Last year, when I harvested my first deer, I promised myself that I would never again take another shot at a deer without being absolutely certain of the gender and approximate age. As part of that promise, I’ve taken steps to learn how to age a deer more accurately and invested more into quality optics. This is where the Vortex Optics Fury HD 10×42 Binoculars come in.
During my first hunt, the only optic I had with me was a no name 3×9 scope that came mounted on the Remington 770 rifle I acquired a few years back. Suffice to say the scope is crap. I knew that going into the hunt, but my lack of experience combined with the excitement of the first hunt landed me in a position where I made a bad call. I thought I had doe in my sights when I took the shot. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have take that shot at the young buck. I was lucky the harvest was legal and the land owner let it slide. But one of the lessons I learned was the value of quality optics.
I know I can place a shot. I’m confident in my skill and equipment. I also know my limits. With that in mind, I figured it would be a good idea to invest in a good pair of binoculars and a range finder. A good pair of binoculars aid in target identification – for deer hunters that translates into improved gender identification and age approximation. A good range finder takes the guess work out of ranging a target – sure a mil-dot scope and a mil-dot master will also do the job, but even then there is a little bit of guess work when measuring the target followed by looking at the mil-dot master reference.
With that in mind, I decided that a combination range finder and binoculars would make a good addition to my hunting gear.
Out of the Box
As part of the package, the Fury HD binoculars include, rubber lens covers, a CR2 battery for the built in laser range finder, and a GlassPak Binocular Harness.
I did find the initial focus procedure a bit odd after taking the binoculars out of the box. This is because I am used to finding the diopter focus ring just in front of the right ocular lens on most binoculars. However, this is were one will find the reticle focus ring for the built in range finder on the Fury HD binoculars – the diopter focus is in front of the left ocular lens. This means the initial binocular focus procedure for the Fury HD will be to adjust the center focus while the left eye is closed or covered (rather than the right eye), followed adjusting the diopter focus while the right eye is closed or covered (rather than the left eye). It’s not a big deal, but it did feel a little odd.
At the Range
The binoculars feel great. They feel really rugged and feel good in my hands. The non-slip rubber armor coating on the exterior is excellent and allow for an excellent confident grip with or without gloves on.
The glass is excellent. The clarity all the way out to the edges is superb. The light transmission is phenomenal. While I haven’t really spent much time with other binoculars, I can say that it is on par with some the higher end scope glass I’ve spent some time with.
The built in range finder works well and is designed to range reflective targets out to 1600 yards (1000 yards for deer sized targets). The controls are easy to use. Although, depending on the gloves worn can be a little difficult to find by touch.
The scan ranging feature is awesome! Just press and hold the measure button and the range finder will update the measured distance as one pans back and forth while the aiming circle blinks.
I’m indifferent about the included binocular harness. It’s okay. I’ve had the straps that attach the binoculars to the harness slip out of the buckles. Nothing that a safety pin can’t fix, but it is a little annoying. I’ve also managed to snag the outer mesh pockets on brush and other sharpish corners (like a truck tailgate) and rip them a little.
Would I Recommend It
Not this exact model of Fury HD binoculars unless it is heavily discounted. But only because a new model (the Fury HD 5000) is now available that includes a much better range finder that is capable of ranging reflective targets out to 5000 yards and deer out to 1600 yards at the same price point of the model I reviewed. Granted the model I reviewed will work just fine for most folks and may likely be significantly discounted as a clearance item at retailers.
Otherwise, yes. If and only if, one has an application where both binoculars and a range finder is desired – like for deer hunting.
If one only needs binoculars, then I would probably suggest the Vortex Viper HD 10×42 binoculars. As they offer what I consider to be the same optical quality of the Fury HD binoculars at less than half the price.
If one only needs a range finder, then I would suggest Vortex Ranger rangefinder which is capable out to 1800 yards priced at about 1/3 of the Fury HD binoculars price. Or the Vortex Razor HD 4000 rangefinder which is capable out to 4000 yards priced at about 1/2 of the Fury HD binoculars price.
I do tend to look at Vortex Optics for my optics needs first as they seem to offer very competitively priced quality products. I’ve also had great interactions and experiences with their customer service folks. And no, they don’t compensate me in any way to write this. Perhaps that will change some day, but not as of writing this.