Leupold RX-1000 TBR Review

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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.


Retired2hunt's picture

Why don't you buy one

Why don't you buy one juliestarkey45 and take it underwater to see if it works - then report back to us your findings.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Another Idiot spammer.  I'll

Another Idiot spammer.  I'll report him.

Retired2hunt's picture

 Leupold Optics are quality


Leupold Optics are quality - definitely hands down and without a doubt. For the $50 difference I think the angle option is well worth the money.  You have to match your hunting style and the most scenarios presented expected to the rangefinder that will fit the shooting you will complete. At the 400 yard range this is a quality rangefinder.  

As a hunter howerver you must know your most opportunity provided and need to have a rangefinder that fits that need.  I for one am not looking for a rangefinder that is accurate out to 1000 yards as you really have to ensure it is secure on some tripod in order to get that kind of yardage accuracy.  This is not realistic for most average Joe hunters.

The model reviewed offers a tremendous advantage to the cost.

Bottom line - a very fine optic instrument!  I would love for Leupold to sponsor a future Grand Slam Contest!!!


numbnutz's picture

Leupold makes a great

Leupold makes a great product. When it comes to their scopes and binoculars hands down they are the best. However I'm not a fan of the rangefinders. A couple years ago when I was shopping around for a rangefinder I tested several different types and brands. It came down to the Bushnell scout arc 100 and the rx-1000 tbr. I hate to say it but the Bushnell was by far the better product. The main reason I didn't go with the Leupold finder was the button to range something was loud. It makes a click sound when pressed. I have a friend who has one and it has alerted game when in close. He warned me of this and when I tested them out sure enough all of the Leupolds did that click when the button was pushed. The Bushnell is very quiet and I have been very happy with it and it was $100 cheaper. I think they charge more just on the name itself. So for anyone out shopping for a rangefinder try out the button and make sure it doesn't click. I'm pretty sure in the newer models (2010-2011) they resolved this issue as I know they got a lot of complaints about it.

arrowflipper's picture


As most others have said on this issue, Leupold makes a quality product.  I remember the first range finder I bought for my archery hunting.  It was a split reticle unit that you would turn a dial until the two reticles lined up.  I thought I had struck pay dirt.  It was big and awkward but I could accurately judge distance now.  Then I bought a similar device as a sight on my bow.  Man, that thing was big but I had the ability to range at my fingertips while at full draw.

Oh, how times have changed!!  I now carry one of the small and accurate units that's supposedly good out to 800 yards.  But since I'm not going to shoot out at that distance, I really don't know if it works. 

I seldom if ever use my rangefinder at the moment of truth.  While bowhunting, I pick several spots, range them and file that away in my memory.  If an animal comes within range, I pick the closest spot and know the distance.  The only time I've used my rangefinder while looking at a shootable animal is when they are a long ways away.

I would love to have one of the new Leupold rangefinders.  I have several of their scopes and I'm sure they carry the same type of quality.  It was great reading just how good this little unit is.  Thanks for the review.


ndemiter's picture

several years ago, when

several years ago, when leupold first came out with their rangefinder, bushnell and leica appeared about then as well. i went to cabelas to purchase whatever one i liked the best.

i tried them all out and i noticed that the nikon and the leica were the only two that gave me an identicle range on the same target every time. there were other factors to consider on this like the amount of "juice" left in those batteries, but i chose the nikon. nikon was making one that came in at about $100 less than leica, so that made my mind. i'm sure that leupold uses better technology now, and all of the companies are probably about the same. but the next rangefinder i will buy, unless somebody comes out with something that changes the market, is a leica and it's been running near the same price as leupold.

my biggest complaint about rangefinders in general is the lens diameter. i frequently have a difficult time seeing in somewhat low light. if they could open up the lens and gather more light, i think that would improve the product. the nikon i have has a 6x magnification, which isn't bad, but another feature i would like to see in concept is a focus adjustment that does more than a little fine tune. object at bowhunting distance are sometimes hard to manage, as well as objects at very long distances.

as far as the actual effective distance on the rangefinder goes, i've been learning a considerable amount about lasers, their ability and how we employ them at different opperating  frequencies. you can go to radio shack and buy a diode with a better frequency, and replacing it is very simple, but you would also need a new "driver". i have been considering this for my rangefinder. next winter i will probably frankenstein my nikon and put the new diode and driver in it, hopefully giving it a much better ranging capability. (i first started with this idea because i thought that if we can cut through steel with a laser, it certainly could cut a prairie dog. maybe not at long distance, but 30-50 yrads... probably.)

groovy mike's picture

Leupold makes great products.

I have to agree with Jim that Leupold makes great products.  They make the scopes that I prefer and hunt with.  I have to agree with CVC as well that the range finders today are amazing.  I don’t NEED a range finder right now, but when I do this Leupold will definitely be one of the products that I will consider.

jim boyd's picture

Leupold makes great products

Leupold makes great products and I am sure this one is no exception.

I have owned lower cost units and have also owned the high dollar Zeiss unit - it had great optics but also had a great (high) price tag.

Here is my one exception to a rule I adhere very tightly to... I think you CAN get away with a lower cost range finder - unless you are hunting and shooting really long distances - like more than 400 yards - which I guess is not that far for a western hunter.

Over here, we rarely take shots much over 300 yards unless you find a field hunter - which I am not - so for me, a mid grade product will work well.

Poor Leupold - they are getting pounded on every side.

What was once the premier manufacturer of glass in America has been invaded - both by other like manufacturers and now by the Europeans - who are really starting now to offer some mid grade glass that is just... well.... better.

I am talking about scopes and binoculars in the $400 to $700 range that have glass that is just flat stunning.

I love Leupold to death and they have reaped quite a bit of my cash over the years but I would not want to compete against some of the glass that is out there today.

But - back to this unit - it looks like a great, well built and very cost friendly... I am actually in the market for one - I have let the ones I had get away from me in sales and horse trades and I borrowed a unit to take to Illinois with me this year.. and it is apparent that I need to get another one.

This one will certainly be in the running.

Long live Leupold!! 


It amazing todays technology.  I have a range finder and I swear by it.  These new ones do everything but pull the trigger for you.  Simply amazing. 

Ca_Vermonster's picture

I actually have been looking

I actually have been looking at asking for a rangefinder for Christmas.  I didn't want to spend a ton, so I never even considered a Leupold.  However, that's not that bad a price.  I figured they'd be $500-$750 or so.  I will have to check this one out.

CVC's picture

Range finders for archers

Range finders for archers have been the norm for quite some time, a lot longer than five years.  The one I started using was no where near the ones of today however,  You had to focus it on an object and when the object stopped being two and became one, then you read your distance.  Not really the most accurate piece of equipment and cumbersome to use.

The range finders today are amazing.  I like the looks of this one with the rubberized coating and I like it is  aLeupold.  For me, that means quaility and good customer service.  The inclimeter is a nice feature that i don't currently have on my range finder, but will get the next time I upgrade.  Problem is my rangefinder continues to do the job so I won't be upgrading anytime soon.

jaybe's picture

Me Too!

I too am in the market for a rangefinder.

I figure I'm probably only going to take one trip to Wyoming for mule deer, so I don't want to miss a shot because my Michigan eyes couldn't tell the difference between 250 and 350 yards.

This Leuopold number looks to be a pretty good candidate.

I'll definitely have to add it to my list of possibilities.

Thanks for the good review of this fine product.