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There's no need to eyeball the distance, even at a shooting/archery range or during practice for competitive shooting events. And depending on how much of an enthusiast you are will determine how much you want out of a device.
For backyard fun, a basic line-of-sight distance unit will do the trick. If you're a bit more serious about ranging, a more advanced and intelligent unit with a few perks like angle compensation, target modes, and low light functionality will be the difference between hitting the outer ring or the bullseye.
Check out our 4 recommendations below to decide which one you are going to be taking to the range with you.
QUICK LIST: 5 Best Rangefinders For Target Shooting In 2020
2020's Best Target Shooting Rangefinders
|Simmons Volt 600 with Tilt||CHECK PRICE|
|Bushnell Prime 1300||CHECK PRICE|
|Nikon Prostaff 3i||CHECK PRICE|
|Leupold RX-650||CHECK PRICE|
|Vortex Ranger 1800||CHECK PRICE|
Our 5 Top Rangefinders for Target Shooting
1. Simmons Volt 600 with Tilt
The Simmons Volt 600 with Tilt is another great unit for target shooting and tactical use. It's a winner in the affordability section, consistently taking first place for the lowest prices between $100-$140. But, the reason this optic gets a spot is because it features an angle compensation feature.
Target shooters who like to mix it up from the typical shooting range can make the most of this feature when in a blind or shooting in rugged or steep terrain. Having the true horizontal distance over the line of sight distance can mean a bullseye.
For target and tactical use, the LCD display is very easy to read, with only three symbols that display on the screen: reticle, distance, and battery life icon. There'll be no mistaking where you need to aim every time.
2. Bushnell Prime 1300
The Prime rangefinder offers efficiency in the simplest way possible. If you want fast, accurate results with no-fuss operation, the Prime LRF is definitely the unit you're looking for.
It's a 5x20 rangefinder that's stable enough to use in any terrain. It's compact, lightweight, and has a good, solid feel to it. This particular model has a maximum ranging distance of 1300 yards with only 350 yards to deer. Most hunters in the open plains or thick timbers will more than make do with these numbers.
Additionally, the Prime 1300 has a built-in inclinometer allowing for angle compensated distances to be displayed. The ease of use comes in with the automatic display of the true horizonal distance. There is no "on/off" feature so you don't have to mess with any modes, functions, or features. Just hit the fire button and you have both the line of sight and angle compensated distance on the display.
You could criticize the Prime for being simple or not flashy enough for your taste, but out in the field, you'll appreciate the no-nonsense interface. This unit was made for a hunter interested in hunting, not for an amateur looking to tote a mini computer. The Prime has our two thumbs up. It's worth checking it out.
3. Nikon Prostaff 3i Laser Rangefinder
You can have all the perks a rangefinder can offer for target shooting and tactical ranging.
- Selective target modes
- ID technology
- Ballistic data
- Not fully weatherproof
The Nikon Prostaff 3i has it all to get it done since it's the perfect combination of the devices listed above. It features Nikon's ID (Incline/Decline) automation to get you the angle compensation values you need to make the bullseye from the tree blind.
The 3i also goes one step further than the Aculon with Nikon's Tru Target technology. Not only do you have Distant Target Priority Mode, you've also got the option of using First Target Priority Mode if your targets vary in size and you're ranging in shorter distances.
For around $200, you're getting all the features you need in one unit to ace it at the range.
4. Leupold RX-650
Leupold knows how to punch out high quality optics regardless of your choice of outdoor sport. Whether it's rifle hunting, bow hunting, or target shooting at the range, you'll be set to aim true with a Leupold rangefinder.
This particular RX-650 is basic and entry level in function. It lacks all the features that complicate the use of a rangefinder. With that said, you know the price is going to be right in line with what you want to reasonably spend. You're already throwing money on practice rounds, splatter targets, and gas to the range, you may as well try to save some money here.
Good thing for you, you're not compromising on quality - it's a Leupold. For target shooting in your backyard, at the range, or even some competition use, this RX-650 has your best interests at heart-true distance for true aim to the bull's-eye.
5. Vortex Ranger 1800 Review
Why go anywhere else if you want quality, performance, and a rock-solid warranty? Vortex nails all three features when shopping for a sports optic, and the Ranger 1800 is the rangefinder of choice for many a hunter and shooter.
- 6x magnification
- HCD Mode
- LED display
- Difficult to get readings past 1000 yards
The Ranger is a 6x magnification unit that can be used handheld up to approximately 1,000 yards. We say 1000 yards because some users have experienced inaccurate or no readings past that distance. However, if you mount this to a tripod, you should be able to get it steady enough, and conditions permitting, acquire a reading.
Vortex says you can get a reading on deer up to 900 yards. With 17 mm of eye relief, users who wear glasses may struggle, but it should be plenty enough comfort for the naked eye. With fully multi-coated optics and an illuminated reticle with three brightness settings, you’ll be able to see your readings regardless of the conditions.
It has LOS (Line of Sight), Scan, and HCD (Horizontal Component Distance) modes. HCD is Vortex’s angle compensation algorithm that provides measurements for steep angles like when you’re in a tree stand. Yes, you can bet you can take this up into the tree stand with you since it’s weighs nothing at 7.7 oz, is 3.9 x 3” in size, and it comes with a built-in utility clip, neck lanyard, and carry case.
Have issues with the Ranger? Send it in and Vortex will take care of it with their industry-best VIP warranty.
What to Look for in a Target Shooting Rangefinder
If you're already hunting with a rifle or a bow, then you're probably just going to use your hunting rangefinder for the target range too. However, for those who just want something specific for the range, there's a few things you should know so that you can save as much money on your buy as possible. There's no point shelling out for a feature for the field if you're never going to use it in the field.
What we mean by this is, be activity specific. If you're into recreational shooting where targets are set up on a flat surface at a range, you can do without costly features that drive prices up. If you're shooting targets set up at 1,200 yards away where you're on an incline and the bull's-eye is down there, you'll want a higher quality rangefinder to get the job done. Before you eat more than you can chew, check out what we have to say about what your necessities should be.
- 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 maximum reflective ranging performance will almost always be appropriate for target shooting. Most rangefinders, regardless of quality and cost, will cater to most target shooting distances of between 25-300 yards.
More extreme distances will be long range shooting and you'll want higher quality glass to get the best image quality at those distances.
- Extra features: This depends entirely on your target shooting intentions. Look only at features that cater to your type of range to prevent spending money unnecessarily. Ex. Angle compensation, Ballistic data, and extreme distance ranging.
The Right Tool for the Job
Whether it's hitting metal at the range or competition shooting, a rangefinder can save you a lot of time and a lot of misses. While a spotting scope can really get you up-close and personal insight of your bullet strikes, a rangefinder can do the same job, and it can help you get your rifle scope or bow pin adjusted for the right distance.
Plink, shoot, and nock your way to accuracy. A laser rangefinder is just the right tool for the job.