Rangefinders are useful tools that are used in a wide variety of applications from construction to hunting and more. Laser rangefinders, also called laser telemeters, are the most popular, effective rangefinders out there. These devices use laser beams to determine the distance to an object.
The most popular laser rangefinders operate on the principle of time of flight by sending a laser pulse in a thin beam to the object and measuring the time it takes for the pulse to be reflected by the target and returned to the sender.
Laser rangefinders are extremely useful measurement tools that are indispensable in fields where precise and quick distance, slope, or angle measurements are required.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at how much range can be added by laser rangefinders, in particular, as well as how they work. Read on to learn more about how much range does rangefinder add to your accuracy and shot.
How Laser Rangefinders Work
Laser rangefinders produce electromagnetic pulses in the form of laser beams from their optoelectronic systems. This beam is reflected off of the surface of the target and is returned to the rangefinder, which then processes the beam to calculate the distance.
The device measures the distance by analyzing the travel time in two planes, based on the phase delay of the produced and reflected EM wave. This is the method of measurement that is used in phase laser rangefinders.
Another laser-based method of measuring distance is to measure the pulse’s travel time directly from the rangefinder to the object and vice versa. Pulse laser rangefinders use this method, while some rangefinders use interferometric distance measurements.
This is most certainly the quickest and most precise method of measuring distance, but interferometric rangefinders are both costly and highly vulnerable to damage, making them unreliable in the field.
Laser rangefinders allow the user to take measurements both indoors and out, with 1mm/km accuracy. Professional construction-grade rangefinders are capable of measuring distance up to about 150 meters, while long-range devices can measure up to 1,500 meters
Why Use a Laser Rangefinder?
Compared to their ultrasonic and optical counterparts, laser rangefinders are the most technologically advanced and functional tools for measurements. Other than their extremely precise measurements, their main advantage is the fact that they only require one person to operate.
Optical rangefinders, which are used to take accurate distance measurements in large, open areas and at construction sites, require a minimum of two people to operate at once. This is why laser rangefinders are perfect for hunters and shooters.
They are also less prone to measurement errors caused by improper positioning and other human errors. Additionally, laser rangefinders come with auto-calibration features and electronic alignment aids, and they allow users to take measurements based on the ‘painter’ function, otherwise known as the Pythagorean equation.
You can use them to take delay measurements and continuous measurements, measure the difference or sum of a surface, and calculate volume. Clear screens and advanced processes that are installed in laser rangefinders significantly improve their usefulness and functionality, as well as their accessibility.
Laser rangefinders have seen some drastic improvements since they were first introduced to the hunting scene around 25 years ago. These days, most models can provide accurate readings within one or two yards up to a mile away, sometimes even farther.
Even at the most budget-friendly end of the spectrum, there are few rangefinders on the market that aren’t able to range accurately out to about 400 yards, which is farther than most hunters will ever shoot at big game animals. If you primarily enjoy bow hunting, you likely won’t need a rangefinder that can give you the distance of an object more than a mile away.
The aiming point of a rangefinder, also known as the reticle, is the object at the middle of the viewfinder that is placed on the object that you are trying to determine the range of. With most rangefinders, when you focus the aiming point on your target object, you simply press a button to turn the laser on.
The laser beam will then travel to the object, bounce off of it, and return to the rangefinder, which will then halve the distance and display the object’s range on the screen. Some aiming points are easier to hold steady on the target object than others.
Because the ideal aiming point is largely a matter of preference, you should try several different rangefinders before spending any money.
Magnification is another important component in any rangefinder. It is an essential factor, as many hunters often range animals that are very far away, making seeing them nearly impossible. Plus, ranging them is even harder without magnification.
On a rangefinder with 6x magnification, the target object that you wish to range will appear six times bigger than it does in reality, allowing you to place the aiming point on it with ease. Note that several companies produce binoculars that come with integrated rangefinders. This can be useful since their magnification is generally 10x or more.
When rangefinders were first created, they were rather bulky, cumbersome, and a general burden to carry around. These days, most laser rangefinders are small, and many models could even be called tiny.
Regardless of the rangefinder you choose, ensure that it fits your hand comfortably and that your finger can rest directly next to the button that turns the laser on. If you have larger hands, then the smallest rangefinders on the market may not be suitable for you.
If you do opt for a tiny rangefinder, you should be sure to pick a safe place in whatever bag or backpack that you use to carry your equipment and always keep it in that exact place. If you don’t, you run the risk of losing it and searching for it when you should be focusing on other things out in the field.
And there you have it – everything you need to consider when it comes to rangefinders!
Accurate shooting starts with your understanding of the distance between the target and your position. Knowing this measurement allows you to make accurate shots that are more ethical and humane. Plus, it means you can have a cleaner harvest. A rangefinder is an ideal accessory to help you confirm your shooting range with a simple look through its lens.
Ironically, a rangefinder is typically the last item a hunter will purchase after their spotting scope, binoculars, and scope. And although you may think it is a luxury item, this couldn’t be further from the truth. No matter what level of experience you have, we can all make bad distance judgments. Here we will look at how rangefinders work and how to use a hunting rangefinder to make sure you never go home empty-handed. So without further ado, let’s get right into it.
Rangefinders – How They Work
Before we look at how to use your rangefinder, you need to understand how they work. The most common type of rangefinder used for hunting is a laser rangefinder due to its accuracy. It works by hitting your target with a laser then measuring how long it takes for the laser to return.
The laser’s set speed in relation to how long it takes to return determines your target’s distance. Laser rangefinders are typically accurate to within 1 yard or less. Once measured, the range will be displayed in either yards or meters on the LCD, usually in 1 second or less.
How Does a Rangefinder Help?
Depending on your model, a hunting rangefinder is accurate within 600 to 1,200 yards, sometimes even more in high-end models. For reflective or hard objects, like rock, you measure them at even greater distances than what you could measure softer targets such as game animals. Semi-hard targets like trees are somewhere in between.
Most rangefinders will have a spec list that indicates the maximum range you can measure for various targets. Every manufacturer has a name for it, but most rangefinders will have a feature that offers true horizontal distance, which compensates for variations in angle and terrain.
Rangefinders are very helpful, especially for long downhill or uphill shots or shots at an extreme incline or decline. This is because the distance to the target is different from what it would be at ground level. Using the rangefinder will allow you to include ballistics and gravity compensation.
How to Use a Hunting Rangefinder
Now that you know how your rangefinder works, let’s take a look at how you go about using a hunting rangefinder.
Before Staring, Check the Rifle Scope
One of the most vital uses for your hunting rangefinder happens before you start your hunt. When unpacking your gear, you should do a test shot to ensure that you are sighted in properly. You can do this by ranging a target in the distance and check if the bullet hits the mark with where your scope says it should. Things as small as jostling in transit or using a different bullet brand can throw it off by up to an inch. This could result in a messy kill or missing the target entirely.
Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute to Range the Target
The time for figuring out distances is before the target shows up. The last thing you want is to have a big buck walk into your line of sight, and only then do you reach for the rangefinder. From your position, scan the surrounding area to get a sense of your potential shooting lanes. Make a note of the distances so you can save precious time when your prey appears.
If possible, it is even better to mark various landmark trees earlier in the day. From the position you will be during the hunt, use your rangefinder to measure the distances to trees and spray paint them with dots – 2 for 20 yards, 3 for 30 yards, etc. By doing so, you don’t have to remember the yardages mentally. This preparation before can pay off big time later.
If You Must Wait Until the Last Minute to Range the Target
As mentioned above, it is best to range your target beforehand. Still, sometimes the prey moves differently to how you anticipated… or you just forgot. When you have a target on the move, rangefinding works a bit differently. Your instincts may tell you to place the reticle on the target, but by the time you’ve packed away the rangefinder and lined up the shot, the target will be at a different distance.
Rather, take a few seconds to work out where the animal is moving to. Look at the predicted location and plan the shot’s distance based on that estimation. Hopefully, this will give you enough time to put your rangefinder away and get your shot ready and steady before the prey gets to the kill zone.
Using the Holdover Calculator
If you are hunting from a treestand, you will be at a steep angle to your prey, which can easily lead to misjudgments in distance. This is because your brain can better sense distance over a flat field than at an angle.
This is where a holdover calculator comes in. Most higher-end hunting rangefinders have this calculator, which ranges the path your bullet needs to take to hit a target taking into account the added elevation required to counteract gravity.
For the holdover calculator to work effectively, you must program your shot velocity based on your ammo. Once calibrated, you can use the calculator to give you the information you need to shoot your target accurately.
If you are new to hunting or are looking to increase your accuracy game for better precision, a hunting rangefinder is a must-have item. As you can see from the above discussion, they have numerous benefits, including better shots, cleaner kills, and more humane hunting overall. By following the above guide on how to use your hunting rangefinder, you will experience better hunting than ever before.
If you are enthusiastic about hunting, one of the most important pieces of equipment you need to stay at the top of your game is a rangefinder. A rangefinder goes a long way when it comes to being accurate and locking onto your target even in rough weather.
There are many options available, so it shouldn’t be hard to find one that suits your needs and budget. After conducting some research, we came across the Bushnell Trophy Xtreme Laser Rangefinder.
We were excited to try it out given the fact that the company behind it is well-recognized. Here is what we found out.
Bushnell Trophy Xtreme Laser Rangefinder
Founded in 1984, Bushnell has since been one of the leading names in this sphere. While we weren’t able to find relevant information regarding the warranty for this product, the company does offer limited lifetime service for most of its products. What we were most eager about is its compact and innovative design that allows for versatile use beyond just hunting.
According to the manufacturer, this rangefinder is supposed to have one of the best batteries on the market, as well as some of the highest product quality available. Those are some of the factors that can truly change your hunting game, especially if you are hunting in less-than-perfect weather.
Who is This Rangefinder for?
Much like most rangefinders of this type, it is a great investment for anyone who is enthusiastic about hunting. It goes a long way when it comes to being more precise and having better visibility in the middle of the forest. Still, the Bushnell Trophy Xtreme Laser Rangefinder is made to suit other needs, as well, as both amateur and professional golfers can also get great use out of it.
When compared to some other models that are made by popular companies, this range finder comes at a fine price. Even if you are working on a limited budget, it is affordable and serves as a long-term investment.
When it comes to what you are getting, there are a few accessories that come with this item. Firstly, the long battery life will have a significant impact on your hunting performance. Along with that, it comes with an adjustable wrist strap and a sturdy carrying case that is set to protect this rangefinder while you are carrying it through the woods.
Lastly, there is a detailed user’s guide that features all the necessary details on how to get the most out of this product.
Overview of Features
When it arrived, we were impressed by the attractive design that it had. Weighing around 5.2 ounces and coming in Matte Black, it offers a sleek, beginner-friendly structure. The prime lens is an excellent solution that offers clear vision.
As we have mentioned above, this rangefinder should be able to make huge improvements to one’s hunting game, and that is exactly what we experienced. Its ability to precisely measure distances anywhere from 7 to 850 yards away made things much easier, especially when it comes to how far we are from the designated target. Most importantly, the margin for error is set at just a single yard, which means that it can easily be put to professional use.
We found that the most innovative feature it offers is the arc bow mode, which is great for hunting both in an open field or in the woods. Covering a horizontal distance of 7 to 199 yards, it also provided us with 4X magnification and excellent detail. What most rangefinders at an affordable price aren’t able to offer is good performance in the dark, but that is not something that we experienced with the Bushnell Trophy Xtreme Laser Rangefinder.
Highlighted by Full Spectrum technology, it is easy to lock onto moving and reflective objects in the dark. Even though it rained, we didn’t have any issues with the visibility, given the rain guard that it features. It goes along with the rugged construction of the rangefinder itself to provide enhanced longevity no matter the weather conditions.
Earlier, we mentioned that this rangefinder supposedly has one of the best batteries on the market. Lasting for more than a couple of hours of continuous use, there is a reliable battery life indicator that will allow you to track the current condition of your rangefinder.
The only issue that we found is that, although the construction is lightweight and compact, it could have been made suitable for operating with gloves. As a hunter, you will often have a pair of gloves on, so such an improvement is almost vital. Still, for the given price and considering the overall day and night performance, we consider it to be a worthy choice!
How to Use Bushnell Trophy Xtreme Laser Rangefinder
We were quite happy that this rangefinder allows simple adjustments when it comes to eye focus and laser measurements. It is particularly suitable for people who are bow hunting. There is a detachable wrist strap that adds to the overall convenience, especially if you are on the move and need a quick sneak peek at what is in front of you.
The provided instructions that you will find in the user’s guide are essential for getting the most out of this rangefinder.
Up to 850-yard measurements
Not easy to use while wearing gloves
If the above rangefinder is not quite what you want, here is a worthy alternative option.
CREATIVE XP Golf Rangefinder
Understanding that not all people may be satisfied with what Bushnell has to offer, we did some additional research and found this CREATIVE XP rangefinder that offers great value. With an Eyepro Ranging Engine and a Pin Seeker, we enjoyed maximum accuracy both at the golf course and while hunting in the woods.
What we were most impressed by was the 1,100 yards of distance that it measured in just a couple of seconds. With a sturdy case holder and an adjustable hand strap, it is fairly simple to manipulate and suitable for those just beginning to hunt.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to what kind of a rangefinder you are looking for. We were satisfied with the Bushnell Trophy Xtreme Laser for its simplicity, sturdiness, and ability to perform in the dark and in rough weather conditions.
Hunting is something that you can engage in with different weapons, and rifles are typically the most popular choice. Still, bowhunting has been around for much longer and, in our opinion, may be even more entertaining.
The biggest flaw of hunting with bows is accuracy, and this is where rangefinders can help. This little device can go a long way when it comes to improving precision and being more efficient when shooting in rough conditions.
With this in mind, we did some testing and created a list of the best rangefinders for bow hunting, including affordable and high-end products. Let’s get started!
Rangefinders For Bow Hunting Reviews
Wosports Hunting Range Finder
When we started our research, the idea was to find products that are multi-functional and that can be used for a variety of activities. That is what this Wosports rangefinder offers, as apart from its bowhunting potential, the manufacturer claims that it offers a reliable golf mode.
As soon as it arrived, we were quite impressed by the lightweight construction that this rangefinder is highlighted by. Coming in a camo design, we found the housing to be weatherproof. However, we also found that it isn’t as precise in rain and fog as it is in dry weather.
We performed a couple of tests both in open terrain and in the woods and found that it can measure anywhere from 5 to 700 yards. Most importantly, the margin for error is set at 2 yards as long as the weather conditions are adequate. There is also a feature to lock onto flag poles up to 150 yards away, which can be of great help for any golf enthusiast.
The coolest point about this rangefinder is the “power/start” button that is a part of the scan mode. It will allow you to get real-time information on the current distance from your target. With the measuring time being set at under one second, we didn’t have to worry about whether the target would be out of sight before the information was updated on the LCD.
Wosports offers lifetime customer support, so if you are having any issues with the rangefinder, they will be available to fix it. Overall, it is a well-made and affordable product that one can definitely rely on for bowhunting.
Measures up to 700 yards in distance
Lifetime customer support
Precise, real-time information
Not for rainy weather
TecTecTec ProWild Hunting Rangefinder
One of the deciding factors when it comes to choosing rangefinders is the company that stands behind it. TecTecTec is a name that has been around for years, offering great quality at affordable prices. This product is also accompanied by a two-year limited warranty. With this in mind, we had high expectations for this rangefinder both in terms of precision and versatility.
First and foremost, this laser rangefinder is effective at up to 540 yards in distance. We tested it for a couple of days and under different weather conditions, only to find that, as long as it isn’t heavily raining, the margin for error is as little as 1 yard. Thus, you can be quite confident even when hunting when it is foggy and windy.
Highlighted by innovative technology, it offers fantastic speed and measures the distance in as little as 0.6 seconds. Most importantly, it features a real-time scan mode that will allow you to keep your target locked in. We found it to be beginner-friendly mostly due to the multilayered crystal clear optics.
Also, the grip is made anti-slip, while the construction itself is lightweight at just around 185 grams. In terms of durability, you don’t have a lot to worry about when it comes to the outer shell withstanding rain and other rough conditions. You are getting all the necessary maintenance items, including a microfiber cloth and a convenient pouch for easy storage and transportation.
What you should keep in mind is that the TecTecTec ProWild Hunting Rangefinder simply isn’t adequate for nighttime use. Other than that, there is not much that we were concerned about, as it proved to be efficient in all daytime weather conditions.
Measures up to 560 yards
Not for nighttime
AILEMON 6X Laser Rangefinder
The most important trait of a good rangefinder is that it enhances your observing game while allowing you to stay unnoticed. Thus, we were quite excited to see whether the AILEMON 6X was able to stand up to the expectations.
Coming in a couple of different color variations, including black and green camo, it is made to suit the needs of almost any bowhunting enthusiast. As soon as we put this rangefinder into action, one feature was particularly impressive, and that was the ability to precisely lock onto moving targets that are uphill or downhill. The horizontal mode seems to be the most innovative feature that this rangefinder offers.
What we love about it is that, although bowhunting is its primary application, you can also use it for rifle hunting or golfing. This makes it a fine choice for anyone who is on a limited budget and wants to get the most out of a single product. On top of that, there is also a one-year limited warranty that is set to secure you for any manufacturer defects in that time period.
The couple of features that make it so precise are Pin Seeking, Speed Measurement, and Continuous Scan, which all work together to provide you with error-free, real-time information. Not to mention, the angle-ranged compensation goes a long way if you are shooting on uneven ground, and it measures up to 1,200 yards in distance.
The coolest point of it has to be its battery life. Unlike most other range finders, this one has a battery that doesn’t need to be replaced every couple of days. It can simply be recharged through a USB cable.
Keep in mind that it is quite tricky to use when it is too sunny, but other than that, we did find it to be suitable in different weather conditions. Overall, it is a cost-efficient rangefinder that we had a lot of fun with.
Measures up to 1,200 yards
Continuous scan mode
Rough weather conditions
Tough to read in bright lighting
Halo XL450 Rangefinder
Moving on with our list of the best rangefinders for bowhunting, we wanted to find a product that offers versatile use and withstands rough conditions. According to Halo, that is exactly what this XL450 model does. Do we agree? Take a look!
The first feature that highlights this product is the precise ClassIIIA laser working at under 5mW. While it is powered by CR2 batteries, which aren’t the best solution if you are looking for longevity, these can still be replaced with Superfire batteries for efficient continuous use. The speed and accuracy that this laser is highlighted by keeps the margin for error at 1 yard.
It can effectively measure up to 450 yards, which means that it is suitable both for open terrain and wooded areas. The objective lens is set at 25mm in diameter, while the magnification is 6x and offers clear and precise imagery.
The coolest part of this product has to be the Angle Intelligence Technology that is accompanied by a scan mode for optimal use. With just a single click, we were able to get precise yardage measurements for several targets.
The Dri Loc seal and AW2 case play an essential role when it comes to protecting the rangefinder and offering optimal sturdiness. The main issue that we had is that the LCD reading is a bit too small. Additionally, although lightweight, the shape is a bit odd for carrying it in your pocket.
Overall, while there is room for improvement, we consider it to be beginner-friendly and suitable for bowhunting.
Up to 450 yards
Angle Intelligence Technology
Laserworks Rangefinder for Hunting
At the end of our list, we decided to test a product that comes at a somewhat higher price but offers superb performance. Suitable for rifle hunting, golfing, and bowhunting, it is set to provide laser measurements of up to 1,200 yards and precise readings in several different functions.
The main point that we were excited about is the fact that it seemingly offers precise measurements for different activities. After a couple of different tests, we found that the distance for stationary targets in open terrain, such as trees, is around 1,000 yards, while for moving targets, that number is around 450 yards. If you are a golfer, then you will be glad to hear that the flagpole locking mode can work as far as 350 yards away.
The feature that we particularly enjoyed is the slope compensation. The rangefinder is set to automatically calculate and determine how far away the target is depending on your current shooting position, whether you are downhill or uphill. Most importantly, we were satisfied with how it performs in rough weather conditions.
This is an ergonomic rangefinder with an anti-slip grip and waterproof technology to protect it from rough weather. Additionally, there is a one-year warranty that is relevant for all manufacturer defects. The main issue that we had is the low battery life.
This can be a huge problem, especially if you plan to hunt for the whole day. Other than that, we don’t have a lot to say against it, as it is a well-made and precise product that is worth trying out.
Measures up to 1,200 yards
Low battery life
Our personal favorite is the TecTecTec ProWild Hunting Rangefinder. In our opinion, it carries the most value, offering spectacular precision and the ability to perform in rough conditions. The product that comes in second place is the AILEMON 6x Rangefinder that is highlighted by an innovative charging system and is made to offer a superb continuous scan mode.
Whether you are a competitive shooter or a hunting enthusiast, you know the importance of a proper rangefinder. It can make shooting at a distance much easier and also goes a long way in terms of improving accuracy.
Interested in what the market has to offer when it comes to long-range shooting rangefinders, we did a bit of research and found some options by focusing on a few main factors, such as price, construction, available modes, and optical system.
After testing several products, we were confident enough to create a list of the best rangefinders for long-range shooting with high hopes that some of these are able to meet your needs. Let’s get started.
Rangefinders For Long-Range Shooting Reviews
Vortex Optics Razor HD 4000
It is safe to say that Vortex is one of the most recognized names in this field, so we weren’t surprised to find that the Razor HD 4000 is more than worth the price. The first thing that we were impressed by was the 7x magnification that will be of tremendous help when it comes to finding your target in the middle of a forest.
This product is highlighted by a 25mm objective lens, which seems to be the most efficient solution for long-range shooting rangefinders. This product offers versatile use, as you can use it with a rifle or a bow, and it can also be mounted to a car window or a tripod.
It doesn’t matter what you are going to use it for, as it can perform under different conditions. The Razor HD 4000 is highlighted by a sturdy, weather-resistant case that is going to protect the rangefinder from rain and snow. Also, we didn’t experience any lag in the unit’s performance even though it rained for the whole first day.
With this unit, there are several different modes. You can choose between “normal”, “first”, “last”, and “extended” target mode depending on how far away your target may be and whether it is on the move. On the other hand, there are two additional laser range modes that are set to track continual distance and give you a better chance of locking in on the designated target.
This rangefinder is user-friendly, as it is highlighted by easy-to-use menus and comes with an interface that is quite simple to navigate. Most importantly, the light transmission is spectacular, and you will be getting precise and clear imaging at all times.
The main and only issue that we have with it is the high price. However, given what you are getting and the fact that it is suitable for versatile applications, we consider it to be a worthy choice!
Clear and precise images
Easy to use
6 different modes
Efficient target locking
Pricey compared to similar option
Sig Sauer KILO2400BDX
It is always good to find an affordable product that is still able to provide you with reliable performance. That is what the Sig Sauer rangefinder offers. Not only that, but it also offers Bluetooth connectivity, which can be a spectacular addition for anyone who is serious about hunting. Here is what we found out through a few tests.
The first thing that we were happy about is that it offers 7x magnification. This is good to know, as it comes at a more affordable price than the Vortex model and is still suitable for professional use. Additionally, the objective lens is 25mm, which is quite effective when it comes to both reflective targets and animal targets.
You might be most interested in the ranges that this finder allows you to work with. We found that when it comes to deer and big game that is on the move, it can laser measure up to 1,400 yards in distance. On the other hand, when it comes to stationary targets that are reflective, we were able to get 3,400 yards of range, which is quite impressive.
The most innovative design detail has to be the integrated Bluetooth technology that allows you to connect it to BDX rifle scopes. We tried this feature out and found that the data transfer to the reticle is quite smooth. We also had a pleasant real-time experience with up to four scan updates in just a single second.
What is wrong with it you might ask? It isn’t very sturdy, and we found that the image goes blurry when there is heavy rain. Still, apart from cranky performance in rough weather conditions, we found it to be incredibly precise and reliable for long-range shooting.
Can measure up to 3,400 yards
Four scans per second
Simple to use
Blurred images in rain
Not the most sturdy
Simmons Hunting Laser Rangefinder
Getting on with our list of the best rangefinders for long-range shooting, we wanted to find a beginner-friendly rangefinder that came at a fine price. Coming in two different variations – the Venture and the Volt – it was quite exciting to test whether it would be as precise as advertised by the manufacturer.
The first thing that you should know is that this product doesn’t have the laser measurement potential of the previous products. Thus, we were quite happy with the fact that it actually performs well at 625 yards when it comes to moving targets. Most importantly, it is efficient when it comes to real-life tracking, which means that you will be able to keep your target locked in for as long as you need.
Again, the Simmons Hunting Laser Rangefinder is advertised as beginner-friendly. We found that to be true, as the whole operation comes down to a simple one-button control. Additionally, there is an anti-slip grip that goes a long way when it comes to keeping your rangefinder in a stable position until the target is detected.
We were quite surprised with its sturdiness, as the price isn’t too expensive. Highlighted by IPX4 waterproof technology and aluminum housing, it is something that we could rely on even during rainy days. On top of all that, it was quite fun to experiment with the so-called “Tilt” feature, which plays an essential role when it comes to shooting from elevated or sloping ground.
Our main concern is that, after you replace the initial CR2 battery, you might get a couple of error notices. Still, you should be able to fix it by following the detailed user’s manual or contacting customer support. Overall, it is a well-made and affordable product that we had a lot of fun with.
Precise at up to 625 yards
New battery error message
Leupold RX-2800 TBR Laser Rangefinder
Much like Vortex, Leupold is one of the leading names when it comes to hunting and shooting rangefinders. It is advertised to be one of the sturdiest models on the market, offering a margin for error of as little as 1 yard even under the roughest weather conditions.
The first thing that we wanted to try out is whether it can be precise even in foggy and rainy weather. Luckily, those were the exact weather conditions that we experienced the first day we tested it, and we were very surprised with how well it was able to perform. The coolest part is that, along with the sturdy housing, there is also a two-year warranty on all the electronic parts.
The feature that we were the most satisfied with was the True Ballistic Range with Wind, which is made to provide detailed information on the potential arch and ballistics, as well as how the weather conditions will affect your shooting at long range. Additionally, the included scan mode is essential for having precise real-time information on the changing distance. This goes a long way for locking in on a moving animal.
With three different reticle modes, including the Plus Point, Duplex, and Duplex + Plus Point, you can choose depending on whether you are shooting in open terrain or forest, as well as the expected distance. The only issue that we had was the EATS batteries, which simply aren’t too great, especially for continuous use. Luckily, we found the Surefire to work as a relevant substitute that can be easily installed into this rangefinder.
2-year limited warranty
3 reticle modes
True Ballistic Range
Precise in rough conditions
Short battery life
Uineye Laser Rangefinder
Last but not least, we were eager to find a product that could be used for different activities. According to the manufacturer, the Uineye rangefinder is good for golf, hunting, and shooting, which is the main reason why we were excited to try it out.
While it comes in several different variations, the matte black is the one that offers measurements of up to 1,950 yards. While we were testing this product, the point we were most impressed by was the speed and accuracy at which it works. The margin for error seems to be as little as 0.33 yards, which is the best out of all the products that we have reviewed.
Additionally, the 8x magnification that you are going to experience is of great help, especially when you are in the middle of a forest searching for big game. Talking about the innovative features, there are several modes that make this product suitable for versatile use. These modes include “angle”, “height”, and “horizontal”.
On top of all that, this rangefinder is simple to use and highlighted by a lightweight construction, making it perfect if you are often on the go. Also, it is accompanied by a 1-year warranty for all defects.
Our only issue is that it isn’t waterproof. Other than that, this is a well-made and precise rangefinder that you should give a go.
Measures up to 1,950 yards
Several measurement modes
While we think that all the aforementioned products are worth the price, our personal favorite is the Leupold RX-2800 TBR Laser Rangefinder. Frankly, apart from the fact that it doesn’t have the best battery life, it offers spectacular precision and accurate performance even in rough weather conditions.
For our second choice, we would go for the Sig Sauer KILO2400BDX. It may not be very accurate in the rain, but it offers reliable performance for the price that it comes at.
One excellent piece of hunting equipment is a high-performance rangefinder. Without it, a hunter is unable to determine range, aim, and fire accurately. Coincidence rangefinders were developed in the early stages of World War II. Over the last 80 years, they have become a ubiquitous leisure shooting tool, having further advanced and become more compact over time.
With recent developments in the technology of rangefinders, including features such as wind factor prediction and bullet drop compensation, rangefinders can significantly improve the aim of huntsmen.
However, such developments of rangefinders have ultimately rendered cheaper or budget rangefinders obsolete, and you’ll struggle to find low-budget options when searching for new models. This ultimately forces hunters, both beginners and experts, to invest in the more high-end, pricey models that come with all the modern features.
Choosing one of these contemporary models can be a very difficult task, as you don’t want to invest in one that simply doesn’t fit your requirements. To help you with this task, we have done some reviews and comparisons of the best rangefinders for hunting on the market today. Let’s take a look.
Rangefinders For Hunting Reviews
Vortex Optics Impact Laser Rangefinder
This Impact 1000 model from Vortex helps hunters assess distance and improve their aim with built-in angle compensation and intuitive platform functions. The maximum range of the rangefinder is 1,000 yards, and the angle compensation allows shooting to be performed with ease from any distance within that range, which also makes this rangefinder suitable for both hunters and shooters.
This rangefinder lives up to its 1,000-yard range promise, as having tested it, targets are just as clear at 700 yards as they are at 1,000 yards. By clear, we mean crystal clear. The angle compensation and LOS modes seem to function well, too, even at 1,000 yards.
The controls feel natural on the fingers and can be easily manipulated while standing still and aiming at a target. One of the most important features, the 6x magnification, is easily controlled and provides an accurate magnification.
Plus, the automatic adjustments seem to correspond with the target and lighting. The optics appear to work well in clear light, obviously, as well as low and darker lighting conditions.
On top of these features, this Vortex model also boasts other features, such as LOS mode, which assists the shooter with precision and high-angled shots. There is a scanner that allows for continuous range for moving targets or while panning.
The adjustable diopter has a maximum magnification of 6x and can be adjusted smoothly while targeting. Also, the multi-coated optics allows for this Vortex to be useful in all levels of lighting. Plus, this rangefinder comes with a lifetime warranty.
However, this product does not work that well in fog or mist. Another drawback is that the screen is not illuminated, which means it may be difficult to read for some.
This product also benefits from the fact it is lightweight. It can easily fit in your pocket and isn’t bulky enough to get annoying. Plus, it is waterproof. It is expensive, but it is worth it due to its many benefits for both beginners and experts.
1,000-yard range guarantee
Works in low light situations
Expensive compared to similar models
Screen is not always clear
Doesn’t work in fog
AOFAR HX-1200T Range Finder
This camouflaged rangefinder from AOFAR promises to provide accurate range perception in all weather conditions – including fog and dust. It uses AI technology and pin seeker, and it is thoroughly up to date with the latest rangefinder capabilities.
The range on this product works exactly as it claims to, and the extra 200 yards that it offers makes for guaranteed long-range precision, particularly in open terrain. Plus, the objective lens works better than other similar options for guaranteed targeting through fog or other unfavorable shooting conditions. However, this product does not do too well in dim lighting as promised, as it is particularly difficult to make out the markings in darker conditions.
Shooting horizontal and downhill is also taken care of by this nifty device, and it saves you time when trying to calculate yardage.
The product is comfortable to hold, and the grooves fit well in your hand. Its controls are also easily manipulated as you look through the lens, and they are all positioned in ways that make sense. The case is sturdy enough to ensure that the rangefinder won’t become damaged if dropped. The camouflage design is also a nice touch and is perfect for woodland shooting.
Its battery is built to last through long hunting trips, as the rangefinder switches itself off automatically after just 8 seconds of inactivity. It then turns itself back on again whenever required, picking up where it left off.
This model boasts 6x magnification and an impressively wide range perception between 5 and 1,200 yards. The product comes with a handy carry pouch, a carabiner, and a cleaning cloth.
It would be prudent of shooters to invest in another battery for this range finder, as despite its automatic switch-off feature, the battery seems to drain quickly.
Guaranteed precision and accuracy
Works in foggy environments
Horizontal and downhill shooting
Comfortable to hold for longer times
Sturdy case for easy transport and protection
Doesn’t work in dim lighting conditions
Poor battery quality
Bushnell BoneCollector 850 Laser Rangefinder
The Bushnell BoneCollector prioritizes creating a brighter view for the user with a bigger optics lens than its competition. It is made of all glass, which ensures that optimal lighting gets into the lens – no matter the weather, conditions, or lighting. The fact that it’s all-glass also ensures that what you’re seeing in the lens are colors that are true to life and that the image is not altered in any way.
In comparison to its competition, the Bushnell BoneCollector has obvious limitations, including its limited range of 850 yards – which is at least 150 yards less than some of the other high-end rangefinders. There are also next to no additional features that come with this model.
This rangefinder also offers a maximum clear range of 850 yards. It uses ARC technology to compensate for whatever angle you are shooting from, allowing you to view the true distance whether you are standing lower or higher than your target.
The display screen shows all essential information, including the remaining battery life. The intuitive design also features two holes so that you can attach a lanyard to the rangefinder and hang it around your neck.
However, Bushnell does not try to conceal these facts, and they advertise it exactly how it is. Once these limitations are overlooked, the BoneCollector still performs as well as it promises to. This is a compact device that is easily packed away and is ideal for lengthy hunting trips. It feels durable, and its camouflage design keeps it hidden.
It’s one of the more straightforward devices to use, with no additional gimmicks causing confusion. All it requires is for you to push a button and look through it – that’s it. The optics are clear, and items only start to get blurry after 850 yards.
Although it costs over $100, the BoneCollector is still considerably cheaper than its competitors. You’re getting what you pay for, though. The only minor annoyance in regards to this model is the CR-2 3-volt batteries that it requires, which can be difficult to find.
Compact and durable design
Basic, straightforward use
Clear optics at very long distances
Good price – cheaper than competitors with great quality
Limited range and no additional features
Requires obscure batteries
TIDEWE Hunting Rangefinder
Available in both 700-yard and 1,000-yard models, this hunting rangefinder from TIDEWE boasts desirable features, including 6x magnification and both horizontal and vertical distance adjusters. This product is easily gripped in time of need and promises to provide accurate range readings from anywhere between 3 and 1,000 yards in under half a second.
The image afforded by the range is superb and delivers a clear image both up to 700 and 1,000 yards, depending on what model you purchased. However, the magnification lets this product down and renders its fantastic range less effective, as the alleged 6x magnification becomes extra blurry after just 200 yards. This product also performs poorly in fog or otherwise undesirable conditions.
At a practical weight of 0.35 pounds, this device is built for portability. With a handy rubber-grip design, waterproof coating, and durable build, it will also withstand numerous drops and all kinds of weather conditions.
The eyecup is twistable, so you can change the focus of the range. Also, the buttons located along the top, which are comfortable to reach and press when in use, adjust the sight and allow the user to alternate between different modes. The LCD is also illuminated, so it can be read in all lighting conditions.
There are a lot of minor details about this product that are commendable, including its lightweight compactness, as it fits easily into a pocket of almost any size. Also, its rechargeability means that you never need to purchase new batteries for it, and the way it shuts off after inactivity keeps its power preserved for longer when out in the field.
The case it comes in is also excellent and features a magnet instead of a zipper or Velcro. This allows the rangefinder to be slipped out discreetly when you need it fast.
Good range for precision and accuracy
Compact and lightweight
Preserves power for longer battery life
Quiet case with magnet closure for protection
Poor magnification compared to other options
Doesn’t work in foggy environments
Gogogo Sport 1200 Yards Laser Range Finder
The Gogogo Sport 1200 is one of the cheapest rangefinders available today, and it performs all that is desired from a high-end model. This includes 1,200-yard range perception, an LCD, and several different modes depending on the activity, including speed mode, scan mode, and golf mode.
The range finder works excellently – even at 1,200 yards – as long as the device is held steady while the button is being clicked. This is not a hard thing to do, as the button is within comfortable reach and doesn’t require a lot of pressure. The point is marked by the rangefinder each time it is used.
This device weighs 184g, is built with a sturdy outer shell, and boasts a lithium battery with a charging port, so you don’t need to worry about buying new batteries for it. The range finder both calculates the yardage for you and the speed, saving you a lot of time and effort.
The product offers a one-year warranty and comes with a carry pouch, a USB cable for charging, a connectable strap, and a cleaning cloth.
The field of view requires you to press your face right up against the device, which is fine for some but understandably uncomfortable for those who wear glasses. Even then, when your face is pressed against it, although accurate, the field of view remains limited. The magnification is average and far less powerful than advertised.
The device is comfortable to hold, has a nice grip, and lasts a long time after just a couple of hours of charging. It is also very well priced. It doesn’t exactly perform consistently throughout the day, and its visibility suffers at nighttime, but during the day it works fine.
Excellent range for added accuracy
Comfortable to hold
Long, reliable battery life
Good price for what you get
Limited field of view doesn’t work in dim lighting
Uncomfortable to look through for longer times
Average zoom function
All the rangefinders we’ve reviewed excel in their own way, and there’s one for every kind of hunter out there. Overall, our top pick for the best rangefinder is the Vortex Optics Impact Laser Rangefinder, as it delivers all you’d expect from a high functioning rangefinder. It is sure to be appreciated by hunters of any experience level. If you’re looking for something cheaper, go with the Gogogo Sport 1200 Yards Laser Range Finder.
Camping and hiking are among the most rewarding ways to spend your free time. If you add hunting to the equation, you are sure to have loads of fun whether you are going solo or in a group of friends.
For this activity, there are a couple of essentials that you ought to invest in, and an adequate dot sight stands as a must-have. Looking at the market, there are a bunch of different models that vary in design, field of view, and mount type.
We came across the TRUGLO Dual Color Red Dot Sight, which is one of the best options for hunters using handguns, rifles, and crossbows. Read on to learn all about this product and why you might be interested in it as well as its pros and cons. Let’s get right to it!
Truglo Dual Color Red Dot Sight
As one of the most recognized names when it comes to fiber optic sights and other hunting accessories, TRUGLO is a company that you can trust. Coming with a limited lifetime warranty, this red dot sight is highlighted by an innovative design, a spectacular field of view, and a simple weaver mount that is suitable for most gun models.
The 30mm lens diameter is a good solution when it comes to seeing what is happening in front of you from all angles. Painted black and weighing just below half a pound, it is a well-made product that any hunting enthusiast should definitely consider.
Who is This Red Dot Sight for?
The versatility of the TRUGLO 30mm red dot sight is impressive, as it isn’t only suitable for hunters with shotguns but with other weapons, as well. Thus, whether you are using a handgun, crossbow, rifle, or common shotgun for your activity, this is a great option. Additionally, even if you aren’t into hunting, you may still benefit from this product, as it will offer you a great field of view when you are on a hiking trail.
Most importantly, it doesn’t come at a high price, so even if you are on a tighter budget, you should be able to afford it!
You aren’t getting any accessories with this red dot sight apart from the integrated weaver attachment that allows you to mount it without a lot of effort. Also, the manufacturer offers a detailed instruction guide that provides all the necessary information on how to use this product.
Overview of Features
The first highlight of the Truglo dual color red dot sight has to be the MOA reticle, which works in numerous ways. Apart from offering red and green illumination, it should also make it easier to shoot at various distances. The shorter the distance, the smaller the diameter of the dot, ensuring that you are right on target.
One of the coolest points is that this model is incredibly sturdy, which means that hunting in rough weather conditions shouldn’t present an issue. This is because it offers 1000-gram shock resistance, and it is also fog and rainproof. On the other hand, it is quite lightweight and easy to mount using the weaver-style method.
Probably the most important part is the fact that this dot sight offers a superb field of view. This is essential when it comes to both long-distance shooting, as well as ensuring that you can see everything around your target. The lens is made in a way to support eye relief, which means that even if you look through these optics for hours, you shouldn’t feel any eye strain (or it will be minimal).
As mentioned above, the illumination can be both red and green, and you can adjust the rheostat to ensure that the brightness is at an optimal level. We have to say that such customization isn’t present in most magnifying optics. On top of all that, there is a limited lifetime warranty, which further proves the fact that investing in the TRUGLO Dual Color Red Dot Sight is a good choice.
Our only concern regarding the design of this product is the lens caps. Apart from feeling a bit loose, it is sight-through, which may not be something you are looking for. Other than that, this is an affordable and well-made product that is worth considering!
How to Use Truglo Dual Color Red Dot Sight
As it is highlighted by a weaver-style mount, there isn’t much theory when it comes to the installation of this product. You should just make sure that it is tightly fixed to your crossbow/handgun/rifle, and once you have that taken care of, adjust the brightness to ensure optimal illumination and enjoy a wide field of view. If you aren’t experienced with mounting dot sights, then we would suggest that you carefully read the TRUGLO manual, as it provides all the necessary details.
Good price for a great quality product
Red and green illumination
Superb field of view
Adjustable rheostat for customized use
Rugged lightweight design
See-through lens caps
Loose caps can be frustrating
TRUGLO Range-Rover Series Bow Sight
If you are someone who is all about archery and you are looking to update your hunting equipment, then this moving bow sight stands as a solid choice. It allows you to adjust the yardage depending on how far away you are from the target, as well as make sure that the picture you are getting is 100% clear.
On top of all that, it is highlighted by a carbon fiber construction to ensure that it offers high-quality and long-lasting performance. It is a great alternative to the Truglo sight above.
We can say with confidence that the TRUGLO Dual Color Red Dot Sight is an impressive product highlighted by a great field of view, a sturdy design, and good adjustability. Thus, if you are someone who is on a tighter budget and wants optics that can be mounted to almost any weapon out there, be sure to give it a go! We hope that you will enjoy your next trip with your new red dot sight!
When it comes to hunting accessories, high-quality optics go a long way. These are made to provide hunters with a wide field of view, and they also offer illumination when it comes to searching for a target in the middle of the night.
Frankly, whether you are using a crossbow, rifle, shotgun, or handgun, this is a product that you should invest in, as it will allow you to step up your game by being more accurate and having a better ability to customize your shooting experience. For this reason, we did a lot of market research to find a product that comes at an affordable price and is suitable for versatile use.
The Sightmark Tactical Red Dot Scope that we came across is one of the most durable and accurate hunting optics on the market. In this article, we will cover its most important features and help determine whether or not it is an option that meets your needs. Let’s get started!
Sightmark Tactical Red Dot Sight
When it comes to brands that have been manufacturing optics and other hunting accessories for years, Sightmark stands as one of the most relevant. This particular scope is made to perform under extreme temperatures and in rough conditions, given the fact that it features a shock-proof coating, and it is water and fog-resistant. Also, it is highlighted by a lightweight, compact structure that should allow for optimal maneuverability.
As we have mentioned above, it is essential that hunting optics provide you with a good field of view, and that is exactly what you will be getting with the Sightmark Tactical Red Dot Scope. Additionally, you have the freedom to customize the brightness and speed depending on the environment you find yourself in. Thus, we think that a product of this potential deserves a more thorough review.
Who is This Red Dot Sight for?
This item comes at a good price, which is of great importance, especially if you are just starting out and don’t have a huge budget to devote to hunting accessories. While not ideal if you are using a crossbow or a handgun (given the design of these optics), you are going to reap many advantages by mounting it onto a rifle or a shotgun. Also, you can further customize it and look through it while camping or hiking in order to help orientate yourself or view objects.
Given the fact that the red dot scope is an accessory in its own right, it doesn’t come as a surprise that there aren’t any other items included in this offer (apart from the integrated parts). While the mounting system is quite simple, you will still benefit from the provided user’s manual that explains how this product works, as well as all of the customization options it offers.
Overview of Features
The main reason why you should invest in a product such as the Sightmark Tactical Red Dot Scope is that it offers spectacular peripheral vision and a sense of depth that contributes to your overall shooting experience. The fact that you can adjust both the brightness of the illumination and the speed of the dot goes a long way when it comes to locking onto your target.
You are sure to be impressed by the construction of this product. With dimensions of 130 x 55 x 63mm and weighing just above 11.6 ounces in weight, it is a compact scope that you should be able to maneuver in any direction. On the other hand, it is made out of premium materials that ensure that this product puts out good performance even when it rains or is foggy. Additionally, the shockproof potential of these optics is rather impressive.
Using two AG13 batteries, you can expect to get up to 50 hours of use out of it before these need to be replaced. As mentioned above, the MOA illumination technology will allow you to adjust the dot depending on how far away you are from the target, as well as make sure that the red dot isn’t too bright or too dim. Most importantly, this product is highlighted by unlimited eye relief, which means that you should be able to enjoy a full field of view without experiencing any eye strain.
The weaver/Picatinny mount is beginner-friendly, allowing you to install the scope onto a rifle or handgun within minutes. Our main concern is the fact that the springs are quite weak, which is not something that you would expect out of a scope highlighted by a rugged design.
Still, considering the good price, as well as the accuracy that the optics offer, we consider the Sightmark Tactical Red Dot Scope to be a great choice!
How to Use Sightmark Tactical Red Dot Sight
The first thing that you will want is to mount this scope to a rifle or a handgun, which can be done by simply adjusting the springs and tightening the few knobs that highlight the weaver/Picatinny mechanism. Once you have done that, it all comes down to setting the brightness and dot speed and enjoying the immersive shooting experience offered by an unlimited field of view.
Long battery life
Unlimited eye relief
Superb field of view
Not for crossbows
TruGlo Range Rover PRO-2
When it comes to hunting accessories that can be mounted onto a crossbow, this PWR-DOT model stands as one of the most relevant. It offers LED illumination and is suitable for left and right-handed shooters.
Frankly, it is perfect for long-distance shooting, as it offers a black reference circle to help you stay accurate even when the target is far away. Overall, it offers reasonably priced, compact, and beginner-friendly optics that you can have a lot of fun with!
In the end, it all comes down to whether you are using a rifle or a shotgun for hunting. If the answer is yes, then the Sightmark Tactical Red Dot Scope stands as a worthy investment that offers great accuracy and long battery life!
Red dot sights are an excellently innovative optic that is designed for use in close to moderate distances. Its value comes from its simplicity and use of clever technology to create an accurate optic that anyone can quickly acclimate to without needing to spend very much time on shooting practice.
There’s more to it than that, though. The red dot sight has many benefits that make it as popular as it is. When you get an optic as versatile and straightforward as this, you can’t help but wonder what makes it tick.
So how does a red dot sight work? Below, we’ll be looking at the answer to this and why they are so popular and easy to use.
Origins of the Red Dot Sight
Newcomers are always surprised to find out that there is very little new technology in modern firearms. Red dot sights are by no means a new or recent invention, with their roots tracing back to over a hundred years ago. However, the red dot sight as we know it today has only been around since the mid-1970s.
Red dot sights are reflex sights, or more accurately, a more modern rendition of the reflex sight. Reflex sights have been used historically on rifles and snipers to provide an optic that is easy to use and that is reliable without the necessary hassle of operating and maintaining a scope.
The idea behind the reflex sight was to take in light from a small window on the top that would shine on a piece of reflective glass that lay at an angle inside the optic. This would essentially allow an image to be reflected inside the sight to create an image projected to what was effectively infinity. This would enable quick, accurate shots that were easier to pull off on smaller firearms, hence the term “reflex” sight.
The result used light that was reflected through a concave piece of glass to create small and simple shapes that would be used as reticles for easier aiming. The cost of this was a sacrifice in magnification, so reflex sights would not be suitable for any kind of long-distance shooting.
That was back then, though, and the reflex sight has seen much overhauling and experimenting. We now see many different types of reflex sights that still use the same concept of reflected light through a curved lens to create a projected image. The red dot sight is one such reflex sight, and as we have mentioned before, it is relatively recent in its innovation compared to most items in the firearm industry.
Now that we have an idea of the history of the red dot and the reflex sight’s core design, we can look at how that idea has been updated using modern technology, as well as exactly how the contemporary reflex sight works.
The Red Dot Sight – A Modern Reflex Sight
The red dot sight we see nowadays isn’t that different from the old design, but it does incorporate new technologies that didn’t exist back then. Over the years, many other optics have come about from that initial design, and anyone who plays modern first-person shooter games probably has an idea of some of them.
The red dot sight, in particular, is uniquely simple in its design. Using two curved lenses in the optic, one in front and the other in the back, you can create a tube of sorts for light to travel through. Some of the smaller sights have these two lenses close together, such as on pistols, but the distance doesn’t necessarily matter.
From this point, there are two different avenues that manufacturers can take. They can develop a passive system that is powered solely by light or an active system with an actual power source built into it.
To put it simply, passive systems have images of the reticle etched into the two reflective lenses’ glass. These images are usually made from a different reflective material, copper being a common option, and are typically placed either at the focal point of the front lens or at an angle inside the scope housing.
With angled placements, the angled lens will project and magnify the image onto the focal point of the front lens. The glass lenses are also often treated to only let red light through, thus creating the red dot effect, but there are red dot sights with different colors, such as green or cyan.
Active systems are passive systems that don’t need to rely on external light sources, as there is a lighting system built into them so that you’ll always have light handy. LEDs are used because they shine brightly so that you can easily distinguish the sight from the target on the other end of the reticle.
Thus, when light enters the optic or scope, the image etched into the lens will illuminate and magnify thanks to the curved lenses. This makes the tiny reticle appear much larger thanks to a simple magician’s trick from years ago.
In short, the light goes in, is reflected around inside the optic, and the reticle lights up for aiming.
Different Types of Red Dot Sights
A few different variants of the red dot sight use the same technology to varying degrees for different effects.
Standard rifle optics are the most common variety of red dot sight and can be considered a benchmark or baseline. They are often a 2 or 3 MOA red dot that is for more moderate to close ranges. The larger the dot is, the easier it is to spot on the reticle and the faster you can train it on the target.
Miniature red dots are tiny and are for smaller firearms, such as pistols. These red dots are mostly used for pistols and as backup rifle sights, and they are characterized by their dot being significantly smaller than others. Because of their smaller reticle, it’s far easier to spot the target, but it can be more challenging to spot the dot on your reticle, so you may have some difficulty training your dog on the target initially.
Red dot sights are continually being upgraded and updated, but they are by no means a new invention. Their roots go even further back than the 1970s when they were first used. They are a wonderfully simple design that is an excellent choice for anyone looking for an easy-to-use optic in close to moderate ranges.
Red dot and holographic sights are two different forms of firearm optics designed to assist in long-distance targeting and firing, amongst other shooting activities.
Red dot sights have existed and have been utilized recreationally for years, having first been designed in 1975; holographic sights, on the other hand, were only invented at the turn of the 21st century.
Red dot sights remain far more ubiquitous amongst recreational shooters. While holographic sights are being used recreationally to some extent, they are more commonly used in the military, having replaced red dot sights therein.
But which is better when affordability and value for money, accuracy, target acquisition, and durability is taken into consideration? Read on to find out which one you should choose!
Red Dot vs Holographic Sight: A Comparison
Affordability and Value for Money
For budding shooters looking for a firearm optic on a budget, red dot sights are the only option. Given how long red dots have existed and how less complex they are to make compared to holographic versions, you can pick up a basic red dot sight for under $50. Some of which, like the Tasco Propoint, perform exceptionally well for their low price and are a perfect option for beginners.
However, if you are looking for more out of your red dot optic – i.e., increased accuracy and durability – you’re looking at prices around the $200 mark. It is worth noting that mid-range, high performing red dots are available for under $100.
When it comes to holographic optics, however, things are slightly more on the pricier side. Given that only two companies – EOTech and Vortex – currently produce holographic sights, it’s impossible to find a cheap equivalent to the military standard.
The most basic holographic sights have a starting price of roughly $400 – which is about the same price as a high-end red dot sight. However, bear in mind that this is only the starting price and that a more advanced holographic sight will take you well into the thousands of dollars range.
So, with that considered, it’s fair to say that red dot sights are the best bang for your buck.
Focus and Accuracy
In lots of ways, similarities can be drawn between both red dot and holographic sights in terms of ensuring target accuracy. For example, both red dot and holographic sights boast brightness settings and feature night vision capabilities.
However, one way in which holographic sights are better than red dot sights is regarding magnification. When magnifying a red dot sight, the red dot will appear bigger without upscaling the target it is aiming for. This is a major disadvantage as it renders the target’s position within the now magnified red dot reticle impossible to determine.
On the other hand, when using magnification on a holographic sight, both the sight and the target maintain their original proportions, which ensures that accuracy is maintained.
Additionally, if the user suffers from short-sightedness or astigmatism, red dot sights will become blurry when focused upon. On the other hand, holographic sights place the reticle upon the target, allowing for the target to remain in focus at all times, which ensures utmost accuracy in shooting for the visually impaired.
When it comes to accuracy, it’s fair to say that holographic sights are by far the better option.
One major difference between holographic and red dot sights is, of course, how the inner technologies of each work. For red dot sight, the distance between lens and focus is the sight itself, as the red dot is focused to your eye.
This renders target acquisition much slower when using red dot sights, as your eye cannot focus on both the target and the red dot simultaneously.
On the other hand, the far more technologically advanced holographic sight uses its complex inner mirror system to superimpose the reticle on your target in front of the sight. This is an advantage for holographic sights, as you, technically, can focus on both the reticle and your target simultaneously.
Target acquisition is, therefore, much cleaner and quicker when using a holographic sight.
For red dot sights, durability is only really determined by how much you’re willing to spend. The cheap, below-$50 red dot sights available will be great for airsoft and other basic shooting activities – which is what they are designed for. However, these low-range models will break under continued recoil and general usage.
The mid-range and more expensive red dot sights, made from aluminum, will hold up for much longer under pressure.
Given the minimum price of a holographic sight, on the other hand, you’d expect a piece of kit with the utmost durability – and they certainly deliver. Designed for combat, holographic sights, at a bare minimum, will weather fire, water, and bombs – with ease!
Holographic sights can even continue to be operational with the front window smashed, damaged, or covered in mud. With that, it’s fair to say that holographic sights are far more practical on the durability front!
It is battery life where the red dots truly excel in terms of durability. The cheapest models promise a battery life of two to three years, which is still exceptionally good. But some of the more expensive red dot sights can function on the same battery for up to 50,000 hours of continuous usage.
Red dot sights excel completely over the battery life of holographic sights, which averages at about 500 hours, with a maximum of 1,000 hours.
With that in mind, as long as they remain undamaged, red dot sights are more durable in terms of battery life.
Overall, both holographic and red dot sights have their pros and cons, rendering it difficult to determine which form of firearm optic truly has the advantage over the other.
In terms of recreational use, the red dot is really all needed, given its affordability, brightness settings, night vision, and extensive battery life. The holograph, too, has its advantages, including its accuracy, durability, and faster target acquisition.