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The market is crowded with laser rangefinders offering high-tech features and performance. Redfield’s 550 is downsized and simple.

In recent years I’ve reviewed any number of high tech laser rangefinders that do everything for the shooter except press the trigger. As a disciple of the K.I.S.S principle, I find it refreshing to get a downsized rangefinder that simply tells you the range and then leaves you to work out details of the stalk.

Redfield now offers their compact, affordable Model 550 - a unit that is affordable and which reminds me of the Bushnell Yardage Pro 400 that I first laid eyes on back in 1996. My N.Z outfitter, Brendan Matthews bought it from an American hunter he guided and used it to range a record class tahr for me.

At 510 grams the Bushnell was considered light weight, but the Redfield 550 is a true lightweight laser rangefinder named for its maximum reach of 550 yards (503 metres) on a reflective target in dim light, and it’s small enough to be slipped in a shirt pocket. A downsized laser rangefinder like this weighing barely 140 grams is very, very good news indeed, particularly if you are a mountain hunter to whom every gram saved is a real bonus.

Redfield doesn’t make any claims that their 550 is the world’s most compact laser rangefinder, but it’s surely a serious contender, measuring just 94x71x33mm. Redfield offers the Raider 550 in both black and Mossy Oak Break-up Infinity camo finishes. The 550 features a 6x monocular and Redfield’s multi-coated lenses guarantee a bright, sharp image to let you see targets easily within the 100 metres field at 1000 metres, and pin-point them easily with the “reticle.” Higher power is not useful with a maximum 550yd. (503) metres reach.

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