Finding the Best Rangefinder: A Hunter’s Guide with Reviews and Ratings

Every wise hunter uses a rangefinder. They serve different purposes and that means that they are equipped with different features compared to a rangefinder that would be used for golfing. There are even specific differences between a rangefinder for a rifle than for a bow.

Choosing the best rangefinder is not always and easy task. This resource will help you make an informed decision about the rangefinder that you choose to purchase depending on a matter of factors. This all inclusive guide will help you determine which one you need for your particular style of hunting.

All of the best rangefinders for hunting have been analyzed and the information has been compiled here so that it is easier to find the proper equipment.

What factors do I need to consider when buying a rangefinder for hunting?

There are a few factors that you should consider when choosing a rangefinder. There are several different types of rangefinders to choose from and you want to make sure that you are finding one that works best for your particular situation.


Range is a very important factor to consider when you are purchasing a rangefinder because the entire purpose it so calculate properly the distance from your device to your target. Various hunting types require larger distances from your target and that means that you need to make sure that you are choosing a rangefinder that can calculate the range at that far distance under regular conditions.


Certain manufacturers have access to technologies that are exclusive to their brand, therefore, choosing the right manufacturer may be a factor when choosing a rangefinder. These technologies can make a huge difference on the experience of the hunter. Popular brands include Nikon, Leupold, and Bushnell.


Rangefinders that are of the best quality will be designed in a way that is useful and comfortable for the hunter. For example, a rangefinder for an archer will usually come with a vertical design that is easy to use and lightweight. A long-range device used for shooting a rifle is usually horizontal, which gives the hunter more stability.


When it comes to long-range hunting, magnification is a key part of the hunter’s ability to make out the targets. Therefore, a long-range hunter would need a rangefinder that has a magnification of 7 times or 8 times. Keep in mind that the higher the magnification, the lower the stability. It is advised that you stick with an option that has 7 times magnification because it is easier to keep steady.

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The factors that affect the display include the screen, clarity, and information color. The screen should be large enough so that it is easy to see what you are looking for. The optics should be clear and easily readable and the information needs to not be too bright that it makes it hard to use or too dull that you can’t read it. You don’t want the display to interfere with the line of sight.

Types of Hunting Rangefinders Available

Every different type of hunting style requires a different type of rangefinder. This is because you will be using different equipment, hunting in different environments, and for various game. That means that you need to find the right style that works best for what you are hunting.


There is a separate set of criteria that should be used to judge which rangefinder works best and whether to use an archery device or a dual purpose unit. These criteria include the size of the game, the environment you are hunting in, and the distance from the target. Some manufacturers have put the hunter’s in a position to be able to get one made specifically for their sport.

Archery Rangefinders for Archery

When it comes to bow hunting, the best rangefinders will have a compact design and come with an angle compensation. The gripping is usually vertical to make them more lightweight than that horizontal units. It is easier to carry these smaller units on a tether system or belt holster.

Many bow hunters need to come from an elevated position in relation to their game. Therefore, it is important to realize that this extreme angle distorts the true horizontal distance between the hunter and the game.

Rifle Hunting Rangefinders

Rifle hunting involves larger distances than bow hunting. Therefore, rangefinders for rifle hunting have different criteria.

If the proper equipment is used, the rifle hunter can reach game that would seem impossible otherwise. The features to consider are size, weight, range, and magnification.

When hunting with a rifle it is usually long-range, but the hunter will usually make up some of the distance on foot. So, a lightweight and compact unit is perfect. Magnification is an essential part because of the distance and a 7x magnification will work well for steadiness and sight.

When rifle hunting, the higher that the ranging power is the better. Listed range refers to perfect weather conditions with highly reflective targets, so a more realistic distance may be about half of that listed range for larger animals.


The rangefinders used for rifle shooting will be different from the ones that archers would use because of the longer distances and smaller targets. The most significant features for these units are optics and magnification.

The optics clarity is just as significant as magnification for shooting long range. 7x or 8x magnifiers are much more common for these types of rangefinders.

Another key feature is horizontal design because long range shots tend to not be a steady. This holding position allows it to be held with both hands and may be a bit larger in size.

Dual-Purpose Rangefinders (Rifle and Bow Hunting)

Dual-purpose rangefinders can be used for both types of hunting. The range capability is one of the most important aspects for a dual-purpose rangefinder. Since they can be utilized for archery and rifle hunting, it is okay to have a higher range capability.

For example, a range of 1000 yards may seem excessive, but the max range is based on a reading distance under the best conditions with targets that are highly reflective. For big game, the actual readable distances may be closer to half the distance.

The unit’s display is another important thing to consider. Rangefinders use LED, LCD, and OLED screens to display reticule data and range. OLED is the most reliable usually over LED, and then LCD screens. Both LED and OLED screens usually display in red, while LCD screens use black characters.

A red display may need adjusting in accordance with the lighting conditions. They may need to be more intense in good light and less intense in dim light to keep from obstructing the view of the hunter. Different models do this manually or automatically. It is a good idea to choose the manual ones to gain the optimal lighting because they give you an opportunity to give a customizable experience.

Top Recommended Archery Rangefinders

Review for Nikon Archer’s Choice

This model features an improved design and enhancements sure to please all kinds of hunters. With an improved LCD display and LED illumination, the display gives the ability to select the best mode to contrast the background from the target. Ranges are displayed in intervals of every tenth of a yard.

Nikon Archer’s Choice

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ID Technology designed for inclines and declines compensate for angled shooting angles. Tru-Target technology gives the user the ability to choose between several target priorities modes. The first target priority gives an accurate reading for small targets and the distant target priority mode give the range of the furthest group of targets.

This unit gives a single button for operating it simply and quickly and powers down automatically after only eight seconds to preserve the power. It also has a large 18 mm ocular for when timing is important.

Review for Bushnell Team Primos

The Bushnell Team Primos has Angle Range Compensation, also known as ARC, and a Bow Mode. It determines the compensated distance taking the angle of the shot into consideration which helps decide what pin to use.

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

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Also the 4x magnification provides a clear view with every use. With a one button operation, it makes the use easy and simple very quickly. It can provide line-of-sight reading up to 850 long yards with precision and speed and up to 600 yards tree reading range with 200 yards for deer.

The Bow Mode for the Team Primos has a compact and ergonomic design and a finish that is anti-slip. It can provide accurate and fast measurements within one yard. Also, it is rainproof and overs an angle range from negative 90 to positive 90 degrees. Always know how much battery life is left with the battery indicator.

Simmons LRF 600 Review

When looking for pinpoint accuracy, the Simmons LRF 600 is the best bet providing real life distances from 10 yards to 600 yards on the LCD display. Just a button tap provides clear imagery and a magnification of 4x to virtually bring the target closer to the user. With Tilt Intelligence, the True Horizontal Distance and line of sight distances can be determined and displayed.

Simmons 801405 Rangefinder, 4x20LRF 600

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Receive accurate readings from a tree up to four hundred yards and a deer up to two hundred yards. It emits invisible infrared energy to get distance readings in meters or yards. The weather resistance and compact design makes it easy to carry and also comes with a case.

Top Recommended Rifle Hunting Rangefinders

Review for Leica Rangemaster CRF 1600

The Leica Rangemaster CRF 1600-B features Advanced Ballistic Compensation, which accounts for angle of incline, temperature, and air pressure to provide accurate values. The readings produce values for linear holdover in centimeters and in inches, true horizontal distance to your target in meters and yards, and holdover in ¼ MOA.

Leica Rangemaster CRF 1600

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Plus, it features a scanning mode that can ready many targets at the same time. The Leica Rangemaster CRF 1600-B can use the same ballistics curves programmed up to 1600 yards. It is waterproof in up to 3 feet of water and the lens features AquaDura coating. The shell consists of carbon reinforced plastic.

Review of Nikon Monarch 1200

Nikon Monarch Gold Laser 1200 is waterproof, fog proof, and compact. It was made of western hunters because of the conditions that they have to hunt in but everyone can benefit from its extreme precision for readings that are long-range. They are also durable and have pinpoint precision within a half a yard up to 550 yards and within one yard up to 1200 yards. It is great for hunters that need precision readings for targets over a half a mile away.

Nikon 8358 Monarch Gold Laser1200 Rangefinder

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The Tru-Target Ranging System gives it versatility with the distant target and first target priority modes. Accurate ranging of smaller objects work great with the First Target Priority Mode and the Distant Target Priority Mode is great for the farthest in the group. The scanning mode captures objects in the field and the selectable backlighting works with a bright LCD display.

Review for Leupold RX-1000i Laser Rangefinder

Leupold RX-1000 offers several ballistics setting with True Ballistic Range or TBR. This feature provides precise aim information that is based on the performance of the rifle and is effective up to an amazing 800 yards for many rifle cartridges.

Leupold RX-1000i Laser Rangefinder

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The Leupold Ballistics Aiming System can calculate incline, the ballistics of the projectile, and the line-of-sight range to your target. Rifle hunters can receive reticules that will provide perfect horizontal distance for the accurate shooting on inclines.

With a bright OLED display and enhanced light transmission, it is up to three times brighter than the LCD models. The display also features three levels that can be adjusted giving users customized lighting based on the various conditions.

A six times magnification and wide view offer enough to track targets. Plus, three reticules: Leupold Plus Point, Duplex, and Duplex with Leupold Plus Points add versatility and makes this model full of features affordably.

Top Rangefinders for Dual-Purpose

Review for Nikon 8377 Riflehunter 1000

With Nikon’s Active Brightness Control Viewfinder, the RifleHunter 1000 provides quick readings against many backgrounds and in the worst conditions. When it is bright, the device displays using LCD so it is easier to read with any background and in when it is dark, the device switches to LED lighting and adjusts the brightness accordingly.

Nikon 8377 Riflehunter 1000

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It comes with an ocular that is 28% larger and a 23% larger field of view so that targets can be found faster. The range of the display is up to 1000 yards and the Tru-Target Mode switches from First Target Priority to Distant Target priority. Incline and Decline technology is great for angles with a shot of negative 89 to positive 89 degrees.

Multi-coated optics, fog and waterproof design, durability, and a compact design make it the perfect choice.

The RifleHunter 1000 also features multi-coated optics, waterproof and fog proof design, durability and compact portability.

Review for Bushnell Scout DX 1000

The Bushnell Scout DX 1000 ARC has accurate target acquisition and is speedy with the built-in Extreme Speed Precision, or E.S.P., turbo-processor. Angle Range Compensation will determine the compensated range distance out of up to 99 yards.

Bushnell Scout DX 1000

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The Bow Mode gives a true horizontal distance and the Rifle Mode gives bullet-drop or holdover data with inches and MOA. It offers accurate information by pushing a button. These modes can be selected so it operates as a dual device.

The Bushnell Scout DX 1000 has six times magnification with a range from 5 up to 1,000 yards. A simple build and sleek one-button operation makes it small enough for your pocket but durable enough to for any weather condition or fall. It’s armored and waterproof a rubber shell and included battery, case, and neck strap make it very versatile.

Making Your Choice

Only you will know which rangefinder is perfect for you because it will be the one that meets your need. It needs to be affordable, dependable, and offers you the features that you need. This review should help you decide which option will be the one that you need.