While there are many key pieces of hunting equipment that every modern hunter should have in their kit, one of the most important has to be a rangefinder. In the old days, you may have had to rely on your knowledge of the distance of your position from a landmark like a rock or a tree to make your shot accurate, but that kind of skill can take years to hone, and we don’t all have time to spend in the woods, practising the art of making the shot count. The good news, however, is that the invention of the laser rangefinder has allowed even inexperienced hunters to enjoy a more professional hunting experience.
What Is A Laser Rangefinder?
A modern laser rangefinder is a lightweight, compact device which allows hunters to easily determine their target and obtain an accurate shot. These powerful devices are capable of reaching out for around a mile, and some of the best are even able to provide hunters with simulated trajectory information. There’s no doubt about it, today’s optical rangefinders are very sophisticated gadgets which make a hunter’s life considerably easier.
How Does A Rangefinder Work?
Rangefinders feature an angle-compensating feature which helps hunters to determine the distance that they must aim for, rather than just the distance to the target. They also feature an eyepiece with an adjustable focus to improve your sight of the target. While weather conditions and different terrain can have an effect on your shot’s accuracy, rangefinders have a key role to play in making every shot count. The microchips contained in contemporary rangefinders are able to calculate all of the key information and then present it to the user in real world statistics which the hunter can then use to improve their shot.
Energy efficiency is another vital factor, since nobody wants their rangefinder to run out of juice in the middle of taking a shot. Rangefinders are especially helpful in teaching young hunters the importance of ethical shots and distances from their earliest days of hunting. They come in a range of price brackets, and hunters on a budget can find a device to suit them for around $60, while those who are serious about improving their shot can invest in a device that costs over $5000.
If you do your research carefully, paying attention to your individual needs, the price that you can afford and the kind of terrain that you will be hunting in, you are sure to find the best rangefinder to suit you and your hunting style.
Here are some of the top performing laser rangefinders on the market today.
Leupold 112179 RX-1200i TBR W/DNA
This precise, solidly made and compact rangefinder comes highly recommended by experts. With its swift readings delivery, this model is rated to 1250 yards making it exceptionally functional while out hunting. With its highly legible, bright display, this user friendly device offers impressive visibility in most weather conditions, with interior readings which can be adjusted for different light levels. With 6x magnification and fully multi-coated lenses, this model rivals many more expensive models for its bright and clear image transmission.
There are also three reticles to pick from as well as a scan mode which keeps the target locked with real time range updates without the need to adjust. Not only does this rangefinder have a True Ballistic Range calculator, it also has an inclinometer which adjusts readings taking account of any slopes. This device is also very sturdily built, and can survive a drop of up to 20 feet unscathed. Even though it is a compact, lightweight device, it is rugged and withstand harsh environments, and comes complete with its own carry case.
Leica Rangemaster CRF 1600-B
This model has excellent distance and accuracy, although its price tag matches its quality. With a 1600 yard range and clear and bright optics, this model can work into dusk and in dim lighting conditions. It has a ballistic calculating function which also factors in temperature, incline and air pressure for even faster and more accurate readings.
Lightweight and portable, this model is even waterproof at a depth of up to 3.2 feet, and even boasts a handy scan mode which allows the user to cycle through all targets within the range of sight. The Leica Rangemaster has been rated very highly by experts and users alike thanks to its sturdy construction, high quality performance and speedy readings.
Nikon 8397 ACULON Laser Rangefinder
If you are on a budget and need a rangefinder which is functional and reliable but which won’t break the bank, this model from Nikon is the perfect choice. While it doesn’t have all of the advanced features of the most expensive devices, this affordable gadget has a range of 550 yards, a 6 x zoom and accuracy to within a yard. As you might expect from a Nikon product, the optics are bright and clear, and its build is highly durable without being too big and bulky.
This compact, lightweight model is so small it can easily fit into a pocket, while its waterproof casing protects against rain and snow. This model is also extremely easy to operate with only a single button operation which makes it perfect for beginners. The bright, large LCD display is easy to read and since this is a very portable device, it can even be worn on the accompanying lanyard around the hunter’s neck for better convenience and ease of use. For those who enjoy golfing just as much as hunting, this model is also very versatile and can be used on the green just as well as on the hunt. Although it doesn’t feature any slope or distance compensation features, this rangefinder is a perfect choice for beginners and for recreational hunters.
When you choose the right rangefinder for you, you are sure to discover that it is a vital addition to your hunting gear. Helping to make your shot considerably more accurate, a rangefinder can be a complete game changer.