4 of Today’s Top Long-Range Laser Rangefinders
There are literally dozens upon dozens of laser rangefinders on the market. We have opted to limit the review to LED/OLED models (best-in-class light transmission) and models that are able to deliver measurements on non-reflective targets at the extreme end of what a western hunter needs (minimum 800 yards). Each of these rangefinders comes with a pouch that can be attached to a belt or somewhere on your pack.
The most recent company to join the battle of laser rangefinder monoculars is Sig Sauer. Anyone who has ever worked the action on a Sig pistol or rifle will testify to the fact that Sig never produces mediocrity. When they decided to enter the sport optics market, they brought the same “nothing but the best” mentality with them. By assembling a team of the best laser rangefinder engineers in the world and giving them the tools and space to create, they’ve made an impressive impact on the market in a short period of time.
The Sig KILO2000 offers the fastest scan mode in the industry, which updates an astounding 4 times/sec. Sig also included an ambient light sensor, which automatically adjusts the brightness level of the OLED display based on the ambient light conditions. So as the sun rises, the brightness of the display brightens, and as light diminishes, the display dims, so it won’t destroy your lowlight vision. The 7x optic is very clean with excellent resolution and brightness.
Vortex Ranger 1500
The new Vortex Ranger 1500 is a tough and reliable unit capable of reaching out to 800 yards on non-reflective targets. Vortex uses the term Horizontal Component Distance (HCD) to describe the angle-adjusted horizontal distance to the target. In the HCD mode, the Ranger will deliver corrected values out to 800 yards on mild slopes of less than 15 degrees, and 400 yards for angles between 15 and 50 degrees. The line-of-sight mode offers the yardage and the angle to the target.
Vortex has built a reputation for having the strongest warranty statement in the industry and they always back it up. In the event your Ranger 1500 becomes damaged or defective, Vortex will fix it or replace it at no charge.
Leica Rangemaster CFR 1600-R
Leica is the grandfather of the laser rangefinder pioneers. From the time they introduced the LRF800 in the late ‘90s, they have utterly owned the high-performance monocular rangefinder market. Leica has always delivered exactly what they advertised. I’ve been able to get readings of 1600 yards even in difficult light conditions and with marginal target quality with a steady rest.
The 1600-R is the newest of the new rangefinders from Leica (the first models were shipped in late July). The biggest improvement over previous models is the self-adjusting brightness level in the display. Even in pitch black, the level is perfect.
The new 1600-R has an improved scan rate of 3 times/sec., but the screen refreshes about once per second. So, if you have an older model from Leica, you may not notice a big difference, but it’s there, working in the background to give you the most accurate range available.
Leica refers to the corrected horizontal range as “equivalent horizontal range” or EHR. The 1600-R will deliver EHR values from 10-1100 yards. While in scan mode, the 1600-R will deliver the line-of-sight value and the EHR distance will be displayed after the last measurement.
Leupold RX-1200i TBRW DNA
Leupold jumped into a very competitive laser rangefinder market with a bang. By combining quality optics, a complete menu of display options, and a powerful engine, they quickly become a force in the market. The 1200i TBRW offers line of sight with angle readouts for use with a ballistic chart or program. Leupold takes the corrected true horizontal distance one step forward by offering what they call True Ballistic Range (TBR), in which the user can choose from 25 ballistic profiles based on load performance. The engine will apply a correction factor based on your profile to yield a more appropriate distance to dial your scope or hols over with a ballistic reticle.
This unit will also deliver a windage value for a 10MPH full-effect wind, hence the “W” in TBRW. I’ve barely scratched the surface of what the 1200i TBRW can do in this article. We’ll have a full evaluation of this feature in the Winter issue of Western Hunter.
The 1200i TBRW has three brightness settings from which to choose, along with three reticle options. The scan mode updates once every second. The ergonomics are perfect for my hand; my index finger automatically lands on the button. The optics are bright and clear, as you’d expect.