There aren’t many products that I’ve seen at Amazon that average 5 stars over the course of hundreds of reviews. The Vortex Ranger 1000 Rangefinder is one that has managed to achieve that status.
What makes owners rate the Vortex Ranger 1000 rangefinder so highly?
Read this review to find out what several owners have to say and to learn about the good features you get in the Ranger 1000.
If you happen to be already convinced that the Ranger 1000 is for you, click this link to check it out at Amazon.
If you need more convincing, read on. You can click a link in the box to skip right to a particular section of the review.
Which Features of the Ranger 1000 Make It Special?
That is a difficult, if not impossible, question to answer because there really aren’t just one or more features that stand out in the Ranger 1000. It’s the rangefinder as a whole that makes it special. Everything about it is pretty much top notch.
Vortex does manage to include one feature that feels proprietary to make you at least sit up and wonder what it means. This is the Horizontal Component Distance, or HCD, for short.
You can switch between two modes on the Ranger. One is the primary HCD, and the other is LOS, or Line of Sight.
HCD is Vortex’s way of saying angle-compensated distance. It is an adjustment for the rise or fall in terrain which is going to be very common in many locations. Using HCD will help you make more accurate shots with whatever instrument you are using, presumably a rifle, but this rangefinder also works well with a bow.
As one user has noted…
“Vortex has also thrown in a field reference card to aid you in determining MOA if you prefer to use the LOS setting.”
It takes a little more work and calculation to use the alternate LOS setting, but if that’s what you are used to, it’s there for you.
Other features that help make the Vortex Ranger 1000 so good are the fully multi-coated lenses which give you great light transmission. This provides you the best and clearest picture currently possible in hunting optics.
Sometimes fingers fumble, and sometimes it’s wet out there. You can rest assured that a little water won’t damage your rangefinder because the Ranger 1000 has O-rings to keep it waterproof.
Most American shooters will probably prefer to do their ranging in yards, but there is an option to toggle that to meters if you prefer.
“In the menu setting the user will also easily find the setting to adjust the brightness (3 settings) and can also change the units from yards to meters.”
Speaking of the menus built into the unit, these are quite easy to navigate. You may not need to mess around with them much out in the field, but when the occasion does arise, it’s good to know that you’ll be able to make your way through them without much of a hassle.
One feature that is almost an accessory is the utility clip. You can attach this to either the left or the right side of the unit, or you can remove it completely. When in use, you can then clip the Ranger 1000 onto your belt, pocket, or any flat surface. There it will stay, giving both of your hands freedom of movement, until you need it again.
Another option is to attach it to the included lanyard and hang it around your neck. In some instances, such a free-hanging unit might not be optimal. That’s when the clip mentioned above comes in handy.
Watch this video from Vortex to see the Ranger 1000 in action.
How Do You Use the Ranger 1000?
To range with the Ranger 1000 is easy as described by this owner.
“To measure distance, the operation is very simple. Click the ‘measure’ button once to bring the unit to power, click again to display the crosshairs, place the crosshairs on your target and click the measure button again to get your reading.”
You also have the ability to do constant scanning of a moving target, such as a deer.
These methods are also explained in the video above.
What Are the Specs of the Ranger 1000?
When examining these specifications, especially the ranging distances, you should realize that the manufacturer’s claims will often seem overblown. This is because they rate their equipment under perfect conditions – conditions which are never available out in the field.
There’s always that tree in the way, that cloud covering the sun, or that moisture in the air that gets in the way and skews readings or makes them difficult to get in the first place.
That said, the Ranger 1000, as it’s name suggests, is rated to 1000 yards for highly reflective surfaces. Soft targets, like deer, are rated to 500 yards.
Measurements at 1000 yards are supposed to be accurate within 3 yards (plus or minus). Distances less than 1000 yards should then be more accurate.
At that same 1000 yard distance, your field of view (FOV) is 315 feet. That is a decent amount and should be sufficient to zero in on your target quite quickly.
The eye relief is an adequate 17 millimeters, so you don’t have to have your eye smack up against the eyepiece to use it properly.
Holding onto the unit should be easy with its rubber armoring that give you a non-slip surface. It’s light weight of just 7.7 ounces and small size (3.9 by 3 inches) help here too.
The Ranger 1000 runs on a CR2 battery. While this is not uncommon, you might not have extras lying around the house. You’ll probably want to get a few extras and carry one along just in case.
Finally, this rangefinder is tripod adaptable. This means it is compatible with a tripod adapter, not that an adapter is included. You can also attach a car window mount for ranging from your vehicle.
Check out this video comparison of the Ranger 1000 and the Leica 800.
What’s the Verdict on the Vortex Ranger 1000?
Nothing is perfect, but this rangefinder comes close. One user didn’t appreciate the response time when ranging as noted here.
“I was very disapointed [sic] in the response time. It takes seconds to display a read out even at short ranges. Closer to 3 and 4 seconds at longer ranges. Also it says ranges out to 1000 yards and 400 on an animal [Vortex actually claims 500 yards], I struggled to get reading past the 300 yard range on deer and elk.”
It seems that he may not have accounted for atmospheric conditions or other range reducers as I mentioned earlier.
Another owner sums it up nicely.
“If you are hunting and looking for a good rangefinder for game at distances of 500-600 yards then this is the rangefinder for you.”
If, however, you still think this rangefinder isn’t for you, check this article that has an overview of several others. See if there’s one there for you.