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Thread: rangefinding riflescopes good/bad?

  1. #1
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    Question rangefinding riflescopes good/bad?

    Anyone on here have some real life experience with these new scopes? I have read about the nikon, bushnell, burris and zeiss versions. Are they worth their price and extra weight? Do they perform well in the field? How is the light gathering capability?
    Any comments good or bad would be appreciated. I am considering one of these for my new rifle (.270 WSM), but have been unable to locate one in Anchorage, Ak.

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    They're good and bad. Long range shooting only works if you factor in the wind- even gentle breezes. Look in the back of some of the reloading manuals and you will be shocked how a gentle little breeze will turn a lung shot into a gut shot at 400 yards.

    That's the shortcoming of extended capabilities promised by range finding scopes. They do nothing to compensate for the breezes, much less strong wind.

    They'll be good for circumstances when you can get enough info from terrain signs to read the intermediate winds, plus have the experience to do so.

    No experience and no wind info= gut shots and worse.

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    I think that the laser rangefinders of today mixed in with a good ballistics chart either taped to your stock or in your mind mixed in with knowing the actual dimensions of the vital zones for the animlas your likely to hunt covers you pretty well out to 400 yards anyway. If you shoot pass that I believe the range finder mixed with turrets would be the way to go. I just dont think the ballistic plex type reticles are all that neccessary, but I have become quite fond of how quickly you can range an animal with a laser range finder and always carry one hunting.

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    Smile rangefinders

    While I can appreciate the comments made, I am more interested in the riflescope/rangefinder combo unit, not separate gear items. I have a laser range finder and won't go hunting without one. That said I most likely will never shoot past 400 yards. But accurately judging distances in the mountains and tundra can be difficult at best, at least for me, and it nice to know an animal is only 200 yards vs. 250yds or even 300. Does anyone use the integrated riflescope containing a rangefinder? and how well does it work? do they gather enough light in low light situations?

    Thanks

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    Boss I am not aware of a scope from Bushnell,Nikon or Zeiss that has a built in range finder. Are you talking about the reticles that indicate yardages either in smaller crosshairs or circles? I can tell you that a good friend of mine used to use a Shepard scope that was identical to many of these newer BDC reticles made by scope companes today and even tailored to your caliber. He quit using it after a couple years and switched to longe range zero's with normal variable scopes and a compact lazer range finder as it proved more reliable. He doesn't regret making the switch.

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    Default scopes

    Rangefinding scopes can be very accurate. I have used both the Redfield AccuTrak and the Shepard. Both work very well for their intended purpose. That being said, wind is very much a determining factor when shooting over a couple hundred yards. The only way to learn to shoot in the wind is to do just that. Go to the range on windy days and shoot and keep records. Wind charts are like ballistic charts. They are a general guide line. Each rifle and bullet and combination thereof are different. You HAVE TO spend the time at the range to learn what YOUR rifle is doing and KEEP RECORDS !! Trigger time is Happy time so it's a win-win situation.

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    Smile scope

    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaCub View Post
    Boss I am not aware of a scope from Bushnell,Nikon or Zeiss that has a built in range finder.

    Here is one link showing 3 different brands, Zeiss also has the diarrange (sp?).

    http://www.scopesnmore.com/outdoor_e...fle_scopes.htm
    Last edited by Boss Gobbler; 11-23-2006 at 09:10.

  8. #8

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    Kinda feels like the wind drift issue is ready to slip through the cracks in spite of posts by me and sarge.

    Here are representative numbers: 30 cal 180 grain BSP at 3000 fps- pretty common ballistics for anyone thinking about long range calibers. A 10mph crosswind (hardly a breeze) is going to shift the bullet almost 10 inches sidways at 400 yards. A 20mph crosswind will move it close to 20 inches. That's a much bigger affect on trajectory than a 100 yard error in range estimates, the difference between 300 and 400 yards.

    Buy either scope/rangefinder combo or individual units, but then get out and learn to read wind velocities. The places you plan to hunt are usually windy. Tape a deflection chart to the side of your rifle or scope, then figure out what's going to happen when the wind isn't exactly 90 degrees to the bullet path. The current Hornady manual has good advice, but it involves math forumulas.

    There's no substitute for shooting lots in the wind with whatever you buy.

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    Smile wind drift

    I can appreciate your points on the affect that wind has on shooting at longer distances. However, that is not the information I am trying to obtain here. Are these new combo scopes good enough to use in Alaska's extreme climate and rugged mountains? If so, I would like to hear about it. If not, I would like to know that too. I already own a rangefinder and have a good grasp on the fundamentals of what makes a good scope, I just don't want to fork out the $$ on a scope that I not able to get my hands on and check it out. So, the next best thing is to ask others that may have experience with it.

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving..

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Kinda feels like the wind drift issue is ready to slip through the cracks in spite of posts by me and sarge.

    Here are representative numbers: 30 cal 180 grain BSP at 3000 fps- pretty common ballistics for anyone thinking about long range calibers. A 10mph crosswind (hardly a breeze) is going to shift the bullet almost 10 inches sidways at 400 yards. A 20mph crosswind will move it close to 20 inches. That's a much bigger affect on trajectory than a 100 yard error in range estimates, the difference between 300 and 400 yards.

    Buy either scope/rangefinder combo or individual units, but then get out and learn to read wind velocities. The places you plan to hunt are usually windy. Tape a deflection chart to the side of your rifle or scope, then figure out what's going to happen when the wind isn't exactly 90 degrees to the bullet path. The current Hornady manual has good advice, but it involves math forumulas.

    There's no substitute for shooting lots in the wind with whatever you buy.

    The Leupold Boone & Crockett and Varmint Hunter reticles have compensation for 10 MPH crosswinds built in.

    I have used the Burris Ballistic Plex reticle, the Leupold Boone & Crockett and Varmint Hunter reticle, scopes with Mil-Dot reticles and the Kahles TDS reticle. They all work just fine. Nothing will ever replace practice at shooting at long ranges.

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    The reason you have not been able to find one in Anchorage is because they are not readily available yet. Just went through several Distributor catalogs and web pages and none have any in stock as of yet.

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    Smile Boone and Crockett reticle

    Allen,

    I purchased a scope with the BC reticle from you and love it. It works great.

    Thanks for the info on the scopes in question.

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    Now I see what your talking about Boss, No offense but holy Cra& that looks like a waste of money. I wouldn't trust my hunt on any electronic fiasco of sorts. And at 26oz, might work good out of an elevated heated tower blind in Texas, but not something I'd pack around Alaskas' mountains. I didn't even know they made something like that.

  14. #14

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    Boss
    Some times it's tough getting your question anwsered around here.
    I started to buy a Burris laser range finding scopewhen they came out. I though it would be much simpler and faster than a seprate range finder. What keep me from buy it is the one year warranty. If they were rugged and expected to last Burris would have put a longer warranty on them. If they had at least a five year warranty it might be worth the money.

    If you buy one I would love to hear a report.
    Good Luck
    DR B

  15. #15

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    It's plain by now that no one here has them or has used them.

    Looks like time for someone to step right up and risk their bucks on weather and conditions, pack the extra weight, then report back.

    Any takers?

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    Can't be bad i suppose, it all depends on how much you want to pay for it.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Default reticle

    Boss-
    I'd have to agree with Allen and Brownbear. I've used many of the reticles mentioned and they all seem to be accurate. I'd say its more important that you spend some time at the range with your .270 and get comfortable with your load under different wind conditions. Wind will certainly be a major factor and can be often more important than knowing the exact yardage to the inch. I find knowing the kill zone is also important. Nothing will ever replace shooting your rifle at all ranges and finding your comfortable range. Glad to help if you have further questions.

  18. #18

    Default sheesh...

    Guys, he's not talking about RETICLES, he's talking about LASER rangefinding scopes. Boss, I haven't seen one yet either. However, I work part-time at Sportsman's Warehouse in the hunting department and happen to know that we got some pamphlets from Nikon regarding their particular scope. I didn't look it over too closely, so I don't know if there is anything in them that isn't available online, but stop by on a weeknight between 5 and 9 and I'll get you one.

    On a slightly different note, I have the Leica Geovid laser rangefinding binoculars and love them!

    -Levi

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    The Burris Laser/Range finding scope has the Ballistic Plex Reticle and I believe the Nikon has their version of the BDC Reticle in their Laser/Range finding scope. So in a way I guess we are talking about Reticles.

    We weren't discussing Binoculars.

  20. #20

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    True enough, Allen, and duly noted in my post. I'm not here to get snide with anyone, I was trying to get the focus on the scope/laser rangefinder unit which seemed to be misunderstood by many. I realize that it is easy for people to be confrontational behind a computer monitor. That's not me, and from what I've seen of your posts, it's not you either. Nice to "meet" you.

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