Rifle hunting takes you to where the wild things are, and you need to be prepared for all types of weather, terrain, and distance.
The best rifle hunting optics are going to be waterproof for that unpredictable weather. They are going to be your eyes, and so will need some serious long-distance yardage as well as the ability to constantly track your prey.
Because that elk isn’t frozen in place, your rangefinder is going to need some speed – lightning-fast laser speed.
With these features in mind, let’s take a look at 5 of the best rangefinders for hunting with a rifle.
Best Rifle Hunting Rangefinders of 2018
|Product||Yard Range||Mag.||Angle Compensation|
|Leupold RX-1200i TBR with DNA||1200 yards||6X||Yes||View on Amazon|
|Vortex Optics Ranger 1000||11-1000 yards||6X||Yes||View on Amazon|
|Leica Geovid HD-B 10x42||10-2200 yards||10X||Yes||View on Amazon|
|Bushnell Elite 1 Mile Con-X||5-1760 yards||7X||Yes||View on Amazon|
|Leica Rangemaster CRF 1600-B||10-1600 yards||7X||Yes||View on Amazon|
Our 5 Top Rangefinders for Rifle Hunting
Leupold RX-1200i TBR with DNA
The Leupold RX-1200i TBR with DNA has all the bells and whistles any sportsman could want for their hunt. The feature that makes this particular unit especially attractive for hunters is Leupold’s DNA (Digitally eNhanced Accuracy) technology that gives you super-fast readings and target acquisition against any background.
It pairs excellently with the advanced OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) technology that gives the RX line its crystal-clear display. This means extra clarity and visibility no matter the time of day. It’s LED brightness is adjustable too which is not a feature you often see. This can make all the difference for that low light hunting when wildlife is out and about.
Expect to pay a pretty decent price for the quality and brand, somewhere between $300-$400.
Vortex Optics Ranger 1000
The Vortex Ranger 1000 is a beauty of a rangefinder. You might think its price is high, but it’s very deserving of it. We even say it might be too cheap for its quality. However, we hunters have always been able to depend on Vortex for the best prices possible for the highest quality possible.
The Ranger 1000 can range out to, you guessed it, 1,000 yards. But, you want to know what the deer ranging distances are, don’t you? It’s a full 500 yards! That’s pretty impressive for a rangefinder, and even better news to the long-distance hunter. Just ask yourself, how many times have you missed that bull because you thought it was out of range? No longer will you underestimate yourself because there’s no more guessing.
The Ranger is fully weatherproof, has fully multi-coated lenses, and it has the HCD Corrected Shoot-to-Range feature for those angled compensated distances. Don’t range and guess, range and shoot-your rangefinder will aim true!
Leica 10×42 Geovid HD-B Laser Rangefinding Binocular
Forget the monoculars and go with the rangefinding binoculars. If you want to put down some serious cash, then $2,500 plus will be well spent here. The Lecia Geovid HD-B is in a category of its own and is incredible for rifle hunting.
Although the price may make you twitch, it’s worth noting that these are made by Germany’s finest optic engineers and each unit undergoes a vigorous quality assurance process.
For ranging up to 2,000 yards, you’ll be able to spot and hit your target easily within a full, true mile. Tripod mountable? With distances like this, you betcha.
And that’s not all. The ABC (Advanced Ballistic Compensation) technology uses built-in sensors to take into account zeroing distance, air pressure and temperature readings, and ballistic information to give you the compensation values you need to make accurate shots at such long distances.
Better yet, to maximize accuracy you’re not bound to the 12 preset ballistic curves since you can upload your own user-defined ballistic parameters. And that’s still not all. The comfortable, ergonomic design makes it very easy to handle for long periods of time.
Why put a limit on your hunt right? Check out the full Geovid review to discover the other features that earnt this optic the gold medal.
Bushnell Elite 1 Mile Con-X
The Elite 1 Mile Con-X is one of those rangefinders that might be too smart for you. If you think you can conquer the Con-X and all its fancy features, then you might just want to put down around $300-$400 cash on this unit. It has everything, and we mean everything, that you could want in a hunting rangefinder – there is a reason it was awarded ‘Optic of the Year’ in 2017’s Golden Bullseye Award.
You’ll have the ability to pair it with your smartphone, download custom ballistic curves, and play around with MIL, MOA, and more measurements to accurately adjust your scope. Additionally, you’ll have the Vivid Display Technology for an LED display, Variable Sight In mode, and selective targeting modes to make sure you’re hitting your target and not the tree in front of it.
Just remember, 1,760 yards is a long way to go, are you hunter enough to master the Con-X?
Leica CRF Rangemaster 1600-B
One of the best hunting laser units you’ll find is the Leica CRF Rangemaster 1600-B that pretty much has it all. It’s waterproof up to three feet of submersion. You know that this means it’s going to outlast and survive the most unforgivable weather. The 7X magnification is maximized with the large 24 mm objective diameter lenses.
What’s unique about the Rangemaster and the 7X magnification is it still sports the vertical design and is compact in size. Typically, 7X and above magnification devices sport the horizontal, two-handed design, but it usually means they come bulkier and heavier.
Apart from its pristine and sharp optics, it also has an auto-dimming LED feature that makes the display easily readable in any light condition.
Averaging almost $800 in price, this is considered a serious rifle rangefinder that can get you positive target acquisition in extreme distances.
What to Look for in a Rifle Hunting Rangefinder
Hunting is a primitive and satisfying sport and efficient way to provide for the family. Nowadays, it’s made even more efficient and humane with the use of hunting optics. But, no rangefinder will be useful in the field if you don’t know how to use it to maximize your hunt. Make sure you know what to look for and how to incorporate those features in a timely manner before the bull leaps out of range.
- Quality glass: Very expensive rangefinders can justify their high costs if it includes premium glass elements. Ex. ED, HD, etc.
- Quality coatings: This should include layered, weatherproof, debris-proof, and scratch-proof coatings. Light transmission coatings can make all the difference when ranging extreme distances.
- Distance: The distance that gets a lot of attention is usually the maximum reflective ranging distance. What you want to look for is the ranging performance distance for deer. This will be quite less than the max distances that are usually touted all over advertising.
- Durability: Don’t call it a day because the weather is less than ideal. Ensure your optical equipment is up for the hunt by being weatherproof and armored to handle the terrain and the conditions.
- Angle Compensation: Address the angles takes geometry, angles,
and height into consideration. You only need basic math skills if you have an angle compensating rangefinder.
- Additional Rifle Features: Look for modes that cater specifically rifle hunters. These can include for bullet drop, trajectories, and selective targeting modes.
Are You Wild Enough?
You’re going to have to be at least a little bit wild to hunt where the wild things are. But, you won’t stand a chance to land your buck if your gear isn’t just as wild. You’ve got your skills, rifle, and empty deer cart with you, but let your rangefinder be your eyes, distance gauge, and target finder. All you have to do is shoot.
Is your gear up to par? Do you need an upgrade? It might be time to outfit your rangefinder with a camo finish, luxury coatings, and the latest rangefinding engine technology. Now, that sounds pretty wild to us! Is your deer cart empty? Not anymore.