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I second the Vortex recommendation. I got the 1400 model last Sep and it has given this new crossbow user a boost in confidence to know when a deer is within 'my max distance'. I ranged several objects from my blind to identify my 40 yard limit that I determined from time at the range. This link between the range and the field will let me know when I can confidently extend my max distance.

As i researched rangefinders, the lifetime warranty was the biggest reason I went with Vortex.

 

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Vortex makes great products but I recommend that you bust your piggy bank to get the best range finder you can make yourself buy. Out of 5 range finders I’ve own, I kept a Leica. It’s smaller than most, uses a red led, scans and is optically superior. I can easily use it as a monocular to scan my hunting area. I’ve owned it for 10 years now and it in no way feels inadequate.
 

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Excalibur Equinox, Micro Mag 340
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Leica are definitely among the best in my opinion. Little more expensive than some, but quality & clarity that will outlast the others. Well worth the investment!

I've had my Leica Geovid binos w/built in rangefinder for about 15 years so far, still as good as the day I bought them. Also nice to have all in 1 unit, as opposed to having to lug around 2 items (binos & a rangefinder). The red lit display is the easiest to see & read in any lighting conditions, unlike others with black display which are difficult to read in low light.

I have a backup Nikon rangefinder, but rarely use because they are inferior in every way imaginable.. (poor display in low light, less accurate, less light gathering, less clarity)

Friend of mine found a used Leica 1200? handheld LRF on fleabay last spring for $300-$350, there are some affordable deals out there if you are patient.
 

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I have ... an ancient Leica CRF 800 that flown all over the world and done yeoman service in the heat and humidity of the jungle to the bitter cold of winter by the Great lakes. In rain, fog, snow and blinding sun. Just as clear and vivid as the day I bought it.
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The "problem" with rangefinders is that it is unlikely to wear out so the tendency is to replace them because they aren't good enough so buy one that is better than you think you need.
Truth there ... I had the original cigarette box Leica for years and years. I came into some mad money burning a hole in my pocket and was looking for something to spend it on. Decided to replace the box with a modern ergonomic Leica because the thing was a pain getting out of my pockets. Gave the box to my golfer brother and I think he's STILL using it!
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Vortex makes great products but I recommend that you bust your piggy bank to get the best range finder you can make yourself buy. Out of 5 range finders I’ve own, I kept a Leica. It’s smaller than most, uses a red led, scans and is optically superior. I can easily use it as a monocular to scan my hunting area. I’ve owned it for 10 years now and it in no way feels inadequate.
what model do you recommend?
 

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They all work pretty well these days. I do like the Vortex. But I have I light cheap one I bought on Amazon that has resided in the bottom of my target arrow bucket for a year now. Seems to be holding up and accurate.

Lately I have been trying to buy used ones that come up on the board. Those are working great too. I’ve become a bit of a rangefinder hoarder since I have misplaced a few (which show up later in last season’s pocket or were somehow repurposed into my sons pack) so I keep a stash of them available. So I like the used ones the best!
 
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what model do you recommend?
Any of their rangefinders are going to do the job and do it well. If I was going to buy another, I’d buy this one. You want the optics, size and the red LED readout. The others have software I’m not needing. Mine is an old Rangemaster 1200
Leica Rangemaster CRF 2400-R
I think this one is a great rangefinder at an affordable price considering what you get. You’ll have and use this longer than any crossbow you buy. I used it for archery and big game out west.
 

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Excalibur Exomax
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I use a Vortex Ranger 1000. For my purposes it works great.

If I was spending tens of thousands of dollars to go on an African Safari or after bears in Russia I would spare no money on a range finder. So it really boils down to what you can afford and what you need it for. Extreme conditions require exceptional gear!!
Bill
 

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Scorpyd Orion 135 SSAS Special Edition with Hawke XB30; Centerpoint CP 400; Centerpoint Wrath 430
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321 Posts
I guess I am a cheapskate and lack understanding in the world of rangefinders. I can’t help but ask myself why anyone would pay $550 and more dollars for a thousand yard rangefinder to range 45 yard deer for their crossbow hunting, and then shoot it with a crossbow fast enough they could hold a high kill shot with a 20 yard pin and still peg the vitals at near 50 yards… No disrespect to those who are willing to do this at all. If that’s what makes you happy, then by all means it’s your hard earned money to spend as you wish. I also realize some here use their rangefinder for rifle shooting and other things as well, too. To be 100% honest, I have an old Bushnell I’ve been using for over 20 years. It replaced an old rangefinder that used a prism/reflector that merged two images. Turning the dial aligned the images. Once aligned, you read the number on the dial as the yards to target. It worked by triangulating the left and right eyepiece with the target object. I can see replacing something as archaic as that one with a newfangled electrical powered unit, but short of replacing the newer one for a longer range capable unit, I’d see it as wasting money. For me, even the units with the ability to adjust yardage based on inclination seem unnecessary since everything I shoot is fast enough to negate any need for that feature.
 
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