Bushnell G-Force 1300 & Legend Ultra HD Review

I remember the days not so long ago when carrying a rangefinder was considered a novelty. If you did happen to have one, it was like hauling around one of those old school backpack radios from WWII — clunky, more than a little cumbersome to operate and heavy.

With the advent of products like the Bushnell G-Force 1300 rangefinder, however, those days are long gone. Now you've got a ridiculously lightweight optic that does, well, just about everything.

And because they go together like peas and carrots on any good hunt, I also got my hands on the 8x42 Legend Ultra HD binoculars, which are an equal measure of precision design and spectacular optical advantage.

First, the G-Force rangefinder. Compact in size and able to fit in the small chest pocket on most any jacket, it's about the equivalent of carrying a cell phone with you into the woods. With a rubberized grip surrounding a rigid metal frame, Rain Guard HD coating to protect the lenses from moisture and ergonomically designed push buttons, the G-Force 1300 is built for work.


I had it out on rainy days in a treestand in Kentucky and never so much as wiped the lenses. Didn't need to. The Rain Guard HD coating on the lenses causes moisture to bead up and disperse, leaving you with a glare-free, smear-free line of sight. The rubberized body is also designed to protect against moisture and does a great job. The other benefit of the specialized coating is that it keeps the glass from fogging up when the temperatures drop. My pair did just that.


One of the coolest features built into the G-Force is its ARC technology, a program that calculates real distance from various heights and angles. You can switch between rifle and bow mode, which adjusts for drop of shot, among other important factors. I used it with a rifle in Oklahoma on a whitetail hunt with Chain Ranch Outfitters, and from a tree in Kentucky during bow season. Both modes work exceptionally well. With a simple push of a button you can switch between bow/rifle settings, or in rifle mode to chose the MOA setting.


A problem on earlier model rangefinders was that the black visuals inside the eye piece were hard to spot in low light conditions. On the other hand, illuminated markers worked better or worse depending on how bright it was outside, which often meant the sight was either too bright or not bright enough. What's the solution? Make the illumination adjustable, which is exactly what Bushnell did on the G-Force. With multiple brightness settings, you can make adjustments for different times of day.

Along with 6x magnification and adjustable eye relief, the G-Force also utilizes Vivid Display Technology (VDT), which sharpens contrast and makes identifying your target a cinch. I always observe how long it takes to acquire a reading after pushing the button, and was amazed with how quickly and effectively the G-Force performs. Distances pop up almost immediately and very rarely do you have to take multiple readings on the same object. All that for a suggested retail of $399, which is a bargain given all the features you get in return.

Because the G-Force works so quickly, I was able to range out the various distances from my Oklahoma blind in about a minute, which is a big advantage when the sun comes up and you're ready for action. Not long after that I spotted a rut-crazed buck bounding through the brush, headed my way. After acquiring an accurate reading from my G-Force, I squeezed off a shot with my .308 at 125 yards — dead on — and the nice 10-point was dead right there.


Through the Looking Glass

What the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD series gives you a quality optic without consuming your entire gear budget (suggested retail is around $300), while performing up to par with its price point competitors. Like most hunters, my budget is a pie that can only be split so many ways. At the same time, the Legend HD gives you the whole package — Rain Guard HD coating, rubberized grip and amazing lens quality. Each pair also comes with a bino suspender — a practical necessity for a heavy set of optics — which saves your neck by dispersing carrying load to your back and shoulders.

I also found that the clarity of the lenses is as true in a wide open field as it is with heavy brush in densely forested areas. For a whitetail hunter, that matters. Gun season in Oklahoma overlooking a field and food plot is different than Kentucky in a treestand with a bow and dense woods. You need a quality bino that can handle both settings, and the Legend Ultra HD does just that.


Recommended for You

Whether you cook it around a smoldering campfire or over a charcoal grill, this Braai'ed Deer Heart Recipe is a good one to add to your after-the-hunt rituals. Venison Recipes

Braai'ed (Grilled) Deer Heart Recipe

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

Whether you cook it around a smoldering campfire or over a charcoal grill, this Braai'ed Deer...

Check out some of the most innovative products hitting shelves this summer! Bowhunting

Best New 2019 Crossbow Accessories

Laden Force - July 02, 2019

Check out some of the most innovative products hitting shelves this summer!

Many people have the mistaken notion that mature bucks have one area where they spend their days; Scouting

Scouting Deer Bedding Areas: Locating, Creating and Observing

Bernie Barringer

Many people have the mistaken notion that mature bucks have one area where they spend their...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Fundamentals of the Bow Selection

Fundamentals of the Bow Selection

On this edition of "On Target," Pat Hogan highlights the importance of applying the fundamentals of the draw cycle when it comes to the bow you select.

Deer Dog: Shed Conditioning

Deer Dog: Shed Conditioning

Jeremy Moore talks about the importance of your deer dog's physical conditioning.

Battling Breeding Bucks

Battling Breeding Bucks

Stan Potts heads to his home state of Illinois to hunt whitetails with his bow during the November rut.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Improve the nutritional benefits that your land offers local deer. Land Management

No Matter the Season, Deer Orchard Work Brings Big Benefits to Whitetails

Lynn Burkhead - June 27, 2019

Improve the nutritional benefits that your land offers local deer.

Good location is just part of the equation. Scouting

The Best Summer Trail Camera Strategy

Tony J. Peterson

Good location is just part of the equation.

Understanding what deer eat and how they adjust their diets to meet changing nutritional requirements will not only increase your chances of harvesting a good buck, but also your enjoyment of whitetail hunting. Land Management

What Do Deer Eat?

Dr. James C. Kroll

Understanding what deer eat and how they adjust their diets to meet changing nutritional...

See More Stories

More Optics

              By Dick Metcalf    TruGlo has solved all Remington slug gun hunters' difficulties Optics

TruGlo Integral Mount Dual-Color Dot Sight

September 22, 2010

By Dick Metcalf TruGlo has solved all Remington slug gun hunters'...

              By Staff Report    Nikon's Archer's Choice Max has extended range out to 200 yards Optics

Nikon Archer's Choice Max

September 22, 2010

By Staff Report Nikon's Archer's Choice Max has extended range out to 200...

Stan Potts reveals Nikon's revolutionary vibration-reducing rangefinder. Optics

On Target: Nikon Rangefinder

NAW TV - March 28, 2017

Stan Potts reveals Nikon's revolutionary vibration-reducing rangefinder.

See More Optics

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.