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Leupold RX 850I TBR Review – Trophy Scale DNA Digital Laser Rangefinder

In this Leupold RX 850i TBR review, we explore Leupold’s first high-end foundation model in its popular RX hunting laser rangefinders. In this model, Leupold’s introduced a dazzling range of functions and features. But has Leupold made a more complicated rangefinder to use?

Picking The Right Model For You

This Leupold RX-850i TBR DNA rangefinder is one of Leupold’s first high-end rangefinders. The current RX-850i TBR/W DNA is the latest 850 model which has a wind adjustment feature. Leopold’s RX-1200i TBR/W DNA also has the wind correction feature. Leupold’s naming convention indicates the rangefinders functions.


The “RX” indicates the unit’s purpose (RX=hunting, GX=golf)

“850” means a maximum range of 850 yards

The “W” indicates wind adjustment feature

“TBR” (True Ballistic Range) indicates it is capable of readings with angle compensation

“DNA” (Digitally eNhanced Accuracy) signifies improved speed and accuracy.

This RX 850i TBR Review concerns the model without the wind compensation feature. Be careful to pick the model that’s right for you.

Leupold RX 850i TBR Review

Leupold’s ergonomic design ensures the RX-850i TBR DNA is slim and compact. Its also lightweight and fit well in hand. The rangefinders housing is rugged but not aluminium like the RX-1200i TBR/W DNA. It has a rubberized neoprene layer for grip with a waterproof and fog proof rating.

With a 6x magnification it suitable for both bowhunting and rifle hunting. This Leupold rangefinder uses the older style LCD display, unlike the red OLED display of the newer RX 1200i model.

The Leupold RX-850i TBR has a maximum range of 850 yards on reflective targets, 750 yards on trees, and 650 yards on deer, and is capable of displaying angle compensated distances and holdovers. Furthermore, this rangefinder contains a Last Target priority setting as well as Leupold’s Trophy Scale technology used for judging antler size.  This rangefinder can be operated in LOS, SCAN, Bow and Rifle modes.

LOS Mode  & Scan Mode

The LOS (line of sight) mode on the RX-850i TBR simple returns the distance to the target without factoring in the angle of the shot or calculating any ballistic holdovers. Scan mode is achieved by holding down the range button to get continuous range updates. This keeps you on target as you track movement or scan an area.

Bow Mode

In Bow mode, the rangefinder returns angle compensated distances in yards or meters out to 125 yards. Beyond 125 yards it displays distance with no angle compensation and lets the user know with a flashing an LOS display icon. Also, the angle of the shot in degrees is displayed in bow mode.

The RX series rangefinders have a built-in inclinometer with TBR that can calculate the ballistic range to your target, then display it as a holdover aim point, a MOA adjustment, a Milliradian adjustment, or the equivalent horizontal distance.

Rifle Mode

In the rifle mode, the RX-850i TBR has a lot of settings. It lets the user select:

  • angle compensated distances in yards or meters
  • one of 7 ballistic groups that closest matches their hunting cartridge
  • Holdover units –  which can be set as inches, cm, mil, or MOA.

The Leupold RX 850i TBR DNA is specified as having a maximum range of 865 yards on highly reflective targets, 800 yards on trees, and 700 yards on deer. As with all these ratings,  it’s a good idea for practical purposes to adjust these figures down in field conditions.

LEUPOLD RX 850i TBR DNA Specification

  • 6x magnification
  • 23mm objective lens
  • Last Target Mode: Displays the distance to the farthest object when more than one target is in the field of view
  • Roof prism optical path
  • Anti-reflection fully multicoated optics,
  • High Light Transmission LCD projects information into optical path while maintaining a bright view
  • 326′ field of view at 100 yds, 6.4° viewing angle
  • Scan mode enables target tracking with constantly updated range
  • 14mm eye relief,
  • 3.8mm exit pupil,
  • Distances displayed in either meters or yards
  • Class 1 Eye-safe IR Laser
  • Digitally enhanced Accuracy (DNA) algorithm for 0.5 of a yard ranging accuracy against all background colours and textures
  • limited 2-year warranty
  • Weight (oz) 7.00
  • Width (in) 1.30
  • Height (in) 2.50
  • Reflective Range – Reflective (yds) 865.00
  • Tree Range – Trees (yds) 800.00
  • Deer Range – Deer (yds) 750.00
  • Min Range (yds) 6.00
  • Measuring Accuracy at Under 100 Yards (±YDS) 0.50
  • Length (mm) 102.00
  • Angular FOV (degrees) – High 6.00
  • Twilight Factor High 12.00
  • Linear FOV (ft/1000 yd) – High 105.0


In our Leupold RX 850i TBR review, we include other rangefinder features. It 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 Leupold RX 850i TBR review sees little use for this feature in shooting applications when hunting. But it could be useful for measuring the height of an object as and when needed.

The Pros in our LEUPOLD RX 850i TBR 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.  Off the reticle, display icons do not show, so the screen is clear of all icon clutter. This makes this rangefinder useful as a binocular substitute. The fully multi-coated lens system ensures maximum brightness for clarity, contrast, and colour fidelity. The LCD also allows for 60% light transmission.

The Cons in our LEUPOLD RX 850i TBR Review

In this Leupold RX 850I review, we asked the question about over-complicating the setup process with many additional features. Certainly, the Leupold RX 850I 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.

Our Verdict

The Leupold RX 850i TBR review also shows it is a very customizable laser rangefinders. But, all this customisation comes at the expense of more lengthy and in-depth programming setup.

Also, 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.

The Leupold RX-850i TBR build quality is excellent. Furthermore, it has a waterproof body and uses of high-end components like the LED display and coated optics. The angle compensation and Last Target priority make it a good choice for archery and rifle hunting.

The rangefinder would also suit hunters not afraid of diving into the menu and its settings to exploit all its possible features. It still a good all-around archery and hunting rangefinder and you can pick one up for around $200.  And that concludes our Leupold RX 850i TBR review, so enjoy your hunting!