The word that comes to mind when I think of Simmons is ‘versatile.’ There are far better rangefinders on the market if you want to specialize, of course those also cost significantly more. However, if you are on a budget and you want a rangefinder that will serve you well in all your hunting endeavors, there are few that are quite the bargain of the Simmons 600.
Simmons has made a functional and easy to use rangefinder that has superb quality glass despite its lack of lens coating. Images are crisp and clear out to the effective range of around 600 yards and picking up your target is easy enough once you get the hang of it. It isn’t a powerful optic but it is a solid one.
Though the laser its self is nothing to write home about, it is the equivalent laser used in most rangefinders in this price range and many of them that cost far more. If you can hit a target with it, the laser will have no trouble getting the data back to you. The standard accuracy is around 1 meter and is measured in 1 meter increments so you are sure to get a readout that is useful.
As far as additional features, the Simmons 600 can measure a flat and level distance accurately but with its automatic Tilt Intelligence, it can also get your range on a slope or from a tree stand with zero issue providing you with a True Horizontal Distance as accurate as any scope on the market. This feature alone is worth the cost.
After all that, the next most important thing is keep the technology inside safe and dry. Water and electronics don’t mix, all it takes is one good soaking and you are going to be buying a new rangefinder. Luckily the Simmons 600 is weather resistant while also taking some of the shock out of any banging around the rangefinder may do.
A good rangefinder is a great thing but one that will last is even better!
What does it do?
The whole purpose of a rangefinder is to give you an accurate distance that you can then use to line-up a shot. While the technology is quite advanced, the principle is simple. If you are looking for a rangefinder that will do just that, the Simmons will surely be a good choice to fill your needs without a lot of added fluff that you may not be interested in.
The true strength of the Simmons rangefinder is in the high quality glass. If you can see it, you can just about be sure you can get a range on it. The Simmons is only a 4x magnification scope but were this rangefinder excels is in the woodlands for hunting. You aren’t going to be making those insanely large shots so why pay extra for a more powerful scope you can’t even use. Having lived for years in the eastern woodlands, I can tell you for sure that your chances of even having an opportunity on a shot over 1oo yards are very slim.
Once you know you have good optical quality, it’s time to start thinking about the overall accuracy of the unit. As we said, it’s +/- 1 yard but there are other forms of accuracy that should also be a concern. Mainly we are talking about how easy is the rangefinder to use in getting that range and how easy can you get it on target.
The answer is quite accurately. Sure it doesn’t have a lot of magnification but we don’t need it. Rarely will you ever need to range a target that is over 200 yards away when you are hunting. If you do, you need to move up to a different scope. In that 200 yard range, you can get a fast reading with an easy to aim laser and be ready to shoot in seconds.
All of the data is displayed on an internal HUD showing you the range to the target as well as the calculated True Horizontal Distance. From there you can ready your shot. No need for fancy calculations or setting of modes. It’s one button and done.
What doesn’t it do?
If you are after long range accuracy you are going to have to invest more to get a rangefinder suited to your needs, preferably something with ballistic calculations and probably more magnification. If you are a bow hunter that frequents the woods to hunt, you should do fine with this rangefinder. It will read out to 600 yards and that is quite a long distance.
For those who like to have features, this rangefinder is lacking there as well with only a simple angular calculation to help you along. Features cost money and for such a bare bones, basic rangefinder it doesn’t make sense to try to load it down with features that likely won’t be needed anyway.
This unit is also fairly heavy at almost half a pound which won’t seem like much until you are using it to scan for extended periods.
The Final Word
So if you tend toward the more simple devices that are easy to use but are highly effective, this may very well be the best rangefinder for you. The quality is impeccable and the whole unit is quite rugged and durable. It can take the standard use in the field even if you would want to avoid any extreme abuse.
It would work equally well for either rifle or bow anywhere in a woodland area where you shots tend to be at reasonable ranges. The fact that it can read at short as 10 yards and as much as 600 makes it very versatile. Simmons is an often overlooked company but they have made high grade optics for years. Don’t let the name turn you off, this is a solid rangefinder that will serve you well for years.