5000 Yards! Vortex FURY HD 5000 Laser Rangefinder: Seeing Is Believing

Every year it seems that laser rangefinders push out beyond the distances of the previous year’s models, and I am left wondering when enough will be enough. Due to the limited open spaces, I rarely have an issue ranging game while hunting in the Eastern US. 

However, out West, I have been able to see game and have had rangefinders that were unable to display the range to the target. Those days may be over.

A top quality rangefinder is essential for hunting or long-range competitions.

The Vortex Fury HD 5000 has an advertised range on reflective surfaces of 5000 yards, and on deer out to 1600 yards. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to validate either of those numbers due to target availability in my area. However, from the testing I was able to do, I strongly believe both could be achievable.

Basic Operation

Starting with the basics, the 5000 offers a lot of power and functionality in a small package. It’s a great set of binoculars and a powerful rangefinder. They have 10 power magnification to allow seeing targets at thousands of yards without images being distorted and movement exaggerated when handheld. 

Getting reliable ranges on soft targets is far more important than reflective test surfaces.

The 42 mm objective lenses have fantastic light transmission and keep the unit size relatively small so you won’t mind carrying them with you. The quality of the HD lenses and coatings allow for a very clear, bright image. The overall size is compact 5 ¾ H” x 5” W x 2 ½” thick, and they weigh in just over 2lbs.

The power of the laser may be as limited as others in the civilian sector to stay within the Class 1 classification, but the 5000’s are very fast and capable rangefinders. Not sure exactly what Vortex has done to bump up the performance of this model but it is noticeable and reaches distances other Class 1 units cannot.

The first impression of almost everyone that tried my test unit was, “Wow, that was fast.” You get a displayed range on targets inside of 600 yards instantly, and it was noticed by everyone, so it must be faster than what they have been using.

Eyepieces have a long adjustment range to accommodate shooter eye relief needs.

The operation of the rangefinder is simple; being controlled by either the measure or menu buttons located on the top of the right-hand tube. The rangefinder function/reticle is activated by pressing the measure button. It can do single range pulses or if you hold it down it starts a scan mode, and continues to range and display outputs.

The range finding functions can be tailored for your preferences by pressing the menu button for 4 seconds and then working through the selections to choose units, ranging mode, illumination power, and target type.

The 5000’s ranging function can operate in either Line of Sight (LOS) mode, which also displays the angle from horizontal to the target, or in Horizontal Component Distance (HCD) mode. HCD mode automatically compensates for the angle to the target and displays just the horizontal distance to the target for those not using a separate ballistic engine.

The 5000’s have a rubberized-coating over the entire surface of the binoculars to protect them and provide a secure grip on the unit. The center focus knob is large and rotates smoothly to bring targets into focus.

The adjustable eyecups allow proper eye relief with or without eyeglasses and the rubberized coating prevents glasses from hitting the lenses. As expected, the 5000’s come with protective caps for each lens and a neck harness; beyond expected is the padded case for protection during storage and transport.

The battery compartment is safely tucked away out of danger of the elements and breakage.

The range finder is powered by a single CR2 battery mounted in the underside of the right- hand tube. I’m not sure of the overall battery life but I have been using them heavily for 3 months and the original battery is still going strong.

One of the best features of the Fury HD 5000’s is hopefully one you will never need, but one that is an anomaly in the electronics world; Vortex’s Unlimited VIP Warranty. The warranty is a lifetime unlimited warranty, unlike many in the industry offering only 2 years on electronics. 

When you are going to be dragging them over mountains or barricades the potential for damage is much higher, and it’s nice to know your investment will be covered.

Diopter and reticle focus adjustments are clearly marked.

With an MSRP of $1599 the Vortex Fury HD 5000 is far from inexpensive, but it offers performance levels equivalent with or exceeding much more expensive units. They reach distances beyond that of rangefinders costing thousands more and have a far superior warranty.

Specifications

Magnification              10x

Objective Lens Dia.     42mm

Height                         5.75”

Width                          5”

Thickness                    2.5”

Weight                        32.4 oz

Ranging Distance        5- 5000 yards (Reflective)

                                    5-1600 yards (deer)

Close Focus                 18.5 ft

Field of View               321.6 ft @ 1000yds

MSRP                          $1599

Out in the Field

I took the Vortex 5000’s on a recent trip to South Africa, on a scouting trip to Montana, used them in a couple of rifle classes, and tested them around north Alabama to see how they performed. 

Angle to the target is clearly displayed while in Line Of Sight mode.

In South Africa, I used the 5000’s scanning the plains admiring all the amazing animals and ranging the animals I hunted. We hunted in dense brush with game within 200 yards and open plains that extended for miles.

Working my way out on non-reflective surfaces to find the limits

In the clean morning air, the 5000’s easily ranged a mile on soft natural targets with me resting against a tree or a building. In Montana, I was able to get an easy display return at 2024 yards on a well-lit sloping green field of grass while resting on a rock. 

Dolf, my PH giving his approval after several days of hunting together with the 5000’s.

The Professional Hunters (PH) in South Africa all checked out the 5000’s and found them to be as clear as their more expensive European units with no issues seeing game at longer distances. They also all thought the 5000’s laser was more powerful and faster than their units. 

It’s far more difficult to get good pictures of distant targets through the 5000’s than it is to just see and range the targets. The pictures here don’t do justice to the clarity of the view of the Vortex’s.

During the rifle classes, multiple users were able to develop range cards on targets smaller than 2 MOA using the 5000’s and all were impressed with the speed of the unit’s ranging. I’m of the same opinion as everyone else on the speed of the Vortex’s; I still wonder what magic they used to accomplish this level of performance.

The clear Vortex HD optics allowed evaluating animal size and horns as well as distance.

One user’s previous experience was that units that worked well at greater distances did not work well at closer ones, perhaps archery ranges, and was impressed that these worked exceptionally well at both ends of the spectrum.

Though not terribly useful, something that really impressed me was being able to get readings while moving in a vehicle, granted the distances were within 300 yards and we weren’t going fast, but the source and receptor were still moving.

Straight-line across getting 1-mile readings of rocks and trees along far mountain top.

In my local area, it took considerable effort to find places and targets to stretch the 5000’s to their limits. I hiked mountains and powerline cuts and ranged to adjacent mountains and was able to get readings on soft targets in relatively moisture-laden air out to the mile available.

An ideal target would be a reflective target, perpendicular to the line of the range finder in cool clean air to minimize dispersion and disruption of the laser’s beam, that target wasn’t to be found.

A far less than favorable target area with faded, textured building and power lines but still breaking 2-mile readings.

I was never able to find a clean line of sight on a reflective target in good quality air at the 5000-yard range but was able to get good readings on targets beyond 2 miles in less than ideal conditions. That’s a very solid performance.

The only shortcoming, I identified during all the testing was that it would be nice if they had a threaded hole for attaching a tripod adapter to make spotting or ranging at distance more stable.

Final Thoughts

The Vortex Fury HD 5000 is a compact unit that offers a crisp, clear view for spotting and evaluating game or targets and a powerful, fast rangefinder to determine a precise range to those targets. Two fantastic tools in one small package.

Ease of operation and reliable long-range performance: all I could ask for.

Professional hunters, military guys, and competitive shooters were all impressed with its speed, clarity, and function. They aren’t inexpensive but they do offer performance comparable to and in some cases exceeding units costing much more.

The 5000’s exceeded expectations in multiple environments, at close and distant ranges, in less than ideal air conditions. They offer the potential to range targets beyond 2 miles in a small, lifetime warrantied package. 

“Luck favors the prepared”

None of the numerous people who tried them during my evaluation period had anything but praise for the 5000’s, and several are looking to buy them for themselves. With all they offer the Vortex Fury HD 5000 range finder could be the last or only range finder you ever need to buy.

Be sure and check out the full African adventure while using the 5000’s at Hunt365 (Coming soon).

For more information visit Vortex Optics website.

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About the author: Jeff Cramblit is a world-class competitive shooter having won medals at both the 2012 IPSC World Shotgun Championship in Hungary and more recently the 2017 IPSC World Rifle Championship in Russia. He is passionate about shooting sports and the outdoors. He has followed that passion for over 30 years, hunting and competing in practical pistol, 3gun, precision rifle and sporting clays matches. Jeff is intimately familiar with the shooting industry – competitor, instructor, RO, range master, match director. Among his training credits include NRA Instructor, AR-15 armorer, FBI Rifle Instructor, and Officer Low Light Survival Instructor. As a sponsored shooter, Jeff has represented notable industry names such as: Benelli, 5.11 Tactical, Bushnell, Blackhawk, DoubleStar, and Hornady. He has been featured on several of Outdoor Channel’s Shooting Gallery episodes and on a Downrange TV series. Jeff’s current endeavors cover a broad spectrum and he can be found anywhere from local matches helping and encouraging new shooters as they develop their own love of the sport, to the dove field with his friends, a charity sporting clays shoot, backpack hunting public land in Montana, or the winners podium of a major championship.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • John January 20, 2020, 10:25 am

    Did you try removing the Vortex logo cap on the unit to find the tripod adapter screw? Most vortex binos have a screw hidden under the plastic logo piece

  • Sterling January 6, 2020, 1:56 pm

    Nice write up.

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