Leupold RX-FULLDRAW 3 Rangefinder Review


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The RX-FullDraw series came out a long time ago, and bow hunters ate it up thanks to its specific bow hunting features.

Fast forward several years later and the series is still intact and the FullDraw 3 is even better.

With longer ranging, powerful performance in fog and snow, and about 50 yards more TBR range than the original predecessor, well, you can see why it’s an improved unit.

If you’re looking for the cheaper option within the current pickings of the bow hunting series, the FullDraw 3 fits the $300 rangefinder budget.  

Quick Overview...

What We Like: For bow hunting

What We Don’t Like: Limited TBR

Best Uses: Bow Hunting, Rifle Hunting, Target Shooting, Long-Ranging

  • Yard Range: 6-1300
  • Magnification: 6x
  • Objective Lens: 23mm
  • Display Type: LCD
  • Dimensions: 4 x 1.3 x 2.5”/7 oz
  • Waterproof/Fogproof: Yes
  • Angle Compensation: Yes
RX-FULLDRAW 3 rangefinder review
Image Credit - Leupold

Our Verdict: Don’t guess how far off that buck is – range it. Don’t guess if you’re using the right pin – range it. But the best bow hunting rangefinders must take into account angles. The RX-FullDraw 3 does that and more. Outfitted for the outdoors, accurate to 0.5-yards, and ready to do the math on inclines and declines, the FullDraw is itchin’ for bow hunting season.

Who is the Leupold RX-FullDraw 3 Best Suited to?

The Leupold rangefinder has the features to specifically cater to bowmen, has maximum ranging distances for observation and distance acquisition, and it’s compact, watertight, and pumps out fast readings.

The same bow hunting benefits are offered by Leupold’s RX-1400i TBR/W, and it’s cheaper. However, the 1400i is feature-packed to the max, and it may be overkill for your needs as an archer. But if you rifle hunt too, it may be worth checking out. If you have a bigger budget and love Leupold as a brand you should take a look at the RX-Fulldraw 4.

How Does the Leupold RX-FullDraw 3 Perform?

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The RX-FullDraw 3 is a bow hunter’s rangefinder. While it’s perfectly set up for bow hunters and even named appropriately so, it may work for long-range target shooters and rifle hunters if LOS is all you want. Flat trajectory anyone?

The FullDraw 3 ranges deer out to 900 yards, trees to 1100 yards, and reflective targets out to 1300 yards. Obviously, you’re not drawing your bow for these distances, but it doesn’t mean you have to max out ranging capability to the max distance of arrow flight, right?

It has TBR technology that provides angle compensated distances necessary for the flight path of an arrow – much like the bullet trajectory when shooting a rifle on an incline or decline. You can also measure racks, and you can switch the rangefinder into Last Target Mode when you’re ranging beyond brush and trees – you know, the stuff that deer are always hidden behind.

While more expensive than other noted units from the brand, it’s bow hunting specific. While $300 is considered a mid-range price point, the FullDraw is a Leupold entry-level optic. It’s Leupold quality after all. Nice value, good optics, and streamlined features are what we like about it.

Features & Benefits

Leupold RX-FULLDRAW 3 glack and green rangefinder
Image Credit - Leupold

For Bow Hunting

FullDraw – it’s obvious. If you’re a bow hunter, there are specific feature requirements that you must have. Minimum close-range distance, practical magnification, fast return scans, angle compensation, and Scan mode. The FullDraw 3 has it all.

The unit has a 6-yard minimum ranging distance, 6x magnification, less than 1-second return scans, and TBR for angle compensated distances.

It’s well within spec for what a compact unit. Weighing in at 7oz with a length of 4”, it’s pocket-sized, lightweight, and is far from a bother to wear around the neck, on a harness, or keep in your vest pouch for fast and easy stowing away.

TBR

With True Ballistic Range, you instantly know that the FullDraw 3 has a built-in inclinometer. This measures the angle of an incline or decline relative to your position. So, if you’re in a treestand, looking down from a ridge, or coming up a basin, you’ll have the true horizontal distance. This is essential as the distance determines the right pin for the job or the correct distance on the tape for a single pin bow sight.

Things are kept simple with the FullDraw. Instead of having multiple modes for rifle shooters and bow hunters, you simply have Bow Mode. With that comes a limitation. TBR is only effective out to 175 yards. TBR cannot be used to generate equivalent horizontal distances for rifle shooting beyond 175 yards.

Given that this is a bow hunting rangefinder, it’s not necessarily a big deal in a bow hunt. On the flip side, it would prove convenient for rifle hunting though.

Trophy Scale

The Trophy Scale feature is an electronically generated reticle display that allows you to measure the rack, width, or height of a target. Essentially, it’s like milling targets with a reticle. You first enter the dimensions of a target of known size to provide a baseline for the unit.

The unit generates target measuring lines to help you get an idea of size in inches based on where the target falls between the lines. For measuring for height, you must turn the rangefinder on its side as the same measuring lines will need to be used. 

Last Target Mode

Last Target Mode allows the user to acquire distances on background targets that may be obscured and/or targets that are furthest away. It forces the laser to focus on and generate readings based on clusters and spikes to ensure it’s providing the maximum distance on what it thinks you’re aiming at.  

This is an advanced mode and being able to switch it on and off is extremely convenient as it allows the user to truly customize the laser rangefinding experience. It’s a way to set the parameters for how the rangefinder works to interpret better results, meaning, to get the distances you actually want and not the tree branches in front.

Selectable Reticles

RX-FULLDRAW 3 rangefinder
Image Credit - Leupold

You have three, pre-loaded reticles ready to take advantage of: Plus Point, Reticle with Plus Point, and Reticle without Plus Point. The Plus Point is a small crosshair reticle with an open center dot. The “Reticle” is a thick-posted, duplex-style crosshair.

The pre-loaded reticles are designed for maximum target acquisition regardless of target size. For small varmints and the like, the Plus Point is perfect with its see-through open center dot. No part of the target is obscured, and you can focus directly on the prey with no hand tremors at 6x magnification interfering with the process.

Limitations

Limited TBR

The only thing about it is that the TBR is not effective past 175 yards. This means that you cannot acquire angle compensated distances for rifle hunting that could be taken up to 400 yards and beyond if you’re that confident.

The RX-1400i has the same bow mode with the same parameters, but it can range out to 800 yards with TBR and account for 10mph, 90-degree winds up to 600 yards, and it provides holdovers in inches/centimeters or MOA/MIL.

To be fair, this is a bow hunting rangefinder. 175 yards is already a long way to go for an arrow. It would just be nice to see it the TBR extended out a little further to get double duty hunting done especially when you’re paying a little more for the RX-FullDraw over the RX-1400i.

Popular Questions

Does the FullDraw 3 have an Illuminated LED Display?

No. The Leupold RX FullDraw 3 rangefinder has a High-Contrast Black LCD display where data and the reticle are black in color. It’s visible and clear but will be hard to see in shaded areas during lowlight conditions.

What Comes in the Box with the RX-FullDraw 3?

The Leupold bow hunting laser rangefinder comes with a lanyard, cleaning cloth, documents, and a small carry case. The carry case does not have Velcro but a bungee-cord style closure.

How Long does the Battery Last on the FullDraw 3 Rangefinder?

The RX-FullDraw 3 requires a CR2 battery and has a long battery life of at least 5000 actuations. That’s more than enough for an entire hunting season.

Does the RX FullDraw 3 Provide Angle Compensation to 1300 Yards?

The RX-FullDraw 3 does not provide angle compensated distances past 175 yards. It is designed for the bow hunter. For rifle hunters using the FullDraw, you will only have LOS distances past 175 yards.

Conclusion

In the end, while the RX-FullDraw 3 could be used for rifle hunting, you’d be stuck with only LOS distances. Most people would like the angle compensation for further distances if they can get it at the same price point, so that may be its one legitimate flaw.

But, if you want the one unit for bow hunting only, then it’s purpose-built for it. With plenty of features to keep you busy but not overwhelmed, the FullDraw 3 could very well spot your deer at 900 yards, help you measure it out, close in at 60, and loose that arrow.

Further Reading

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