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Interesting rangefinder observations....
So I have accumulated a bunch of Cabelas points and have decided to use them as I don't frequent their stores as much as I did at one time. I went to the Cabelas in Cheektowaga, NY (think Buffalo, NY) and started looking at their rangefinders. There have been a few rangefinder threads on Bowsite of recent. While I was leaning towards a Vortex (mostly for warranty considerations), I haven't ruled out other brands completely. Two observations that I wanted to share..... 1.) I was told that Cabelas will have a "trade-in" period that starts on August 18th. I do not know how long this time period lasts, and I don't know if it applies to other Cabela stores. I just wanted to get that info "out there" in case anyone else might have an old rangefinder that they would like to trade in towards a new one.....don't quote me, but I don't even think that they have to be operational. I don't remember if they mentioned if they are offering a flat dollar amount or a %-based reduction in price. 2.) I decided to try out the Vortex 1400 and the Vortex 2000 while I was there. Clarity for both was fine.....BUT even at 50-60 yards, I was finding that the distances between the two rangefinders differed by 4 yards, which sure seems like a lot of variance to me....if only measuring something 50-60 yards away. I am going back on August 18th, with a "dinosaur" rangefinder that I own, in hopes that I can trade it in on a new model, whatever that may be. But I can also tell you this.....I am taking a tape measure with me. Before entering Cabelas, I will actually measure distances to at least 4 different objects. Some will be highly reflective, others not so much. Then, I'll try out several models.....and while the warranty will certainly possess value, highly accurate distance readings will trump most other considerations. I would have never guessed that there would be that much variance at a reasonably short distance (for this day and age).
Maybe take your old rangefinder and compare the distance to the new ones?
I am replacing the old one regardless.....it's read out is black, and I want to switch to red.
Look thru the Leica Rangemaster line, Jake, you’ll thank me later.
My Leupold RX1600i w/DNA and TBR rangefinder goes bowhunting, measures distance around the place to 0.1 yards and has a small "frame". It also has instant angle corrected yardage displayed, both in single shot and scan mode....by far the quickest way to verify a yardage.
My Leica R1000 sits in the truck as a spare, and has for years. Optically it is better than the Leupold....but is super slow on giving you the angle corrected yardage (to the nearest yard), and does not read out the angle corrected yardage in scan mode. It is super slow to verify an angle corrected yardage when mountain hunting....I think the R stands for "mentally challenged" (use your imagination). Must be the German programming done by engineers that don't hunt.
Wow....that's quite a variance! I have a Sig and an older Nikon that read pretty much dead nuts the same and seem to line up with the marked yardage at the archery range.
I guess there's a good reason to always sight in your bow using YOUR rangefinder but damn, 4 yards difference is a LOT.
I agree with Kurt, the Leica is nice glass, but the angle compensation thing is absolute crap. Maybe the new ones are different, but my Leica will never go on a mountain hunt again. I won’t even tell the story of what it cost me on a hunt. Not a “failure” by the unit, and could be considered “user error” but let’s just say it is still painful today.
If you’re using it for archery, it doesn’t matter what the actual distance is……if you match your sight to the rangefinder, you’ll always be on.
Unless your buddy/guide calls a range for you…just sayin…
^.....Ok.....I'll ask. What happened?
I've been through a couple Bushnells, a Simmons (lasted 1 elk hunt), and a Vortex. Bought the Sigs and wished I'd have done it sooner. Having the rangefinder in your binoculars simplifies everything and reduces movements when the game is close.
Make sure one wasn't set to meters!
I discovered this 'feature' setting up a 3D course, numbers weren't jiving with previously measured distances. Same stake same distance but it's 3 yards shorter today? In the bottom of the viewscreen I noticed a small 'm'. Hunh? Research showed that I had somehow set the bugger to metric...
DanaC, First thing I checked.....both were in yards (I don't even know if meters are accepted on both models).
Sig Kilos seem to be popular but I won’t buy another. I have two, I believe 1600 and 1800 if I remember correctly. Last fall on Kodiak in temps between 8 and 15 degrees neither would read a distance when they were in my bino harness and got cold. I had to leave either inside my coat to get them to work. Tried them on alternating days to make sure it wasn’t just one of them but both wouldn’t work when they got cold. Other guys had Leupolds and a bushnell and those seemed to work the entire time.
I like the Sigs when they work but before I go on another hunt that may be below 20 degrees all day I will be finding a different one. Their angle comp is pretty accurate for my speeds for the angles I can get to around here and both rangefinders read the same distance and read correctly on different color targets. Just very frustrating trying to range a deer and no range will show.
Just a heads up if you have any cold weather hunt plans coming up
Strange, I used my SIG for a late November MT cow elk hunt last year and also a late MT moose hunt a few years back and had no issues either time with temperatures below zero.
"Unless your buddy/guide calls a range for you…just sayin…"
Yes, but also pretty easy to compare RF's before you hit the field to sort that out.
If a RF doesn't work in the cold, it could be the batteries.
SIG checks all the boxes I promise.
Leica's optics are a bit better, but you are not buying binos you are buying a RF and SIG is great.
I have a kilo 850 that will occasionally read about 9 yards too long at distances of 40 plus yards. Finally figured it out after a few lost arrows when I compared it to my 24 year old bushnell yardage pro. I may hit up this trade in event, thanks for the heads up.
Both came on and had new batteries in them before the trip up there. They just wouldn’t read a distance. Red circle and everything would come on but neither would read out until they got warmed inside my coat.
I like them except for that fact. Everything else about them is pretty dang good.
Does anyone know if these units are 'nitrogen purged' like good rifle scopes? (Eliminating any condensation issues.)
Interesting. I was on Kodiak last fall too and it was colder than a witches tit. I think 2 of our group had Sig Kilos and we didn’t experience those issues. Defiantly sucks, and I too would find that completely unacceptable.
Maybe I’ll put mine in the freezer for a couple hours and see what happens…
I can recommend the Leica...I recently bought at 2400r (replaced a 1600r) and it is clear, fast and accurate.
Been really happy with Leupold RX series performance. I burnt through the LED readout on a RX1000TBR after years and years of use. Unfortunately there was no fix for that. They did discount a new one for me, which I did take them up on, but I am not that happy with that. It basically means the units because of the Leupold warranty have a shelf life. X number of readouts and the unit will be done. Eventually you burn out the LED's. It's not an if it's a when. I like to think that if I take good care of something I can use it for life. WIth a Leupold rangefinder that is not the case. That being said, while using them they are amazing.
Unless they change their warranty I won't buy another one for that reason now that there are other comparable units out there with better warranties. If you're starting fresh....they work well but I don't like spending that kind of money for a shelf life product. I was their biggest champion up until that happened. Actually sold a number of units on friends because they worked so well.
When I changed from a Bushnell because they wouldn’t read through window netting I bought a Leupold. It was 2 yards off at 30 yards. Took it back, got another one and it was 3 yards off at 30. Switched to a Nikon 1000 and have been highly satisfied with it. Just my two cents.
Like Apauls, I loved my Leopold RX1000TBR but the display started fading around the edges and they wouldn't do squat for warranty. They sent me a piece of crap plastic downgraded version at a discounted price but it isn't worth it. Either way, I can't believe I have to actually state that I WON'T support Leopold and purchase another rangefinder from them....EVER.
Boubound - what is the model Sig your using?
My TV went out a few years ago. After 10 years of use. Can you believe it?! I’ll never buy another Samsung again. Ever!
10 years ago, or so, went w/ a buddy to Cabelas during their trade event. They let him trade in a tape measure and he got the discount. Not sure they will still do that, but would be a way to keep your old one for a back-up.
Nick - if you can purchase a Samsung that is guaranteed to die and you're left with nothing, or if you can spend the same amount of money on an LG that performs just as well and has lifetime warranty which would you buy?
As I mentioned before they are a great product while they are working. But with like options available for like money that have potential to last why would you limit yourself. Just seems dumb to me. Maybe it was stupid of me, but I didn't expect the LED to die so quickly. With LED lightbulbs in your house warrantied for 25 years I didn't think an LED light inside a rangefinder that sees very little actual use in a year would die so quickly. What would it have had as far as life? A few hours per year? Maybe 30 hours in it's lifetime? Color me unreasonable I just didn't foresee that dying. I've never had a problem paying for a premium product, and at the time this was about the most expensive unit on the market. But I do expect quality items to last if taken care of. It's not like they mention anywhere in their literature that the LED's have a shelf life.
That new bushnell broadhead looks like a well thoughtout product...
It does but it’s still bushnell and bushnell is a mediocre brand. Not bad not great. They are what they try to be and do it well in their space
I have two rangefinders...a Nikon 440 and a Bushnell angle compensating. They differ by a yard or so. What do I care? I have my bow sights set based upon the Bushnell. That's all I care about. If it's a yard or two one way or the other what does it matter...that's my "30", "40" "50" or whatever.
Back to the top with this.
I went to Cabelas yesterday to look at rangefinders. There were not very many to choose from. 1 model from Sig, 2 vortex, a Cabral model, another brand I’ve never heard of, and 2 leupold.
I had initially gone to look at the leupold fulldraw 5, and range a few items with it. No dice. There was no display model to work with. After reading up online in the store about the few models they had, and previous research, I walked out with the fulldraw.
First impressions were good. It was spot on with my current leupold, except at closer ranges it read to the .10 yds, so all good.
I went to my archery shop today to get the data needed for the flight path mode.
After inputting the data, I was curious to see how this all worked. It’s a pretty neat little ladder bar above the aiming point showing the top trajectory of the arrow flight. Out to 50yds(farthest I could range in the woods so far), its very helpful when looking thru branches for a clear shot.
The display is crisp, and yardage matches exactly with my old model. It’s the most expensive model I looked at, but also had the most features. My RXII is 10+ years old, and still works(most of the time), so I figured why not try the new one.
FWIW. The guy behind the counter told me yes, they do have a trade in event coming up, but couldn’t tell me what models they would be applying the trade ins to, or even specific brands. He implied that it would most likely be on whichever models they could get the most of, and said trade ins were worth around $20 off on a new model. Some would be sale priced also. I decided not to wait and see what would be available given the limited current inventory.
Hope this helps, and I’m sure some of you already know what this model does, but it may help some others.
Another vote for Leica. I’ve had the 900 model and it’s been flawless for more than 10 years.
A few SIG models on sale/clearance right now
I had a vortex a few years ago, it was so slow, I didnt like it, my old bushnell scout was way better, I sold the vortex and got the leopold and its way better