Vortex has been making their Ranger series of rangefinders for several years, but this Ranger HD 4000 changes everything. It’s got all new optics and all new electronics. And it ranges as far as 4,000 yards.
Of course, 4,000 yards is the ideal max on a reflective target. So, if you happen to be ranging a glass building and you’re locked down on a tripod, you can probably get yardage out to 4,000 yards. Nonreflective targets, like deer, can be ranged effectively at 2,000 yards, and that’s significant.
The unit has two lenses on the front, one for the laser and one for you to spot through. The laser is sent from and received back into the lower lens. Its beam divergence is 0.2 milliradians tall by 2 mils wide.
Optically, this unit is superior to previous Ranger units. Vortex wanted to make the lenses as good as certain European brands, and they feel they’ve achieved it. It’s now a 7x25mm lens as opposed to the 6x of older models. Standing inside the conference center, I couldn’t tell how superior the glass was, but I could see a significant improvement. The rangefinder has to project the display onto the glass you view through, and previous models had a reflective coating on the objective lens to aid in viewing the display. That coating also puts a blue-ish tint over the image you see. This new Ranger HD 4000 uses a different method to project the display and the view gives the true colors without tint.
The options for viewing are also expanded. It’s got adjustable brightness and several modes for different situations.
- ELR: Extended Laser Range mode. Best used on a tripod, this uses a longer response time and extends the range-able distance.
- HCD: Horizontal Component Distance. This is the mode you’ll use most of the time because it accounts for the angle you’re viewing at and does trigonometry to give you distance as if it was horizontal so you can calculate projectile drop. Bowhunters love this mode.
- LOS: Line of Sight. This is the actual distance to your target without compensating for the up or down angle, but it does display the up or down angle. Probably best for long range shooters.
- Normal Mode: Single press, displays the distance to the object.
- First Mode: Pressing and holding the Measure button allows you to scan around and it gives you the distance to the nearest object. Example: A deer is standing in front of some brush, this mode ensures you are ranging the deer and not the brush.
- Last Mode: Pressing and holding the Measure button allows you to scan and it returns the distance of the farthest thing you scan over, not just the most reflective. Example: A deer is behind a bush, Last Mode will tell you how far the deer is. Hunters will usually use Last Mode.
Also new is an adjustable eyecup and an all-magnesium body. The body is tougher than the polymer in previous units, and it’s got rubber armor panels for a positive grip. It’s IPX-7 waterproof. The whole thing is a little larger and it feels good in the hand. Lastly, it’s got a belt clip, 1/4″-20 tripod socket, toolless battery compartment and focusable diopter.The Ranger HD 4000’s MSRP is just $499.