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THE OUTDOORS DIGEST | THE OUTFITTER

You see the rack on that bull elk?!

September 07, 2004|Scott Doggett

Hunters and others banter using General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) radios; range varies.

Note: Makers' advertised range reflects ideal circumstances; buildings, bushes, even humidity can reduce range. Prices listed are easily found online; not manufacturers' suggested.

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UNIDEN GMR885-2CK

Third-longest range test (2.9 miles; 8 advertised). At 6.1 ounces each with batteries, lightest of group. Features include NOAA weather radio, voice activation, backlit display, five call tones, roger beep, scan mode, rechargeable NiMH batteries and charger included (can run on AAA's). Headphone jack included but headset is extra. $70/pair. (800) 554-3988, www.uniden.com

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COBRA PR 4250 WX

Tied with Midland for longest range (3.1 miles; 10-mile range advertised). Most features of radios tested, including hands-free operation (think headset), vibration alert, scan mode, 10 call tones, backlit display, battery saver, clock/alarm/stopwatch, digital compass, rechargeable NiMH batteries and charger included (can run on AA's). 8.2 ounces each loaded. $110/pair. (773) 889-8870, www.cobra.com

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MOTOROLA T-7100

Tied with Icom for shortest range (2.5 miles; 7 advertised). Features include 10 call tones, roger-off signal, backlit display, audible tone low-battery alert, battery saver, long-life NiMH batteries and chargers included (can run on AA's). Hands-free operation with optional accessories. Eight ounces each loaded. $90/pair. (866) 289-6686, www.motorola.com

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ICOM IC-F21GM

Tied with Motorola for shortest range (2.5 miles; 5 advertised). The most durable (built to U.S. military specifications) and by far the most costly of the units tested. Fewer features than other units. Hands-free operation only with optional accessories. Heaviest at 11 ounces each loaded. Comes with Ni-Cd battery pack (alkaline pack is extra). $320/pair (800) 426-7983, www.icomamerica.com

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MIDLAND GXT-450VP1

Tied with Cobra for longest range (3.1 miles; 10 advertised). Three-year warranty (all others one year). Features include 15 GMRS channels, NOAA weather radio, vibrating alert, hands-free operation, scan, five call tones, lightweight at 7.2 ounces each loaded. Runs on AA batteries (not included; rechargeables and charger are optional). $75/pair. (816) 241-8500, www.midlandradio.com

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-- Scott Doggett

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