Leupold RX-650 - Budget Rangefinder
The entry level Leupold RX-650 rangefinder provides an option for those wanting a Leupold rangefinder but not wanting to pay the price of their full featured models. But does this entry level model live up to the high standards of its well known name?
The Leupold RX-650 is a budget rangefinder that has a maximum range of 650 yards on reflective targets, 600 yards on trees, and 575 yards on deer. This rangefinder comes equipped with a black LCD display and can report distances in yards or meters. Next, this unit features a scan mode but is not equipped with either a target priority mode or a angle compensation mode. Finally, this unit is powered by a CR2 battery and is covered by a 2 year limited warranty which cover defects in material or workmanship.
The RX-650 is a very small rangefinder that features a top rubberized panel for a positive hold when your hands are sweaty or wet. There is a single control button that is red and sits on top of the unit near the rear. The battery loads underneath the eyepiece at the rear of the unit which can be accessed by a small foldout tab that is used to unscrew the battery compartment cap. Finally, the only other moving part on the outside of the rangefinder is the adjustable eyepiece which is used to focus the reticle to the shooter’s eye.
Like most budget model rangefinders, the Leupold RX-650 rangefinder uses a black LCD display to report distances and is one of the most clutter free displays available. Basically, the display features an aiming reticle in the center, and then displays the range above the reticle which is followed by a small “y” or “m” to designate which unit of measure is being used. Other than that there is a battery life indicator at the bottom of the screen to keep the user aware of how much power is remaining.
A rangefinder that comes with one button is pretty likely to be simple to operate and the Leupold RX-650 is no exception. You basically have one setting that can be changed and that is to have the unit display distance in yards or meters. As far as normal operation, once the unit is active press the button once to get a range or press and hold the button down to use the scan mode. Scan mode allows you to range multiple animals at once or to track a moving animal, all while the display constantly updates distances.
Simple setup and a clutter free screen are something that the Leupold RX-650 has that the rest of the rangefinders in the Leupold line do not. Most Leupold rangefinders have three modes, and some of those modes have sub options which takes sometime to get familiar with; furthermore there are display brightness settings to set, as well as reticle options to choose from. As a result of all these options the display can get quite cluttered informing the user of all the current programming selections. So those that like Leupold but also like simple now have an option when it comes to their rangefinders. We also like the 6x magnification for a budget rangefinder that might be called on in a variety of different hunting situations, as this provides good versatility in providing enough field of view for close targets while still providing enough magnification on distant targets.
On a hunting rangefinder we like to have a last target priority feature for ranging through cover and an angle compensation feature for bowhunting and steep angle shots; the Leupold RX-650 has neither target priority or angle compensation. To be fair no current budget rangefinder in our comparisons do either. Those wanting a rangefinder with last target priority should look at the Nikon Aculon, while those wanting an angle compensation feature should check out the Redfield 650A models. Next, the price on the RX-650 tends to be a bit on the higher end of the budget rangefinder scale, and while $10 - $20 might not matter that much to some; these entry level models do compete on price as well as features.
When buying an entry level rangefinder there are always compromises to be made, so one needs to decide what they would like to have and what they need to have. Some people might prefer a model with target priority, while others might prefer angle compensation, and still others might be more comfortable with a certain brand. The key thing to remember is that having any reliable rangefinder is the major part of the battle, because guessing distance when hunting is generally a terrible idea.
Leupold went no frills and simple with the RX-650 rangefinder, and that is exactly what some people are looking for; its one button operation and clutter free display keep things about as straightforward as you can get in a rangefinder. Yet this rangefinder still maintains important features like an adjustable diopter to focuses the unit’s reticle to the user’s eyes, a scan mode for tracking a moving target or multiple targets, and the option to display distances in yards or meters. The Leupold RX-650 rangefinder is currently selling online for around $180.
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