Simmons Volt 600 Laser Rangefinder Review
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- Very economical 600-yard rangefinder
- Simple one-button operation
- Sized perfectly for use with or without gloves
- Objects in shadows may not return a distance
- Battery compartment is difficult to open and the battery fits very snug
- No scanning feature
Welcome to our review of the Simmons Volt 600 Laser Rangefinder. This is a low-end rangefinder built with just one purpose in mind: provide the exact distance to your target. It lacks many of the bells and whistles of more expensive laser rangefinders, so you’ll have to read on and determine whether you can live without those features for something so economical.
What’s the Range of the Volt 600
The advertised range of the Simmons Volt 600 is from 10 to 600 yards. In real-life usage, I was able to get an accurate range on an object as close as 5 yards, and could range a highly reflective object from 350 yards. It’s important to note that the advertised range of a rangefinder is often measured under perfect conditions, and real-world circumstances such as exceptionally sunny days or deep shadows can make that distance drop considerably. For deer, I’ve been able to range animals out as far as 200 yards, which is the top end of where I would take a shot anyways.
Accuracy on this rangefinder is advertised as being +/- one yard, and I’d say that’s pretty much spot on. In fact, the accuracy of the Simmons Volt 600 is amazing for such an inexpensive model, and is one of the primary reasons I can recommend this rangefinder so highly for someone looking at buying an entry-level device. Response time for reading a measurement is very fast, as long as your target isn’t in shadows.
How Easy is the Rangefinder to Use?
This particular rangefinder features simple one-button operation, and there are no extra features to confuse you in the field and give you less-than-accurate results. The Simmons Volt 600 offers 4X optical magnification of your target, so you can get a closer view of what you are trying to gauge the range to.
While the Simmons Volt 600 has an LCD display, it is not backlit. Therefore, it can sometimes be difficult to read in certain lighting conditions. The display tells you the battery level and shows you the range to your target.
The Volt 600 is almost perfectly contoured to the shape of the human hand, and the device is oversized just enough to make it easy to hold and operate with gloves on. Unfortunately, the plastic housing does not have any rubber trim or adornments to make the rangefinder non-slip. It’s not a completely smooth surface, though, so I didn’t have too much difficulty keeping my grip on the device. The plastic ridges on the top align perfectly with your four fingers, and the thumb slot on the bottom aid tremendously in providing a decent grip on the device.
How is the Volt 600 Powered?
I’ve always been opposed to using CR–2 batteries in rangefinders, so I was pleasantly surprised to learn that this rangefinder uses a 9-volt battery. These tend to be much easier to locate in the small towns near where I hunt. The only problem lies in the battery compartment: you’ll need a flathead screwdriver or a dime to open it.
It’s important to note that the rangefinder does not come with a battery, so you’ll have to purchase that separately. The battery compartment is a very tight fit, so it may take you some time to get the battery and wires positioned properly to be able to close the cover again.
What Features Can I Expect From this Rangefinder?
This rangefinder has one feature: give you the range to your target. It does not feature a scanning option, so if you have your sight on a tree and take a measurement, then move your sight to another target, the distance does not automatically update. You have to press the button for each object that you want to measure distance to.
The rangefinder comes with a storage case with a belt loop, so you can carry the device on your belt if need be. The rangefinder itself has a lanyard hole, so you can attach a strap or lanyard to the device for carrying it around your neck.
What’s the Light Gathering Capability Like on the Rangefinder?
Unfortunately, this rangefinder does not seem to have really good light gathering capabilities. When trying to get a distance on objects that are in shadows or cover, the device will only return the range about half the time. It’s important to note that this is an economy-level rangefinder, so if you’re looking for outstanding performance in all conditions, you shouldn’t expect that from this model.
How Are the Optics and Focus on This Rangefinder?
The Simmons Volt 600 has automatic focus to infinity, and it is pretty quick to provide a crisp, clear image. The optics aren’t the greatest, since objects in dark conditions or in shadows are pretty difficult to see through the viewfinder. However, once again, this is an entry-level rangefinder, so I would say the optics are excellent for the price range.
How Durable is the Simmons Volt 600 Laser Rangefinder?
This rangefinder is not made from cheap plastic; in fact, it’s much more durable than I would expect from a budget device. The housing is weather-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about precipitation raining on your parade. The Volt 600 also seems to be fogproof, so using it in cold weather shouldn’t be a problem.