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Rangefinders - who uses them, what's good?

BigDanSBigDanS Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
I am not a bow hunter, and my shots are under 100 yards, but... If I were to get one I might use it for pellets, .22's and such and perhaps hunting over 150 yards some day.

Thoughts? Is it just a another toy?

"A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:


  • orchidmanorchidman Posts: 8,438 Senior Member
    I have a Leupold Combo Rangefinder/Binoculars. They are always around my neck when I head out hunting. The weight is slightly more than a pair of Bino's and a separate rangefinder but that disadvantage is a small price to pay compared with the fact that when I am searching for game with the bino's, all I have to do is press a button and the range comes up. When I had a separate rangefinder I found that taking your eyes off an animal and then finding it in the rangefinder meant that often the animal pulled a vanishing act in the few seconds it took.

    Price wise, the combo was the equivalent of 2 separate units. I don't regard them as a toy but a valuable piece of equipment............especially when doing culls. Added benefit is the inbuilt ballistic program that, once adjusted for the calibre in use, gives you the holdover at the same time.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • BigslugBigslug Posts: 9,868 Senior Member
    I'm using a Leupold Rx1000 TBR, which compensates for angles, has a bow mode, and will give you holdover compensation for your trajectory in several different measuring systems.

    The only thing that bugs me (slightly) about it is that it lumps cartridge trajectories into several ballistic groups, and locks you into the zero distance (100, 200, or 300 yards) for whatever group your round falls into. I'd prefer they come up with something that would allow you to plug in BC, speed, zero distance, and altitude, but realistically it does all you'd need for hunting applications.

    Whether it's a tool or a toy depends on your chosen weapon and how much your area allows you to stretch the range. EDIT: What Orchidman says about bouncing between optic systems is true to a point. You should consider the arc of your trajectory and realize that at shorter ranges, there's no sense in fiddling with a rangefinder. If you're stand hunting, have all the landmarks lasered well in advance of your shot.

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • ojrojr Posts: 1,344 Senior Member
    I use a Leica 1200, it is my constant companion, weighs virtually nothing and as most of my hunting shots are across big gullys it is a valuable tool for me.
    The flight was uneventful, which is what one wants when one is transporting an Elephant.
     Reuters, Dec 2020.
  • jbohiojbohio Posts: 5,619 Senior Member
    I have a couple of Bushnells. One standard, one for archery. They work just fine.
    I've never measured how accurate they are, but I do use them to range my targets when I'm sighting in. So, everything is in sync.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Posts: 18,360 Senior Member
    I've got a Nikon unit...the real benefit of the thing is that if you carry it around and just arbitrarily range stuff, pretty soon you're able to pretty accurately range stuff without the range finder
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • ddrillerddriller Posts: 77 Member
    I have a Bushnell Yardage Pro-supposed to be good to 400yds, furtherest I got was about 350-metal sign on an irrigation system, I like to change setups so deer do not pattern me. I range anything I can use as a marker so I know when a deer is in range-limited to slugs so 120 is absoloute max-everyting has to be perfect, I want inside 100yds for most shots.
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Posts: 12,429 Senior Member
    I have a 3 year old Leupold 600 Yard rangefinder. Works really well. I have compared it's readings against known distances, and it always matches up.

    I don't NEED it for my hunting, but it's fun.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • jaywaptijaywapti Posts: 5,116 Senior Member
    I have a Bushnell thats about 20 yrs. old , when i got it i took it to our range at 100yds it was off by about 1yd. i dont use it much.

  • 5280 shooter II5280 shooter II Posts: 3,923 Senior Member
    I use a Bushnell Pinseeker recommended by a certain board member...........it's good and gives me confiidence on the shot.
    God show's mercy on drunks and dumb animals.........two outa three ain't a bad score!
  • sakodudesakodude Posts: 4,882 Senior Member
    I have an old Nikon 400, it works well but is kind of slow and sometime difficult to steady on target. I use it more to range land marks, trees, rocks and such so I know when a target is inside my shooting window.

  • RazorbackerRazorbacker Posts: 4,646 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »

    Whether it's a tool or a toy depends on your chosen weapon and how much your area allows you to stretch the range. EDIT: What Orchidman says about bouncing between optic systems is true to a point. You should consider the arc of your trajectory and realize that at shorter ranges, there's no sense in fiddling with a rangefinder. If you're stand hunting, have all the landmarks lasered well in advance of your shot.

    i think this is a pretty concise synopsis of the utility of a laser range finder. I had one i used for years, think it was a Nikon, don't remember but i used it hunting the Delta here at home but only to pre-range the diesel tank or a certain Tupelo, etc.
    Hunting out West i never used it on a particular animal. I'd just set up where I could see saddles at the opposite ends of a valley and pre range maybe the tree line or a rock or just whatever. And then wait on the pilgrims to run one over on me.
    i can only think of one shot i ever took that i held way over. These days I hold on hair or just above.

    On the bow hunting thing, I watch these shows where the guy is like ranging them repeatedly. i call BS on that. If by this stage of your life you can't call 20 yards or so then you shouldn't be shooting. Or at least shouldn't have your own show.

    I have several site pins on my bow but I only use the one sited in at 20 yards. It works from that down to 5. beyond that i just hold over.But i don't take the 60 yard shots many of you do.
    Back in the day, while hiking the hills we'd pick out a tree or something and guess the yardage. then pace it out. After a while we got pretty good at range estimation.
    Teach your children to love guns, they'll never be able to afford drugs
  • bisleybisley Posts: 10,815 Senior Member
    I have a Nikon ProStaff 550 that I love to play with. Do I need it? Haven't, yet, but it passes the time in the deer blind, calculating possible shots. All I can tell you about the Nikon is that it works fine - I haven't really tested it too hard.
  • Ranch13Ranch13 Posts: 820 Senior Member
    I have a pair of Burris rangefinding binoculars that have served me well for several years. Unfortunately they discontinued those as did other manufacturers.
    Before that I had a Nikon buckmasters rf that a hunting client gave me, it was an ok unit, but had a lot of problem ranging deer and antelope on cloudy days.
    I'ld suggest you look at the ones at the top of your budget , as with most things like this you get what you pay for.
  • DurwoodDurwood Posts: 972 Senior Member
    I have a Nikon that I use predominately for pre-distancing landmarks where I hunt. When the target (deer in my case) appears I want to be able to focus on the animal and the shot much more so than the distance. I have never actually range checked a live animal.
    You have the right to your own opinion, but you don't have the right to your own facts:guns:
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Posts: 5,797 Senior Member
    I had a Leopold RX750 that I lost in the fire at the camp and when I can afford it, I plan to replace it with the newer version which is the RX800. I was very happy with the RX750 but I only had it for one season. It was a good value and I came to rely fairly heavily on it. The .35Whelen load that I was using that season went from 4.7" low at 200yds to 9.5" low at 250yds and 16.2" low at 300yds so miscalculating the range even 40yds or so could make the difference between a good hit and a wounded animal. As I age, my depth perception is getting worse every year and the rangefinder is a great help.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
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