May 19, 2015
By J. Scott Rupp
Every time I think rangefinders can't get better, they get better. The RX-1200i TBR DNA ($500) from Leupold is just one example, and it's a good one. First, 1,200 yards! No, I'm not shooting that far, but when I used it in Kazakhstan last year, it was handy to be able to range distant ibex and figure out how much closer we needed to get.
The 1,200-yard distance is for reflective targets. Nonreflective targets such as deer can be ranged out to 800 yards, with the unit able to range objects such as trees at 900. So if you can't get a reading on a buck or bull way out there, search for a more reflective target nearby.
Another big advantage? An older Leupold rangefinder I have gives both true ballistic range (which factors in your cartridge's trajectory and shot angle) and line-of-sight distance numbers. The 1200i TBR DNA in BAS mode gives only the true ballistic range, which is simpler. Further, I was able to hand the unit to my Kazakh guide — who spoke no English except for numbers — and not have to explain to him which number to give me.
Other mode options for rifle shooters include holdover in inches or mils, m.o.a. scope correction info for dialing up, and simple line-of-sight yardage. Programming for your chosen caliber and load is quick and easy; just select from one of seven "performance groups." You can also change display intensity, units (yards or meters) and, with this model, a last-target mode that ranges the farthest object — which is super-useful. You can also select one of three reticles: a small Plus Point, Duplex with Plus Point and plain Duplex (my favorite).
I also really like the 6X adjustable eyepiece. Older rangefinders often lacked much if any magnification. At 6X it's much easier to get the unit's reticle locked on a distant animal to get the correct range. All this utility comes in a small and lightweight package; it's just 3.8 inches long and weighs less than eight ounces. It's definitely the best laser rangefinder I've used.