Help me pick out a Range Finder


September 25, 2006, 05:07 PM
I am looking at some different laser rangefinders to take on a Colorado Elk hunt. Never owned or even touched one. Wonder what I need and what are gimmicks. Do you use them to range the animal or some object like a tree nearby?

Why do some have two and some three optics as seen from the front?
What range is realistic. Some advertise 1000 yds on a 'reflective' target and only some say that this range is reduced to maybe 400 yds on deer size game.
How long does a battery last? Should one buy one model that uses regular 9V batteries ?
Does one need 'Rain, Zip, Scan' modes?
Looking at those Bushnell model offered by Cabelas, does anybody have any experience with those?

Thanks for your thoughts.

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September 25, 2006, 05:11 PM
The Leica 1200 is pretty much best consumer grade laser range finder. It goes for around $500 which is a lot, but the cost reflects the quality.

September 26, 2006, 12:11 AM
I have it, and have been very satisfied.

September 26, 2006, 01:10 AM
I have the Leica 1200 also.

Optics are clear and I've personally ranged to the 1,000 yard mark on vehicles. I can't get that close with the competition.

I've also looked through a Bushnell and a Nikon and they'll work for 30-400 yards, but if you want to SEE anything further, you have to spend the bucks.

More importantly, what do you plan on using it for? What distances? How often? What type of conditions?


September 26, 2006, 02:17 AM
I want to limit myself to 300 yrd shots on an Elk hunt.
Use it probably not more than once a year for hunting.

Do all rangefinder display the range on the same 'scope' you are looking through? What magnification is good?


September 27, 2006, 01:34 AM
I've played with the Bushnell Yardage Pro models and they work fine for most applications. Prices are $150-300, very reasonable for a once a year use.

A step up is the Nikon, $350-450. Better glass and features.

Leupold is next with their RX rangefinders. I would lean towards Leupold because I trust their products. I have several of their scopes and I appreciate their durability, clarity and features. A bit more expensive, but you know it's good.

Leica...without comparison. Slim on features, but all that money is in the glass and it's much more clear than the Bushnell and Nikons that I've looked through.

I've never felt the need for different modes and all the extra stuff...I just want a reliable unit that tells me the distance, so I bought Leica.

As far as magnification goes, my Leica is 7x and I find it more than adequate for the situations I've been in (deer and coyote hunting, range use and general range estimation practice). Granted, I live on the west coast so I have a bit more open country and the 1200 fits my locale just perfectly.

Yes, all rangefinders display the distance on the glass you look through. Most also allow you to change the reading between feet and meters.

First thing I would do is head to this link (***) and look at different brands/models. Read the customer reviews on the products...that'll give you a good idea about the quality and set you on the right path.

One thing to remember; You'll spend more in the long run if you buy cheap and have to re-purchase than if you just buy quality the first time around!

Trust me....I know ;)


September 27, 2006, 09:00 PM

thank you very much for your post.
All my questions were answered.

September 27, 2006, 09:09 PM
You're very welcome.

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