Rangefinders are absolutely important tools for estimating distances for hunters and long-range shooters. It's the key to accuracy in precision shooting at longer ranges where couple yards off can be misjudged by quite a large margin.
Many range gears are nice to have, but most agree that a high-quality rangefinder is one of the most important pieces of gears precision shooters should have.
In this article, we listed a few best laser rangefinder under $500, which include advanced features like image stabilization, optical clarity, angle modified range calculator and better accuracy.
After doing hours of research and combined with our own experiences, about 20% of long-range shooters pick the Sig Sauer BDX 2200 for the best value & performance, and about 4 out of 10 hardcore ELR shooting competitors in NRL (National Rifle League) pick the Lecia 2400 -R rangefinder.
As long-range precision shooting gets more popular, these products are MUST-HAVE for any serious shooters.
Check them out below…
Best Laser Rangefinder Under $500
These recommended LRF are commonly used by almost 70 – 90% of top shooters in the community.
BEST BALLISTIC COMPUTING LRF
|SIG SAUER KILO 2200 BDX||https://www.amazon.com/Sig-Sauer-5270-1294-Kilo2200BDX-Rangefinder/dp/B07DX1WXCD/ref=as_li_ss_tl?dchild=1&keywords=Sig+KILO+2200+BDX&qid=1578180180&sr=8-1&linkCode=ll1&tag=lrf50004-20&linkId=18d79f98adad2063fdd7051df23fe30e&language=en_US|
USED BY TOP NRL SHOOTERS
|LEICA RANGEMASTER 2400-R||https://www.amazon.com/Leica-Rangemaster-Crf-2400-R-40546/dp/B07G9K3PNL/ref=as_li_ss_tl?dchild=1&keywords=Leica+Rangemaster+2400-R&qid=1578180347&sr=8-1&linkCode=ll1&tag=lrf50004-20&linkId=af9534fcc908ae9b1738b5dce6b5592a&language=en_US|
BEST OPTICAL CLARITY & ELR PERFORMANCE
|LEUPOLD RX-2800 TBR/W||https://www.amazon.com/Leupold-0603-2294-171910-RX-2800-Laser/dp/B078XGZJ8D/ref=as_li_ss_tl?dchild=1&keywords=Leupold+RX-2800&qid=1578180541&sr=8-2&linkCode=ll1&tag=lrf50004-20&linkId=f002c7d4d8cff5b0aa8cefd03f6a827a&language=en_US|
BEST FOR THE MONEY
|BUSHNELL ELITE 1 MILE (CONX)||https://www.amazon.com/Bushnell-Elite-Rangefinder-Mile-7x26/dp/B00T9N2TW6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?dchild=1&keywords=bushnell+elite+1+male+coax&qid=1578180695&sr=8-1-fkmr0&linkCode=ll1&tag=lrf50004-20&linkId=b8f502b5e99e19c7c6be99edfbccb4ee&language=en_US|
If you're want something more affordable please check out our favorite laser ranger finder under $200 here on our site.
Sig KILO 2200 BDX
The Sig Sauer brand rangefinder is among the most popular on the market. The company has been very aggressive in marketing and expanding its optic brand across the board.
The Sig 2200 BDX is the next down from their 2400 ABS model ($1300), which is a very popular handheld rangefinder with a built-in Ballistic calculator (BDX) to help you optimize long-range firing solution on the go.
There is More…
You can also connect the rangefinder to your smartphone BDX app via Bluetooth connection. Inside the app, you can load up all critical ballistic information to help you shoot.
On top of that, the package comes with an external tripod mount sleeve you can slide onto the rangefinder to stabilize your aim, which is a great feature to have.
Among all other products on the market, the SIG 2200 BDX is the perfect balance between value and high-end performance.
Leica Rangemaster 2400-R
This compact handheld rangefinder is capable of ranging up to 2400 yards just like the Sig 2200 BDX with an internal built-in line of sight calculator to angle modified range.
This thing is about 50% better than the Leica 1600R model with faster scan speed and displays while staying under $1000.
The Leupold RX-2800 is the better-executed & marketed product than the Vectronix Terrapin, which was way overpriced for most people, but people loved its performance for ranging up to 2400 yards very consistently.
The RX-2800 does just as good as the Vectronix Terrapin but way more affordable for most people. The glass clarity is top-notch, and you can use it as a spotting scope switching between BAS & LOS modes operated by Leupold's TBR/W technology.
Another super awesome piece of technology built-into this thing just like other high-end LRF is the tighter & faster laser scanning capability, which interpolates all the rapid firing laser data set into the most accurate reading, whether stabilized or not – Leupold calls it their Lightning fast Alpha IQ ranging system.
For extreme long-range precision shooting up to 1000 yards and beyond, it's critical to get the range data determined to the target with precision, where your danger space tight when you shoot up to 2000 yards. In other words, your margin of error gets very very tight.
For the performance and glass clarity, this is it! One of the best from Leupold.
Bushnell Elite 1 Mile CONX
The Bushnell brand optics always seemed to be cheap, but this Elite 1 Mile CONX rangefinder really shined in its performance. Once you used it you will disassociate it with Bushnell's entry-level products.
Capable of ranging up to 900 yards on reflective surfaces with no delay thanks to its fast speed scan, which is a very important quality you should be looking for in a rangefinder.
The price point is great for this exceptional performance rangefinder for just under $400, which you can get on Amazon for cheaper. Click here to check the latest price with Kestrel Sportsman combo.
What Specs To Look For In A High-End Rangefinder
A higher-end laser rangefinder for precision shooting must have the ability to accurately measure distance no matter the environment, weather condition or angle.
Image stabilization is important for eliminating shaky image, Line of sight calculation for high angle shooting without manual calculation by hand, Optimal size & weight for shooters who are constantly on the move in rough terrains.
Image Stabilization & Tripod Accessory
Built-in Image stabilization system increases the price of the rangefinder because it's a piece of high tech component that eliminates shaky magnified image, so the shooter can accurately gather distance data on a specific point of interest.
One biggest piece of tech you need for that is the Vibration Reduction system that does the magic, which also means the price goes up.
Some rangefinders come with tripod adapters where you can use it to better stabilize the image like some of the Sig Sauer BDX rangefinders.
If you don't have one you can get an affordable small size tripod here on Amazon.
Angle Modified Range Calculator – Must Have For High-Angle Shooting
Angle modified range is an important piece of information for shooters shooting on inclined and declined angles. In other words, high angle shooting where the bullet performance is dramatically affected by the gravity.
So getting an accurate angle modified distance is critical.
You can definitely calculate the horizontal distance by hand but getting a laser rangefinder with a built-in line of sight calculator is important for simplicity and saves time & mental energy.
If you want to learn more about how to calculate angle modified range by hand please check out it out on our website: How To Calculate Angle Modified Range
Most laser rangefinders on the market put range specs as maximum readable distance capable of that particular unit, only under ideal environmental conditions on highly reflective large surfaces.
The reason this is important is that it gives you accurate data. First, the user has to understand that the environment does affect distancing performance.
Without a lot of glare and air pollution and heatwaves on a cool day under a cloudy sky, you may be able to range a smooth white metal pole barn at 1500 yards.
Add sun or rain or snow or heat mirage, or lessen the size of your target, or darken the color, or increase the texture, then NO! Maybe many hundreds of yards less.
Size & Weight – Personal Preference
For stationary long-range precision shooting, the weight of your rangefinder isn't really a huge burden until you're moving from spots to spots constantly like in a shooting competition or hunting.
Every ounce adds up quick on top of your other range gears! Soon you gonna wish to drop all the weight as much as you can to feel at ease.
Generally speaking, most range finders are around 8 oz, therefore, they're pretty light to carry around. At the end of the day, it's up to your personal preference to see what's comfortable for you.
The reticle you see through the spotting scope is how you aim at an object over the distance. Some reticles have black lines that you superimpose over the object you want to calculate the distance.
Illuminated reticles are recommended under the shadow and low light conditions, in order to distinguish against a dark background. Make sure the illuminated reticle isn't too bright because you would not be able to see past the super bright reticle where it starts to obscure the target.
The best of both worlds, in my opinion, is a black reticle and information with a button for backlighting. The backlighting is much less intense than in an LED and gives you the capability to view your information in all light conditions.
Laser Rangefinder FAQ
Common rangefinder questions and answers below:
What's the Cheapest Rangefinder That Works Well
The cheapest rangefinder doesn't have many advanced features such as image stabilization, angle modified range calculator or has as much accuracy as the higher-end products, but there are some that works very well under $200.
The Leupold RX 650 and Nikon Prostaff 1000i are great options without breaking the bank. For more please check out best laser rangefinder under $200 on our site.
What's The Best Rangefinder For Long Range Precision Shooting Under $500
For rangefinders under $500 used for long range precision shooting, the device must be accurate, durable, waterproof and packed with advanced ballistic technology to take modern precision shooting to the next level.
The Sig Sauer KILO BDX 2200, ATN Laser Ballistics 1500 Smart Laser Rangefinder, and Leica CRF 2400R are great options on the market today.
What's The Best 1000 Yard Rangefinder
The best 1000 yard rangefinders under $500 are: Sig Sauer BDX 2200 or 2400, and Lecia CRF 2400
When the manufacturer labels the maximum range specs on the box, it's usually a number under the bright lighting condition on reflective surfaces.
Rule of thumb: For experienced rangefinder users please take note mentally that you need to take that number and slash it by half for ranging non-reflective surfaces.
How Accurate Is A Laser Rangefinder ?
The device shoots out a laser beam straight to the area of interest, then it reflects back to the rangefinder. This is why reflective surfaces do much better than non-reflective.
The greater the distance, the longer it takes to get back the range data. For the most part high end LRF can measure within half a yard.
A good rangefinder shoots out laser beams rapidly and interpolate the data and give you the best reading, so scan speed matters in an rangefinder especially for extreme long ranges.
How accurate the reading is depended on how you're focusing with the reticle. Usually tree branches, rain drop, fog or leafs can affect the beam. Other times insufficient battery also don't provide much juice for the LRF to work well.
Advanced rangefinders with features to help you range critical long range data is important for precision shooting.
Image stabilization for non-shaky image, rapid scanning laser speed for interpolated accuracy, line of sight calculation for angled shooting…etc These are very important features to look for in a laser rangefinder around $400 to $500.
Hope you learned a lot in this post and be sure to check out other content on our website.
Read More: Best Spotting Scopes for Precision Shooting