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Getting the most out of your optics.

 
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  #1  
Old 07-30-2010, 07:05 PM
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Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
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Getting the most out of your optics.

An ongoing thread "Opinion on a Leica Rangemaster LRF 1200 scan" reveals that a little thinking and craftsmanship could be applied to getting the most out of our optics. Many have touted innovations such as using a walking stick/steady rest with binos and LRFs. How many of us have exerted the the effort implement innovations into our own style of LRH hunting?

Here's a pic of the optics and other tools I always have immediately available whether walk and stalk or hide/ambush hunting.



Left to right:
Vanguard Tracker AP-364 Mono pod. Sturdy, light for carrying, a great walking stick, adjustable. Heavy duty for other immediate need uses.
Block of wood. Top rest for mono pod. Increases value of Binos and LRF.
Brunton Does everything I've asked of it.
Leica 1200 Scan LRF. Very good LRF. Ranges from 1700+ under conditions I am aware of, which are few and far between. When used to develop a range chart they don't leave much to wish for.
Nikon Action 10x50 Binos (E31877 BJ). One of the great fines of my life. Dirt cheap. Less than 40 bucks at the local farm and ranch store. Check out the very "in" camo..... Since my bionic eye upgrade these things are amazing. They must be a fluke. Oh, only water resistant. I guess that's a deal breaker.....IYKWIM....

Starting with the Leica LRF 1200 Scan. This is my first range finder. I bought the best I could afford at the time. What I know now that I didn't know then is that this particular range finder model is near perfect for my use. It was pure blind luck that it fits the bill so well....

The features which raise it above the rest are in order of importance:
  1. Small beam
  2. Flat on the bottom,
  3. Good optics
  4. Good battery life
  5. Ranging on a center shot then ranging on the 4 adjacent squares shows that ranging back into the trees as much as 140 yards when the opening is not much wider than the sighting square. (A Priceless confidence builder)
Downers include:
  1. No tripod integral tripod mount
  2. Not enough protection in front of lenses.
  3. Must be steadied to achieve maximum ranges.
  4. The beam appears to be centered on the bottom of the sighting square LEDs instead of the center. Much critical use of your range finder will reveal these kinds of things.
  5. Stated accuracy is 0.5% beyond 800 yds. (my calc says 0.21 MOA @ 1K) - Kind of itches my brain.
Next the Leather Covered Block of Wood with the 1/4-20 nut in the bottom.
This is always mounted on the Mono Pod. It is leather covered to protect instruments from being dinged. For winmag's use, it is covered with a piece of chap leather and glued in place with Barge's or Gorilla glue.



It is light enough that it does not affect mono pod balance and is immediately available for use. Just place the binos or LRF on it and your ready to go. It is amazing how much steadier things are.

With the binos on the mono pod at great distances points become seeable instead of just antlers.

When the range finder is used with the mono pod and wood block ranging ability is extended significantly. The increased ranging ability greatly improved the value of the LRF.

Oh, and there is no screwing around (pun intended) when switching from walking, to using the LRF to using the binos.

Note the Carini designer range bag. Is that cool or what. Bet not many have one of these. It's a cast off diaper bag from my yuppie daughter in Kirkland WA.... Works great for hide set ups. Useless for walk and stalk.

Binos on the rig.


Leica 1200 on the rig.


Winmag, note the leather cover on the LRF. Its cut from the same piece of chap leather from the B-B Leather (Shawn Shields of Bronc/Bull/Bare Back glove making fame) scrap bin. Here's the stitching on the bottom. The stitched seam had a purpose when I used the LRF and another "board" with a groove machined into it to line up the LRF w/a camera I had at the time.......

Note that the "Button" is a critically placed FED-215M J-B welded in the precise correct spot to activate the LRF button. Thus I have a spare primer always on hand in case one falls out of a load at a critical moment......

Also note that the cover extends a bit over the front to give a little more protection to the lens. My first cover was made with latigo leather and worked well for protecting the lens' even more but was too stiff for the primer button to work. Kind of rendered the unit useless.....

LRF Cover


Lastly if you'll notice an extra adjustable strap with snap connected to the bino strap. It seemed really stupid to me to pay for the weird looking, uncomfortable, how do I get this surgical gown on, kind of apparatus that it seems to be cool to wear. All that is wanted is to keep a little weight off of ones neck. It seems it doesn't take much to affect one's neck.......

The strap when adjusted properly, with the snap connected to the center rear belt loop, removes all feeling of weight from the neck. If there isn't a center rear belt loop a plastic "D" ring or circular ring works well.

Every one could improve their own style of hunting as determined by game, conditions, terrain by applying a little ingenuity to their equipment.

Have fun and stay young. You'll live longer.
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  #2  
Old 07-30-2010, 08:25 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: SW Montana
Posts: 4,530
Re: Getting the most out of your optics.

Some of us younger guys will have to start calling you uncle Roy Thanks a bunch for you pics and write up, I was thinking that the Leica Rangemaster 1200 would work real well due to it's flat bottom if used correctly. I have been playing with a friends this evening and so far 1042 yrds has been easily hit with it only lightly braced. I'm finding that it's how I push the button that makes the difference and having on a hardish flat surface like your wood block would really work good, I'll procure one and give it a try.

Thanks Roy
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  #3  
Old 07-31-2010, 03:56 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Canterbury, New Zealand
Posts: 675
Re: Getting the most out of your optics.

Good tips Roy. Only problem I have is getting a Leica 900 to read more than 999 yards.

Stu.
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  #4  
Old 08-03-2010, 08:01 AM
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Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
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Re: Getting the most out of your optics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi3006 View Post
Good tips Roy. Only problem I have is getting a Leica 900 to read more than 999 yards.

Stu.

Stu,

I think that would be about par. I bet there's an adjustment hidden inside that controls that as 1217 in my 1200 shows up way to regularly as a max limit.
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  #5  
Old 08-03-2010, 02:43 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Canterbury, New Zealand
Posts: 675
Re: Getting the most out of your optics.

Sorry Roy, it was my attempt at humour. A leica 900 only displays 3 digits. I bet it will read more than 999 but it can only display 999 as a max.

Stu.
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  #6  
Old 08-03-2010, 07:36 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 8,178
Re: Getting the most out of your optics.

Stu,

I bit on that hook, line and sinker.......

Shows you how much I know about stuff!!

No sorry needed........
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