Hunting Rangefinders

Best Hunting Rangefinder – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews 

Whenever you are searching for the best hunting rangefinder, then it makes sense for you to spend some considerable amount of time doing your research first. After all, there are a number of different options for you to take into consideration before you make your purchase, and you clearly want to be confident in your decision and feel that it is indeed the best rangefinder for your individual needs.

That is why reading a variety of rangefinder reviews is going to be so important. In doing so, you will be able to get an honest and balanced opinion of the good points and bad points of a range of models making your final decision that bit easier. Considering the potential expense associated with these items, doing this research has to be central to your decision.

However, this only applies if you understand what it is that you should be looking for in a rangefinder, so your research should begin by looking at the key points to consider when you are entering the market for this product. So, with that in mind, this guide should be able to make life substantially easier for you.

What Exactly is a Rangefinder?

A rangefinder is a device that is able to tell you the distance from where you are to a desired target or location. It does this either via GPS or by laser, so in the case of a hunting range finder it would tell you how far it is to whichever animal it is that you are hunting even though laser is going to be the most popular solution when searching for items that can be used in a hunting scenario.

Thanks to this information, it will then prove to be easier to calculate your shot making it more likely that you will be successful. However, there are different aspects with a rangefinder to take into consideration, and we are going to help you through the different things within this buying guide.

Furthermore, the key components are going to depend on the actual reason for the best rangefinder and what you use when hunting. As a result, it makes sense to look at those main points for the different forms of hunting to make it easier for you to identify the best rangefinder for your needs.

An Archery Rangefinder

One of the most important things to remember when you are seeking to purchase an archery rangefinder is that you can go for a cheap rangefinder that has relatively basic components to it. That is because you simply do not need a rangefinder that can see for a crazy distance and nor do you require any ballistics information or even a laser. You should also be aware that this version could be referred to as a bow hunting rangefinder, but it will still be the same thing and capable of carrying out the same functions.

In other words, all you need is something that can tell you the distance to your target, and that is why you need to check to see if the best rangefinder in question has software contained within its computer that is going to determine the compensation for angles in order to provide you with a more accurate distance.

In addition, you should also be aware that it will be best for you to have a rangefinder that offers a far-target priority mode over and above any other type of priority. This is key as it means that the rangefinder will give you the distance to the target furthest away, so if you were in a forest hunting it would ignore the leaves and tell you how far you are from your target.

It would also be useful for you to consider one that has a close-target sensitivity and able to give you a precise reading even if something is simply ten yards away. Not every rangefinder has this ability, so it is something to keep at the forefront of your mind.

Do note that all of this will also apply when you are searching for a bow hunting rangefinder. Each point mentioned above will just make such a substantial difference to the end result, and you also do not have to break the bank in order to get a cheap rangefinder that is going to be more than suitable for the job.

A Rifle Rangefinder

Things become slightly different when you are searching for a rifle hunting rangefinder as there are various circumstances and approaches when using a rifle over a bow. This is where the laser versions are going to prove to be more popular especially when you are searching for something that is accurate for up to 1500 yards.

The real way in which you can tell the best hunting rangefinder for hunting with a rifle is the way in which it is able to accurately measure not only the distance but also the size of the target as well as the reflectivity of deer. This should apply up to roughly 1000 yards, and if you are hunting for something smaller then that distance is going to drop to 500 yards with it still able to give you absolute clarity and precise results.

When you move into the more expensive rangefinders, then you should be searching for a model that has ballistics software built into the unit. If this is then matched with the type of ballistics that you are using, then it can provide you with additional information that is going to make a significant difference to the end result. Also, you can immediately understand why the ballistics information is going to be pointless for bow hunters due to the difference in hunting styles.

Focusing on a Precision Based Rangefinder

Aside from the types of rangefinders in connection with the type of hunting that you do, there are also thoughts regarding the type of precision based rangefinder that you should opt for. If you focus on long-range precision rangefinders, then there will be various important points to think about before you make your final decision as to which version you should purchase.

For example, sensitivity will be an issue as is accuracy alongside the way in which it is able to distinguish between the environment and the target that you are focusing on. With the best hunting rangefinder, it is important to select one that has a tight laser pulse which then provides a more accurate result with the target in question. For the stability issue, you should also consider a tripod or stand to really allow you to get the most accurate results.

Also, when you are dealing with distances of 1000 yards or more, then there will also be matter surrounding wind conditions, angles, the temperature and humidity will all have an impact on the shot you are able to take. However, a precision based rangefinder should be able to determine all of those various things to provide you with those accurate results. The main point to look for with this has to be the model incorporating a variety of environmental sensors to help with this. Furthermore, a magnification in the range of 7x or 8x would also be preferable.

Key Questions to Ask Yourself

Prior to going into different components on an individual basis, there re a number of questions that you should consider asking yourself that will allow you to really differentiate between the various options that are on the market. Ultimately, this should help you in selecting the best hunting rangefinder for your needs

In general, the main things to think about would include the following.

What kind of distances are you going to be aiming at when it comes to your targets? How much money do you really have available to spend on a rangefinder? How important is the magnification aspect to you? Should you be looking for help with ballistics when making your decision?

These are simple and straightforward questions but they do play an integral role in helping you to wade through the various options that are on the market. After all, if you have no idea in what to look for then how could you possibly make the correct choice?

Breaking it Down Into Individual Components

 The points mentioned above are all important, but what about the individual components? Understanding these points will make it significantly easier for you to select even a cheap rangefinder and it may even allow you to save yourself some money in the process.

  1. Dealing with Price and the Quality

Perhaps the first thing to be aware of is the price and quality although do not rule out cheap rangefinders without checking them out in some detail. However, it is fair to say that it will typically be the case that as the price increases so does the quality of the rangefinder but only up to a point where it then becomes a case of buying the brand name rather than it having anything substantially different.

Overall, you should always seek to purchase the best hunting rangefinder that you can for your budget.

  1. Dealing with the Maximum Range

Another key component to think about is the maximum range of the rangefinder that you are looking at purchasing. As was mentioned earlier, the range can depend on the type of hunting that you plan on doing since a bow hunting rangefinder does not have to provide you with the same distance as one for hunting with a rifle.

You will generally find that the majority of rangefinders are going to provide you with a maximum range of anywhere between 1000 yards and 1500 yards, but you should never just go with the number as your reason for choosing a particular model. The maximum range that it mentions is only possible in perfect conditions and not when different factors could influence the shot.

With the range, you will generally find that the more expensive rangefinders have a better chance of being more accurate with their maximum range than the cheaper rangefinders on the market. Often, the best you can hope to achieve is the majority of models being accurate up to approximately 75% of the stated distance while pushing it higher requires those perfect conditions once again.

  1. Dealing with Angle Compensation

Angle compensation has to be one of the most important factors to think about when you are looking at purchasing the best rangefinder. However, do note that some models may refer to this technology by a different name but as long as it does the same job then you will be good to go.

What this does is that it takes into consideration the fact that it is actually quite rare to be level with your target and this difference in elevation changes your shot and the distance that you have between you and your target. The angle that you find yourself at will then have an impact on the drop of the projectile which then has an impact on the way in which you take your shot.

The angle compensation aspect tells you how much you need to alter your shot in order to take that difference in elevation into account. This should apply no matter if you are shooting with a bow or a rifle as any form of hunting has to contend with and it also stops you from having to work out the mathematical equations on your own. This feature should appear on the majority of rangefinders, and if it doesn’t then it is probably not going to be the correct one for you.

  1. Dealing with the Size and Weight.

The size and weight of the rangefinder is going to vary depending on the brand and model name. Of course, when you are hunting you want to have something that is not too cumbersome to use or too bulky to hold. Ideally, it should fit comfortably in your hand making it easier to use in the process.

The majority of hunters look for something that can fit snugly into their pocket and yet is not too small that it makes it very difficult to use. Also, there has to be some thought put into whether or not you want to use one that requires a tripod and carrying case as that is just more equipment that you need to carry around with you on the hunt.

  1. The Ease of Use

The last thing that you want to be doing when hunting is spending too much time trying to work out how to use your laser rangefinder. You want something that you can just operate in an instant and for it to deliver the information that you seek to then allow you to take that shot.

Purchase a rangefinder that is too small and you could end up fumbling around to press the buttons leading to misses opportunities. Purchase one that has too many buttons and features that are actually pointless and you will be left trying to figure out what it is that you should be doing and whether or not you can trust the information that it is delivering to you.

The good thing is that this is not generally something that is related to the cost of the best hunting rangefinder as models at both end of the price range should suffice. However, do think carefully about how easy it is to use before making your purchase and read various rangefinder reviews to see what other hunters are saying about the models when they are in use.

  1. Priority Rangefinders

As you browse through the different options on the market, you may see reference to rangefinders with either first or second priority. Even though both can work with hunting, it will usually be the case that second priority rangefinders will be superior.

The difference is that first priority is used for giving you the distance between you and the first object in your line of vision which makes it perfect for golf. After all, there is usually nothing else between you and the flag or the hazard.

A second priority rangefinder is going to ignore the first thing in its line of sight and focus on a target beyond that. This is perfect for hunting as it means the best hunting rangefinder is going to ignore trees and leaves and then provide you with information on what lies beyond that. Clearly, this is more suitable for the situation.

  1. Magnification

Magnification is going to play an important role and you should be looking for something that has at least a 6x or 7x magnification in its arsenal. However, you need to keep in mind the maximum range as well since the magnification can effectively trick you into taking a shot that is just wrong in so many ways. Do note that some individuals and companies do not believe that magnification is a big issue.

  1. The Picture Quality

A quality picture is going to provide you with a more accurate result, and in order to get this quality you should be searching for a rangefinder that has good coatings as well as good quality glass. Think of this in the same way as a camera and the difference that the quality of the lens can make to the final shot as you would never get a clear picture with something that costs next to nothing. Ultimately, it will generally be the case that the more expensive the rangefinder then the better the coatings and glass due to the added expense involved, and the bigger the range then the more important this is going to become when choosing the best rangefinder that you wish to purchase.

  1. The Battery Life

One of the best things about a rangefinder is that the batteries are pretty good to such an extent that you will simply not have to charge them that often. Basically, this means you should not spend too much time worrying about this aspect when looking at making your decision. However, it makes sense to carry a spare battery with you while hunting just in case something goes wrong, so knowing how much that costs in advance will always be a good thing to do.

  1. A Scan Mode

Even though a scan mode may not appear on every single model that is out there, it can still be a useful tool to use on a number of occasions. What this is designed to do is to continually scan and provide you with a reading by simply holding down a button and following the target in question. This up to the minute data will then allow you to determine the best shot to take making life substantially easier for you with your shot. However, do not think that the scan mode is going to help you to find your target as that is not what is meant in this instance.

These various features and points will not always appear on each and every model, but being aware of their existence is certainly going to be an advantage to you and it could all influence your decision as to which one you should look at purchasing. Also, do not fall into the trap of thinking that only the most expensive models will have all of the features included as that is not always going to be the case, which is why it will always be important for you to check out those reviews and specifications of each model to determine what it has and what it is missing in the features list.

Things to Avoid when Purchasing a Rangefinder

There are also a number of things that you should avoid when looking at purchasing the best hunting rangefinder. Understanding these things will make life so much easier for you as well as potentially saving you a considerable amount of money in the process.

  1. Do not overspend

The first thing to avoid is overspending as there’s just no point. Do you really want to spend more money just to get a rangefinder that has features that you will never use?

  1. Avoid features that make things more complicated

Some rangefinders at the upper end of the market are going to be so full of features that make no sense. You need to pay close attention to the specifications before making your final decision.

  1. What is it used for?

Even though any rangefinder is going to help you to some extent, you need to be aware if it is more for golf rather than hunting. This makes a difference to the features and specifications that it has and it will also have an impact on the usefulness of the item when out hunting.

As long as you are able to avoid these key mistakes then it should be significantly easier for you to go ahead and make the correct purchase of the best rangefinder from the various rangefinders that are out there on the market.

The Concluding Points For Purchasing a Hunting Rangefinder

All of the different points mentioned above are going to be key when it comes to you being able to purchase a hunting rangefinder and, of course, with there being so many to choose from it is not going to be as easy a task as you would have thought.

However, by reading our rangefinder reviews in advance, you will then become more aware of the key features that are going to ultimately be important to you and your decision. Even knowing the type of rangefinder that is best for your style of hunting will help to narrow the field down quite considerably.

It will always be best for you to be fully aware of your budget in advance and to then seek to push your budget as far as possible. Getting the best rangefinder for your money will always prove to be the best choice for you to make. However, those at the absolute top end of the market will not always be substantially better than one that is slightly cheaper, so do not be fooled into believing that cost is absolutely everything.

So, to sum things up, keep these points in mind to make life easier for you when making your decision.

  1. Be aware of your own specifications and needs

This involves you being aware of whether it is a bow hunting rangefinder or a rifle hunting rangefinder that you require and how it makes a difference to the specifications. A bow hunter requires something with a shorter maximum range and generally less features thanks to the targets being physically closer.

How important is the ballistics information? What is the range you need for your type of hunting? What magnification? Failing to understand all of these things at the outset will simply make your job of choosing the correct rangefinder so much harder than it needs to be.

  1. Understand your budget

Your budget is key but so is the need to understand what it is that you are going to be getting for your budget. Do not simply conclude that as you have $500 to spend that you need to start looking at rangefinders that cost that much but rather start looking at a price that is lower than that. Often, you will be able to find one that is just as good for less money saving yourself some cash in the process. Also, do not allow yourself to be blinded by price as it will always be what it is capable of doing that will be the key.

  1. Read our rangefinder reviews

Preparation and doing your research in advance will always result in you being able to get the perfect rangefinder for your individual needs. Simply going by what the information boxes say from the manufacturer is just not going to be enough as you have to hear it from those neutral individuals that have studied, or even used the item in the same settings as you will be using it.

This is where you get to understand the positives and negatives associated with the rangefinder. You learn about its strengths and weaknesses and whether or not they coincide with what you are looking for, or not as the case may be. Purchasing a rangefinder without doing this is only going to lead to an increased risk of you making the wrong decision, and do you really want to do that

  1. Remember the priority aspect

You must also remember the priority aspect as second priority will always be better for hunting than first priority. Choosing the wrong option will lead to you honing in on the wrong targets rendering your rangefinder largely useless when you are hunting in slightly more difficult terrain. If you do not see any mention of it, then further research into the model is going to be required.

Ultimately, buying the best rangefinder should not be difficult or stressful in any way and this guide has been here to help you to sort through the various options on the market. With you potentially spending a considerable amount of money, there is a need for you to take your time in making your decision and that is where this guide will come into play. After all, you want your rangefinder to be able to help you with getting a more accurate shot no matter if you are bow hunting or using a rifle.

 

Our Hunting Rangefinder Reviews

 

 

Bushnell 202208 Bone Collector Edition 4x Laser Rangefinder

A solid choice at an adequate price, the Bushnell 202208 Bone Collector Edition is a hunting rangefinder that combines simplicity with ruggedness in one amazing package, and comes with all the bells and whistles you’d expect from something in its class.

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TecTecTec ProWild Hunting Rangefinder

An affordable rangefinder with great features, the TecTecTec ProWild is a good choice if you want something that balances price and functionality in a good package, and doesn’t take too much time to learn how to use. The best rangefinder for those with specialized needs.

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                                                                               Read review

 

 

Vortex Optics Ranger 1000 with Horizontal Component Distance Rangefinder RRF-101

An advanced rangefinder with a corresponding price tag, the Vortex optics Ranger 1000 is one of the best rangefinders on the market, and it comes with a number of special features to help you truly get the most out of it.

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Simmons 801600 Volt 600 Laser Rangefinder

When you don’t want to spend too much but still want the best rangefinder for your budget, the Simmons 801600 Volt 600 is a great deal that should address your situation nicely. A great mid-range device with a solid build that gets the job done.

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                                                                               Read review

 

Halo XRT6 Laser Rangefinder

This model can provide accurate readings at slightly longer distances and in more difficult terrain, and is an excellent hunting laser rangefinder. Despite the branding, it’s still great as a golf rangefinder if you need to take it out on the course, although it’s not the best rangefinder for that purpose.

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                                                                               Read review

 

LaserWorks LW1000PRO Professional-Class Laser Rangefinder

If you’re prepared to pay a premium price for your device and want nothing but the best rangefinder on the market, this is a great model that will easily work in some of the harshest conditions you can throw in its directions without making a fuss about it.

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Wildgame Innovations Z6X2-7 Rangefinder

A reliable solution fit for most people’s needs, the Wildgame Innovations Z6X2-7 is a top pick for those who want a good balance between price and functionality, with a sprinkle of solid, stylish bodywork as well, making it a fantastic hunting rangefinder.

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                                                                               Read review

 

Bushnell 202442 The Truth ARC 4x20mm Bowhunting Laser Rangefinder with Clear Shot

A bowhunting rangefinder with great capabilities, this is not an entry-level model, and has a lot to offer to advanced users. You’ll be amazed how much your game can improve with a device like this, and you’ll never want to leave anything to chance or guesswork again.

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                                                                               Read review

 

 

Bushnell Scout DX 1000 ARC 6 x 21mm Laser Rangefinder

If you’re looking to make a bit of a larger investment and want to make sure that it’ll be worth your money, look no further than the Bushnell Scout DX 1000 ARC, designed for those who know how to use a quality device, and want nothing but the best rangefinder the market can offer.

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                                                                               Read review

 

 

Bushnell Team Primos The Truth ARC 4 x 20mm Bow Mode Laser Rangefinder

A solid investment that will last you a long time, and will provide you with a more than adequate functionality for its price, as well as a durable body that can withstand a lot of abuse over the months and still not show any signs of it. The best rangefinder for true professionals.

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                                                                                Read review

 

Simmons 801405 Rangefinder, 4x20LRF 600

An affordable solution with many exciting features and a durable built, this model is the best hunting rangefinder for hunters who want something that simply works, and doesn’t introduce any additional hassle in an already tense sport.

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                                                                               Read review