Skip to main content

Field Tested: Leupold RX-1400i TBR/W Gen 2

Leupold's Flightpath Technology tells you if your arrow will clear obstacles between you and the target.

Field Tested: Leupold RX-1400i TBR/W Gen 2
Leupold's RX-1400i TBR /W Digital Laser Rangefinder promises excellent ergonomics and rapid, accurate yardage readouts. (Author photos)

Regarding the most game-changing technological advancement in the past 28 years, the resounding answer from bowhunters is rangefinding technology. This innovation has not just revolutionized the way we approach our targets but also significantly enhanced our accuracy and success rates, opening new possibilities in our hunts.

Before we could hold a monocular device to our eyes, put a circle or crosshair system on our target, and press a button, yardage calculation was a pure guess.

As with all things in bowhunting, the technological leaps and bounds rangefinder manufacturers have made since the technology was introduced in 1996 are remarkable.

Leupold has been the backbone of my bowhunting gear, with the RX-FullDraw 5 being the current model in my bino harness rangefinding pouch. This rugged and reliable rangefinder has been my trusted companion on North America's most demanding hunts—from bighorn sheep to wilderness elk ventures and high-country mule deer pursuits. It never disappoints me, and I commend its durable build, ergonomic design, and sealed housing.

That rangefinder took a two-year beating. I changed the battery once, but aside from a new make-it-go CR2 Lithium, that's the only maintenance I've performed.

A New Leupold

The only constant in life is change, and while Leupold still offers its best-selling RX-FullDraw 5, a new model has emerged.

Click on Leupold's website's Rangefinders and Archery tabs, and you'll find only one other monocular-style rangefinder. Leupold's dubbed it the RX-1400i TBR/W Gen 2 Digital Laser Rangefinder. After you gaze at the photo momentarily, look down at the price tag. The rangefinder is $300 less than the RX-FullDraw 5, and friends, it has so much going for it.

First Impressions

The shape is unmistakably Leupold, but I was shocked at the RX-1400i's weight. The rangefinder is a feather in hand yet still features a sealed housing, grippable rubber-over mold, and simple two-button function.

The battery door is under the eyepiece, and an internal yellow sticker tells you to put the lithium battery in with the positive end facing up. After battery insertion, I was off to the races.

Before we dive into the many technologies that make this new rangefinder a win for bowhunters, let's touch on some immediate features.

bauserman-leupold-review-buttons
Two-button operation makes scrolling through the rangefinder's menu and selecting your custom settings a breeze.

The red LED display is bright, and the yardage readout is immediate, as expected. The first object I ranged was a small pile of dirt I estimated to be 500 yards away. The rangefinder told me instantly that the TBR (True Ballistic Range) was 438 yards. High, medium, and low brightness settings are available, and you can choose between three (Plus Point, Horizon Reticle With Plus Point, Horizon Reticle Without Plus Point) reticle settings.

The eyepiece sports a focusing ring, so turn the ring if the internal display is blurry. The 5X magnification is appreciated, and like other Leupold rangefinders I've tested, the optical clarity and edge-to-edge sharpness are evident.

Recommended


A circular button labeled POWER sits atop the rangefinder for easy index-finger access, and the MODE button is oval-shaped and on the left side of the housing.

What Makes It Great For Bowhunting?

Some may wonder why Leupold slugged this rangefinder as an archery model when it can range reflective targets to 1,400 yards and deer-sized targets to 900 yards.

First, this is a crossover rangefinder. If you're toting a rifle to the woods from time to time or often, this rangefinder will serve you well.

bauserman-leupold-review-flightpath
Flightpath tells you if your arrow will clear obstructions between you and your target.

Specifically for the bow crowd, though, this rangefinder features a specific BOW display and FlightPath Technology.

To enter BOW mode:

    • 1. Push the POWER and MODE buttons. You will see two lines that read Out and Put.
    • 2. Press the POWER button again to toggle to BOW mode, and press the MODE button to save.
    • 3. While you're on the menu, take the time to familiarize yourself with the options. The rangefinder can be set to measure in yards or meters, and a plethora of other functions will be found.
    • 4. BOW Mode works with TBR to give you the horizontal range that is equivalent to your target. For example, a few years back, my RX-FullDraw 5 told me the bighorn ram below me was 61.5 yards. The angle was 30 degrees, making the LOS (Line of Sight) quite a bit further. I would have shot under that ram if the rangefinder only had LOS. Instead, I put a hole through his lungs. The display range represents the ballistically equivalent horizontal distance to the target if the target is 175 or fewer yards away. LOS will flash if the target is more than 175 yards away, letting you know you've exceeded the maximum BOW range.

Wait There's More

Flightpath Technology is one of my favorite features, and if you don't utilize this feature, you're putting an obstacle in your way.

Flightpath will tell you your arrow's clearance at various distances and let you know if your arrow will clear an obstacle once correctly set.

Two years ago, in Nebraska, BOW mode told me the TBR to the 150-plus-inch buck was 38.4 yards, and the tick mark in the reticle told me my Easton arrow would clear the one overhanging branch I didn't trim.

This technology is remarkable but setting it up correctly takes time and effort. Take your time with this process. Leupold includes a calibration piece of paper with detailed directions for fixed-pin sights and single/multi-pin sliders.

bauserman-leupold-review-tape
Place a clear piece of tape over your yardage tape and make 20- and 60-yard marks on the clear tape.

First, cut out the calibration pins portion of the paper and put it on a sizeable target.

Shooting UltraView's UV Slider with UV3XL SE housing, I added a piece of tape to the vertical adjustment arm and marked my 20- and 60-yard marks. Next, I removed the tape and attached it to the top and bottom of my housing. The tape doesn't need to be centered on the sight, and I let the marks act as my 20- and 60-yard pins.

Next, I loaded an arrow, drew my bow, and moved forward and backward until the marks on the tape aligned with the 20- and 60-yard marks on the calibration sheet. Once aligned, STOP, and let down your bow, but don't move from that spot.

The final step is to grab your rangefinder, put it in Flightpath calibration mode, line up the reticle with the 60-yard pin on the calibration sheet, and use the POWER button to align the tick mark with the 20-yard pin. Now, hit MODE, and your Flightpath is locked in.

Field Test

After setting Flightpath, I tested this rangefinder for a week between 20 and 120 yards. I love the rapid readout, and I opted for the simple PLUS POINT reticle, which is ideal for bowhunting and leaves plenty of reticle room, much like an uncluttered sight housing.

bauserman-leupold-review-accuracy
No matter the angle, the RX-1400i provides TBR range, which will help you put carbon where it needs to go.

The rangefinder never faltered, no matter the lighting conditions. I left it outside, uncovered, twice in thunderstorms, and the unit proved waterproof.

I spent the majority of my time testing Flightpath. If you follow the setup process perfectly and don't skip steps, I discovered with my arrow setup Flightpath was accurate out to 60 yards. Some setups may extend to 70, and others may be less than 60.

An illuminated tick mark shows where the arrow will be at 20 yards—its highest point from the user's perspective. If any obstacles are visible under the mark, you will need to navigate the obstacle to ensure you have a clear shot.

As expected, Leupold's RX-1400i TBR/W Gen 2 Rangefinder proved functional at a high level and has a lot going for it in a highly economic package.




GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

T.R.U. Ball/Axcel has taken some of its most popular release aids and bow sights and created the new-for-2024 Tactical B...
Gear

30 Years of TenPoint Crossbows!

T.R.U. Ball/Axcel has taken some of its most popular release aids and bow sights and created the new-for-2024 Tactical B...
Gear

APX — The Newest Pattern From Realtree

T.R.U. Ball/Axcel has taken some of its most popular release aids and bow sights and created the new-for-2024 Tactical B...
Gear

Buck Commander Releases New Buk Ops Technology

T.R.U. Ball/Axcel has taken some of its most popular release aids and bow sights and created the new-for-2024 Tactical B...
Gear

Easton's Sonic 6.0 a Versatile Arrow Shaft

T.R.U. Ball/Axcel has taken some of its most popular release aids and bow sights and created the new-for-2024 Tactical B...
Gear

Easton Introduces the Match Grade Pro Series Arrow

T.R.U. Ball/Axcel has taken some of its most popular release aids and bow sights and created the new-for-2024 Tactical B...
Gear

Primos Double Bull Delivers New Raised Hunting Ground Blind

T.R.U. Ball/Axcel has taken some of its most popular release aids and bow sights and created the new-for-2024 Tactical B...
Gear

Primos Delivers Steady Shooting With Edge Tripod System

T.R.U. Ball/Axcel has taken some of its most popular release aids and bow sights and created the new-for-2024 Tactical B...
Gear

The QAD Ultrarest Gets Better

T.R.U. Ball/Axcel has taken some of its most popular release aids and bow sights and created the new-for-2024 Tactical B...
Gear

A QAD Ultrarest For Everyone

T.R.U. Ball/Axcel has taken some of its most popular release aids and bow sights and created the new-for-2024 Tactical B...
Gear

Primos Legacy Grows With Icon Call Series

T.R.U. Ball/Axcel has taken some of its most popular release aids and bow sights and created the new-for-2024 Tactical B...
Gear

Going Light With Dryshod Boots

T.R.U. Ball/Axcel has taken some of its most popular release aids and bow sights and created the new-for-2024 Tactical B...
Gear

Tactical Bowhunting from T.R.U. Ball and Axcel

Bowhunter Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Bowhunter App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Bowhunter stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Bowhunter subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now

Never Miss a Thing.

Get the Newsletter

Get the top Bowhunter stories delivered right to your inbox.

By signing up, I acknowledge that my email address is valid, and have read and accept the Terms of Use