What's a good rangefinder?

LuxLuthor

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I'm thinking of getting a nice rangefinder for measuring spotlight and maglite mod throw. I know Bushnell makes a bunch of them. Any recommendations?

These Bushnell 1500's range out to 1500 yards (almost a mile) with 1 yard accuracy. Pretty amazing.
 
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Patriot

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As a bow hunter I've owned laser rangerfinders since they first hit the market. I owned Bushnell models, Nikons and now I'm on my 3rd set of Leica's. I first owned the 800s, then the 1200s and now the 1200 CRF. I'm completely hooked on them. The thing that I like about the Leica's is that is has a real optic, unlike most others where you have to view through a LCD. The LCD darkens the image significantly and clouds it with tiny artifacts. During bright daylight this isn't even an issue, but during low light or night time they're nearly useless. The Leica's are bright and clear and can even be aimed and operated in the dark.

The LCD models display black digits and can't be seen in low light without the assistance of red backlighting on the LCD. The Leica's displays red digits against a perfectly clear background. Your image doesn't wash out with a sea of red LED light when you activate the laser, thus destroying your view of the target for 3-5 seconds.

Another feature that I like about the Leica's is that they're more ruggedly constructed. The Bushnell's seem to be more sensitive to shock. The alignment of my Bushnell 800s got knocked out even though I had been careful with them. The same thing happened to my Nikons years later and had to be sent back for warranty repair. When they lose alignment your aiming point through the viewfinder doesn't match the point of impact from the laser. It's really annoying when then happens especially when you know that they haven't been dropped or anything. I've had no alignment issues with Leica and the point of impact matches the reticle precisely. I've even ranged off of a power line (a single wire) at over 400 yards.

As far as the advertised specs go. Leica is similar to Surefire that their performance is underrated. No, they won't range beyond the 1200 yards stated, but they operate very well under a wide variety of conditions when the others struggle a bit. They seem to range at long distances in bright daylight off of very small targets. They range well through rainfall to. The Bushnell, Nikons and others seem to be more cranky about the size and color of target especially during bright daylight. My hunting buddies have all switched to Leica after using mine a few times. They eveb range off of Paloverde trees at maximum range in bright saturated light. My Nikon's would not do this.

Unlike flashlights, you're probably only going to own one rangefinder. It's really worth the extra $100 -$200 dollars to get something that is going to give you decades of good service instead of dealing with a piece of equipment that's going to be occasionally aggravating. I don't think you could go wrong with Leica.
 

Dutch

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Good post P36!

I have owned a Leica rangefinder for a couple of years now and it's flawless.

Another thing to mention is 'Pan & Scan' functionality. Holding on to a target and then following or switching targets altogether without having to take your finger off the button to re-acquire is almost a necessity in my opinion. The lesser units don't have this capability.

I have owned a Nikon and a Bushnell unit as well and I did not consider their inconsistency to be a good value for the price. I'm too fussy, but if you're not, they should work fine. I typically try to hold off and get the best gear off the bat. Never again. Hoping and experimenting always costs more in the long run...

Also, as P36 mentioned, get your Leica from any reputable dealer, cuz price breaks are few and far between on their gear unless it's old stock.

Dutch
 

jtice

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Hm, darn, I keep seeing some Bushnells on sale for about $200 that do 1000 yards that I was thinking of getting.
Seems they arent the way to go?
Nothing I do is real intense, I just want to know how far out my targets are mainly.

~John
 

Dutch

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jtice said:
Hm, darn, I keep seeing some Bushnells on sale for about $200 that do 1000 yards that I was thinking of getting.
Seems they arent the way to go?
Nothing I do is real intense, I just want to know how far out my targets are mainly.

~John

I fell into the same predicament my Friend...

Cry once.

Are there Folks who will say they work just fine? Yup. Not for me though. Even in legal shooting light, be prepared to not see your numbers. Be prepared for inconsistent results.

How many shots you gonna get at that Buck/Elk/Moose?;)

Love my Leica!

No, I don't work for them, but I wish I did!!:D

Dutch
 

Patriot

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jtice said:
Hm, darn, I keep seeing some Bushnells on sale for about $200 that do 1000 yards that I was thinking of getting.
Seems they arent the way to go?
Nothing I do is real intense, I just want to know how far out my targets are mainly.

~John

hey jtice, the Bushnell's aren't necessarily bad. I guess that I was speaking to Lux specifically. After seeing many pictures of his flashlight collection, I know that he really appreciates high performance equipment and also had a use for a rangefinder after it was dark out. Tens of thousands of people use and enjoy non-Leica rangefinders. They're hugely popular with golfers, boaters, and hunters around the world. Just like everything else, there is a compromise between price and performance. For a person using a rangefinder predominantly during daylight hours the Bushnell will probably do everything that you need it to and more. In ideal conditions both rangefinders will tell you that a garage door is 1200 yards away just like a Fenix light will light your path just as well as a Surefire. The difference between the brands is more evident when the type of use demands more performance. If it's a tool that will be getting used everyday, or may be exposed to a water environment or has to be absolutely precise, or is going to be used mostly after dark, then it may be worth it to spend the extra money. Some people don't really need this type of performance and a less expensive rangefinder will work great for them 98% of the time. I had mentioned to Lux that unlike flashlights, most people are going to be happy with one rangefinder (even an optics nut like myself) so buy the best that you can afford. In the end you might compromise a bit and that's fine according to your use requirements.

If you want to send a link to the specific model that you're interested in, I'll give you my opinion vs. another similarly priced model. I spend lots of time every week critiquing binoculars, rangefinders, and other optics and I may notice some characteristics that someone else might not notice.
 

Patriot

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LuxLuthor said:

Oops, sorry Lux. Try here:
http://range-finders.binoculars.com/site_search/index.php?brand=46&cat=6&b=Leica&c=Rangefinders
More specifically:
http://range-finders.binoculars.com/products/leica-rangemaster-1200-scan-mode-black-14552.html

For some reason Optics Planet is showing the CRF for price for the standard 1200 scan model. I believe that's a mistake on their part.
 
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fishx65

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I've been using the Bushnell Scout for hunting and golfing for about 5 years. I've pretty much beat the crap out of this thing and it still works perfect. The reason I picked up the Scout was for it's very small size. I agree that the higher end models are worth every penny but they all do a pretty good job. Like others have said, Make sure it has the scan function!
 

Eskimonio

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I have no opinion whatsoever on rangefinders, but this thread reminds me of when I watched Star Wars during its initial release in the theaters in the 70's, and how as a 10 year old, it was PURE FANTASY when Luke stopped his landspeeder and pulled out those range-finding field glasses.

Ahh, technology and gadgets!!
 

jtice

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The one I see on sale for about $200 the most is the Bushnell Scout.
http://www.bushnell.com/general/rangefinders_scout_20-0001.cfm?section=Hunting

I like how small it is, but 700 yards isnt all that great of a distance.

Or this model,
http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/t...ode+matchall&Nty=1&Ntt=range+finder&noImage=0

Then, it seems this is a better version of the original Scout? The Legend
http://www.bushnell.com/general/rangefinders_legend.cfm?section=Hunting
http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/t...ryText=range+finder&Ntx=matchall&N=4887&Nty=1

That one seems to be one of the best Bushnells for the money.

I am having a hard time justifying anything over $300,
as I wont use it ALOT, and I dont hunt.
This is mainly for daytime shooting, setting up range targets for pistols and rifles.
The minimum distance is also important to me, some only go down to 15 to 20 yards, which for my needs is cutting it close.

Any opinions on those?
Or what the best one to buy for $300 or under would be? (any brand)

~John
 

Dutch

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Jtice,
Here's your best bet...

Find a brick and mortar store in your area and see if they'll take it back in a certain timeframe if you're unhappy with the performance of whatever you get. A lot of places like Gander Mtn. have a great return policy.

Take your time and range a bunch of stuff in the store.

Even get the sales guy to walk out into the parking lot with you so you can try them outside. You might find your answers pretty quickly.

Of the lower priced units, I liked the Nikon over the Bushnell and I have used them both.

Dutch
 

gorn

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I just spoke to my son via chat. He is currently in Iraq. He is a Scout Sniper. They are issued Bushnell range finders that have a range of around 1000 yards. He isn't sure which model it is. He says they work great.
 

LuxLuthor

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grillmasterp said:
I was just playing with a friend's Swarovski range finder that he recently picked up.
http://www.opticsplanet.net/swarov-lzrngfinder-70002.html
That was some nice glass! I think he is spoiled for life now and will likely replace many of his Leupold scopes.
$$$$

LOL...yeah that does look sweet....until you see the price. I have pretty much decided on the Leica 1200, just not sure what the difference is with the two versions...is it just a smaller size, or are there actual features in the CRF that are better?
 
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