Tips on How to Pick the Right Rangefinder for Shooting or Hunting

hunter using rangefinder

​A rangefinder is an optical device which measures the distance between an observer, and a target. There are several ranging techniques which can be used and they include radar, laser, ultrasonic, lidar, and sonar range finding.

This article provides tips on how to pick the right rangefinder for hunting or shooting, how a hunting rangefinder works and the best hunting rangefinder.

Unique hunting range finding uses a synchronized transmission system and several travel time measurements. Exact distances are determined using the time differences of several signals. The principle is commonly used in Satellite Navigation systems.

An accurate position on the earth's surface may be determined by combining the systems with a standardized model of the area.non-synchronized Ranging methods are used in the Global Positioning System.

​Laser rangefinders emit beams once a button is pushed. The beams bounce from a target and the rangefinder's clock measures the time taken by the laser beams to travel to and from the unit.

This time measurement can then be used to calculate the distance the beam moved, and it is displayed to an observer. A rangefinder's implementation details can be manipulated to fit a user's needs.

A ranging performance is influenced by the following factors;

  • The ability to spot a distant object: It refers to having proper magnification to have a clear target view. You can only range a target if you find it. Many hunters prefer an 8x-10x magnification.

    High quality lenses can compensate for low magnification, for instance, one can see details of a 2100 yard target while using a 45x Leica scope unlike when using a 60x Bushnell scope.
  • ​Ability to focus laser beams on a target: This is significantly affected by the beam divergence. It can be tight or large. The quality of transmitted laser pulses is influenced by factors such as sharpness, type, and wavelength.
  • ​The receiver aperture's size: It is the width of opening on a receiver optic which captures and sends return readings to a real sensor. A large hole directly affects the amount of return data collected which enables the optical unit to be efficient in great distances. It also helps in making accurate measurements at short intervals.
  • ​How results are analyzed: All rangefinders interpret readings differently as some are better performers than others. Old models typically display the first reading received by the unit while new models use a multi-pulse approach that emits many laser pulses within a short time frame.

​The modern rangefinder collect a considerable sample size of laser readings, identifies outliers and determines the intended range reading. A rangefinder's performance is significantly affected by the display algorithms and logic.

​1. Beam Divergence

It is a measurement of how a beam is focused on an object. Small divergence causes a maximum distance and a high ranging precision. When comparing rangefinders of a similar quality, the beam divergence can indicate their ranging performance.

One has a higher probability of recording multiple readings of focusing 100% of a laser's energy on a target.

One scenario in which a high divergence could be disadvantageous is when attempting to range a far object without using a tripod stand. The unsupported position's motion may prevent you from precisely focusing a beam on the object.

If you had a higher beam divergence, you can quickly hit a distant object and determine it by using the shooting rangefinder's smarts.

​2. Measurement Range

​Some factors influence how a rangefinder performs. They include the rangefinder support, atmospheric conditions, and target properties. All these have a direct effect on the maximum range.

​3. What a Shooting Rangefinder Visualizes

​A rangefinder receives laser beams within a minute, and it constructs a graph which represents what it "sees”. It then decides on the distance it will display to a user.

How to Choose a Hunting Rangefinder

​You can follow these criteria if you are stuck on how to pick the right rangefinder for hunting or shooting.

  • Usability: An ideal rangefinder should be user-friendly. Elaborate panels, buttons, and features may make you lose a prize to another hunter. You should look for quality resolution and magnification, functions that are compact and portable, extra features such as a DVD or a user manual.
  • Durability: On average, a rangefinder should last for at least three years if used and maintained correctly. Ensure that it is made of tested and qualified materials.
  • Performance: Choose a rangefinder that has a full field of view and range. A standard model has a minimum range of 4 yards. A rangefinder that has an anti-slip coating is ideal as it has a firm grip when your hands sweat.
  • Price: Have a pre-determined budget in mind that will guide you on deciding how low or high you would be willing to pay for a device. Reliable rangefinders tend to be expensive.
  • Warranty: Check rangefinders whose manufacturers have a warranty or a return policy in case they get destroyed soon after purchase.

The Best Bow hunting Rangefinders

​1. Bushnell 202442 the Truth ARC 4*20mm Rangefinder

 Bushnell Team Primos The Truth ARC 4 x 20mm Bow Mode Laser Rangefinder

It is a user-friendly device that is sold at a reasonable price. The rangefinder is portable, rainproof and it has a firm grip. The 3 HD lenses offer a bright field of vision. It has a range of up to 850 yards and a -90-90 degrees angle.

​2. Nikon 8376 Archers Choice Max Rangefinder

Nikon 8376 Archer's Choice Max Rangefinder

​It is a light and compact rangefinder that has a camo case and a motion lanyard. The device is fog proof and waterproof hence efficiency is not affected by weather. It has a spectacular and dynamic 890 angular angle as he ID technology compensates for the decline and incline shots.

​3. Bushnell Scout DX 1000 ARC 6*21mm Rangefinder

Bushnell 202355 6x21 Scout DX 1000 Arc, black

​The rangefinder is compact, light, sturdy and durable making it suitable for rough terrain and harsh weather. It has a sleek firm body that is made of stippled rubber and plastic. The Turbo processor enhances its speed, extreme range, and precision.

​4. Bushnell Tactical 202421 Elite 1-Mile ARC 7*26mm Rangefinder

Bushnell Tactical 202421 Elite 1-Mile ARC 7x 26mm Laser Rangefinder

​The device has an inbuilt tripod mount, and it is compact. It has a long durability due to its fog and waterproof features.

​5. Vortex Optics Ranger 1000 Rangefinder

Vortex Optics Ranger 1000 Laser Rangefinder

​The rangefinder's ranging is optimum, and it has rubber armor that enhances its grip. It is portable as it has a belt clip and a tripod socket. The 0 ring seals protect it from moisture, dust, and dirt.

Final Verdict

​A lot of online journals and articles provide tips on how to pick the right rangefinder for hunting or shooting. There are a variety of rangefinders that one can purchase depending on their financial muscle. However, they should be handled with care to avoid any damages and replacements.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.