Bottom Line Up Front: The Nikon RifleHunter 550 may offer the best combination of performance, price, and features around, certainly at its price point.
Whether you’re bow hunting, rifle hunting, or ESPECIALLY if you need a range finder that does many things well, this is the one to get.
You can purchase the Nikon RifleHunter 550 through Amazon.com in the Realtree camouflage version or, for a slightly lower price, the solid brown version.
|Max Range||550 yds|
Nikon RifleHunter 550 Review
The Nikon RifleHunter 550 may be the best combination of price, features, and performance, at its price point and beyond. This laser range finder will meet the needs of most any hunter, both for rifle and bow hunting. Unless you need performance beyond 500 yards or so, you simply can’t go wrong with the RifleHunter 550.
Solid all-around performer
For approximately an $80 or so premium over its more basic brother model, the Nikon ProStaff 550, the Nikon RifleHunter 550 delivers quite a bit more versatility and performance. Two key features are the Nikon’s advanced Tru-Target ranging system and the Advanced ID Technology.
The Tru-Target ranging system lets users prioritize smaller and harder-to-range lone targets at the push of a button. As a result, it’s easier than ever to range objects as small as fence posts or gets an instant-read on that lone buck in the meadow. By being able to prioritize, you can greatly reduce false and annoyance readings. Unlike a golf pin, your target may be moving!
With the Advanced ID Technology, the RifleHunter 550 will compensate for the various incline or decline shooting angles–up to an incredible plus-or-minus 89 degrees. So while it won’t be able to handle straight up or down, it comes awfully close. Frankly, if you ever need a full 90-degree vertical shot, you may want to just reconsider. 🙂
By compensating for the angle incline/decline, the RifleHunter 550 helps you account for bullet drop and not have to guess about holdover or anything. With ID technology on, the range finder gives distance in increments of an incredibly detailed 1/5 of a yard.
Now in reality, for most rifle hunters at actual hunting distances, is the angle compensation really all that big of a deal? Well, probably not, most hunters know that there will be a few inches less bullet drop on a downhill shot. But it’s nice to have it – one less thing to think about when that bull elk is in your sights.
Features of the RifleHunter 550:
- Rated range from 11 yards to 550 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, 1 yd increments after 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
While not advertised as an archery/bow hunting range finder, users report excellent results with this kind of accuracy. There isn’t much difference between this model and the Nikon Archer’s Choice range finder, except the much higher max range of the RifleHunter (the Archer’s Choice will range from 5 yds to 100 yds, while the RifleHunter is rated for 11 yds to 550 yds – hopefully, you can handle from 5 to 11 yds!) and an admittedly higher price for the RifleHunter. In fact, Nikon uses the same instruction manual for both models. Most users thought the extra features were worth the premium.
Here’s a short introductory video on the Nikon RifleHunter 550:
Both the solid brown version is shown in the video and the Realtree camouflage version, for a slightly higher cost, are currently on sale at Amazon.com.
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While some users slightly knocked the ProStaff 550 for being a bit unsteady at long ranges, there really wasn’t this criticism of the RifleHunter 550. Also, with the Tru-Target ability to prioritize targets, you stand a much better chance of realizing the full range potential of the RifleHunter without a twig or other item preventing you from getting a false reading.
The Nikon RifleHunter 550 Laser Rangefinder is one of the top performers in its price class and a great performer at any price. If your needs don’t include long-range duty at greater than 500 yds or so, then you should STRONGLY consider this high-quality range finder. For both rifle and bow hunting needs, this is an excellent choice.