range finders

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Nov 4, 2003
Junction City, Kansas
What kind of range finders does everyone use? How much money do they sell for? Who do you buy them from?
Can the mil dots in a scope be used to estimate range by size comparison?
I have been discussing doing some long range shooting with a buddy, and I know my limitation will be in range estimation.
Yes, mil dot may be used if the object size is known. That's the beauty of the mil-dot system. Built in rangefinding with no gimmicks to go wrong. It's all mental calculations.
Mil-dots are used buy the military long range shooters because there is no light, of any part of the spectrum, emitted to give away your position. Mil-dots work fine if you want to do the math.

Me, I am to lazy and not very good at math so I use a lazer rangefinder. :D

One touch of the button on the Leica 1200 and BAM(al la Emeril) I know the distance. The down fall is it is another peice of equiptment you have to lug around. I bought mine after an 100 yard misjudgment on a western Kansas mulie at 400 yards. After using mine for a while I wouldn't be without it. The best part is it helps you learn to judge distance by eye.

Cabelas has the 1200 scan model for $599 and the Scan 900 for $479.

IIRC I payed $450ish for my Non-Scan model a couple years ago. I did not want the scan model when I bought mine, I had heard that the scan models had a very short battery life. That may have changed with the newer models.

You might ask around and find a used, non-scan model, for sale.

Hey KS-- if u take a look at this article on ballistic and ranging reticles u can see that any reticle that has at least 1 other stadia (mil-dot, plex, ballistic reticles) can be easily adapted to the mil-ranging formula. It's very simple to make a ranging chart for any reticle/target size u may be using/after--

scroll down to Part C) Reticle Rangefinding

Oh yeah, 1 other thing-- here's another vote for the Leica 1200 Scan.
I have the Leica 900 and it works great. Much better than the older bushnell that I had. The scan mode is OK but nont mandantory.
Thanks, sscoyote, I recently bought a scope with mildots, but I have not tried it out yet. I went to that site, and read the stuff about ranging, it sounds like something I can do. I read the literature that came with my scope, and if I understand the specs on my scope properly, the dots are one meter apart at one thousand meters. (I will have to reread the instructions that came with it before shooting, because I have forgotten if that was center to center, or edge to edge of the dots, I think it is center to center.)

Mine is going on a .22, so I have done some calculating, I need to verify my conversion before depending on it, but basicly my logic says;;;

one meter = 39 and a fraction inches
one thousand meters makes the dots one meter (39,?) apart, so 100m should make the dots 1/10th of a meter (3.9 in) apart. I should be able to verify that with a four inch object at a measured 100m. If it is center to center at 100m, then at 50m it should be center to center over two mildots.

My most common target will be a gray squirrel. I am assuming that sitting on his haunches he will be eight inches tall (on all four feet, eight inches from base of tail to tip of nose), so if I have a mildot on his nose, and the base of his tail with one in between he will be at 100m.

I was rather hoping I could find a range finder cheap enough to check and verify for a few hunting trips, while I get comfortable with mildot ranging.

My scope also has an adjustable objective, and a range finder might assist me in adjusting it properly.
I've never used the metric system with the mil-ranging formula so far, but from the info. u've given me about the "avg." squirrel measurement it would fit the formula like this--

target size in inches x 100 yds./3.6"(dot to dot)/# of mil units target subtends= range to target(in yds.)---OR---

8" x 100 yds./3.6"/1 mil unit (squirrel subtends 1 dot-dot unit exactly)== 222 yds.

Now here's the range chart for an 8" target--

2 mils= 110 yds. (you can see your calcs. are right on)
1.75 = 125
1.5 = 150
1.25 = 175 (these yardages are rounded off for simplicity)
1 mil = 222

Of course the "system" isn't perfect, but once u get used to it, and say you're ranging a particularly big or small squirrel (u can tell thru the scope they're not @ exactly 8", i mean), u can make slight adjustments to yardage estimates in your head. The system works pretty good as far as my experience has been-- much better than guessing/experience, i mean. BUT you're gonna have to be rested on something to get an accurate reading, of course.

Another thing that would be kinda fun to play with is if u or your buddy's have a simple plex reticle. Go to the manufacturers website, and find out what it's subtension is, and slip it into the ranging formula above (substitute for the 3.6" mil measurement).

By the by-- was the info in that article easy enuf to understand??-- please let me know what u think. I need to get some feedback on it-- i want it to be simple as possible. since this subject can be confusing at times-- at least it is for me.
coyote? If you mean the web site you linked me to, I found it confusing, but I was never good at math, especially algebra.

Also, coyote? metrics are simple. The only relation ship that you need to remember is that one meter is 39.25 inches. from there, one kilometer (one thousand meters), one decameter (one tenth of a meter), one centimeter (one one hundredth of a meter), and one millimeter (one one thousandth of a meter). Using the base of 39.25 inches, that means one kilometer is 39,250.00 inches, one decameter is 3.92 inches, one centimeter is .392 inches, one milimeter is .039 inches. That is not precise, but it is close enough for most things we will need. Roughly, (.040) forty thousanths of an inch is one millimeter, (.400) four hundred thousandths is one centimeter, (4.0) four inches, is one hundred millimeters or ten centimeters, or one decameter.
The shooter ready website is an easy 1 to navigate thru. They have a lot of good graphics/examples there that help a lot. I'm sorry to hear that the article i put up is hard to understand-- i'll try and think of a way to make it easier. I tried to put as much info into that article as i could, and maybe didn't cover some topics as well as i could had i covered fewer topics.

Hey thks for the breakdown on the metrics-- preciate it.
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