Simmons Vertical Laser Rangefinder
Simmons is brand known for providing value priced sporting optics; and they are the choice of many hunters and shooters who are on a tight budget or simply don’t need models with a lot of high end features. The Simmons LRF 600 rangefinders are no exception, they are a basic no frills and low cost series. However, they have expanded their LRF 600 laser rangefinder line to include an angle compensated model.
The biggest news in the Simmons rangefinder line up is the inclusion of a new LRF 600 Tilt model. Tilt Intelligence is their version of angle compensation, which gives you the true horizontal distance to the target. This angle compensated yardage is displayed below the line of sight distance number. These true horizontal distances are displayed for targets that are 99 yards or closer after which only line of sight yardage is available.
Black LCD Display
The LRF 600 series rangefinders feature a black LCD display and utilizes a box style reticle for targeting. When the unit is firing the laser diagonal hash marks will extend along the corners of the reticle to let you know the unit’s laser is currently active. The distance reading will then display on the screen for thirty seconds.
9 Volt Battery
Unlike most current production rangefinders which use a 3 volt CR2 lithium style battery, the Simmons LRF 600 series rangefinders use a common 9 Volt alkaline battery (not included). While the 9 volt battery is more common and less expensive it is larger and heavier that the newer style CR2 batteries.
Despite utilizing a 9 volt battery the LRF 600’s are vertical style rangefinders; which are lighter and more compact than most horizontal (flat) style rangefinders. However, they do fall at the larger end of the vertical style rangefinders measuring over four inches long, almost two inches wide, and just over three and a half inches tall. These rangefinders are still lightweight though, tipping the scales at less than eight ounces.
These Simmons rangefinders are among only a couple models available from any manufacturer that are available in 4x magnification. Low magnification can be beneficial for those who hunt at close ranges like archery hunters or who have a difficult time holding higher magnification models steady while ranging off hand. However, as the distance increases out past several hundred yards precision targeting begins to suffer.
The LRF 600 models can be set to return distance in yards or meters which is about the only feature these units have besides the model equipped with Tilt Intelligence which can display angle compensated readings. There is no scan mode, no target priority, no reticle selections, and no adjustable diopter (eyepiece).
Simmons is currently making three versions of the LRF 600 rangefinders. The first two are standard models with the only difference being one has a black finish while the other one has a camo finish. The third version is a black model that has the Tilt Intelligence technology. However, all three of these models are available in either box or clam shell packaging. No matter the packaging all models come with a carrying case so the only real difference is the packaging. Model numbers that end with a “C” will come in the plastic see through clam shell packaging that many electronics now ship in, while models do not have end with a see will ship in a box.
Angle compensation is one feature that is almost always left out on a budget rangefinder series, and is a feature important to many hunters especially treestand bowhunters. These bowhunters often shot at extreme angles where the difference of a few yards between line of sight distance and actual true horizontal distance can be critical
Many hunters are priced out of other rangefinder models because of the vast number of features and options available on most rangefinders. These Simmons rangefinders are targeted at hunters and shooters who want an affordable rangefinder and don’t need all the bells and whistles of higher end models.
The LRF 600 series has one of the most uncluttered displays of any rangefinder available. The unit has a reticle, a battery level indicator, and then displays the yardage below the reticle. (Tilt models also display angle compensated yardage below line of sight yardage). There are no angle of the shot measured in degrees, no bow or rifle icons, and no target priority icons displayed on the screen as is the case with most rangefinders.
Despite being a 600 yard rangefinder; Simmons states to expect reading trees out to 400 yards, and reading deer out to 200 yards. Ranging a deer at two hundred yards isn’t all that impressive for a laser rangefinder and sometimes manufactures are even a little optimistic about these numbers.
Lack of Features
The lack of modes and options will cause many hunters and shooters to look for another model of rangefinder. However, this is kind of a double edge sword because if the LRF 600 had all the features commonly found on other rangefinders it would undoubtedly be priced similar to those models as well.
The Simmons LRF 600 models differentiate themselves from other models by offering a basic rangefinder at a lower price than most of their competitors. However, its low magnification and relatively short ranging ability make it a noticeable tradeoff from higher powered longer ranging budget rangefinders.
LRF 600 Tilt
The LRF 600 Tilt version is a bright spot in the line up and should do well with those looking for a budget archery only rangefinder. Here the unit’s relatively short ranging ability isn’t a concern and its lower magnification is actually a benefit as field of view is more important than precision targeting at these closer ranges. Top that off with its ability to give true horizontal distance and low cost (currently under $150) and it should do very well with the bowhunting crowd.
Simmons Rangefinder Models
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