We live in a digital age and much of that technology is seeping into the realm of hunting. Take, for instance, the Burris Eliminator III LaserScope, which manages to efficiently integrate an on-board laser rangefinder that automatically identifies holdover points out to 1,200 yards depending upon the load and provides an instant illuminated holdover point. That means there's no need to range a target, adjust dials, and fire. A fraction of a second after you range your target, you'll know where to hold thanks to software that automatically stores the ballistics of your favorite firearm. Impressive as that may be, that's only a fraction of what the Eliminator III offers hunters.
In addition to its ranging capabilities, the Eliminator III also features a built-in inclinometer that makes instantaneous adjustments to holdover based on the angle of the shot — a critical feature when hunting in steep terrain. The X96 reticle comes equipped with multiple windage adjustment hold points and the computer automatically calculates windage value for a 10-mph crosswind. Although the Eliminator III doesn't have an on-board wind meter, this baseline data provides the shooter with an accurate valuation for most wind conditions. You can quickly select yard or meter range values and the holdover value is accurate at any magnification level, so there's no need to dial the scope up or down before making a shot.
The Eliminator III is housed in a rugged aluminum body with a double internal-spring tension system that stands up to battering from hard-kicking magnum rifles. An integrated scope base design mounts quickly and securely using beefy cross bolts on any Weaver or Picatinny rail design. The rear portion of the mounting rail has traditional cross slots, and the front portion is left open so that you can adjust the position of the front cross bolt as desired to fit your rail. The cross bolts are placed onto the rail, the scope is tilted into position before you finger-tighten the nuts. Once the scope is adjusted so that there is no play, and the rail and scope mate up firmly, the nuts can be tightened to the appropriate weight using the provided wrench (50-70 pounds according to the manual).
For shooters who have tapered bases and require more down elevation adjustment, Burris provides three mounting plates that offer additional down elevation adjustment (10, 20, or 30 MOA). The mounting system is simple to use and durable. The quality precision-ground glass lenses feature Hi-Lumen multi-coating that eliminates glare and provides improved low-light clarity. The overall weight of the Eliminator III 4-16x50 is 39 ounces which is just a few ounces more than comparable 4-16x50 optics, which is particularly impressive when you consider all the extra features found in the Burris.
Other key features include a parallax adjustment dial located on the front of the objective bell, a side-mounted battery compartment with a screw-on cover (the unit runs on a single CR123A battery that lasts 5,000 cycles), a four-button keypad on the left side of the scope for programming and adjusting illumination brightness, a rear focus knob and standard windage and elevation knobs with resettable turrets. Additionally, the model I tested (#200119) comes with updated software that allows the shooter to program the scope with a 50-yard zero and drop calculations out to 250 yards for use with rimfires, muzzleloaders, and slug shotguns.
Despite its long list of features setting up the Eliminator III doesn't require a computer science degree or long hours spent programing the unit. To turn on the scope, simply press the power/range button located on either the left or right side of the front bell of the scope. The 4-16x50 that I tested came equipped with a remote switch that is installed by unscrewing the button on either side of the scope and replacing it with the remote switch. The remote switch is attached to a flexible cord that can be mounted on the rifle anywhere you'd like by removing the protective strip and attaching the unit to the stock of the rifle. Strong adhesive holds the remote button firmly in place.
To begin programming the scope, you'll need to identify the inches of drop at 750 yards and the BC of your bullet. That may seem like a daunting task, but Burris provides a cartridge list with over 6,000 different loads so you can quickly locate the data for your favorite factory load. To program the scope, press the on button and then hold the forward arrow for six seconds. The program menu will display a "T," which stands for table setup. You'll use the up and down arrows on the pad to select yards or meters, then press the forward button to lock in your choice. Next, you'll select for a 100-yard zero (1) or a 50-yard zero (2). You'll then enter your drop at 750 yards and the BC of your bullet. After selecting the proper BC, pressing the back button automatically stores your input data and you're ready to fire. It's worth noting that the system is set up automatically for sea level-elevation shooting, but there's a simple formula in the manual that allows you to adjust your input data to account for changes in altitude if you hunt at higher elevations.
Zeroing for centerfire rifles should be completed at 100 yards. Using the elevation and windage adjustment knobs, zero the rifle and then set your zero by inserting a pen or similar object into dial's hole to release tension. You'll then turn the dials back to zero and you're ready to shoot. The whole process may require returning to the manual once or twice, but the system soon becomes intuitive.
To determine whether or not the Eliminator III lives up to its lofty promises, I tested it on a Mossberg MVP-LC .308 rifle firing 150-grain Winchester Deer Season XP Copper Impact loads. After bore sighting and verifying point of impact at 100 yards, I moved to the 200-yard range and ranged the target. Immediately, a small red dot illuminated just below the center crosshairs to indicate my holdover point. The first group of three shots punched holes around the center of the target, so I moved to 300 yards and fired another group. The Eliminator III offers windage adjustment data based on the ballistics of the cartridge and the range, which equated to .3 holdoff based on a 10-mph crosswind at that range. The day was dead-calm and there was no need to adjust. Three shots landed in the kill zone.
I must admit that I was initially skeptical regarding the Eliminator III's potential as a hunting optic. It simply seemed too good to be true, but once you become familiar with the system it's intuitive and very reliable. Although I couldn't shoot past 300 yards due to range restrictions, I managed to range objects out to 850 yards and the Eliminator III had no issues returning accurate figures quickly. We've entered a whole new era of digital optics, and Burris is at the forefront of the revolution. The Eliminator III simplifies long range shooting and — pardon me — eliminates the need to range an animal, compute holdover and fire. That means faster, more accurate shooting even at extended distances.
Burris Eliminator III LaserScope Specs
Weight: 39.4 ounces
Objective Lens: 50mm
Finish: Matte black
Parallax Adjustment: 50 yards to infinity
Power: 1 CR123A battery
Battery Life: 5,000 cycles
Extras: Remote switch, sun shade, lens covers, mounting brackets, mounting plates (3)
Contact: Burris Optics, 888-440-0244; burrisoptics.com