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Advice on laser rangefinders for long range shooting? Login/Join 
Ammoholic
posted
Just getting started, will be ecstatic if I get as far out as 1000 yards in the next year or two. So I don’t need something that will range six miles, but I’d like something that will comfortably range 1000 yards. I understand that one needs to discount manufacture range claims somewhere between a factor of two and three.

My search foo stinks, but looking going back to 1/1/18 through today, the only thing that I saw that looked like it might fit (or might be overkill) was the Safran Vectronix Terrapin X Laser Rangefinder mention in Sig Marine’s excellent “Couldn’t Take It Anymore...(So I Went Shooting (ELR)” thread. Talk about something to aspire to!

Anyway, a newby would greatly appreciate suggestions from the hive mind. Would love to hear what you’re using, what you like about it, what you don’t, and what you suggest. Basically, any clues you’d be willing to share. Smile

Thanks much in advance for any insights!

-Nick
 
Posts: 5588 | Registered: February 23, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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I have had a Laser Technology TruPulse 200X unit for several years and am very happy with it. Its max reading range is rated at over 2000 yards for nonreflective targets (farther for reflective targets) and I’ve used mine for well over 1500 yards. It was evidently developed for professional purposes such as forestry and it has a number of features that the average sports shooter may have little use for, but which I’ve found valuable on occasion such as calculating the vertical height of something like a tall building based on the slant distance to the top and the “look” (inclination) angle. “Filters” such as measuring the closest or farthest object in the sensor field can also be selected so that something like a power line or snowfall doesn’t give a false reading.

It also reads to very close distances so I can use it to lay out handgun drill targets. I believe there may have been some upgrades to the unit since I purchased mine.

One source (the Amazon price is much higher than many vendors’):

https://www.forestry-suppliers...temnum=91569&redir=Y

On the other hand, I’ve read many good reviews of the SIG Sauer KILO2400 as well, but I have no personal experience with it.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: sigfreund,




“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”
— Thomas Paine
 
Posts: 43805 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have always loved these reviews and let them guide me. even if a bit out of date...
https://precisionrifleblog.com...09/best-rangefinder/


“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”
 
Posts: 9435 | Registered: October 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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OP, ranges/places you'll be shooting LR not know distance targets? Why do you want a RF'er?
 
Posts: 2980 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of jcsabolt2
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quote:
Originally posted by hrcjon:
I have always loved these reviews and let them guide me. even if a bit out of date...
https://precisionrifleblog.com...09/best-rangefinder/


That was a really good article, thanks for sharing! The one thing I have never seen anyone do, is take these range finders and compare them against real surveying equipment at measured distance to compare real accuracy. To me, that is the real proof.

I'm an engineer by trade, but use to help out my cousin who was a professional surveyor and have worked with a lot of surveyors in my past. We use to spend upwards of $40K for a Total Station and didn't blink an eye at the cost. For giggles I looked some up and they are now running south of $10K and if you look hard enough you can find some cheaper mfg or refurbished ones for $1K. I say this because it demonstrates how far the industry has come in the past 15 years or so using lasers for ranging applications. The best I ever heard of for professional quality was in excess of 2,500 meters on an electrical transmission wire and that was at least 15-20yrs ago.

With that said, I have looked through a fair amount of range finders and if you go into the big box stores like Cabelas, BassPro, etc. you will want to START with range finders north of $400 at a minimum. Anything less, the optical clarity just plain sucks, even those from Sig and Vortex. I don't know why, but most of these mfgs seem to think 7x for the optical power is perfect along with coke bottle glass and honestly, I always want more power...at least 10x. As a general rule of thumb, if they say its good for 2,000 yards, it is most likely really only good for 1,000 yards or there about. The key number to pay attention to is NON-REFLECTIVE TARGET distance. That is the big number to look for, not the reflective target unless you plan on ranging your truck.


----------
“Nobody can ever take your integrity away from you. Only you can give up your integrity.” H. Norman Schwarzkopf
 
Posts: 3316 | Location: OPSEC | Registered: July 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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Out of curiosity because I hadn’t bothered to pay close attention before, today I went out with the 200X and noted the distances I could range different objects. The farthest I was successful with was a large metal building at 2129 yards. I generally had no problem with wooden sided buildings to 1600+ yards.

As for the need even at established ranges, one place I shoot used to have targets to a nominal 1000 yards, but their posted distances were frequently not exactly correct based on the readings from three different RFs.
Besides, like any toy, they’re fun to play with. Smile




“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”
— Thomas Paine
 
Posts: 43805 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
Out of curiosity because I hadn’t bothered to pay close attention before, today I went out with the 200X and noted the distances I could range different objects. The farthest I was successful with was a large metal building at 2129 yards. I generally had no problem with wooden sided buildings to 1600+ yards.

As for the need even at established ranges, one place I shoot used to have targets to a nominal 1000 yards, but their posted distances were frequently not exactly correct based on the readings from three different RFs.
Besides, like any toy, they’re fun to play with. Smile


I believe I know what range you're talking about. Posted distances not exactly correct cause you to miss? Big Grin
 
Posts: 2980 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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quote:
Originally posted by offgrid:
Posted distances not exactly correct cause you to miss? Big Grin


Well, obviously. It couldn’t have been anything like how well my rifle was zeroed, the load’s dope or precision, or—don’t even think it—my skill as a shooter. Wink




“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”
— Thomas Paine
 
Posts: 43805 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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In volume II of Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting Bryan Litz reported on an accuracy test of various rangefinders on a precisely surveyed range. It’s somewhat dated now (2016), but possibly still of value.




“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”
— Thomas Paine
 
Posts: 43805 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Ammoholic
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quote:
Originally posted by offgrid:
OP, ranges/places you'll be shooting LR not know distance targets? Why do you want a RF'er?

Our ranch. I’ll be setting the targets, some of them across canyons where stringing a tape would be challenging. Wink Besides, the longest tape I have is 100 meters.

ETA: Thanks much to all for the responses!

I’m also hopeful that I can use a rangefinder to help my estimating ability, but time will tell how that works out...
 
Posts: 5588 | Registered: February 23, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by slosig:
I’ll be setting the targets, some of them across canyons where stringing a tape would be challenging.

I’m also hopeful that I can use a rangefinder to help my estimating ability

You need a budget, for starters.

You should determine monocular or binocular type. If you plan to use the LRF at your ranch only, then monocular will be fine -- you know where the targets will be. LRF binos come into play if you will be searching for targets of unknown distances, then measuring the distances.

I started with a monocular design, and it worked well for targets at my ranch. And for targets at other locations when there were no time pressures to determine the distances. LRF binos became mandatory when I entered rifle matches that required finding unknown targets, lasing their distances, and shooting under the clock.

****
Estimating distances includes SWAG-ing the distances and reticle measurement. SWAG estimating is fine, but has limited real value for most of us. Reticle measurement is a reasonable skill to learn, but I've found it isn't practical in steel matches -- it just takes too long.
 
Posts: 6868 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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FWIW... my range finders get used 10 times more often for close up stuff than they ever do far. (I'm talking inside 40 yards) lol The most recent one, I bought because it worked closer than my old one, not farther. Once you have it, it becomes a handy range tool, especially if you do a lot of setup.
 
Posts: 18474 | Location: 18th & Fairfax  | Registered: May 17, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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quote:
Originally posted by slosig:
I’m also hopeful that I can use a rangefinder to help my estimating ability, but time will tell how that works out...


I’m sure it will, just as comparing wind speed estimates with the readings from an instrument like a Kestrel weather monitor helps with the ability to judge wind by feel and other effects.




“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”
— Thomas Paine
 
Posts: 43805 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Spread the Disease
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A friend of mine just bought a SIG rangefinder. It seemed well-built and worked well.


________________________________________

-- Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past me I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. --
 
Posts: 15695 | Location: New Mexico | Registered: October 14, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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