Cheap rangefinder

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by jeremykenney, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. jeremykenney

    jeremykenney Member

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    I am looking at getting a new rangefinder, would like 1000 yds if I can afford a decent one. Hopefully someone with some experience can help me out I am looking at the Nikon rifle hunter 1000 or Leupold rx-1000i. Which one of those is better or is there another alternative in the same price range. Thanks
     
  2. jimbires

    jimbires Well-Known Member

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    there is a ton of info on here covering this subject . use the search button that is located at the top of the page . you will get educated on these . there is a lot to know before you lay down your money . beam size is something that gets a lot of attention . it's important that you understand a big beam could be ranging something that is close to your target , but far enough away to cause a bad reading that causes a missed shot . I'd guess the nikon 1000 is good to about 500 on an animal . I had a Nikon 800 , it was good to about 400 yards on fur . with you wanting to range reliably to 1000 your going to need to be looking at higher end ones , something like the Leica 1600 , G7BR2 , vectronix terrapin . hope this helps Jim
     

  3. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    +1

    1K yards reliably is not going to be a cheap date. I have a Bushy ARC 1000 and it ranges out that far, even farther but I'm not trusting that far and I only need to range accurately to 400 maximum anyway.

    What it says at what it is are probably 2 different values. No biggie for me.

    My biggest use of the rangefinder is actually plotting irregular sided fields for crop planting and calculating area for fertilizer application.
     
  4. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Your best purchase would be a used Leica 1200. May have to pay as much as $450. Possibly lower depending.

    Regarding "cheap". There ain't no such thing. If you're shooting far enough to need a range finder, you're shooting far enough to need one that works to your desired distance.

    Went on a long expensive hunt with a back east fella a few years ago. A shooter target presented itself after about a month of glassing. His range finder would return repeatable reading from well over 1500 yards. My Leica would range to 1200 most of the time, 900+ all of the time and 1400 once in awhile.

    Said target was over 1400. A doable shot for the shooter. His range finder had a beam as big as a barn. Ranged a lone pine 45 yards closer than the target animal.

    Result: Clean miss.

    4000 miles of travel, gallons of gas and on and on and a clean miss. There ain't no such thing as a cheap range finder.

    FWIW
     
  5. jeremykenney

    jeremykenney Member

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    Thank you all for the replies what is the opinion on the Leica 1000. I can't find a 1200 anywhere
     
  6. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

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    I think this is good advice. I bought a Leica CFR1200 used for this exact price a few years back. It definitely does not go as far out as the 1600 or the ultra high-end units, but I have supreme confidence that it ranges accurately.

    Mine is not for sale, we'll put it that way :D

    Further to Roy's point, I don't think there is a "cheap" way to get what you want
     
  7. Skimbleshanks

    Skimbleshanks Well-Known Member

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    Wild tm2, out to 30,000 meters if I recall correctly, picked mine up for 300 bucks. Weighs more than all my other gear though, this is going to cost one way or another.
     
  8. bearcat2

    bearcat2 Active Member

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    I just picked up the new Bushnell 1300 G-force. Now let me state I have never been a Bushnell fan, but had heard very good things about their rangefinder (the laser, not the glass :) ). I had a Leupold RX-IV, frankly I wouldn't buy another, could sometimes get it to range to just over 700 if conditions were right and I was using a rest, and the glass was so dark I couldn't see anything through it in the first and last half hour of shooting light. It does however have the TBR (True Ballistic Range) feature that calcs the horizontal distance for you, which is very nice. And it has the black digital display, which I thought nothing of until I bought the Bushnell.

    Now the Bushnell, AWESOME rangefinder, stupid, Stupid, STUPID design! First off they brag on the new red lit digital display. Man I wish I had the option to have it in plain black digital, even on the brightest setting it is hard to read in bright sunlight, if you are ranging against a light background like a dry grassy meadow you will need to turn the rangefinder towards something dark to read the yardage after ranging. And I have a hunting partner who is colorblind and can't see red, he can't use this rangefinder (or a friend of ours Geovids, which have a similar display). Next they advertise their ARC (angle range compensator) which should be like Leupold's TBR, only it only functions like that in bow mode (o-99 yards) in rifle mode you have eight rifle options to choose from, and it will calculate the holdover in MOA, in, or mils, for you, while compensating for the angle. How many of you have a rifle that shoots the exact same ballistics as one of their 8 options? I don't, my rifle shoots over two MOA flatter than their flattest shooting option at 700 yds. So I have to calc the angle and slope distance to get the horizontal distance I need to adjust for. What really irritates me is the rangefinder does calculate this, there is just no option to get it to display it for me.

    Now with that being said, this rangefinder (under $400) will outperform a Leica 1200 side by side, and in fact performs equally with my friends Geovid's for $2500 less. I can reliably range trees at over 1200 yards without a rest, and sitting down resting my elbows on my knees it will consistently give returns on grass, maple bushes, and elk at 1000+ (around 1100 it starts getting iffy and you might have to try a couple times or get a steadier rest). The glass is nothing to write home about, but is miles ahead of the Leupold glass, and I have a pair of good binoculars I glass with anyways, it is plenty good enough to see the critter you are trying to range in low light conditions.

    All in all I am fairly satisfied with it, and would recommend it as an affordable range finder, if you can accept calculating the horizontal distance. I used it to range an elk I shot at 820 yards shortly after daylight the day after I bought it. I do have mine on a thirty day trail however (was kind of in a rush when I bought it, couldn't range elk where I was hunting, so ran to town and bought this one evening to use the next morning) so if someone knows of another rangefinder that will work equally as well while giving me a horizontal distance, and preferably a black digital display, for anywhere near the same price range, I would be interested in upgrading while I still have the option of taking this one back.
     
  9. SCRUBS

    SCRUBS Member

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    Bearcat, thanks for the review. Was your Leupold RX1000i ?
     
  10. bearcat2

    bearcat2 Active Member

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    No, it was the older RX IV, still supposedly a 1000 yd range finder. I'm not sure if the just changed the aesthetics when they came out with the RX1000i or if they actually improved the rangefinder itself.
     
  11. SCRUBS

    SCRUBS Member

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    Oh ok, thanks. I was just asking because the counter guy at the local Cabelas was telling me the Leupold RX1000i was a better rangefinder. Said he used both together in the field and the Leupold consistantly out did the gforce for distance. I have heard good things about the gforce which is why I went to cabelas in the first place.
     
  12. bearcat2

    bearcat2 Active Member

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    I talked to a friend of mine on the phone the other day and he said he went through 4 rangefinders this season before settling on the Gforce. I know one was the Vortex, one the Leupold and am not sure what the third was. It would be nice if you could just take both out and try them, then return the one you didn't like, but most stores frown on that.