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Is the Hawke Optics Endurance LRF 700 the ideal airgunner’s rangefinder? Phill Price believes so
Airgun hunting is all about precision shot placement and a huge factor in that challenge is knowing the exact distance to our quarry. Because the airgun pellet's trajectory is so curved, even a small range estimation error can result in very poor shot placement, so in my opinion, a laser rangefinder is as essential as your gun if you want to deliver humane and productive shots. I've tried dozens of rangefinders over the years, and trust me, there are good ones and bad ones to be found.
Many are designed for long-range firearm use, being rated to 1000 yards or more, but we care about much more modest distances, so we need not buy the top-of-the-range models. What we want is an accurate and reliable model, at a sensible price. As with our rifle scope, we need clear bright optics so that we can identify our quarry precisely, so good quality, properly coated lenses are vital.
I had this in mind as I looked through the Hawke Sport Optics catalogue, where I noticed just my kind of rangefinder. The Endurance LRF (700) ticked all the boxes on my wish list, so I called and asked for a test sample.
This unit is very small and light, with excellent ergonomics, which is a huge deal in my book. To take accurate measurements, you need to hold the rangefinder's reticle precisely on your quarry and then press the button, without drifting off aim. The position of the ranging button here is spot on, and equally importantly, the pressure needed to 'ping' the target is light. If you need to press too hard, there's just no way you'll stay on aim.
The reticle is an OLED, which shows up bright red, making it useful even in the very dimmest light. This is backed up by one of the clearest and brightest images I've ever seen through a rangefinder, which is no doubt due to the use of fully multi-coated lenses throughout. In fact, it makes a handy monocular for spotting quarry if you don't have your binoculars with you.
Wisely, Hawke designed this model to have a wide-angle field of view which makes a huge difference when you're trying to spot tricky quarry, like squirrels hiding up in the branches of a big oak. On the subject of elevated shots, I was delighted to see that the angle of the shot is clearly displayed beside the range, because this is vital information when we need to calculate our hold-under.
Another bonus was that I had no trouble focusing the Endurance with my prescription glasses on. I've had endless trouble with this in the past, so I congratulate Hawke for overcoming this frustrating problem. This is without doubt one of the best rangefinders I've ever used, and in my view, I think it's just about ideal for the airgun hunter. Yes, it costs a little more than some, but I promise you that if you buy one, it will be money well spent. Highly recommended.
Model: Endurance LRF (700)
Weight: 5oz - 141grammes
Dims: 3.8" x 2.9"
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