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Thread: Rangefinder issue

  1. #1
    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    Default Rangefinder issue

    No the issue is not the fact I dropped a borrowed rangefinder down a scree slope, cussing under my breath so as not to spook the rams above us, as it binked, bonked, boinked, clinked it's way down the mountain.

    The issue is an 800 yard rangefinder not giving you readings past 600 yards. What gives? Is this why everyone leans toward the 800 instead of 400? Or even the 1200 yard ones now? You have to get one that is 25 percent more than the distance you are wanting to range? Or do we have an issue with this one? And this problem was noticed well in advance of it getting away from me.

    We were using it in every kind of terrain and nothing registered that was over 600 yards. Cliff faces, hillsides, large trees in the flats, etc.........

  2. #2
    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Make model?

    If my Leica 1200 ever craps out, I'm going straight to the factory.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    I was going to keep the brand out of this, but it's a Nikon. Don't know the exact model. Vertical orientation, one handed operation, with a button on top. Oh and camo of course

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    It has been my experience that the range listed on ranger finders is a best case scenario. I have owned Nikon, Leupold and Leica. They all struggled with their max listed range.

    Leica has been the BEST by FAR.

    I tend to use my range finder more for ranging terrain rather than animals. Works great for trying to figure out distances to obstacles when working out your stalk.
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
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    For a rangefinder to get a good reading it needs a reasonable flat surface to get a reflection from. At close range that is fairly easy as the beam remains strong and the ability for the receiver to pick up a reflection is easier. As you go further out the Tx beam weakens, resulting in a weaker reflection and anything that is not flat will bounce the reflection outside of the beam width of the receiver.
    Weather (specifically humidity and precipitation) will also have an adverse effect.
    The quoted max range will be in zero humidity (probably) with a pure flat, highly reflective object to range on.
    We trialled a number of range finders a few years back when I was in the military and found that anything past 700 meters was no more than an estimate and would often not get readings. This is why Mortar Fire Controllers and TACPs carry high quality GPS and a a good map; the best way to range find at 800m plus distances.
    This is why I have yet to invest in a RF. Anything that is is my hunting range I can estimate +/- a few yards and anything over 250yds I will just use a Map (with GPS to double check position) to estimate range.

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    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. That's what I thought. False advertising if you ask me, but this is how it's done in this highly competitive world now I know when someone asks me specs on something I always down play it a bit. Example would be if a rangefinder could range out to 450 yards accurately and consistently I would rate it as a 400 because that's what I could tell someone with confidence it will do.

  7. #7

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    I too have a Nikon 800 and if memory serves me right the farthest readings I've ever gotten is 600+ yds. However, sometimes it has trouble giving readings at 500+- yds . Seems to depend on weather conditions, the object, etc. As someone else said, they advertise them as being able to read a reflective object at a given yardage. You won't be shooting at 400 yards this November anyway - let it snow !

  8. #8
    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    How do know I can't shoot the muzzy at 400 yards? It's called flock shooting Seriously though, I hope to make it next month. Way behind schedule here. I have access to a Nikon 400 so I will see if it has the 25 percent loss problem too. Come on snow and cold!

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    I let you use one piece of gear you throw it down the mountain while putting a stalk on some rams and now you come on here and talk trash about its ability to range distances! Geesh see is I volunteer to go on a hunt with you again.

    Before getting that Nikon I did a little research and everyone said the same thing about every brand so I didn't see the need in getting an expensive one when I don't shoot out that far anyways.

  10. #10
    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    Yeah well your new one will range out that far.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I have ranged over 1100 yards with a leica 1200. Any time it has failed there was obvious environmental issues like fog/misty rain or facing into the sun. I have ranged a bear and multiple sheep at over 850 yards with repeatability. I have also played with several nikon and bushnel range finders and found all of them to come no where near the rated distance on solid objects in optimal conditions. I agree with Steve's reasoning for liking a range finder that ranges beyond any distance I would comfortably shoot. I range a variety of land marks to plan a stalk. Worked great on an alpine black bear stalk right up to my buddy missing a gimme shot.

  12. #12
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    I've never been able to get my Nikon Monarch 800 to range past 500ish. I was messing around with AlaskaCubs Leica 1200 on a sheep hunt a few years ago and the thing ranged 1300 one time. Nice unit.

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    I use a Nikon 400 and will work well to 300+ most of the time, but I use it for bow hunting so 50 yards is a long shot for me. I set up and use "marker" trees/rocks or whatever and know which pin to use where with the bow.

    I did use it a couple years ago to shoot at 250 yds with a TC Encore 15" in 7mm/08 pistol/8x scope....front shoulder shots on 2 doe at that range made me smile a lot and it would have been a guess without the laser.

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    I regularly get over 1200 with my coveted Leica 1200 CRF. Awesome unit. I'm just amazed at how badly I estimate range before I measure it with the range finder.

    Huge problem with some units is the power of the laser and the beam divergence. Some send out a wide/weak beam that doesn't return with sufficient mojo to be measured, others like the Leica send out a tight high power beam.

    I'm glad I didn't try to save money on my range finder.

  15. #15
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mod elan View Post
    Yeah well your new one will range out that far.
    I won't accept it!

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    I have the bushnell 1500 the high dollar one and it ranges 1,000 plus only problem it is very bulky... If I remember right range finders have a reflective range and non reflective range animals being non reflective. So when buying range finder be sure to look to see what the reflective and non reflective ranges are. If recall they advertise the non refelctive range not the reflective range which is always less than the non relfective. Then again everything I just typed could be wrong

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    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by broncoformudv View Post
    I won't accept it!
    Yes you will.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 323 View Post
    Then again everything I just typed could be wrong
    It usually is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mod elan View Post
    It usually is.
    Uh why do I even try with you... Its official you are a lost cause

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    Quote Originally Posted by 323 View Post
    I have the bushnell 1500 the high dollar one and it ranges 1,000 plus only problem it is very bulky... If I remember right range finders have a reflective range and non reflective range animals being non reflective. So when buying range finder be sure to look to see what the reflective and non reflective ranges are. If recall they advertise the non refelctive range not the reflective range which is always less than the non relfective. Then again everything I just typed could be wrong
    I think the only bit that is right is your last statement Rangefinders work on reflections (of the laser), a non-reflective surface will give no reading at all. The quality of the reading depends on the angle and reflectivity of the object.

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