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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was able to find a deal on a Vortex Impact 1000 ($175) and here's my review.

Cons

1. The cross hairs were off center to the right so you have to tilt it to the left to get it straight up and down. That was just a bizarre defect that shouldn't make it out of Vortex quality control.

2. Measuring distances I would get different numbers. Not long distances mind you... like 28 yards to a Morrell bag target during the middle of the day getting different readings by a yard every time without moving... 28, 29, 28, 28, 29. I have beat up old golf rangefinders from Bushnell that give more consistent yardages, and testing side by side were not having that issue.

Neutral

1. Angle compensation isn't displayed, so there's no information about the angle or the distance it's cutting, which means you're blindly taking the rangefinder at face value all the time. No one serious about accuracy would like the inability to cross verify with a cut chart, or to verify the angle in cases where it's more extreme and a rangefinder may be inaccurate.

2. Only provides distance in whole numbers. Not a huge deal, but it would be nice to get as accurate a reading as possible. Yes, I would dial a distance to 30.5 if the rangefinder supported it.

3. The case it comes with isn't enclosed to properly protect it. Are we trying to say a few dollars here? I know it's the $200 model, but I would expect a little better than that.

Pros

1. The construction seems great for all weather. Very durable feel and look.

2. The warranty sounds great. Haven't used it but it seems straight forward.

3. Customer service responded to questions before buying in a timely manner, and followed up to make sure all my questions were answered.

Summary

Maybe this isn't a fair evaluation since it was a warehouse item (someone returned it previously), but it left a bad taste for sure. I am returning the Impact 1000 based on the performance.

I'm going to try the Ranger 1800 next to see if I just got a lemon the first go around with Vortex.
 
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You nailed it when you said it was previously returned. Now you know why it was returned.

You can either send it in to vortex they will send you a new one in place of it or fix it no questions asked.
Or
You could just return it like someone else did and pass on the bad one to someone else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You nailed it when you said it was previously returned. Now you know why it was returned.

You can either send it in to vortex they will send you a new one in place of it or fix it no questions asked.
Or
You could just return it like someone else did and pass on the bad one to someone else.
My return included notes with the issues, and recommending the return to Vortex for warranty repair. I wouldn't want someone else to get that one.
 
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Mathews HalonX 70 Lbs 28.5 draw 670 grain gold tip single bevel Tuffheads
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Vortex is + or - 5 yards thats why I wont own one !
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Vortex is + or - 5 yards thats why I wont own one !
They claim +/- 1 yard from 100 yards or less, +/- 3 yards from 1000 yards.

What did you choose that you like better?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
When it comes to archery specific rangefinders, it seems like Leupold has pretty much nailed it. The Fulldraw 4 is probably the most precise rangefinder that exists for the sport given the 1/2 yard accuracy to 125 yards and Archers Advantage software being built into the product to tighten the expected ballistics of the arrow. The problem is the price reflects that technology, and you get a 2 year warranty.
 

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Ad Meliora
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I was able to find a deal on a Vortex Impact 1000 ($175) and here's my review.

Cons

1. The cross hairs were off center to the right so you have to tilt it to the left to get it straight up and down. That was just a bizarre defect that shouldn't make it out of Vortex quality control.

2. Measuring distances I would get different numbers. Not long distances mind you... like 28 yards to a Morrell bag target during the middle of the day getting different readings by a yard every time without moving... 28, 29, 28, 28, 29. I have beat up old golf rangefinders from Bushnell that give more consistent yardages, and testing side by side were not having that issue.

Neutral

1. Angle compensation isn't displayed, so there's no information about the angle or the distance it's cutting, which means you're blindly taking the rangefinder at face value all the time. No one serious about accuracy would like the inability to cross verify with a cut chart, or to verify the angle in cases where it's more extreme and a rangefinder may be inaccurate.

2. Only provides distance in whole numbers. Not a huge deal, but it would be nice to get as accurate a reading as possible. Yes, I would dial a distance to 30.5 if the rangefinder supported it.

3. The case it comes with isn't enclosed to properly protect it. Are we trying to say a few dollars here? I know it's the $200 model, but I would expect a little better than that.

Pros

1. The construction seems great for all weather. Very durable feel and look.

2. The warranty sounds great. Haven't used it but it seems straight forward.

3. Customer service responded to questions before buying in a timely manner, and followed up to make sure all my questions were answered.

Summary

Maybe this isn't a fair evaluation since it was a warehouse item (someone returned it previously), but it left a bad taste for sure. I am returning the Impact 1000 based on the performance.

I'm going to try the Ranger 1800 next to see if I just got a lemon the first go around with Vortex.
Con #2: Maybe it was 28.5 or maybe the Bushnell is consistently wrong?

Neutral #1: How many “blindly accept” their speedometer? I’d guess most sportsmen who buy that rangefinder KNOWING it doesn’t display angle compensation believe that the software installed will be accurate. Just like most folks believe their car speedometer.

Neutral #2: known fact, not like it is missing something advertised. I’d guess very few people who buy it KNOWING it won’t be displayed would change their sights for .5 yards.

I wouldn’t buy a “return” thinking it was brand new.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Con #2: Maybe it was 28.5 or maybe the Bushnell is consistently wrong?

Neutral #1: How many “blindly accept” their speedometer? I’d guess most sportsmen who buy that rangefinder KNOWING it doesn’t display angle compensation believe that the software installed will be accurate. Just like most folks believe their car speedometer.

Neutral #2: known fact, not like it is missing something advertised. I’d guess very few people who buy it KNOWING it won’t be displayed would change their sights for .5 yards.

I wouldn’t buy a “return” thinking it was brand new.
If your cars speedometer is off by 1-2MPH... what impact does that really have? I get what you're saying, but you have to admit it's quite different in archery than most other ballistics related sports.

If your range finder for archery is off by 1-2 yards, you missed the expected target and/or took an unethical shot, especially for folks that are using heavy arrows, taking shots at sharper angles, etc. Pretty different stakes involved. BTW, even their LOS shows angles, so clearly Vortex themselves understand the value in knowing this additional data. It seems like a software improvement that should be made.

Yes, I knew it had whole numbers. I'm merely pointing out that when it gives me a different reading every time from the same spot, and it can't tell me 1/2 yards like Leupold, it seems like a real weakness of the product when it comes to providing confidence in the actual yardage.

The features and quality of product, Amazon warehouse item or not, is still reflected in my experience. IMO the Vortex Impact 1000 rangefinder is very good, but is clearly targeting a hunter with a gun and not an archer. For a gun hunter, it would be my preferred rangefinder, or the Ranger would be even better. As an archer, it requires more precision than I experienced.

This isn't a knock on Vortex products, it's simply acknowledging the limitations and wondering if others have had similar experiences. I have a set of their binoculars. In fact, I really like the build quality. I just think their software is lacking for the archery folks.
 

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I have had a Vortex rangefinder for years; I think it is the Ranger series...not sure. Based on my experience with this "older" model, your evaluation is spot on and fair.

My Vortex, while not having crooked cross-hairs, has always been inconsistent on readings. Like you have observed, the rangefinder cycles plus or minus a yard frequently. This is further exacerbated as targets become less reflective (dark color targets are the worst). I do believe a rangefinder that is not consistent on readings and sensitive to colors is a Con. Now, how big of Con is another question. I will note, my buddy has the Vortex 4000 and it is very consistent.

I agree the other Neutral items are just that - points of interest that are neither negative nor positive. I agree, anyone shooting competitively would like want to double check angle cuts. Of course, the reason this is neutral is because anyone shooting competitively is probably not using this entry level rangefinder. Thus, the rangefinder model is not one that should be purchased with the intent of using in the future should you want to crossover into competitive shooting later. Fair point - Neutral determination because not everyone is going down that path.

Same can be said about accurate readings to 0.5 yards. Not everyone needs this for their application (thinking hunting versus target shooting). Again, a fair presentation as Neutral.

And the Pros are Pros.

As for it being a warehouse return; if an item is sold by a company, then the item needs to be accurately represented in the transaction. If this was the case, then it is on you - so expect it to be a little off in fit/finish/operation. If it was a "Factory Refurbished" then it is on them - the item must meet the standards of a new item unless disclosed.

Thanks for the review.
 
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I own a Ranger 1800 and have no complaints. It's been perfect for bowhunting and will read 1000 yard targets for my 6.5 PRC.
 

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I've had 3 Leupolds. My first RX-750 lasted 13 years. It finally failed after I left it in my soaking wet turkey vest, inside my extemely hot truck (though I'd done that a few times before in GA). My second one RX-950 still works great after 6 years. I recently bought an RX-1400i w/ red LED display, which I bought new for $189 shipped. I couldn't pass on that deal because I wanted red display. In all cases, Leupolds are lighter weight, plenty tough, waterproof and extremely accurate. They only have a 2 year warranty, but I've never needed a warranty repair. If I'd gotten my 13 year old rangefinder repaired under a lifetime warranty, I would have doomed myself to stay stuck using its older technology. It was time for an upgrade anyway. The only advantage Vortex has is their lifetime warranty. By the time I'd need it, the model's technology would be obsolete anyway.
 

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If your range finder for archery is off by 1-2 yards, you missed the expected target and/or took an unethical shot, especially for folks that are using heavy arrows, taking shots at sharper angles, etc.
I know folks that don’t even use a rangefinder. Are they unethical? Imagine an old-timer perched on a limb with a recurve, shooting heavy arrows…unethical?
 

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I know folks that don’t even use a rangefinder. Are they unethical? Imagine an old-timer perched on a limb with a recurve, shooting heavy arrows…unethical?
Not using a rangefinder isn't unethical, if someone knows their shot distances or is extremely good at range estimation. Many instinctive traditional archers wouldn't need them because they know their target's distance by instinct, after a lot of practice.

I'm not good enough to hunt without a rangefinder. I thought I was in 1987, on my first bowhunt. I missed my first shot opportunity on a doe, twice! LOL! Fortunately, both shots were complete misses. Back then, digital rangefinders were extremely expensive, mostly military instruments. I invested in an old TLR 75 optical rangefinder. Ever seen one? It worked great! I used it for 20 years, until I finally bought a Leupold.

In 34 years of bowhunting, I've still never actually ranged an animal before I killed it. I range enough landmarks from my stand or setup spot so that I have excellent reference points. Usually, animals come in so fast, I wouldn't have time to range them. Or else, they're just so close I don't need to.
 

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Check out the new Bushnell range finders - Prime series, lots of bang for the buck. Scan mode, brush mode, arc, and 2x brighter than a lot of the stuff out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I know folks that don’t even use a rangefinder. Are they unethical? Imagine an old-timer perched on a limb with a recurve, shooting heavy arrows…unethical?
If you can accurately hit the vitals without any issues from any distance and angle you plan on shooting, then have at it. Yes, it's not that hard to estimate distances, I do it all the time. And you can be inaccurate in your guess from short distances and it not make a huge difference.

In my case, I'm using a rangefinder from distances that include over 100 yards on non-animal targets that could be up to 45 degrees uphill or downhill in all conditions. If you're off by a yard or two, it's magnified and will effect the outcome. There's nothing wrong with using ballistic assistance. And if you're going to use assistance, I think most people would prefer to use a device that is accurate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Check out the new Bushnell range finders - Prime series, lots of bang for the buck. Scan mode, brush mode, arc, and 2x brighter than a lot of the stuff out there.
The Fusion X Binos also look interesting given the price point. Not sure if accuracy is as good as rangefinders but looks promising
 
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I've got a nikon rangefinder and it's pretty accurate as far as range it concerned but after a shoot this weekend I am seriously considering going with a Leupold. My nikon will not pick up on black targets, I tried scanning mode, aiming at the base of the target and still nothing. A friend I shot with had a Full Draw 4 and it was like :oops::oops::oops:. It's incredibly clear and the 1/2 yard increments is a nice touch as well. Another guy in our group had a vortex ranger and it even picked up on black targets better than my nikon. However the 499$ price tag of the Full Draw 4 seems steep to me, I'm thinking about going with the Full Draw 3, it's only 299$ and Leupold advertises "any target color, any light condition" so I think I may give it a try. But I've read several reviews and feedback that say there are very few rangerfinders that will pick up good on a black target and still be accurate, some will be 2-3 yards long, idk if the target absorbs the laser beam or what.
 

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When it comes to archery specific rangefinders, it seems like Leupold has pretty much nailed it. The Fulldraw 4 is probably the most precise rangefinder that exists for the sport given the 1/2 yard accuracy to 175 yards and Archers Advantage software being built into the product to tighten the expected ballistics of the arrow. The problem is the price reflects that technology, and you get a 2 year warranty.
I can say this, I used a Full Draw 4 this past weekend and it's really a great piece of equipment. The clarity is unbelievable. It made my nikon look like a potato :LOL:. But you are right the price is definitely a big thing to consider. I found the Full Draw 3 which seems to be very very close for almost half the price, so I think the FD-3 is what I will go with.
 

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I can say this, I used a Full Draw 4 this past weekend and it's really a great piece of equipment. The clarity is unbelievable. It made my nikon look like a potato :LOL:. But you are right the price is definitely a big thing to consider. I found the Full Draw 3 which seems to be very very close for almost half the price, so I think the FD-3 is what I will go with.
You can find one, new on EBAY for $279.
 
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