 59.7 inches. We will plug in a Burris “Drop Number” of 60 and we are done excepting fine-turning at the range. With the Burris Eliminator, we have effectively added 225 yards or so to our theoretical ballistic hunting range with no guesswork. (Unfortunately, it does not make the user a better shot and not one hunter in a thousand is qualified to attempt a 500 yard shot at a game animal, even under perfect conditions. The slightest twitch--such as a heart beat--at the at the moment the trigger releases can send a bullet astray at 500 yards. -Editor.)
There is a “but” that has to be added. This 500 yard capability is under ideal conditions. Just a 10 mph direct crosswind can move our bullet up to 27 inches at 500 yards and the Burris Eliminator does not compensate for wind. Doping the wind is another matter altogether. Beyond the scope (pun intended) of this review, the caveat of windage is something that the individual will have to take into consideration and adjust his confident, ethical, game-taking range accordingly. There is a final cautionary note, that being how a laser rangefinder itself is often used. We like to range all kinds of objects with laser rangefinders, including structures and vehicles. That would be out of the question with the Eliminator, as whatever we are ranging has the muzzle of our rifles pointed at them as well.
To summarize, yes, the Burris Eliminator does what it claims to do, successfully integrating a high-end scope with a high-end rangefinder. As you might expect from any top-of-the-line Burris optic, it presents a bright, clear sight picture. It eliminates the need for drop charts taped to gunstocks, Kentucky elevation and any thought directed at the incline of the shot. Used strategically, it can extend hunting ranges very quickly, with no calculations or mental gymnastics. It still requires that we pay attention and give respect to the havoc that the wind can sometimes play with point of impact and adjust its use accordingly.
Copyright 2010 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.