Home Optics Review: Bushnell the Truth 4x20mm – Do you Dare?

Review: Bushnell the Truth 4x20mm – Do you Dare?

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 Bushnell The Truth

Outdoor Empire pick for the best bowhunting rangefinder

When you have the balls to call your product “the Truth”, you had better back it up with something impressive. The Truth by Bushnell is a laser rangefinder designed specifically with hunters in mind. Both gun and bow hunters.  

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Bow hunters are occasionally left out in the cold when it comes to laser rangefinders. The way arrows fly isn’t the same as the way bullets fly. So, a special rangefinder is needed to compensate for the trajectory of the arrow.  

bushnell clearshot technologyThat’s why the Truth is powered by ARC technology. ARC stands for Angle Range Compensation. That being said, the Truth delivers both the standard line of sight reading as well as the optional ARC reading. Let’s see how the Bushnell Truth holds up to scrutiny.  


Specs Rundown 

Bushnell The TruthPower Optic and Objective Lens 

The Truth is a small rangefinder, designed for easy toting. It has a 4 power optic and uses a small 20mm objective lens. If you are using it for close range bow hunting, this won’t be an issue. On the other hand, rifle hunters may want to consider a more traditional rangefinder. These offer more distant views by featuring powerful magnification and a larger objective lens. 



In total, the Truth weighs only 6 ounces. That’s ridiculously small and light! Perfect for hunters that believe ounces equal pounds and pounds equal pain. The device is even front pocket-friendly with most loose hunting pants. Not to mention neck carry friendly!  


Reflective Target and ARC Ranges 

The Truth has two different ranges.

The first is your standard line of sight measurement. The device has a range of 7 to 850 yards on a reflective target. This is actually pretty impressive, especially considering the price.

Unfortunately, the range beats out the 4 power of the optic. On a big target, this isn’t really a problem. However, this Bushnell is hard to use on small to medium-sized targets, because they are too far away to see.  

The second range is the device’s Angle Range Compensation. This range goes from 7 to 199 yards. Since this is used for bows, the 199 yards range is way more than you probably need.   

Speaking of the two modes, Bushnell’s the Truth uses a single button to activate both modes. To get the initial line of sight range, simply hit the button and wait for the numbers to come back. If you want to use the ARC technology, hold the button for an additional two seconds. Once it gets the line of sight, the angle’s compensated yardage will be displayed alongside the angle’s degrees.  



So much text does give you one slight issue. The screen quickly gets crowded with all of the different numbers! Remember that as a small device, this Bushnell already has a limited field of view. Although it is more or less personal preference, we like our screens clear and crisp.  


Perma Focus  

The Truth also has the Bushnell Perma Focus feature. The idea is that the device is focused at the factory, and that it will stay that way. Therefore, you may want to take a minute to look through the optic. You want to make sure it’s focused for your eyes, especially if you have vision issues. 


Water Resistance 

This Bushnell rangefinder isn’t water or shockproof, but it is built well. It’s made for hunting and not for boating so keep that in mind.  



How It Stacks Up 

ProductBushnell The Truth
Bushnell The Truth

Simmons Volt 600
Simmons Volt 600

Nikon Aculon
Nikon Aculon

Objective Lens20 mm20 mm20 mm
Weight6 oz7.7 oz4.4 oz
Range7 - 850 yards10-600 yards6 - 550 yards
Reflective Ranging Performance850 yards600 yards-
Tree Ranging Performance600 yards400 yards-
Deer Ranging Performance200 yards200 yards-
Rangefinder Accuracy+/- 1 yard+/- 1 yardNot specified by manufacturer
CostCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price


Simmons Volt 600 

Simmons Volt 600The Simmons Volt 600 is a small yet capable laser rangefinder that costs a little less than the Truth. The Volt 600 only has a 600-yard range. That being said, the optic only uses a 4x magnification level. The Truth’s 850-yard range is great, but the 4 power magnification doesn’t make the best use of that kind of range. The Volt 600 makes a little more sense.  

The Simmons is equally easy to use with a single button to activate the device. It is just as accurate, and it offers the same guarantee of +/- 1 yard. However, the Volt does not have the Angle Range Compensation like the Truth does. Therefore, we recommend the Bushnell as a much better option for bow hunters. Overall, both are simple devices but the Simmons is a hair cheaper.  

See our full Simmons Volt 600 review here…



Nikon Aculon 

Nikon AculonThe Nikon brand is all about optics. They make fieldscopes, binoculars, rangefinders, cameras, microscopes and more. The Aculon is simply a standard line of sight rangefinder. It does its job and does it well. It is accurate out to 550 yards, so it takes a backseat to the Truth in terms of effective range.

Again, this is also only a 4x system so how much range do you need?   

The Aculon has one advantage that is certainly worth mentioning. Clarity. The uncluttered LCD screen is crystal clear and provides an excellent sight picture. The multilayer coatings give you an accurate light transmission and a glare-free sight picture.  

The Aculon is just as accurate as the Truth. Additionally, the Aculon features an excellent Distant Target Priority Mode. This feature gives you the range of the furthest target of all the targets measured. The Distant Target Priority Mode makes it easy to get a range of targets that are obscured by grass, limbs, etc.  



Bushnell the Truth Overall Ratings  

Clarity – 2 out of 5 

two star ratingThe glass itself isn’t bad for short range use. If you are a bow hunter, this is a great choice. However, you will have a hard time seeing your target if you are shooting a rifle. The clarity is also compromised by the fact that the screen gets cluttered quickly. If the screen wasn’t so terrible, we would give it a 3 out of 5. Unfortunately, you get what you get with the basic optic.  


Range – 3 out of 5 

 three star rating

The 850-yard range is impressive if you keep the price in mind. Superbly impressive. To be honest, 850 yards is not a bad optic for a rangefinder. Especially one designed for use with bows. So why does it get a 3 out 5? The limited magnification makes the effective range pretty small.  


Accuracy – 5 out of 5 

 five star rating

Bushnell guarantees a + or – 1-yard accuracy rating. This impressive degree of accuracy is what we are used to seeing on much more expensive rangefinders. We’ll take +/- a yard any day of the week!  


Ease of Use – 5 out of 5 

 five star rating

With only one button, the Truth is extremely easy to use. Simply hold it down to make it work, and hold it down a little longer to activate the ARC technology. That’s all there is to it! It really doesn’t get much easier than this. 


Overall – 3 out of 5 

The Truth is an intense name. Come on. That’s a mighty big risk on Bushnell’s part. However, the accuracy rating proves it to be true! Not so with the unimpressive optic limits and minimal magnification. Fortunately for bow hunters, this is an affordable and effective laser rangefinder. It is not perfect, but it works well for the price. 


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Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes


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