What is the best rangefinder out ther for up to $300

HondoHondo MemberPosts: 320 Member
I would like to get a rangefinder. Obviously accuracy is the utmost of importance. Lets keep a $300 max unless it is pretty close and well worth it.

Thanks,
Mike A

Replies

  • minnesotashooterminnesotashooter Senior Member Posts: 683 Senior Member
    I have got a Bushnell that is made for Cabelas that I am satisfied with. Not sure what kind of ranges you are looking but for me, this one works fine.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 6,861 Senior Member
    I had a Bushnell laser rangfinder that served me extremely well for years until I finally upgraded to a Leupold RX-1000. I have no real complaints about that Busnell. Sure, it doesn't have LED lighted text and is a bit bigger than the more expensive ones, but it works very well. The modern ones that are the equivalent of the one I had are the Sport series. The Sport 850 runs ~$178.00.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 6,721 Senior Member
    What distances do you want it to be effective to?
    Hondo wrote: »
    I would like to get a rangefinder. Obviously accuracy is the utmost of importance. Lets keep a $300 max unless it is pretty close and well worth it.

    Thanks,
    Mike A
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,133 Senior Member
    I have a Bushnell. Can't remember the exact model number, but it's supposed to be good to either 1000 or 1500 yards. I can't remember which.

    I've ranged antelope with it up to 500 yards. That may not sound like much, but antelope on wide open prairies are hard critters to range. They're almost the same color as their surroundings, and not very big. I'm satisified with the one I have.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • BPsniperBPsniper Banned Posts: 1,962 Senior Member
    JerryBobCo wrote: »
    I've ranged antelope with it up to 500 yards. That may not sound like much, but antelope on wide open prairies are hard critters to range. They're almost the same color as their surroundings, and not very big. I'm satisified with the one I have.
    Very true. Featureless terrain can oft be a buggar to get a reading off of. Especially with a small target you can't keep steady on. Can drive you bonkers at times.
    "....the true general purpose big-game cartridges used in this country come in but two calibers, .30 and 7mm. (the .270 Win. is merely a slightly aberrant 7mm whose bullets are .007" undersize.) -Finn Aagaard - American Rifleman, December 1986
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 6,721 Senior Member
    I have owned a couple of Bushnell's in the early days, but have not used them recently.
    A used Leica would be a good choice.

    I have a Leica 1600 and the Swarovski. They are both way over the OP price limit, but both are really good.
    My Swaro has a tri-pod mount, and that is very helpful when distances get far.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 13,966 Senior Member
    I used a Bushnell Yardage-Pro 500 for years...Got a new Nikon for Christmas...I like it a lot - takes up much less room in my pack. The old Bushnell is still doing duty with cpj.

    I find that (for hunting) I like to stick with the 500 yard units.....would be unlikely to take a shot at a critter at that range and it gives me a good idea how much closer I need to crawl...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 6,721 Senior Member
    One thing to be aware of with uneven terrain, is you can accidentally range a small knob in front of your target, even though you are centered on your animal, and get a bad reading.
    This can result in a missed or worse yet a wounded animal.
    FWIW-I always range my target until I get multiple readings saying the same thing.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,211 Senior Member
    I've had this same question and have been watching the replies. I'm also looking for a decent rangefinder in the same price range and a 500yd capability would suit my needs. I've got a friend that has done a bit of long range hunting and swears by the Leopold rangefinders. The better models have a ballistic range measurement feature that corrects for shot angle. He claims that this is a handy feature that is very funtional. Is this a gimic or a truly handy feature? The Leopolds are in my price range but I don't see much mention of them, good or bad.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 6,721 Senior Member
    Well, I really like Leupold scopes. They are good people.
    Especially their VX-3 LR/T's and Mark 4 scopes.
    I have had two of their best LRF's and both have not lived up to my expectations.
    Maybe I just got two that had issues.
    I like the angle compensator, but everything else just makes it to busy for what I want.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,133 Senior Member
    One thing to be aware of with uneven terrain, is you can accidentally range a small knob in front of your target, even though you are centered on your animal, and get a bad reading.
    This can result in a missed or worse yet a wounded animal.
    FWIW-I always range my target until I get multiple readings saying the same thing.

    One trick I learned while shooting prairie dogs is to range a nearby bush or object. It's just about impossible to range something as small as a prairie dog, but they're usually some sort of bush reasonably close by that will give you a reading.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 6,721 Senior Member
    Good point.
    Also, when shooting steel targets that are elevated, laze where the base comes down instead of the target itself, if the target is small.
    If you are shooting man sized targets, then that will not be as much of an issue
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • 1965Jeff1965Jeff Senior Member Posts: 1,560 Senior Member
    I too have been researching range finders, having owned a disfunctional bushnell- I would strongly urge anyone to run away from them and their crappy customer service . I am leaning towards the Leupold 600 model when I fork over the dough for a new one. Also when ranging smaller targets you must range trees or other bright objects near the target to get a reading.
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,469 Senior Member
    Used to have a Busnell RF. Worked good for a couple of years out to 700metres then died a long slow death till it would only range out to 60m.

    When I was looking for a replacement I also needed a new set of bino's as it was easier to leave my old pair on the charter boat.

    Walked into my LGS and the first thing I saw in the rangefinder/bino cabinet was a Leupold RXB-IV 9X32 bino/rangefinder combo. While expensive over here ( dont ask!!) it was cheaper to buy one unit that did both than to buy 2 separate units.
    Had them now for about 4 years and wouldnt ever go back to having 2 separate units.

    Best thing about them is that when 'glassing' for game, all you have to do when you see an animal is press the button and it gives you the range without having to fumble in your jacket, get the RF out then find the animal again.

    When hunting in the terrain I hunt, the ability to see an animal and range on it instantly, can often be the difference in getting a shot or having the animal step into cover before you know the range.

    Optics for the bino's are excellent and I have ranged on Fallow deer sized animals out to 800m.

    Here is a link to Chuck Hawks review of them.

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/leupold_RXB-IV.htm

    They also come with a 'Bra' style harness which holds them on your chest. The elastic part of the harness allows them to stretch up to eye level to use and returns them to the carry position without having them 'flop' around when stalking game.

    One of the best pieces of equipment I have purchased for the money......
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,091 Senior Member
    Hey Scott, what model Nikon do you have? I really like Nikon products. They have the quality of Leupold with a lesser price. I'm interested.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    Fisheadgib wrote: »
    I've had this same question and have been watching the replies. I'm also looking for a decent rangefinder in the same price range and a 500yd capability would suit my needs. I've got a friend that has done a bit of long range hunting and swears by the Leopold rangefinders. The better models have a ballistic range measurement feature that corrects for shot angle. He claims that this is a handy feature that is very funtional. Is this a gimic or a truly handy feature? The Leopolds are in my price range but I don't see much mention of them, good or bad.

    It is not a gimic and is a handy feature and really comes in handy in terrain like Arizona has handed me.
  • pardogpardog Member Posts: 423 Member
    I've used a bushnell model for years and it works well. That being said it can be a real **** to find something in my binos and then pull up the rangefinder and try and find the same object to range using the crappy monocular. If I were to upgrade I would definitely pay more attention to the optics. But like I said the bushnell does work fine for the price.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 6,861 Senior Member
    It is not a gimic and is a handy feature and really comes in handy in terrain like Arizona has handed me.

    Yup - steep terrain is perfect for it and bow hunting from a treestand (for which it also has a special "bow" mode.)
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 13,966 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    Hey Scott, what model Nikon do you have? I really like Nikon products. They have the quality of Leupold with a lesser price. I'm interested.

    Nikon Prostaff 550
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,091 Senior Member
    That's the one I was looking at. Thanks.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • alpha15alpha15 New Member Posts: 1 New Member
    It really seems like most people enjoy Leupold rangefinders. Wondering if anyone has used the Leupold RX-1200i, I see they are on sale actually for under $300. I found one solid review on them, https://outdooropticshq.com/best-rangefinder-hunting-reviews/ but wondering if they work well from anywhere to 1200 yards or they are meant as more of a long distance range finder.
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,053 Senior Member
    Well, this thread is 7 1/2 years old, so I supposed some things have changed since then in rangefinder technology....
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,211 Senior Member
    alpha15 wrote: »
    It really seems like most people enjoy Leupold rangefinders. Wondering if anyone has used the Leupold RX-1200i, I see they are on sale actually for under $300. I found one solid review on them, https://outdooropticshq.com/best-rangefinder-hunting-reviews/ but wondering if they work well from anywhere to 1200 yards or they are meant as more of a long distance range finder.

    Ironically, I ended up buying a Leupold RX600 after this thread started and was very happy with it until our hunting camp house burned down and it perished in the fire. To replace it, I had been looking at the SIG rangefinders but ended up buying the Leupold RX1200i because it was on sale at a pretty decent price. I've only had it for a few weeks but it appears to function the same as my old RX600 so I think that I'll be just as happy with it. It's even the same size as my old one which was pretty compact.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • shootbrownelkshootbrownelk Senior Member Posts: 2,000 Senior Member
    I bought a SIG rangefinder on a Christmas sale at Natches. I haven't had a chance to get out with it yet.
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,053 Senior Member
    While we're revisiting the topic of rangefinders, I did recently get a new one. I can't really give much of a range report. Haven't used it at the range or in the field yet. I got the ATN LaserBallistics 1500. The 1500 is it's max range designation, being 1500 meters. I have no expectation that it will actually reach that far and get a good reading, but that's what it says. I have used it around the house and so far I'm satisfied with it. I believe I paid about $275 for it. The furthest reading I've been able to get with it at home was a tree just over 1100 yards away. I was also able to track a vehicle starting at just more than 1000 yards and following it to about 900 yards. I have not been able to check it against other rangefinders for accuracy. But, it is far better than my very old Bushnell 500 yard rangefinder. It also reads up and down angles. But the main reason I got it was for the Bluetooth function, so it can be paired with my X-Sight to provide range and angle information to my scope. It can also be paired with a smart device and use the ATN ballistics app to (supposedly) give you scope adjustment data for any scope. I have not got into that yet and I tend to be skeptical of it until I try it and see how it works.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 4,166 Senior Member
    Since this thread is so old, let's lock it and start a new one. Tech has come a long way in a few years.

    Mike
    Decisions have consequences, not everything in life gets an automatic mulligan.
    KSU Firefighter
This discussion has been closed.