Best Rangefinders to Improve Your Field Sports Performance 2023

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Richard Saunders: An experts view

All of our reviews are based on Richard Saunders’s opinions. Richard has been shooting air rifles for nearly forty years. Today he hunts and carries out pest control on more than a thousand acres spread across different locations in the south of England. He is a regular contributor to Airgun Shooter magazine, writing mainly hunting features and product reviews, as well as The Airgun Show on YouTube.


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Knowing the exact number of mildots needed for a shot is beneficial, but it will only help you hit your target if you are able to accurately judge the distance to your target. That is, what good is it to know you need two mil dots for a shot at 40m if you don’t know how far away the rabbit you’re shooting at is?

We will be looking into the advantages and disadvantages of the top laser rangefinders for airgun shooting, and the obvious choice is the laser rangefinder.

Rangefinders can be a valuable tool for improving your performance in field sports, such as golf, archery, hunting, and shooting. These devices use lasers or other methods to accurately measure the distance between you and your target, allowing you to make more informed decisions and better shots.

Some ways you can use rangefinders to improve your field sports performance:

  1. Improve your accuracy: By knowing the precise distance to your target, you can adjust your aim and take more accurate shots. This can be particularly useful for sports like archery, where even small adjustments in aim can have a big impact on your accuracy.
  2. Increase your confidence: When you know the exact distance to your target, you can approach your shot with more confidence, knowing that you have the information you need to make an accurate shot.
  3. Save time: Rangefinders can help you quickly and easily measure distances, saving you time and allowing you to focus on your sport.
  4. Improve your strategy: By knowing the distances to various points on the course or field, you can develop more effective strategies for your sport. For example, in golf, you can plan your shots based on the distance to the green and any hazards on the course.

When using a rangefinder, be sure to follow the rules and guidelines of your sport or activity. Some sports, such as archery and hunting, have specific regulations regarding the use of rangefinders. Additionally, be sure to choose a rangefinder that is appropriate for your sport and skill level. With practice and experience, you can use a rangefinder to improve your performance and achieve better results in your field sport of choice.

1. Nikon Monarch 7i VR

The Nikon Monarch 7i VR has a high price tag, but after using it for just a short time, it becomes clear why it is worth the cost.

This small device, measuring only 99 x 75 x 48mm and weighing just 200g, is easy to store in any pocket. It also has a black carry pouch with an elasticated loop and hook for fastening, instead of a loud plastic catch. The pouch can be looped onto a belt or hooked onto a carabiner.

Nikon advertises their rangefinder as having a maximum distance of 915m, with an accuracy of 0.1m. It also features 6x magnification and a 7.5-degree field of view, as well as 18mm of eye relief for those who wear glasses. Additionally, it can display distances in either yards or metres, and the graphics are both crisp and easy to read, with the ability to switch between horizontal and actual measured distance.

The Distant Target Priority feature can be especially helpful when in the woods, as it will lock onto the furthest object. Additionally, the Vibration Reduction technology reduces the effects of unsteady hands, providing precise readings for either single targets or for scanning the terrain.

Alpha Militaria’s verdict

If accuracy is of utmost importance to you, the Nikon Monarch 7i VR is a great option, even though it is pricier than other products on the market. It is packed with features.

2. Leica Rangemaster CRF 2400-R

The Rangemaster CRF 2400-R is an exceptional product, which is in keeping with Leica’s reputation for superior optics, similar to that of Nikon.

The 7x magnification offered by this device was incredibly clear and could be adjusted using the adjustable dioptre. The rubber eyecup also allowed me to use it comfortably even when wearing glasses.

The carbon fiber-reinforced plastic body of the device is tough enough to handle the wear and tear of hunting and comes with a carry pouch. To use it, press the raised button to turn on the red LED circle, point it at your target, and press the button once more to get an instant readout of the distance in either meters or yards up to a maximum range of 2,200m. The Rangemaster requires a single Lithium CR2 type battery (included) and is estimated to last for 3,000 measurements. It is designed to endure extreme temperatures and is very durable. 

The device is waterproof to a depth of 1m, meaning it can survive occasional immersions, but not be used underwater.c

Alpha Militaria’s verdict

Investing in the Leica Rangemaster CRF 2400-R will give you the assurance that it will be effective in any airgun situation. Its superior optics, simple functioning, and ergonomic design make it enjoyable to use.

3. MTC Optics Rapier Ballistic

MTC Optics has a fantastic selection of scopes, but this particular rangefinder is an especially remarkable product in their lineup.

Measuring 105 x 72 x 38mm and weighing only 185g, this tough plastic device is small and lightweight. Stippling on the top and bottom gives it an easy grip while a rubberized dioptre allows you to adjust the 6x lens to focus on objects up to 1,200m away.

The CR2 battery used to power the black display enables it to take up to 5,000 measurements. It is clear and offers a range of three different reticles, and provides measurements in either yards or metres. A lightning flash symbol will appear when the laser is in operation and a gentle buzzing sound will sound when a reading is given.
You can use a free app to access information about your set-up and ammunition in order to get precise aiming instructions on your phone or through an earpiece. You can customize the amount of information to your needs, whether you require extensive details or just the basics.

Alpha Militaria’s verdict

The MTC Optics Rapier Ballistics is a versatile tool that can be used for everything from basic distance calculations to highly precise accuracy assistance.

4. ATN LaserBallistics 1500

The ATN LaserBallistics 1500 is intelligent enough to be a companion while outdoors. Unlike the MTC product, it won’t verbally communicate with you but can interact with your ATN Smart HD scope of the second generation or higher.

After inputting information about your set-up into the free app, the LaserBallistics 1500 will use Bluetooth to connect to an ATN scope with the ballistic calculator function enabled and make necessary adjustments to your aim point. For those without an ATN scope, 1500 will connect to a smartphone for manual adjustments. This product is exceptional, even without any electronic manipulation. The 6x magnification feature allows you to find and aim at your target from a distance of up to 1,500 meters.

By pressing the ‘On’ button quickly, the device will provide a measurement of a single object in either meters or yards. If the button is held down, it will scan the surrounding area and measure the distances of multiple objects.

This product is small and lightweight at 106 x 35 x 73mm and 152g, making it easy to carry in your pocket. Unfortunately, the included carry pouch has a loud Velcro fastening. Additionally, this product does not provide eye relief, so anyone who wears glasses will need to take them off to use them.

Alpha Militaria’s verdict

If you use an ATN scope, the LaserBallistics 1500’s smart connectivity capabilities will help you maximize your gear’s potential. Even if you don’t, this rangefinder still has plenty of other great features to offer.

5. Sightmark M8

The Sightmark M8 is at the lowest end of our fiscal range, so it does not have as many features as its pricier equivalents, but it is still a great option if you want something that can do the basics.

Despite its affordable price tag, this black plastic device has dimensions of 105 x 70 x 39mm and weighs 221g. It includes a carry pouch that fastens with a popper, though the CR2 battery required for use is not included. This is a minor inconvenience, however, as the battery is inexpensive. The rubberized focus ring allows for a clear image to be seen, even through glasses, and the 6x magnification will reach distances of up to 800 meters.

By pressing the power button briefly, the Sightmark laser rangefinder allows you to measure the distance to a single object in either meters or yards. Additionally, if you hold the button down, you can get a continuous reading. This device also features the ability to measure the speed of an object, which may be useful for activities other than shooting.

Alpha Militaria’s verdict

If you only want something that can measure the distance to an object, then the Sightmark M8 may be the perfect choice for you, as it doesn’t have any other features that you don’t need and would be an unnecessary expense.

6. Leupold RX-2800 TBR/W

If you shoot both centerfire and rimfire, you should definitely check out the Leupold RX-2800 TBR/W, an impressive piece of equipment that offers more than the most demanding airgun shooters could ever require.

The RX-2800 is constructed from rubber-coated aluminum, making it surprisingly lightweight, given all the features and capabilities it offers. It is said to be accurate up to 2560 meters, and the red LED display is easily visible through the 7x magnification crystal clear optics. The RX-2800 offers all the features you would expect from a product of this price range, including single-point and constant scanning measurements and other features designed to enhance stability. The eye relief made it possible to use with glasses, the detection rate is immediate, and it is waterproof up to an unspecified depth.

Its major benefit is that it can give you optimized aiming guidance based on the specific features of the ammunition you’re using. Unfortunately, this only applies to 180-grain .308 Winchester rounds, not 16-grain JSBs.

Alpha Militaria’s verdict

There’s no argument that the Leupold RX-2800 TBR/W provides top-notch performance and quality. However, if you mainly use airguns, then this scope is overkill and not necessary. On the other hand, if you shoot long-range with larger calibers, this scope is the ideal choice.

7. Hawke LRF Hunter 600

Those who are experienced in hunting, plinking, and target shooting are likely aware of Hawke’s scopes, but if you haven’t investigated the company’s line of laser rangefinders, you’ll want to do so. 

I think the Hawke LRF 600 was originally intended for golfers, yet its size and weight (141g including the included CR2 battery) make it a great fit for air gunners too. It measures only 92 x 70 x 35mm, so it’s a very compact device. 

Despite its small size, this rangefinder offers plenty of features and good performance, such as 6x magnification, a range of up to 600m, and a built-in angle measurement. It is also waterproof up to IPX4 standards, which means it can handle splashes from any direction and comes with a convenient storage case.

The ‘Hunt’ feature can be used to accurately measure targets in a variety of conditions, including rain and tall grass, without any interference. As a glasses wearer, I wish the focus ring had been easier to turn and had more eye relief.

Alpha Militaria’s verdict

The Hawke LRF Hunter 600 offers exceptional value for money, as it is one of the most inexpensive products tested, yet it still provides plenty of features and great performance that are sure to satisfy the requirements of most airgun users.

8. Leupold Marksman 1000

Leupold’s Marksman 1000 rangefinder is the brand’s basic model, but its quality and craftsmanship make it more than enough for the needs of most air gunners.

The stippled, black polymer shell and the soft rubber focus ring provide plenty of adjustment and great eye relief for those wearing glasses. Leupold, a company well-known for their optics, engineered the 6x-magnification, multi-coated lens to bring out the best features of the image, such as brightness, contrast, and clarity.

The Marksman 1000 is a laser rangefinder that is activated by a single red button. It displays range measurements in line-of-sight, uphill and downhill readings with clear graphics, and is capable of measuring distances up to 1,000 yards (or meters).

Leupold includes a CR2 battery and a hoop and eye carry case, which attaches with a loop or plastic clip, and guarantees the product is waterproof.

Alpha Militaria’s verdict

Leupold’s superb optics are evident in the Marksman 1000, even though it is an entry-level product. The product has a great feel, and exceptional clarity, and provides the data air gunners require.

9. Sig Sauer KILO 1400 BDX

This 6x magnification device is ideal for shooters who wear glasses, as its easy-to-use design is glasses-friendly. It offers IPX4 waterproofing and measures 100x75x33mm, weighing 157g. It also comes with a useful free-to-download app. The downside is that it’s quite expensive, being at the lower end of the company’s range, and the minimum SIERRA3BDX parallax adjustment is 50 yards.

Constructed with premium polymers and rubberized textured panels, the KILO is 100x75x33mm in size and weighs 157g. It has an IPX4 waterproof rating and an adjustable dioptre ring which allows for a sharp and clear image and sufficient eye relief for those wearing glasses.

The 20mm objective lens of the KILO, which features Sig Sauer’s SpectraCoat anti-reflection coatings, provides a crystal-clear image at 6x magnification and a range of up to 1,400 metres. To power the device, a CR2 battery is easily accessible by unscrewing a coin slot cap just below the lens and should provide roughly 4,000 ranges.

By pushing the square button at the top, a default LCD screen appears, showing a small circular reticle, a battery indicator, elevation, incline angle, and Bluetooth connectivity status. A second brief press of the button displays readings in metres or yards to one decimal point, plus the angle from the horizontal plane. For more detailed information, holding the button down activates a scan mode that provides updated distance and angle readings four times every second.

By pressing the mode button on the left side, the user can access a variety of options, such as the ability to connect to Sig Sauer’s SIERRA3BDX scopes with a free-to-download app, which will automatically adjust the aim point with the user’s ballistic information entered. Despite its impressive features, the SIERRA3BDX range has a minimum parallax adjustment of 50 yards, making it an unlikely choice for air gunners.

​​The verdict on the Sig Sauer KILO 1400 BDX Airgun Shooter is that it is a high-performance rangefinder at the lower end of the Sig Sauer range. While some of its features may not be necessary for airgun shooting, it is an excellent choice for those who shoot rimfire or centrefire guns and should be used in tandem with a Sig Sauer scope.

10. Bushnell PRIME 1700 & Bushnell Nitro 1800

Bushnell is a renowned name in optics, and its scopes have been favored by air gunners for many years. We have tested two of the three models in the company’s monocular rangefinder line: the Prime 1700 and the Nitro 1800.

The Nitro 1800, Bushnell’s most premium product, is priced at £415. Its dimensions are 87x77x35mm and it weighs 160g, making it small enough to fit in a pocket or carry in the accompanying belt pouch.

The Nitro 1800 comes with a CR2 battery and has a range of 730 metres right away. Its 6×24 configuration makes it great for spotting, and you can get readings in either metres or yards with the press of a button. You can customize the Nitro 1800 to different terrains with its mode button, as well as settings for rifle and bow use.

The Bushnell Nitro 1800 Spec:

is a very small device that measures 87x77x35mm and weighs 160g. It is powered by a CR2 battery and is great for spotting, and fitting into your pocket. However, it is quite expensive.

The Bushnell Prime 1700 Spec:

has a 6x fixed magnification and a range of 1,600 metres. It measures 108x37x70mm and weighs 169g. It has a very crisp image and a Bullseye mode, but fewer features than the Nitro 1800.

You can upgrade the rangefinder scanning capabilities of a free app to over 1,800 meters and sync it with your smartphone or Kestrel device for ballistic data and holdover/windage calculations.

The Prime 1700, although costing £240, does not have the same features as the Nitro, but it does provide the most essential functions for air gunners. Thanks to its large objective lens, the 6x magnification offers a sharp image with excellent light transmission and colour. It also has an impressive range of 1,600 metres.

The verdict on Airgun Shooters is that both the Endurance and Vantage models provide excellent value and performance to meet any air gunning needs. If you typically use centrefire and rimfire rifles, the longer range of the Endurance products is likely to be the best choice.

In conclusion, choosing the right rangefinder for your outdoor adventure can greatly enhance your experience and help you achieve your goals. With so many options available, it’s important to consider factors such as range, accuracy, durability, and additional features when making your selection. By taking the time to research and compare different models, you can find the perfect rangefinder to meet your specific needs and ensure a successful outdoor adventure. Whether you’re hunting, golfing, or exploring nature, the right rangefinder can make all the difference. We hope this article has provided you with valuable insights and information to help you uncover the best rangefinders for your next outdoor adventure. Happy exploring!


1. What is a rangefinder, and why is it important for field sports?

A rangefinder is a device used to measure the distance between the user and a target. In field sports such as hunting, shooting, and golf, rangefinders can be essential for accurately estimating distances and making informed decisions about how to approach a shot or play. By using a rangefinder, you can improve your accuracy, reduce errors, and increase your confidence in your ability to hit your target.

2. How do I choose the right rangefinder for my field sport?

When choosing a rangefinder for your field sport, there are several factors to consider, such as the type of sport you’ll be participating in, the range and accuracy of the device, and the quality of the optics. Look for a rangefinder that is durable and easy to use, with a clear and bright display that is easy to read in different lighting conditions. Consider whether you need a rangefinder with additional features such as angle compensation or ballistics data.

3. Are there any special considerations when using a rangefinder in field sports?

Yes, there are a few special considerations when using a rangefinder in field sports. First, make sure you follow all safety guidelines and precautions when handling firearms and other equipment. Additionally, be aware of any local laws or regulations regarding the use of rangefinders or firearms in your area. Finally, practice using your rangefinder in different conditions and scenarios to become familiar with its features and limitations. Remember, a rangefinder is a tool to help you improve your performance, but it’s still up to you to make accurate and ethical shots or plays.