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Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique?
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gelandangan
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:34 pm    Post subject: Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique? Reply with quote

Heres another noob like question for all you great hunters.

So I read that most of you shot a deer, pig, goat, bear, buffalo etc at so many thousand inches away Laughing ,
I guess most of you are using the super hyper velocity cartridge that shoot straight as a laser beam for miles Very Happy
that way, you dont usually have to compensate for the bullet drop.
Just aim for the general area of killing zone, bang and yer done.. (oh how I wish :pray:)

Me, I have been busting my knee trying to duck and creep up to an animal to get me a good shot within 50 to 100 meters.
I guess thats because all my load are in the "rainbow trajectory" class, the closer I get the better I could ensure that the bullet hits.

Seriously, everything are subject to gravity that pulls them down at the same rate be it a .17 cal , the .50 cal or the loose brick at the back of the house. Now, although this is a rough guess, I could say that things drops at about 1 meter (or 1 yard) in a second. So, at 1000fps, my projectile should drop 1 meter 1000 foot away - roughly speaking that is..

Okay, now all I need to know is how far away the target is from me, so I could guess the time it took the bullet to get there and where I should aim so the bullet will go to where I want it to go. AAARRRGGGHHH!!!!!!!! Mad

HOW DO YOU ESTIMATE THE DISTANCE???? I mean by eyes, not optical measure such as rangefinder, Mildot scope, 30-30 recticle etc, but your eyes and maybe some chart that you could tape up the gun etc and some reckoning.

I have real trouble estimating distances beyond 5 meters away and I need the skill BADLY. Anybody have a good technique? Please share, I am sure some of us would like to learn about this too.

Gelan

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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique? Reply with quote

Well if you don't want to buy a laser range finder you can always point at a random object in the distance and guess at the distance, then count your paces walking in a stright line to it, (before hand measure what distance is a "pace" for you) and then you can say "ok I guessed 300 yards but I walked 250 yards according to my pace count"

Now do this over and over agian till you've done it so many times your sick of doing it. Cause by then your guessing will be more and more closer if you are paying attention to your mistake if you guess too far or too short and roughly how much.

Thats how I learned to measure distance. Then I started to guess, and instead of walkign use a range finder to prove if I guessed good or not at a instant... seems to work for me. Smile

Dimitri

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gelandangan
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique? Reply with quote

Sorry not to make it clear Dimitri, I have a Laser range finder, but I found it to be cumbersome. For the weigh, I could carry extra water or ammo, besides, I already carry a binocular on my neck.

I need the "eyeball" technique.

Gelan

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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique? Reply with quote

Gelan,

Well then go out point to a tree, or a rock or anything at a distance, guess how far it is then use the laser range finder to figure out how bad your guess was, and just practice really guessing by pointing out something, estimating the distance then checking your range finder, by doing this (and the counting paces method) I am able to better guess distances now then I was before. Smile

Dimitri

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Morax
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 7:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique? Reply with quote

the big D hit it on the head, take a known object, say something like your car, and park it at 100 yards away. keep a mental picture of it in your head, then the next time you see it at distance, compare it in your minds eye is it bigger (closer) smaller(further away) and you can usually guesamate it rather closely to distance away from you.. the movie "Jarhead" also had a good point on distance, take something you know, and compare it, 300 yards is 3 football fields, etc etc...
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gelandangan
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 7:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique? Reply with quote

I agree that the compare and test method is one of the good method, in fact I am practicing it all the time when I drive, ie. I guess the distance of an intersection and read the speedo differences to see if my guess is correct.

The trouble I found with this comparison method is that in large open space, some object may look larger or smaller than it usually be.

Viz, the easiest example is the moon usually looks bigger when they are low on the horizon of a wide open plains or ocean than it is when straight up or in a built up area.

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FALPhil
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 9:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique Reply with quote

Relying on your eyes and comparing it to mental pictures is not reliable. That's because the human brain tends to interpret things from a relative relationship. The best way is to have a range finding device in your sighting system. There are many out there, but my favorite is the old Redfield ranging system which consists of two parallel stadia wires which represent 18 inches. Finding an object you know to be 18 inches, such as the distance between a deer's withers and his chest, and bracketing it with the stadia by using the magnification ring allows you to read the distance off the indicator in the sighting picture.
www.abousainc.com/ATsystem.htm


Another good system I like is the Shepherd Scope system and its near-clone, the Hakko/Springfield Armory system which has a reticule that represents a length, usually 18 inches, in the form of circles or brackets.

www.shepherdscopes.com/

This is the Hakko/SA reticle:


I like these first two systems, because they have a bullet drop compensator built in.

Mildots would be next in line, and are not as fast due to the math involved, although with training, you can approximate the speed of the other systems, if you can figure out how to use the reticle as a BDC. The advantage to mildots is that you can range without adjusting the power of the scope; the big disadvantage is that the ranging capabilities are usually restricted to one power, as the reticule is in the second focal plane.

Then there is the unique Horus system which is not fast at all, and typically requires a PDA or hand calculator to use.


Finally, there are the new laser rangefinding scopes with the rangefinder built into the scope, like the ones offered by Burris, Pentax, and Swarovski.
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d_hoffman
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 10:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique? Reply with quote

I've always practiced the paceing method. Just keep practicing until you get it right. Pick a point and estimate it, pace it to see how close you are. Pick another point and pace it. After a while it'll become second nature.

Mind you that you don't need to be accurate to the yard when doing longer distances that you'd typically use while estimating for a rifle shot. If you can estimate within 10 yards or paces, which ever you use, you'll be close enough.

For archery though, you do need to be that accurate

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gelandangan
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 10:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique Reply with quote

d_hoffman wrote:

For archery though, you do need to be that accurate

Very Happy Maybe I should add, for Archery and Gelan's loads.. I shoot mostly at sub sonic of trans sonic velocities. (22LR, 300 Whisper, and 45-70 real soft loads)
The trajectory of my projectiles curves like Anna Nicole Smith when she is 20 years old Very Happy

Yes I need to be a tad more accurate in my distances Laughing

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tikkat3
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 1:58 am    Post subject: Re: Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique? Reply with quote

I'm with d_hoffman, step it out, or are you lazy or something gelandangan.
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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 2:20 am    Post subject: Re: Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique? Reply with quote

"Practice, practice, practice..." I don't know of any gimic to accurately estimate distances except to practice and measure, as the folks above suggested. And even then you're just guessing without using a tool of some sort. That's why I bought the laser range finder! When I get to a hunting spot I range various objects that I can easily see to get a feel for how far a shot I might be taking.

Take a look at the Pointblank software to see what kind of trajectory your gun/load really has. You might be surprised at how much drop the bullet has, or hasn't!

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skb2706
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 8:45 am    Post subject: Re: Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique? Reply with quote

gelandangan wrote:
Heres another noob like question for all you great hunters.

Me, I have been busting my knee trying to duck and creep up to an animal to get me a good shot within 50 to 100 meters.

If you just keep doing that you will be miles ahead in hunting skills vs. shooting skills.
Its great to have range finding equipment and rifles that will shoot flat as a pool table out to 400 or so yds. but 'hunting' is far more than that.
I personally don't think there are many people that can judge distance beyond 200 yds. without some type of assistance. At the distances that it would make any difference in trajectory you could be walkin a long ways experimenting with your estimating.
I shoot pds on private land, land where we can put up markers at various distances for comparison out to 500 yds. You would be surprised how easy it is to be off by 75 yds. or more on land that you know very well. Not one person whos ever went with me was even close their first time out.
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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 9:09 am    Post subject: Re: Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique? Reply with quote

Not having a fancy scope on my Browning A-bolt I use the size of the deer in the scope to determine if it is close enough for a good hit. I have a pre-ninty Redfield 3 x 9 compact Golden 5 star. As I don't like to shoot past 200 to 250 yards (I prefer to sneak up on them) I keep the scope on 5 to 6 power and if the deer shows up as if it is reachable, I'm in [MY] range. I know...Primitive of me, but it works for me...I use a lot of good (bad?) judgment as to the distance as I'm very far sighted and what looks like 200 yards seems to me to be only 150 or less...I also, when I have time, pace off different ranges while hunting...My average pace is almost 3 ft +/-. With my .30 WCF "Jack Handle" with iron sights, this is very easy as most of the shots on game has been under 50 yards (heavy brush and timber)...

Ya have to remember...I started hunting when they didn't have all those hunting(?) aides(?). Every sighting was by your own sight judgment.

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tracker
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 11:37 am    Post subject: Re: Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique Reply with quote

Well sir, set up a target, pace off a distance and turn around and shoot the target, whether you've a scope or not. You get accustomed to the different distances and accustomed to what ranges you can shoot at accurately or what corrections you might need to make.

As Bushmaster said, it might be primitive, but...it'll work for any firearm, any caliber, scoped or iron sights. You learn your own skills and limitations and your rifles'.

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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 12:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique? Reply with quote

Remember Tracker...100 yards in the woods looks different to 100 yards on the range... Smile

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