In this post, I’m going to talk about why I switched from the Vortex Ranger 1800 to the Leupold RX-Fulldraw 5 rangefinder. The short answer to that question is I had several issues with the Vortex Ranger 1800 while bowhunting during the Fall of 2023. Several times while ranging animals, the Vortex Ranger 1800 returned sporadic readouts with variations of as much as 20-to-30-yards on same animal. That didn’t give me a lot of confidence. In fact, I actually missed an antelope and a bull elk as a result of these sporadic outs. I wanted something new going into 2024.
One of the main features on the RX-Fulldraw 5 is something called the “Last Target” feature and that’s supposed to help with grass, fog, and otherwise challenging conditions for the range finder. This feature is one of the main reasons I decided to purchase this rangefinder. Here are some of the other features of the RX-Fulldraw 5.
- Half yard accuracy from 6 yards to 175 yards
- 2-yard accuracy from 175 yards to 1,200 yards
- Maximum Range 900 yards (nonreflective targets like deer and other game)
- Maximum Range 1,200 yards (reflective targets)
- Archery Advantage Bow Ballistic software
- Flightpath Technology
Archery Advantage Bow Ballistic software allows for the input of arrow weight, arrow velocity and the peep sight height. The software considers those variables when calculating shooting solutions.
When researching this Rangefinder, I initially couldn’t tell the difference between the Fulldraw 4 and the Fulldraw 5. However, I discovered that the Fulldraw 5 accepts a wider range of arrow velocities than the previous RX-Fulldraw 4. The Fulldraw 5 can accept velocities from 170 ft per second all the way up to 550 ft per second, so it’s going to accommodate the slowest to the fastest bows. When I reviewed the owner’s manual online, it instructs the owner to take the chronograph reading at exactly 36 inches. The last part of the firing solution takes into account arrow weight and the Fulldraw 5 accommodates Arrow weights from 200 to 900 grains.
Another great bow hunting feature in this Rangefinder that I’m excited to try out is something that Leupold calls flight path technology. Flight path technology displays the maximum height an arrow will achieve before reaching the target. In the reticle, a horizontal bar will display above the reticle showing the highest point of the a flight based on actual setup from the variables input in the Archery Advantage Bow Ballistic Software (Arrow speed, arrow weight, and peep sight height).
The Fulldraw 5 features six-power magnification and a 22 mm objective lens. If there’s one thing that surprises me about this rangefinder, it’s that Leupold decided to go with six-power magnification on a rangefinder that’s bowhunter specific. While six-power is great for an all-around rangefinder that’d be used during rifle season as well, on a bow hunting specific application I would have preferred something like four or five power. When looking through the objective lens, there’s an OLED, brightness adjustable display that’s really high resolution. I really like this display.
- There are also three reticle options to choose from (pictured above)
- The Fulldraw 5 features aluminum construction, overlaid with a rubber coating
- Power comes from a single CR2 battery
- The Fulldraw 5 is lightweight at only 7.5 ounces
- Leupold provides a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty
- To operate the full draw 5 simply press and release the power button for a single distance or press and hold the power button for continuous scanning
The feature I’m most excited about in this Rangefinder, and the primary reason I purchased it is called Last Target mode. Last Target mode is software in the rangefinder that helps it return the farthest object in the Laser’s path helping to eliminate false readouts. Last Target mode is supposed to help the laser discriminate between blades of grass, small sticks, fog, and rain. After my experience with the Vortex Ranger 1800 last year and all the faulty readouts, I’m hoping this works as advertised and it’s something I’ll be trying out here in the near future in real world conditions.
- No belt clip like provided on the Vortex Ranger 1800
- PRICE: Retails for $499 but on sale now (12/28/2023) on sale right now for $399
- No ¼-20 thread in the body for mounting to a tripod.
That’s going to do it for my initial review of the Leupold RX-Fulldraw 5 rangefinder. I plan to get this thing out in the field pretty soon. I’ll be doing a follow-up review to do some real-world testing and report back on how it performs.