View Full Version : Can anyone recommend a rangefinder that TRULY...

March 23, 2009, 10:40 AM
Is able to range deer at 900 yards? A friend says he has a Leupold one, and it is never able to give him a good reading beyond 400 yards or so on deer sized game when he goes out west.

And before you all get huffy about "He shouldn't be shooting at that range, no ethical hunter would do so!" etc etc etc, believe me, I have seen him shoot, and he is more than capable of hitting deer sized targets at that range over & over, all day long. ;)

March 23, 2009, 12:23 PM
Just for the sake of interest, what is his holdover at 900 yards?

March 23, 2009, 12:44 PM
My wife got me a Leupold RXIII.

It works.

It also has a built in Drop Chart for differant callibers. I've only used it on the 308 that matches my M1A load perfectly.

Example, if sighted in at 200 yards, it gives you the hold over/under for differant ranges as soon as you range your target.

According to my zerros for my High Power shoot, its right on.

Ranging in at known distances shows me that the ranging feature is pertty dern accurate.

March 23, 2009, 01:32 PM
I have a Leupold range finder and it isn't able to pick up pronghorn much past 300 yards if it is a bright and clear day. Little bit of overcast and it works much better. However I have a buddy that has a Leica range finder and it will go far past what mine will. I think his are rated for 1200 yards, it is by far the best range finder that I've used, but I'm sure it cost more than the $400 I spent on mine.

I never use mine at the range and if I can't range the animal I'm hunting I get closer. :D

March 23, 2009, 02:41 PM
taylorce1, that's the same problem my friend has. do you know for sure if your friend's Leica has worked on goats up to 900 yards?


March 23, 2009, 07:36 PM
One factor is,to get a read on a goat,you actually must hold the laser steady on the goat .At long range without a sandbag,its not so easy.
I can't promise you will always get a read on hair @900,but I think the leicas work as well as any.If you have big bucks,get the geovid bino combo,maybe,but I haven't used one.Mine is a Leica 900

March 23, 2009, 07:41 PM
Thanks guys, I'm starting to see a pattern in replies here & elsewhere regarding holding steady / using a tripod...

March 23, 2009, 07:50 PM
Well laying on my belly on a crest of a hill I ranged a buck at 700 yards with the Leica. Couldn't even get a reading on my Leupold, and it is the very heavy RB800 binoculars. Give me a little cloud cover and in the same position, I'm able to range lone pronghorn to at least 600 yards with my Leupold, but the Leica just seemed to work in any light conditions. Had another buddy with a Nikon that had the same problem as my Leupold, we both spent about $500 on our range finders.

March 23, 2009, 08:00 PM
Leica is a great rangefinder.

March 23, 2009, 08:40 PM
you guys are the best, thank you

Art Eatman
March 24, 2009, 12:38 PM
I've had no problems with my Bushnell 800. I can range on a solitary bush or rock at 500 and 600 yards. Anything at all reflective, beyond 800. Verified by maps.

I've not really thought about any problem with a deer. In this country, there's always some nearby feature from which to get a reading.

I'be been rather pleasantly surprised at how well I've been able to do, hand-held. With any kind of stabilizing rest, "lead pipe cinch" comes to mind.

March 25, 2009, 01:51 AM
I have a Bushnell Elite 1500, i have had no problems out to 500yds. I have ranged farm houses and barns out to 1000 yards. They are highly reflective. It is very hard to range game beyond 500yds unless you have a solid mass. Eg shed, cliff face, or a dense group of trees.

Then you have to hold it completly steady to get an accurate reading.

I generally aim my range finder on a group of rocks or the brightest mass on a hill side. If the animal is big and close enough i will range the animal..

The range finder also works better at night.

March 25, 2009, 02:13 PM
+1 Bushnell Elite. I've had mine for about 2 years now. But yet again you need a pretty large target to get any decent number at those kinds of ranges, but it also has a special setting for that so you can choose pin point sightings instead of it taking the average distance within the reticle.


March 25, 2009, 10:50 PM
It may be that a non-laser range finder would work better at such ranges.

Years ago, I had a Bushnell bullet drop compensator scope (believe it was called the Sportview). It had two horizontal cross hairs, the idea being to use the zoom magnification to bracket a deer sized animal between the two lines. You then looked at the power adjustment ring where there was a yardage scale, and adjusted the elevation turret to that particular range.

It actually worked pretty well, and I once dropped a buck at 500+ yards with believe it or not, my .243 Win.. Using the scope I calculated the buck at 500 yds, and the next day carefully paced the distance at 530 +/-.

This scope was a $39.95 cheapo with 3-9 variable power. If ya had a similar system with higher power and range capabilities, I could see it working pretty well.

To end this story, I wound up putting the scope on a .270 with the intention of doing some serous long range shooting, and had fun for awhile. That is until the cross hair became loose and my 100 yd groups opened up to about three feet.:( I suspect too much recoil. Oh well.:rolleyes: jd

Art Eatman
March 25, 2009, 11:49 PM
I think it was in G&A that there was a review of a sure-nuff bells & whistles scope. Build-in laser rangefinder, and built-in videocam that would take 10 seconds' worth of photo. I don't remember about the reticle, as to stadia or mil-dots. $2,300? Something like that.

March 26, 2009, 12:05 AM
I have a set of the leica geovid binos, I had a few big horn sheep i was trying to range, wouldnt do it on the animals, but the big green bush that they were next to ranged in the 1340 area, I ranged it many times and it came up within 2 or 3 yards each time, They dont like to range black items though, bears or darker colored 3-d archery targets, even at closer range 20-40 yards. And do take some getting usto operating. Over all im not real sure if they are worth the $2200 yet.

March 26, 2009, 08:21 AM
I looked thru a couple range finders buddies had out to 400 yards. I thought "Far OUT, Cool, NEATO" but can't see me ever owning one.
I am such a redneck at heart I "guesstimate" using permanently ingrained memories... For short ranges or height I use 18 wheeler trailers my dad pulled. Them were 45-48 feet. For typical shot ranges I use 'stenchion cords... one being a hundred feet and 3 together (just like in construction) is my limit. Having walked all them trailers as a short legged kid checking lights crawling under them in search of the air leaks that my 5-14 year old ears could hear, bumpin tires I know a trailer length. Pulled enuff cords around all sizes of work sights and coiled and wove them up jillions of times... Guessed the right cord count by guess as well.... I am fairly accurate using this method but I call my true range max to be 175 yards or so.

March 26, 2009, 09:52 AM
My family got me one of the nicer Bushnell models a couple years ago for Christmas. Unforunately I don't have a clear line of sight 900 yards... anywhere... but it's accurately ranged deer over 600 before and should go farther. Point being you might not need the most expensive laser in stock for results.

At that I wouldn't be so much concerned as killing the deer as finding it if it doesn't flop. Hopefully a lot of wide, open ground?

March 26, 2009, 01:27 PM
I have one of the Nikon Monarch rangefinders (I think that is what it is called at least). I have had good luck with it out to around 600. As stated by others, I think the big key is stability. There is a lot of whip and wave to the human body when trying to heold something steady. At 900 yards or so, you are REALLY going to give the rangefinder fits in trying to measure a distance.

April 8, 2009, 04:25 PM
I agree with hogdog. By the time I could use one of those things, whatever I going to shoot would probably be in the next county. Plus when I need it I probably didn't turn it off and the batteries would be dead. I'm not nocking them but with the velocities of most modern calibers, it just another toy.

Art Eatman
April 9, 2009, 08:44 AM
I hunt in wide-open country, with lots of hills, mountains, ravines and brush. I like to walk a bit and sit and look, and then continue on. So, when sitting, I'll range on bushes and rocks, just to have a general idea of how far it would be if Bambi shows up out beyond my usual 250-yard point-blank range.

If he shows up at 500 yards and is headed in my general direction, I might have a chance at a decent shot before he might drop into some brush at 250 or 300 yards out.

A rangefinder is handy when prairie dogging, since it's hard to figure distance on really flat ground. Helps with figuring wind drift for a .223 at 300 yards or so, compared to 250 or 350.

April 9, 2009, 01:01 PM
Agreed,finding the game with binoculars,then switching to a rangefinder,then switching to a rifle is cumbersome,requires hand movement (Hi,here I am,over here) and sometimes you only have 5 seconds or so.

That is why I strongly recommend knowing the MOA value of your Duplex,or other reticle feature,and using the Mil-dot principle to estimate range.

For example,a Leu 4x has a 12 MOA duplex.Assuming an 18 in brisket to whithers dimension,if a deer fits the whole duplex,150 yds.Center crosshair to post,300 yds.My 6x42mm Leu is about 2 Mils.

You can measure this when you sight in on a bench with a sight in target with squares.

With a 2800 fps class trajectory,this method is close enough for 350 yds or so,and is useful looking through the scope.With this skill,out to 300-350 yds,a rangefinder,you can leave behind and go light.(If you will shoot at 400+ yds,you must know range to 25 yds or less)

It also is a good way to let a beginner know how far is too far.

With a 3-9 on 9x,its pretty easy to poke and hope on a critter too far,and break a leg

April 9, 2009, 02:45 PM
i own the new zeiss PRF laser rangefinder with holdover calculations. i just ranged some deer last night actually at 843 yards and it was quick to respond. tried it on 5 or 10 deer in the herd. all were between 830 and 843.

have ranged cars to 1300

ranged a jack rabbit at 400!

it is not the smallest one out there but i would have to say after comparing it to all the leo and nikon and bushnell AND yes the leica 1200. i think for the $$$ its the best. paid 650usd

readout is in red and holdover is very accurate according to my trajectory math for my gun... within an inch or 2 at 400yrds.


April 9, 2009, 05:55 PM
Leica is very good equiptment. Barrett makes a digital rangefinding scope, if ya got the coin. There is also the mil-dot master...


April 10, 2009, 01:19 PM
I use a Lica 1200. It will range to 1200yards depending on conditions. Now having said that when rangeing a target at 1000 yards the target has to be bigger than a pickup truck in order to get an accurate fix and siteing. One problem you will have with any brand you choose is that the zero point on the range finder will be too large for any animal at 900 yds. your target will be too small even to be seen let alone range it. Generally if my Lica can't range it, the critter is too far to shoot anyway, so I either get closer with a spot and stalk or I let the animal go.

Zak Smith
April 10, 2009, 01:49 PM
The Swarovski Laser Guide will out-range the Leica LRF and Geovids. I have ranged trees and bushes at 1999 yards in favorable conditions.