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Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by Mencius, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. Mencius

    Mencius Well-Known Member

    I am thinking of getting Santa to get me a rangefinder for Christmas. It seems like those things go for $125 up to, well, about as much as you want to spend. What am I getting with a $1k rangefinder I am not going to get with a $125 model?

    I am just going to use it for checking distance while deer hunting and to probably help me with stand position when I am putting deer stands up (finding out longest shot, etc.).

    Where is the "sweet spot" for these things and do you have any recommendations?
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Longer range, better optics, etc.

    IMO: $300 and up is the "sweet spot" for long range rifle use.
    Maybe less for close range archery use.

    For around that, you can get usable range.

    Keep in mind those rated 600 yards are 600 yards against a reflective surface like a building or road sign.

    A deers flat brown hair is another matter entirely, and can easily cut the usable range in half.

    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012
  3. oldfortyfiveauto

    oldfortyfiveauto Well-Known Member

    I'm really happy with my Vortex. It's smaller, better battery life, easier to use, and I think ranges better then the Leupold I have.
  4. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    if you're mapping out an area, you can use tricks, like park your car (or other highly reflective surface) at the deer stand, and range your car from whereever you walk, writing the distances on the map.

    the challenge, as rcmodel mentioned, is hitting non-reflective surface like fur, or hitting small targets.

    much of what you're getting as the price goes up, is narrower beam divergence.
  5. Rembrandt

    Rembrandt Well-Known Member

    Quality optics, longer distance, and better accuracy.

  6. Mencius

    Mencius Well-Known Member

    How much do you think I would need to spend on a rangefinder to accomplish my 2 main goals:

    1) The most important thing I am looking to do is establish an outside edge of my point blank range. Basically just figure out where 260 +/- yards from my stand is in the field.

    2) Find the maximum distance I can see* from my stand. I have a couple fields I hunt that are probably ~350 yards.

    *When I say "see" I do mean with binoculars and scope. My eyes are not exactly the envy of eagles these days.
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

  8. CharlieDeltaJuliet

    CharlieDeltaJuliet Well-Known Member

  9. cbmax

    cbmax Well-Known Member

    In a word, ability to actually range something under most conditions. This is a piece of equipment you don't want to skimp on. Nothing will be more frustrating than when you put your range finder on a target and you come back with no range. I think you will need to look in the $750 range to get something decent. I bought a Leica 1600.
  10. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    you don't have to spend anything. use google maps and/or the gps in your cell phone.
  11. CharlieDeltaJuliet

    CharlieDeltaJuliet Well-Known Member

    How accurate are the GPS receivers in cell phones? Are they on par with a actual handheld GPS? Just curious.
  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Not even close in my experiance so far.

    My sons Android put us about 5 miles from my home.
    On the wrong side of town while setting in my home.

    My other son tried to use his I-Phone GPS to get us out of Kansis City on I-70 west Saturday.

    We ended up on I-35 South going the wrong way!

  13. oldfortyfiveauto

    oldfortyfiveauto Well-Known Member

    I played with pretty much every rangefinder at the NRA convention last spring and ended up with the Vortex. It's ease of use and great performance make it a great choice. I've got a couple pairs of their binoculars and a scope. I can't fault any of them.
  14. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    i just opened maps on my iphone, clicked the locate me arrow and it put me within 10 yards. of course, i'm sitting inside my house so it's using the cell tower triangulation, not actual satellites. i also have used my iphone to navigate from coast to coast and while the map software occasoinally takes you to the wrong address, i've never had the GPS be wrong by more than 20 yards or so

    10 yards is not going to cause you to miss inside point blank range.

    don't get me wrong. i'm not trying to talk you out of buying a range finder. you'll find it plenty useful for all sorts of things, and you may want to shoot something somewhere you haven't mapped. i'm just saying cartography preceded lasers by at least ten millennium.
  15. Charles S

    Charles S Well-Known Member

    And often Cartography is as accurate as it was ten millennium ago. According to my GPSs (plural) both Magellan and Garmin I am driving across the Red River and no where close to a bridge e.g. 300 yards when driving across the Jefferson Davis bridge is Shreveport, LA. That is a specific example, but I can provide multiple examples of errors of that magnitude.

    Your experience is vastly different than mine. I have had GPS (both Garmin 450t, Nuvi, Magellan Meridian Gold and Magellan Sort Track off by several hundred yards. Is the GPS wrong.. no! The cartography is wrong. My cell phone is less accurate generally by several orders of magnitude. I have hiked, hunted, fished, flown, and traveled via truck all over the southern US. Do I trust GPS? Yes, often with my life. Does their accuracy come close to the accuracy a laser range finder can provide? Not even close!!! Certainly the margin of error is enough to miss an animal when shooting at bow range and at long range with a rifle. However each experience to their own.

    I have an older Bushnell range finder that is out standing. My new Leupold corrects for elevation error.

    Good luck
  16. Mencius

    Mencius Well-Known Member

    You know, I had not thought of using maps. I think Google Earth even has a function where you can draw a line and they will tell you how long it is. Maybe I can just zoom in to where my stand is and measure it out that way. I am very familiar with the place I hunt and am very sure I could find the spots irl after mapping on GE. I will probably try a few and then step them off to make sure they are pretty close.

    But then I would not have another gadget...
  17. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    I use the line ranging function in Google maps all the time but you have to be in mymaps

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