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Old June 28, 2017, 08:24 AM   #1
Sevens
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Range finder experience?

Hey guys, wondering if you can share advice or tips with a range finder. Situation is that I'm currently using a Weaver (I can dig it out and get specs later) but bottom line is that it is probably around $179 MSRP or so.

It works extremely well WHEN you are good and steady and when you can find a good, large object to aim it at. While I'm sure that all range finders share those qualities, I genuinely wonder if a better and more expensive range finder can do better than mine with much less of a solid object to aim at?

Basically, I use this device once each year -- on a prairie dog hunting trip. And where I use it, the only distances I need to range are the different mounds those critters sit upon.

Lemme tell you, these little mounds can be horribly difficult to range and I'm basically asking-- if I had a $600 range finder, would I be getting good, reliable numbers far more often?

After a few years doing this, I feel like I'm getting pretty good at it but if I have to pick my weakest spot, it's judging the distance of my shots. I can hammer these guys out to to 350 with little trouble but ONLY when I have a good idea of how far out my shot is.

A better range finder offer me much?
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Old June 28, 2017, 08:39 AM   #2
Mobuck
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"if I had a $600 range finder, would I be getting good, reliable numbers far more often?"

Yes, (probably/maybe) a unit with higher quality glass and more powerful laser will result in better function. I have a 500 yard name brand unit that would only give reliable readings on deer/coyotes out to 350 +/- yards. Heck, I'm shooting a 25/06 so I don't need to range stuff that close. I bought a Weaver 600 or 800(can't remember)yard unit and it's OK on game to about 550 in good visibility conditions.
On P-dogs???? I'm not sure how much it do. If you really want/need to range those, you probably need to be looking at a name brand 1000 yard unit.
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Old June 28, 2017, 10:19 AM   #3
Sevens
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Well, ranging a dog itself is tough, typically I will try to range the mound that they sit on. The mounds are not exactly a large, flat surface that you can easily point at the way that a tree trunk or barn or vehicle is.
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Old June 28, 2017, 02:13 PM   #4
kraigwy
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I've tried several range finders. Some work some don't. But most I've tired would work in the mountains but for some weird reason wouldn't work on the prairie. Sucked for antelope.

I was on a bear hunt and the guide let me play with his BR7. It impressed the heck out of me.

Its suppose to range to 2000 yards, but when UPS dropped it off I took it out side and ranged a cow at 2700 yards. Several times with different cows in the same area so it wasn't a fluke.

Ive ranged antelope past 900 yards. I sure it would go further except at 900 those little critters are hard to find so I can try to range them.

It also has a ballistic program built in (the ballistic program is only good for 1400 yards). It works, you put the bullet info in and it will give your the range and adjustments needed. It accounts for temp, altitude, humidity, and angles. You can put 5 different bullets in it.

Its great for precision rifle shooting also.

It is a bit pricy but its worth it, I paid $1500 for mine, and its paid me back every bit of that and then some. Well worth the price if you take your shooting seriously.
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Old June 28, 2017, 02:28 PM   #5
alex0535
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A better quality range finder will make things more reliable.

Couldn't go down there are put a flag up every 25-50 yards a day or two before? Less ranging, clearer picture of wind between you and the dogs and could leave an easy to ranging target at your shooting position to ease accurate flagging. This is probably your cheapest solution.

If you wanted more skillful inexpensive solution and are good at math, with a front focal plane or rear focal plane optic set to specific power you can find the range targets of known size using mil dots on the scope.
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Old June 28, 2017, 03:30 PM   #6
jmr40
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What I use.

http://www.cabelas.com/product/LEUPO...range%2Bfinder

Caught it on sale for $250 a couple of years ago.
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Old June 28, 2017, 03:31 PM   #7
MarkCO
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Yes, it will. The SIG Kilo2000 is what you are looking for. I am totally impressed with mine and I use it out to 1000+.
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Old June 28, 2017, 04:11 PM   #8
NoSecondBest
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The biggest problem I've found with range finders is having too much magnification. That's when you can't hold them steady enough to get a good reading. I've got some expensive ones that do that and some cheap ones that do that...and they are both accurate. I'm not even sure if I got something better just because I paid a lot of money for it. My first one was working well when I got rid of it after having it for about fifteen years. I got a very expensive one to replace it and it doesn't read any better than the cheap one and it has more power which makes it more difficult to target something with. Scopes I get, range finders haven't proven to me that you get more if you pay more.
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Old June 28, 2017, 08:01 PM   #9
Ricklin
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Tripod??

Can you easily attach the rangefinder to a tripod? Might help a lot.
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Old June 28, 2017, 09:45 PM   #10
std7mag
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I got the SA Sports Dragon-Eyez 1500 from Amazon.
$170.

Ranged a house to 1700, deer often at 600-800 yards.
While using spotting scope i had buck silhouetted on hill. Steadied rangefinder. Got back 1160 yards.

For the money i would highly recommend.
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Old June 29, 2017, 03:28 PM   #11
Sevens
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Haha, I like the idea of marking up a dog town before hunting it with distance markers and even better would be wind flags... but that is a no-go. Too many towns, would not want to spook any for such a setup and we travel a tremendous distance to go on this hunt in the first place, we sure couldn't burn a day doing this. But a fun idea just the same.

Thanks for other suggestions also. Already checking out the models listed, admitting right now that $1,500 is beyond my league and other equipment! Totally agree that too much magnification makes it more difficult to hold steady and sorry, a tripod is out of the question as I have to (very much) reign in the volume of gear I haul. Our hunts end up being a couple miles of hiking in and out.

We have a fantastic adventure in this, we do it once a year and get a little better at it each year.
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Old June 29, 2017, 05:51 PM   #12
Ricklin
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Ounces

The small aluminum tripods can be a few ounces, and the legs telescope. But yeah i get it..A tripod should make a world of difference.

There are a plethora of tripods, some easily fit in a pocket. Same thread size as cameras. 1/4-20 is the standard for both cameras and scopes.
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Old June 29, 2017, 07:33 PM   #13
JHansenAK47
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In the U.S. the laser is regulated and must be eye safe. Most companies with different models of rangefinder use the same laser for all their models and simply have a better sensor unit to determine range. When you buy a better unit, you are buying a better sensor and viewing glass.

If you are going prairie dog hunting I would recommend putting your rangefinder on a mount. It makes it easier to make accurate measurements when you have a steady mount. A lot of them will screw onto an adapter mount for a tripod.
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Old June 29, 2017, 07:43 PM   #14
Art Eatman
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Somewhere buried within a bunch of stuff I have a Bushnell 800. Was inexpensive at the time. Anyhow, spot-on accurate to 800 yards on halfway-decent reflections. On shiny metal, good to around 900.
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Old July 2, 2017, 12:03 AM   #15
Colorado Redneck
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I have a Leupold that ran me $350 several years ago. Its in the garage and I'm in bed, so can't provide the model. It works pretty good unless the grass is tall, or if the ground has little knolls and draws. When you are ranging prairie dogs, sometimes it is really frustrating to get a good accurate distance. I usually range two or three mounds in the close vicinity and take a poke.

I have found that some prairie dogs are born lucky, because by the time I get the range, then get the scope adjusted and try to find the little booger I intended to shoot, it's no longer visible. Went down the hole, got behind the mound, or I am just looking in the wrong place. The upside is, theres not much chance of overheating the barrel.
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