Gear Review: Leupold RX-1000i TBR Rangefinder

By Steve FloresJune 4, 2011

LAST UPDATED: May 8th, 2015

In the world of bowhunting, undoubtedly the most vital piece of information any hunter can have at their disposal is knowing exactly how far away the target animal is. Making an accurate shot with archery equipment requires knowing the precise yardage to the target because the projectile (arrow) is traveling substantially slower than, say, that of a bullet. Depending on the speed of your setup, a miscalculation of only 5 yards could drastically alter your impact point—resulting in a missed or wounded animal!

However, years ago, technological advancements brought to the market a rather crude (by today’s standards) but effective piece of equipment that helped bowhunters across the country determine exactly how far away that rutting buck or bull elk was before dumping the bowstring. This device, called a Rangefinder, worked by looking through the unit’s eye-piece and turning a dial until two images of the same object came together. Once the images (of a tree, rock, buck, whatever) became one, the corresponding distance could be read and the correct sight pin selected for the shot. While it was a breakthrough at the time, and was somewhat more accurate than guessing, I found the unit was slow, cumbersome and sometimes not as accurate as I hoped. These downfalls were only exaggerated during “heat of the moment” situations where quick, simple ranging was needed.  

Knowing the distance to your target is half the battle. A good rangefinder will make the task much easier.

Fast forwarding to the present day…..
WOW! Hold on to your camo hat! Today’s rangefinders are ultra-compact, user friendly, lightning-fast, and most important….deadly accurate. A perfect example of such a unit is the new RX-1000i TBR Laser Rangefinder by optics giant Leupold. Let’s take a closer look at this engineering masterpiece.  

 The RX-1000i TRB is simplistic genius. It is simple to use, deadly accurate, feature-packed, ultra-compact, lightweight, rugged and dependable. Best of all….it’s a Leupold.

The RX1000i TBR
Removing the new Rx-1000i TBR from the box, the first thing I noticed was how strikingly compact it was. This thing can easily fit inside a small pocket or around the neck, with little interference while making the shot. In addition, the RX’s ergonomics allowed it sit comfortably in my hand, which made the task of “ranging” feel almost second-nature.
Peering through the monocular I was pleasantly surprised by the clarity of the picture. Distant objects were brought closer and displayed as crisp, clear images into my watchful eye thanks to the 6x magnification, manual focus capabilities, and high-quality lenses.


Depressing the power button quickly brought the display-screen to life in brilliant red color; this was a nice break from the drab, black colors I had grown accustomed to with other rangefinders.

Locating a distant object, I eagerly depressed the power button to get my first reading. As quickly as I had pushed the button, the yardage was displayed back to me. I figured this would change as the distance to the target grew; meaning, the rangefinder would need a little more time to tell me the distance to a far off object. Wrong! Ranging several trees, shrubs and rocks on nearby mountain sides, the RX-1000i TBR continued to display the distance with mind-boggling speed. I quickly realized my old rangefinder had just become obsolete. 

Of course, simply providing bowhunters with quick, accurate readings (+-5 yards) at distances of 125 yards or less and (+- 3 yards) beyond 125 yards is great, but Leupold added so much more to this rangefinder than basic range estimations. With a built in “Scan Mode”, the shooter can follow an animal as it moves through the timber….all while receiving continuous measurements of the moving object. This feature can also be used to obtain the range of multiple animals or objects by simply moving the reticle from one target to another while holding down the POWER button. Awesome!

 Not only is the RX1000i feature-packed, it is also weatherproof. You can rest assured that harsh conditions won’t hamper its performance.

The RX-1000i TBR also offers True Ballistic Range technology for both bow and rifle users. Even though this is a bowhunting site, I feel it is worth mentioning that the TBR function for rifles shooters is simply amazing; offering ballistics for 7 different rifle groups, the appropriate range to the target, as well as “hold over” (in inches) for that target! This feature will provide unmatched accuracy no matter what your weapon of choice. 

 Steep shooting angles will not be a problem thanks to the TBR function on the RX-1000i.

When it comes to shooting out of a treestand or up and down steep terrain, the RX will provide the equivalent horizontal range (level shooting distance) for arrows when in the BOW mode. This display range represents the ballistically equivalent horizontal distance to the target if the target is 125 yards away or less. If the target is further the unit simply displays the Line of Sight (LOS) distance. The True Ballistic Range feature is only available on the TBR model rangefinder. 

 Great ergonomics and a gridded, soft rubber shell make the RX-1000i easy to handle and hard to drop.

Lastly, the RX1000i TBR Rangefinder comes with special DNA. This feature is Leupold’s next generation laser engine. The DNA (Digitally eNhanced Accuracy) makes significant improvements in what matters most to hunters; distance measurement accuracy and displayed range precision. The new advanced signal processing techniques in the DNA engine raises the bar of the laser measurements with 0.5 yard accuracy of distance measurements and the displayed range precision using the bright OLED display in 1/10th yard increments out to 125 yards. 

The case for the RX was also very nice. Instead of a noisy, game-spooking Velcro opening, it has an ultra-smooth, dead-silent, magnetic flip open lid.

You may be telling yourself that a rangefinder is just a rangefinder. Honestly, I thought the same thing. That was until I got my hands on this unit. Now I understand that sometimes there is more to these handy devices than meets the eye. Without a doubt, the latest offering from Leupold is a huge step up from your average, run-of-the-mill rangefinder. Check them out if you get a chance.
Oh yeah, did I mention that Leupold also offers a bow mounted rangefinder? Talk about a sweet addition to your favorite bow! Maybe we’ll cover that awesome piece of technology next time. Until then…….  

Steve Flores
Steve Flores is a passionate hunter who enjoys chasing mountain whitetails in his native southern WV. Steve credits his love of hunting to his Dad who took the time to introduce him to what has become a life-long obsession....bowhunting for whitetail deer.
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