Leupold RX-1000 TBR Review
Hunting is one of those endeavors that's timeless. The dynamics between predator and prey are similar to those millennia ago. However hunting tools have changed significantly and with the computer age, some tools seem to get a constant upgrade. For instance five years ago simply having a rangefinder when bow or rifle hunting was cutting edge. However now nearly every manufacturer in the market has raised the bar by including angle correction technology (an inclinometer with software) in at least one of their rangefinder models. For this review we are going to take a look at Leupold's RX-1000 TBR.
Leupold makes a variety of rangefinders. Currently they have the RX-750 and RX-600 which are similar in shape, size, and function to the earlier RX-11 we reviewed about three years ago. Leupold also makes the higher end RX-IV which is nearly the same as it was three years ago as well.
In 2009 Leupold added a new rangefinder size to their line up with the RX-1000 compact series. The RX-1000 comes in a basic version with no angle correction with a street price of around $350, while the RX-1000 TBR comes in at about $400. Visually it is difficult to tell the two apart, the only big difference is the "TBR" stamp on the outside of the rangefinder.
Leupold RX-1000 TBR Rangefinder
If you are new to the idea of angle correction when using a rangefinder, let's take a step back and review the concept. A few years ago we covered the basics in this rangefinder review. A quote from our previous review:
Knowing the angle between you and the target is important, because only the horizontal leg of the triangle formed between you and the target is important in calculating bullet drop. Line of sight (LOS) on an angle is always longer than the horizontal distance, which is established by the Pythagorean theorem. As an example the Leupold literature with the RX-II notes that a 400 yard LOS shot on a 30 angle (decline or incline) will have a TBR of 364 yards. This can make a large difference in projectile drop depending on velocity.
Leupold takes this one step further by telling you how much correction you need in either minute of angle (MOA) or inches for your particular cartridge or arrow speed at a given distance (with angle correction if necessary). Arrow speeds are broken into three groups, less than 215fps, 215 to 250 fps, and greater than 250 fps. Rifle cartridges are broken into seven groups that also gives you the distance at which you must zero your rifle in order to get the right drop correction for a given range. Leupold even gives a nice chart that helps you to pick the right ballistic group for reloaders that use velocity/bullet-weight combinations that do not easily correspond to the standard charts.
The RX-1000 TBR must have the same or similar software as the older RX-II series because the TBR, rifle, and bow modes are identical in handing angle correction. So what's different from the RX-II? It turns out there are several nice improvements.
The new RX-1000 series has a red vivid light emitting diode (OLED) display. This makes a fantastic difference in being able to read the display under low light. In fact, the bright LED based displays seemed to be a staple of only higher end rangefinder only a few years ago. It's nice to be able to get this feature in an entry/mid-range rangefinder.
Dark view through the rangefinder. The bright red display stands out very well. In this
view you can also see the battery meter and the angle correction. The top distance (---)
is the TBR distance while the lower distance (----) is the LOS, line-of-sight distance.
Furthermore Leupold has greatly simplified the interface for choosing modes in which you want the rangefinder to operate. As we noted before with the RX-II review we weren't really happy with the complexity of the "rotary" menu display. To be sure with the RX-1000 you are still doing the clicking through menus but there are fewer choices, largely because there are only 3 reticle choices instead of the 13 in the previous RX-II. Don't worry you probably won't miss the extra reticles.
Side view of RX-100 TBR, notice the mode button on the lower left side.
The new RX-1000 is also more compact and has a rubberized coating around most of the outside of the unit. This is a nicer form factor because it is easier to carry around with the included nylon case.
The RX-1000 TBR comes with a Quick reference card that slides into the included
nylon case. The nylon carrying case attaches via a belt loop.
The RX-1000 does not seem to take very long to range. The literature says less than a second, which is nice because after pressing the power button a new range quickly pops into the display.
Another plus to the RX-1000 is the six power magnification of the ocular piece. While not as powerful as the eight power of a few other manufactures, the optics are crisp and clear which will help when ranging targets at a distance and can double as a simple monocular.
Rear view of the rangefinder. Notice the tab for the CR-2 battery compartment.
The Down Sides
While the compact, lightweight, size is really comfortable keep in mind this will reduce your accuracy at longer ranges. The small lightweight size makes it easy for hand jitter to creep into your ranging. This may cause you to miss-read the target you were actually trying to range. To make matters worse the RX-1000 does not have an adapter to screw the rangefinder into a tripod.
There is also the issue of how far the rangefinder will range. While it is called the RX-1000 and it does range out to 1000 yards (assuming you can keep it steady enough), the target must be reflective (brightly colored surfaces, such as white or road signs). The RX-1000 is only rated to 600 yards on non-reflective targets (tree, big rocks, darker colored objects).
The RX-1000 is an excellent mid-range rangefinder and is a solid buy at the street price mentioned above. For the vast majority of hunting distances (400 yards or less) the RX-1000 TBR range finder will be quick and accurate at ranging distances while afield.
For more information about the Leupold RX-1000 TBR rangefinder visit the Leupold web site at www.leupold.com.