Rifle Scopes  Burris Eliminator IV - First Shots Review

rustyinbend

GySgt USMC 1976-1992
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Dec 9, 2018
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Bend, Oregon
Had a Burris Eliminator III and sold it because the range-finding was "twitchy", and it wouldn't deliver a firing solution past 800-ish yards. Waited and watched for an Eliminator IV when I heard it had improved technology and ranged out to 2,000 yards. One popped at Sportsman's Warehouse and I grabbed it. Received it early this week, and used it for the first time this morning. Here's what I learned ... spoiler alert: It's pretty cool technology - way better than the E-III version.

First, the details of my test:
  • Mounted on my Masterpiece Arms 300-WMBA rifle
  • Suppressed with a SilencerCo Chimera-300
  • Ammunition: Hornady 300-WM 195gr ELD-Match
  • Weather: Early morning - clear skies - 40-degrees - No wind
  • Location: COSSA - Bend, OR
I bore-sighted the rifle at my ranch before hitting the sight-in range ... I've got a great spot on my property with a fence "T" at exactly 100 yards making bore-sighting easy. Mounting was pretty straightforward, and like the documentation indicates, during bore-sighting I (barely) hit the down-travel limit and needed the included "A" mounting plate ("B" and "C" are larger). NOTE: If you mount on a rifle with a continuous pic-rail, you'll need a pic-extension for the scope to mount properly for the objective bell to clear the rail. On my MPA, the clearance above the barrel was perfect.

Used the Burris Ballistics App to get the drop and BC to program into the scope. It's easy programming the optic once you've done it once or twice, and having done the programming on a E-III ... I had no trouble at all.

Headed for the range and put splatter targets up at 100 yards. First shot was 1-inch low and 1-inch left. Four more rounds were 1/2-MOA from the first round. Made the turret adjustments and the next 5 shots were dead-center at sub-MOA. Our sight-in ranch as steel at 250, 300, 350, 400, and 500 yards. I pressed the ranging button, got the holdover dot, and put the next 5 rounds center-mass on the 500-yard steel. Declared victory and headed over to the "Gong Range" for some long distance work.

Hit every gong on the first shot from 300 through 1,200 yards. At 1,300 yards, I had my first miss just off the top-right of the 2'x2' steel plate. Leaned low-left edge and put 3 shots on the plate.

Here's where it got "interesting" ...

Moved up to 1,400 yards, ranged the steel target, and got (a) a solid range displayed in the scope at 1,402 yards, and (b) the signal that a firing solution could not be delivered (1 dot center and 3-dots at the bottom of the reticle. This confused me a bit, since I had plenty of space on the reticle below the location of the 1,300 yard firing solution by zooming out, but no matter what I did, I couldn't get a firing holdover solution beyond the 1,300 yard steel. I could range accurately past 1,300 yards out to the end of the targets, but couldn't get a holdover dot to save my ass. The manual says that indication in the reticle means I've "... reached the limits of the cartridge ...".

What I "did" do was "guestimate" below the 1,300 yard solution dot on the reticle, and it took me a couple of shots spotting my misses, to correct and get a good hit at 1,400 yards. I finished by putting 5-of-5 rounds on the steel at 1,300 yards, and declared "Victory" at that point.

My plan next week is to mount this on my Barrett MRAD with my .338-Lapua barrel, and see if a longer range round will compute out further than 1,300 yards. I'm hoping that playing with the ballistics (drop and BC) with longer-range rounds, might get me out further with a valid firing solution.

So let me summarize:

Pro's
  • Uses AA batteries - very cool
  • Easy to mount
  • Easy to zero
  • Glass is acceptable - not like a Leupold Mark-5 ... but clear and bright enough
  • Once zero'd cap and ignore the turrets
  • Online ballistics app is easy to use
  • Scope is easy to setup for the ammunition I used
  • Integrated range-finder is ... awesome ... and actually works way past the previous E-III limitation
  • Firing solution holdover dot was spot-on out to 1,300 yards
  • Wireless Bluetooth remote is very cool (push button to range)
Con's
  • Parallax adjustment is on the Objective Bell - making it a difficult to adjust while looking through the scope
  • Hit a 1,300 yard limit for a firing solution on a 300 Win Mag high BC bullet
In summary ... I'm keeping this Eliminator IV, and probably mounting it permanently on a 6.5 Creedmoor AR10 (LWRCI REPR MKII Elite) that I love to shoot out to 1,200-ish. It'll be AWESOME on that rifle, where quickly switching distances without touching a turret or looking at my Kestrel, will be a ton of fun. I would have LOVED to get an actual 1-mile range and firing solution on my 300 Win Mag, but unless I figure out I'm doing something wrong, that doesn't appear to be possible.

This is amazingly cool technology, and unlike the "E-III" version ... Burris has dramatically improved the Eliminator IV technology to range significantly better and longer, and provide accurate holdovers out to 1,300 yards (and maybe further) when the best I could do with the earlier version was 800-ish.

For $1,600 bucks, this is worth it all day long ... twice on the weekend (IMHO) ... as long as you understand that you can "range" further than you can "compute".

I hope this review is useful to anyone thinking about buying one of these gadgets.
 

rustyinbend

GySgt USMC 1976-1992
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Dec 9, 2018
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UPDATE ... after working for a few days with Burris Customer Service, I've learned the answer to my question above about why I can "range" past 1,300 yards but can't get a "firing solution" past 1,300 yards. BTW ... was looking at the same problem for my 6.5 Creedmoor where I could range to 2,000 ... but couldn't get a firing solution holdover dot beyond 900 yards.

The "Final Answer" from Burris was (literally) ...

- - - snip snip - - -
You are at the limits of what the optic can do with your cartridges. Please remember the Eliminator is designed to put you in the kill zone of an animal and not designed as a precision shooting optic. If you are looking for an optic for precision long range shooting we would suggest something like an XTR III.
- - - snip snip - - -

So IMHO ... this borders on being a fatal design flaw. The problem is the "mutual exclusivity" of (a) having a ranging capability out to 2,000 yards, (b) the inability to plot a firing solution to that distance, and (c) being equipped with rudimentary turrets designed exclusively to zero the scope at close distances.

My point to Burris was that if their firing solution "peters out" short of the ranging capability, then the scope should have a full-featured elevation turret with a resetable zero-stop and high upward adjustment limits to dial-in elevations to manually over-ride when the onboard ballistics computer can't resolve for the distance (but a Kestrel or other ballistics computer can).

Ranging to 2,000 yards with no ability to actually shoot anywhere near that distance ... is a bit like "kissing your sister". From a distance it might look good ... but it really doesn't do anything for you.

Now I have to decide if I'm going to keep this gadget, or not. Maybe I'll try it on my MRAD with a .338-LM barrel/cartridge ... and see if it'll get closer to that mythical 2,000 yard range.

If you buy this gadget ... go into it with eyes wide open. You can range to 2,000 yards, but it won't let you shoot anywhere near that distance.
 

Birddog6424

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Apr 25, 2014
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It seems to me you're trying to use it for something it simply wasn't designed to do.

Its a hunting scope. A firing solution to 1300 yards is sufficient for 99.99% of hunting scenarios. But having a rangefinder capable beyond that is very useful.

I do understand where you're coming from though. Having greater capability opens the door to having fun with it at greater distances. So the fun and versatility factor is reduced.
 

Mordamer

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    When hunting I always want my rangefinder to be able to range at least twice as far as I can accurately shoot. If I am at 1,500 yards from an animal I am not going to shoot at it, but I at least know how far I need to go to get into range.

    Also, 1,300 is pretty good. It sound like you need to true up your ballistics a bit if you had to hold low at 1,300.
     

    rustyinbend

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    It seems to me you're trying to use it for something it simply wasn't designed to do.

    Its a hunting scope. A firing solution to 1300 yards is sufficient for 99.99% of hunting scenarios. But having a rangefinder capable beyond that is very useful.

    I do understand where you're coming from though. Having greater capability opens the door to having fun with it at greater distances. So the fun and versatility factor is reduced.
    No argument ... but ... none of the marketing material indicates this limitation in any way. My argument is that it should have some kind of disclaimer to indicate that the ranging capability will always go beyond the input cartridge firing solution ... or however they want to word it. What they say is ...

    The new Eliminator IV features extended rangefinding capabilities out to 2,000 yards and enhanced ballistic calculator with more data and faster-aiming solutions. All this significantly increasing the distance at which you can make an ethical shot.

    I actually wouldn't have a problem with this design limitation ... if the scope had usable turrets that would allow me to dial beyond the limits of the electronic firing solution. It doesn't. The turrets are literally designed exclusively for close-in zero between 50 and 200 yards.

    My issue now is deciding what rifle to mount this on. If I max out the scope, it's on my 300-WM but will prevent long-range shots (I frequently take this rifle to 1-mile). If I mount on a 6.5-CM, it prevents me from shooting past 900 yards when the rifle is capable of more. If on an AR (223, 224-V, 6.5-G, etc.) it's "fun", but really too big for those shorter-range options.

    I probably need to find a hunter with a .308 or 6.5 that wants to take down a deer at 600 yards and doesn't like using range-finders and ballistics-calculators. For that sort of thing ... it's "perfect". Unfortunately ... I don't hunt.
     
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    Lug Nut

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    Mar 20, 2020
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    Nice write up.

    I’m glad I held off buying the older version.

    Sounds like a great scope for fast shooting under 1,300 yards.



    .
     

    10ring'r

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    I've always wondered about those scopes. Thought about one, when I first started shooting rifles again and thought, Hmmm... all that.. and a rangefinder too. Now I know. Great info.. Mac
     

    rustyinbend

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    UPDATE ... New Problem

    After "maxing out" on the available range of ballistics solutions, I decided to try a cartridge with a higher BC and see if it stretched a bit further than the 1,300-yard limit for 300 Win Mag. I tried entering my Hornady 300 PRC 225gr ELD-M ballistics into the Burris calculator and it gives me "1121" and "88" to program into the scope. The "1121" enters just fine, but when I try to enter the BC calculation of "88" ... the number goes to "83" and then rolls to the bottom of the range at "20". It's literally impossible to program the calculator-derived ballistics solution into the Eliminator IV. I have a case opened with Burris to help figure this out. If the answer is ... "Oh, that's too good of a cartridge to work" ... that would be very unfortunate. I'll share any results with anyone watching this thread.
     

    rustyinbend

    GySgt USMC 1976-1992
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    UPDATE ... Scope back at the "Mother-Ship"

    Burris responded to my problem with a request to ship the scope back. After investigating, they've found a software "bug" that's causing this problem. They're working on a fix, and will upgrade the scope and send it back after they've got the problem resolved. If I ever again am heard saying "I want to be the first guy to own ____________ (whatever)." ... please slap me (hard).
     
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    RobFred

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    Nov 11, 2020
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    Being a programmer this would be such an easy programming fix to satisfy the hunting and sniper communities. It's just math. In the software setup (just like select English or Metric) have Mode A for hunting where they worry about an ethical shot and Mode B for sniping where they don't worry about it. Doing so would enhance this scopes penetration into the sniping market (what sniper doesn't want to be able to change ranges quick?). I have the Eliminator I and that model is getting long in the tooth time to upgrade. Somebody feed this up to Burris...
     
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    rustyinbend

    GySgt USMC 1976-1992
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    Being a programmer this would be such an easy programming fix to satisfy the hunting and sniper communities. It's just math. In the software setup (just like select English or Metric) have Mode A for hunting where they worry about an ethical shot and Mode B for sniping where they don't worry about it. Doing so would enhance this scopes penetration into the sniping market (what sniper doesn't want to be able to change ranges quick?). I have the Eliminator I and that model is getting long in the tooth time to upgrade. Somebody feed this up to Burris...
    Good suggestion ... I'm a tech-weenie too (just retired on Oct-31 from Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and a long career in the Silicon Valley), so I totally get your point. I fed up an even simpler solution to Burris ... equip the scope with fully functional and zero-locking elevation and windage turrets, allowing me to use the software-based ballistics solution when it works, or when distances go out further ... let me dial-in the solution manually from my Kestrel. Right now, the turrets are useless for anything other than setting a near-in zero, and putting the cap back on (forever). Can't even reset the dial to zero. So far, they've (a) told me I wasn't using the scope correctly if I wanted it for precision long-range shooting, and (b) they've ignored my product enhancement suggestions. Not even a "Golly Rusty, that's a good idea, we'll think about that for the E-5". Just "crickets" (so far).

    I'm hoping when I get this back from the "Mother-Ship" and can program in the high-end ballistics of my 300-PRC round and barrel in my Barrett-MRAD, maybe it'll let me go out further than the 300-WM solution (which dies beyond 1,300 yards). We shall see ... if I can get a 300-PRC solution out to 1,500-ish ... I might keep it. 1,760 yards (1-mile) would be way better though.
     

    jb0311

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    Thanks for this Rusty. I've got the 3 and have thought about upgrading. Just waiting for it to show up on ExpertVoice and get 40% off like I did with the 3. I appreciate the insights on the differences between the 2 models. I like the 3, but don't have access to a range beyond 600 yards so have not noticed the shortcomings.

    Do you notice any difference in the glass from III to IV? Clarity, light transmission, etc? Better, worse, the same?

    One of the things on mine that I do regret is the lack of a switch. I believe they later added a pressure switch to the III but I bought mine before that. It was hard for me to not break cheek weld to find a button on the scope. Training can correct this but a switch would be nice too. I assume the IV has one?

    Thanks again. I see you're in Bend. I lived in Klamath Falls for a bit when I was on a hotshot crew. Klamath was/is quite the shithole but I do miss all the good beer that came from Bend. Two things I miss from OR was Deschutes porters and stouts and Tillamook's cheese/yogurt/ice cream.

    Josh
     

    elcid79

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    Jul 14, 2019
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    I was considering this for an AR10, Also looked at those SIG BDC optics. I second what others have said, how is the glass?
     

    RobFred

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    Nov 11, 2020
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    Wyoming
    I read that. I'm a mechanical engineer and that's a full hardware change. They could have an IT Nerd in the back room copy the program without limits in
    Good suggestion ... I'm a tech-weenie too (just retired on Oct-31 from Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and a long career in the Silicon Valley), so I totally get your point. I fed up an even simpler solution to Burris ... equip the scope with fully functional and zero-locking elevation and windage turrets, allowing me to use the software-based ballistics solution when it works, or when distances go out further ... let me dial-in the solution manually from my Kestrel. Right now, the turrets are useless for anything other than setting a near-in zero, and putting the cap back on (forever). Can't even reset the dial to zero. So far, they've (a) told me I wasn't using the scope correctly if I wanted it for precision long-range shooting, and (b) they've ignored my product enhancement suggestions. Not even a "Golly Rusty, that's a good idea, we'll think about that for the E-5". Just "crickets" (so far).

    I'm hoping when I get this back from the "Mother-Ship" and can program in the high-end ballistics of my 300-PRC round and barrel in my Barrett-MRAD, maybe it'll let me go out further than the 300-WM solution (which dies beyond 1,300 yards). We shall see ... if I can get a 300-PRC solution out to 1,500-ish ... I might keep it. 1,760 yards (1-mile) would be way better though.
    Problem is a new turret is a mechanical change, will have to wait for Gen V for that, as Gen IV is barely in production yet. The purpose of this product is not to have to monkey around with clicks or a range finder hanging from your neck; I think a programming nerd could hammer this out in 1 day and issue a software/firmware update. All that has to be done is to inform Burris marketing the sales dollars that could be gained from the sniping community by making the change; the first guy who wrote this thread is a sniper and he would tell all his friends to buy one, instead he is telling all his friends the opposite.
     

    rustyinbend

    GySgt USMC 1976-1992
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    Dec 9, 2018
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    Thanks for this Rusty. I've got the 3 and have thought about upgrading. Just waiting for it to show up on ExpertVoice and get 40% off like I did with the 3. I appreciate the insights on the differences between the 2 models. I like the 3, but don't have access to a range beyond 600 yards so have not noticed the shortcomings.

    Do you notice any difference in the glass from III to IV? Clarity, light transmission, etc? Better, worse, the same?

    One of the things on mine that I do regret is the lack of a switch. I believe they later added a pressure switch to the III but I bought mine before that. It was hard for me to not break cheek weld to find a button on the scope. Training can correct this but a switch would be nice too. I assume the IV has one?

    Thanks again. I see you're in Bend. I lived in Klamath Falls for a bit when I was on a hotshot crew. Klamath was/is quite the shithole but I do miss all the good beer that came from Bend. Two things I miss from OR was Deschutes porters and stouts and Tillamook's cheese/yogurt/ice cream.

    Josh
    Comments and answers to questions ...
    1. Range out to 2,000 yards is very accurate. Worked on steel, wood, trees, houses, etc. ... very impressive.
    2. Glass clarity is either the same, or slightly better than the E-3. Eye box isn't huge, but it's workable.
    3. The wireless remote switch is very cool ... I velcro'd mine to the butt stock where I kept my thumb. No pressure switch required anymore, and the remote is standard equipment.
    4. Klamath is a shit-hole.
    5. Bend is AWESOME ... but please don't tell anyone, especially if they're from California. I want to "Build A Wall" on the Oregon-California border to keep out migrant caravans from San Francisco and Los Angeles.
    Rusty
     
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    rustyinbend

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    I was considering this for an AR10, Also looked at those SIG BDC optics. I second what others have said, how is the glass?
    Glass is good on the E-4 ... eye box is "just OK". Bought the SIG BDX when it came out and didn't like it ... sold it after a few range trips. Requires the external rangefinder which isn't good for moving targets (E-4 keeps eyeballs on the target - way better), and the BDX totally craps out with a max range of 800-yards regardless of load. That was a deal-breaker for me. If I'd read about the 800-yard limit, I never would have bought it ... my bad.

    Like I said in the review, for hunting, the Eliminator 4 is terrific, and it would be great on an AR-10 form-factor ... BUT ... if the pic-rail is flat, you'll need a riser mount. The scope as purchased won't clear the forward rail. I used this:

     

    epicmic

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    Dec 7, 2020
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    Raleigh
    UPDATE ... Scope back at the "Mother-Ship"
    Longtime lurker, first post... Any update yet? A friend turned me onto the Eliminator and I'm greatly intrigued...
    UPDATE ... Scope back at the "Mother-Ship"
    If I ever again am heard saying "I want to be the first guy to own ____________ (whatever)." ... please slap me (hard).
    Thanks for taking the time & effort to research and vet this... GREATLY appreciated!!
     
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    rustyinbend

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    You're welcome ... glad it helps.
    Asked for a status from Burris late last week. Response was that they're still working on the firmware update and should be done "soon" ... whatever that means. We're at 1-month ... and counting.
     

    epicmic

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    Dec 7, 2020
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    Raleigh
    Appreciate the prompt reply... I'm looking to get into some long range shooting (up to 1,000) but don't have a lot of readily accessible places to do that so was trying to weigh the cost/capabilities of the III and IV since it will probably only be a few times a year. I have a Ruger American Predator in 6.5CM and seems like even with the IV there may be some limitations... I'll await your update and see if it sways me one way or the other.
     

    rustyinbend

    GySgt USMC 1976-1992
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    UPDATE ... it's headed back from Burris with the firmware fix supposedly resolved. I'll test it as soon as it arrives back, and see if this latest issue is resolved. Stand by for further updates. If I can get a high-efficiency projectile (like a 300-PRC) to range and solve out to 1,500 yards, I'll be satisfied. We shall see.
     

    rustyinbend

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    UPDATE ... Imagine my surprise when after 10 weeks at Burris to code a software fix, they send it back to me with nothing decipherable changed (same issue persists), and a description that I shouldn't worry about the recommended BC input being "impossible" ... because Ballistics Coefficient isn't that important in ballistics calculations. Basically saying that a BC input (per their calculator) of "88", should be just fine if the software won't allow programming over "83" before it rolls back to "20".

    I mean ... that problem was EXACTLY what they said the software would fix. Then it's there for two and a half months, and they send it back with the new software, the problem still there, and instructions about how I shouldn't care.

    Saying I'm disappointed in this support experience, would be an understatement. I'll probably sell this to someone that wants to use it for mid-to-long range hunting ... which it is awesome for. Unfortunately, I bought it for 1,500+ precision target shooting ... and it's just not made for that.

    If someone following this thread wants to buy this "almost new" and "recently upgraded" Burris Eliminator 4 ... understanding it's pro's and con's (read the whole thread to understand those) ... PM me and let's chat about it.
     
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