Burris Eliminator 3 Review : Should you buy this Riflescope/Rangefinder from Burris?

Gungoal's Rating

 

Burris Eliminator 3 is a riflescope with unique built-in rangefinder and special holdovers reticle. It’s not a cheap scope compared to ordinary scope and is priced around $1,400 at the time of this writing.

At 1,400 Burris Eliminator 3 is certainly not a cheap riflescope. But in its own niche of riflescope/rangefinder, the product is deemed as rather mid to low end. For example a high quality riflescope/rangefinder from Zeiss cost around $4,000 at the time of this writing.

1,400 is not a small sum of money, at least for me. So it’d be wise to dig out further information to decide whether you should get yourself a Burris Eliminator 3.

Quick summary

If you love gadgets or technology in general, you will be happy with this Burris Eliminator 3. Compared to Nikon IRT, Eliminator 3’s glass is slightly better. Plus Nikon IRT is just a plain rangefinder with no smart holdovers.

Compared to the ATN X Sight II, the Eliminator has much better glass, easier/faster to use, and doesn’t totally fail when out of battery. The Eliminator is much more expensive and has no video nor bluetooth capabilities.

To sum up, the Burris Eliminator 3 is the best choice if you can afford it.

Burris was founded in 1971 and named after its founder Don Burris. Don Burris was a design engineer with Redfield, a Denver-based optics company, who believed he could build a better riflescope than what was currently available. In 2002, Burris was acquired by Beretta.

There are 2 available Eliminator 3 models to choose from, which are :

PROS and CONS of Burris Eliminator 3

Pros

  • Accurate bullet drop compensation for varying distance
  • Adjust for downhill and uphill angle shots
  • Rangefinder works well in the field
  • Measure wind value for holdovers
  • Work as normal scope when out of battery
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Not great glass
  • Not cheap
  • Heavy and bulky

 

Burris Eliminator 3 gives you the much needed upgraded from the its Prior Versions

As its name suggests, this is the gen 3 version of the Eliminator line. With its first generation, Eliminator I, the scope will only provide accurate bullet drop compensation holdovers only at maximum magnification (somewhat similar to SFP scopes). The newest model 4-16×50 now has rangefinder remote activation switch, which makes the Eliminator 3 a little easier to use.

Burris Eliminator 3 cannot compare to the likes of Zeiss Diarange Rangefinding/Riflescope. But it can help a lot with your long range shots and will put a smile on almost everyone of your gun buddies.

In this article, I’ll be reviewing Burris Eliminator 3, 4-16×50. I’ll be skipping the 3-12×44, but it should perform similarly, except that it doesn’t have the remote switch installed.

Best for : Shooters who love new technology and are ok with higher priced scopes.

Glass and Lens coatings 3.9/5
Turrets 4.5/5
Ease of Use 4.8/5
Weight and Size 3/5
Durability 4/5
Value 3.9/5

 

The Whole Story of Burris Eliminator 3

Since no optics nor products exists in isolation. And words such as “crisp” and “great” glass don’t really mean much when you have no benchmarks. I’ll be comparing Burris Eliminator 3 with other riflescopes/rangefinders. Normally I’d look for similar priced optics, but there are not many similar options around in the market, so bear with me the price difference.

Read on to find out why Burris Eliminator 3, even though impressive, isn’t a perfect scope.

Meet the Benchmarks

Burris Eliminator 3, 4-16×50 costs around $1,400 (at the time of this writing). And I’ll be comparing it with :

ATN X Sight II HD 3-14x ATN X Sight II HD 3-14x

These are 2 rangefinders/riflescopes options in the market. They should be able give you a realistic feel of how good Burris Eliminator 3 really is.

Burris Eliminator 3 glass : Best for rangefinder/riflescope combo; Not so great compared to dedicated riflescope

ballistics chart
Accurate ballistics input is needed for the smart holdovers.

With these rangefinders/riflescopes, you’re paying mostly for technology in the first $1,000-$2,000. Burris Eliminator 3 glass could disappoint some people as it has similar quality to Burris Fullfield 2 (a $200-$300 scope). Glass clarity and light transmission are not great.

Comparing Burris Eliminator 3 with Nikon IRT, Nikon IRT has slightly worse glass for my eyes, as it is less crisp and has darker color.

ATN X-Sight II HD is the worst performer as its sight picture is pixelated. But to be fair, ATN X-Sight is a full-fledge digital riflescope and uses different technology altogether. Furthermore, it has night vision capabilities to compensate for its inferior light transmission.

Rangefinder and smart holdover work splendid

With Burris Eliminator 3, you must first enter your ballistic information. This is a one time thing unless you change your load.

Then you point your crosshairs at your target. Press the remote switch or a button located on the side of the scope (there are 2 buttons located on either side of the optics for ambidextrous design). This will activate the rangefinder. You’ll see distance, wind data and holdover position on your glass.

The smart holdover moves along its reticle vertical line only. Note that this smart holdover is adjusted for uphill and downhill inclination. But you must do manual adjustment for wind, of which there are wind holdovers with its reticle design.

For wind data, the Eliminator 3 captures only velocity (mph) at the point of the scope with no direction so you might need additional tool or experience in windy locations.

To test the scope, I waited for a sunny, calm wind day and shot at 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 and 600 yards (which is the longest possible distance due to location restraint) 6” steel targets. I was able to connect all my shots on the first try on all 6 targets with the Eliminator 3. This feat would not impress serious long range shooters, but a big achievement for me nonetheless.

To compare, ATN X Sight II HD rangefinder and holdover is slightly slower to operate as you need to enter wind data and such on its user interface. But the good thing is that its holdovers do adjust for wind. I can also shoot out to 600 yards accurately with ATN X Sight II HD.

One very unique feature of ATN X Sight II HD is its ability to record videos. You can set it to record x seconds before and after recoil.

The Nikon IRT has a built-in rangefinder, which when activated will show you the range to your target. But it doesn’t have a smart holdovers customized to your specific load. You need to use its traditional BDC reticle for holdovers. I can also shoot out to 600 yards accurately, although a bit harder, with Nikon IRT.

Note that all tests were performed on steel targets which are considered reflective. This generally would increase any rangefinders’ effectiveness. For Burris Eliminator 3, I’ve heard stories of other guys who shoot a deer accurately at around 350 yards.

Rangefinder do not work in snow, rain and smog

Heavy snow in the mountain trekking
Snow and rain would hamper the effectiveness of any rangefinder.

All 3 optics are waterproof to a degree and can withstand rain during your hunt. However the rangefinder effective range will be significantly reduced by rain, snow, smog and sand particles if it is heavy enough.

Easy zero and holds true

The Eliminator 3 turrets adjustments are 1/8 MOA per click. Both the Burris Eliminator 3 and Nikon IRT are quite easy to zero in. ATN X-Sight has 1 shot zero feature which works well. And I have not experienced losing of zero issues with any of these scopes.

Turrets trackability isn’t going to be a big issue for these scopes since we intend to use its holdovers for different ranges anyway. Thus I haven’t done any of the box tests on the three scopes.

Reticle works well with smart holdover

There’s only 1 reticle option for Burris Eliminator 3.

Model Reticle
Burris Eliminator 3 x96 reticle
ATN X Sight II HD atn Reticle patterns
Nikon Laser IRT Nikon BDC reticle

Summary of Batteries : Eliminator 3 functions as a normal scope when out of battery

300px-Sea_ice_terrain
Cold weather shortens battery life. Prepare accordingly.
  • Burris Eliminator 3 : CR123A
  • ATN X Sight II HD : CR123A or 4 AA type batteries, 1.5 V (Lithium recommended)
  • Nikon IRT : CR-2 3v lithium battery

One advantage of Burris Eliminator 3 is that it functions as a normal scope of its battery runs dry. This is the same with Nikon IRT.

On the other hand, you’d see only a black screen with ATN X Sight if battery runs out. Note that the optics consumers battery pretty fast.

Technology is heavy and bulky

Many of these high tech scopes are considered heavy and bulky. If you’re into lightweight build, then Burris Eliminator 3 is not the right scope for you.

Burris Eliminator 3 4-16×50 ATN X Sight II HD 3-14x Nikon Laser IRT 4-12×42
Length (inches) 15.5 11.6 13.1
Weight (oz) 30.4 34.4 23.3
Objective lens (mm) 50 50 42

Moderate durability, Lifetime warranty

Personally I have a great run with all 3 optics with no durability issues.

With the Eliminator 3 you get a better peace of mind with reputable Burris Lifetime Warranty.

Nikon also has Lifetime warranty, albeit less reliable. ATN offers only 2 years warranty on this scope.
 

Hear What Others have to say about Burris Eliminator 3


 

My Verdict of Burris Eliminator 3

Gungoal's Rating

If you love gadgets or technology in general, you will be happy with this Burris Eliminator 3. Compared to Nikon IRT, Eliminator 3’s glass is slightly better. Plus Nikon IRT is just a plain rangefinder with no smart holdovers.

Compared to ATN X Sight II, the Eliminator has much better glass, easier/faster to use, and doesn’t totally fail when out of battery. The Eliminator is much more expensive and has no video nor bluetooth capabilities.

To sum up, Burris Eliminator 3 is the best choice if you can afford it.

Pros Cons
✓ Accurate bullet drop compensation for varying distance ✗ Not great glass
✓ Adjust for downhill and uphill angle shots ✗ Not cheap
✓ Rangefinder works well in the field ✗ Heavy and bulky
✓ Measure wind value for holdovers
✓ Work as normal scope when out of battery
✓ Lifetime warranty

 

Alternative options

1. ATN X Sight II HD

  • Cheaper
  • Digital riflescope
  • Pixelated sight picture
  • Smart holdover
  • Can record your shots with recoil activated videos
  • Consume battery fast
  • 2 years warranty

 

2. Nikon Laser IRT rangefinder/riflescope

  • Cheaper
  • Slightly worse glass
  • No smart holdovers
  • Nikon lifetime warranty
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