The Best Rangefinders

Sig vs. Gunwerks vs. Vortex vs. Leupold Rangefinders

By Austin Miller

What do you look for in a rangefinder these days? What features are crucial in the hunting/recreational shooting you do? How versatile does it need to be? Do you archery or rifle hunt? Are you a competitive shooter looking for a tool to help you train? Are you packing in miles to hunt? Is weight important? These are all things I took into account when shopping for a rangefinder. When I started looking the industry was, and still is, flooded with so many options it’s a bit overwhelming. So, having a clear idea of what you want from the beginning will help you sort through the sea of products that are available today.

I hunt both archery and with a rifle, which means having a rangefinder that reads long and close range is vital. The past few years I hunted Colorado for elk and deer with a group of my buddies and we were quite successful shooting animals at longer ranges. Having a rangefinder that can read ranges over 600-700 accurately is crucial to making longer shots. If you spend enough time out there, you quickly learn that time is something you don’t have a lot of when you need to make fast moves. You need something that is reliable and trustworthy for those split second decisions. Now, you don’t need to be a hunter for this to be a useful tool. Whether you are a competitive or recreational shooter practicing on archery blocks or gongs at different yardages, rangefinders can help you up your game.

I narrowed my search down to five rangefinders – Vortex Razor 4000, Leupold RX-2800TBR, Gunwerks G7 BR2500, Sig Kilo 2400 ABS and the Sig kilo 2400 BDX. Initially glancing at the specs, each of these have a multitude of features that pique my interest. But reading about them can only tell you so much, that’s why we decided to put these rangefinders to the test in the field to be able to give you a side-by-side comparison.

Vortex Razor 4000

I have always liked Vortex products. They have not let me down yet, so I was excited to get my hands on this new piece of gear. The release videos of the Razor 4000 caught my eye and the various features definitely intrigued me. When this showed up in the mail my initial thoughts were positive – clean packaging, it came in a nice case that could be attached to a pack or belt, and weight wise it comes in at a nice 9.9 ounces. I’ll admit, it was a little bigger than I thought it was going to be, but at the end of the day it isn’t bad for what you’re getting. My first thought when looking through the eyepiece was, “damn this is clear”. The glass they use is top notch for a rangefinder. The layout is clean and simple, it has two big rubber buttons and is straightforward to use. I found it to be very user friendly, and within minutes of having it out of the box I was adjusting the settings to my liking. It has a nice quick clip that can be mounted

Best Sig Sauer Rangefinder

on either side. Overall, the shape and size fit my hand well (coming from a guy with average size hands) and it has a smooth/almost slick feel to it. While I like the feel, I do wish it had a bit more grip to it to make it feel more secure in

my hand. When I started ranging things, I was pleased by the quick response time. I was able to read 3 yards with it off hand and the longest yardage I picked up off hand was 2100 yards. This definitely impressed me because there was hardly any lag time (weather may or may not

affect this). Another great feature is the adjustable eye relief and focus wheel. Makes it handy for people that need that extra adjustment. Things I wish they would have done is had a ballistics app built into it or a Bluetooth link to pair with a Kestrel weather device. All in all, I would recommend this product to anyone.

Size: 4.6 x 6 x 2.7 inches

Weight: 9.9oz

Cost: $499

Where to buy:  Vortex Razor Rangefinder

Leupold Rangefinder

Leupold RX-2800TBR

My first thoughts on the RX were good as well. Nice packaging and a touch smaller than the Vortex. Once out of the sleeve it was a bit more slender and had a nice rubber texture around it that made it feel nice and secure in my hand. Looking through the glass it was a sharp picture and the response time was quick on this rangefinder as well. It worked well close and far, I was able to range 5 yards at my closest range and 2200 at the farthest (comparable to the Vortex without a doubt). One thing I didn’t like was there was no adjustable eye relief; it was a fixed eye relief just like a lot of other rangefinders on the market. Unfortunately, the RX doesn’t have a built in ballistics calculator either. Which isn’t a deal breaker, but it will require a ballistics app on your phone. This isn’t a concern for archery hunters, but if you’re trying to make long-range shots you have to really understand your rifle and its capabilities. Out in the field the RX picked up on game/targets well and gave good readings. Side by side to the Vortex, SIG, Gunwerks they were within 1-2 yards of each other. Going through the settings on this is very easy as well; I wasn’t reaching for the manual to figure it out. And I know looks aren’t everything, but I really enjoy the simple design. Leupold has been putting out good products for a long time and it seems like their products just keep getting better.

Size: 6.1 x 4 x 2.6 inches

Weight: 7.9oz

Cost: $450

Where to buy: Leupold Rangefinder

 

Gunwerks BR2500

On paper the BR2500 looked like the end all be all of rangefinders. It comes in a very impressive case and is packaged very well. My initial thoughts were this thing is really big, but felt really secure in my hand. Immediately after I thought to myself, there is no way I can carry this

thing into the backcountry. I really like it, but unfortunately, it’s not practical for archery hunting. The glass is crisp and sharp, and it has a really nice eye relief like the vortex and SIG. It’s wrapped with a nice rubbery grip, so you definitely won’t be dropping this thing. Gunwerks put a lot of work into this rangefinder to be the only thing you need for making long shots. It has built in ballistics, meaning…you plug in your bullet coefficients, muzzle velocity, your zero at 100-200 (whatever you zero your rifle at), sight height, and with the built it temp sensor and altimeter it will spit out your different drops for whatever range you are shooting. This takes all the guesswork out of the equation and

tells you exactly where your bullet will go. With the BR2500 everything is internal, so there is no need for any other software on your phone

for ballistics. When ranging a target, the response time was noticeable slower compared to the others. That’s not necessarily a horrible thing when you’re shooting long range, but for up close bow encounters that’s not ideal. I noticed that while

using the onboard sensors, I didn’t get accurate readings if I left it in a climate-controlled space. It needs to be left outside or in the same temp I was going to be shooting in for a while before using it. Overall, a really nice tool to have if you’re looking to only rifle hunt or compete in shooting competitions.

Size: 5.2 x 4.5 x 2.1 inches

Weight: 14.4oz

Cost: $1599

Where to buy: Gunwerks Rangefinder

Sig Sauer Rangefinder

Sig Kilo 2400 ABS/ Sig Kilo 2400 BDX

Sig has made big strides in the last few years in the gear they are putting out. When I hear the name Sig I think of handguns and tactical gear. To my surprise they have been making a huge effort to get into the hunting world and let me tell you…They have done a great job so far. When I got my hands on the Kilo I really liked how sleek and slender it was, a lot like the Leupold. It has a silky silicone/rubber finish around it with a little bit of texture, which feels awesome in your hands. Both the Kilo ABS and Kilo BDX are the same physical size and shape, but there are some internal features that differentiate the two.

The ABS is similar to the Gunwerks. It has built in ballistics that will link with an app on your phone as well as in the rangefinder. You can plug in all the information for your bullet and it will read out your drop at the given altitude. It works well, but I found the same thing with the sig as I did with the Gunwerks. I had to leave it in the climate I was going to be shooting in or it will not give you correct readings. For a backcountry hunt this wouldn’t be a problem, but to go shooting/hunting for a day it really needs to sit outside and calibrate itself to the current temp for it to be effective. The glass is very crisp, and the response time is the fastest out of all of them. The Sig Kilos were nothing short of awesome. Sig did a really good job with both of these range finders and they are no doubt changing the game in the hunting/shooting industry.

The BDX 2400 has a few features I found interesting. Sig has put out a whole line of “BDX” products that all interact with each other. If you purchase a BDX rifle scope this rangefinder will link up with it and give you your read outs in the field. The BDX 2400 is the only one in the line that has a Bluetooth link that you can connect with an external weather station i.e. a Kestrel, with this its night and day difference with reading wind, temp and altitude. The Kestrel is a handheld weather station that doesn’t require you to leave it sitting out over night to have proper readings when you’re ready to take a shot. This is much more accurate than relying on the built in sensors. These two together are a very solid setup for shooting long range in my opinion. This has everything I look for in a rangefinder and seems like a no brainer for the kind of hunting and recreational shooting I do. Its small, slim, ergonomic and so many awesome features built right into such a small package.

Size: ABS 4.2 x 3 x 1.3 inches, BDX 4 x 3 x 1.3 inches

Weight: ABS 7.5oz, BDX 7.5oz

Cost: ABS: $1299, BDX $770

Where to buy: Sig Sauer Rangefinder

In conclusion, all these rangefinders are great products and I truly believe you can’t go wrong with any of them. The Vortex and Leupold are very comparable and for 90 percent of people will do everything they need and more. These other options are really for people that want to get really precise and know exactly what’s going on with their ballistics. All these have options to switch between HCD (Horizontal Component Distance) and LOS (line of sight). HCD for archery and target practice, LOS for rifle hunting and shooting targets. I really enjoyed getting hands on with these products, and I definitely learned a lot about each one through the process. Now…decision time! For me the Sig Kilo 2400BDX that can link with a Kestrel, is the way to go. It’s a great package and, personally, I don’t think there is anything better on the market at this point. If you have any further questions about these products and the reviews on them, please feel free to reach out! I would be more than happy to answer any lingering questions.

 

Austin Miller

 

 

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