Phill Price outlines all that is good, bad and ugly (or just good!) about NiteSite’s new mountable rangefinder

credit: Archant

RRP: £299.00

Contact: 01759 377235

As much as night vision (NV) has some advantages over traditional lamping, it’s always had one major failing for me – I find it almost impossible to estimate the range to my quarry through the flat image.

This isn’t particular to any brand or type of NV unit – they’re all the same in this regard.

credit: Archant

What we need is a rangefinder that works in the dark, and NiteSite appears to have the answer. It’s a module that fits beside the screen on your NiteSite unit and projects an infrared beam, which you can see on the LCD viewer. You then place the dot on your target and the display on the rangefinder tells you the precise distance.

At first, I wondered how you would zero the laser on the cross hair, until somebody pointed out you don’t need to. As long as you can see the dot, you just place it where it’s needed and take the reading. On top of this, it also shows you the angle you’re shooting at.

To mount the rangefinder, you attach a small plastic arm to the mount that holds the screen onto your scope. As this and the module itself are so light (150g), you barely notice them. I noted that the arm has some flex, which is a good thing when you inevitably bang it against the car or a barn door.

In an intriguing change to most rangefinders, this one reads constantly for a minute and then shuts down. This means once you spot your quarry, you give the power button a press. This is unlike other systems that require you to keep ‘pinging’ if there’s more than one target or if it moves. The display is bright and clear, making reading easy, even on the darkest of nights.

credit: Archant

The ‘ping’, as NiteSite calls it, appears in the screen as a quickly moving vertical stripe, and I gave the unit a quick wiggle until it appeared behind the cross hair.

Distances appeared instantly as I moved the rifle, and I ranged some objects that I know the distance to and got accurate readings first time. There is, of course, the matter of viewing things by pointing your rifle, but with the bolt open and the mag’ out, reasonable safety was maintained.

I feel this is a huge step forward for NV users, and the rabbits I shot all dropped cleanly, so I was at the correct distance. I’m sure this will create an ‘arms race’ as other manufacturers try to catch up but, for now, if you want rangefinding at night, NiteSite is pretty much the only choice.