Luke Cuenco 02.23.22 Laser range finders are some of the handiest electronic tools that we have at our disposal as shooters and hunters. Knowi
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1. Vortex Razor HD 4000
The Razor HD 4000 is part of Vortex’s highly popular Razor lineup. These high-quality optics often carry superior features over Vortex’s other product lines and will fetch a higher price than those products as well. However, that being said, Vortex really gives you a lot of bang for your buck here as the HD 4000 has a great price to performance ratio for long-range shooting and terrain reading. These are a great mid-range option and one that comes highly recommended by our managing editor, Rusty.
Pros/Great Ranging on long range targets. Great price to performance ratio
Cons/The eyecup can come off easily if you’re not careful when making adjustments
Bottom Line/A serious option to consider if you’re still working on a budget, but want to graduate from the lower-end options out there.
2. Nikon Prostaff 1000i
Although Nikon no longer makes dedicated hunting optics for rifles, their sport optics category which includes things like binoculars, spotting scopes, and hunting laser range finders is still going strong. The Prostaff 1000i is Nikon’s answer to hunters who are looking to hunt close to home.
Pros/Under $200, Simple controls
Cons/No connectivity with other useful hunting devices
Bottom Line/A great simple 6X monocular rangefinder without any extra bells and whistles
3. Bushnell 1700 Rangefinder
The Bushnell 1700 rangefinder is one of the best “bang for your buck” rangefinders currently on the market. Coming in at just under $200 and also boasting a native 6x magnification, this is the perfect hunting laser rangefinder for longer-distance hunts. The Bushnell 1700 also has one of the larger objective lenses and boasts 2 times the light transmission of competing rangefinders.
Pros/Great environmental protection. Great low light performance
Cons/Plain black LCD display doesn’t contrast well against darker targets
Bottom Line/Affordable, Reliable and Rugged
4. The Maven RF.1
Maven has brought a lot of newer optics to the table in recent memory and one of their best is the Maven RF.1 Rangefinder. Boasting a maximum ranging of 5,000 yards on reflective targets and out to 2,700 yards for deer, the RF.1 Rangefinder is one of the most powerful rangefinders in its class and comes in at a fairly reasonable price for the features it offers.
Pros/Powerful ranging capabilities, high magnification
Cons/A bit more expensive than some of the more budget friendly options
Bottom Line/Great for plains hunting or long distance shooting
5. Bushnell BoneCollector 850
If bowhunting from a tree stand or other elevated (or downhill) position is your main squeeze when it comes to hunting, then this Bone Collector Edition of the Bushnell 850 rangefinder is the perfect combination of price point, features, and specifications. While it may be on the light side when it comes to ranging capabilities, this specific laser rangefinder’s strong suit is angle compensation and simple controls.
Pros/Simple to use with angle compensation.
Cons/Only capable of ranging on deer out to 350 yards
Bottom Line/A great bowhunting laser rangefinder
6. LEICA Rangemaster CRF 3500.COM
Some may consider the German Made Leica rangefinders to be some of the best in the business (and for good reason). These rangefinders are simple to use but can be paired with a number of devices including a dedicated mobile app that provides the user with instant ballistic data based on their caliber, bullet weight, and bullet velocity. The CRF (Compact Laser Rangefinder) is capable of ranging on targets out to 3,500 yards and can also be paired with other useful extreme long-range aides like Kestrel Wind meters.
Pros/Extremely feature rich but still capable of being used without any external apps or devices
Bottom Line/The ultimate in long-range shooting technology
What is the difference between ranging on a reflective target versus a deer?
Laser range finders will often have two or maybe even three sets of numbers for their ranging capabilities. This is because lasers can become scattered or absorbed by the target and won’t make it back to the rangefinder in order for the computer to calculate the distance. Generally, your highest value will be on reflective targets like dedicated reflective targets or steel targets. Trees and Deer will often be included in the same category but you’ll often find that the ranging capabilities are cut almost in half or more when you’re ranging on those types of targets.
Can hunting laser rangefinders damage my eyes?
Laser rangefinders most commonly fall into either Class 2 or Class 1 of the four total categories used to divide laser emitting devices. Class 1 and Class 2 laser devices are considered relatively eye-safe but should you probably avoid any exposure whatsoever to these types of lasers. If you’re lucky and you’ve found yourself a military-grade laser rangefinder, it’s probably best not to look into the emitter when it’s on as military-grade laser rangefinders can far exceed the power levels found in commercial laser range finders like the ones on this list.
Can’t I just buy a cheaper disc golf or golfing laser range finder to hunt with?
Technically yes, The principles that make Golfing laser range finders wor are the same as any other rangefinder, however, you may find golfing or disc golf laser rangefinders limited on features like ranging distance, angle compensation, or even some more niche features like ballistic and shot placement information. One important feature that hunting laser range finders has that golf rangefinders do not have is their Distant Target Priority or Close Target Priority modes. This small feature will allow you to more accurately range targets through tall grass and other small obstacles that might interfere with the laser.
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