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Best Binoculars For Target Archery
The Best 3D Archery Binoculars
Whether you’re in your backyard shooting at a far away home target, or you’re in a cash prize 3d archery tournament – you’re going to want a pair of binoculars at some point. Be it casual or serious shooting, binoculars are just too good of an asset to leave indoors.
The main reason for the use of binoculars in 3d archery is really quite simple:
You need to know where your arrows are hitting the target – are you hitting the scoring rings? If so, which ones and if not – how far off are your shots landing?
And no matter which binoculars you decide to pick up, you’ll definitely need one of these to make life easier when you’re shooting.
One of the most important things to consider when shopping for a pair of binoculars (specifically for 3d archery) is their light level. You need binoculars that let in a lot of light – more so even then for hunting, because you need to be able to see the individual scoring rings on the target clearly.
Another important factor to consider is the clarity of the glass used. While this may sound nit picky, ask any serious 3d archer and they’ll tell you the truth:
The clarity of the glass can be all the difference between a pair of binoculars that sells for fifty dollars – and one that sells for two thousand dollars.
Cheaper glass makes it much more difficult to see the fine details on the target, to get a point of reference. While under perfect lighting conditions it might or might not matter, but get into a long dark tunnel and you’ll definitely notice a difference right away.
The next thing to consider is will you be using them for casual shooting with friends or tournaments and serious competitions? The two main 3d archery tournament leagues are the ASA (Archery Shooters Association) and the IBO (International Bowhunting Organization), respectively.
They both have different rules on whether or not binoculars are allowed in official tournaments, and what strengths of magnification may be used. Rangefinders and binoculars with built in rangefinders are not allowed in either one, as far as I know.
And, last I heard the ASA allows for binoculars with a maximum magnification of 8X. That being said, I’ll get to the best brands – and their specific models for different price ranges:
Best Beginner 3d Archery Binoculars
Whether you’re new to 3d archery, archery in general, or are looking for a gift for that new 3d archer in your life – these are my picks for the best beginner binoculars for 3d archery – the best binoculars you can get for the money:
Nikon 8252 Aculon
Nikon has been a name in the optics industry, and in binoculars especially, for years. They’re known for their high quality beginner to intermediate level gear.
Nikon’s Aculon binoculars are available as 8×42, 10×50 and 10-22×50. They’re lightweight and compact and have an ergonomic, non slip grip even when they’re wet (great for outdoor uses). A really great pair of beginner bino’s for 3d archery and / or hunting.
Vortex Optics Diamondback Line
I’ll say it now, and I may say it 10 more times on this page:
You simply can’t go wrong with a pair of Vortex binoculars. They’re well known for making top of the line binoculars – at affordable prices. If you want a truly quality pair of beginner binoculars, you should really check them out.
These bad boys have a large field of view, multi-coated lenses and are both waterproof and fog-proof. They also offer superior light for clear, bright images and are very durable. Another great choice for both hunting and 3d shoots. Any beginner archer will be quite pleased with these.
Our Top Picks for Intermediate 3d Archery Binoculars
If you’ve been around the block a bit when it comes to binoculars, 3d archery or just archery in general – the following picks are for you. I’ve tried to keep in mind not only binoculars that are great for 3d shoots, but for hunting and spotting game in the field as well.
Carson 3D Series Binoculars
These Carson Binoculars are a clear step up for more advanced archers and bow hunters alike. They feature rubberized armor textured coating, fully coated multi color lenses and are both waterproof and fog proof.
Included with them is a carrying case, shoulder harness, lens covers, a neck strap and a lens cloth. Plus, they’re backed by Carson’s well known killer warranties.
Bushnell Legend Binoculars
Bushnell has been a quality name in professional optics for years, and their Ultra Prism line of binoculars is no exception. These rugged and durable binoculars feature ED prime glass, are waterproof and fog proof and have 10 times magnification with 42mm objective lenses.
The ultra wide field of view makes long distance targets seem brighter and crisp. Plus, these binoculars work great in both dark and rainy conditions.
Included with them is a carrying case, carry bag and a neck strap. Plus, they’re covered by Bushnell’s money back guarantee.
Advanced / Professional 3d Archery Binoculars
Vortex Viper HD Roof Prism Binoculars
As I said before, you simply can’t go wrong with a pair of Vortex binoculars. If you want a step up from the Diamondback line, you’ll love the vipers. Designed for hunting, these boast high level light transmission. Designed for hunting, these things out performed a pair of Zeiss binoculars – which cost double the price!
They are bright and clear thanks to their multi-layered prism coated lenses. An awesome set of binoculars for use in all weather conditions.
Swarovski SLC Line of Binoculars
If you’ve been waiting to see the absolute top of the line in binoculars, look no further. If you’ve got the money, there’s nothing better than a Swarovski. Made in Austria, these feature a very large field of view, magnesium alloy housing and insanely good quality glass. These are the best of the best.
There’s no way you can really describe using these, you just have to see it for yourself. They’re covered by a lifetime, no questions asked, guarantee. If you buy a pair, these will be the only binoculars you will have to buy for the rest of your life.
While these aren’t allowed at any 3d tournaments, rangefinder binoculars great for hunting and a lot of fun to use with 3d targets if you’re having a local friendly shoot or a casual round in your backyard. True laser rangefinder binoculars can be pretty pricey – but you get what you pay for. But if you’re looking for a cheaper entry level rangefinder option, I did my homework and found something cool for you…
Affordable Entry-Level Rangefinder Binoculars
For those of your looking for a pair of rangefinder binoculars on a budget, these might just be the choice for you. The Hooway company has recently released their own highly affordable rangefinder binoculars.
Hooway Rangefinder Binoculars
While they aren’t the expensive laser rangefinder type (they use the compass style range finder) – they do seem to have some good reviews. Full disclosure here, I haven’t yet got a chance to test these out myself, but I will be checking them out soon and I’ll post my thoughts on them after I do.
Vortex Fury 10×42 Laser Rangefinder Binoculars
If you’re interested in the real deal, laser rangefinders – the Vortex Fury binoculars may be your best bet. These are a pair of high quality, yet affordable binoculars that are a perfect way to get your foot in the door to laser range finding. They’re specifically designed for high light levels, with low glare and are anti-reflective.
Maybe you’re wondering:
If I buy rangefinder binoculars I won’t be able to use them at a 3d archery tournament, so why bother?
A good friend of mine owns a pair of Leupold rangefinder binoculars that are eight times magnification and not only does he use them hunting all the time, but when he’s competing in a tournament he just unplugs the battery and puts the cap over the range-finding sensor.
Plus, he painted the cap with bright neon green fishing lure paint so it’s clear to everyone that he’s not using the rangefinder at all. The binoculars themselves are eight times magnification – so they’re perfectly fine to use in tournaments.
How to use binoculars in 3d archery
If you’re wondering how exactly to use binoculars in a 3d archery shoot, we’ve got some tips, tricks and best practices for you. Just be sure to check the rules of any 3d shoot or tournament that you intend to compete in to make sure nothing you do ventures over the line to be considered cheating.
Some of the following is considered ok in one organization, while the same thing may be looked at as cheating in another. So I’ll say it again – be sure that you’re up on the rules of any tournament that you shoot in. That being said, let’s dive right in…
Since thirty yards can be used as sort of a standard distance in archery, a good place to start is as follows:
At your practice range (or backyard) set up two targets: one thirty yards away and one forty yards away. Play with the focus wheel on your binoculars until you can clearly tell in which direction you turn the wheel is focusing the binoculars closer and which direction is changing the focus to further away.
Next, aim your binoculars on the target thirty yards away. Get them focused on the target, using the focus wheel, until the target is as clear as you can possibly get it. Now you know that the target is thirty yards away and the binoculars are focused at exactly thirty feet.
Now aim the binoculars at the target forty yards away. Start to focus them on the target paying close attention to how much you have to turn the focus wheel to get the target into clear focus. You’ll have to do this back and forth a few times between the thirty yard target and the forty yard one.
Some people actually mark on the focus wheel with a marker or a knife mark at the thirty yard point, the forty yard point, etc. so that they have clear visual references for the distances. Be careful with this though – there are some competitions that this trick is considered cheating.
Binocular Accessories You Shouldn’t Leave Home Without
And finally when it comes to binoculars and 3d archery, there are a few essentials you’ll want to keep with you while you shoot.
Neck strap / sling / harness
You need to keep your binoculars on you at all times, to check the target after each of your shots, but what to use? Depending on the style of archery and type of bow you use, you’ll want to pick either a neck strap, sling or a body harness.
While a sling is normally the choice for compound archers, harnesses are great as well. However a harness is not a good choice for recurve shooters, as they can trip up your shots. A great idea for all styles of archers is to get a quiver mount for your binoculars and they can just hang on your quiver when you’re not using them.
If you don’t have a pair of waterproof, rain guard or heavy sealed binoculars, make sure you’ve got a waterproof bag or case just to be sure you don’t ruin your binoculars. All quality binoculars these days are usually waterproof and fog proof, so it shouldn’t be an issue for most people. Remember – you get what you pay for!
The strong glare of the sun can sometimes get into the peripheral vision, making things glared and blurred out down range. One easy and cheap way to prevent this is with a glare cover. These are just cheap covers that surround the eye sockets of your binoculars, eliminating any glare.
Quite a few companies are making these now, and not only are they quite cheap, but most of them can be folded up and easily stored in your binoculars case or carrying bag.
Especially if you paid a good amount of money for your glass, or even if you haven’t – you need to take care of it during 3d shoots and tournaments. This goes double for outdoor tournaments as rain, wind, dust and debris can easily get in the way of your view.
A simple glass cleaning kit with some glass cleaning spray, a cleaning cloth and a polisher in a small bag will solve that problem. Again, these should be easy to find as lots of companies are manufacturing these, and they’re normally pretty inexpensive. You could also put one together on your own – just be sure to only use quality glass cleaning solution that’s meant for use on binoculars.