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 5 recommendations below to decide which one you are going to be taking to the range with you.
2018’s Best Target Shooting Rangefinders
|Product||Yard Range||Mag.||Angle Compensation|
|Nikon Aculon AL11||6-550 yards||6X||No||View on Amazon|
|Nikon Prostaff 3i||8-650 yards||6X||Yes||View on Amazon|
|Simmons Volt 600 with Tilt||10-600 yards||4X||Yes||View on Amazon|
|Leupold RX-650||6-650 yards||6X||No||View on Amazon|
|Bushnell Elite 1-Mile ARC||5-1760 yards||7X||Yes||View on Amazon|
Our 5 Top Rangefinders for Target Shooting
Nikon Aculon Al11
You’ll find the budget-friendly Nikon Aculon for a wallet-pleasing cost of about $170. Although the bells and whistles are kept to a minimum, it still has 6X magnification that allows you to zoom into your target without overwhelming the visual.
It’s ultra-compact design measures in at 3.6 x 1.5 x 2.9 inches making it convenient to take with you anywhere you go. Its 550-yard maximum range is plenty far enough for you to use the Distant Target Priority Mode to get some long distance shooting action.
The Aculon is a fine entry level unit to get some practice with if you’re new to integrating optics into your tactical training.
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.
Nikon Prostaff 3i Laser Rangefinder
You can have all the perks a rangefinder can offer for target shooting and tactical ranging. 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.
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.
Bushnell Tactical Elite 1-Mile ARC
Out of the Bushnell family of laser rangefinders, the Tactical Elite is your long-range target shooting unit. You’ll get a full 1,760 yards from the monocular, two-hand rangefinder.
It might not be as pimped out as the Bushnell Fusion, but it’s the perfect target shooting unit thanks to its LED display, tripod magnetic mounting system, and ESP 2 technology. It even has some built-in ballistic curves so you can get an accurate idea of holdovers for your scope.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a humanoid target or a splatter target, you’ll hit the bull’s-eye each and every time!
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.