Rangefinder manufacturers have slowly been upping the ante a bit over the last few years with ever increasing maximum ranging distances. Today most manufacturers offer at least one rangefinder in their lineup that offers a max range of 1000 yards on a reflective target. For Nikon this rangefinder is the RifleHunter 1000.
The RifleHunter 1000 is an extension of the other models in the lineup such as the Nikon 550  that we have reviewed in the past. The RifleHunter has the exact same shape and size as the 550 but has a more striking black and silver over-molded body.
The RifleHunter has a built in inclinometer that is able to measure the angle between you and a distant object. Like other Nikon rangefinders that use the inclinometer, the RifleHunter 1000 sticks to a simple use of the angle compensation, which reads out the horizontal distance to the object. The alternative is to turn the inclinometer off and the rangefinder will then simply read out a line-of-sight (LOS) distance. In angle compensation mode, often it is best to just know the horizontal distance and then use scope or bow sight pin hold over to compensate for the expected drop.
Nikon includes a case for the RifleHunter 1000.
The RifleHunter 1000 will range up to a 1000 yards on a reflective target with +/- 0.10 yards accuracy up to 500 yards and then beyond 500 yards at +/- 1.0 yard accuracy. In our testing the ranging time was very fast and the rangefinder seemed to do an above average job of ranging irregular objects quickly. Ranging skinny tree trunks and leafy brush and bushes was quick and accurate.
Like previous Nikon rangefinders the RifleHunter 1000 offers scan and single ranging mode. Holding down the power button in scan mode causes the rangefinder to continuously update with a new distance as you scan across a distant horizon. Simply pressing the button once produces a single reading.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of the rangefinder is what Nikon has dubbed "Active Brightness Control." In bright sunlight the reticle is black like any ordinary basic rangefinder. However as daylight diminishes the rangefinder turns on orange illumination to backlight the reticle. This works well under diminishing light allowing the reticle to stand out better against darker objects. However under full illumination the entire viewing screen is tinted orange which some may find annoying. It's a clever idea, but some may prefer a solid black or solid red reticle rather than a variation between the two.
View through the rangefinder.
Considering the street price of around $350 for the RifleHunter 1000 it's a good buy. It's less expensive than some models offering the same ranging distance and it includes the Active Brightness feature that is to the best of our knowledge unique to Nikon. However, if you want a rangefinder that reads out more than just LOS and horizontal range you will need to look elsewhere.
For more information visit www.nikonhunting.com .