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Using laser rangefinders !!!
By Popular Demand: Discussions related to Varmint Hunting
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chambered221
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:56 am    Post subject: Using laser rangefinders !!! Reply with quote

Have been considering the purchase of a laser rangefinder !!!

I want to use it primarily for groundhogs out to about 800 yards. (actual shooting inside 600)
Looking at the specs on some of them I see they list ranging deer at approximately half the distance of the max reflective capability.

Can someone with experience tell what to expect trying to range something as small as a groundhog or the ground around him ???
Do I have to have a hard object such as a tree or hay wagon to bounce the laser off of to get an accurate reading.

Any info please !!!

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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:30 am    Post subject: Re: Using laser rangefinders !!! Reply with quote

I haven't used my Leupold RX-III a whole lot but my practice has been to select a stand and then find the distance to various landmarks within view. I pick out obvious trees, rocks, etc and use the rangefinder see how far they are. Then if something worth shooting comes up I'll know about how far it is even without ranging it directly. Of course if time allows I'll try to get the exact range by lasing it. When I went to a friend's hunting area we walked around the field and measured back to his box stand, which provided an excellent target.

At longer distances I find it hard to keep the rangefinder on a small target anyway. The Leupold can be mounted to a tripod if you want to be extra precise.

One feature I recommend is what Leupold calls "True Ballistic Range". This automatically takes into account the vertical angle to the target and gives you the corrected distance. This is pretty important at long range in hilly country. Other manufacturers also have this feature.

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Using laser rangefinders !!! Reply with quote

Your description on how you use yours is how I intend on using one.
The trouble however is that I walk/stalk occasionally and I’m wondering how well it will work in those type of situations when I’ll need to range directly to the intended target. (Mr. Chuck Very Happy )

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tikkat3
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Using laser rangefinders !!! Reply with quote

I use a RX-IV at work alot, it is permanently attached to a monopod as it is hard to hold still long enough to get a reading.
Once you get over 500 metres some targets are difficult to read.
I usually take it from a bush adjacent to.
I have never taken it hunting as my rifles are zeroed at 200m and I consider myself a better shot at 100m ( maybe I should rezero them)
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allenpmw
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:04 am    Post subject: Re: Using laser rangefinders !!! Reply with quote

I had a Bushnell 800yrd and sold it. I couldnt get a constent read past 450-500 yrds.
I like my lica 1200 yrd it will read consestantly out to 1200yrd. It well read a tree, deer, rock ,dirt. It will not read lava rock. When you laser way out ther its hard to pin point a reading you have to get a rest.

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:22 am    Post subject: Re: Using laser rangefinders !!! Reply with quote

When a manufacture states max reflective range, are they referring to the use of an actual reflector or stationary targets such as a barn, grain wagon, big rock, etc, etc ???

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tikkat3
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:51 am    Post subject: Re: Using laser rangefinders !!! Reply with quote

I have used photographers reflective disks, about 1 metre in diametre,
from memory there are about 4 or 5 colours(two types of white, gold and silver) one of the whites was best, then we tried a orange type work vest which ended up being the best to get readings off out to 1 kilometre.
Not all of the range finders are the same (I have access to 4 RX-IV's)
Some like different colours none like low light.
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chambered221
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:23 am    Post subject: Re: Using laser rangefinders !!! Reply with quote

I appreciate the feed back from those that have posted (thank you) but there has got to be more than 3 that have used a laser !!!

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shrpshtrjoe
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:54 am    Post subject: Re: Using laser rangefinders !!! Reply with quote

chambered221 wrote:
I appreciate the feed back from those that have posted (thank you) but there has got to be more than 3 that have used a laser !!!

I have a Bushnel but don't have much time in the field using it. In a couple of weeks were going to a 1000 yrd range in PA and I should get a good idea how well it works then.
Joe

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moose2
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:36 am    Post subject: Re: Using laser rangefinders !!! Reply with quote

I have and use a Bushnell 1500 Elite. Never tried rangeing groundhogs, but it will range prairiedog mounts out to 600 yards. Pretty darn hard to lock in on the furry little critters themselves. Need something reflective close by to them to lock on.

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hunterjoe21
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Using laser rangefinders !!! Reply with quote

Like any other optic device, a solid rest makes a world of difference, especially for small tergets at long range. I've used my Bushnell Yardage Pro Compact 800 to range whistlepigs out to 400 yds. After that it really gets difficult to get an accurate "hold" on them buggers.

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Using laser rangefinders !!! Reply with quote

So what it all boils down to is a solid rest and a large enough reflective target for the distance I‘m trying to range !!!

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gelandangan
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 12:34 am    Post subject: Re: Using laser rangefinders !!! Reply with quote

I use a 7 years old bushnel yardage.
works on rabbit sized stuff up to about 100 meters..
further than that, I cant even see them..
I must be blind... Sad

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skb2706
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 12:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Using laser rangefinders !!! Reply with quote

The lower end units, like under $400, regardless of stated max range have trouble reflecting off of objects smaller than deer size beyond 400-450 yds. The higher end units will range much farther as they will target a smaller area...still you will be limited at the distance you can pick up a ground hog. Holding them steady is a trick though.
We use them occasionally shooting prairie dogs....at best we can range back to the truck to settle any bets about distance after the fact. You can range mounds out to about 300 yds depending on color, an actual prairie dog would be difficult to target beyond 150.
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Jack
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 7:47 am    Post subject: Re: Using laser rangefinders !!! Reply with quote

I use a laser rangefinder for woodchuck hunting. I started with a Leica 800- the first model they came out with. That would range a woodchuck to about 450- reading directly on the woodchuck.
I traded that one for the Leica 1200 when that model came out. The 1200 will range a woodchuck to about 750-800 yards.
Holding the rangefinder steady is a big part of getting good readings. I use a tripod mount whenever possible. If you're moving around, and a tripod isn't feasible, sometimes you can rest the rangefinder on a mound of earth or some other solid object. In my experience, you won't get the longer readings standing up, holding the rangefinder by hand, unless your hands are a lot steadier than mine.
A couple facts about rangefinders: the maximum distance the maker lists is the distance that you can get a reading on large reflective objects, like cars, steel barns, etc. You will not be able to range a woodchuck at the max distance- figure you can range a woodchuck a bit more than half the max listed distance.
Another factor of rangefinders: the longer maximum distance the rangefinder is, the narrower the laserbeam is. That puts a premium on holding the rangefinder steady.
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