Long-range shooting: How to choose a laser rangefinder Complete Guide

Are you looking to up your long-range precision shooting skills? A laser rangefinder is a key tool for accurately gauging distances and making sure you hit your target. Let’s explore the features to consider when buying one so you can make an informed decision. You’ll be hitting bullseyes in no time!

When it comes to long-range shooting, one of the most important tools you can have is a laser rangefinder. Rangefinders allow you to accurately determine the distance to your target, enabling you to make adjustments and take the perfect shot. However, with so many different types of rangefinders on the market, it can be difficult to know which one is right for your needs.

This guide will help you understand the different types of laser rangefinders available and what features to consider when making a purchase. We’ll also cover some tips on how to properly use a rangefinder so that you can get the most out of your investment. After reading this guide, you will be able to choose the best laser rangefinder for your long-range shooting needs.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Laser Rangefinder for Long-Range Shooting

Once you’ve established the specific features your laser rangefinder should have, you must now consider the factors that will determine which model will be best for your long-range shooting needs. There are three important factors to keep in mind when selecting a rangefinder: accuracy, maximum range and size/weight.

Accuracy: Always look for a rangefinder with at least +/- 0.5 yards of accuracy. However, more accurate models (as close as +/- 0.1 yard) may be beneficial for extremely long-range shots that require precise calculations.

Maximum Range: While most laser rangefinders can obtain readings up to 1,200 yards or more, consider woods and terrain conditions when making your selection. A rangefinder with 1,000-yard or greater distance capability may be overkill if you’re only shooting 200-300 yards in the field. That being said, it’s always better to have a longer-distance capability than what is necessary just in case – you never know when conditions will change while hunting or shooting on the range!

Size/Weight: Long sporting events or hunts can be exhausting and any additional equipment weight can make them even more so. Look for lightweight options without unnecessary bells and whistles (such as a built-in compass) that add unnecessary size and weight to the device. Additionally, read customer reviews to ensure the product has comfortable handles and buttons that are easy to use while wearing gloves or cold weather gear!

Maximum Range

When you’re in the process of selecting a laser rangefinder, knowing the maximum distance it can reach is important. The maximum range is determined by the accuracy level and power of the laser rangefinder being used. A higher power laser will be able to reach longer distances than a lower power one.

The reason for this is that as you increase in power, beam divergence decreases, allowing more energy to be thrown into the transmission of signal and therefore resulting to longer ranges. Therefore, while selecting your laser rangefinder consider both its accuracy level and laser type i.e., Class 1 or Class 2 when it comes to maximum distance readings.


Accuracy is a crucial element to consider when selecting a laser rangefinder. Accuracy is tied to precision and determines the difference between indicated measurement and actual measurement. The formula used to calculate accuracy is typically given as ± one yard. In other words, if the rangefinder indicates a measurement of 100 yards, it might actually be anywhere between 99-101 yards.

An added benefit to extended range models is increased accuracy; higher wattage allows for increased precision even at longer distances, meaning you’ll be able to see objects or targets far away with confidence you’re measuring the exact distance. Some models may even come with an ‘auto calibration’ feature, allowing users to input target data so the device can adjust beam settings for optimal accuracy.

Professional grade models also offer several advanced features such as ballistic calculations and angle compensation technologies for improved long-range performance and targeting ability; if you plan on using your rangefinder for very long distances or precise targeting in specific terrain types, these features are worth considering when shopping around for a model best suited for your needs.


Magnification is an important feature to consider when selecting a laser rangefinder. Optic lenses are used to magnify the image that you see on the rangefinder, which affects its magnification capability as well as other factors like resolution and clarity. Most rangefinders come with a standard 6x-7x magnification. However, some rangefinders have higher levels of magnification, such as 8x-9x or 10x-15X, depending on the model.

For long-range shooting applications it is typically recommended to use a rangefinder with higher magnification in order to achieve a more accurate measurement from long distances. In addition to providing more accurate measurements from greater distances, increased magnification allows for more precise aiming since images appear larger and clearer through the lens.

As you consider purchasing a rangefinder for long distance shooting it is important to be aware of the model’s magnification level in order to make sure that it will meet your needs and enable you to make accurate measurements at longer distances.

Features to Look for in a Laser Rangefinder for Long-Range Shooting

It’s important to choose a rangefinder that’s tailored specifically to long-range shooting, in order to get the best performance. Here are some features you should look for when choosing a rangefinder:

Accuracy: The accuracy of the rangefinder is critical for long-range shooters, as it will make or break an accurate shot. Look for models that offer accuracy within one yard or better. Anything over three yards should be avoided, as it won’t help make your shot any more accurate.

Optics: It’s important to choose a device with good optics, as this allows you to easily locate and identify your target from farther away. Look for devices with good magnification (at least 6x) and an excellent field of view (no less than 7°). You can also consider devices with image stabilization for added comfort and convenience.

Angle Compensation: Angles can effect accuracy greatly in short distance shooting, so you should make sure the rangefinder offers angle compensation so that it provides an accurate reading regardless of the angle of your shot. This feature is especially important when shooting over uneven terrain such as hills and valleys.

Durability: A quality laser rangefinder will withstand all types of weather conditions and rough handling while still providing reliable performance. Look for a device that offers waterproof construction and is made out of high quality materials such as aluminum or stainless steel.

Battery Life: Laser rangefinders have generally have shorter battery life than other electronic devices, so look for one with good battery life (at least 2000 hours). Many devices also offer low power mode which can help conserve battery life if necessary.

Marines select rifle-mounted laser rangefinder

Reticle and Display

When considering a rangefinder, you need to consider two very important elements — the reticle (or sighting line) and the display.

The reticle is used to locate your target in the viewfinder and usually consists of a simple crosshair or an output for the measured distance readouts. Depending on your rangefinder, you may also have additional features such as astigmatism compensation, windage and parallax adjustment, and three-dimensional measuring capabilities.

The display is just as important as the reticle. Look for one that gives you quick access to all of the features and settings; some have onboard menus and others have illuminated. You should also look for a rangefinder with wide-angle optics so that you can easily locate your target even in low light conditions. If you plan on shooting in different environments, make sure to select a laser rangefinder with adjustable brightness settings so that it won’t affect your vision during night operations or be too bright during daytime conditions.

Target Priority Modes

Target Priority modes on rangefinders allow you to lock onto specific targets and exclude distractions. Most modes feature a First Target Priority Mode, and some have a Distant Target Priority Mode. The First Target Priority Mode allows the user to quickly “lock on” to the closest target, while the Distant Target Priority can prioritize targets at long distances. There are some benefits of each mode depending on what type of shooting you are doing. To decide which mode is best for your purpose, it is important to break down their basic functions and features.

First Target Priority Mode: With this mode, your rangefinder will “lock on” to the closest target and alert you with a flag or beep once locked on. If more than one target appears within range there is no guarantee your laser will detect both of them unless you re-scan the area for a more accurate reading. This would be ideal if you were looking for distance measurements in a golf course scattered with trees and other obstacles hiding behind them.

Distant Target Priority Mode: The Distant Target Priority mode acts similarly as its counterpart but instead of locking onto the closest target in view, it focuses primarily on higher distance readings thus presenting far objects as third priority or fourth priority readings with regards to nearer ones at first sighting or initializing scan. This mode could come in handy if shooting multiple targets at long-range where most of them may appear further than closer targets such as 15 miles away versus 6 miles away etc..Distinctions between these two functions should be taken into consideration when choosing which laser rangefinder best fits your particular needs!

Weatherproofing and Waterproofing

For long-range shooting, it is important to consider the necessity of weatherproofing and waterproofing. Properly measuring outer distances requires a rangefinder that is capable of being exposed to different weather conditions such as rain and snow.

If your laser rangefinder isn’t sealed properly or doesn’t have IPX rating seals, moisture can get inside and damage the optics. To ensure its longevity and accuracy, look for a rangefinder that can withstand temperatures from -15°C to +60°C (-5°F to 140°F), has been tested for shock resistance at a height of 1 meter (4 feet), and meets its manufacturer’s IPX minimum waterproof standards or higher.


Choosing a laser rangefinder that meets your needs is important when it comes to long-range shooting. If you select the wrong type of rangefinder, you won’t get the features and capabilities you need, or expect accuracy. A poorly chosen rangefinder can be costly in terms of time and ammunition, so it pays to do your research before making a purchase.

You’ll want to be sure that the device is suitable for your environment and conditions, as well as being tough enough to withstand whatever life throws at it. You should also consider weather sealing, battery life, the lens size and quality, magnification levels, weight and size. Armed with this information and taking time to understand what features are best for your shooting style will ensure that you choose the right laser rangefinder for your needs.

Good luck in selecting a laser rangefinder that gives you reliable measuring capabilities in all conditions!

Beginner's Guide to Long-Range Shooting | Tactical Experts |  TacticalGear.com


What is the best rangefinder for long range shooting?

There are several excellent rangefinders for long-range shooting, including the Leica Geovid HD-B 3000, Vortex Fury HD 5000, and Sig Sauer Kilo 3000 BDX.

What should I look for in a laser rangefinder?

When choosing a laser rangefinder, you should consider factors such as range, accuracy, ease of use, durability, and additional features like slope adjustment, target tracking, and weatherproofing.

What is the range of a laser rangefinder?

The range of a laser rangefinder depends on the model and manufacturer. Some rangefinders have a range of a few hundred yards, while others can measure distances up to several thousand yards.

What rangefinder do Tour pros use?

Tour pros use a variety of rangefinders, but some popular options include Bushnell Pro XE, Nikon Coolshot Pro Stabilized, and Leupold GX-5i3.

What is the most accurate laser rangefinder?

The most accurate laser rangefinder is subjective and depends on various factors. However, some highly accurate rangefinders include the Leica Rangemaster CRF 2800.COM, Bushnell Elite 1-Mile ARC, and Sig Sauer Kilo 2400ABS.

What is the most accurate range finder?

The most accurate range finder can vary depending on the type and application. Still, some of the most accurate options include the Leica Rangemaster CRF 2800.COM, Nikon Monarch 3000 Stabilized, and Sig Sauer Kilo 2400ABS.

Do snipers use rangefinders?

Yes, snipers often use rangefinders to determine the distance to their target accurately.

Does rangefinder actually increase range?

No, a rangefinder cannot increase the range of a firearm or projectile. It can only measure the distance to a target accurately.

What round shoots the farthest?

The round that shoots the farthest depends on various factors, including the caliber, muzzle velocity, and ballistic coefficient. However, some of the rounds known for their long-range capabilities include the .50 BMG, .338 Lapua Magnum, and 6.5 Creedmoor.

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