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Afternoon everyone,
I am in the market for another rangefinder as the Nikon I have been borrowing needs to go back to its owner. It may seem silly but what have ya'lls experiences been? I have been looking at a couple of Leupolds and Vortexs but have not decided. The models I have looked at are all carried at my local Academy Sports.
Whatcha know? The good the bad and the ugly. I would like to keep the price below $400ish preferably because the distances I will be determining will be inside of 1,000 yards.
Posts: 449 | Location: Helena, AL | Registered: July 15, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I Deal In Lead
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While you can't get them any more except maybe on eBay, I've got a Bushnell yardage Pro 1000 that I've had for 25 years or so and it still works well. Bushnell is a fairly good brand and reasonably priced.
Posts: 8758 | Location: Gilbert Arizona | Registered: March 21, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Although I currently own a Leupold RF and love it, if I were buying one today I'd probably buy a Vortex for their "no questions asked"-style unlimited lifetime warranty.

Sadly Leupold specifically warranties their electronic products "which include rangefinders, thermal products, and other electronic devices" for only 2 YEARS. Confused Frown

Specs and price are similar enough to be a wash between the two brands so I'd go with the best warranty.
Posts: 2620 | Location: OH, USA | Registered: January 30, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I’ve only had one, and it is a Leupold. I’ve had it 5-6 years with no issues. I’d also have no problem buying a Vortex because of the warranty

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Posts: 2328 | Location: Kentucky | Registered: July 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Nikon makes some good stuff. I have a Nikon Black 4k that is just amazing. Built like a tank (not a Russian tank), but lightweight and easy to use. Only downside is a 5 year warranty.


Chaos, panic and disorder. My work here is done........

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Posts: 90 | Location: Left Coast POW | Registered: June 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a leica and like it though I dont have a ton of time behind it. It was something like your stated price a bit ago. As long as I'm holding it steady its gotten pretty good returns even on non reflective stuff.
Posts: 2722 | Location: Pnw | Registered: March 21, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My rangefinders, including one I’ve had for many years, don’t meet the price criterion, but this discussion has piqued my curiosity in one regard: Why so much concern about warranties? In my experience electronic devices that work okay for the period of even a short warranty tend to work for very much longer.

Is there a problem with rangefinders failing after a couple of years or even longer? It’s not something I recall seeing any discussion about, but have I missed something? If so, which brands/models fail most commonly?

And as an aside, even though my more expensive rangefinder was far better than most that shooters were using when I bought it, that was quite a few years ago now and I’m wondering if there haven’t been advances in the devices, like in all electronics, that would make it worthwhile upgrading.

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Posts: 45449 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
quarter MOA visionary
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Good question, I've been considering one too.
I always liked the Swaro's and Leica's ~ in a bino format not just a simple rangefinder.
I do have a Golf version that works well but I want nicer optics and higher magnification.
Never pulled the trigger on the aforementioned because the $3k-ish prices but have seen some recent great price offerings on Vortex.
I think I will reassess at the NRA convention later this month and decide.
Good questions though.
Posts: 20328 | Location: Houston, TX | Registered: June 11, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I Deal In Lead
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Like sigfreund said, electronics that last for a short warranty period will normally last for a long, long time.

The ones that fail are faulty components and with larger, more expensive products, they're burned in for 2 days to a week in special burn in ovens to prevent the "infant mortality" in components. Those that aren't burned in will typically fail inside of a month or two in use if they're defective.
Posts: 8758 | Location: Gilbert Arizona | Registered: March 21, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. Its more than I expected.

I have since talked to a number of friends who are big hunters (elk, sheep, and mule deer generally) and they seem to prefer the Vortex or would go the way of m499. Generally speaking I exercise care with my gear so breaking something would be purely accidental. My real concerns lies with weather resistance, accurate distance measurement and shot angle. The Leupold RX-1400 seems to receive satisfactory reviews online, has built in ballistic tables to boot and seems to win the $$ value compared to the two Vortex models I have looked at.

Guess I just need to go find them in the wild and get hands on. This may be a challenge though due to our lingering supply chain issues. We shall see... I'll report back after my purchase with some feedback.

Once again thanks to everyone chiming in as the wisdom here is always appreciate.
Posts: 449 | Location: Helena, AL | Registered: July 15, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a Nikon Monarch, may not be made anymore, still works.

I usually don’t use it beyond 3-400 yards. I have calibrated my eye with a check a field corner for distance while muzzle-loader hunting. I’ve also down ranging while prairie dogging, equal distance bush or tree.
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Get busy living
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I have a Vortex Ranger 1800 That has served me well, it needs a new home as I just got some rangefinding binocs
Posts: 1196 | Location: Rockwall County (God's Country) TX | Registered: February 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Cuddle up to a buddy that has a terrapin.
Posts: 1596 | Location: Spokane, WA | Registered: June 23, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a Sig Kilo something or other I can't complain about. Important to me was finding one with red illumination, I can't see the black calculator numbers against most wooded areas.

Posts: 851 | Location: Nashville, TN | Registered: January 03, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've had Bushnell and Leupold. Both worked well. The Bushnell was a shooting model, and ranged on reflective targets out to 1500 yards. The Leupold was a golf model and didn't have quite that range, but wasn't intended to. It would still read out to 800 yards on a reflective target, which is at least twice what you need for golf.

Both worked (and still do) well. They agree with other on measured range, too.

The fish is mute, expressionless. The fish doesn't think because the fish knows everything.
Posts: 51266 | Location: Texas | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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With the type of shooting I do, I've had the good fortune to use, or be around, most of the rangefinders that are available. If looking for a good LRF WITH a good warranty, I'd go with one of the Vortex offerings. The Vortex warranty is such that the unit will be fixed or replaced should you have an issue at any time, no questions asked. This warranty is also transferable...what this means is I would not hesitate to purchase or sell a used unit knowing that if it takes a crap, it'll be taken care of.

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Posts: 720 | Location: CA | Registered: February 01, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a Leupold and it works really well.
Posts: 6 | Location: Charleston, WV | Registered: May 15, 2022Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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One of these is on my To-Get List. I'll be keeping an eye on this thread.


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Posts: 16270 | Location: New Mexico | Registered: October 14, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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