Vortex Impact 1000 Rangefinder Review


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The Impact 1000 rangefinder is a new model to the Impact series and is longer ranging than ever before.

The Impact series takes a no-frills approach which means a reasonable out-the-door price point for you.

For one of the smallest, lightest, and yet still high-performing rangefinders in the market, the Impact 1000 will be your new pocket rangefinder for bow hunting, rifle hunts, and long-range target shooting.

Quick Overview...

What We Like: Simple rangefinder

What We Don’t Like: No tripod mounting

Best Uses: Hunting, Bow Hunting, Target Shooting, Close to Mid-Range, Angle Compensation

  • Yard Range: 5-1000
  • Magnification: 6x
  • Objective Lens: 20mm
  • Display Type: LCD
  • Dimensions: 3.8 x 1.4”/5.5 oz
  • Waterproof/Fogproof: Yes
  • Angle Compensation: Yes
Impact 1000 rangefinder review
Image Credit - Vortex Optics

Our Verdict: The Impact 1000 rangefinder performs. It offers the basics which is exactly what we need, and its extended distance performance is right within usable range to make a shot or let loose an arrow. On cost alone, the Impact 1000 is an excellent buy. On quality and performance, it’s a steal of a deal. With the VIP warranty, it’s more than worth it.

Who is the Vortex Impact 1000 Best Suited to?

The Impact 1000 is not the flashiest or best hunting rangefinder out there, but it’s ideal for those who want accurate, long-ranging performance while being thrifty with their budget.

The Impact offers quality and dependable performance in its essential features. Even looking past its well-engineered laser, circuitry, and ranging performance, it has clear optics, compactness, and a rugged build. From head to toe, the Vortex 1000 lacks nothing in its foundational features.

With HCD and angles displayed in LOS mode, the Vortex 1000 is ideal for both rifle hunters and bow hunters. One rangefinder to do it all, one rangefinder for them all.

How Does the Vortex Impact 1000 Perform?

YouTube video
YouTube video

The Impact may be a beginner rangefinder, but its no-frills design is still extremely effective for seasoned hunters. As a Vortex product, it has the olive drab green color that has made this brand so recognizable.

The Impact is crazy easy to use as you have only yards/meters and LOS/HCD to work with. There is no need to take essential time from the hunt to meddle with settings and various modes when all you need is a distance.

With 15mm of eye relief and an adjustable diopter but no adjustable eyecup, the Impact will be easier and comfortable to use among those who don’t wear glasses.

The battery compartment is O-ring sealed for some waterproof protection. For those who are hunting in below zero conditions, you’ll need to spend more dough. The Impact is rated for 14-134-degrees Fahrenheit. So, it will slow down or refuse to function if you’re hunting in extremely freezing climates.

The Vortex 1000 rangefinder is far from the eccentric alternatives of the latest offerings (think rangefinding binoculars), but it has everything you need a quality rangefinder to have. It’s long-distance in its own way, exceptionally easy to operate, and it provides the analytical information you need to know – slope and distance or a corrected distance.

Features & Benefits

Impact 1000 rangefinder by Vortex
Image Credit - Vortex Optics

Simple Rangefinder

The Vortex Impact is a budget, entry-level rangefinder but is not without some perks such as HCD and extra range.

It’s a no-frills device designed for fast, real-time operation. It has two buttons with one for Fire and the other for accessing the menu. The buttons themselves are on the larger side and slightly recessed for easier navigation with gloves on or when you’re looking for the buttons while the unit is to your eye.

Setup is kept simple with the option to choose HCD or LOS and then yards or meters. With an LCD display, it does not feature illumination and is best suited to daylight hunting with some, although limited, performance around last legal light.

With 6x magnification and an extremely compact and lightweight build, it could justify having a tripod mount for convenience and ease-of-use, but unfortunately it is not tripod mountable.

HCD

The Impact has an all-round, simple theme, but it’s still a very technologically advanced unit. There are only two measuring target modes: HCD (Horizontal Component Distance) and LOS (Line of Sight).

The LOS mode is suitable for all shooters in flat terrain and even when on slopes. In LOS mode, the angle of the incline/decline is measured and displayed. The angle can be used with the shooter’s ballistic software to calculate a more precise adjustment for elevation or wind.

The HCD mode runs algorithms for providing an already compensated distance with angle taken into account. In terrains with less than a 15-degree slope, HCD will be accurate out to 800 yards. With 15-30-degree slopes, HCD is accurate out to 400 yards. The maximum angle readings the Impact can provide is +/- 60-degrees.

There is also a Scan Mode that functions in what is essentially first target mode – it pulls distances from smaller or foreground targets as you move across the terrain. You can also use it to track distances on moving targets. It can be used in either HCD or LOS modes, and the fire button needs to be depressed and held to activate and use it.

Bow Hunting

The max 1000-yard range of the Impact rangefinder is beyond usable for bow hunters, but it will certainly come in handy when you put down the compound bow for a .270. Regardless, the Impact is an excellent choice of rangefinder for the bow hunter.

It’s affordable, provides slope angles in LOS mode, and more importantly, the horizontally corrected distance in HCD mode. This is the number you want to base your pin sights on.

Because the Impact is accurate from 5 yards and beyond, it’s well suited to treestand hunters and bowmen.

Long-Range Rangefinder

Vortex Impact 1000 rangefinder
Image Credit - Vortex Optics

1000 yards from a rangefinder used to be considered long range, but with 5000-yard rangefinders these days, it’s hard not to be tempted – until you see the price tag.

But because no hunter should be making hunting shots at these ridiculous distances, 1000 yards should still be considered long-range. Granted, max ranging performance is based on highly reflective targets. So, it will be an extremely effective rangefinder for long-range target shooting! Think hitting steel.

Its tree ranging maxes out at 800 yards and on deer at 500 yards. There are still many of us that will get a bit closer than 500 yards even though we can get readings that far.

With this sound thought process, it’s reasonable to define the Impact 1000 as a long-range rangefinder. It’s certainly more than what a bowhunter needs whether they’re on the ground or perched atop pines. For the rifle hunter, it has the capability of providing more analytical information to make the best decisions for a successful hunt.

Long Battery Life

The Impact comes with a pre-installed CR2 battery. It has an extra-long battery life of 5000 actuations – that’s more than a season’s worth of operation on one battery.

Part of its conservation efforts include its automatic shutdown after 10-seconds of non-use and its lack of illumination.

Limitations

Vortex Impact 1000 rangefinder in green and black
Image Credit - Vortex Optics

No Tripod Mounting

This may be a petty whine but there is no tripod receiver on the underside of the rangefinder. Since the unit only has 6x power, it’s easier to freehand than a 10x rangefinder.

It is extremely compact and lightweight which makes it faster to employ, but a tripod could give unsteady hands an extra boost on acquiring long-range distances near max range. Gusty conditions would be better handled with a tripod too.

Popular Questions

What Comes in the Box with the Vortex Impact 1000?

The Vortex 1000 rangefinder comes with a Ballistic Cheater Card, soft carry case, strap, CR2 3V battery, and a lens cloth. The soft carry case with the belt loop is a bonus as rangefinders under $200 don’t always come with field cases.

What Type of Reticle does the Impact 1000 Rangefinder have?

The Impact 1000 has Vortex’s HCD Corrected Shoot-to-Range reticle. On the Impact, it’s a crosshair-style reticle with a see-through center. It is black in color as there is no LED for illumination. It’s still very visible for daylight use, can range on black targets, but can be difficult to see in lowlight conditions.

Does the Vortex Impact Measure Speed?

The Impact 1000 does not have a built-in accelerometer and does not measure speed. The only measuring systems are for distance: line of sight with angle and the horizontal corrected distance measured in either yards or meters.

Is the Impact 1000 Covered Under Vortex’s Lifetime Warranty?

Yes, the Impact 1000 is covered under the Vortex Unconditional VIP warranty. It’s owner transferable, no receipt is required, and it’s for a lifetime. Additionally, the electronics are also covered under the VIP warranty.

Conclusion

There are only a few changes that could be made to bump the Impact out of entry-level status and into the mid-range class. But that would mean a bump up in cost. Besides, Vortex has the Ranger series for that.

If you want to make the most of your limited budget, Vortex is the brand to turn no. No cheesy housings, failure to acquire distances, or long target acquisition times. The new standard of entry-level looks like the Impact 1000. It’s an economical rangefinder with quality exactly where you need it. $200 today looks a whole lot like the old $300 units of yesterday.

There’s value to be had in your rangefinder if you know where to look for it.

Further Reading

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