Leupold Vendetta 2 - Bow Mounted Rangefinder
The Leupold Vendetta 2 bow mounted rangefinder offers bowhunters a unique feature set when compared to other archery rangefinders. While the Vendetta 2 is a complete departure from the traditional way of ranging targets it comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Keep reading to find out the pros and cons of this new bow rangefinder.
The Vendetta 2 is a relatively simple rangefinder but requires a more involved initial setup than most regular style rangefinders, although it is more about mounting and aligning as opposed to programming. This rangefinder comes with two mounting options, one for a compound bow and the other for a crossbow. The unit uses an external LED screen readout to display distances instead of the internal look through displays usually found on monocular style rangefinders. Once mounted and aligned the Vendetta 2 is aimed by use of a sight pin, generally the 20 yard pin. This Leupold rangefinder is controlled by a pressure pad that connects to the rangefinder by a cable which you can mount in a place easily accessible from a ready to shoot position. Also of note, this rangefinder is not legal for hunting in some states so click here to see if it is legal where you live.
Mounting - Bow
The Leupold Vendetta 2 comes with two different mounting options. The first option is a mounting plate that attaches to the riser on a compound bow, or onto a bow sight mount. For most bowhunters they will probably mount the Vendetta 2 to their bow sight mounting bracket like you would a bow quiver, and those using bow mounted quivers can attach them onto the outside of the rangefinder mounting plate. Another bracket attaches to the rangefinder mounting plate that crosses the front side of the bow and brings the actual rangefinder over to the arrow rest side of the bow above the sights. You’ll want to mount the rangefinder as close to the bow sight housing as possible for alignment reasons discussed below. The mounting system is reversible and can be mounted on right or left handed bows.
Mounting - Crossbow
The second mounting option for this rangefinder is for crossbows and is essentially a modified 1” scope ring with a mounting bracket that clamps onto the scope’s main tube. Pretty much all crossbow scopes use a 1” main tube so compatibility shouldn’t be an issue for most shooters using a scope; however, those using a red dot optic, sight pins, or any other aiming method besides a scope with a 1” tube will not be able to mount this unit onto their crossbow. Also, consider where you want to place the pressure switch and how you will route the cable without interfering with any moving parts of the crossbow before mounting the rangefinder. Like the bow mount, the crossbow mount is also reversible which is good news for lefties.
While the manual goes into all the details, basically you use a ruler to measure the difference in horizontal and vertical distance from where your 20 yard pin is and where the Vendetta 2’s visible laser is located. This offset distance is then marked off from the center of a target’s bullseye as a reference and the target is then placed at 20 yards. The bow’s 20 yard sight pin is then aimed at the target’s bullseye while the rangefinders windage and elevation are adjusted until the visible laser hits the offset mark made on the target. The key to the whole process is understanding you are trying to get the rangefinder and the 20 yard pin aligned to be perfectly parallel with each other and not on top of each other. This small offset will be up to a couple inches off your exact point of aim with the 20 yard sight pin, but when setup correctly it will only be off this small offset amount at all distances which is close enough for ranging targets. Alignment works the same way on a crossbow only the offset is measured from the visible laser to the center of the scope instead of 20 yard sight pin.
Operation & Ranging
The Leupold Vendetta 2 is rated for ranging targets as close as 10 yards out to 70 yards and is operated entirely by the use of the pressure pad which is attached to the rangefinder by a cable. Pressing the pressure pad once turns the unit on, while a second press ranges a target. To use the scan mode make sure the unit is on and press and hold the pressure pad for 3 seconds; the unit will now continuously update target ranges for 40 seconds. To exit the scan mode before the 40 seconds is up simply press the pressure pad again. For normal ranging that is pretty much it; set up requires the use of a visible laser for alignment which is activated by starting with the unit off and pressing and holding the pressure pad for 10 seconds; deactivating the visible laser is accomplished by pressing and holding the pressure pad for 5 seconds. Note the visible laser is only used for setup and will not be visible when ranging targets in the field.
Having a device that can range targets at full draw is a huge plus when hunting because it not only keeps you updated on range but also eliminates the movement a hunter makes when transitioning from measuring the distance with a traditional rangefinder to raising up and drawing back the bow. Next, we were pleasantly surprised to find out that the Vendetta 2 provides angle compensated reading which can come in handy for those taking steep angle shots from treestands. Finally, the scan mode is also a nice feature as an animal can often move several yards or more after drawing back, so even if you had the distance to the animal ranged with a traditional rangefinder you have no way of knowing how far they moved once you are at full draw.
The main complaint we have about the Leupold Vendetta 2 is a lack of a Last Target priority mode, which aids the shooter when ranging through cover like grass or branches. Also, with all the remote control and Bluetooth gadgets out there we were kind of hoping to see a wireless pressure pad; most hunters will likely want to tape the cable connecting the pressure pad to the rangefinder in a couple places to keep it tight and from interfering with shooting or snagging on brush while in the field.
While the Vendetta 2 can be aligned with any sight pin, the 20 yard pin probably makes sense for most archers because this is generally the top pin for most bowhunters, and since you always range with the same yardage pin the rangefinder was aligned with this helps to avoid confusion. Also, of note is that this rangefinder is rated as weatherproof; this isn’t the same as waterproof so be sure the unit doesn’t get submerged in water. Next this unit comes with a limited two year warranty that covers defective materials and workmanship which seems to be the standard on most rangefinders today. Finally, it is our understanding that certain trophy clubs like Pope & Young do not allow the use of these types of bow mounted rangefinders for entry into their record books; so that is something to consider if you are interested in potentially submitting any qualifying animals you may harvest to one of these trophy clubs.
The Leupold Vendetta 2 offers something both unique and useful for the bowhunter, and that is the ability to range a target while at full draw; the scan mode and angle compensated readings are also nice additions to this or any bow rangefinder. Bowhunters that live in a state where this device is legal should take a close look at this model when searching for a new archery rangefinder; it is also a good option for those who aren’t currently satisfied with how more traditional rangefinders operate while bowhunting. Currently the Vendetta 2 is the only bow mounted rangefinder on the market and sells for around $350 online.
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