Nowadays scopes are becoming futuristic and packed full of technology.
One of the recent innovations has been the addition of laser rangefinders (or LRFs) in scopes.
When LRFs first hit the market, they were separate handheld devices. Now they are being built straight into the optics.
Before we dive into the best rangefinder scope, let’s quickly cover how one works…
How Do Laser Range Finders Work?
There are loads of different models from tons of companies, but the basic concept is the same:
A device shoots a laser at an object and times how long it takes for the light to reach it. It then uses the speed of light and the time it took for the light to travel to calculate the distance.
You used to have to carry a separate device to check the range and then adjust your scope.
Now some scopes have this built-in so you can just look through the optic. Some even adjust the reticle for you!
As always, there are pros and cons to this combination.
Let’s check them out…
Advantages of Rifle Scope With Built-In Rangefinder
1. The Full Package
When hunting or long-range target shooting with 6.5 Creemoor, consolidating your equipment is always a plus.
Instead of taking the time to pull out a separate device, you can focus more on taking your shot.
You have one less piece of gear to worry about and fumble with.
One piece of equipment is easier to handle than two different ones.
Consolidating these devices means they will run on the same battery pack. You will also only have to learn one device instead of two different ones.
Also, if the LRF is in the scope, it will stay mounted on the rifle instead of being carried separately.
3. Shot Speed
You will be able to take shots faster since you can stay on target while finding the distance.
Keeping yourself on target will allow you to take more shots without breaking your firing position. Remember, accurate shooting requires repetition.
This allows you to break your shooting position less often.
Disadvantages of Rifle Scope With Built-In Rangefinder
By combining LRFs with scopes, it makes the scopes heavier and bulkier.
There are more components and technology in the scope, so it naturally needs to be bigger. This can be inconvenient if you are carrying your rifle around the hunting grounds.
It can also be heavy for shooting from a standing position.
These high-tech optics come with a steep price.
You get two devices in one but in some cases, you may pay more than if you bought them separately.
Having the convenience of a two in one device is nice, but you will have to pay for it.
3. Option Availability
Since the LRF scopes are a package deal, there isn’t much customization.
The LRF systems in scopes are not interchangeable so what you buy is what you get.
When you opt for a scope and handheld LRF, you have many more options for scopes and LRF devices. This allows you to pick preferred brands and find a combination that works best for you.
Now that we’ve gone through the ups and downs of this new tech, let’s check out the top range finding rifle scopes…
The 3 Best Rangefinder Scopes
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick list of the 3 best rangefinder scopes for your rifle:
1. ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20
The ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 is the cheapest option out of the selection.
Despite it being the cheapest, it is still loaded with interesting features.
The LRF in this optic has an accurate range of up to 400 yards. This model requires you to mark the top and bottom of the target to calculate the range.
Besides having a decent LRF, it comes equipped with night vision, video recording, and Wi-fi streaming.
It comes through in 1080 HD and has a recoil activated video feature. The video recording is interesting as it allows you to analyze your technique. It also allows you to capture and share memorable shots.
That’s not all. This scope also comes with a ballistic CPU. This works in tandem with the LRF to calculate the angle of the shot and trajectory of the bullet.
After all these environmental factors have been calculated, the scope will create a new point of aim for you.
Speaking of point of aim, there are 7 different reticle options to choose from. The magnification is X5 to X20 and it runs on 4 AA batteries.
The batteries can be swapped out for a rechargeable pack.
All these features create a big scope. It is 19.5 inches long and weighs in at 4.4 lbs.
For someone getting into long-range shooting, this is a great starter rangefinder scope. The LRF isn’t anything to write home about but it will work for when you start reaching outside 100 yards.
Plus, you get a ton of bells and whistles for a fairly reasonable price. It is a bit bulky and heavy for a scope.
So, it may be more beneficial as a range toy and learning tool than a dedicated hunting optic, like the Vortex HST or PST.
- Use Day & Night in HD resolution - our HD technology gives you crystal clear vision whenever required
- Zero range: 100 yard. Day & Night Vision in Millions of Colors - best hunting optic that fits the situation at hand.Field of View at 1000 yards- 240 feet.Initial Velocity:2850 fps
- Ballistic Calculator - shifts Point of Impact on the fly letting you quickly calculate ballistics for any shooter's needs. Easily determine exact ballistics for expert long-range and angled shots
2. Burris 200116 Eliminator 4-16×50
The Burris 200116 Eliminator 4-16×50 is a moderately priced option. It is not jammed full of fancy tech but still has its place as far as quality and added features.
The LRF has a max range of 1,200 yards on reflective targets and 750 yards on non-reflective targets.
It operates by pointing the scope at the target and pressing a single button.
This is an easy to use system that also comes with a built-in inclinometer for shooting up or down hills.
The scope will also factor the trajectory of your bullet for you. Using these innovations, the scope will adjust your point of aim for you.
The magnification is 4X to 16X.
The reticle is a set of crosshairs with a range display at the top.
This simpler design is powered by CR123A battery.
It is a little less bulky, but it’s still big. The overall length comes in at 13 inches and the weight comes in at 1.63 lbs.
This is a quality optic that is great for practical application.
It’s lighter while having a far-reaching LRF and other useful techy features. This makes it a better option for carrying to the hunting grounds.
It also makes sure you don’t get lost in too much gadgetry. It will set you back a bit but won’t break the bank.
- Sport type: Hunting, Shooting
- 25 feet at 100 yards (low) to 9 feet at 100 yards (high) field of view
- 10.5 millimeters (low) to 3.5 millimeters (high) exit pupil
3. ATN Thor-HD 640 5-50
The ATN Thor-HD 640 is the most expensive and most packed rangefinder optic out of the three.
This space-age style of scope offers an LRF, thermal detection system, video and streaming options, and a hefty price tag.
The LRF is accurate out to 600 yards and operates by marking the top and bottom of the target.
The thermal system picks up heat energy instead of light. This means it can be operated in complete darkness, like my Aimpoint Holographic sights.
There is a ballistic calculator in this optic as well.
Using these features, the optic will create a new point of aim for you.
There are seven reticle options and a whopping magnification of X5 to X50. It also comes with the video recording and Wi-fi features and is compatible with androids.
It also uses a micro SD card to store video footage.
This helps for reviewing your shots and recording those memorable moments.
All of this is powered by 4 AA batteries that can be replaced with a rechargeable pack.
This optic’s overall length is 10 inches and it weighs 2 lbs.
This is for the seasoned pro. After you get your feet wet with a cheaper optic and want to upgrade, this is what you go for.
The price is steep, but you get all the quality and tech you could want.
Is a Rangefinder Scope Worth It?
Here’s the straight up answer:
If you’re an experienced riflescope user that doesn’t mind the weight and cost, then a rangefinder scope is worth it.
However, if size and price tag is a big concern, then don’t get a laser rangefinder scope. Instead, buy them both separately.
That said, I’d like to turn it over to you:
Have you ever used a laser rangefinder rifle scope? If so, what are your thoughts on them?
Let me know by leaving a quick comment down below. If you’re in the market for a budget-friendly prism scope, check out my in-depth review of the Burris AR-536.