Rangefinders can measure the distance between you and your target, and they can make target acquisition much better and easier.
But did you know that the best long-range rangefinders can also calculate factors such as the angle between you and the target and even the bullet drop before you make the shot?
In the following article, we present the top rangefinders you can buy today. Further, in the article, we present the different characteristics of the hunting rangefinders, and how each of them can influence your shooting.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best rangefinder models available now.
Best Long Range Rangefinders (Top List)
1. Bushnell Bone Collector Laser Rangefinder
The Bushnell Bone Collector is a nice rangefinder that can accurately determine the distance to your target as long as it’s placed within 600 yards. This laser rangefinder comes with an in-view LCD display that will show you the distance to the target with a simple push of a button.
One of the good things about the Bone Collector is that it comes with a crystal-clear optics system that will make target acquisition easy and straightforward. The optics allow a 4x magnification, so you’ll have no problems zeroing in your shots.
Another good thing is that the Bushnell comes in a weather-resistant housing. Not only will the housing protect it from the elements, but it will also make the rangefinder durable.
This rangefinder uses one CR2 battery to work. The battery is included in the original package
All in all, this is an efficient rangefinder that comes at a good price.
2. Halo XRT62-7 Rangefinder
One of the advantages of using this rangefinder is that it has a scan mode that is great for constant ranging. If you want to determine multiple ranges, you can simply lock in on a visible target and the rangefinder will show you the distance. However, you have to be careful when you lock in on a target because it has to be clear. If you’re hunting on a foggy day, the rangefinder might misinterpret the actual distance.
Another advantage is that the Halo comes with a high-quality protective case. The case has rubberized grips that will allow you to handle the unit with ease, and it also makes the rangefinder more durable.
Overall, this is a great rangefinder for people who are on a strict budget, and it offers a great value for its price.
3. Simmons 801600 Rangefinder
The Simmons 801600 is the cheapest rangefinder that’s good enough to be included on our list. Even though this model comes at a cheap price, it’s still very accurate and efficient. This model offers a good accuracy if your target is situated within 600 yards from the device.
One of the food things about this model is that it’s very easy to use. Unlike other rangefinders, this model has a simple 1-button operation. If you want to find out the range of your target, you only have to lock the unit in on it, press the button, and the distance will be displayed. The Simmons is able to measure the distance both in yards and meters.
Even though it comes at a cheap price, this rangefinder is still capable of producing good results, and it can be very helpful when you’re out hunting.
4. Bushnell Elite Rangefinder
A good thing about this model is that it comes with a 7x magnification. The rangefinder will produce a good image, even if you have to zoom in on your target.
Another good thing about this model is that it can communicate wirelessly with your smartphone, so you can upload the distance directly on your phone and calculate up to three ballistic curves for your shot.
This rangefinder will calculate the bullet drop and holdover of your shots in inches, MOA, or Mills. This will allow you to sight in directly on your target without encountering any problems.
The rangefinder comes with a waterproof housing and it has a multi-coated optics system, so you can use it with good results in all kind of weather conditions.
Overall, this is a very good model that’s well worth its price.
5. Vortex Optics Rangefinder
A good thing about this model is that it has an intuitive menu that makes it very user-friendly. The rangefinder can display an angle-compensated distance reading that will help you make very accurate shots.
The rangefinder has a 6x magnification, and it uses a crystal clear optics system that will produce high-quality images even if you zoom in on your target.
Another good thing about this model is that it’s small and lightweight, so you can pack it easily in your bag or you can simply hang it around your neck if you want to keep it close at hand.
The bottom line is, this model can be really helpful when you’re out hunting, and it’s worth its price.
6. Sig Sauer Kilo2000
The Sig Sauer Kilo2000 is a small rangefinder that offers an impressive array of features and functions. This model is capable of measuring distances of up to 1500 yards or more if you have a clear field of view, and it can display the distance to your with an outstanding accuracy.
One of the great things about the Kilo2000 is that it outperforms rangefinders that cost at least 3 or 4 times as much as it does. With a capability of zeroing in on a target that’s located more than a mile away, this rangefinder is really a great device to use if you’re planning on shooting long range.
Even though this model doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles that other models in this price range offer, it will measure the distance and calculate the angle with a high degree of accuracy. You can either make the calculations yourself, or you can use another device or even smartphone apps to make the necessary calculations.
While this rangefinder is not cheap, its capabilities make it one of the best models in its price range, and it can even outperform more expensive models. A truly valuable device for hunters.
Long Range Shooting Rangefinder Buying Guide
As you could see from our short reviews, most rangefinders have different capabilities from one another. That makes it slightly difficult to determine which is the best rangefinder for your needs. In the following section, we explain how each of the rangefinders’ characteristics will influence your experience, and we try to provide helpful tips on how to find the right model for your needs.
Here’s what you should look for in a hunting rangefinder.
1.Make Sure The Rangefinder Is Suitable For Hunting (we will talk more about this below)
Different types of rangefinders use other technologies to determine the distance to your target.
- Optical Rangefinders
Even though you might think that the age of the optical rangefinders would be over, that’s far from the truth. There are many hunters that still use this kind of devices for two main reasons. They are cheap, and they are easy to use.
Sure, the optical rangefinders might lack all the bells and whistles the newer technologies offer, but they are still reliable, and they don’t need a power source or a software to run.
When you use an optical rangefinder, you will first see two images. As you rotate a knob, the images start to superimpose. When you see a clear image, you check the distance reading the knob gives you and that’s it.
While this measuring process might not be as accurate as the other technologies used by rangefinder manufacturers, it’s still more than 90 – 95% accurate. However, you do need some skill and practice to determine the accurate distance.
- Infrared Rangefinders
Infrared rangefinders emit a light beam that illuminates the target. Once the infrared light beam is set on the target, the target will reflect it back towards the device. Now the rangefinder will triangulate the angle between the emitter and the target, the detector, and the point of reflection. Once the device has all the data, it will make the appropriate measurements and display the distance with good accuracy.
One of the advantages of using an infrared rangefinder is that it has a low battery consumption and it’s fairly accurate. These units are also rather inexpensive, so they can be popular among hunters.
- Laser Rangefinders
Laser rangefinders are the most accurate models currently available on the market. While these models are more expensive than the previous ones, you can rest assured, you certainly get what you pay for.
To calculate the distance between the device and the target, laser rangefinders actually measure the time it takes the laser to reflect back from the target. By calculating how long it took the laser beam to get to the target and back, the rangefinder will accurately determine the distance to the target.
One of the best things about using a laser rangefinder is that they’re capable of doing several measurements every SECOND, so when they display the distance, they actually display the medium value they determined.
The laser still has to have a clear field of view to make an accurate reading. If there’s fog, or if it’s raining, the accuracy of the laser rangefinder will decrease. Since the laser has to be reflected back to the device, the laser will still need light to function properly.
However, new high-end models use powerful lasers that are capable of reaching the target even in inappropriate weather or light conditions.
3. Features And Functions
Modern rangefinders offer different features and functions that are specially designed to enhance your hunting experience.
- Magnification – Since laser rangefinders can accurately detect the distance to a target that’s placed over a mile away, it’s only natural to have magnification possibilities. While most models come with a 4x – 6x magnification capacity, high-end models can offer even a 10x magnification.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t use a rangefinder that has a larger magnification than your tactical scope. There’s no point in zooming in with a rangefinder if your scope doesn’t have similar capabilities.
- Bullet Drop Estimate – Some rangefinders automatically calculate the bullet drop your shot would experience over that distance. Of course, these calculations are only an estimate, but they can still come in handy. These calculations are not definitive because they don’t take into consideration the type of bullet, powder charge, rifle you’re using, as well as the crosswind the bullet is encountering on its trajectory.
- Multiple Readings – Laser rangefinders can gather multiple readings every second. The distance displayed is the medium value of the readings, therefore the most accurate.
Of course, if you want to benefit from all the advantages multiple readings offer, you should shoot from the precise position. To do this, you can either use a bag of sand, or you can use a bipod.
- Size & Weight – The size and weight of the rangefinder are not crucial, but they do play a role in the unit’s ease of use. For one thing, using a small and compact model will allow you to fit it in your rifle case, whether you’re using a soft or a hard one. Another aspect you should consider is that you’re usually making multiple shots every day. That means you’ll most likely use the rangefinder multiple times while you’re hunting. You can carry a small and compact device around your neck, or you can simply carry it in one of your tactical vests.
Even if you’ll have a hard time matching the range capacity the manufacturer lists on the product’s box, using a rangefinder that’s capable of measuring longer distances is always a plus.
While you might not be inclined to shoot a deer from over a mile away (just think about the bullet drop, wind interference, and other factors that might affect your shot) it’s still great to be able to spot the target and measure the distance to it accurately.
As a general rule, the longer the range, the better the rangefinder. Even if some models only offer the basic functions – distance and angle – using them might still be better than using other models that can provide more data but have a shorter range.
The reticle is the crosshair or the aiming point of the rangefinder. Some manufacturers make the reticle out of black lines, so you will have a clear view when it juxtaposes over the target. For the same purpose, other manufacturers make the crosshair out of bright colors, such as yellow-green or red.
When the reticle is made out of dark colors, it’s sometimes hard to detect in low-light conditions. This makes the rangefinder difficult to use at dusk or dawn, and it might interfere with your hunting experience.
On the other hand, bright colors are sometimes hard to detect when it’s very sunny outside. Even though the red reticle is more obvious than the yellow-green one, it can still be problematic to spot at times.
However, even if you might have difficulties in spotting the reticle at first, the rangefinder will still be capable of measuring the distance to the target, so you might still get an accurate reading.
The best solution for this problem is to choose a model that comes with a backlight for the reticle. If you believe the reticle is hard to see, turn on the backlight and solve the problem.
The price of the rangefinder is also an important factor you should take into consideration. While it’s true that most high-end models are way better than the medium-priced ones, there are models like the Sig Sauer Kilo2000 that can outperform more expensive units.
Now, when you’re considering how much you should spend on a rangefinder, ask yourself the following questions.
How many of your shots are long-distance ones?
How accurate are you when you’re taking long-range shots?
How good is your scope?
If you usually prefer shot or medium shots, there’s no point in investing in a rangefinder. If you’re not very accurate when shooting long-distance shots, the rangefinder won’t help. It will only display the distance between you and the target, but it won’t guide your bullet home. If your scope doesn’t have a good magnification capacity, buying a long-distance rangefinder doesn’t really make sense. You can either upgrade your scope or buy a rangefinder with a shorter range.
Keep In Mind That! Golf Rangefinders Are Not Suitable For Hunting
A common mistake people made over the recent years is buying golf rangefinders and trying to use them for hunting. While it’s true that some golf rangefinders have a better aspect than the hunting ones, and that some of them are cheaper and are capable of detecting the target from a similar distance, there are noticeable differences between the two.
A very important difference between golf and hunting rangefinders is that they’re supposed to be used in different conditions. Since a golf rangefinder is specially designed to be effective on a golf course, it will prioritize the most obvious thing that enters its field of view.
Now, you might think that’s a design flaw, but it’s actually not. When you’re on the golf course, the most obvious thing that will enter the rangefinder’s field of view will either be the flag or the golf ball if the flag is hidden.
As you can probably tell, this is highly unlikely to happen while you’re out hunting. If nothing stands between you and your target, chances are, the target will spot you as well, so it will bounce off with the first opportunity.
Instead of prioritizing on the first thing that enters their field of view, hunting rangefinders will prioritize the spot you lock on. This might be a tree trunk, but only if you hold the rangefinder over the trunk for a longer time. And still, even if it will determine the distance between you and that tree trunk, the rangefinder will ignore the grass you’re crunching in, and even the tree branches that lean forward from that tree.
You now might be under the impression that golfing rangefinders cannot be used for hunting and vice-versa. Well, that’s not true. While you can still use these devices to measure distances they weren’t designed to measure, you might need to make more than one measurement to be sure you got the right reading.
In simpler terms, you shouldn’t use a golf rangefinder for hunting because it will not be as accurate as a model that’s specially designed to be used for hunting. This is also the reason why you shouldn’t use a hunting rangefinder while you’re out golfing.
What You Should Know About Rages
As you could probably notice in our short reviews, most manufacturers state beforehand the maximum range of their products. Many people end up buying a rangefinder only to return it after they try to lock on a target they know it’s placed at a shorter distance and fails. That doesn’t mean that the rangefinder is broken or faulty, it only means that you used it in atmospheric conditions that weren’t ideal.
Here’s the thing. When manufacturers test their products, they test them in ideal atmospheric conditions (whether they wait for them to occur naturally or replicate them in a lab) and their targets are usually highly reflective surfaces that are as big as a shed.
So if you’re not hunting a reflective shed on a very bright day, your rangefinder won’t make an accurate reading at the distance mentioned by the manufacturer. For further tips, read this post.
However, some manufacturers got tired of their products always being returned as defective, so they started stating the maximum distance for spotting a deer or a hog. You can usually find this information in the product’s description or on the box. As a general rule, you should estimate that the rangefinder will actually be able to read the distance to a deer at about a third from it maximum capacity.
Best Rangefinders Comparison Chart
|Product||Price||Magnification||Distance to Target||Features|
|Bushnell Bone Collector Laser Rangefinder||$$||4x||10 to 600 yards||Simple one-button operation. - Rainproof. - Case included.|
|Halo XRT62-7 Rangefinder||$$||6x||600 yard||Scan mode Equipped with a handy protective case|
|Simmons 801600 Rangefinder||$||4x||10 Yard 600 yard||1-button Operation Weather-resistant|
|Bushnell Elite Rangefinder||$$$$||7x||5–1760 yards||Blue Tooth Wireless connectivity BullsEye, Brush and Scan mode|
|Vortex Optics Rangefinder||$$$||6x||11-1000 yards||Blue Tooth Wireless connectivity BullsEye, Brush and Scan mode|
|Sig Sauer Kilo2000||$$$$$||7x||up to 1500 yards||Lumatic OLED display Scan mode|
One of the most important things you should know about rangefinders is that they will only help you improve your shots if you practice. These devices let you know the distance between you and the target, but you will still have to adjust your shots for the bullet drop and the occasional winds the bullet might encounter on its trajectory.
Not even the best rangefinders for long range shooting will improve your accuracy if you don’t put in the practice.
We hope the article was clear enough to offer a clear insight on how to choose the right model for your needs.