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Read This Comprehensive Review to find the Perfect RX Leupold Rangefinder

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Growing up hunting my dad taught me before you take your shot you better make sure it counts. Ethical hunters want to be as humane as possible. And if you are smart you want to use all the tools necessary to make sure your shot is dead on. It doesn’t make any sense to spend hundreds of dollars on your hunting set-up only to guess the distance when that big trophy is right in front of you. This review will look at three different Leupold range finders that you can click below to check out on Amazon. 

  • The Leupold RX-1000i TBR w/DNA (Discontinued but still available for purchase.)
  • The Leupold RX-1200i TBR w/DNA (There are three models, all upgraded to take the wind into account. Confirm the model numbers to make sure you are purchasing the correct one. You will see a description of each one below.)
  • The Leupold RX-850i TBR with DNA Digital Laser Rangefinder
  • All of these are available from Amazon by clicking their name above.

All of these rangefinders give every rifle hunter, bow hunter, and long range shooter an advantage for making more accurate shots. All of them have Leupold’s True Ballistic Range® (TBR®) and its advanced Digitally eNhanced Accuracy (DNA) System.

In a nutshell, the main difference you are getting from each Leupold range finder is distance up to: 865, 1000 or 1215 yards on reflective targets. The biggest upgrade for 2016 is the RX-1200i TBR w/DNA. It gives you the enhanced technology to account for changes in wind and includes new ballistic groups for 200 and 300 yards zero. With this rangefinder you can also range a deer at 800 yards compared to 600 with the RX-1000i model.

Click the item in the table below to skip to your most pressing question, or continue to read the whole review.

What Do People Like Most About the RX Rangefinder Series with TBR® & DNA®?

Leupold pretty much sums it up in their slogan, “Close enough, simply isn’t good enough for Leupold®, and probably not for you, either.” While it may sound a bit cliche, and even a little bit silly to quote it here, hunters and shooters like these rangefinders because they are high-quality products that work within 1/10th of a yard. Countless reviewers state that they have the sharpest, easiest to read numbers on the display.

Countless reviewers state that they have the sharpest, easiest to read numbers on the display. The digits are red, compared to black or gray, making them much easier to read in different lighting conditions like dusk, dawn and during the brightness of day.

The Ballistics Calculator can use either yards and meters. It’s so small you can fit it in your pocket or you can use the holster or lanyard that comes with it. The TBR® and DNA® technology help increase your likelihood of filling your tag because it tells you how to compensate for uphill and downhill shots to place your shot perfectly. There is a

There is a Quick Set Menu that allows you to use the rangefinder with only one hand. And given that it is coated in rubber, you can still easily do this when your hand is sweaty or the weather is wet. And if you want to get more of an edge, the new RX-1200i TBR w/DNA now accounts for wind. Just make sure that you if you want this technology you chose from product numbers 170638, 170639 or 170640.

What Do Some People Not Like About Them?

You have to push the button twice to get a range reading. Once to turn it on and the second time to get your range.

What Are The Main Features Of The RX-1200i TBR W/DNA Series?

If there is one thing you can count on is that Leopold is constantly improving their products. As you know, hunting and shooting weather conditions are rarely ideal.

Their newest laser rangefinder takes the wind into consideration without you having to rely on wind gauges or yet another piece of equipment to haul out with you. Once you select your ballistic group (which btw way includes new ballistic groups for 200 and 300-yard zeros), their new true ballistic range/wind feature will automatically calculate wind hold values that integrate with their ballistic reticles. And as

And as Leupold now rates the Rx-1200i model capable of reading deer out to 800 yards rather than 600 yards in the RX-1000i model, this should give hunters better first-time readings at closer ranges with normal weather and lighting conditions.

Personally, I prefer to shoot at a bit closer range than 800 yards, but it is kind of fun knowing that I can do it. It is also completely weatherproof with a rubber coating and grip that makes it easy to hold even in bad weather. This rangefinder comes in three different models. The linked names above will take you to Amazon’s site to purchase them now!

Leupold-rangefinder

All three versions.

It comes with a holster and a lanyard to easily wear around your neck for quick and easy access. What are its main specs?

  • You’ll get 6x magnification allowing you to leave your binoculars at home.
  • The Objective Clear Aperture is 22.00 mm.
  • The maximum range is 1215 yards on reflective surfaces.
  • The maximum range for trees is 900 yards.
  • The maximum range for deer is 800 yards. This is 200 yards farther than the RX-1000i.
  • It only weighs 7.80-ounces and is 3.80 inches long, 1.40 inches wide, and 3 inches in height allowing you to easily fit it in your pocket.
  • The fold down rubber eyecups make it easy for those with glasses to use.
  • Minimum range is 6 yards.
  • Linear Field of View is 320 feet.
  • Twilight factor is 11.50
  • Exit pupil is 3.60 mm and eye relief is 17.00 mm.
  • It can be read in either yards or meters.

On a side note, Leupold’s website can be a bit confusing. They have two RX-1200i TBR With DNA Digital Laser Rangefinders listed. At first glance, it looks like there is no difference in specs. However the one that is labeled “new” is the one with new technology to account for the wind. Product #119360 and #119361 do not have the wind technology.

What Are RX-1000i’s Main Features?

I have reviewed the Leupold RX-1000i TBR w/DNA in detail in a previous post. It comes in two sizes, 13.60 ounces, and 7.80 ounces. The 13.60-ounce one is discontinued, but you can still purchase it while supplies last. And the second is classified as a “past product” on Leupold’s website, but it is also still available on many sites. Click here to see a full review on those two products. Overall it is a great product that includes DNA and TBR technology. The main problem is will you be able to get it before supply runs out. If you know you want it now from Amazon without reading my full review, click on one of the sizes! 13.60 ounces or 7.80 ounces.

What Are The Main Features Of The RX-850i TBR W/DNA?

leupold-rangefinder

RX-850i TBR w/DNA

The RX-850 TBR with DNA weighs only 7.00-ounces and comes in black and gray with an ergonomic grip for a great hold in all kinds of weather.  It is rated for deer at 750 yards and trees at 800 yards with a maximum reflective range of 865 yards. It’s only 4.0 inches x 1.30 inches x 2.50 inches making it very easy to slide right in your pocket. You also get a carrying case and lanyard so you can wear it around your neck. While I can fit it in my pocket, I’d rather use one of those as I would be really upset with myself if it fell out of my pocket.

Click here to check it now on Amazon!

Here are its other specs:

  • Actual Magnification = 6.00x
  • Objective Clear Aperture (mm) = 23.00 mm
  • Min Range (yd) = 6.00 yd
  • Linear Field of View = 105.00 ft
  • Twilight Factor = 12.00
  • Exit Pupil = 3.90 mm
  • Eye Relief = 14.00 mm

Like the other in the RX series, it comes with DNA and TBR technology giving you the ability to account for range as well as uphill or downhill shots. See the table of content for more details on DNA and TBR technology. For archers, it delivers with 1/2 yard of accuracy despite target color up to 125 yards. And just for fun, the Leupold website boasts that it has a trophy scale allowing you to measure the antler spread before you take a shot. The font is also red which is much easier to read than black or gray on dark backgrounds.

There Are So Many Functions. How Do I Keep Track Of All Of Them?

You will definitely want to sit down with your rangefinder, read its instructions thoroughly, and test your knowledge of its functions before going out. You don’t want to be fiddling with it when your big trophy walks in front of you and therefore need to be comfortable with how to use it. While it does offer many functions it’s pretty straightforward. For the basic use, you simply point at the target, push the button, and line up the target in the middle of the reticule. Leupold makes it a bit easier by providing this Quick Reference Guide.

Leupold makes it a bit easier by providing this Quick Reference Guide. Click here to access it. The Guide covers Basic Operation, Menu Navigation, True Ballistic Range® (TBR®) for both the bow and rifle, The Display at a Glance and the TBR® Performance Group Selection Table for Best Fit Up to 500 Yards.

Are Leupold Rangefinders Made In America?

This is one area that disappoints many. While Leupold is designed in their Beaverton, Oregon facility, their rangefinders are manufactured in China. Leupold states on their website they are doing this to source the best components.

However, on a good note, Leupold’s motto is “Before we were a company, we were a family.” This appeals to me as I learned to hunt from my dad. He took all of us kids out and taught us how to safely handle firearms, how to track deer, how to gut them, butcher them, and prepare a meal from them. It was very important to him that we only hunt what we eat and that we should not be wasteful. My experience might be similar to yours and that’s why many people feel good about buying from a fifth generation family owned company.

What is True Ballistic Range®?

leupold-rangefinder

True Ballistic Range can mean the difference between filling your tag and going home empty.

True Ballistic Range® (TBR®) can be calibrated to a variety of cartridges and lets the hunter know the holdover values need to make a shot. This can make a big difference in hitting your target when you are either uphill or downhill from it. TBR® calculates the correct holdover by essentially correcting the horizontal distance to the target instead of the line-of-sight distance.

For archers, there is also a BOW setting that calculates the ballistics of arrows up to 125 yards. All of these models display the line-of-sight (LOS) range or the true ballistic range, which is the corrected horizontal distance to the target. This function is partly possible due to a built-in inclinometer that tells you the angle up or down to your target. Then the TBR uses this information to figure out the true horizontal distance to up or downhill targets. This helps take the guessing out of shooting your target that is not on an exact line-of-sight distance on a horizontal plane. You can also choose four different readouts: MOA, holdover, Mil-Dot, and BAS mode. Leupold offers seven rifle, ballistic groups. Keep in mind that holdovers are only approximations. It is still better to figure this out for your specific rifle and load.

What does the Digitally eNhanced Accuracy (DNA) System mean?

This system means a lot for both archers and rifle shooters. Archers will get an advantage with readings up to 125 yards displayed at the nearest 1/10th of a yard. Rifle shooters get that, plus milliradian based shot-correction data. The third generation DNA engine is now more dependable for soft, non-reflective targets at farther ranges. See the comparison chart above to see maximum ranges for each one of these rangefinders reviewed.

What Do All of These Products Include?

All of them include the Cordura® holster, lanyard, battery and complete instructions.

What Is The Warranty on These Products?

These products are covered by the Leupold® Full Lifetime Guarantee.

If their optics don’t work as promised, they will repair or replace them for free, even if you are not the original owner. You get this without proof of ownership or warranty card.

Leupold is so confident that their products are built to last, they stand completely behind their work.

Can You Give Me A Quick Reference Chart?

Leupold RX Rangefinder Comparison Chart

ModelLeupold RX-1000i Leupold RX-1200i Leupold RX-850i
OLED Display
Red FontRed Font
Red Font
Magnification6x6x6x
WeightThere are two sizes: 13.60 and 7.80-ounces. They share the same model #.7.80-ounces7.00-ounces
L x W x HThe 7.80-ounce one is 3.80 x 1.3 x 2.8". The 13.60-ounce is slightly larger but still pocket sized.3.8 x 1.4 x 3"4.0 x 1.3 x 2.5"
Reflective1000 yards1215 yards800 yards
Trees700 yards900 yards600 yards
Deer
600 yards800 yards500 yards
True Ballistic RangeYesYesYes
Digitally eNhanced AccuracyYesYesYes
Warranty2 years2 years2 years
Estimate Online Price$509 to $725$389 to $520$250 to $325
Leupold's Retail Price$499.99$519.99 to $549.99 depending on model which is change in color.$324.99
Wind TechnologyNoYesNo
InclinometerYesYesYes
New Ballistic Groups for 200 & 300 Yards ZeroNoYesNo
BatteryCR2 - not rechargeable
>10,000 Actuations
CR2 - not rechargeable
>5000 Actuations
CR2 - not rechargeable
>7,000 Actuations
Reads in yd & mYesYesYes
WeatherproofYesYesYes
This chart compares the Leupold RX-1200i TBR w/DNA, the RX-1000i TBR w/DNA, and the RX-850i TBR w/DNA.

Which One Should I Buy?

Frankly, this boils down to your personal preference. All of them have TBR® and DNA® technology. They are all weatherproof, easy to grip and fit in your pocket. They all have the same two-year warranty. They all have the red OLED font that is easy to read. They all come with a carrying case, adjustable neck strap, battery, and instructions. The main differences are battery life which ranges from 5,000 to 10,000 actuations and the distance you can shoot which ranges from 850 to 1200 yards.

Then ask yourself how far away do I really want to shoot my target while hunting? Sure I could shoot a deer at 800 yards with the help of my RX-1200i, but do I want to? So for me personally the extra distance is really more for fun.

And sometimes “just for fun” is worth it! Then if you absolutely want a rangefinder that takes the wind into consideration, then the RX-1200i is the only choice among these. All told each one of these is well made and worth the money.

Here are the links one more time that will take you directly to Amazon.

Leupold RX-1200 TBR w/DNA (comes in three versions.

The Leupold RX-850i TBR with DNA Digital Laser Rangefinder.

The Leupold RX-1000i TBR w/DNA (Discontinued but still available for purchase.)

 

About the Author Elizabeth

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