Vortex Ranger 1000

By Dustin DeCrooMarch 27, 20133 Comments

LAST UPDATED: May 1st, 2015

Is current technology leaving your old rangefinder in the dust?  In today’s world, it doesn’t take long for your old equipment to feel like it is generations old; and optics may be the most quickly advancing products in the hunting industry.  Rangefinders have come a very long way in the last eight to ten years, Vortex Optics are at the head of the curve.  Here is an in-depth look at the Vortex Ranger 1000 rangefinder.  At first glance, the Ranger 1000 looks to be built like an Abrams tank.  The belt clip utilizes three Allen screws to secure it to the rangefinder (it also comes with an Allen key to remove the belt clip if you so desire).  The Ranger doesn’t feel like a cheap, lightweight, rangefinder like many that seem to overwhelm today’s market; but rather, very sturdy and steady. (shop rangefinders)

The Vortex Ranger 1000 is built to handle most hunting applications and functions as well as it looks.

Vortex suggests that the Ranger will read animals like deer out to 500 yards and reflective objects to 1000.  I didn’t have any deer in sight when I was testing the unit, but I was able to range a buffalo (yes my neighbors have buffalo) at 477 yards without a problem.  I was able to easily range a metal building 919 yards, so I feel like Vortex’s specifications are dead-on accurate. As a bowhunter, the three most important features of a ranger finder are: the speed at which it reads the distance to an object, the visibility of the display, and the ability to provide adjusted ranges for targets at severe angles. The ranging speed of the Ranger 1000 is definitely not the fastest on the market, but certainly has a place in the top tier of rangefinders in this category.  There definitely isn’t much “waiting” time involved when you place the reticle on an animal and push the button; even at long distances. (judging distance)


Low-light conditions won’t be a problem thanks to the adjustable, red LCD readout of the Ranger 1000. Along with a host of other features, the Ranger 1000 places itself among other top rangefinders in the market.

The display is second to none with the adjustable brightness red LCD.  I remember a friend ranging a buck in low-light and he wasn’t being able to read the black display in the dark timber, I have no doubt that had a Ranger 1000 been available back then, that deer would be on his wall today.  The LCD can be adjusted brighter for daylight situations and dimmer for low-light opportunities. To round out my three vital rangefinder factors, Vortex developed the HCD (Horizontal Component Distance) mode that displays an angle-compensated distance reading for hunters.  Shooting at steep angles, either up or down, can have a significant influence on the impact point of your arrow but the Ranger 1000 takes the guess work out of the equation.



The belt clip is a handy feature that eliminates the need for an attachment system that hangs from the chest or hip. The belt clip would allow the shooter to position the rangefinder in a number of handy positions. 

Until you live it, you have no idea what lesson bowhunting is about to teach you. As if those qualities aren’t enough to place the Ranger 1000 among the front running range fingers, it is also water-resistant to perform in all conditions.  And don’t forget that all Vortex optic products are covered by their VIP, unconditional and unlimited lifetime warranty… That’s hard to beat. Overall, I feel that this rangefinder has found its place in the upper-echelon of range finders.  The unit is very comparable to something like the Leupold RX-1000 (see review here) and in my opinion outperforms the Nikon Rifle Hunter and Bushnell Scout series rangefinders.  If you are in the market for a rangefinder, you owe it to yourself to take a serious look at the Vortex Ranger 1000.

Dustin DeCroo
Hunting Guide at Big Horn Outfitters
Dustin is a professional hunting guide and owner of Big Horn Outfitters in Buffalo, Wyoming where he lives with his wife and 2 children.
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