Leupold RX-1200i TBR/W Rangefinder Review
- Same Day Shipping on Request
- Best Value and Performance in its Class
- 15-Years as premier solution provider
- Complimentary White Glove Service - Just-Ask-We-Take-Care-of-It
Last update on 2020-01-12 PST - Details
When Leupold designed the RX-1200i TBR/W rangefinder, they were attempting to conquer challenges that Archers and Bow Hunters face in the field.
Archers often complain that rangefinders don't easily range the dark and softer targets that are commonly used in that discipline, however Leupold's DNA technology is designed to provide substantially more accurate readings on soft and non-reflective targets, even those that are dark in color.
The "TBR" in the name represents True Ballistic Range which provides angle compensation to give more precise distances as well as the "/W" in the name which designates that this rangefinder also has automatic Wind hold values calculated at 10mph at a 90 degree angle to the shooter.
Sometimes it can feel as though Archers and Bow Hunters are a forgotten group, but Leupold has created the RX-1200i TBR/W with both Line of Sight (LOS) and a dedicated Bow mode, just for you.
About the Product
Alright, in all honesty, this rangefinder does actually have both a rifle mode and a bow mode, so technically it's not ONLY good for Archery and Bow Hunting, but we're pleased that the Bows were't left out and just tossed into the same category as rifle hunters. Not to mention, some of the features are really best served to Archery and Bow, so if you're shooting rifle, you CAN use this rangefinder, as long as you're not shooting long-range, but we'd probably recommend a different model for you if you're looking to consistently shoot over 800 yards.
There is one very important detail we'd like to point out now, before jumping any further into the review of this rangefinder. If you decide that you would like to purchase this model, pay VERY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE NAME. Leupold has another model with substantially the same name, but it does not have the wind hold value feature. (which we'll discuss a little later)
That /W after the TBR in the name is key! So again, just make sure that you watch names closely. (or just follow our link to Amazon toward the end of our review, it'll take you to the correct one) This review is for the Leupold RX-1200i TBR/W.
A few more details...
Features And Benefits
Built-in Inclinometer and Trig Feature
The Leupold RX-1200i TBR/W takes into consideration the angle of your shot when calculating the distance to your target.
Depending on which mode you are using, the maximum angled compensation distance will be different. In Bow Mode, it will compensate for angled shots based on Arrows, out to 125 yards. If what you are ranging is further than 125 yards, the rangefinder will automatically change back and use Line of Sight for the distance calculation.
If you are in Rifle Mode, Ballistics data is used to determine True Ballistic Range out to 800 yards. Some of this will be based specifically off of which ammo you are using, but we'll get into that a little later.
We're just really pleased at the quality performance this rangefinder delivers to Archery and Bow Hunting users.
The RX-1200i TBR/W does have another feature that is not usually found among traditional rangefinders. It has a Trig feature, which can actually allow you to measure the height of an object. This type of feature is usually only included in rangefinders that are specifically designed for forestry/environmental sciences, but Leupold included it in this model of the 1200i TBR/W.
If you wanted to measure the height of a tree, you would put the rangefinder in Trig Mode, aim it at the top of the tree and press the range (power) button. It will calculate the height in a couple seconds by first showing the Line of Sight distance, then it will flash the true horizontal distance and then it will put the height of the target up on the display in Yards. (There are no other options for displaying this measurement, it is displayed in yards and if you want it in some other metric, you'd have to do the conversion on your own)
Still, having this feature available is an interesting addition and could certainly have it's applications. Not to mention, it's just another toy feature to play with, if you're someone who is into having lots of different options.
Magnification, Optics, & Reticle
Leupold did design the RX-1200i TBR/W with 6X magnification, which is very reasonable, especially considering that often times, Archers and Bow Hunters get left with a 4x magnification because that's what is believed to be sufficient. Even for traditional hunting, a 6X magnification is fairly standard and we're pleased.
The optics are fully multi-coated lenses which provides excellent light transmission for a bright clear view. Speaking of light, the display is Leupold's standard OLED technology which includes the ability to adjust for low light conditions at dawn or dusk.
One feature that really grabs our attention with this rangefinder is the fact that Leopold allows us to choose our reticle and has given us three options. Leupold calls them Plus Point™, Duplex without Plus Point, and Duplex with Plus Point.
The Plus Point reticle is essentially a small plus sign with a very small opening in the center. It would be best used on very small targets. The Duplex without Plus Point looks partially like a heavy duplex reticle, but the center is left completely open. It is not like a crosshair where the lines of the reticle go all the way across in both directions, crossing in the middle.
The Duplex with Plus Point is a mixture of the two, with that same kind of heavy looking Duplex but then it includes that small Plus Sign in the middle. Again, it is not a true crosshair, because the lines are not continuous, but instead there is an ever-so-small opening in the center of the plus sign.
Modes & Display
The display is Leupold's standard OLED display which is a red, very high contrast and an easy to read display that they are well known for. It is one of the few rangefinders that use LED displays as opposed to the LCD displays. The brightness is user adjustable for varying light conditions with 3 intensity settings.
There are actually quite a few different Modes to choose from in this rangefinder. Most of them will require some extra input during set up, but it's all related to rifle modes with ballistics information.
Whether in Bow Mode or Rifle Mode, you can automatically calculate a wind hold value for a 10 mph wind at a 90 degree angle to the shooter. THIS IS NOT THE ACTUAL MEASUREMENT OF THE WIND. It is the automatic adjustment they've built into the rangefinder and then from there, you'd have to convert it for actual wind conditions if it be over or under 10 mph.
If you plan in advance, you could print off and take with you a conversation chart so that you could easily know the hold values of different wind conditions, so that you wouldn't have to do any calculations in the field. Otherwise, if the actual wind speed is 5 mph, cut the read out in half and you'd have the actual calculation for current conditions.
Rifle Mode has a number of different settings which all allow you to enter in information regarding your ammunition. During set-up, you can choose from a variety of available loads, or if you're not using any of the pre-sets, you have the ability to enter in your own data so that in Rifle Mode you will have calculations available to account for bullet drop.
The settings that Leupold included in Rifle Mode for scope adjustments are BAS: uses ballistics data of your pre-set ammo input, to determine the modified horizontal range. HOLD: will initially show the Line of Sight distance and then provide the holdover numbers either high or low, either in inches (if you've selected to have distance displayed in yards) or centimeters (if you've selected meters) MIL: If you prefer to have hold information represented as MIL, or milliradians, this mode will first disiplay the Line of Sight distance and then the holdover value as high or low with the number of MIL's to hold; and MOA: Minutes of Angle, which as you can guess, first displays the Line of Sight distance and then the Minutes of Angle adjustment based on the angle modified range. (If you would like to better understand MOA and how it affects dialing in your shot, you can read our informational article, Minutes of Angle Explained with 7 Steps to Zero in Your Scope.)
Depending substantially on the type of scope you're using, you may prefer one of these modes over another.
For any of these settings to function properly, you do need to input the specific information regarding your ammo. Leupold established 7 ballistic groups based on the similarities of ammo and weight, and provides a chart to figure out what group your ammo falls into.
In the box, they do provide a "Quick Reference" card, that is small enough to fit in the little carry case to take with you, which briefly provides a description of each group. This way, if you change what you're shooting while you're out, you can make the necessary changes to the input data to make sure that you're still accurate for what you're using. While the quick reference card provides a little description of each group, the chart in the user manual is more detailed. If you'd like to see what the quick reference card looks like, you can see it here. (Leupold RX1200i TBR/W Quick Reference Card.)
During set up in Rifle Mode, you will need to input this information, it is required, so don't just expect to take this rangefinder out of the box, push a few buttons and get your first reading. (at least not in rifle mode) It is best to set this up and practice with it a bit to see how it functions, BEFORE you go out to use it in the field.
In order to input this information, you will first select TBR mode. The next thing it will require you to do is select either BAS, HOLD, MIL, or MOA. You will then get to choose your group, which are labeled as groups A, B, C, AB, AC, BC and ABC. Remember, in order to know which group you will select, you need to figure out, based on their chart, which group your ammo fits in based on size and weight.
The RX-1200i TBR/W has A LOT of features, but that also means there is a little bit more prep work on your part to make sure those features perform for you the way they were intended.
The eye relief is better than average at 17mm, which is more than sufficient to have a clear field of view for everyone, even if you wear glasses. Leupold also provides a rubber, fold down eye cup so that users who do wear glasses can move it out of their way for easier viewing. Many people don't ever take time to consider how important eye relief really is, but iIf you wear glasses, the minimum eye relief required for clear view is 15mm.
Longer eye relief actually does help those without glasses as well, as it allows you to more quickly spot your target without the need to get the device all the way up to your eye.
If you haven't already, and would like to understand eye relief, you can read about it in our informational guide; What is Eye Relief and Why is it Important?
But with a 17mm eye relief, the field of view for this rangefinder should not be an issue for anyone.
Size, Weight and Portability
This device has been made extremely compact at just 3 inches high, 3.8 inches long and 1.4 inches wide! That width is really what's shockingly narrow. If you really wanted to, you could carry this in just about any pocket you had. It does still retain a reasonable weight at 7.8 ounces, so you do still recognize that you're holding something but it's not heavy.
There is no tripod mount, which is unfortunate but not uncommon among rangefinders. However you can connect a lanyard for easy carry and quick access which Leupold does supply in the box.
Accuracy and Ranging Distance
As we all know, accuracy of any rangefinder will depend greatly on the size, color and distance of the object being targeted, as well as the environmental conditions such as Fog, Rain, Snow, Trees, Brush and other elements that you may encounter.
The Leupold RX-1200 TBR/W has a 1/2 yard accuracy under 125 yards and over 125 yards the accuracy is plus or minus 2 yards.
As for ranging capabilities, for reflective targets you're looking at a 1200 yard max range. For targets substantially like trees, a 900 yard range, and an 800 yard ranging distance for deer. (or targets like deer)
It is also worth noting that Leupold's rangefinders have a history of excellent ranging abilities for archery targets regardless of their color.
The RX-1200 TBR/W was designed with the ability to turn on "Last Target" Mode. When in this mode, the rangefinder will ignore the first objects it reaches and look past to the furthest object in the sights. For instance, if a deer is standing in some brush and you put the sights on the deer, it will not see the branches in front of the deer, it will ignore those and give you the distance to your intended target.
This mode is not always active, you have to turn it on when you want to use it. There are some other rangefinders that give more options when it comes to target priority, especially if you're looking to shoot longer distance, we would suggest that you look at the Sig Sauer Kilo2000 or the Sig Sauer Kilo2400. They both have better Target Priority for long-range hunting and marksmanship. In fact, the Kilo2400 has 3 Target Priorities, First, Best, and Last.
When it comes to the Laser in this rangefinder, there is an interesting situation that we need to make you aware of. Leupold did consider safety and designed the RX-1200i TBR/W with a Class 1 Laser; at least, according to the FDA's guidelines which are those followed in the United States. Lasers can be extremely harmful to eyes and people accidentally get injured by lasers often. However a Class 1 laser, is considered safe for eyes.
With that said, we should now put a WARNING here. Outside of the United States, there are other governing authorities that develop safety standards for products in other countries. One of those agencies is the IEC, or International Electrotechnical Commission.
They did not come to the same conclusion as the FDA and declared that the laser in this rangefinder is NOT eye safe.
According to the EIC, the laser in this model is a Class 3 laser and IS NOT SAFE FOR EYES!
For that reason, there are some precautions you should take prior to or during use.
DO NOT EVER aim this rangefinder at someone's eye;
DO NOT EVER leave this rangefinder somewhere that children could find it and accidentally injure themselves; and
DO NOT EVER try to open the casing to mess with any of the inner components.
With different agencies coming to different conclusions regarding the safety of the laser used in this rangefinder, it would be better to be safe than sorry. You will probably just want to take some added safety measures to make sure that no one is ever accidentally injured by this rangefinder.
While Leupold likes to call it Weatherproof, this rangefinder is not actually Waterproof.
When they say that it's weatherproof, that's a way to tell you that it can withstand all the weather conditions you may face. It is technically water resistant and as they say, can withstand rain, snow, cold etc... It is just not designed for full submersion in water. It's not Waterproof. Which means, don't drop it in the lake.
If you'd like to understand the differences between waterproof and water resistant, you can read our informational article: Waterproof vs Water Resistant, What Does that Mean?
Leupold does provide a better than average Warranty, with a 2 year warranty on the electronic components, but a lifetime warranty on the rest. They will repair or replace your rangefinder, regardless of whether you are the original owner, so this kind of transferable warranty is always a nice bonus.
Miscellaneous & Final Thoughts
Just in case you wondered, this rangefinder does use a CR2 Lithium Battery which is included.
It also comes with a soft carry case that has a belt loop on the back if you'd like to attach it to your belt for carry.
We will not tell you what rangefinder is going to be best for you and your needs. All we can do is tell you which rangefinders are good for which purposes and then let you make the choice. The Leupold RX-1200i TBR/W is a fantastic rangefinder for Archery and Bow Hunting. As long as you're not doing any long-range hunting, it can also be good for Rifle Hunting.
The added features are a little burdensome to set up at first, but worth the output that you receive in the end.
The Trig feature was also an interesting and welcome addition. We can't say that we'd use this feature often, except for the fact that we can, but it is still not a common feature, which allows the 1200i TBR/W to separate itself from the pack a bit.
The Best Choice for You
If you are just starting out on a mission to find the best rangefinder for your needs, we would highly recommend that you start by reading our instructional guide on Understanding Rangefinders.
It is not enough to just look for "the best rangefinder", you need to figure out which one will be the best for you. Once you understand rangefinders better, you will be able to make a more informed purchasing decision.