LEUPOLD RX 1200I Review – Good Archery / Rifle Hunting Rangefinders

In this Leupold RX 1200I review we explore Leupold’s latest addition to its popular RX hunting laser rangefinder range. Leupold’s new top rangefinder now comes with a wind compensation feature to add to its already dazzling range of functions and features. We ask, has Leupold made an even more complicated rangefinder or is this a winner?

Leupold RX 1200i TBR/W DNA Rangefinder

Know Your Model

This new Leupold rangefinder descends from the RX-1000i TBR, one of Leupold’s first high-end rangefinders. The current RX-1200i TBR/W DNA is the latest model. The name indicates the rangefinders features.

  • The “RX” indicates the unit’s purpose (RX=hunting, GX=golf)
  • “1200” means a maximum range of 1200 yards
  • “TBR” (True Ballistic Range) indicates it is capable of readings with angle compensation
  • “W” indicates the new wind adjustment feature
  • “DNA” (Digitally eNhanced Accuracy) signifies improved speed and accuracy.

Leupold still makes a RX-1200i DNA plain line of sight rangefinder. The RX-1200i TBR DNA without the wind compensation feature is still available. Be careful to pick the model that’s right for you when shopping.

 Leupold RX 1200I Review Features

The RX-1200i TBR/W DNA is slim and compact. The rangefinders aluminium housing is light, with a rubberized layer for grip and the compact design is rated as weatherproof. With a 6x magnification it suitable for both bowhunting and rifle hunting. This Leupold rangefinder uses a much clearer red OLED display than the older style LCD displays. Its target priority mode helps locate the actual target in split targets when ranging through tall grass or branches for example.

Targeting Modes

LOS (line of sight) mode – returns normal range without a shot angle or windage compensation.

Bow Mode

When the RX-1200i TBR/W is in Bow mode it provides angle compensation for distances up to 125 yards. While in Bow mode if targeting is beyond 125 yards the rangefinder will report the line of sight reading and displays a flashing “LOS” icon to indicate there is no angle compensation. This is unlikely to be an issue as most archery or crossbows shots will be closer.

Rifle Mode

In rifle mode, the rangefinder can display a true horizontal range or use holdover adjustments in Mil, MOA, inches, or centimetres.  The Leupold RX-1200i TBR/W DNA is specified as having a maximum range of 1200 yards on highly reflective targets, 900 yards on trees, and 800 yards on deer. As with all these ratings,  it’s a good idea for practical purposes to adjust these figures down.

Wind Calculations

The RX 1200i TBR/W wind compensation is calibrated internally in each ballistic group. The unit does not measure wind speed and you don’t actually enter the wind speed directly. Instead, you have to measure or gauge the wind at 90 degrees to the line of sight of the shot. Then input into the calculation for a chosen ballistic group, a number which is relative to the standard Full value wind which is set to 10 mph.

So if you measure your wind speed at 5 mph you enter a divide by 2 as that is half the standard calibrated full value wind. If your measured wind was 20 mph you enter a multiply by 2. as that is twice the standard full wind value. When a ballistic group is selected the rangefinder will calculate full value wind holds at the ranged distances. The windage and the elevation corrections are applied on ranges up to 800 yards.

Ballistic Groups

A Ballistic group is used to calibrate sighting parameters for rifle scopes for different distances while compensating for angle and this case the wind for a given cartridge or load. Different loads have a matching ballistic group.  The RX 1200i TBR/W’s  has 25 different ballistic groups for different loads. The user manual comes with numerous popular loads and their corresponding group number. Note a ballistic group must be selected to get wind hold values as the unit needs to have a bullet and velocity to work out how much wind drift there will be at any given distance.

The user manual also contains for each group hold over-range and wind drift parameters at 600 yards. This can be used to select a group number not listed in the popular load’s table when using an unlisted calibre. You might need to plug your data into a ballistic calculator app to get the required drop data at 600 yards if you are shooting with one of these uncommon rounds.

 

Other Features

The Leupold RX-1200i TBR/W has three selectable reticles to choose from. They include a small crosshair, a large crosshair, and a large crosshair with an open centre. The larger option is a personal choice and maybe for use on big game. The smaller reticle is better suited for ranging smaller animals and targets. The Trig setting in rifle mode enables the unique feature to measure height. This may be of little use in shooting applications when hunting but it could be useful for measuring the height of any object as and when needed.

What We Like in this LEUPOLD RX 1200I Review

We like that this rangefinder has 6x magnification, angle compensation and last target priority features making it well suited for both archery and rifle hunting. The RX 1200i TBR/W rangefinder wind adjustment feature is a handy addition.  Most rangefinders don’t have this built in wind compensation feature. Most other rangefinders don’t compensate for wind drift which becomes more significant above 500 yards. Programming the device is quick and simple. The easy windage calculation is also a nice feature.

Off the reticle and display icons do not show, so the screen is clear of all icon clutter. This makes this rangefinder useful as a binocular substitute with the unit’s clear OLED screen. This screen is much clearer than the LCD displays on older or cheaper rangefinders. But don’t expect quality binocular performance.

What we disliked in this LEUPOLD RX 1200I Review

In this Leupold RX 1200I review, we asked the question about over-complicating the setup process with many additional features. Certainly, the Leupold RX 1200I is more complex than most rangefinders. This makes adjusting the rangefinder settings more involved and time-consuming than with most other rangefinders. Another weakness is with just two buttons to work with and lots of options programming the device setup will take some time.

Conclusions

In this Leupold RX 1200I review we asked, has Leupold made an even more complicated rangefinder or is this a winner?
The Leupold RX-1200i TBR/W is a very customizable laser rangefinders. But, all this customisation comes at the expense of more lengthy and in depth programming setup.

If you want a simpler rangefinder giving you true horizontal distance without all the modes, settings or ballistic calculations, maybe you’d be better off with a Nikon Aculon.

The ballistic calculations are specified up to 800 yards. In reality, 500 yards is probably a better maximum distance to bet on these ballistic calculations.  At 500 yards factors such as barometric pressure, temperature and other variables affect ballistics and this rangefinder cannot account for these factors.

leupold displayThe Leupold RX-1200i TBR/W build quality is excellent. It has a light aluminium body and uses of high-end components like the red OLED display. The angle compensation and Last Target priority make it a good choice for archery and rifle hunting.

The full value wind corrections make this rangefinder stand out from the competition. The device provides more customisation options than any other rangefinder from its direct competitors. The rangefinder would suit hunters not afraid of diving into the menu and its settings to exploit all its possible features. It still a good all round archery and hunting rangefinder and you can pick one up for a good price. Camouflaged versions are also available. And that concludes our LEUPOLD RX 1200I review, happy hunting!

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