Vortex Fury HD 5000 AB Rangefinding Binocular Review
The Fury HD is one of the best laser rangefinding binoculars for the money
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The Vortex Fury HD 5000 AB rangefinding binoculars are one of the most complete expressions of the recent integration of electronics and hunting optics. This confluence of “electro-optics” has been maturing in the last few years, but this versatile unit marries powerful rangefinding and viewing with a sophisticated suite of shooting tools supplied by Applied Ballistics (that’s the reference to the AB in the unit’s name) and synched to a user’s mobile device.
Vortex Fury HD 5000 AB specs:
- 10-power with 42mm objective lenses
- Roof prism, compound-hinge design with center focus wheel and independent eyepiece focus
- Threaded tripod adapter on forward hinge
- 4-position eyecup extension
- Weight – 32.4 ounces (2.02 pounds)
- Field of View – 321 feet at 1,000 yards
- Integrated laser rangefinder ranges from 5 to 5,000 yards on reflective targets, to 2,400 yards on trees, and to 1,600 yards on deer
- Rangefinding preferences include best, last, angle-compensated, and ballistic priorities
- On-board weather center reports temperature, barometric pressure, and enables users to input wind speed and direction
- Aiming solutions are informed by Applied Ballistics Elite ballistic profiles
- On-board software features Applied Ballistics Elite bullet profiles, pairs via Bluetooth to mobile device for full custom ballistic solutions
- $1,499 at most retailers (Vortex’s site shows these at $1,999.99 MSRP)
Do-It-All Rangefinding Binocular
Vortex pitches its Fury HD 5000 AB with this mantra: “Pair It. Range It. Dial It.”
Those three imperatives get at the full expression of the rangefinding binocular. You pair it to your phone or other Bluetooth-enabled devices. You range the distance to your target. Then you dial your rifle (or pistol, or even bow, I suppose) to the shooting prescription delivered by the Fury, and then make the shot.
The three actions also pretty well describe what the Fury HD 5000 AB is NOT. It isn’t a casual viewing optic. Instead, it’s a highly electronic ranging device that happens to look and function like a binocular.
Unless you unlock all its tethered capabilities by investing in the fairly tedious steps to customize its software to your particular gun and load, then you are simply not benefitting from its significant ballistic horsepower. In short, the Vortex Fury HD is designed for fairly sophisticated long-range shooters and hunters who want to unlock the full potential of their rifle by knowing the precise ballistic distance to their target. The addition of Applied Ballistics Elite software built into the binocular, and its easy linkage to Kestrel or Garmin weather meters, makes this a very powerful precision-shooting device and one of the best binoculars for hunting.
What the Vortex Fury HD 5000 AB Does Best
With that in mind, the Vortex Fury 5000 is one of the best tools a long-range shooter can have. It can enable one-shot hits at extremely distant targets, in all kinds of conditions, and it can help you understand all the variables that go into shooting proficiency. Let’s look at each of three components, and how each contributes to its success in the field or the target range.
First, the laser rangefinder is good. It might not be as powerful as some on the market, but for the purposes of a binocular, it is more than adequate. The 5000 in the Vortex Fury HD’s name originates from its 5,000-yard ranging capability on reflective targets. Those are things like metal road signs, the roof of a distant barn, and even rocks and some hillsides. The unit will range trees and non-reflective brush out to 2,400 yards. And it will range deer out to 1,600 yards.
The rangefinder has five capabilities, each of which is optimized for a specific field function. They are Ballistic Mode which provides users with a line-of-sight distance as well as wind and bullet drop calculations. The Best Mode provides the most precise and powerful lazing solution and is the default rangefinding mode. Last Mode displays the furthest distance and is ideal for ranging targets behind some obscuring objects in the foreground. Horizontal Component Mode calculates an angle-adjusted range and is ideal in mountain or canyon environments. Lastly, Scan Mode is useful for panning across a landscape or tracking a moving animal.
Then there’s the display, which delivers a dizzying amount of information to the user. The red OLED display has more information than many car dashboards. It provides the mode-adjusted distance to target, but also wind holds, ballistic information, temperature, barometric pressure, and whether the Bluetooth signal is enabled. The display is anchored by its circular reticle with an open middle that’s 1.77 mils, or about 5 MOA, in diameter.
Lastly, there’s the companion software that’s paired to the binocular through a mobile app. The app is intuitive, easy to navigate, and allows for a high degree of customization. The default settings are for three common calibers, the .308, 6.5 Creedmoor, and 5.56, but users can add as many new profiles as they wish, then synch them to the binocular. The app also has a very useful ballistics display that spits out how many mils or MOA users should dial their scopes to be on target, given the range and the specific caliber and load they’re shooting.
Vortex Fury HD 5000 AB in the Field
To get the best performance out of the binocular, download Vortex’s Fury HD app from Google Play or the App Store and then link your unit to your phone. The app unlocks ballistics programs, allows you to enter wind speed and values, and also to input target parameters, including movers.
In terms of modifying the binocular to your particular optical prescription, the right-barrel diopter focuses the display while the left-barrel diopter focuses the image. Operating can be as simple as pressing the “Measure” button to get the target range or as complicated as toggling through the menu to select mode, yardage, ballistics profile, wind speed and direction, and turning on and off the Bluetooth signal. The Fury HD has two additional buttons, which allow users to toggle through ballistic menus or to increase or decrease inputs such as wind. A fifth button selects just for wind.
That’s a lot of work for your digits, considering that most laser rangefinders have just two buttons, a measure, and a mode function. The array of buttons on the Vortex Fury HD can be confusing but plan to spend lots of time navigating the menu and button functions before you get in the heat of a hunt or a shooting competition.
What the Vortex Fury 5000 AB Does Worst
This is an easy answer. The Fury 5000 is an adequate binocular, but its optical performance may disappoint. Part of the reason is that it’s optimized for rangefinding, and because the display contains so much information, designers have used coatings to enhance display visibility at the expense of optical brightness and clarity.
Plus, the additional lens elements to support the rangefinding functions allows less light transmission than an equivalent binocular without a rangefinder. The image shows some peripheral distortion, and the low-light performance is a little disappointing.
Ergonomically, the Vortex Fury HD 5000 is built like a brick, squat and square. It feels heavy in hand, but the soft rubber armor grips the hands, and the 4-position eyecups fit just about any face or brow depth. The focus control is precise and tactile.
How the Vortex Fury 5000 AB Stacks Up Against Its Peers
The market is full of rangefinding binoculars these days, and many offer Bluetooth-enabled compatibility to a smartphone. The Fury 5000 is no exception. The pairing function is smart and user-friendly. But where the Vortex Fury HD stands out among its peers is the quality of the shooting-specific software. The Applied Ballistics Elite solutions are among the best in the field and are frequently updated with new targets and new ballistic profiles. Kestrel’s environmental sensors are also state-of-the-art, and the Fury 5000’s ability to fetch real-time wind, heading and atmospherics gives it an edge in terms of precision and customization that other units lack.
Because this Vortex binocular unit offers so many calibration options, from rangefinding mode to its own environmental sensors to the ability to manually input wind values, it’s highly customizable even without being linked to the app.
Vortex Optics also pioneered the popularity of the no-questions, fully transferrable lifetime warranty for its products, and the rangefinding binocular is no exception. Even the electronics are fully covered, which is an exception in the electro-optics segment.
Does the Vortex Rangefinding Binocular Accomplish Its Mission?
The Fury 5000 AB will make you a better, more precise shooter. That’s a helluva promise, but it’s one that will take an investment of time, practice, and patience. The Vortex Fury HD requires a steep learning curve, but for users who stick with the tedium of pairing, and then calibrating, and working on inputting custom ballistic information into the interface, the reward is the ability to use the binocular to be a better shot, not just at the range but also in the field.
That’s quite a promise, but the Vortex Fury 5000 AB certainly delivers.