Decent laser rangefinder?


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Macchina
April 30, 2013, 09:21 PM
I know you can spend thousands on a nice rangefinder, but I don't have that kind of money. I'm looking to range out to 500 yards and am perfectly ok with +/- 20 yards accuracy as long as the unit is rugged and consistent. I'm looking to spend under $200.

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flipajig
April 30, 2013, 09:24 PM
I have a 100 dollar Bushnell it has worked fine for me
Flip

shaggy430
May 1, 2013, 09:00 AM
Get a Redfield for about $175. Leaps and bounds above similarly priced Bushnell. Smaller too. I know, I own both.

Art Eatman
May 1, 2013, 11:24 AM
I've used a Bushnell 800 for a good number of years. Quite accurate to at least 800 yards. 3X magnification.

sixgunner455
May 1, 2013, 11:34 AM
I have a Bushnell Legend 1200 Arc. It's not the best unit in the world, some Leica or Swarovski is, I think, but it's quite good.

I did a lot of research on these things, and what I decided my criteria for buying one was, whatever I wanted to be able to range under poor conditions, I had to buy something capable of doing at least 2x that far under optimal conditions.

Mine is rated to 1200 yards, and has 6x magnification. The furthest thing I have ranged, early one morning under optimal light, was a rock formation at 1350. The furtherest I have ranged an animal was a Coues whitetail at 1120. It actually probably ranged the grass hillside he was grazing on, because normally, it peters out past 700 on animals. It was on a tripod for both of those, btw. Handheld, you have to try several times, and somehow hold it very still.

But, this past Saturday morning, handheld ranging on some Coues does was 550 +/- as they moved around, no struggle.

I don't really have much experience with other rangefinders. I wanted one, did research, saved up, and bought the best I could afford. Prices on them really range widely. Shop around, you may be surprised at what you can get that will be within your budget, if you're not in a hurry and willing to buy used.

X-Rap
May 1, 2013, 12:03 PM
As stated above, buy with your minimum requirements in mind. I would also say that the ranges advertised are reflective under very good conditions.
After having a couple that have come up short I am probably going to save for a Leica or Swarovski. The choice will be one of optics or range. I like the 1600 Leica because I want to be able to push myself with practice and be able to know I am in range while hunting.
The optics in the Bushnell and Nikon rangefinders I have pretty much suck, the Nikon will range to it's advertised distance about as frequent as an eclipse and the Bushnell was one of the earlier models and never worked to my liking.

Lloyd Smale
May 3, 2013, 07:26 AM
only advice ill give is that if you truely want RELIABLE reading at 500 yards look to one thats rated at at least a 1000. Most of them are rated real optimisticaly. Id bet a dime to a hundred bucks your just not going to find a new rangefinder for 200 bucks that will give consistant readings at 500 yards. It will probably cost you twice that unless you can find something used

Art Eatman
May 3, 2013, 11:02 AM
I've used mine to locate corners on square 40-acre tracts. Dead-on at 440 yards, and also dead-on at 880 with a bright reflector. May not be the best on a dull day, but it's for-sure accurate.

rayatphonix
May 4, 2013, 08:53 AM
Whatever you do don't get a Leica. I made that mistake and now I can't stand to use my old binoculars. The optical clarity of the Leica opened my eyes to the differences in glass.

Certaindeaf
May 4, 2013, 12:00 PM
Whatever you do don't get a Leica. I made that mistake and now I can't stand to use my old binoculars. The optical clarity of the Leica opened my eyes to the differences in glass.
Pardon me.. I've never really used a laser rangefinder.. why are fine optics required for a range finder/ranging? It seems one should/would be able to "range" with even plastic buckhorns upon the contraption paired with a read-out.. then go to your high end scope for the shot/glassing.

rayatphonix
May 4, 2013, 12:24 PM
Certain, didn't try or mean to imply that fine optics are a requirement. The point I was trying to make was that the Leica rangefinder has outstanding clarity. I've compared them to a Nikon I've borrowed over the years and the difference is night and day. Better optics are nice though when you're trying to pick out a deer in the forest, especially in low light.

X-Rap
May 4, 2013, 03:42 PM
For most ranges requiring a range finder it makes it nice to be able to see your target with some clarity.
I have Nikon and Bushnell and neither of them have optics quality much past a childs toy.
The Swaros and Leica are at the top in optics quality IMO.

Certaindeaf
May 4, 2013, 04:05 PM
I understand the concept and value/utility of fine optics.. it's just that having multiple redundancies might actually cost many thousands of dollars. Sure it's nice to see the critter all crisp like (I'd imagine) through your range finder, your scope, your binoculars and your spotting scope. I also conceded I'm not familiar with laser range finders.. I don't know if you'd be able to lase the critter/target all stand alone like, as if it were on the gentle horizon yonder.
I'd think one would generally be able to lase the hill or dale it's upon, getting an acceptable reading prior to firing.

adelbridge
May 4, 2013, 11:26 PM
I have had bushnell and Nikon and they work great in broad daylight but neither work good the last 15 minutes of light. If you know your ranges right before last light it isn't that big of a deal.

Andrew Leigh
May 5, 2013, 04:19 AM
Rangefinders have small optical elements, light gathering is a function of lens quality and size. It stands to reason to get the best optics you can afford.

Consider a rangefinder with a built in inclinometer. These will tell you how much offset in elevation to compensate for. I hunt in hilly country and it is usefull.

Lloyd Smale
May 5, 2013, 07:59 AM
I've used mine to locate corners on square 40-acre tracts. Dead-on at 440 yards, and also dead-on at 880 with a bright reflector. May not be the best on a dull day, but it's for-sure accurate.

I wish my 1000 yard bushenell worked that well. Its the older larger version that is suppose to be better then the new compact unit. Its never ranged anything past 700 except maybe the trees across a field and 500 is about it if you want 100 percent reliable ranging on live targets.

witchhunter
May 5, 2013, 11:37 AM
I have a Leupold, works great, my pard has a Leica.....works excellent!

Mobuck
May 6, 2013, 08:15 AM
I agree that , if you want a consistent workable 500 yard range finder, you need to get an 800 yard rangefinder. I figured a 500 yarder was good enough but found it wouldn't give me a range on coyotes in brown grass beyond 300 yards. I don't need to range yotes at 300 yards when using a 22/250 or 25/06. Mine also failed to give good readings on deer beyond 400. No brandnames but this is a highly rated big name product. I've relgated it to archery ranging and will look for something with more range for rifle hunting.

1858
May 6, 2013, 05:26 PM
I have had bushnell and Nikon and they work great in broad daylight but neither work good the last 15 minutes of light.

Do you mean that you can't see what you're aiming so they don't work well? A range finder should work better at night (if you can see the target) due to the significant reduction in radiation i.e. the detector has to deal with less "noise". I have a Swarovski Laser Guide and the furthest object I've ranged is 1,930 yards!! The object was a big light on a tennis court and I ranged it multiple times at night. I could never range it during the day. I've ranged a bunch of high voltage towers at over 1,300 yards across ridges in bright sun with plenty of particulates in the air.

Captcurt
May 6, 2013, 10:18 PM
Had 2 Bushnells that crapped out in a year. Trying a Nikon now.

MCgunner
May 7, 2013, 10:21 PM
I have an old Bushnell 400, bought when they first came out. It is still working just fine. It sorta gives up even on hard, reflective targets about 350 yards, but I ain't gonna shoot much farther. Truth be told, I use it more for archery than rifle shooting anymore. Only thing, if I were hunting out in rough country, would be nice to have one of the lighter, more compact pocket sized ones. Also, be nice to have one of the angle compensating ones shooting from elevated positions with a bow. I'm just getting in to that, though, just getting serous about doing some bow hunting now that I have a better place for it.

I am usually hunting from a blind or stand or at least sitting on a rock. What I do is range objects and take note of their range. That way, when a deer walks out, I know how far it is without wasting time. Large, white rocks are a favorite target. :D I don't try to range the animal which is usually moving, anyway.

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