Shot Glass: Five Great Rangefinding Binos for This Season

Shot Glass: Five Great Rangefinding Binos for This Season

Next to a reliable gun or bow, good glass is the most critical component in a serious hunter's kill plan. You'll rack up more consistent success afield if you slow your roll and open your eyes to the power of optics€¦guaranteed.

If you really want to enhance your predatory efficiency, consider investing in a binocular with an integrated laser rangefinder. This one tool will allow you to discover your quarry and determine its distance from your trigger with the press of a button. That's valuable, especially in a game where an entire season often boils down to a few calculated movements and just one moment of truth.

A new rangefinding bino is a purchase you won't regret, but you'll need to drop a considerable chunk of your hunting change to acquire one. Depending on your budget and demands, here are five of the best models on the market for your consideration.

Steiner | Nighthunter LRF

Tested: 8x30mm

Steiner offers only an 8X30mm rangefinding binocular deemed as the Nighthunter LRF. Despite its smaller objective lenses, it offered excellent low-light visibility. Surprisingly, I didn't find its profile to be remarkably more petite than most of its 10X rivals, but it is slightly lighter in weight.

This Steiner is a smooth operator with almost instantaneous ranging response from 22 to1,860 yards. Its small circular aiming ring makes it easier to laser precise targets, and the ranging button is super-crisp. Perhaps the coolest trait of the Nighthunter LRF is its Sports-Auto Focus system. Focus both eyepieces once at 20 yards and everything in sight will remain in focus, allowing for one-handed operation.

Bottom Line: The Nighthunter is an underdog contender with surprisingly good glass, a sleek display, and a compact feel.

Price: $2,000

Bushnell | Fusion 1-Mile ARC

Tested: 10x42mm

The Fusion comes with the lowest price tag of the bunch. As the name suggests, its laser delivers 1-mile ranging capabilities — that's 1,750 yards, but it repeatedly stretched to read a reflective target at 1,815 yards during testing.

The rangefinder is remarkably fast, and its scanning mode does an impressive job of pumping out rapid readings on moving targets. Bushnell boasts about the bright-orange Matrix Display Technology, but it can be overwhelming if not properly tuned. This bino is bulging with legit technology, and a 'Bulletproof Guarantee ' says you can send it back within one year of ownership, but for the low price tag, you should be happy with the results.

Bottom Line: Not the most ergonomic or brightest glass of the bunch, but its value is unbeatable with a price that is almost one third of its competitors.

Price: $1,000

Swarovski | EL Range

Tested: 10X42MM

I've been privileged to hunt with an extensive variety of optics throughout my career, and I can confidently say Swarovski glass has always stood in a pristine league of its own. The EL Range continues Swarovski's tradition of optical excellence, but with the addition of an integrated laser rangefinder. Its minimum measuring distance is 33 yards (something that won't please bowhunters), and we got only sporadic readings slightly past 1,000 yards on reflective targets.

The red rangefinder readout shows line-of-sight distance and true horizontal distance based on target angle. If preferred, you can choose to view shot angle in degrees instead of the automatically corrected shooting distance.

Bottom Line: The EL Ranges had arguably the sharpest image and most vivid viewing experience, but the ergonomics and rangefinding left much to be desired.

Price: $3,200

Zeiss | Victory RF

Tested: 10X45mm

Zeiss recently entered into the rangefinding binocular market with the Victory RF. With its extreme all-day clarity and low-light viewing capabilities, this optic has earned the 'Victory ' title. The RF will instantly measure distances to objects from 10 to1,300 yards — the fastest laser tested. Critics agree, its ranging button is the smoothest of them all, and the accuracy of its laser is superb.

A Ballistic Information System (BIS) lets you designate the rangefinder to work hand-in-hand with one of six trajectory settings to closely match your chosen ammunition. The display will first tell you the line-of-sight distance and then the high or low aiming compensation (in inches) depending on the shot angle.

Bottom Line: We prefer an open bridge design, but the clarity of the glass was superb, and the rangefinder was super quick.

Price: $2,800

Leica | Geovid HD-B 42

Tested: 10x42mm

This Geovid is ergonomically designed for extended hours of glassing comfort, and it offered exceptional clarity well past sunset. The HD-B's laser rangefinder is designed to measure distances from 10-2,000 yards, which proved true.

Most notable, however, is the Advanced Ballistic Compensation (ABC) system. Not only will this rangefinder dish out line-of-sight distance measurements, but an onboard thermometer, inclinometer, and air-pressure gauge combine forces to give you an astonishingly accurate true horizontal distance at any range. From there, it's a matter of selecting from 12 built-in ballistics curves to match your rifle cartridge or your own data with an SD card.

Bottom Line: The Leicas had the best display, quickest and most accurate rangefinding, and supreme optical quality. It was the overall best in show.

Price: $3,000

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Is That a Grizzly Bear?

Is That a Grizzly Bear?

Kevin Steele and Jason Morton are above the Arctic Circle pursuing grizzly bears in Alaska and put a stalk on what they believe is a good one.

Top Ten Hunts

Top Ten Hunts

Here at Petersen's Hunting we have compiled the 10 best hunts caught on camera from the last 2 years of Petersen's Hunting TV. Enjoy!

Moon Phase Rut Tips

Moon Phase Rut Tips

John Dudley, technical writer and host of Nock On TV discusses why it's imporant to follow moon phases for the rut.

Camp Chef at SHOT Show: Elk Venison Slider Burgers Recipe

Camp Chef at SHOT Show: Elk Venison Slider Burgers Recipe

Have a freezer full of ground elk venison from your fall hunting trips? Never fear, the folks at Camp Chef have a great SHOT Show recipe that is lean and mean, easy to prepare, and a crowd-pleasing favorite!

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Learn what freezer burn is, how it occurs, and how to slow it down with these tips. Recipes

Why Freezer Burn Matters

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

Learn what freezer burn is, how it occurs, and how to slow it down with these tips.

These are our favorite new products of the year for the archery crowd. Bowhunting

Best New Bowhunting Gear for 2020

Petersen's Hunting Editors - May 21, 2020

These are our favorite new products of the year for the archery crowd.

Here's how to toughen up the weakest link in your shooting system. Optics

How to Mount a Rifle Scope for Maximum Accuracy

Joseph von Benedikt

Here's how to toughen up the weakest link in your shooting system.

Chances are good that you're not getting the best out of your trail cams. Optics

3 Ways You're Using Trail Cameras Wrong

Tony J. Peterson

Chances are good that you're not getting the best out of your trail cams.

See More Trending Articles

More Optics

Chances are good that you're not getting the best out of your trail cams. Optics

3 Ways You're Using Trail Cameras Wrong

Tony J. Peterson

Chances are good that you're not getting the best out of your trail cams.

We pick the best riflescopes, binos and other optics from our giant Gear Annual. Optics

Top Hunting Optics of 2020

Petersen's Hunting Editors - August 03, 2020

We pick the best riflescopes, binos and other optics from our giant Gear Annual.

Nothing is more important in the field than good glass. Optics

Field Tested: 15x Binoculars

Kali Parmley - August 05, 2019

Nothing is more important in the field than good glass.

From deer hunting to gazing at fall leaves or nighttime stars, outdoor enthusiasts always want to have a good set of binoculars handy. With numerous models and price points available, Academy Sports + Outdoors has your viewing needs covered this fall Optics

7 Best Binoculars for the Money

Lynn Burkhead

From deer hunting to gazing at fall leaves or nighttime stars, outdoor enthusiasts always want...

See More Optics

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Hunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now