Nikon Aculon Laser Rangefinder (AL11) - Affordable & Reliable

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nikon aculon al11 rangefinder
Image Credit - Nikon

Yard Range: 6-550 yards
Magnification: 6X 20mm objective lens
Display Type: LCD/Black
Dimensions: 3.6" x 2.9" x 1.5"
Waterproof/Fog-proof: No/Water-resistant
Angle Compensation: No
Measuring System: Yards/Meters
Measuring Distance: Line of Sight/Slope

Use: Bow Hunting, Rifle Hunting, Target Shooting

Unfortunately, Nikon have discontinued the popular Aculon AL11 rangefinder but they updated their Forestry Pro. Nikon also released the Prostaff 1000 and Prostaff 1000i in 2019 and they are in the same affordable price range. Check them out at Optics Planet and Amazon as a great alternative to the Aculon rangefinder.

Nikon ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder Review

The Nikon 8397 Aculon AL11 is a lightweight laser rangefinder with multi-layer coating lenses for ultra-crisp images. With a 6X magnification power the Aculon will range from 6 to 550 yards with the added bonus of Distant Target Priority Mode. This Nikon certainly won't break the bank but that doesn't mean you are sacrificing on quality.

Most people who buy the Nikon Aculon are pretty happy with their purchase for the performance, quality, and of course, the price. This is obvious with the rating it's got online with over hundreds of people having a say about it in various Nikon Aculon rangefinder reviews.

It's actually a solid, easy to use rangefinder that's compatible for use for gun, target, and even bow shooting.


  • Price
  • Compact size
  • Easy to read display
  • Multi-coated optics


  • Not for golf

Aculon AL11 Q&A:

What can the Aculon Rangefinder be used for?

This laser rangefinder by Nikon is suitable for rifle hunting, bow hunting and target shooting.

How convenient is this device to take around with you for rifle hunting?

Image Showing Size Dimensions of Nikon Aculon Al11
Image Credit - Nikon

What's advantageous about this particular range finder from Nikon is its obvious benefits of portability and its compact design. You're looking at a rangefinder that's no bigger than a standard smart phone that can fit in your coat pocket. Measuring in at a height of 2.9 inches, a width of 1.5 inches, and no longer than 3.6 inches, it can't get smaller than that.

With such a small, light-weight, and sleek design, you can take the Aculon with you anywhere, or even leave it in the same coat pocket for whenever your shooting itch needs scratching.

As an inexpensive rangefinder, does the Aculon zoom in at all?

Magnification performance is definitely of interest when looking to buy a rangefinder at a mid-range price, and the Aculon won't let you down with 6X magnification power. Just because you won't break the bank with the $100 to $200 price range doesn't mean you're compromising on quality.

As a product of the reputable Nikon brand, it provides the same quality of monocular capabilities that rangefinders several hundred dollars more can yield.

Nikon Prostaff 1000 Laser Rangefinder - 16664 Bundle with 3 CR2 Batteries and...
  • Hunting Laser Rangefinder: The Prostaff 1000 provides 6-1000 yard measurement range with a 6x high quality monocular

Can the Nikon Aculon range 3D targets for rifle shooting?

Absolutely! It is great for more than just target shooting in a controlled environment. It can range 3D targets effectively such as trees, walls, and large game and its multi-coated lenses also produce clear and crisp images since less light isn't lost in reflection.

It's also a proficient rangefinder of 3D targets for bow shooting. The Aculon's programming platform "Distant Target Priority Mode" enables you to range the furthest targets in an area like deer and elk despite them being somewhat obscured by wildlife like bush and grass.

While rifle shooting, how effective does this rangefinder hone in on small game like prairie dogs?

Screen Display on Aculon Al11
Image Credit - Nikon

This is an excellent accessory for your rifle hunting needs. It has a maximum range of 550 yards (500 meters) which is plenty effective for shooting reflective targets and decent for non-reflective targets such as deer and other large targets of the like.

However, without details about the environment and weather conditions, small game ranging such as prairie dog hunting can present unique challenges that can interfere with accurate shooting and readings. In short, ranges will be less than 550 yards for small game.

To get a still image as much as possible when ranging long distances, can it be used with a tripod mount?

The Nikon Aculon is so light-weight at 4.4 oz that it's designed to be easily hand-held for long distance ranges without posing any problems. However, like a lot of rangefinders that have 6X magnification power, even ranging at only 550 yards can create an unsteady image.

Unfortunately, the Aculon can't mount to a tripod. It's designed for hand-held use only since it doesn't even have any mounting screw holes or ports for mounting use.

Noteworthy Features:

  • Portable and compact design (3.6” x 2.9” x 1.5)
  • LCD screen
  • Easy to use with single button operation
  • Distant Target Priority Mode programming
  • Multi-layer coating lenses for clear and crisp images
  • Long eye relief even with sunglasses on

Our Verdict on the Nikon 8397 Aculon AL11

The aim of it is, the Nikon Aculon AL11 is a great rangefinder that's made for the gruff and tough of outdoor hunting. It's not made for golf since its focus is on ranging distant targets. If more readers understood this first, they wouldn't be disappointed when on the green, and instead, they'd be ecstatic while in the field.

However, for more power in every aspect that you can expect from a laser rangefinder, the Nikon Monarch 3000 Stabilized is new to 2018 and has it all. What we love best about it is its OLED high visibility red display with 5 selectable (or automatic) brightness levels to suit all lighting conditions you can possibly hunt in. Check it out here.

Outside of Nikon, you can explore what the Simmons Volt 600 with Tilt rangefinder has in store for you. It has comparable features to the Nikon except for the price tag. You won't have to spend as much!

But, sticking with a well-known brand that makes optics for everything you'll possibly need in life is a safe bet. A safe bet equals a safe kill!

Unfortunately, Nikon have discontinued the popular Aculon AL11 rangefinder but they released the Prostaff 1000 and Prostaff 1000i in 2019 and they are in the same affordable price range. Check them out at Optics Planet and Amazon as a great alternative to the Aculon rangefinder.

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