The Nikon Archers Choice Laser Rangefinder is designed squarely for the archery and bow hunting user. It has all the features a hunter would need – target prioritization, one-button use, angle compensation, accuracy – but only up to a point. It is a high quality range finder – but is it the best all-around choice?
Fully featured – to a point
Again, this rangefinder is designed for archery and bow hunting users, at ranges of 100 yards or less. Given that very few slug hunters take shots over 100 yards, the shotgun slug hunter would also be a closely related market as well. Here in Ohio, rifles are not allowed for deer hunting, anyway. For those users, this is a great combination of price, performance, and features.
This rangefinder includes Nikon’s Tru-Target technology to choose either first priority (the first reading) or distant priority (ignoring an early reading like a branch or something) to make sure you’re on the target you intend to range. Also, it includes Advanced ID technology to compensate for inclines/declines (the ID part of the name). This automatically compensates for how steep of an angle you’re ranging, since the bullet/arrow trajectory won’t be the same with a flat ground-level shot or a 60 degree tree stand shot down a ravine.
Up to 100 yards, this rangefinder is the equivalent of the highly rated Nikon Riflehunter 550. This isn’t really a surprise – since they’re pretty much the exact same unit. In fact, Nikon uses the same instruction manual for both models. Of course, the biggest difference is that the RifleHunter 550 has a max range of 550 yards (hence the name), versus the 100 yard max of the Archer’s Choice.
Again, for those strictly focused on bow hunting or shotgun slugs, this isn’t a big deal (though even then sometimes you many want to range landmarks or other targets beyond shooting range). But for about $30-50 more, you can get all the features with over five times the range.
Features of the Archers Choice:
* Rated range from 5 yards to 100 yards
* Multicoated optics to improve light transmission, clarity, and color rendition.
* 6x magnification with a monocular design
* Displays 0.5 yd increments to 100 yds with ID turned off
* Displays in 0.2 yd increments with ID turned on
* Uses 1 CR2 lithium battery for long life
* Dimensions: 1.5 by 2.7 by 5.1 inches (W x H x D) to fit easily in your hand
* Lightweight at 6.3 ounces (without battery)
* Waterproof/Fogproof (except battery chamber) for guaranteed performance in field conditions.
* Nikon Tru-Target ranging system to compensate for inclines/declines up to 89 degrees
It’s not that the Archers Choice is a bad rangefinder at all – it may be one of the best archery-specific rangefinders on the market. It’s great for what it does. It just doesn’t do it out as far as its closely related brother, the Riflehunter 550.
The Nikon Archers Choice laser rangefinder is an excellent choice for those strictly focused on bow hunting and/or short range shooting such as shotgun slugs, etc. It has all the features you’d need and top performance, but only up to that 100 yard or so limit. If you truly don’t need the extra range and don’t want to pay the relatively small premium to get it, this can be a great unit for you. Personally, I think the extra range is worth that modest extra cost. But if you do decide to go down the specialized rangefinder route, this is the one to get.