Long-range shooting: Which rangefinder to choose? Complete Guide

Struggling to choose the best rangefinder for your long-range shooting sessions? You’ve come to the right place!

This guide will help you find a rangefinder that meets all your criteria and make the most of your shooting sessions. Whether you’re a rifle shooter, bow hunter or precision shooter, this guide has got you covered.

Long-range shooting is becoming an increasingly popular activity for many people, as it offers a combination of technical skill and enjoyment. In order for this type of shooting to be successful, however, the right equipment must be chosen. Among the most essential pieces of equipment for any long-range shooter is the rangefinder. This particular device is used to calculate distances in advance so that shots can be taken accurately and consistently and with maximum effect.

In this complete guide we look at rangefinders in detail, discussing what they are, how they work and which ones are best suited to your needs. We also take a quick look at some of the other technologies being developed in this field, as well as offering advice on how to get started with long-range shooting and make it as enjoyable as possible. We hope you find this guide useful and wish you luck with your long-range shooting endeavours!

Definition of long-range shooting

Long-range shooting is a type of marksmanship that requires shooters to use advanced shooting techniques and equipment to accurately place shots at significant distances. It can be wildly rewarding for experienced shooters but also poses a steep learning curve for beginners. Mastery of long-range shooting requires dedicated practice, as well as knowledge of relatively complex concepts like ballistics and optics—which is why it can be challenging to get into.

A key piece of equipment used in long-range shooting is the rangefinder. Rangefinders are essential tools used to measure distance and targets with laser beams, making it easier for shooters to calculate ballistic data like trajectory, speed, air resistance, etc. The accuracy of any shot depends on the capability of the rangefinder; by ensuring maximum precision in every measurement, you maximize your chances of success when you pull the trigger at longer distances.

But with so many different types of rangefinders on the market—from basic models to advanced digital versions—it can be hard for shooters to decide which one best fits their needs and budget. That’s why we put together this comprehensive guide to help you select the perfect tool for your next long-range shooting adventure!

Importance of using a rangefinder

Using a rangefinder is an essential tool in long-range shooting, enabling you to accurately measure the distance between you and your target. There are several other factors that will impact the accuracy of your shot, such as environmental conditions like wind speed and temperature or even light conditions, but having an accurate measurement of the range is invaluable in making an effective shot. Additionally, rangefinders can also provide helpful information about magnified angles, allowing shooters to take into account other variables involved in shooting at longer distances.

Having the ability to make quick and accurate calculations means that shots can be made with confidence and accuracy – no matter what weather conditions or light shadows are present. Knowing precisely how far away your target is gives you the ability to adjust your hold point accordingly and reach beyond what would otherwise be impossible without an accurate measurement of the environment around you.

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

There are several factors to consider when choosing a rangefinder for long-range shooting. It is important to select a unit that is suited to your specific needs as different models offer different features and capabilities.

The first factor to consider when selecting a rangefinder for long-range shooting is the type of terrain you intend to be using it in. In some cases, it may make sense to choose a device with an integrated magnification lens, which can help provide more accurate results over longer distances. On the other hand, if you will only be shooting over level terrain, then a unit with a single magnification setting may suffice.

Another factor to consider is how far away you intend to be shooting from the target; some models offer additional features like ballistic compensation or advanced reticles that help optimize your aim when targeting at farther distances. It’s also important that you choose a model whose maximum range matches your preferred hunting style; if you are accustomed to targeting game at 400 yards or more on flat terrain, then choosing an 800 yard maximum range model may not be necessary for your needs.

Lastly, it’s wise to investigate what types of batteries the rangefinder requires and how many hours of use time per charge it provides; especially when hunting in remote locations where there won’t always accessable power outlets available for charging the unit’s battery. Ultimately however, selecting an appropriate rangefinder for long rang shooting should come down to cost versus features – determine the features you need and select one that sits within your budget while offering those requirements.


Range is one of the most important elements of long-range shooting, as it determines the distance that must be calculated in order to make an accurate shot. For this reason, a good quality rangefinder is essential for any serious long-range shooter. Rangefinders come in many shapes and sizes, so it’s important to choose one that best meets your needs.

When choosing a rangefinder, you need to consider factors such as accuracy, range capacity, size and weight. Accuracy is the most important factor since even small errors can make a big difference when shooting at long distances. Make sure to compare specifications of different models carefully before selecting one; most rangefinders have an accuracy range of +/- 3-5 yards for targets up to 500 yards away, but some models can reach distances greater than 1 mile with +/- 0.5-1 yard accuracy.

You should also consider size and weight when selecting your rangefinder; handheld devices are great for personal use but may not be as accurate as laser or GPS devices and can sometimes be too big and bulky for carrying out into the field. Likewise, laser and GPS devices tend to be bulkier than other types but they usually offer greater accuracy at further distances in exchange for their increased size and weight.

Ultimately, choosing the right rangefinder will depend on your individual needs; don’t forget to factor in cost too! Look for products that offer quality features without breaking the bank; there are many affordably priced items available with all the necessary capabilities needed for accurate long-range shooting.


When shopping for a rangefinder, the magnification is an important factor you need to consider. Magnification helps you to determine the size of your target and also describes how much a binocular can magnify. For long-range shooting, you should look for binoculars with a magnification between 8x and 10x. These higher levels of magnifications are essential in order to accurately judge distance or sizes of targets at long ranges.

What’s more, they enable greater detail recognition when scanning or inspecting distant objects or terrain. Additionally, quality optics such as anti-glare coatings on lenses maximizes light transmission aiding clarity and contrast while reducing glare on bright days so that long targets won’t be hard to find even from far distances. Moreover, different coating systems applied to the glass element can also reduce stray reflections which enhances overall image brightness and clarity even in low light conditions.

Angle Compensation

When you’re shooting at a target far away, it’s important to factor in the trajectory of the bullet. The height of your shooting position and the distance to the target create an angle that must be taken into account if you want to get a clear hit. This is where angle compensation technology comes in. The majority of rangefinders on the market feature angle compensation technology, with different models offering varying levels of accuracy.

To determine which rangefinder is right for you, consider how large of an angle displacement you’ll experience between your shooting point and your target. If you anticipate huge drops and rises along the way, then pick up a rangefinder featuring advanced angle compensation capabilities — this will enable more precise shooting distances with less guesswork involved. On the other hand, if your target isn’t located at an extreme elevated or depressed plane relative to where you’ll be taking aim from, then there’s no point in investing in the highest-level model available.

At a basic level, angle compensation measures come as either “single-shot” or “distance-run capable” models. Single-shot devices take only one measurement and good for shorter angles or shorter distances — they’re generally better suited for smaller distortions or when you already have an established baseline distance recorded by traditional methods like ranging sticks or pre-existing targets. Distance-run capable have sophisticated algorithms which perform up to three measurements and are thus better suited for larger angles — especially when cresting ridgelines and traversing elevation changes over greater distances. Make sure that whatever model you choose fits your needs as well as possible!

Demystifying Long Range Shooting | RECOIL


The accuracy of a rangefinder is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing the right one for long-range shooting. The device should be able to measure accurately up to various targets at different distances. To ensure that you have chosen the right rangefinder, look for its stated accuracy rate, as well as certifications by organizations/manufacturers that provide standards of accuracy and reliability.

When it comes to long-range shooting, you will also need a model with high magnification and large objective lens sizes to give you a clear image of whatever you are targeting at distances up to several thousand yards away. Additionally, look for features such as angle compensation and ballistic curves that can help in calculating the exact trajectory on your target no matter what type of terrain or slope it is located on.

Ultimately an accurate rangefinder that has all the relevant features outlined above is essential for successful long-range shooting.

How to Use a Rangefinder for Long-Range Shooting

Long-range shooting requires accurate and reliable data on both the environment and terrain, as well as the target. To capture this data and ensure accuracy, shooters use rangefinders designed specifically for long-range shooting. Rangefinders are easy to use, but can be tricky for first-time users. This guide will show you how to use your rangefinder to make sure your shots hit the mark.

To get started, you must understand what each setting or feature is used for. Most rangefinders allow you to select between different modes or settings. These can include line-of-sight, true height, angle or incline/decline distance, vertical slope distance (VSD), height difference (HD), mil dot spacing (MDS), holdover, and ballistic advance (BA). Depending on where and how far away you’ll be shooting from, you may need a few of these settings.

Once familiar with each setting or mode, it’s time to set up the rangefinder on your rifle or firearm. You’ll want to mount it securely so that all readings remain consistent throughout the shot process. You can do this by screwing a rail onto the rail of your rifle, then mounting the rangefinder onto that rail with mounting hardware provided by most manufacturers. If a rail isn’t available on your rifle model, many companies offer Picatinny rails that can be used instead. Once mounted securely onto the rifle rail or Picatinny accessory rails can provide stability of readings regardless of what type of stock is used in varying conditions such as security stocks and thumbhole stocks while insuring that readings do not change when steel optics are added to the barrel contour stock assembly in front ofthe action/bolthead tube measurement point while customizing your precision rifle system.

After securely mounting the rangefinder on your firearm setup and familiarizing yourself with its settings and features, it’s time to practice using it before heading out into the field! Doing some practical exercises at home will help ensure accuracy when taking shots in long distances out in nature when ranging real targets outdoors for real long-range shooting success.

Techniques for using a rangefinder

Using a rangefinder for long-range shooting requires knowledge beyond just picking out the right model. While a rangefinder is an invaluable tool for any shooter, there are certain techniques and methods needed to ensure that you get the most accurate results. Before attempting any kind of long-distance shooting, it’s important to learn the basics of how to use a rangefinder and develop good habits when operating it. Here are some tips and techniques on how to get the most out of your long-range shooting:

  1. Learn how your rangefinder works – Understanding the workings of your particular model is essential in helping you make more accurate estimates when out in the field. Most rangefinders offer adjustable aiming settings, which should be set correctly according to distance or environment. Familiarizing yourself with these settings will help you make more accurate readings over extended distances or in difficult terrain.
  2. Familiarize yourself with varying terrain – Long-range shooting often requires dealing with diverse terrains such as forested areas, open fields, hills and valleys, among many others. Knowing about terrains beforehand will help anticipate potential problems that may affect your estimation like reduced visibility caused by dense trees at longer ranges or curving paths on hilly regions making it harder for light waves from laser beam used by most models of rangefinders to travel effectively.
  3. Take proper measurements – When taking a measurement from where you are standing up until your desired target location, make sure to include all factors that may affect accuracy such as elevation changes or line-of-sight obstructions like buildings or large rocks by aimming at them before correcting your aim back onto target location again afterwards. Be meticulous when notating different distances between them so you can succeed in hitting further targets effectively regardless of weather or terrain conditions even if they are not visible during aiming process itself due to obstructions due to surrounding geography like mountains or foliage covers crossing laser sights path between spotter (yourself) and intended destination before triggering laser emitter installed within device. Remember too that if elevations between two locations change dramatically then measurements have to be adjusted accordingly so allow enough time for this part as well before confirming correct dial readings after taking several estimations in order to guarantee accuracy.
  4. Maintain focused attention – Long-range precision shooting requires intense focus and concentration when operating the device both outdoors and within closed quarters alike. Make sure that you slowly analyze each details present both around towards our target location (sweeping from left hand side slowly then back towards centre axis before sweeping towards right side following same tempo) whilst simultaneously adjusting dials offered within our array instruments one at time until correct convergence is found (or until maximum possible lockdown procedure has been established). It’s also worth reiterating that paying attention extensively when data gathering should provide us with clear clarity over any navigational issues which may potentially occur during distance reading process meaning greater accuracy will always be reflected back end reflexively throughout entire expeditionary process as result greatly simplifying multiple step journey procedures we must undergo during trips.

Factors that can affect rangefinder accuracy

When choosing a rangefinder, it’s important to take into account the conditions in which you will be shooting. Certain features of rangefinders can affect how accurate they are in different conditions, and having an understanding of those features can help you identify the right device for your needs.

One factor that affects rangefinder accuracy is terrain. Rangefinders that feature an inclinometer or a tilt-compensated rangefinder use angle information to adjust the reading according to its position relative to the object being measured. This ensures that readings are accurate even when shooting up or downhill. Additionally, some devices have temperature compensation software, which helps improve measurements taken in cold environments by taking into account any changes in atmospheric temperature that could impact accuracy.

Other factors that can affect accuracy include light intensity and air density. A good option for shooting under low light conditions is a laser-rangefinder with a high-powered beam and superior viewing capability for measuring precise ranges accurately between 500 and 800 yards away from point of origin. For long distance shots, look for devices with high sensitivity optical systems—the more sensitive it is, the better its accuracy will be over longer distances. Air density plays an important role as well; generally speaking, thinner air provides better ranging results than denser air because there is less interference from particles between you and your target. Quality optics will largely determine rangefinding performance under extreme temperatures or poor lighting conditions so keep this in mind when selecting your device as well.

7 Golden Rules of Long-Range Shooting


For the shooter looking for simplicity, ease of use, portability and convenience, a laser rangefinder is the tool of choice.

For experienced shooters wanting to optimize their accuracy with any target at long distances, an angle-compensating rangefinder is the best fit. Checking your needs carefully against these three categories can help you find the best rangefinder for your needs and budget.

No matter which type of rangefinder you choose, you can be sure that selecting the right one can give you another level of precision in your shooting game. And our guide has tried to arm you with all the relevant information about different types of rangefinders for achieving that extra level accuracy in your shots!


What rangefinder for long range hunting?

A rangefinder with a long range and high accuracy is recommended for long range hunting. Look for rangefinders with ranges of at least 1000 yards and accuracy of +/- 1 yard.

What is the best laser rangefinder for shooting?

There are many good laser rangefinders for shooting. Some popular options include the Leupold RX-2800 TBR/W, Bushnell Elite 1 Mile CONX, and Vortex Optics Ranger 1800.

What rangefinder is most accurate?

Rangefinders with high accuracy typically have a margin of error of +/- 1 yard. Some of the most accurate rangefinders include the Leica Rangemaster CRF 2800, Zeiss Victory RF, and Sig Sauer Kilo 2400 ABS.

What power scope is best for long range shooting?

A scope with a magnification range of 5-25x or greater is typically recommended for long range shooting. The best power scope depends on personal preference, budget, and shooting conditions.

Which type of firearm would be most accurate at a long range?

Bolt-action rifles are generally considered to be the most accurate type of firearm for long range shooting. However, accuracy also depends on the specific rifle and the skill of the shooter.

What to look for when buying a range finder?

When buying a rangefinder, consider factors such as range, accuracy, ease of use, size and weight, durability, and price.

What rangefinder do Tour pros use?

Many Tour pros use rangefinders such as the Bushnell Pro XE, Leupold GX-5i3, and Nikon Coolshot Pro Stabilized.

Do I need a rangefinder for shooting?

A rangefinder is not necessary for shooting, but it can be a helpful tool for determining distance and improving accuracy.

Does rangefinder increase range?

A rangefinder does not increase range, but it can accurately measure the range of a target.

How far can a rangefinder shoot?

The maximum range of a rangefinder varies depending on the specific model. Some rangefinders have a range of up to 5000 yards, but most have a maximum range of around 1000 yards.

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