Best Rangefinder Brands and Guns for Hunting Your Own Food

Whether you are an avid hunter or just enjoy the occasional hunting trip with friends, the great outdoors represents so much.  The relative quiet can be a needed escape from the hustle and bustle of the workaday world.  The clean air feels so much easier to breathe than the exhaust fumes and other pollutants that assault our senses every day.  You also might look forward to seeing a night sky full of stars that are too often obscured by our city lights.  If your primary goal is hunting for your own food, few things can compare to the feeling of accomplishment you get from a successful hunt.


Whether you hunt for sport or for food (or maybe both), having the right equipment can make the difference between a great trip with something to show for it with a story you can tell over and over again and a boring or frustrating weekend that ends up being about “the one that got away.”  If you rely on hunting for food, an unsuccessful trip can be more devastating than disappointing and something to be avoided at all costs.  Having a reliable rifle and appropriate ammo is certainly a huge part of the equation, but you shouldn’t stop there.  A great rangefinder is a must-have addition to any hunter’s arsenal.  Your trusty rifle becomes more trustworthy with the right rangefinder to help you spot your prey and line up the perfect shot.  The right model can adapt to your ammo, make poor lighting a non-issue, and help you line up shots from greater distances and with more clarity and accuracy than you might think possible.

Not surprisingly, there are tons of different brands and models from which to choose, with an equally varied range of prices.  Making the mistake of assuming that more expensive models must be better can result in spending more than you need to without getting more in return.  As with most other gadgets and gizmos, the technology behind rangefinders has a come a long way in recent years, making them more accurate and user friendly and less bulky than older models.  New and improved features, lighter weights, and better durability mean hunters have more choices than ever before.  Wandering through this forest of rangefinders can make you feel like a deer in headlights.  Understanding the various aspects of rangefinder functionality is a great way to help make the process of choosing a new one a little less confusing.  Knowing what convenience features are available and understanding which ones are important to you can further narrow down the field.

Range indicates how close you have to be to an object before it will come into view.  There are models with ranges around 500 yards and models that are rated for over 1500 yards.  An advertised longer range, though, doesn’t mean as much unless there’s good accuracy to back it up.  Spending extra money for a rangefinder that loses accuracy at longer distances could be a waste and lead to frustration.

Researching the tested clarity of various models is important, too.  It’s not enough to see that a target is there–you want to be able to make out the features that will help you line up your best shot.  When looking at clarity, make sure you keep in mind the time of day you’ll be using your rangefinder (low light versus full sunlight).  You also need to consider the surroundings (woods versus snow, for instance).

In addition to the basic attributes of a quality rangefinder, some offer additional features that might appeal to you.  There are models that offer ballistics settings which will make trajectory and range compensations based on your input about your ammo.  Depending on the nature of your hunting trips, you may need to look for a model that’s water resistant or even waterproof.  Ruggedness and carrying-case options can also be considered.  Eye relief can also be an important consideration, especially if you wear glasses.

Best rangefinder brands takes a look at some of the top models and compares their features, including pros and cons of each.

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